Patterico's Pontifications


Technical update

Filed under: General — onefinejay @ 10:24 pm

This is Jay, checking in on Patterico’s dear friends for yet another technical update.

Last time I left a post on here I was explaining the issues with false positives from some users being marked as spam by Spam Karma 2, which was the anti-spam security measure I implemented after Bad Behavior started showing more holes than Gorgonzola. One measure that SK2 used—commenter granularity—could not be reconciled with the large number of existing comments on a site like this. It caused a large grievance among those whose comments would post successfully, only to be retro-spanked by SK2 after a little bit more server-side, invisible processing. Turning off that feature on SK2, however, left this blog open to far more undesirable comments from even further undesirable people’s undesirable, destructive creations. Yes, the darned spam bots were allowed in here far too many times touting the benefits of larger breasts.

Hopefully, the false positives will stop after a while and the plastic-surgery–related comments would finally be staved off with the implementation of Akismet, Matt Mullenweg‘s anti-spam baby. This comes with no promises of course, but I hope that results would be tangible over the next 24 hours, that way I can do something about it if this still doesn’t work.

Take note, however, that no anti-spam measure truly is foolproof. Any spammer can set up all sorts of virtual hosts to produce trackback spam that resolve to a junk site full of links to those foolish enough to pay for them… Oh, but I ramble too much. Basically I hope that this works better for Patterico and all y’all, ‘coz this is almost a last resort short of requiring registration—more painless than you might think—for anyone who wants to leave a comment.

10 Responses to “Technical update”

  1. I’ve been completely prevented from leaving comments from my home computer for a while… so if this goes through that’s encouraging.

    Spammers are a bitch, definitely.

    Christoph (9824e6)

  2. I asked Jay to do something about this in part because you were having problems.

    Patterico (de0616)

  3. Thank you.

    Christoph (9824e6)

  4. I installed Akismet about three weeks ago, and it has worked very well. Akismet gives you a page listing of spams (or is the plural of spam, spam?) caught, so the administrator can review them and “unspam” a wrongly caught comment. The one glitch that I have found is that whenm it goes into a second page, trying to review caught spam on the second page is impossible; you get a page not found error. That means when you hit delete all, you might be deleting a valid comment you can’t review.

    Also, I have to keep one comment in permanent moderation, or the button to check the Akismet spam queue cannot be accessed.

    Dana (3e4784)

  5. This is only related because it’s about technnical issues.

    I usually right-click to open links in another window, usine IE 6.0. Now, tight-clicking allows me to open another window if I do it quickly, but it also opens the link in this window, if you see what I mean. It basically acts as if I’m just left-clicking on it.

    This only started a week or so ago, I think.

    Veeshir (dfa2bf)

  6. I’ve had reasonable success with akismet, although I do get a few false positives. Usually the key is *short comments* trigger false positives: a comment from a legitimate commenter containign the text “amen, brother”, for example, got held up.

    aphrael (12fba5)

  7. I don’t much object to registration, so long as it remembers me. What I really dislike is having to re-register and type in the hard-to-read validation sequence each and every time I preview a comment.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  8. I’d note here that I’ve had a couple of spammers register on my site; it’ll only be a matter of time until some pond-scum techie comes up with an auto-registration spambot that gets around that.

    The point of the spams on the old topics (where they never get read; they are hoping that a site administrator will never know they are there) is to increase inbound links, to drive up the site’s ranking on Google and other search engines. But such also uses up hosting site memory and site bandwidth. I don’t know about our esteemed host, but I have to pay for my site hosting service, and if I exceed either hosting memory or bandwidth access, my costs would increase. These spammers are literally trying to steal service from us!

    Which brings up the obvious question for the attorneys who visit here: couldn’t spammers be prosecuted or sued for such?

    Dana (e28615)

  9. Now don’t go spreading untruths about the terrific Gorgonzola. Gorgonzola is a dense, crumbly cheese very similar to blue cheese. The cheese with the holes is Swiss.

    BeachBumBill (bf0c49)

  10. Bill: When you get your Gorgonzola in the blue foil five pounds at a time from Costco and slice it up, it’s got holes. And Gzola is totally kewl in my book. Swiss? Get some sharp cheddar, blow some cigarette smoke its way and chow down. Cheaper that way.

    onefinejay (aa85b2)

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