blog comment spam is the devil

Anyone else getting a flood of blog comment spam recently?

WordPress is awesome enough to catch all of it as probably spam and put it into a moderation queue for me, but I still had 80+ comments to delete in the past week… and I have to be careful not to delete a non-spam comment… not a good situation.

So I looked into plug-ins for WordPress and found a few, but the one I liked the most is called bad behavior. It’s built as a very modular component, to be shared into many php applications (which is good for me). Also, I like that it looks at the HTTP headers and can block all bot access (which is really hot).

I have just set it up and have yet to determine if it’s effective or if it’s killing too much access (false positives), but from what I can tell – it’s going to be great!

Update: I have found that a good deal of spam was getting past “bad behavior” – perhaps the bots are geting more advanced… but I have added the plugin wp-gatekeeper and it looks like it will work for me.


Here is my requisite turkeyday post. Anita had to work her last day today, so we are in Columbus still. She plans on not working until this summer. I’ve been encouraging her to do this… though her ~10 hours of work a week doesn’t sound like much, since she does ~60 hours a week of school work – a few extra hours to relax would be welcome.

We will be driving to Louisville tonight after anita is off work. I’ll keep myself awake listening to the harry potter audiobooks… I’ve read the books, but have recently hooked myself on the audiobooks… I’ve been listening to them while cleaning and doing stuff around the house.
Jac's 85th
It was my grandfather’s (Jack Pennington) 85th birthday on Tuesday. I hear the celebration was great as was the turn-out. Here are some photos sent by my mom.

We will remain in Louisville until Tuesday night. I have some meetings to go to in the Louisville office on Tuesday and it seemed to make sense to just stay. Work is really busy these days, as we have a lot of things to get done before December 3rd… hopefully things chill out a bit after that. I also hope I’ll feel better soon. I’m not sick, I’m sore.

Phil and some of his friends and I played football yesterday in the snow. It was a lot of fun, but they “upgraded” to tackle football. I would normally bow out, but these were guys we’ve played with many times and were all really friendly – so I stayed and played. It was a fun set of games but I am so sore. Wierdly, on the only time I really fell hard I had the strangest and strongest sense of deja-vu when I hit the ground. Luckily, nothing bad happened, no lasting or major injuries… but I am still sore. (old man)

New template for za

So – the new template is up on zeroasterisk. Not only does it look different right now – this template is setup to be controlled by CSS, so I’ll be providing options on how to view the site. Until I offer those options (look in the top right hand corner of the page for them) you’ll have to make due with this one.

Also, I’ve updated to gallery 2 and mediawiki… The wiki update means little to any users, but the gallery update may effect anyone who uses my gallery. It should work a lot better and offer a few more options for people who use the gallery. The admin / edit interface is a bit awkward, it’s just too much data for the narrow width of this default template… I’ll be working on enabling other views soon which may make this better…

I’m also planning on makeing a homepage that’s kindof a portal – gathering the RSS feeds from the blog, wiki, and photos into a single page, allowing for easy viewing of what has recently been modified.

M$ Clusters – what a bad idea

So now M$ is releaseing a version meant to cluster computers, you know, like a beowulf cluster.  This is one of the worst Ideas I could think of. 

Why would you use a flaky, high-overhead, and often to crash OS to run distrobuted processing? There is no good reason, in my opinion. If you are willing to dedicate multiple computers to be a “super-computer” – you should be willing to hire a linux geek to setup and run the thing for you…  if you wanted to run windows, you don’t need a super-computer.

Now playing: The BobsCafe

secrets are stupid, and so is the Kansas board of Education

After reading the article: CIA prisons leak ‘to be probed’, I was overcome one specific emotion: unease (fear)… The fact that there are secret prisons and nobody knows about them scares the hell out of me.

Basically, if I was taken to prison for thinking our current government sucks (or for being too cynical or too naive), I would want people to know about it… and hopefully make a fuss… you know… maybe get to talk to a lawyer and not be tortured. Perhaps I’m asking a lot, but I was raised in a country where such things were valued as the baseline for decency and fairness… To think that I could instead be whisked off to a prison that people don’t even know about in a different country… well, I thought Jose Pedilla had it bad (and indeed he does), but at least we know where he is… well, we think we do – he’s not allowed to see a lawyer either.

Yes – i’m scared.

When I start seeing people getting pushed into cattle cars, what should I do? Run for Canada or see if I can fight the regime? (I’m not a very good fighter, to my knowledge… of course, I’m not a great runner either)

On a different and slightly more humorous note, here’s a funny piece about Kansas lowering it’s public education standards. Too bad, science used to make sense when theories were based on provable axioms…

Columbus War Protest March on Sat Nov 5th

Anyone wanna come march to protest the war in iraq? I’ll be there, and so will phil

Memorial to be Held in Support of Troop Withdrawal from Iraq

Columbus OH Saturday, November 5 The OSU student peace advocacy group AntiWar Columbus will be demonstrating in support of troop withdrawal from Iraq at the Gallery Hop in the Short North area from 8 PM 11 PM on Saturday November 5th.

Students will assemble at the Gazebo in Goodale Park at 7:30 PM and march to the intersection of Buttles Ave. and High St. at 7:50 PM. When the march reaches High St. several large banners will be unfurled that depict one footprint for each of the over 2000 U.S. troops that has been killed. Names of the soldiers have been written alongside each footprint.

This past October marked one of the deadliest months for U.S. forces since the 2003 invasion. The last week of October also marked another grim reminder of the heavy costs for the war in Iraq with

over 2000 service members killed to date. The memorial and speak-out is in support of bringing home the troops now, and is one of a series of future planned events by Anti-War Columbus to promote this message.

PHP (good) news

My boss just sent me a link to the following article:

  • PHP catching on at enterprises, vying with Java
  • Not only is it cool my boss sent it to me, but the content of the article is great news for anyone who is a fan of PHP… (and anyone who doesn’t know if they are or not, I very much am… so if you can’t form your own opinion on the topic, you may borrow mine) As more and more businesses realize the power, flexibility, and simplicity of PHP – as it comes into the mainstream more and more – I get more chances to work with it, teach friends about it, get paid to build stuff with it… etc.