Infrequently Noted

Alex Russell on browsers, standards, and the process of progress.

duller than a joke in spider-man...

Jennifer and I had a wonderful dinner this evening which was followed up by an incredible mistake: we knowingly walked into a theater and paid real, actual money to see Spider-Man 2.

I had talked to people (who shall go un-named) who assured me that it was much better than the first one. Given the quality of the plot, acting, dialogue, effects, and editing of the first one, I should have known that it was damning with faint praise. Anyone who was kicked awake at any point in their 7th grade science class will bristle any time the rubes who wrote this thing decided that they were going to be all smarty-pants and use words like "fusion". The "romance" in the film consists of both stars gazing at each other with glassily stoned looks and going "umm..." a lot. Paint has a more believable and exciting potential for romantic interaction.

Yeah, I'm bitter. Those are 2 hours I'm never getting back.


Had lunch with Joyce, Dylan, and David today. It's really nice to be able to hang out with geeks that understand your particular kind of pain.

...speaking of comment

Trying out blogger comments.

Horay for blogs as NNTP.


Home sick today. Can't think, can't sleep, can't breathe through my nose. Blah.

One thing that's making my day a little happier (besides NPR and some wonderful tea) is I've been a huge fan of the GIMP (2.0) ever since I loaded up one of the RC versions at my last job and realized that I could fix a lot of the UI problems I had with it by dragging the tabs around. The path tool is now fixed, and it's nice and quick. It's nice to have it now for the Mac too. It's only available under X11, which I'm always running anyway because Kmail is still my mail client of choice. Can't wait for GTK2 to be native on OS X.


Ok, I've gotta be like the dumbest person ever to not think of this before:

So PageRank (and the derivative that Google uses now) is susceptible to comment spamming in blogs because of the trust relationship that is created between the domain serving content and the linked-to domain. Blog comment spam that targets Google abuses this by re-weighting the links into the "target" domain and giving it un-earned weight (leaving the more general debate about the "earned" weight of blogs aside for now).

So here's the thing: take away the incentive, take away the relationship, load all comments from a "sacrificial" domain and make sure any reference between the "loader" domain and the comment serving domain is tenuous at best (perhaps with JS or some other google-bot unfriendly mechanism). On this point, I'm not sure whether or not Simon's redirect trick is essentially similar, but it would be a requirement.

The point here is that we don't really want to discourage the spammers from posting (we'll deal with that through baysean filtering or some other means), but we want to remove at least this incentive to spam.

On the spam-for-other-reasons front, I just mentioned baysean filtering, and I think that's what is going to have to "win" (or something else that can adapt quickly, think spamassassin). To this end, running comments from a central service that can host the baysean/regex engine, serve you your comments as an IMAP folder (for integration with Thunderbird), and otherwise manage all aspects of your comment problems seems to make a lot of sense to me.

So what says the blog world at large? Would you pay a couple of bucks a months for this? or would you allow someone to put google ads next to your comment system in remuneration for hosting it? Or does something like this already exist and I missed it?

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