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April 08, 2005

Note: CogDogBlog has a new WordPress powered home at All entries from this version have been moved there, so as a guide dog service try finding this article in its new home by title search.

Captcha Spammers! Fugggedaboddit

It's a new spam free day for CogDogBlog and our other affiliated MovableType 2.661 blogs here. I've successfully integrated James Seng's captcha plugin, so that all comment posts require a human to type in a randomly generated security code that appears on screen as a graphic image or 'captcha'. Spambots cannot automatically read these, so any spam that dribbles in is human posted. Spammers thrive on automation, not manual effort.


This would not have been possible had not Audree, our eportfolio programming genius, been gracious enough to help with the cryptic perl installs of the and GD perl libraries. Thanks Aud!

Some notes:

(*) Yes, D'Arcy, I know that captchas are a total barrier for the visually impaired. My plan (not fully implemented) is to provide a link to our standard feedback form which is accessible. This form publishes no content online so is useless for spammers (though they try, fools).

(*) The captcha takes away my previous restriction that all comments had to be previewed; again D'Arcy, I agree it was a PITA, but gone now. This might be the tradeoff for the first point?

(*) My individual entries can now include the comment for rather than putting them all in pop-up windows.

(*) I'll be testing this to see how effective it is, not just on CDN but the Low Threshold Applications site as well. Out LTA authors need not be bothered by phenterminegamblingbeastiality link foisting.

(*) It may not be perfect as folks are already working on breaking visual captchas.

I still plan to try maybe later this month a migration to WordPress. It really seems to have more flexibility (after doing an MT rebuild of 800+ entries I see the value of a dynamic publishing WP blog) and to be honest it feels like it did in 2003 when I looked at blogs- the blogs I liked reading and looking at were published in MT2.x-- but these days, the ones looking and feeling cool are Word Press (and Drupal). While MT3.x has some desirable features, it hardly feels much more evolutionary than what I have now, and really feels, well stale and dated.

Plus I understand there are a number of very effective WP spam fightinh tools. MT has 1- the MT-Blacklist plugin (yes, Cheryl told me about Brad Choate's new antiSpam plug-in... requires MT3, so fugggedaboddit).

Of course it is subjective! It's my blog.

FYI, James Seng has ported his MT captcha plug-in to his new Drupal run blog.

So cya, "Absinth452" and pals. Go crap on someone elses blog.

blogged April 8, 2005 11:02 PM :: category [ using mt , web good dog ]
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Alan - You'll like working with WordPress. Code is clean and structured well. Many useful features built-in and a nice plugin interface for you to fiddle with, as needed. Captcha plugin available for you, too. ;-) I added it and have had zero, null, zilch spam-odities since.


Commented by: Randy Brown on April 14, 2005 12:47 PM

Spammers Have Force Our Hands...
Note: Those nasty blog-spamming roaches have forced us to take action to prevent their spread- all entries made to this blog will remain open for comments for 30 days after the original posting date. After that, it is old news anyhow, correct?

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