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Friday, January 25, 2013

Changes to Commenting

Stonekettle Station has become the target of botnet spammers.

This is annoying but not particularly surprising. The blog’s readership has increased dramatically in recent years.  Most of my posts get linked to on various social media sites and Stonekettle Station routinely appears in top search results for various subjects.

I suppose, given the nature of the internet, it was inevitable I’d attract the spammers sooner or later.

I also have reason to suspect that a certain amount of this crap was recently aimed in my direction by people who don’t like what I have to say. 

At first it was mostly annoying, but over the last few weeks managing the increasing amount of automated comment spam is taking up more and more of my time.  Today for example, I’ve had more than a hundred and twenty attempts by botnet controlled computers trying to attach spam comments to various posts.  The most recent gun control essay is being hit repeatedly every fifteen minutes.

Frankly I’m sick of dealing with it.

Managing comment trollage is enough of a headache (especially on topics like gun control) without wading through steaming piles of spam too.

At this point I have three options for dealing with this crap, 1) I can just say to hell with it and allow the spam to post, or 2) I can turn off anonymous commenting and require every commenter to have a valid web ID, either a Google Account or one of the various OpenID’s, or 3) I can turn on word verification and make commenters prove their humanity.

I think you know me well enough that it will come as no surprise to learn that I’ll end up on Dancing with Stars as Bristol Palin’s Man Doll before I allow these obnoxious cockroaches to shit all over my site.  Spamming should be a hanging offense and the world would be a better place if we hunted these sons of bitches down and stretched their necks until their eyes popped out.  There’s no damned way I’ll allow this crap to post, period. That’s non-negotiable.

I think forcing people to register for a Google account or other ID is a bit obnoxious, though I am considering it since it’s likely to cut down on the anonymous trollage. It never ceases to amaze me how anonymity brings out the utter assholerly in certain people. However, turning off anonymous commenting is likely to impact a number of regular commenters, I’m loath to remove the option just to save myself some aggravation.

So, that leaves word verification.

The changes should take effect immediately.


And on a related note: For the love of Cthulhu, Folks, if you don’t have a good up-to-date firewall and virus protection, you’re part of the problem. There’s no excuse for this. You don’t belong connected to the internet without protection. Period. And don’t give me this crap about how you’ve got a Mac or Linux Box or you’re running an old Commodore 64 so you don’t need no stinkin’ protection. You do.  Infected computers aren’t just your problem, they affect everybody on the internet. Infected computers can be hijacked and become zombies without the owner even knowing. Zombie computers, i.e. those infected with certain types of malware, are the source of nearly all the spam and the other harmful crap that clogs the internet and robs us all of time and money and bandwidth every single day. If you’re operating an unprotected computer, you’re a major part of the problem.  So don’t be.

Likewise, if you’re the kind of chowderhead that actually clicks on spam links in blog comments or in email, then you’re a menace. Listen, it’s time somebody told you this, those hot babes that want to have sex with you? Yeah, those are dudes. Russian mafia dudes. Now, truthfully, they will screw you, but you won’t like it.  Also,that nice Christian lady in Nigeria that wants you to help her steal millions in oil money for the children? Yeah, that’s a dude too. A fourteen year old con artist in a Freetown internet café. it’s a scam. Repeat, it’s a scam. Stop. Clicking. On. The. Links. Stop it. Stop it right now. You’re screwing up the internet for everybody else. Knock it off.

If you don’t understand that computer stuff then educate yourself, do it now.

There’s plenty of information available and if you can find this site, you can certainly find time to educate yourself and protect your machine.

Thank you and please, feel free to check out my website: Free Solid Gold Rolex Watches Guaranteed To Enlarge Your Man Gadget By A Full Meter and make it whistle the Star Spangled Banner!

 

 


 

Update: 

With word verification enabled, the spam stopped immediately. 

Honestly, after weeks of this noise, the sudden cessation is awesome covered in awesome sauce with little awesome sprinkles on top.

103 comments:

  1. I had to do the word verification becasue I was drowning in spam! I'd rather prove I was a human than to not have your blog to read!

