Archive for the 'General' Category

referrer spam, 2006 style

Sunday, April 23rd, 2006

I’ve been seeing this piece of work in my log files recently…

1)Spammer is working around the fact that is “buy-cheap” site could be blocked, so that’s why he’s using the legitimate wizards.com site for the redirect.

2)Spammer is taking advantage of the fact that Wizards.com is allowing outside visitors to the leaving.asp page. In a perfect, logical world, the only visitors going to the leaving.asp page should be visitors who are originating from the wizards.com domain.

3)Check out the “Widows NT” user agent.

4)I thought that I have seen something not too long ago about this phenomena, but I can’t seem to find anything related to this tonight…

IP: 82.146.41.57
[a page on this blog]
Http Code: 200 Date: Apr 23 21:43:14 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 0
Referer: http://www.wizards.com/leaving.asp?url=http://BUY-CHEAP-ADIPEX-ONLINE-order.info
Agent: User-Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.01; Widows NT)

[tags]site logs, referrer, spamming [/tags]

The circle of life

Sunday, April 23rd, 2006

Hospital visits to sick relatives, sea monkey hatchlings, talking to friends I haven’t heard from in years and oh my goodness, it’s already late April…

Google Update for 4/18/06

Tuesday, April 18th, 2006

Two Google related items for today…

1) I don’t get the hue and cry surrounding the finding that the Adsense related Google Mediapartners bot is now apparenly indexing for the Google Main Index. See, the thing is that it is hurting folks who thought they were all clever and serving different content to the Mediapartners bot and the Main Index bot, and they are getting smacked with dupe content penalties.

As for the briefly mentioned idea that maybe advertising on Adsense boosts up Google rankings for the URLs… well, it used to at least. Back in late 04/early 05 I was seeing a boost in the number of links listed for a domain in the Google Main Index. What I noticed is that some of the links in the Google Main Index were MFA sites which displayed the ads for the domain.

2) Apparently PDFs of HTML content is not apparently considered dupe content. Not that I would ever offer a copy of content via PDF.

Update 04/23/06: Matt Cutts posts an explanation about the different googlebots, googlebot caching information and Google’s attempts at saving bandwidth. His one statement of “Just as always, participating in AdSense or being in our blogsearch doesn’t get you any “extra” crawling (or ranking) in our web index whatsoever”. Is making me curious though and I commented as such in his entry.

[tags]Google, Googlebot, Webmaster, AdSense [/tags]

Hot Cross Buns

Sunday, April 16th, 2006

This Easter Bunny dude is pretty slick, he not only leaves two baskets for my daughter and I, but he also left a few Easter eggs to find and a Sea Monkey kit.

Also, when shopping for some last minute items last night, we found some hot cross buns in the bakery, which reminded me of the nursery rhyme.

Hot Cross Buns
Hot Cross Buns
One a penny, two a penny
Hot Cross Buns

meta: Ask.com

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

cleverhack results


but only a miniscule percentage of visitors ever come from that search engine.

[tags]Search engines, SERPS [/tags]

Google Algorithm and site traffic

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Over at WebmasterWorld they’re discussing whether Google incorporates traffic patterns into their results algorithm.

There’s a bit of speculation (say it ain’t so) about the subject, but the question of just exactly how Google uses the Google Toolbar information collects is intriguing. What about returning visitors? Also, another question asked is whether traffic influences Googlebot visitation frequency… on cleverhack, I see Googlebot everyday (and also the Google mediapartners bot which I believe is because of my AdSense ads) and nearly all (like 98% or some such) of my search engine traffic is from Google.

[tags]Google, Google Toolbar, Web page ranking, SERPS [/tags]

information overload

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Doc Searls I still read plenty of blogs. What’s different is that I no longer subscribe to specific blogs. Rather, I subscribe to subjects.

I’ve been pondering this idea of “there’s so much information out there, how do I find, organize and rank it in order of accuracy, importance and authority to meet MY needs”.

