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Good morning and Happy Monday. Today we'll deal with a little bit of tech for the Moveable Type and other CMS users out there.

The problem of comment spamming has been around for a while now, but in the last few weeks it's been growing exponentially as the robots came on line. For those not using a CMS: comments are dropped off automatically on a site and contain links to the stuff we routinely delete from emails; what the asshats (to distinguish from white hats and black hats) are going for is either your interest or an enhanced Google ranking. ...and since MT sites generate a ping to the Weblogs 'changes.xml' file with each comment, they're betting the site will be crawled more often. Wonderful... Comment spam...

What to do? There's a nice thread on the MT forum that has two fixes; one is simple enough: rename your comments.cgi files and reset your mt.cfg to reflect that; that'll take care of the robots, but it leaves you open to a human. The other has to do with a Honey Trap similar to the LaBrea approach used with Nimda a while back: full tweaks for your .htaccess file are listed.

Other approaches: There's a blacklist method (due out today), and Scripty Goddess has a nice page of links here. I do have to say I like the one with where you have to read a code and enter it; sure, that won't work for some people, but it's a nice hack.

Ah, well; Happy Monday, -eh?


I must have ursus blood in me; one cold morning (it was under 60 when I took Daniel to school yesterday) and today I didn't even want to get out of bed. ...maybe it's the longer shadows too; this seems to have been creeping up for at least a few days.

Hmmm... How about me not having to turn on the air conditioner for the ride home yesterday for the first time since Spring? (That only held for one day; we were up a good ten degrees today and there's more coming this week.) ...or maybe it's the early darkness: I know I want the kids in bed earlier so I can come play here <g>.

I think I'll go hibernate...


Here's a bit of a follow up on Monday's post about comment spamming... Last night I had a chance to play with Jay Allen's MT-Blacklist plugin on two sites, one where I'm the support and another where I back up the sysadmin. I have to say the thing is a slam dunk to set up and just plain fun to use. Installation involves three files dumped into a 2.6 installation that has one additional perl module requirement from the regular MT setup (and that your server likely has anyway); config involves agreeing with the defaults; and banning is as simple as adding a URI to the shared database and forcing a rebuild...

...and did you catch the shared database bit? While there is some potential for abuse, one big benefit for the entire MT community is that the guy I added in last night over on the Surreally portal is now banned from dropping his spam anywhere that uses the common database! Oh, and it's retroactive to your older posts...

Yeah! One for the good guys...


Kind of a busy night in one corner of the net: there was rather nasty DDoS attack going on that took down two of my places and likely as many as several thousand sites if I'm looking at the stats correctly.

No, not on pair; I'm not sure how you take them out <g>; this is space from another host where I keep the .org and a few other things. I'd have to say they did a good job. One of the first things was to fire up a forum and keep people informed (that link is good until Monday when they'll be cleaning it up and putting it in mothballs). That was fun to watch. ...and left me not quite so frustrated about loosing a night's work on a site. Actually two nights: there were two of us reworking CSS, PHP and graphics: that's double the frustration.

Ah well, all is better now...


I whine and gripe here about all the dust in the air... There's a pair of pics up on the blog that show yesteday's sunrise as best I can capture it. On the second pic, I took a series with the camera stopped down a bit to more each time to see if I could get a disk for the sun; but even with a full -2.0, there's still no defined edge until probably 1000 or later.

When it rains, the streets will be awash with mud...


Well, we survived the school carnival last night. ...and three soccer games today. ...but let me tell you how tired this entire family is!!! ...and tomorrow's game is at 0800, not conducive to sleeping in!

...and while I'm whining, it's still all sorts of hot here: it must have hit close to 90 again today; I know I have some sunburn from blading and watching the afternoon game. Sheesh. October and sunburn...

...and more Sunday!


Two days of soccer tournament and we're pretty much done in. It's been one of those weekends where all we could do was fill the homework in between the events <g>!

But we've made it through!

The Conjuror
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"Any sufficiently advanced technology is
indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke, "Technology and the Future"

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