    Do what ya gotta do!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you. And I won't mention the fact that you just won the European Google Lottery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He couldn't have ... I won it this morning! :)

      Delete
    2. O.k., I have to admit, I hit The Link. But ONLY because I Love Rick! ;)

      Delete
  3. Damn, and I was looking forward to seeing you and Bristol on DWTS! Guess that ain't happening. Another dream shot down.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sad that it is necessary, but I'm glad you are taking the necessary measures.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sure, you can mock spammers all you want. But what about all the good things they do? I mean, how else do you get a penis that's 23 feet long?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Problem is women really don't want one of those 23 foot items but the spammers - like the GOP - think women are not part of the human race.

      Delete
  6. Do what you must to both keep your good commentary coming and negate the nasties.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You let it go on longer than I would have. No problem for me verifying who I am. And, like you, I've noticed how anonymity, even relative anonymity brings out the meanness like nothing else. I've had to stop reading the comments on my local news site. And I live in Seattle, land of liberal, tree hugging, Democrat voting...etc. You get the picture. It seem, however, that 90% of the local comments are from the far right who take every opportunity to remind us that "liberals are stupid, homeless people are lazy and/or drug addicts who deserve what they get, Obama is coming for their guns, cops are always right, and criminals get what they deserve (especially if they're black)."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have those here in Portland too. Portlandia, home of hipsters, tree-huggers, tattoo parlors and some of the filthiest, most vitriolic assholes ever to post on the comment boards. Can't read a story about a car accident without seeing it blamed on Obama, Reid, and Pelosi. And god help me, I read a story about Michelle's ball gown and just about had to march my PC down and wash my screen out with soap. Gah!

      Delete
  8. I will say this ... I am not all that charmed with the captcha stuff because I often have to try a couple of them before I actually get it right. Like for the reply I just made to one of the other comments. But it really is a small price to pay for the privilege of being able to read your blog, read intelligent discourse about it, and comment on it myself.

    I'm sorry it came to this, but I completely understand. About 10 years ago, I inherited the "listowner" position for a scientific listserv on the topic of brine shrimp (I know ... fascinating topic. At the time I was an aquarist and they were great critters to raise for baby and adult fish to eat). At any rate, we had maybe 3 posts every month or two - and about 8472 spam posts that I had to moderate. It was a nightmare. So I get it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Do what you must. Your blog is invaluable.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Just don't give a time limit for entering he letters... I'm slow, every time I try to buy concert tickets online I fail at least twice and have to stet over!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, I don't have control over the timeout. That's a function of the Blogger platform.

      Delete
  11. Would prefer Captcha to a google acct. But it's your blog and I'll do what needs to be done to prove I'm not a bot

    ReplyDelete
  12. Truthfully, I'm surprised you've been able to keep them at bay this long (you write intelligently about subjects that are sometimes... touchy... with a certain portion of the population) and I totally understand your decision to add the word verification.

    Oh, and I've always been pleased with the fact that you don't force people to use a third party ID to comment here as I find some of those systems fairly intrusive.

    Signing my real name (as always)...

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm for whatever it takes. Better an adjustment on our part, than a disappearing act on yours. I'd just ask that if you get a choice in those verification boxes, can you pick one that isn't so hard to read? Some of them are really tough to decipher.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The bottom line, Jim, is this is your place. People can either play by the rules you set or they can piss off.

    I don't always agree with your point of view. If I choose to post, however, I owe you the courtesy to put my name to the comment rather than embrace the anonymity offered hiding behind a keyboard etc.. Hell, we agreed or disagreed face to face, so no reason not to over the 'net.

    Asshattery rages and anonymity seems to breed it. I am only surprised you put up with it as long as you did without punching someone.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am sorry you have had to deal with so much spam, but not surprised. I think you should do what you think is best. I just have problems with captcha. my eyesight is so bad I have problems seeing the letters correctly, but I'll keep trying and hopefully, eventually I'll get it.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Dear Jim,

    I need your help! During this week's unannounced trip to London, I was overcome with a sudden urge for some fish and chips about three in the morning (GMT / UTC).

    As I wandered the streets, seeking relief, I was put upon by a thuggie gang of thugs! When they had completed their thuggery upon me, I found myself without funds, passport, or the key to my hotel room.

    Fortunately, I was able to break into this internet cafe and get this message off to you. If I could prevail on our long and loyal friendship for a simple favor, I will be forever in your debt.

    I need you to wire me a thousand dollars (or maybe it's a thousand pounds?) forthwith. I vow I will repay you as soon as I am safely back on American soil and can replace my ATM card.

