web annoyances

Hey You Disgusting Slob, You better Take The Trash Out

Mon, 2008-06-30 00:40

I have been using Akismet for spam protection for a little over a year now. It has been pretty good.

It has just missed some spam over the last couple of days. Obviously, somebody has tweaked their spambot. The thing is, anything not caught by the spam filter is sent to Friendfeed and God knows where else. My apologies if you have been subjected to random characters on my behalf. I do what I can to reduce the signal-to-noise ratio.

And so, I have switched spam prevention. I now use Mollom for my spam prevention needs. I am kinda excited about this, as the same awesome guy who wrote this very blog software that I use here is responsible for Mollom.

Thing is, Mollom requires a specific privacy policy. I don't think Mollum is worse than Akismet in the privacy department. They just require more disclosure.

Anyway, if you are wanting to comment on this post, or maybe one a little older, you will be subject to the Mollom policy before I have spelled it out for you here. Sorry. If you already have an account on this site you will not be affected at all. Let's hear it for old friends.

Here's hoping the Internet can continue to be usable by humans.

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I Have Heard It All Now

Sat, 2007-12-08 12:05

To improve security and usability, please enable JavaScript in your browser!

-yeah right.

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A Small Screenshot

Tue, 2007-09-04 19:57

**Edit: looks like they fixed ABriefMessage.com but the second website shown is still broken for me.**

This blog post represents a tiny moral dilemma for me. Whenever I run across a site that is broken in some way, I always at least consider informing the webmaster. I hope anyone would do the same for me.* Better one email telling you about the broccoli in your teeth than finding it out by accident six months later, right?

Anyway, I was just reading about how ABriefMessage.com was the next big thing, and I thought I would take a look. It does indeed look like a fine idea for a website. Problem is, I have my browser background set to a non standard color for my own troubleshooting, and it makes ABriefMessage.com look really ugly. Don't believe me? I have screenshots.

Here's one:

screenshot

and another:

screenshot

I did write to the feedback address and got back an immediate reply:

This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification

Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

name@domain.com

Technical details of permanent failure:
PERM_FAILURE: SMTP Error (state 13): 554 : Relay access denied

Goodness I hope it isn't serious!

I did briefly consider contacting someone connected with the site at another domain, but it looks like she uses the same designer:

screenshot

Maybe it ain't such a big deal after all.

*Yes, I know this website is broken in many deep and disturbing ways. Some of It is on purpose. Feel free to tell me about it anyway. That goes double if you have ideas about fixing it. Smiling

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Browser Flaws

Sat, 2007-02-17 03:53

Ain't it always the same, we get these notices about security such as the latest from Cnet just about every day. The trend here seems to be the phrase"malicious sites". Let me tell ya folks, I have the answer, This here website is not malicious in any way. Simply visit this site, and nothing bad will ever happen. If you like, you can post in the comments what what it is you were looking for and I will go and check it out, then report back what I saw. Your security is just that important to me.

Otherwise, just be careful out there. Don't be clicking on those random links. Know where you are going before you start. And, for goodness sakes don't just download any old thing. If the computer asks you to accept/decline then choose decline first and ask questions later. Know who to trust, and if you don't know or trust them, show them the door.

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Who's Your Registrar?

Sat, 2007-01-27 02:34

I have been using Godaddy as my registrar since they were the little guys. It seemed like a risk at the time, but they seemed to me to be willing to stand up for what is right, and I took a chance. They have never done me wrong.

My blood ran just a little bit cold when I read of GoDaddy shutting down a domain name due to a complaint, as reported here on Slashdot and I began to gradually transfer my own domains to another registrar. I left the domains I hold for other people. It's not so much that I think anyone would threaten anything I manage, it's just the principle.

Today they have done it again, pulling the plug on a website at the first hint of trouble, as reported at news.com. I understand that it is not good business practise for GoDaddy to go to court for a >$10 a year account, but I would like to see them display a tiny bit of hesitation. While the data on this recent website may have been of borderline sensitivity, I can't really see any benefit in quickly taking down this particular copy of the data.

I don't really have any evidence that other registrars would in any way stand up for my poor domain, in the spirit of "innocent until proven guilty" I will very likely give them the chance.

NameCheap.com will likely stand to gain control of the domains I manage for others. I will continue to spread my own domains out a bit, possibly even trying some overseas companies such as joker.com and gandi.net. Once again I doubt I will ever be involved in anything controversial, but the very idea that my domain name could be messed with is so very icky. Like being evicted.

In other news, this week brought us The Day The Googlebomb Died and I don't know whether to be happy or sad.

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Shopping Carts

Wed, 2006-08-02 00:07

As chief buying agent for the family, I sometimes have to boldy go and order stuff who have the bucks and don't want the aggravation. This is pretty cool: control in any for is gotta be good, and we don't want those significant others getting all web savvy on us and maybe catching on to all the fun we are having. Or maybe having fun themselves..

Anyhoo, this official buying agent status puts you in direct contact with companies that deal primarily with print catalog orders. Sure, you can phone in the order, but that is such a nightmare of holding/language barrier/upselling torture that would frighten even the most patient of shoppers.

I was in for quite a pleasant suprise when the reciepient of my proxied shopping dollars, Harbor Freight.com had a special little popup where I could enter the print caatalog numbers provided by the interested party. My little list of items grew and success seemed within reach.

One item is out of stock. Should I accept a half size larger pully or a double in the desired size? The expert is safely asleep.

Obviously this will just have to wait until tomorrow. This is where my beef comes in. Can't I save my nice little list in a wish list and come back later? Guess not. I don't even spend time trying, and close the browser.

**Note to self** If a wish list function is available, start with that and allow folks to move to the shopping cart later. Don't make them start over from scratch if the first try falls flat.

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