My provider was unable to charge my credit card properly – but even after admitting it his own fault last week my server was locked down yesterday. So I had a downtime of one day. Sorry.
After getting comment spam for a while I found my wiki pages were spammed as well: someone added hundreds of links obiously to tune the page rank algorithm of google. There does not seem to be an easy way to deal with this issue. So I needed to disable open wiki editing (which equals not having a wiki at all).
Not only comments and wiki got spammed on several sites – also the referrer pages were full of it.
Dave Winer is trying to deal with the referrer spamming by re-checking the origin. Then Jan Storms suggests a filtering and a blacklist tool. Userland reacted quickly by adding two event hooks for comments and referrers, so that anti-spam tools can be activated in the right moment.
It has been quite silent here the last month. I was very busy and blogging had to be suspended for a while. This will change soon – there have been a lot of things going on. Here’s what is up next:
1. Election in US: a very bad decision to re-elect Bush. But it seems Bush is not the problem, but the symptom: I think the religious subtext of the Bush approval is really a challenge and it will be a problem for the next two decades.
2. HIVE University Server project: I am working with some people on a web service based Intranet framework for universities. Yes, we are re-inventing the wheel, because all the wheels I have seen so far are not round enough. It will be open source and there will be SVN access to the development. IT will also be based on Python (Twisted for the Backend and Zope for the Frontend) – and it will define a number of APIs for different modules that make up the system.
3. Online lectures: I am planning to produce online versions of a number of lectures. There are many non-technical issues with this I need to resolve before this can happen. The lectures should be linked to a Wiki space – so there is a lot of content that I need to create.
4. Departmental site redesign: We will do a redesign if our department site. It will be updated to a new corporate design and it is lacking the sophistication I’d like to see there.
I was hoping that with a custom comment system I would be immune to comment spamming. But unfortunalty that doesn’t seem to be the case. It is easy to clean up, but I think I will have to place a burden on that spam bots. Spam is the dirt of the Internet.
The “Future of computing” presentation at the Museum for Communication went well although only few people appeared (among them was Jochen Robes from weiterbildungsblog.de who happened to read about it here). Jochen suggested I should have advertised the event more on my weblog, but I assume this wouldn’t have made much of a difference.
I will have to add some background links to the Wiki space later.