Replying to the crowdsourced comment spam…

I don’t know where this is coming from, but it started about a month back: (Semi-)Intelligent post comments, highly unlikely to be from a bot, all clearly intended to get people to jump over to “Check City” or “Cyber Gifts” or whatnot. Either this stuff is crowdsourced, or these guys somehow think that my blog is a gateway to a deluge of traffic.

Replying to the comments here.

@cyber gifts: I tested the latest versions as of summer last year. I’m not posting your link.

@eblogger: Yes, the PayPal shopping cart may be a good solution for newbies. I’m not posting your link.

@payday loans: I’m glad you like my Haikus. And I’m glad you like Transformers. And, yes, baby porcupines are very cute. I’m not posting your link.

@payday advance online: Okay, so I just posted your comment, with your link, because it clearly took at least a minute or so to type up. But… c’mon, the Democratic party is the epitome of “can I get some of that action”?? What does this even mean? Note that the Obama plan only called for an in increase in taxes for the 250k plus bracket, not 120k, and the rollback of tax cuts is still less than the Reagan era or even the Papa “read my lips” Bush days. I agree that the loopholes should be eliminated; really I think we should just go for a flat tax. Problem is that this would kill an entire industry that thrives on the ridiculous complexity of the US tax codes.

@penisenlargementz: I am glad that you find this blog informative. And I’m glad that I in some un-small way may have helped you on your purported quest to achieving superlative manhood. No I will not produce more blogs with content related to penis enlargement. And, no, I do not know where you can find more information about this, except maybe on your own site. Speaking of which, the “devices” section on your site is rather disturbing. I am not posting your link.

Top ten spam subject tag lines that have actually caused me to pause and consider penis enlargement

Who says spam can’t be fun?

10. think over your agregate size

9. Enormous device is your treasure

8. Improbable effect on your phallus!

7. Your measurement of success is by the INCH.

6. I carry a bazooka in my pants, walking around.

5. Your little soldier will grow up to a big love general!

4. inches in your pants will make you the world’s 8th wonder to women.

3. Why be a tiny cocktail sausage, when you can be a mighty wiener.

2. Behind every great man lies a huge secret in his pants.

And the number one spam subject tag line that has actually caused me to pause and seriously consider penis enlargement…

1. Be the master of the universe, with a huge broadsword in your pants?

You know, I’ve thought over my agregate size and.. sure, why not? By the Power of Greyskull!

Desperate Spam Countermeasure

The spam hitting one of our mail servers is getting completely out of control. Since this particular server is more of a mailing list broker, exclusively for Japan, rather than try to fight the influx of global spam — which lately even traditional filters and blocklists seem to be ineffective against — we’ve decided to simply not accept email from anywhere except Japan itself.

Andreas Plesner Jacobse maintains an excellent set of geo blocklists, the DNSBL. Turned this on against some of the more naughty spam countries last week. In Postfix for example:


Bye bye China.

Anyway, so far so good. Spam has gone from hundreds (maybe thousands) of messages slipping through our traditional filters each day to a small trickle of Japan-originated spam.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to maintain a large enterprise email farm. Maybe like trying to grow corn on a plantation overrun by an ever surging plague of locusts!

Working out karmic issues in WordPress

“Spam Karma” that is.

I’ve set up a couple of WordPress blogs over the last year or so. Some (unlike, say, this one) have become quite popular. Especially with comment and trackback spam.

Tried Dr. Dave’s Spam Karma 2 for awhile. SK2 comes with a host of modularized spam countermeasures. The good Doctor calculates a spam “karma” per module for each inbound comment. Comments with good karma pass through to enlightenment and… the dashboard. Those with outstanding karmic issues find themselves in purgatory to await ultimate review.

SK2 worked quite well for us, though there was the occasional false positive. And periodically reviewing hundreds of messages in comment purgatory was getting to be troublesome.

Recently however I’ve come across two plugins that seem to completely eliminate spam: WP Hashcash and Simple Trackback Validation.

Hashcash uses a JavaScript proof of work countermeasure to test that a browser, not a robot, is visiting one’s site. (Robots don’t run JavaScript.) STV uses two simple checks to confirm the validity of incoming trackback links.

Since implementing these two plugins last month, spam has gone from hundreds per day, to zero. What’s more, no missed comments.

All due respect to the good Doctor, but enough of karma. I’ve finally seen the light.