    Thanking you in advance, I remain

    Your fine friend,

    AC Smith

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Привет AC!!!
      Мне жаль услышать о ваших несчастьях. Я буду счастлив, чтобы телеграфировать вам деньги. Пожалуйста, пришлите мне ваш банковский счет информации о маршрутизации, и ваш SSN. Ваш лучший друг.

      Danny

      Delete
    2. There's one in every crowd. To be authentic though, you'd have to put a link on the end for Ugg Boots.

      Delete
    3. LMAO! Prozniko!

      Delete
    4. It was worth going to translate.google to read the Russian joke, Danny. It's definitely worth logging on or dealing with captcha to continue commenting here. Jim is worth reading and he tolerates me for some unknown reason.

      Delete
  17. I have raised teenage daughters. I was accused of many things, but never being a robot. (how did they miss that one?) If you catch a spammer, let me know. I will gladly pop for a plane ticket, and help you bury 'it'. Do not worry about the gun control, I see no reason to waste a perfectly good bullet.

    Danny

    ReplyDelete
  18. If turning off anonymous does the trick then turn it off. A person ought to have the self respect to stand behind what they're saying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are occasions that someone has something legitimate to say but doesn't want their name specifically attached to the sentiment. Could be for a number of reasons, like not wanting your employer to find out your actual opinions.

      Delete
    2. Way, way back, when Compuserve was the biggest name on the internet and I had a brand new 2400 baud modem, I had my real name out there without any problems. Then the rest of the world found the internet. Self interest, not self respect, is the driving factor at this point. I still comment for the people who are willing to actually read my opinions rather than needing to know who I am before they're willing to accept them, few as they may be.

      Hell, even signing my name to an Anonymous post can be a problem - because some people will always say "oh, it's a woman" and write off any insights I might have. Stonekettle Station is one of the few exceptions I make to that, because the attitude at the top of the food chain (Jim's) tends to be a deciding factor as to how much of that shit I need to put up with.

      Dealing with captcha is fine by me.

      Ann C.

      Delete
    3. But is it a real woman, or an 'internet' woman?

      Danny

      Delete
    4. Snort! Giggle.... LMAO! Thanks, people, I needed that about now. Same to you.

      Ann C.

      Delete
  19. Now I am sad. My blog doesn't get this sort of attention! I've had to nuke maybe a dozen spam comments. Clearly I need to step up the game!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hey Jim, do not sweat it man. Anyone who can't handle the extreme trauma of a verify check like Captcha should perhaps be seeking less traumatic activities, you know, like sitting still and breathing. I haven't got a problem with this process as it is all about making the bots hurry up and go to the warm place.

    A NOTE for people having troubles with the Captcha. You're aware you're on the *internet* right? Where a quick search on that there Google would turn up the magic 'Control' + 'Plus Key' combination which zooms your screen content till the captcha image can be the size of the screen (if you want). Yes it will still be jaggy and crap but should leave us few excuses about not seeing it well enough. Just sayin.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have a couple blogs and have experienced the same problem, the Yahoo ID was taken over from Pakistan and my friends got flooded with spam, and on and on... So good for you... get 'em...

    ReplyDelete
  22. Given that I consider Stonekettle Station to be the last bastion (or refuge) of sanity in America, Captcha is a small price to pay for the continued existence of your website.
    I've been following your blog (from Canada) for about two years now, and have never posted until now ... so allow me to say, at long last, Bravo!

    "Bristol Palen's man doll"? ... *shudder* ... what a frightening concept ..

    ReplyDelete
  23. I will gladly jump through the Captcha hoops for the privilege of reading and responding to your excellent blog posts. Keep it coming. BTW if you get a reply from Joe Biden it might not be spam. I sent him the link to your 'Bang, Bang' series.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Spammers can go suck a tailpipe. Also: I expect screenshots/reports of any hilarious Captchas people come across! :D

    ReplyDelete
  25. Here's a thought, if they regular word captcha's are too annoying or difficult for many of your readers, I've recently encountered a new style online called 1clicaptcha which uses a series of pictures and the user just had to click on the one that doesn't fit. I don't know about costs or anything, just been on the user end of it. It is much easier and quicker than the word captchas in my opinion. Sorry to sound like an ad for it, especially in regards to a post re: spam but if you hate the word captchas then it is a viable alternative. It is just the name followed by .com to get to their site.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I am also surprised you've been able to avoid this step for so long, but a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

    Besides, now you'll have more time to make more of those beautiful pens, bowls, and earrings. A definite bonus as far as I'm concerned.

