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Month: January 2004

Personal: Feels like strange 48hours coming up…

Well, it feels like I’m going to have a very strange 48 hours in my life shortly. It started today really – I had quite a bit of work to do at the office, yet hardly managed to get a thing done: it didn’t help with my boss having to work from home because of the snow (and hence there was a higher than normal level of emails flying backwards and forwards). I felt knackered at the end of the day and was sooo glad he allowed us all to go home at 4.30pm to make sure we got home safely.

Personal: WTMS, Speed Dating and Birmingham

Well, last Friday I went to a “speed-dating” event held by When The Music Stops in Nottingham. For those of you how aren’t familiar with the concept of speed-dating, basically what happens is that you are are all given a number (no “Prisoner” references please 😉 ) and all the women sit down at numbered tables. Then the men work their way around the tables staying for around 5 minutes at each table (or “until the (background) music stops”): after each table you add the person’s name and number to a list and then tick if you find would like to be “friends” or if you think there is a “match”. Then after the event, you are either sent an SMS text message to your mobile/cell phone or an email listing any people that your matched as a match or a friend (ie you ticked them and they ticked you). I believe the whole concept started off several decades ago to help Jewish people find partners.

Blogging: Spam Attack

I’ve just had 72 spam comments submitted to this blog, but running the following query through phpMyAdmin:

DELETE FROM mt_comment WHERE comment_email=’’ OR comment_author=’viagra’ OR comment_ip=’′;

and then putting an IP block on 66.36.249.* and adding various checks to /lib/MT/App/ means that this idiot shouldn’t be able to easily spam me again.

Search Engines: No Index Sections?

A fellow blogger has suggested that a tag be introduced which would stop search engines such as Google from indexing certain sections of web pages. This would be extremely handy for all the blog comment spam which is currently going around (I’m personally using a combination of IP blocking [like Neil] and modification of /lib/MT/App/ to block certain words in submitted URLs), but instead of
>!-- SearchEngine: Begin Anonymous Comment --> / <!-- SearchEngine: End Anonymous Comment -->
I would recommend something a bit more generalised such as:
<!-- robots:noindex --> / &lt!-- /robots:noindex -->

To try and fit in with the already existing robots.txt and robots meta tag (it also could be extended to things like <!– robots:nofollow –> for sections of content).

This tag would be used to mark sections of web page content as being “not to index/search”: so if a spammer does managed to add their URL to a website, but the URL appears in between the &lt!– robots:noindex –> tag then the search engines will ignore the listing making the spam useless in regards to search engine placement/promotion.

However, there’s a number of drawbacks that I can see for this introduction to the search engine world: