Blog Pile

How I Have Spent/Wasted Time Lately

Ouch, my blogging fingers are rusty.

Among tweaking and updating many of our project web sites this week, an inordinate amount of time has been spent:

* cleaning up the droppings we find on our wikis (Thanks for all the potted meat food product shipped directly from Southeast Asia- love those links).

* sorting through a database connection error that sent me more than 300 error email notifications in 12 hours, not the best thing to deal with while I was on a 26k dialup connection. Deleting them all crashed my OSX repeatedly. Worse, I found out the error was likely operator induced (meaning my own dumb fault) when I updated a code library using a wrong a test version, yielding a mis-typed database login. This ended up clogging a database with an inability to handle connections, somehow the sftp process tanked….

* adding new grep matches to the MovableType Blacklist- no longer satisfied with adding the URLs that pop in like clockwork, I am adding much broader matches to those various fetishes, substances, money schemes that are 10000% not relevant to the web sites this one, tired individual maintains by his own sweat and effort. Have my naive notions of ethics, civility, respect, all that “everything I learned in kindergarten” ideas been tossed in the rubbish bin?

* experimenting with a new blog-spam effort I call “Project Tourniquet” – one MovableType site where the spam to real comment ration is about 40:1 — A complete removal of the mt-comment script (which has a different name), so all efforts at sending comments land in the 404 lab and are culled from the error logs. I have more than 10 per hour with referrer links that point to a gambling web site, using a series of at least 18 different spoofed IPs. of course this renders the blogs on this site unable to receive comments, but no one has complained yet or reported an error message to me.

I’ve been advised not to blog about spam lest I make myself a target, but I cannot sit idly and will not operate in fear of scum who feel they have some internet granted right to blast their gunk on the web sites I have devoted my time and passion to create. It is wrong, like cowering from some middle school thug. I refuse to do that.

I dare you spammers to step out of your dark shadows and take ownership of your actions. Are you not person enough to take ownership for your actions? I defy you to justify plastering links for bestiality, pornography, gambling on my open systems designed to help educators use the internet. Do you have the guts to do so, or will you remain forever cloaked in your timid, meek, fetid holes? I double dare you to admit it, to put your own name out here. I triple dare you to take ownership for your deeds.

C’mon, do you feel lucky? Well… do you?

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Here’s my magic formula for blocking spam. I turn off comments after three weeks (this kills about 95% of the spam I got) and comments that have more than 1 link in them need to be approved by me. This allows me to kill the other 5% before they reach my blog. Spammers seem unable to resist putting three or four links in a post, so they always get trapped, but my readers seldom want to post even a single link. I am sad to limit comment functionality b/c of evil spammers, but it’s been working really well for me. I don’t know that it matters but I’m using wordpress ( ).

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