Pic of the day: Sorry buddy, the club is closed while we deal with the criminals inside.
Meta: Forums closed
There is a saying that the two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity. This is probably not literally true, unless it turns out that the mysterious Dark Matter is actually stupidity. (I think that is only true in a metaphorical sense, though.) In any case, stupidity is quite a bit denser than hydrogen, and has clogged up the Chaos Node forums to the point where they need to be taken down, at least for some weeks.
At some point in time it seems the forums were put on a "to-spam" list. I am not sure how these things are organized, but I can guess parts from things I have seen elsewhere, and from the spam itself. First off, the spammers have mostly a tenuous grasp at the English language, at best. They could be retarded, but more likely they are foreigners in less privileged countries but still with Internet access. There are a lot of them, and many of them post exactly or nearly exactly the same message, complete with broken English. This could be the same person but probably isn't, since I can block their IP address and it will have no noticeable effect... it seems that all except a few are posting only once and then crossing the site off as done, never to visit again. This means that the barely English text is probably part of the package they have bought, along with a long list of forums where they can post the drivel.
Also almost certainly they don't actually type the text (which often contains long lists of links), but just cut and paste it. This means that, unfortunately, it may take less time for them to post than it takes for me to delete. This is not acceptable. The bulletin board system doesn't seem to have an option for word verification for each post, like Blogger has. Blogger has in fact an option you can set where each comment doesn't appear on the page until you give it an OK. If I had started the Chaos Node today, I would definitely have used Blogger, especially since it is owned by Google. But with thousands of pages already, and my own color code system, I am not going to switch anytime soon.
So until further notice the forum is closed for comments, except for registered posters who I know who are. I'll check the new registered posters every day or two and delete those I don't know, I guess. But I've already blocked the googlebots from the site, and I've blocked them from posting, and I do have word verification on registering, which means they have to spend more time registering than I spend deleting them, and it benefits them nothing. Nobody ever gets to see their links, and they never get to post their spam. Woo! To quote the old RPG Darklands: "You feel strangely content, as if a higher power indended them to meet such a fate."
Yeah, they're probably poor people living in third world countries and just trying to earn a bit of money. Unfortunately they try to do so by swindling and scamming. Besides all that, there's the fact that they've ruined a perfectly fine (if almost never used) forum. If I can make them waste their time in vain, I'm all for it. A little starvation never hurt anyone with internet access, methinks. Especially not a crook with internet access. In the meantime, you can still send me mail. I use gmail, but it is just like any other mail, so you can mail me from anywhere.
Visit the archive page for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.