Archive for the 'Spam' Category

Tackling Splogs

I’ve been troubled by spam blogs (splogs) for a long time, and in recent months have been looking for methods to deal with them. If you have a blog, then no doubt you will have been bombarded with comment spam since about day 1. If you run a blog service (like BritBlog or Technoranki), then you will also come across spam blogs trying to abuse your service for their own evil gains.

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The worst thing about going away…

… is coming back to an inbox full of spam. I had a nice trip down to Bristol this weekend [flickr set] (with two meetings down there today), and I’ve come back to hundreds of junk mails about all sorts of rubbish. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: spam sucks.

Playing with my camera

Anyway, I had a chance to play with my new camera again (Canon EOS 20D): I’m really beginning to like it now. Below are a couple of snaps from the photo set.


BritBlog queue

The other problem with going away at the moment is all the new blogs that are waiting to be approved on BritBlog. I need to get around to producing a usable backoffice so that the likes of perlworld and other helpful folk can help me with the review process. It is getting rather time consuming now! There are currently over 60 in the queue, so sorry if you are still waiting. I’ll get around to it as soon as I can.

Naff film

I watched ‘Ring‘ last night. It was supposed to be really scary, but in fact it was just a bit naff. I also watched Battle Royale 2 - Requiem [2003] over the weekend, and this too was rubbish. Neither of them beat the original Battle Royale [2001], which is still the best Japanese film I’ve seen recently.

Right time for dinner - I think I can smell it burning…

Get a capable html e-mailer

Spam does bug me - especially when the spammers have the nerve to slag off my email client!

On the whole I check my mail using mutt by logging on to my mail server using the excellent PuTTY SSH client.

This works reaaly well on the whole - and keeps me nicely protected from email viruses etc.

Now mutt can handle HTML emails OK (I think it loads them into lynx), although I have to say I much prefer plain text emails. Anyway, I get these spam mails sometimes (and I just hit ‘d’ to delete them, so I’ve never looked into it), that have the cheek to stand there and tell me to get a better mail client! Cheeky beggers!

Anyway, just thought I’d mention that.

Microsft Windows AntiSpyware

I think not! Microsoft have finally jumped on the band waggon and released a beta version of their anti spyware software.

Anyway, don’t worry about using this rubbish - stick with the tried and tested! I suggest:


Trackback spam

Some twat has been spamming with with trackback junk for the last couple of days, I’ve finally decided to turn it off. You can disable trackbacks on future posts via the wp admin console, but if you want to disable trackbacks on older posts you have to do it by hand.

Log into mysql and run the following:

UPDATE wp_posts SET ping_status='closed';

Got the original idea from O. F. Jay (though there was a minor syntax error in the original SQL).

Bit of a heavy handed approach, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a legitimate trackback!

If you want to find out what trackback is, have a look at this article and this article.

WordPress Comment Spam

I’ve been having a lot of problems with comment spam lately. Perhaps not as much as some people, but it’s a bit of a pain none the less. I’ve had comment moderation turned on for several weeks, but this is a pain for people who leave real comments as their message won’t appear straight away.

Anyway, I’ve found what look to be good solutions. The simplest is to rename your ‘wp-comments-post.php’ file to something else. It seems some spam-bots are rather cunning though, and they actually take the time to parse your comment form, so this won’t work in all instances.

There is a load of stuff in the WP forum on this subject, so I won’t go over it all again here.

Having said that, I think that Rob Novak’s Spider Trap is worth a mention for its sheer cunning. Some people believe IP banning is a waste of time though - and I’m inclined to agree with them.

Finally, you should take a good look at what is perhaps the definitive list of WordPress anti-spam tactics.

Right, my tea should be well brewed now :-) Time for breakfast.

Final Notice

We have tried to contact you 2 times now regarding your loan / mortgage. Our company will approve you for 1.45% but we need some information.

So if it’s the final notice, how come I get at least 20 of them a day? And why would anyone take out a mortgage that was offered to them via spam email???

SEO Spam

Why do search engine optimisation ‘experts’ need to spam? Surely anyone requiring their services will be able to find them as they’ll be listed at the top of the search results!?

On a different note, I think work is about to quieten down a lot now! Hooray! I’ve had a horrible few months, and I’m really glad it’s over.

I’ve got four interesting projects lined up to do over the next few months, and a few other potentials which could also be good. Still, I’m looking forward to reclaiming my weekends and evenings.

On the positive side, I’ve learnt a few useful lessons. The main one is not to let myself get buried with stupid workloads again!

I think I’ll have an early night tonight :-)