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Spam Wars

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 5:54 PM

A couple of days ago, I noted an increase in blog spamming on asisaid. Now, generally speaking, asisaid was ignored by blog spammers in the past, so I'm not sure how long it has been broken, but I've discovered the blacklists I checked against were no longer in service. No wonder the filter wasn't blocking spammers!

I've switched my filters around and merged in more of Brad Choate's SpamLookup (the official spam filter for MT, which, since it is written in Perl, can be easily integrated with SAFARI) so that I check not only the links but also the IP address of the poster. Hopefully this will work. If not, I plan on requiring authentication for commenting (e.g. you'll link your e-mail address with a password and verify that e-mail address), unless any of my regular readers object to that.

What a Run!

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 5:30 AM

From July 1 through November 8, I believe I posted at least one blog post everyday. It was the longest run I've ever done of daily blog posting. It was a good exercise, I think, because it forced me to say what was on my mind rather than writing posts that were more like articles. Blogging in that mode serves as a form of catharsis and deconstruction of the day. I played with some creative ideas on days that I didn't have anything in particular I wanted to post about. It was good.

Unfortunately, on November 9, I forgot to post, somehow. I'm not sure how — I thought I had, but if I did, the post was lost in cyberspace. And, since the record was already ended, I figured I might as well take another day off yesterday. But, I'm back now. Perhaps if I get time tomorrow, I'll verify I really did post all of the rest of the days.

Incidentally: I'm really upset with the late theologian Francis Schaeffer. I've never read any of his works, and tonight I ran into one of them cheap on Amazon, so I used “Look inside” to read some of it. In the small part I saw, he labeled Karl Barth, T.S. Eliot and Soren Kierkegaard as part of those who have taken society below “the line of despair.” From the reviews, it sounds like he views Thomas Aquinas as part of the problem of creating this “line of despair” as well. What in the world would give him such an idiotic idea?


By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 4:39 AM

I've been spending too much time lately posting about posts I'm going to do “tomorrow.” The good news is, whenever you read those posts, tomorrow is still, well, a day away, which means I'm never late. :P But, on the other hand, I do actually want to finish my Barth series, continue my literary criticism series and post my hot air balloon pictures from last night's Balloon Glow. Oh, and answer the meme Eduardo tagged me for.

I went through my balloon glow photos tonight, but I need to make another pass through my favorites of the 650 so that I can avoid posting too many of them. A lot are duplicates with subtle advantages for one or the other depending on which balloon you are focusing on. At any rate, hopefully by tomorrow (there's that word again!) I will have something to show for my visit to Forest Park. I'm also going to at least complete Eduardo's tag by tomorrow. The rest will come “real soon now.” ™

Monday Madness: Blogging

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 5:26 AM

1. How long have you been blogging?
Four years back in February, so I'll hit the five year mark in just five more months or so.

2. How many times have you taken a break from blogging?
It depends how you look at it. When I started, I wasn't exactly a frequent blogger, and went over a month without a post a few times. Since I really started blogging seriously about four years ago, I don't think I've ever really taken a break.

3. How long is the longest you’ve gone, so far, without posting on your blog?
Maybe 10-14 days since the Fall of 2002 when I really started getting into the whole blogosphere concept.

4. How many fellow bloggers do you keep in touch with, through your blogs, on a regular basis?
More than just a cursory read, probably five or six.

5. Have you ever met, in person, a blogger on your blogroll?
No. One of these days, I must meet my friends in Cranium Leakage, since they aren't that far way.

6. How often do you update/change the ‘extra’ stuff on your blog?
I really don't have much extra stuff these days, I moved that all to another site. But, if you count both sites, maybe every few months.

7. Do you think you’ll be blogging for years to come?
Yes, I'd imagine I'll be blogging for quite awhile. Maybe until the web becomes an “antiquated technology.”  :)

1,000 Posts (Belated)

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 4:59 AM

Well, the thousand post milestone was passed several weeks ago here on asisaid, and while I planned to say something about it, when it occurred, for a long time prior to the event, I failed to say anything when it finally did happen!

Oh, well.

As a bit of festivity for the event, here's a question for y'all: what's the most interesting thing you've forgotten that you should have remembered?

Disabling Comments

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 4:19 PM

For the first time in asisaid's four and a half year run I have been forced to disable comments on a post. It seems that blogspammers, which previously have either been unsuccessful with my spam filter or ignored me altogether, really liked this one post — I had to delete three spams in three days. Hence, I closed the comments on that post.

I hope it is an isolated incident.

SAFARI 3 Progress

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 2:39 AM

I've never taken SAFARI 2 out of “beta,” but what I'm working on now is sophisticated enough and different enough that I've decided if I ever release the SAFARI codebase, it will be released as SAFARI 3 (well, probably under a different name since Apple took my name and it makes it confusing saying I'm using Safari to look at SAFARI).

SAFARI 2 was essentially a port of SAFARI 1 to MySQL, with additions to make it a blogging tool. SAFARI 3 moves from there into new territory that I believe is not currently being covered by content management systems. My big initiative is metadata — each post will not belong to just one category, it will belong to tons of categories and an unlimited number of other, user definable classifiers. You can find any post by any of the metadata objects owned by that post.

By necessity, I've now introduced a new feature that I think is also innovative. For lack of something better, I'll call it Word2SAFARI. W2S allows you to upload a Word document and have it output into your new SAFARI post for further editing or posting. I've tested using both wvware and the heir of its technology, AbiWord, as the backend to process the documents. Right now, the W2S codebase runs a server side copy of AbiWord to do the processing, which seems to work beautifully. Bold, italics, highlighting and various other Word formatting bits seem to be preserved. Also, and most importantly for my present purposes, it fully supports Unicode.

If I get time and it proves worthwhile, maybe I'll add more uploading features, such as photo uploading or PDF2SAFARI. :)

Blog Spam I Don't Understand

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 5:11 AM

A couple of days ago, asisaid was hit by blog spam (something unusual for my blog, for whatever reason). Most of it was at least semi-explicit, but it also had a peculiar quality to it: none of it seemed to actually point to anything. Several of them seemed to include phone numbers, but with the wrong number of digits. When I looked in my database, the poster left neither an e-mail nor a web site in the contact information. This left me wondering: why spam a blog if you don't even link to a product or service?

Is this just the twenty first century equivalent of graffiti?

Writers Block

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 4:53 AM

It's funny. I have lots of ideas to blog when I don't have time to do so during the day, but then at night, my mind has been going blank lately. I should scribble my ideas down when I have them, I suppose.

Hopefully, I'll get more up tomorrow.

I hope you all had a nice Maundy Thursday.

Now I'm (more) Official

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 4:28 AM

Well, I think that should take care of my pending business: the permanent Cranium Leakage linkage went up on over to your right a few minutes ago. That means asisaid has given up its life as just another independent blog in the sea of journals and become a major network blog! :) Click the pretty graphic that the mad scientists over at Cranium Leakage designed to see what the official CL web site has to say. Of course you can also check out my blogroll, which has long linked to three of the four other active CL blogs (which are well worth reading, in my estimation).

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