Tue, Aug
17
2004

One Small Ship

Tue, Aug 17, 2004

voyager.jpg

Dan tells me that I have ruined Jerry Goldsmith’s theme to Voyager, possibly the only good thing about this wasted opportunity of a show.

What did I do? I supplied lyrics.

When the theme music plays, and the melody kicks in, see if these words fit:

Ahem!

One. Small. Ship. That is lost and far from ho-ome!
Is coming home!
Is coming home!
Coming home
Right now!

One. Small. Ship. That is lost and far from ho-ome!
Is coming home!
Is coming home!
Right now!

But. There. Is. Something in their way!
In their way!
Stuff! In their way!
In their way!
Oh, no!

One. Small. Ship. That is lost and far from ho-ome!
Is coming home!
Is coming home!
Right now!

One small ship com-ing home!

Hehe! I feel evil!


MTBlacklist Reviewed

Jay Allen has released an emergency version of MTBlacklist 2.0 (officially, version 2.0e). The new version comes with caveats from here up the Wazoo. The program only works for users of MovableType 3.0D and 3.01D. It does not work for earlier versions of Movable Type and it will not work with Movable Type 3.1. Also, anybody operating MT on a Windows server should avoid this release.

That said, it’s a very good program.

Jay Allen, perhaps the most respected MT user in the blogosphere, is known to all of us by his program MTBlacklist, a plugin which single-handedly addressed the problem of spammers trying to raise their profile by vandalizing Movable Type blogs with links to their vile sites. Version 1.6 was a vital download for users of MT 2.6, as was constant watch and updates of the new spam list.

When Movable Type moved to version 3.0, Jay thought that his work with MTBlacklist was over, since the new comment-handling controls of MT could themselves reduce the problem of comment spam. He was convinced otherwise by an increase in the deviousness of comment spammers, the rise of trackback spam, and an outpouring of requests to stay on the case by his large fanbase of users. Recently, his MTBlacklist 2.0 plugin won the top award in the Movable Type 3.0 plugin contest. And now I see why.

Even as a feature-reduced emergency version, hurriedly released to forestall a potential attack of trackback spammers before the full plugin was ready, MTBlacklist 2.0e is a substantial improvement on the original plugin. It is more effective than ever before in stopping comment spam (with now over 1900 phrases and domain names on its watch list), but it in its integration with Movable Type 3.0 that this product wins with me. Jay has copied the look and feel of MovableType and the plugin’s features can be accessed from a link with the program’s control panel.

The installation instructions were very clear and easy to follow, though as intimidating to me as all Movable Type installations usually are. I simply had to copy the right files into the right directories, change the permission on three cgi files, launch the installation program, and I was ready to go. That was it. It certainly bodes well for when the full featured MTBlacklist is ready.

I went into my computer and tried throwing some of the prohibited domain names or phrases at my blog as fake comment spam. MTBlacklist caught it and calmly denied me. The “attacks” were logged on an easy to access and easy to read blacklist activity readout. The ability to add new spam sites has not been taken away. I have yet to encounter any drain on my resources or other problems.

As I upgraded to Movable Type 3.0 early, I lost the protection MTBlacklist 1.6 had to offer. Now that I’m back on a feature-reduced version, I can’t see what features have been reduced. Even as an emergency release, I feel far less naked to comment spam than I did a couple of days ago, and I will be an enthusiastic supporter of the official blacklist release when it comes out.

My hat goes off to Jay Allen for producing what is clearly the most important plugin to the Movable Type program.


Sixapart.Org Held By Cybersquatter!

Heh! Never have I seen a cybersquatter asking such a ludicrously low price for his or her domain. Worth a chuckle, as long as it lasts.

(And, if Ben and Mena buy out this guy, the text of the page was as follows):

This is my first attempt at domain squatting, so please forgive me if I don’t quite get this right. But Benjamin and Mena Trott can have this domain for — pinky to mouth

ONE SIGNED COPY OF ESSENTIAL BLOGGING!

You probably wanted sixapart.com. Please update your bookmarks.

Brian McGroarty

Neat!


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