Effective Immediately: I’m Closing My Ill-Used Spam-Attracting Forums That Barely Serve A Vestigial Purpose At This Point

Essentially: it does what it says on the tin. My bbPress forums were
a) Magnets for spammers of every *dol, Cia*, Dolc*gab* and Ho*ref*nance
2) CPU chewers for little payoff
D) Not really used by y’all or me*
So, in short, I’m deactivating them and shall breathe a sigh of relief.
If you’ve comments related to my posts, feel free to leave them in the, errrm, comments sections. If you’ve Elbee Elgee-related bugfixes or feature requests, plunk ’em in the Bitbucket issue tracker. I’ll also keep an eye on the forums over on WordPress.org in order to keep current.
In shorter short: so long, and thanks for all the fish, bbPress!


O NOES!!!1!
In the interests of full disclosure, I’d like to announce that my blog was cracked into in the wee hours of the morning (PDT) two Saturdays ago (9/21/2007). I have yet to figure out the vector the crackers used to compromise my blog, but I will repost the details that I have found out so that others may be on their guard against such attacks.
Here’s how I figured out I’d been cracked.
Continue reading “Haxx0red!”

Duuuuuude, Spam?

So, spammers, what’s the deal with trying to spam my blog with “head shop” junk? Bongs, pipes, etc.? E.D. drugs and grass seed too good for you?
Y’all have problems. Seriously.

…The Heck Is WRONG With Spammers These Days?

Is a cruddy-looking lawn really all that common of an occurrence these days? I mean, honestly, I’ve gotten more of these than “manhood enhancement” solicitations in my Yahoo! spam filter over the last few months:
Grass spam.
The first few times I got ’em, I didn’t even open them. Figured “Grow Your Lawn Faster And Thicker” was pretty naked slang for the above-mentioned “manhood” pills, but no! They actually meant “grass seed”!
There is something seriously messed up in this country. I’ve begun to think that former Nigerian royalty will start asking me to help move a great quantity of Kentucky Bluegrass seed out of some warn-torn sub-Saharan country any day now…

I Get The Most Interesting Blogspam

I’ll say this much for the comment spammers: they certainly seem to be interested in at least entertaining me in their constant attempts to hawk their tawdry wares using my site and bandwidth. For instance, I received this one from “Anna”. It starts out sounding relatively innocent:

Hello, my name is Anna! As you can probably tell, I’m a Christian woman who loves Jesus Christ and cares for all humans, even the wicked.

Then it gets weird.

What you probably don’t know is that I’m hot. My picture below isn’t really that good. I want to use my beauty for GOD, and want to encourage Christian women (my sisters in Christ) to do the same, according to the Great Commission.

[Emphasis mine — I’ve obviously omitted the offending link, lest I give the hawker her(?) desired effect.]
Whoa. Cognitive dissonance there. Sneaky little blighter, too — trying to lull my moderation finger into a sense of peace and tranquility, only to bring the “amateur pr0n” aspect in like a thunderclap.
Still, it’s good for a laugh, I suppose.

Talking Back To Spammers For Fun And, Ummm, Profit

It seems that I have a friendly spamstalker named “Wendy!” who is intent upon giving me a laugh or two for free. “Wendy!” seemingly æschews the traditional mass list of pharmacological, adult-oriented and “all-natural” male “enhancement” spam fare and instead tries, helpfully, to make me aware of certain goings-on in the world at large. For instance, “Wendy!” helpfully contributed the following gem:

Good day!
Why do dogs eat their poop? One reason dogs eat their poop is because it just plain taste good. Another reason is it could be a vitamin deficiency. One other reason for the poop eating is that it is an instinctual behavior in the wild to eat the poop to keep other predators from tracking their movements.
Some solutions for stopping poop eating are: You can put meat tenderizer on it.
What do you think?
Wow, I’ve found the same to be true too! Where did you get that at?
Bye, bye – Wendy!

“Wendy!” seems to have a bit of a split personality, as her next entry shows:

Hi there
I need help with my computer. I is always freezing when i open IE? What do you think?
Wow, I’ve found the same to be true too! How did you find that?
Bye, bye – Wendy!

So remember, folks, if you have questions about Microsoft browser technology or dog poop, just ask for “Wendy!” She’ll be happy to help.

Spam, Spam, Eggs And Spam, Ham, Spam And Eggs

I have a very simple question: why do I continually get bombarded with penny stock scam image-based spam at work and yet my GMail address has yet to get a single one? Why does my corporate identity lose out? Why do most businesses do such terrible jobs at filtering out the crap and yet Google and Yahoo! manage to catch, on average, 97-98% of the spam I would potentially see?
FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS: How can I convince Yahoo! and Google to allow my company to leverage their anti-spam resources and how in the world can I convince a corporate IT structure practically addicted to Microsoft Exchange to use said leverage?
FOLLOW-UP-UP QUESTION: Who, in the name of all that is holy, sacred and pure actually buys the stuff spammers “sell”? I, personally, think that anyone idiotic enough to do so ought to be placed in stocks in the town square and pelted with Hormel Brand SPAM™. Still in the can, of course, as I’d hate to have anyone forget the lesson they would be sure to learn.
1/18/07 FOLLOW-UP UPDATE: Wouldn’t you know it – an image-based V1agr4!-style spam got through to my GMail this morning. Heh.

Thank YOU, Mr. Spammer, For The Confidence Boost

I check my Akismet queue each morning and note, usually with some amusement, the lengths to which spammers seem to be going in order to try to hawk their pornography, stock “tips” and manhood-enhancing wares on my site. Some opt for hundreds of links in a single comment (these seem to be a favorite of the porn spammers), others forgo all niceties and just post “Links: …” while the largest group, by far, seeks to butter me up. For instance:

My dear web designer, it is nice.

Why thank you! I do rather like the design myself.

Your site rocks

Yes, yes it does.

Thank you for your work!

I do what I can, for I am just a humble caveman blogger.

You have a nice site


You have a great site

It’s great to know you think it’s nice.

Hello , it is cool amazing page!

Thank you for your comment. It was simultaneously cool and amazing.

It is the coolest site,keep so!

I fully intend on doing so, sir.

You have an exelent[sic] site

Thank you for the compliment. At least, I think it’s a compliment. My dictionary is curiously missing an entry for “exelent”, although Merriam-Webster did suggest either “exhalant” or “exalt”. Perhaps you were exalting my site?

I never visit this site before.

And now you have. Would you call it “great”, “cool”, “amazing”, or “nice”? Perhaps “the coolest”? Does it “rock”?

Thank Heavens For That!

I get all manner of annoying spam comments that pile up in my Akismet queue and I normally take a quick fly-by of the queue each morning to make sure that no legit comments were accidentally flagged. This morning, I was beset by the normal flood of “Sorry, friends! But I very need money!” porn spam but one new addition caught my eye because of its brevity as well as overt silliness:

buy […] | […]@gmail.com | http://[…] | IP: […]
Pants are now available in all browsers!

Pants, you say? Where might I find these cross-platform, standards-compliant pants? Are they made by L.L. Bean? Do they resist stains? Are they available as an ActiveX plugin, or perhaps a Firefox extension? Do they support on-the-fly styling via CSS2.1, or do we have to wait for CSS3 to come out? These are serious questions, as the implications of browsing pantsless are too frightening to consider. I mean, my MacBook would probably scorch my thighs!
[redactions mine, so as to avoid giving the spammer free publicity]