Archives for October 2006

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Still Digging Danielson

I have a habit of getting really into music others tend to think is just odd. For instance, I really like Blonde Redhead. Back in March of 2004 I wrote:

When you first hear it, you think it's going to be possibly the most annoying thing you've ever heard. But then you listen for a few more minutes. All of a sudden it's not annoying. All of a sudden you're hooked. But inevitably you set it aside for a little bit, and you forget. You remember that there's a grindingly high vocal, but not that it leaves you in a trance.

But then you hear them again, and you remember it all.

Far beyond that goes my long-held appreciation of the band Danielson Famile. I probably first heard them in 1996 or 1997 and just loved the song "Smooth Death." Then a few years later I got back into them, as evidenced by this 2001 blog post. Then last May I again got a hankering and picked up the Brother to Son album.

Last weekend Kathy and I went to Amoeba and what did I buy? Danielson's new album Ships. "Did I Step on Your Trumpet?" and "Time That Bald Sexton" are particularly amazing.

Invisible People

I don't know about you, but I'm skeptical of people these days if I can't find references to them online. Maybe not always in the general case, but particularly if said person is connected to some sort of website or business.

If I go to search for someone and can't find anything on them I start to ask myself what's going on. Is it a pseudonym? Is it a scam? If you were going to fake a person you would think you could at least plant some references around the net.

Obvious this assumption that anyone can be found is a very new thing. Whether it's a healthy thing or not remains to be seen.

A Spam Free Morning

It was a huge plus to wake up this morning and have no spam on either this site or blogdowntown. Typically I've been getting up and deleting 20 or 30 comments each morning, then maybe 10 or 15 through the course of the day. The new system I put in place yesterday seems to be doing the trick. In fact I've gone ahead and disabled the two other mechanisms I was using: banning selected words and maintaining a blacklist of IP addresses URLs weren't allowed to point to.

The failure notices for both blogs end up in the same log file so I can't tell you how this breaks out, but 344 comments have been denied since midday yesterday.

In figuring out how to attack the problem I really wanted to make it transparent to the commenter. captchas and things like that are ok (and are much better than requiring logins), but I'm not a fan.

Relying on the idea that spam scripts aren't running a javascript engine probably isn't future-proof, but it'll get the job done for a while. And if they were to add a JS engine your options for fighting get a lot wider.

Of course my spam-free morning ends the first time I open up my email. There it's a good 40 - 60 spam that have made it through Apple Mail's filters each morning. And that doesn't count the 100 or so that do get caught, plus the hundreds that get bounced by the greylist. Yuck.

Still Alive

You wouldn't know it by my posting here, but if you've followed blogdowntown, our wedding site, my flickr photo stream, or the launch of Cartifact's new website you probably guessed that I was still alive. If so, you would be correct.

I've also had comments disabled / intentionally broken since July. I just implemented a new solution to fighting comment spam, so I've re-enabled those now. Hopefully my theories on spam are correct and those will be vanquished. You can read a little more of a description over at blogdowntown.

I do intend to make a few posts around here, I promise.