September 17, 2006
Comment spammers are on my mind, so once again I wade into the fray The "topics" of the links have gotten too diverse for my "forbidden words when posted with a link" filter to keep up. But I've noticed something that wasn't clear to me at first: there's hardly ever spam on my front page, these scumbags' scripts seem to prefer the dark shadows of previous comments.
So for a while I thought of closing off the ability to post comments to old articles. But that was a kind of sad admission of defeat, and there had been some really lovely comments from Johnny from Portugal recently that wouldn't have been possible with that setup.
Then the obvious solution hit me, and I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier: comments on old articles are fine, comments on old articles that include links are not. So that's the new filter, and for the time being I've even disabled the keywords-with-link filter, which was prone False Positives for spam anyway.
I realize that there might be a reason why these scripts pick on old entries and leave the front page alone. I noticed that some entries seem to be attract far more than their fair share of spam: (quack quack waddle waddle!, antihippopotamus, brrr. brr brr Brr brr BRRRRR., a visit from the laissez-fairies, and ironically enough, towards a better comments spam filter) I would guess that those pages rank highly for specific websearches, and maybe that explains why the front pages receive less Spam they haven't had time to be indexed by the crawlers.
So I'll be keeping an eye out. I know the "no links for comments on old posts" filter is a bit leaky, because there are some feeler scripts out there without links. Some of those get picked up by my other "whole phrase match" filters, and then we'll play wait and see.
There's slightly more of a chance of a front-page flood now, but I'm more likely to notice that in a timely fashion.
UPDATE: bleh, I notice that some f'in bot is still posting random, meaningless strings, like "lhdgvumxt etrod tzphiwa rnwtmys algcqvr nfojtgi zocyr". There aren't nearly as many of these though. Maybe at some point I'll add a filter, if 2/3 of a post aren't in the dictionary for an old post, you get rejected. This may also have the happy side-effect of ignoring people who are typing entirely in L33T.
Videos of the Moment
--So one subgenre of fanfiction is, of course, "slash", which explores the possilble romantic and sometimes sexual relationships between various characters that the original authors probably never meant, or at least would only barely hint at. They say the genre started with "Kirk/Spock" stories. This is a music video playing that up, with clips from the show. Actually, this one is a cheerful PG13 example, as opposed to the other one making the rounds, which is a dark and violent (in terms of music and imagery) video set to "Closer"... admittedly it's a bit more "artistic" than the previous one.
Finally Trek does Monty Python's Knights of the Round Table is surprisingly well matched and enjoyable.