Blog Spam

To mix things up a bit here are a few interesting links on the current state of the blog spam universe.

The State of Spam [Karma]
This first link is a blog post by the developer of the Spam Karma anti-spam plugin. He talks about how until now, the programmers behind all the spam-post-bots (almost all spam is created by automated programs, hence spam being an attractive proposition) have been largely “stupid”, and thus their bots relatively easy to stop. However, a new breed of spam has emerged, and the bots behind this spam appear to have grown immensely in sophistication and code quality.
His writing style is easy and fun to read, and gives an interesting perspective on the issue. After all, he is both a coder and a blogger.

Mark on Weblog Spam
This next link is much older, from November of 2003, and is much more about the nature of Spam as an industry; and spammers as a group of particularly unscrupulous businesspersons.

Akismet Eats 2 Million
Last is a quick link to the post on the Akismet blog celebrating their spam plugin’s two-millionth piece of spam. They write that it took two months to block one million, and only twenty days to reach two. This is of course also due to their plugin’s growing popularity, but still, that’s a lot of spams! (I use Akismet on my other blog and it performs flawlessly– farewell spam… for now)

Letter To The Class

My earliest memory of writing is sharp–it floats to mind clearly. I see a much younger version of myself. It is Kindergarten, Ms. F’s class, journal writing time. We each has one, a big black book of pristine paper on which to make our mark. I remember a boy writing out a scrambled sentence of shapes, followed by a large blue mass. A teacher’s helper came over and added a caption to his satisfaction, in neat ordered hand. It was a story about a whale. Across the room the Assistant Teacher is sitting with a boy named Josh, tape recorder in hand. He already knows how to read and she wants it on tape. I see myself telling jokes, swiveled in my chair, energy exploding everywhere, "Apples and bananaaaas!" Josh can’t stop laughing, and the teacher glares my way. I’m already seated by myself. My paper is still blank.

Another memory is from second grade. I’m writing a book report on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and my parents are floating behind me. The wide ruled paper is mostly empty, and my pencils rattle back and forth across the desk as I wait for inspiration. I remember crying — and yelling, my parents yell too. The report is finished somehow, and my final touch is an erector set conveyor belt, set up to dispense chocolates.

As I write I tend to edit, typing — delete — typing… delete. I love to craft the sentences just right, but at times the ideas fail to come. I strain, pulling what droplets I can muster from that hidden reservoir which has decided to close for the day. I see myself filling with anger, frustration, dispair. And so I do something else.

I also remember reading — long hours of hardy boys in the summertime, curled up in the cottage. Our whole family devoutly focused on our pages. I read and read. Then I’m reading in school, too. And suddenly it isn’t so much fun. And then there is the comptuer, and even video games… and the internet. So much to see, read, drink up. An infinite oasis of things to see and do and experience and take in. Yet its grip can be ruthless, and painful.

Writing to me is usually not about words, or letters, or periods or predicates. It’s about memories that fade, and ideas that float away.