Just a heads up, in the last 24 hours I've received over 100 spam comments on the Livejournal mirror, so I've turned comments there to "friends only" instead of the former "anyone". Comments here on DW will remain open to all, as DW has better comment management facilities and invite codes means spammers have to work to get past the 'need an account' barrier.

It's a very small number of old posts targetted, normally I'd just turn comments off for those posts only, but Livejournal has such a weird system that you can't just turn new comments off, you have to remove all existing comments, something DW either has or will soon be fixing.

On a similar topic to where I prefer comments to go, those of you that've had problems commenting on Dreamwidth due to the NoScript extension going haywire (like [livejournal.com profile] theweaselking) might be interested in [personal profile] foxfirefey's explanation of the problem; basically, NoScript has a built in exception for Livejournal that they haven't yet extended to DW, if the exception wasn't there, the exact same warnings would flash up on LJ commenting, it's something to do with XSS and cross-site/subdomain cookies. You can override it yourself, or wait until they update to fix it.
Remember this post last week about that Nikkogen thing? Well, I got an email Monday:
Good morning Mr Bowles,

Please can you remove any reference to Nikkogen from your website/blog. The information on your website received automated or not is incorrect and any reference to our company as being a fraud is incorrect.

You have a week to remove any reference to our company.
... )
D'you like that? Apparently the initial spam comment was automated. Or at least I think that's what it's trying to say. It appears that they may be admitting to spamming, but are doing so via an automated spam. No apology for spamming either. I mailed Tim about it, he said he'd had no follow up, I filed it under 'ignore' as there's nothing they can do legally. Thing is, it appears I'm not the only one they've emailed. Unity got very similar:
Identical grammatically awful stuff )
You may wish to contact Tim Worstall - who will I’m sure confirm that the information he provided via his website/blog was incorrect.... )
Which again ends on that veiled threat. Mr Jenkins? We each have a week to remove the reference or? More musings on Nikkogen and spamming )
I'm going to reply to Mr Jenkin's email now before I turn in. It'll be a simple link to this post.

Mr Jenkins? Some free advice, something I'd usually charge for.
  1. Don't spam.
  2. Don't pay others to spam.
  3. If you realise that's a mistake and wish to correct it, apologise.
  4. Get your facts straight.
  5. Don't make veiled threats with no substance.
  6. Understand the basic principles of free comment on the internet or in press. It's called freedom of the press, a concept you may have heard of.
  7. If you want someone to do something, be explicit, request politely and explain why they should do as you request.
  8. Don't try and promote a product that gives every appearance of being based off very dodgy science to a bunch of tech aware online types without at the very least explaining the basics, because we can research and do know what we're doing.  And if we don't?  We know someone that does.
That last bit? The bit about knowing what you're doing? I wouldn't invest in a company promoting itself like this even if they had a veritable licence to print money. You don't.

I have no idea if their product is legit. From what I've seen, I doubt it. But I really don't like them at the moment. That is, of course, a personal opinion, and I leave it to my friends and readers to make up their own mind.
Footnotes )
Look, I know you've had a quiet week for the most part, but I think it's time to explain a few home truths.
  1. I do not have a PayPal account
  2. I do not have an eBay account
  3. I have no real interest in OEM software
  4. I have never bought a ticket in the Netherlands lottery
  5. If I want to look at porn, I will go and look at porn you don't need to mail me with links to your crappy redirect sites
  6. What is Cialis anyway. And, for that matter, can you please learn to spell Viagra?
  7. Those 419 advance fee fraud things you keep sending me? Only work on people with money in their bank account, I don't
  8. I have a decent spam filter anyway...
That last is the clincher here, right? The death of spam? )

So, dear friends. If you would be so kind as to target your advertising bollocks more effectively, and stop sending me stuff that's completely irrelevent, I would very much appreciate it. I'm already signed up for a few sites created by former colleagues of yours that exist specifically to spam me stuff, you could learn from them and realise the game is up? Thanks chaps, much appreciated.
Specifically for the Canadians on my friends list, and/or anyone that knows a bit more about local colloquialisms. Given that Canada uses the same system of elections as the UK, and also has multiple parties in operation, do you either use the term Tactical Voting or have a similar term which describes the phenomena? The reason I ask is because I received this comment at my old blogspot site, on a post that's clearly labelled as a promotion for my new site.
I've been doing it for years! Although my favourite party is the NDP (yes I'm Canadian), I almost always voted for the Liberals, hoping that would help beat the Conservatives, because I knew NDP wouldn't end up getting elected. Now I know what this kind of phenomenon is called. :)
It looks legit, and human, and it's on topic. The problem with it is that her sig profile links to a wordpress powered spam blog (www.6home6.info - del-linkied for obvious reasons).

So, while I'll likely keep the comment, I'm very tempted to edit out the link. A human spammer is still a spammer, even if it's on topic comment. But at the same time, should effort like that be at least acknowledged?

Oh yeah; if you don't have analysts and discussion of the phenomena, why the hell not?
I'm getting a lot of comment notifications at the moment (post on the latest 6A mess ups at [livejournal.com profile] lj_biz to follow), but, well, this is impressive:
Hm, i don't know this site and ... don't cry :D! Get paxil Here! All about paxil. Get paxil Here! All about paxil. PLAY PAXIL NOW! CLICK HERE! ALL ABOUT PAXIL! Compare paxil prices and save $$$! Click Here! PLAY PAXIL NOW! CLICK HERE! ALL ABOUT PAXIL! Call me !
On a post I made at the end of August. It's quite blatently a spam comment made by an automated Bot, but for some reason there are no actual links there. So, um, I'm going to leave it in place for a bit.

Now, one of the drawbacks of running, for example, a Wordpress blog over an LJ is the spam comments. But if LJ is going to get them as well? That's another reason in its favour down. Of course,t he way the weekend announcements were handled also not points in their favour. Again, more to follow...

Or, why Snopes.Com is your friend

I get 'virus warning' forwards, both at work and at home, a lot. Every single time I do, I do a very simple thing; I search snopes.com (there's a firefox plugin to do so) with the keyword of the forwarded warning.

In this case, I searched for invitation. Virtually everyone I know gets one warning on it; if you don't know [livejournal.com profile] snopes_dot_com exists, you don't know to search. Once you know, if you forward something, you are teh soopid. Why does it matter?

Online hoaxes scare people unneccesarily

They make the 'net a "nastier" place. There are genuine things to worry about online. So worrying about hoaxes is a displacement. A distraction. Worry about genuine threats, trojan horses, hijackers, keyboard recorders, etc.

On the blog, we get occasional attempts to install spam comments. Contacts using other services, such as Wordpress, can keep track of where they're coming from. 90% of spam comments on blogs, and 90% of other spam, comes from home PCs that have been hijacked and send spam without the user knowing. That is a genuine problem. Is your PC secure, your firewall working, your antivirus up to date, your spyware protection on?

Worry about that. Next time you get a virus warning email forward, assume it's a hoax, and search snopes, mcafee or symantec sources first.

It makes the world a better place. If it is a hoax? Reply all, and let everyone know, pass on this message.

I'll stop preaching now. And yes, this is inspired by an email just sent by a nameless innocent who thought she was doing good who will likely read this.
OK, awhileback I switched off my postmaster accounts on the domains, and got everything to forward to one inbox. I check the spam folder every hour or so anyway, and just delete whatever is in there, haven't had a false positive for ages now.

Today, I decided not to bother deleting stuff, I just marked all as read to see when new stuff came in.

So, tally from when I logged off approx 24 hours ago and now? 253 spam emails.

The moral to this story? Meh, I've never tried hiding my email addresses, but I suspect putting it up unscreened on a domain name owned by a friend hosted on Geocities when I redesigned it for him was probably a bad plan. Also, owning two domains, one of which is being spoofed for outgoing by at least one spammer is really annoying. I think I may switch postmaster back on. Oh, having the admin account being also my main contact account was stupid as well. Learnt the lesson on that one. I'll probably switch the fuzzyduck email address from MatB to MatGB at some point, and at this point I'll let TaKtix lapse, not using it at all, and it's not a cheap hosting package like fuzzyduck...

But, dude? 253 spam emails in 24 hours? FFS. Only 2 got into the inbox though, they're right, spam is going to die soon, the filtering is too good. If people stopped buying the crap they advertise we'd all be better off as well. If I want viagra, or cialis, or even \/146R4, I'll go see a doctor. I can't afford stocks or shares, there is no way I'm taking out a US based home loan, and if I want to look for Euro porn I'll just look for it, it's not like search engines can't find porn easily. Yet, somewhere out there, blithering idiots respond to these mails and make the spammers money. Stop it. Please.
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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October 2015


Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats.

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