General: April 2005 Archives

Worn out


That's all I'm going to write tonight. I'm beat and in need of sleep. Mikki and I had a great time here at the convention. Some good friends of ours, Greg and Susan Hill, were honored for their years of volunteer work at Friday's gala. J. C. Watts delivered a powerful address and demonstrated why he would tough to beat should he decide to run for governor. Tulsa State Sen. Jim Williamson is definitely running for governor -- he announced last week -- and there was plenty of talk about who else will throw his (or her) hat in the ring. It was great to reconnect with the folks we spent so much time with at the Republican National Convention and to make some new acquaintances as well. It's encouraging to see that a party that was once limited to Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and the wheat belt has now taken root in nearly every county. At Friday's gala, we sat with a contingent from Cherokee County, including a Tahlequah City Councilor.

After the convention ended, we went over for a relaxed chat with Jan, the Happy Homemaker. We sat on the back porch, looked through her box of postcards, and saw the beautiful result of all the work she's been doing in the yard. Attention postcard fans: Jan has barely started through the collection -- there are all sorts of wonderful cards still to be posted. Jan was part of January's blogger bash. Unfortunately our schedule wasn't certain enough to plan a whole 'nother meet up on this visit, but I hope to reconnect with the other great folks I met at the bash on a future trip down.

We spent the evening in Bricktown: dinner at Chelino's, ice cream, and a lot of walking around. More about all that, and about the convention, later.

BatesLine was hit with 50 trackback pings in the last 10 hours, and not a single one was legitimate.

Trackback is a very useful mechanism that helps tie the blogosphere together. If another blogger comments on one of my entries, the other blogger's blog software will send an automated message (a "ping") to BatesLine notifying me of the link. This then shows up as a "trackback" on the individual entry pages, and it lets you see what's being said about what I'm writing. If the trackback is legitimate, it will link to an entry on another blog that links back to my entry.

At some point, the spammers figured out how to exploit this to peddle their wares on other sites without payment or permission. A trackback spam message puts a link to the spammer's site on one of my entries, but there's no corresponding link back to my site. That's discourteous, but what's worse is that the messages often advertise really horrible stuff.

By simply changing the name of my trackback script, I was able to screen out a lot of the spam, but the spambots have become smarter. Not only did the spambots figure out the changed script name, they sent everyone of those 50 pings from a different IP address. Either they have figured out how to spoof IP addresses, or they have deployed trojan horse programs via e-mail to unsuspecting PC owners, a trick they were already using with spam e-mail.

The balancing act is to foil the spammers without breaking the technology that keeps the blogosphere connected. To make sure I've not broken things too badly, I'd appreciate it if a few bloggers out there who use blog software with trackback auto-discovery (e.g. Movable Type) would post an entry that links to this one, just to see if it still works. (Just like you can't tickle yourself, you can't ping yourself, so I can't test this on my own. And no, this is not just some cheap ploy to boost my inbound link count.)

Reaching a new low

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As of 7 last evening, 11 stone, 11 pounds, the lightest I've been since I did the Jenny Craig thing 10+ years ago, and four pounds lighter than when I finished Atkins in fall 2003. I owe it all to blogging, anxiety, regret, overcommitment, insufficient sleep, and a well-rounded diet of Diet Coke, taquitos, Peanut M&Ms, and Fisherman's Friend coughdrops.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the General category from April 2005.

General: March 2005 is the previous archive.

General: May 2005 is the next archive.

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