0 thoughts on “spiced ham

  1. kenny

    While Intellicast’s site seemed alright, I still got too many pop-up ads. Two far superior sites (trust me, I fly everyday and depend on this stuff) are:
    http://adds.aviationweather.noaa.gov/
    paid for with your tax dollars, but ad-free and excellent. It’s free.
    http://www.weathertap.com/
    It costs $6.95/a month but worth it if you need good weather info. This is the Rolls Royce of weather sites. No ads, pop-up or otherwise.
    I have no ties to either of these sites, but use both daily and endorse them heartily. I also don’t know html coding, so feel free to hotlink them in this comment if you like ’em.

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  2. Steve Williams

    Oh, Ian, my Junkbuster proxy is SO 2004!
    http://internet.junkbuster.com/ijb.html
    Don’t you know that everybody has switched to Firefox and the excellent Adblock and FlashBlock plug-ins? All free!
    http://www.spreadfirefox.com/
    http://texturizer.net/firefox/extensions/#adblock
    http://texturizer.net/firefox/extensions/#flashblock
    Adblock is much easier to use than JunkBuster. And Flashblock gives you a “Play” button for Flash, so you can ignore ads but still use the really cool Flash porn sites.
    As for spam: The real villains are the idiots who buy shit from these assholes and the “reputable” companies like Dell, Target.com, Buy.com, and many others who spam their customers, training them to be complacent about spam and phishing. The marketing people at those companies should be in jail for fraud.
    Only about 300 spams a day get through my spam filters. SpamAssassin is installed on several of my servers.
    http://spamassassin.apache.org/
    But perhaps the most accurate and easiest to use spam filters in the universe are available as a hosted service from Pobox.com:
    http://www.pobox.com/services.mhtml
    Last year, when Yahoo! announced they’d implement signed email, I predicted that spam would end in 2004:
    http://www.sbw.org/endofspam/
    Of course, we now know that Yahoo! DIDN’T do anything useful. Instead, Yahoo!, Google, and others implemented DomainKeys, a system that protects only ISPs and breaks email for independent people like me, nonprofits, and many others.
    http://antispam.yahoo.com/domainkeys
    And, oh yes, we’re still getting spam! That’s because DomainKeys was created to protect ISPs, not to prevent spam. Why couldn’t they be up front about that?
    As for comment spam, well, I lay a lot of the responsibility for comment spam at the feet of Six Apart, the makers of Movable Type, and the makers of other blogging tools. By releasing Movable Type without comment authentication or, at least, moderation, Six Apart provided the petri dish which cultured comment spam. On Ian’s site, MT-Blacklist rejects perhaps 100 comment spams per hour.
    http://www.movabletype.org/
    http://www.jayallen.org/projects/mt-blacklist/
    MT-Blacklist, however, is impractical to use under such a heavy attack load, unless you upgrade to the latest version, which requires the latest version of Movable Type. Which is no longer free. But which fixes the vulnerabilities by adding comment moderation.
    Alas, Movable Type added comment authentication, but only through centralized services like TypeKey and one other I know of. Centralized identity is useless. I look forward to distributed ID systems, like the nascent Identity Commons. My i-name is =sbw:
    http://public.2idi.com/=sbw
    http://www.identitycommons.net/
    Until Identity Commons implements single sign-on, it’s damaging to go down the centralized ID road.
    Six Apart, Google, Yahoo!, and others are touting a new anti-comment-spam initiative called nofollow. Trouble is, it doesn’t prevent comment spam, and it hurts the internet.
    http://www.google.com/googleblog/2005/01/preventing-comment-spam.html
    http://www.sixapart.com/log/2005/01/support_for_nof.shtml
    Google’s real motivation is not to prevent comment spam, but rather to prevent comment spam from showing up in Google search results. Why couldn’t they be up front about that?
    Worse, nofollow prevents EVERYONE’s comments from contributing to Google ranking. That’s a MASSIVE loss to the internet as a whole.
    And comment spammers don’t care, so they’ll keep spamming! It costs nothing to spam a blog, whether it is “protected” by nofollow or not.
    Yes, nofollow is totally bogus.
    Still, at Ian’s request, I tried to upgrade Movable Type last weekend, without luck. We paid $70 for the upgrade, but it failed, and it took three days to get Six Apart to respond to my support request. With a question. Very frustrating.
    I’m trying to learn WordPress, which is licensed in a way that ensures it remains free and open:
    http://wordpress.org/
    If a paid vendor like Movable Type waits three days to respond, I’d just as soon support myself on an open source platform.
    I think there are solutions to these problems. Some of those solutions appear obvious to me. For some reason, they just don’t have traction with the Googles, Six Aparts, and big ISPs.

