I run a few blogs for myself, my business interests and some clients so I get to see a LOT of spam come through the filters. Suffice to say, the idiot Russian spammers keep coming back here and there, but now the latest are what I’m calling the “copy n paste” spammers.
This is where a spammer takes a comment from your blog and tries to repost it (usually against the same entry) in the hopes you’ll think it’s a real comment and allow it through. In the process they include a site URL that gets recorded as a link in your site if their comment gets through.
Yes, it’s the “website promotion” bastards again. These are the folks who say “Pay us some money and we’ll make sure your website gets promoted around the ‘net, gets lots of links and rises up in the search engine results.” The concept is that by having lots & lots of blogs out there pointing back at a site, it makes it look more important to seach engines plus people click through to it from the various blog comments.
First they tried to string fake messages together with random selections of words, but that was pretty easy to spot. Then they tried to make semi-real messages saying how cool your blog and/or blog post was but they got easy to spot when they’d appear against your daily twitter summary post.
So now they’re finding a random comment from a post’s history (remember, this is all done by automated systems) and re-post it so you’ll be suckered into publishing their comment. Nice one!
Of course, the other side effect of this is that on most blogging systems, once you’ve had a message published, your email address is in the clear and you can post any message you want. Hello, the doors are open, come on in and go nuts.
Fortunately most of us have spam filters that help weed these idiots out. Still, makes for an amusing moment or two when I go and check what the filters have dredged up :)
Whoever is trying to post Russian spam on the blogs I run must be a bloody idiot. Not a single posting they submit ever sees the light of day ‘cos it all gets caught by the spam-filters my sites run (or, in the case of one, generates a request to moderate as it’s not running a filter).
Most of the other spammers try to embed unique text in their “test” messages to see if they show up at some point in the future. Once they realise they’re being blocked, they tend to go away. Not so these guys.
Oh, sure, after over a month of auto-chucking messages into the black hole of our flters, they disappeared entirely for a month or so. I thought they’d finally figured it out, but no, they’re back and they’re trying it all again.
Talk about your clueless idiots. They’re not just scum of the earth spammers, they’re also stupid.
I’m launching a new podcast with a friend (more on that later) so we want it to be found via iTunes. To be able to submit a podcast to iTunes, you have to have an account – hmmmm – annoying, but somewhat understandable.
To set up an iTunes account, they want a credit card. FAIL! What if I don’t ever want to buy anything? What if I don’t want to give it out? What if I don’t have one? Well, it turns out you can create an account without needing a credit card if you either a) redeem a voucher (also a FAIL – I don’t want to buy anything) or by b) getting one of the free Apps from the iTunes App Store.
Great, so, I go to the App Store and try to get a free application. Any one will do – who cares, I’m throwing it away ‘cos I don’t have an iPhone. When I go to download it, it asks me for my account details so I say CREATE and, sure enough, when I get to the page where I’d enter a credit card, it now has the option of “NONE”
YAY! I can create an iTunes Store account without needing a credit card. So, Apple, why the frak didn’t you give me that option to begin with? Yet another FAIL!
Of course, now I’ve created the account and reached the verification stage. I’ve keyed in my GMail account details and it’s apparently sent out a verification email. Only problem is, it hasn’t arrived yet. Other emails are coming in OK, but not this one. In fact, I’ve asked it to send it 3 times now and still nothing. I’ve confirmed the address is correct and I’ve checked my SPAM folder. Nope – nada.
Oh joy – another FAIL on Apple’s part.
For a company that makes some pretty sexy equipment, it’s amazing how many times Apple FAILS! All this just to register a damned podcast…