famous for hitting the hyperspace button
Tuesday, January 2 2007
At least back when I wearied of the endlessness of the Nixon and Reagan funerals, I had to admit that these had been important people in the life of the nation. But with someone like Gerald Ford, about whom the best anyone can say is that he had been "decent," the posthumous pageantry of endless slow coffin parades has a painful artificial quality, like uncomfortable smalltalk with a prospective father-in-law. The flag is at half mast and there was no mail delivered today, all because of the death of someone who is most famous for hitting the hyperspace button for the most corrupt president in American history. More than a hundred Americans died in Iraq in the same month that Gerald Ford rode his eagle wings to heaven, but we're prevented from seeing a single one of their flag-draped coffins on television.
Recently a guy I work with in Woodstock turned me on to digg.com, a community blog that finds websites and features the top-voted ones on its front page. The community as a number of quirks; it seems to have that libertarian/atheist/techy vibe common to all early adopter communities, although for some reason there is also an inexplicable fondness for photography. Today digg.com introduced me to Modern Drunkard Magazine. The writing about boozing is so good and compelling that I'm tempted to resume the bad old days of this past summer, when I frequently could be found out in the garage with a drywall knife in one hand and a beer in the other. I particularly enjoyed the article entitled The Zen of Drinking Alone and encourage anyone who tsk-tsks about solitary imbibing to read this article. It explains non-social drinking perfectly.
Over the past couple weeks I've suffered increasing problems from spammers using the web-based feedback form for this site. In the past I'd solved this problem by requiring that the referral URL to the feedback form's processor script be a page on my site, which required spammers to actually paste their spam into my form manually. Recently, though, spammers seemed to have started doing just that (which struck me as a lot of special work just to spam one particular person). So then I wrote some lines of code that made the feedback form inoperable unless you come to it from a link on my site. (Try going to it directly by pasting its URL into a new browser window and you'll see what I mean.) This would prevent spammers with a bunch of bookmarked feedback form links from spamming me. Strangely, though, the form-based spam continued. Perhaps the spammers had figured out how to fake the headers and go directly to my form processor using automated means. So today I made further changes to the way the feedback form interacts with its processor. I changed all the form item names to random sequences of numbers that change with every reload. Along with these form items is a new form item called "prefix" that contains a key to decrypt those form item names, enabling the form processor to read them. Unless the form data is sent in form items with properly-encrypted names, the data doesn't get read by the form processor and the email is never sent. This seems to have completely silenced all spam that was coming from my feedback form.
For linking purposes this article's URL is:feedback
previous | next