    ReplyDelete
  27. If a person can't figure out a captcha, which can be enlarged, refreshed with another if the first is unreadable, or read aloud to you, then that person does not have the right to comment on your blog. I don't mind helping you thwart spammers; I've had to do the same on my blog. I agree with allowing anonymous comments as I get legitimate anons all the time from family and friends.

    btw - I recommend Vipre AV to those who have become fed up with the incredible failings of Norton and MacAfee. Do NOT forego AV!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Quote: "I also have reason to suspect that a certain amount of this crap was recently aimed in my direction by people who don’t like what I have to say. "

    As we say, in tribute to Dr. John Watson - "No shit, Sherlock?"

    As the "word verification" system is Captcha, you're going to upset a bagful of people! I hate that damned thing, partciularly so since the second 'word' was introduced. Why should I decipher illegible texts for someone who wants to digitise every book in the world? What about the colour-blind, the dyslexic, and those with less-than-perfect vision?
    I would urge you to try an alternative Turing test.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This is just a test to see if I am human or if I have to pretend to be a machine and figure out some scribbled, distorted text.

    Well shit,there you go. I really suck at this. And if I really want to feel stupid I can listen to audio version of distorted mumble jumble.

    It's your call Jim, I understand with your volume of traffic you must.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Those that are attempting to demean or dismiss anonymous postings are displaying an outrageous dissonance, (I'm trying to be polite), and that needs to be addressed.

    Anonymous political speech is a cherished particularly American democratic ideal. Our nation's foundational base was created in large part through anonymous political speech. If you aren't aware of that, you're sorely deficient in knowledge of basic historical contexts of the nation's journey towards who we are and what we should still stand for.

    Not only was anonymous political speech crucial to the incubation of our American values, to this day, the highest court of the nation, the Supreme Court has very specifically recognized it for it's significant value and protected it from those who would attempt to do away with it.

    You who attempt to assign assumptions or preconceptions about anonymous speech are simply pushing fallacies that can't be credibly supported. Those that believe, because they've attached some tag or label to their comments, that their comments are somehow more valuable than an anonymous comment are simply practicing a weird form of self-consecration.

    An anonymous comment is simply that. It's anonymity does not modify or alter it's import in any way. The comment stands whether it's been labeled with a tagline or not.

    And anyway, for crying out loud, this is the inter-tubes, anyone can pretend to be anyone else and you who say labels make your comment somehow magically more credible, or more reasonable are surely kidding yourself about the very nature of the medium you've immersed yourself in. If anyone wants to take the trouble, you won't have any method to determine whether you're interacting with an identifiable person or an imposter if the imposter chooses to play that game. Don't kid yourself.

    I'm commenting anonymously, the label says 'anonymous'. That doesn't mean characterless, it doesn't denote impersonal, it's not an excuse to dismiss or demean what I say.

    That is solely reliant on the content and context of the message I convey. I don't take kindly to the type of aspersions some of you unmindfully fling about. I believe you're due some self-reflection.

    (either that or you should be carted off to a retraining camp until you've learned what it is to live in a democratic free society)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ... And this has to do with the new commenting policy or spamming countermeasures in general what, precisely?

      Delete
    2. There's also the point that the names we publish our comments under are just Internet IDs, usually with little more connection to meatspace than "Anonymous". I am not, in fact, a horse named "Never Ben Better", nor (as pseudonymed on other sites) is my real name Janicket. Now, it's true that a diligent Googler could suss out who I really am, since I've left plenty of breadcrumbs scattered across the Web, but I daresay that even anonymous blog commenters could be tracked down by someone sufficiently determined to do so.

      Delete
    3. even anonymous blog commenters could be tracked down by someone sufficiently determined to do so

      Correct. And I have done so. And completely ruined the day of a number of posters who thought they could be obnoxious dick weasels while remaining safely hidden behind their anonymity. It's amusing to watch how quickly these people deflate when you send them a picture of their front door courtesy of Google Streetview and offer to forward the comments they posted from their work computer to their employer.

      Delete
    4. And you haven't shared that with us? I'm seriously disappointed, sir.

      Delete
    5. Well, I did make a public example of one of these idiots. Read to the bottom of the post and you'll see. It didn't take a lot of effort to first figure out exactly who he was, then trace him to his house, his phones, his email, his wife and kids, his school and the desk and office he worked in at his bank. I would have outed him publicly to his employer and the press, but he met the conditions I set down and so I let him go with a slap up side the head. He was extremely contrite - especially after I texted his company Blackberry to get his attention.