Janice Kucher-Patenaude

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Janice Kucher-Patenaude, longtime Music Department teacher at Montville Township High School, passed away on Thursday, April 13th, 2006 after a long illness. Her husband and daughter survive her.
K-P was one of those unique once-in-a-lifetime personalities and for those of us who were lucky enough to know her during our high school careers, a profound influence. K-P taught us how to stage a good musical, how to breathe properly while in chorus and most importantly, how to develop our personal strengths (even if it was being the chorus attendance taker during senior year). To this day, I still sing along to the Pirates of Penzance.
Thanks, K-P.

A memorial service is planned for Saturday, April 22nd, 2006 at 2pm at the United Methodist Church of New Providence in New Providence, NJ. A benefit concert to celebrate her life will be held Saturday, May 13th, 2006 at 8pm at Drew University in Madison, NJ.

Update: 04/17/06: There’s a great number of folks finding this entry from the search engines. Feel free to comment, and I’ll archive this entry and your comments for the future. Also, if anyone sees an official newspaper obituary, I’d appreciate a link sent to my blog@cleverhack.com address.

Update 2: More details at the Alumni site

Fellow students/alums blogging remembrances:

The other Joy from 1992 blogs

A friend

trimMail gets rebuked

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

When I read this blog entry by trimMail, I thought something was a bit amiss, (I mean besides the fact some email delivery company was complaining about the problems with Yahoo mailservers).
As it turns out, the discussion on Slashdot has been pretty enlightening. My one takeaway is the comment about Yahoo’s use of greylisting, which from what I know about Yahoo delivery, sounds like it’s on target. Basically, if you act like a probe (like the trimMail mailserver tool monitoring port 25), you’ll get greylisted while if you act like a legitimate MTA and resend later, you shouldn’t have problems.

Target.com being sued over lack of image alt tags

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

Via Search Engine Journal

Target.com is being sued by the National Federation of the Blind and a college student for some alleged usability issues with the target.com Web site.

Among the problems:

• Lack of alt text [for images]

• Image maps that neither have alt text or a functional equivalent on the page

• requirement for a mouse to perform various functions on the site
The last part is interesting as old design of the target.com Web site only used non-alt-attributed image submit buttons (as many of us who design do) but they also required the submission of x,y coordinates to execute the form submission. The issue is that a keyboard only user could not submit a form (like, say from hitting the Enter key).

Apparently the form button issue has been fixed, but the lawsuit is still being pursued.

More info:Webstandards.org write up on the case

[tags]Web design, SEO, usability [/tags]

Boot Camp, some can’t go home again

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

While I haven’t blogged at all about Apple’s Boot Camp - while dual booting OS X and Windows XP is a cool idea, I can’t dual boot and yet another “me too” post isn’t going to help adoption anyway, I do have a nit to pick with the problems that some users are having. Namely, the idea that some people would be surprised to have problems with a program that partitions a hard drive.
Unfortunately, I learned the lesson to be very, very careful when I was first playing around with Red Hat 6.1 and Windows 98 back in the day. While a few advised me that I could partition and install using simple directions and dual boot just fine, I was paranoid enough to pony up for System Commander 2000 mainly because I heard that it worked.

The moral of the story? I don’t trust anything that partitions my hard drive since I have no idea how it will boot later. Oh, and I back up my data *before* partitioning.

Update: 04/15/06 - Triple Booting with OS X, Windows and Linux
[tags]OS X, Boot Camp, Windows XP, Old School[/tags]

Quotes like this make me giggle like a schoolgirl

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

Walt Mossberg, the Wall Street Journal’s Technology Reporter wrote the following in his Annual PC Buying Guide article [subscription required] today:

I believe every mainstream consumer doing typical tasks should consider the Mac. Its operating system already contains most of the key features promised for Vista. However, the Mac doesn’t really need a buyer’s guide. It has only two consumer desktop models — the gorgeous iMac and the low-end Mac Mini.

With friends like these, who needs Microsoft? ;-)

[tags]Apple, OS X, The Wall Street Journal, Technology, trolling[/tags]