October 11, 2003

Foo Drink

Tim Bray just put a bottle of Tequila on the table. And there about 15 people sitting around with notebooks, working on our hack for the night.

Danger ahead.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:13 PM

Foo Camp is not a Secret

At least that's what Tim O'Reilly told us. I've been so busy talking with interesting people that I haven't had a chance to read blogs since I got here. So I don't know who else is writing about it--aside from some TrackBacks.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:52 PM

October 10, 2003

Heading to Foo Camp

I'll be heading to Foo Camp later today and in Sebastopol most of the weekend. Who else will be there? Have a look.

I don't know what to expect there, but it should be an interesting weekend.

More on this later.

Update: Apparently the first rule of Foo Camp is that you don't blog about Foo Camp. Too late, I guess. I noticed that Dan linked there too and figured it was okay. Oh well. Apparently "invitation only" means "secret--don't blog this."


Perhaps someone should have mentioned that earlier to the 150 bloggers that are gonna be there.

Update #2: Ah, Scoble says that Dave outted the outting. How amusing.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:37 AM

October 09, 2003

SMTP Sender Authentication, Blog Spam, and PageRank

First off, David Jeske (formerly of eGroups, now Yahoo! Groups) has a suggestion stopping the forgery of e-mail. He calls it SMTP Sender Authentication.

My proposal is to do sender authentication at the SMTP level, with a compatible extension to the implementation.

I don't think it's a complete solution (like many of the other proposals out there), but it's better than nothing, that's for sure.

Next, my "spam your own blog" idea seems have been picked up by a number of folks.

Excellent. Thanks for all the TrackBacks.

Finally, I figured out how to fix PageRank today. It happened while I was looking at some recent blog comments and trying to decide if they were spam or not. I decided they're not quite spam but are more like wearing your company's logo shirt everywhere you go. In-your-face advertising that may or may not cross the line, depending on the situation.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:24 PM

Cheap Viagra, Vicodin, Xanax, Prescription Drugs, and Penis Enlargement Pills!!!

You know you want 'em CHEAP, right?!?!

As noted here, I've decided to play the spammers' game for a day to see if we (bloggers) can out-spam the spammers.

Low Price, Fast Delivery, PRIVACY! FDA Approved Medications online. SOMA, ADIPEX, Viagra, and MUCH MORE. Go Online. Fill out your Prescription Request. Your request will be reviewed by a Licensed US Physician. If Approved, your medication will be dispensed by a Licensed US Pharmacy. Requests received by 2:00 PM EST will arrive the very next business day.

Won't you join the fun? Post a entry with a similarly spammy subject on your blog. TrackBack this entry. Link to it. I'll link to yours. Let's abuse our PageRank in a way that'd make the spammers jealous.

Attend a Free Online Product Sales and Acquisition Conference. To make money on eBay and the Internet you need to get the source product at deep discounts. In this free online conference you will learn how to acquire thousands of products directly from the manufacturers -- (cut the middlemen and buying clubs) at wholesale or less - including overstocks and discontinued items for pennies on the dollar.

Just don't forget to disable comments on your entry.

Oh, YEAH!!! You *need* that Phentermine, don't you? Come get it!!!

Posted by jzawodn at 08:34 AM

October 07, 2003

Yahoo! News Search via RSS

Remember a few months ago when Yahoo launched News RSS Feeds? I wrote about it then and am here with more cool news on the Yahoo RSS front.

The News RSS Feeds are great if you want to follow a particular category of news. For example, you might want to read the latest Sports (RSS) or Entertainment (RSS) news in your aggregator. But what if you'd like an RSS News feed generated just for you? One based on a word or phrase that you could supply?

You've got it!

I've been playing with this at work for a month or so now and I'm now told we can even talk about it. This is really quite handy. For example, if you'd like to follow all the news that mentions Microsoft, you can do that. Just subscribe to this url. And if you want to find news that mentions Microsoft in a financial context, use Microsoft's stock ticker (MSFT) as the search parameter like this.

(Of course, if the Finance RSS Feeds hadn't been pulled, you could have been doing this a year ago. But let's not rehash that decision. Yeah, yeah, it was a beta test. *sigh*)

Anyway, here are just a few examples of what you might try:

  George Bush
  Recall Election
  Bill Gates
  Justice Department
  Open Source

You may have noticed that the URLs used to do this are a bit funky. So I've decided to help you out in constructing them. You can either go to this page directly or enter your keyword(s) in the form below.

Enter search term(s) and hit Enter:

Maybe if this becomes really popular we'll see a more easily typed URL.

Update: I've fixed the wrong URLs on the XML buttons.

Update #2: Welcome /. readers. Thanks for dropping by. My there's actually no "e" in my last name and I only produced the tools to make URLs.

Update #3: Apparently some people have concluded that I wrote the RSS feeds. I did not. I never claimed to have done so, but I apparently didn't write anything that would lead you to believe that I didn't either. So I'm coming clean.

Posted by jzawodn at 04:05 PM

October 06, 2003

Gureilla Tactics Against Blog Comment Spammers

I've been thinking more about the problem of blog comment spam recently. In fact, I've implemented some very basic techniques in an effort to stop the spam and they've been quite effective so far. But I'm not happy yet.

I got to thinking about the techniques I've seen spammers use (often Google searches that help them find their targets) and their real motivation: PageRank. It may be broken but the spammers see that we have it and they want a piece of the action.

What does this tell us?

We have the power.

We do. Bloggers, collectively, have so much more Google Juice than these scum spammers that we ought to consider using it as a weapon in this battle. No, it's not necessary, but it might just be fun to try. And we all deserve a bit of fun.

For example... What if I said that this Thursday I'd post an entry titled "Cheap Viagra, Vicodin, Prescription Drugs, and Penis Enlargement Pills" and that'd I'd challenge other bloggers to post similar entries (making sure to TrackBack as appropriate) and to link to me. I would, of course link back. I'd be sure to disable comments on that entry. (Duh!)

What would happen? We'd stand a good chance of elbowing ourselves into the Google results for the very things the comment spammers are trying to sell. Our entries of course would have nothing to do with the products and services that spammers are pushing. Instead, we could write about how stupid people are that actually respond to spam and order those damned pills.

Who knows? Some of us should give it a try. Or a lot of us!

I mean, shit... we're not really doing anything else with all this PageRank anyway. Well... other than proving that PageRank needs help. :-)

What say you? Should we try? I think so.

Update: Silly me. I forgot all about Phentermine!

Posted by jzawodn at 09:08 PM

October 05, 2003

144 hours, 59 minutes at basic quality

Tivo upgrade phase #1 has been completed successfully. Given how darn cheap 120GB disks are, I replaced the 18GB disk in my 14 hour Phillips unit with a 120GB disk.

This means that when I'm in Asia for 2 weeks later this month I won't have to worry about anything being prematurely deleted.

<cartman>Kick Ass</cartman>

Next phase will be to add the web interface, enable telnet, add the ethernet card, and so on... After the trip.

Posted by jzawodn at 07:02 PM