      I spent twenty years working for the Naval Intelligence element of NSA, running idiots like this down isn't exactly the kind of work that raises a sweat.

      Delete
    6. Hey, wait!
      Never Ben Better isn't your REAL name?
      Holy Crap.

      Delete
    7. Not only isn't it my real name, it isn't the horse's real name either, since he was registered with the Jockey Club without one. He does answer to "Ben", especially if you're brandishing a bucket with yummy* food in it.


      *For values of "yummy" which do not include bacon.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous: While I can certainly appreciate your defense of the 1st Amendment, I think your post - as it relates to this specific case - fails to acknowledge the importance of the 4th, 9th & 14th Amendments. Although this is 'the intertubes,' it is also a private forum, and Jim is no more obligated to permit anonymous 'free speech' on his personal blog than he is in his living room.

      Again, I get your point that anonymity does not, in and of itself, invalidate an argument. Neither does wearing a ski mask into a convenience store mean that you're after anything more than purchasing a bottle of Pepsi; it is simply a behavior that closely corresponds to all manner of ass-hattery around the internet. I've never had a problem identifying myself in the comment section here, and have enjoyed a number of side conversations with other readers here as a result.

      Personally, I find the captchas analogous to translating hieroglyphics into English, but it's Jim's blog. I'd have been fine with making everyone put their cards on the table.

      Delete
    9. Kenneth, Your premise has too many holes in it.

      My comment wasn't a defense of the 1rst Amendment. My comment was to refute the many wholly erroneous analogies being offered up here several times that anonymous speech automatically equals some kind of lower class of speech or speech less deserving than any other speech.

      Anonymous speech is not analogous to wearing a ski mask, that's nothing more than a unimaginative opinionated rhetorical device, it's an invention of pretense. It's folly. It certainly has no bearing on whether you might or might not be inclined to 'enjoy' interacting with someone labeled 'anonymous', that's solely dependent on the context and content of the interaction, not the label it's presented under.

      As I stated before, just because you have a label on your comment does not prove you're any more or less deserving of having a voice. That label isn't even proof that it's a real name attached to any actual person, it could very well be as anonymous as any other label or tagline found on the net. Those labels aren't obtained in any kind of secure environment, there's no proof that a 'supposed' John Smith isn't Sue Smith or some other person altogether.

      A Google ID isn't some kind of license granting you magical civility. It can't even be proven to be what it purports to be. You're fooling yourself if you think that label grants you special status.

      As for ass-hattery, there simply is no immutable rule that ass-hattery automatically equates to or adheres to anything which happens to be arising from an anonymous comment. There's as much or more ass-hattery coming from people who have attached labels to their comments.

      There simply isn't a foolproof method for 'putting cards on the table' as you put it. That's not a realistic option unless you are proposing instituting some kind of secure accounts generated through some administrative procedure much more invasive and intensive than say a Google ID. Think banks or stock trading accounts. You think they'd take a Google ID as any kind of acceptable entry to secure sites? Nope. Wouldn't happen.

      Civility only ever survives on a website in relation to kind of culture of it's participating audience together with active monitoring.

      Captcha or some other method of straining out bots isn't an excuse for others to attempt to place all anonymous commenters in a box defined only in their own imagination. That kind of judgmental action is nothing more than an arbitrary and tyrannical attempt at self-importance and self-aggrandizing hubris.

      Personally, if you can't look at the subject matter and judge the content on it's own, without reference to the whatever 'label' it might have been presented under, then I feel the problem lies in your own preconceptions and pretense.

      It's not because I signed off or on with a label which says anonymous.

      Delete
  31. Dang! The last meta-discussion I saw was on a Usenet newsgroup years ago. It DO bring back memories.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Sir: Sorry to hear that you have to take this step, but as you say, the internet brings out the crazies. You must admit,however, that your rather ascerbic style contributes to the sometimes venemous reactions by certain readers. Carry on.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I hate that captcha crap but I hate spambots more and wouldn't want them to be inflicted on anyone. I also don't want anything to diminish your posting - I really look forward to reading what you post. In an era where some are trying to edit, stifle, delete, or otherwise control speech, I'm going to muddle through whatever it is to see that I can speak my mind and so can others.

