Category: weblogs

the albatross return to capistrano

Have you noticed that world has felt empty and devoid of meaning for the past few months? That since early April, life has been harder, meaner, and colder? Despair no longer, loyal friends: Fafblog is back!

also: for the internets

If you’re a “weblogger”, or if you prefer, a “blogger”, and especially if you get paid to post things on the “internets”, please take note:

Writing about or pointing out something amusing you saw in the craigslist personal or classified ads is stupid, and you should stop doing it. And if it’s a typographical error that you think is hilarious, please take a leave of absence and think about what you’ve done.

That is all.

random ten

  1. Stay With Me The Small Faces

    So, in the mornin’, please don’t say you love me
    ‘Cause you know I’ll only kick you out the door
    Yeah, I’ll pay your cab fare home, you can even use my best cologne,
    Just don’t be here in the mornin’ when I wake up.

  2. So Ghetto Jay-Z

    You’ll be wearing a black suit a long time
    I put your crew in hard bottoms
    The priest is like, “God’s got him
    He never did nuttin to nobody but them boys shot him”

    Read more »

not _that_ briar patch, please

Matt Yglesias writes a bunch of smart things most of the time, and then he says something that just makes me cringe:

You could just get together a list of every registered Democrat in the country, then take a statistically valid random sample of 1,000 or so of these people fly them all to a big hotel in Dayton (shades of Balkan diplomacy), and tell them they’re not leaving until some candidate has the support of 600 people. [emphasis added — tew]

Obviously Matt Yglesias has never been to Dayton.

greencards, greencards

I feel badly for Prof. DeLong, who is battling comment spam (and wrestling with Movable Type) over at his semi-daily journal. He’s currently swearing by MT-Blacklist, but I read another recent blog posting which complains that MT-Blacklist isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and can even trade your spam problem for a server load problem.

The article goes on to suggest darkly that Google hasn’t acted against comment spam because of their financial stake in Blogger, but I think this is unlikely — I think it’s just a very hard problem. Staying ahead of a motivated attacker is nearly impossible, as countless computer security experts will attest — close one hole and a motivated attacker will just find another. I looked for a reference to this idea on Bruce Schneier’s site, but I couldn’t find one.

It’s the evil-Universe doppleganger of Open Source software development: not only do we have “given enough eyes, all bugs are shallow,” but also “given enough spammers, all opportunities will be exploited.” It’s the same everywhere — a truly determined attacker, no matter how many holes you plug, will find a new hole.

It’s not enough to blacklist commenters, to bayesian sort your email, to digitally-rights-manage your music, to X-ray every bag at the airport. Motivated parties will find a new way, a new method, a new weakness to exploit. There just isn’t a long-term technical solution, as far as I can see.

I shrugged it off, back in 1994, but maybe spam is going to turn out to be a big problem.

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