robinadr

Posted in November, 2007

As stumbled upon through the Akismet blog, Jesper Rønn-Jensen is planning to completely disable his spam filters on December 15. While that may sound a bit crazy, it’s an interesting experiment to see just how much time tools such as Akismet saves you every day.

So, on December 15, which is thankfully a Saturday, I’ll be turning off all spam filters on my blog, namely Akismet and Bad Behavior. As the article also suggests, I’ll also be disabling DoFollow so Google won’t get confused. I guess I’ll prepare by adding my spam queue to my bookmarks bar.

Anyone else?

Ladies and gentlemen, we are in the presence of immense amounts of idiocy. If you haven’t been around the tubes for the past few days, here’s a recap:

Someone posing as “malcor” (blog since removed) claimed to have hacked Glenn Wolsey, a reasonably prominent Mac blogger, and replaced his site with a page linking to the Malcor blog, with a picture of a rotton apple with a worm crawling through it. Next, MacApper was posted on Malcor’s blog as the next target, and soon thereafter it was brought down, too.

A few other sites were also brought down in a similar fashion (including Apple Matters), and it had a lot of people buzzing. Then, a short apology was posted on Apple Matters, revealing the Malcor business to be a PR stunt. More information followed, decrying it to have been orchestrated by Phill Ryu and MacHeist, in anticipation of MacHeist II.

Now MacApper has posted an apology of sorts as well, but the idiocy still amazes me. An official apology has appeared on the MacHeist forums, but I think the PR stunt really got out of hand.

Most of the sites that were “hacked” were powered by either WordPress or Expression Engine, two rather popular blogging and CMS software. EE even posted an official response, which did not sound too amused:

The answer is no. These claims are completely false, fabrications of an ill-conceived publicity stunt. EllisLab was not notified of this stunt nor were we involved in any way. We’re not linking to anything because we’ll be damned if we give this stunt additional publicity. #

Of course, this had people running WordPress a bit alarmed, mainly due to WordPress’ rather spotty at best security record. Here’s the last part: Glenn Wolsey’s blog is apparently hosted for free by Media Temple, and his blog getting “hacked” undoubtedly didn’t look so great for (mt).

The aftermath of this, of course, is that all the people involved — Phill Ryu, MacHeist, MacApper, and so on — all look like a bunch of idiots. I can’t believe they didn’t come up with consequences (remember those?) when they thought this through (they did do that, right?).

Needless to say, a few sites are losing their place in my RSS reader.

I’m going to take a leaf out of the Book of Gruber.

Mark Cuban is the Jackass of the Week.

Ars Technica has everything I would say in response to this article so I’m not going to go over it again.

Mr. Cuban, I would do some research. Not all Bittorrent traffic is warez. And it shouldn’t be so hard for Comcast to keep bandwidth up — not to mention the US is pretty far behind in terms of internet infrastructure.

Edit: The comments on that post are a good read, too. Not so favorable for Mr. Cuban.

A while back I posted about automatically scrolling between internal links with some jQuery magic (which in turn was based on a tutorial by Learning jQuery) but one problem with it was that there was no way for the user to link to the anchor.

The problem was that because the function has to return false in order to keep the browser from jumping straight through to the anchor and skipping the animation. So I added another line to the code, taking after AJAX pseudo-permalinks, that adds the hash link (e.g. #anchor) back onto the URL in the address bar after a timeout matching the animation.

Here’s the line in question:

[sourcecode language="javascript"]setTimeout('window.location = window.location + "' + this.hash + '";', 1000);[/sourcecode]

Here’s the full code:

[sourcecode language="javascript"]$(function() {
    $('a[href^=#]').click(function() {
        if (location.pathname.replace(/^\//, '') == this.pathname.replace(/^\//, '') && location.hostname == this.hostname) {
            var target = $(this.hash);
            target = target.length && target || $('[name=' + this.hash.slice(1) + ']');

            if (target.length) {
                var targetOffset = target.offset().top;
                $('html,body').animate({ scrollTop: targetOffset }, 1000);
                setTimeout('window.location = window.location + "' + this.hash + '";', 1000);
                return false;
            }
        }
    });
});[/sourcecode]

Now that I’m browsing without Adblock, I’ve noticed the ads that Last.fm sprinkles on its pages, and I thought of something:

What if the ads were targeted specifically for your music tastes?

It probably wouldn’t be too hard — Last.fm already taps into its database of your music taste to calibrate the “Taste-o-Meter” comparing your “musical compatibility” with your friends. So why wouldn’t it be a reasonably simple task to pick from different genres of ads and display “relevant” advertising?

While it might be a bit of extra work for Last.fm, it would be a step up for advertisers. Instead of advertising to me the latest albums by CSS or The Away Team, I’d rather see (and be more likely to be influenced) by an Angels & Airwaves ad for their new album, I-Empire1.

To recap, I don’t want to see ads for a heavy metal band. I would much rather see an ad for some other band.


  1. Which, as a sidenote, is damn good.