    Go for it, Jim.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Sorry you had to go through it but glad you did. Love reading your stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hanging is too good, if I could borrow from RAH, staking out over an ant hill seems about right.

    I would rather you had cut the anonymity rather than word verification, but its your bat and ball

    And for the first captcha I get something I can't read. Perhaps my first wife was correct and I am a robot.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I learned something here today - you can ENLARGE those weird text thingies!! Gonna have to try that!! A couple who commented seemed to think that EVERYONE would know that, but un-techies like me do not. It's one little step at a time, and no one to show us. But we try.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And - it worked great!! When they introduced the danged numbers to the right, I did not know we were supposed to type those, and had a few frustrations when comments elsewhere were not accepted. At least I finally noticed the numbers (red face), and now can enlarge those dumb letters! Thanks for whoever mentioned the 'Control' key plus the '+' key.

      Signed - Untechy. LOL

      Delete
  37. Replies
    1. It worked - it proves I'm not a robot; now if I could convince the rest of humanity ....

      Jim, keep on the good works - this site is too important to succumb to cyber terrorism.

      Delete
  38. Of course, nowadays indications are that spamming's become the province of organized crime -- bot nets have become big money.

    .... Which, incidentally, means that most of the bigger botnet worms are very ungracious hosts and will actively hunt down and remove other worms they detect on a system they take over. It's kind of a mess.

    ReplyDelete
  39. ...but I LOVE that song! (and of course I clicked the link on my unprotected, malware-ridden, flea-infested and obsolete PC).

    ReplyDelete
  40. "word verification"..."military intelligence"..."all-terrain tires".....The concepts are attractive, but we are always let down in the end. Go there if you want, but the awesomeness eventually wears off. And then you are stuck in the wilderness with a non-operative adjective. Tommy D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I won't argue the point, but it's now going on 12 hours without a single spam commenting attempt. You have no idea how friggin' awesome that is for me.

      Delete
    2. I'm hip Jim - and very happy that your subsequent commentaries will be that much less fettered by the yapping voices of robot assholes. It must feel like when the insufferable, annoying unit fuckwad finally PCS's out to Thule or Fort Sill.

      Now if you could only box this technique for the physical realm and I could apply the noise filter to my two retired dickhead neighbors who run any and all power tools every hour of every day. I would love to shoot the leaf blower or lawn edger out of the hands of these fuckers, but some less kinetic and high tech means of blocking their audio spam would also be welcome. Tommy D

      Delete
  41. Now if you can only stop those posters whose only contribution is to point out your typos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, free proof readers, I'm not complaining.

      Delete
    2. Damn straight, Skippy; do you know what I charge for my proofreading services to my clients?

      No, of course you don't. Let's just say, that next cuppa joe's on the house.

      Delete
  42. I see ya going "full Capcha"...I guess it is better than the TSA's full body nekkid scanner...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I considered installing full body scanners and attack dogs, but I thought that might attract the wrong element.

      Delete
    2. Then too, do you really want to have ShopKat dealing with attack dogs? A feline who'll stalk a moose? The mind boggles at the possible denouements.

      Delete
    3. You don't WANT to see me in a full body scanner.
      Trust me on this.

      Delete
    4. I'll take your word for it.

      And take my word for it: Not only does a 16.1 hand horse not fit into a full-body scanner, requiring serial imaging to get the whole thing through, it's inclined to leave a calling card for the next scannee to step in.

      Delete
  43. "Honestly, after weeks of this noise, the sudden cessation is awesome covered in awesome sauce with little awesome sprinkles on top."

    What? No bacon?

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thanks for protecting your site. Bacon sauce, huh? I was at the market yesterday and saw beef patties with the bacon ground in...intriguing.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I prefer using accounts rather than the word crap. It always takes 3 tries to make the dang things work.

    IMO Freedom of Speech does not mean anonymous speech.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rud- One thing I like about Jim's blog is the higher quality of the comments. Check out Anonymous' comments from 2:02AM for a good supporting argument for anonymous speech. I may or may not agree with anyone or every point, and they don't have to agree with me, but many people here put a lot of thought into what they say, especially including JimW. Anonymous or not, I feel like I learn something. (And the warped minds of the regular irregulars are funny. Also, too.)

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  46. Sorry that you had to go through that, but I'm happy to comment with word verification...and not anonymously. :-) Cheers!