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  3. Anne

    Spam!!! — I hear you, Ian. Some days more than 90 percent of my e-mails in two separate accounts is spam.
    Sometimes I try to be amused by spam. Yesterday I posted on my blog about spam that evokes an immediate “!” reaction when I see the subject header.
    And what’s with those wacky names in the “from” line? Who makes those up? I keep resolving to keep a log of them, but it’s too much trouble. Then there are all the Portuguese, Chinese, and Russian spam mails. I enjoy trying to translate the Portuguese ones, even though I’ve never spoken it, but I’m flummoxed by the Chinese and Cyrillic characters in the later two.
    Removing spam from a Web-based reader before opening the mail software on your computer is a decent way to avoid the worst of this stuff. I do that for my work account. Damn spam.
    – Anne

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  4. Just Andrew

    weather – ad-laden site, but http://www.wunderground.com has the best local radar and such that I’ve ever seen – I can get reading from a local weather station that some dude up the road operates for fun.
    spam – I was unaware that blog spam existed – what a nightmare. Spam has turned my day into at least one extra hour a day hitting the delete key. I have multiple domains set up as virtual hosts, so I’ll frequently get 10 copies of the same spam. But I also have customers and potential customers whose email I don’t know, so I have to filter through the crap.
    In other words, a significant percentage of my day is spent hitting delete, and this is unacceptable. I want either laws passed and enforced, or I want to track down the MFers and get rather violent with them.

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  5. Ishtar

    Grrrrr… me hate spam.
    I filter my spam through my dummy account on yahoo, which is also the one I use when I’m websurfing and commenting, particularly on debate boards, because when I inevitably get Jesus-spammed, it doesn’t clutter up my inbox. My comcast account gets spammed, but not badly, because I had so much trouble setting up the account, and my service has changed names three times, so not too bad. The account I’ve had the longest is newsadmin, which doesn’t get spammed, because I suspect a lot of autospammers filter out “admin”.
    On the server I’m an administrator for, we’ve had some trouble with people spamming ALL THREE HUNDRED frigging newsgroups. I finally got tired of it, traced their IPs and started mailing them, mailing their ISP and submitting bills to them for “System Operator time” spent removing the spam. Really cuts it back. Heh heh heh.
    But I sympathize. Every Monday, when I come to work (after not checking my yahoo for the weekend), I sift through about 750 emails, 99% of which are spam.
    I have a worse pet peeve now, which led to the partial downfall of my last computer. FRIGGING adware/malware trojans!!!! They then open up new windows when you aren’t around.
    By the way, let me take this opportunity to say SpySweeper can rot in the bowels of Hell. One of the popups during this ordeal said “We are downloading this file: trojan.backdoor.exe. Closing the window will not stop the download. Click here to find out how to get rid of this and other computer problems.”
    Oh, I followed the link, saw it linked to SpySweeper, and sent them a love letter that involved words such as “extortion” and “law enforcement”. Sons of bitches!!!
    Ishie

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  6. Steve Williams

    For Adware and Trojans, use good hygiene, of course, and NEVER use Microsoft Outlook or Internet Explorer (except to run Windows Update, of course).
    Instead use Eudora email. Eudora has its flaws, like silently using IE to display email by default–ack! But once you configure it NOT to use IE, it won’t run trojans. And Eudora has a great spam filter.
    http://www.eudora.com/
    If you do get infected, Ad-Aware does a good job of cleaning things up, and it’s free:
    http://www.lavasoftusa.com/support/download/
    To prevent virus infections, AVG Free Edition does a great job, if you keep it updated:
    http://www.grisoft.com/us/us_dwnl_free.php

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  7. Steve Williams

    Response from Six Apart’s Shelley Kauffmann on the support issue:
    “… our guaranteed initial response time is currently set within 48 business hours. However, in many cases, we are able to respond in far less time, depending on volume and staff availability.
    “Subsequent response time for an open ticket will vary for the same reasons, as well as being dependent on the complexity of the issue we are assisting you with resolving.”
    Forty-eight business hours is six business days, that is, eight calendar days. That’s a long time to wait for a response to a support request, in my opinion.
    But, okay, at least they undercommit and overdeliver.

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  8. Ishtar

    Thanks Steve!!!
    I have used Eudora when I had my student account. I like the Outlook Express format, but yeesh!!! I tried AdAware, but I think it deleted some things I needed.
    I finally just financed a new computer. After five years, it was time anyway, and I was tired of having to shoo the archeologists away from it ;)
    Despite not liking XP initially, it does seem to be pretty good at protecting my stuff. I am thinking of going to firefox. The server owner recommended it when I called him screaming “help!” and he also recommended an email client called.. er.. thundersomething? Anyone heard of something like this?
    Thanks!
    Ishie

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