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  • We Apologize for any Inconvenience

    Posted by James R. Rummel on August 31st, 2005 (All posts by )

    Those comment spammers, dontchya love Ďem? Steven den Beste tried to leave a comment earlier in the day, and his immortal prose was blocked by our MT Blacklist anti-spam utility. Seems that a spammer slipped a little something in the URL line which prevented anyone from using the letters ďDEĒ. Clever of them.

    Clever, and yet oh so annoying.

    Itís fixed now, but I thought it would be a good idea if I stepped up to the podium and said a few words to our readers.

    Iím not an admin here, and I donít set policy. That means your comment might be deleted due to content and language that Jonathan or Lexington find offensive and thereís not anything I can do about it. (Not that Iíd want to, since anything that pisses off Lex or Jonathan automatically pisses me off as well.) But keep in mind that I can get into the Blacklist and make changes. If anyone has any problems they can drop me a line at james_43202@yahoo.com and Iíll get right on it.

    That is all. We now return to our regularly scheduled blogging.

     

    6 Responses to “We Apologize for any Inconvenience”

    1. Steven Den Beste Says:

      Thank you. (And testing, to see if I can really post again.)

    2. Kevin F Says:

      I remain awed by those with sufficient technical savvy to quickly debug such annoyances.

      More simply, I am too stupid to have fixed it, and would have had no recourse but to set fire to the server. First, though, I might have chanted over it, or swung beads, or sacrificed a small bird to the Almighty CPU. Failing that, fire.

    3. Lex Says:

      Just to be clear, I have never deleted anything except a very small number of comments to my OWN posts. Other bloggers on the Boyz are on their own and can make their own judgments.

      The Anti-Spam utility has a mind of its own and sometimes prevents comments from going up due to the presence of seemingly innocuous phrases. I have had this problem myself. Unfortunately, we are surrounded by low-cost vandals and the precautions we have to take impose costs on all of us.

    4. Jonathan Says:

      Thanks, James and Steven! I didn’t have a clue about what was going on.

      The blacklist blocks hundreds of spam comments here daily. When a spam comment gets through, I usually add its URL to the blacklist. Inevitably some of the terms I add to the blacklist block legitimate comments. And now it appears that spammers have learned how to make the blacklist even less effective.

      I was planning to install a challenge/response, and this episode confirms that I should do that. Possible alternatives are to upgrade to the latest version of Movable Type, which I don’t want to do, or to WordPress, which I want to do but seems like a lot of work. Suggestions are appreciated.

    5. Tyouth Says:

      Dear Readers,

      never, Never, NEVER EVER respond to spam!

    6. James R. Rummel Says:

      First, though, I might have chanted over it, or swung beads, or sacrificed a small bird to the Almighty CPU. Failing that, fire.

      Fire is the great cleanser.

      James