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  47. I need to check this out. I don't comment here often, but I value the writing and the comments enough to see if I can get it to work for me just in case I need to contribute my two cents. In fact, this is important enough that I am sitting here thinking about how to get a profile if word verification goes bad for me.

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  48. So, Jim, tell me how you really feel about spam. Honestly, I agree with you totally. I finally got to the point where I changed my password on my personal computer so that my husband couldn't use it, because he insisted on helping the old lady in Nigeria and clicking on the hot babe who just wanted oral sex. I asked him what it felt like to be living in Stupid Land--and changed my password when he did it again, just after I got rid of all the viruses, etc. Which I had to do over again. Gah.

    That's all to say, that I'm fine with jumping over hoops if it keeps the spammers away from the door. Go for it!

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  49. Sorry the spam circus has gotten to this point, but captcha is a small price to pay for intelligent conversation.

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  50. It still won't whistle ...........

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  51. Don't suppose you have any gold Rolexes that will change the size of female gadgets? Because there's this sweater that could probably induce seizures in about half the population if I filled it out just a little more...

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  52. Welcome to the real world. Spam is just a shit sandwich...

    I have a question. Has anyone considered what that sort of size will do to your kilt wearing?? I'm just saying...Oh, yeah. The Rolex no longer fits. Could you send me another band??

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  53. I actually only got my google account specifically so I could comment on the first post I ever read of yours (a whole few months ago now) so I wouldn't be "anonymous". I also do have a crap computer, but still have virus protection installed because, just like AIDS, those nasty lil critters don't care what they're infecting.
    I do totally suck at seeing the letters to post though, so good thing I only post very rarely!

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  54. Actually, the funniest Russian joke I ever read had me laughing, literally, for a week. All I'd have to do was re-read it and off I'd go:

    Russian spam king bludgeoned to death

    Posted on 27 Jul 2005 at 15:11

    A notorious Russian spammer has been found beaten to death in his Moscow apartment.
    Moscow police said that he had been hit several times on the head with a heavy object...

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    Replies
    1. You may enjoy this also.
      http://www.sptimes.ru/index.php?action_id=2&story_id=36033

      Danny

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  55. Sorry you've been targeted by these clods. I think the law needs to be retooled to deal with internet/computer crime, including, as in this case, vandalism. And since the damage that can be done is very serious, the penalties should be similarly severe, especially inasmuch as the kind of person who would do such a thing is by definition a chickenshit troll who has no business messing with something as potentially valuable as the internet and should therefore be treated with contempt. Also Nazis.

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  56. Jim, I lurves yer rants. Thank you.

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  57. But without spam, where are we supposed to buy our over the counter viagra???

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  58. I am pretty new here, and am learning the culture. I have no idea what is acceptable, what the attitudes are and if anyone will notice if I say anything. But, I find your writing fun to read, Jim, and I'll be back.

    ps, check this out. http://i.imgur.com/rs7eFj5.png. this is the captcha it wanted me to enter! Ha ha ha!

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    Replies
    1. I think an awesome new language could be developed simply by going through the dictionary word-by-word, clicking on the 'recaptcha' button & substituting whatever comes up. For one, it would give the code-breaker types fits ("how in the &$@^$@ did they come up with this crap? It's gibberish, I tell ya"). It could be named 'Captchese'. Entelvu ronarinay astrturv, anyone? :p

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    2. Otto,
      I, for one, come back & scroll through the comments for a few days after each post- and it is pretty apparent I am not the only one who does so. I find the commenters here are thoughtful, polite and funny ( sometimes all three at once!).
      As to culture & what is acceptable, read the commenting rules at the top and the badgers will remain caged. Also read through older posts and their comments. You'll feel like you know some of these folks before long. I've only been here a couple months myself, but let me be the one to say "welcome"!

      Bruce

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  59. Word verification is good, but who doesn't have an account with Google, or Open ID, or any other, these days?! I've never understood the need to comment anonymously, because if you need to protect yourself maybe shouldn't be commenting in the first place. But that's just my $0.02.

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  60. I can get mouthy, but for some reason have no trouble with trolls. The spam, though, ends up in my email, although not my blog. I'm saving some of the best bits. It's charming: "You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest as smartly as defined out the entire thing with no need side-effects , people can take a signal." From our friends at LoseWeightNow.

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  61. You just knew we couldn't resist clicking that link, eh?

    Evil. Pure. Evil.

    Keep up the good work!

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