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Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

Hey, Google? What are you doing about this?

Three out of every four unique Blogspot.com URLs that appeared in the top 50 results for commercial queries were spam, the study said. Blogspot is the hosting site for Google’s blogging service. Blogs created for marketing purposes are sometimes referred to as “splogs.”

Right now, hauntedvampire.com is being hammered by a comment spammer who is using nothing but blogspot.com URLs. Hundreds and hundreds of them, all unique, all following the same pattern (spamproduct-randomstring.blogspot.com), and the bots are all coming from a huge range of IP addresses, so I can’t efficiently ban access by IP blocks.

Oh, it’s all being caught by our spam trap, but still – it’s annoying as hell, and frustrating to see THE SAME HOST again and again and again. I expect to see spam on .info sites (And as an aside: can we just shitcan the entire .info top-level domain now? Please? Has anyone ever seen a valid .info site? The signal to noise ratio in this TLD is rapidly approaching zero.), and .edu domains frequently have ancient or understaffed subsystems just crying out to be exploited, but Google? Google’s got the cash and the brainpower to do this right, and well… they aren’t.

It’s almost impossible to reach Blogspot.com abuse, and it is impossible to report more than one splog at a time. Given that Blogger’s new AJAX facade has also made it a more attractive delivery platform for malware exploits, you’d think that Google would want to make it easier to contact abuse. But no – you have to search creatively to even find the link to their crappy ‘report abuse’ form. (Here’s a hint: you’ll have better luck using Google to perform a site-specific search on help.blogger.com instead of using the actual Blogger knowledge base.)

Now that’s customer service.

You’d also think that a company like Google would be able to discern the patterns in these splogs, and implement some proactive measures. Oh, wait! That’s right! They make money from this too, since they’re the ones selling the ad space in the first place.

Mind you, Google isn’t alone in this – AOL and Netscape’s free pages are probably equally polluted, and their abuse team is just as impossible to contact. (Surprisingly, Tripod and GeoCities are the most responsive, and easiest to contact.) But I guess I’ve come to expect a little more from Google…

Don’t be evil, right? Behold, the Invisible Hand: producing varying values of ‘evil’ since 9 March 1776.

[via /., of course…]

Things that make you go ‘Hmmmm’, part #5,252,179

Wednesday, October 12th, 2005

Does anyone else find it ironic that blogger.com’s built-in spellchecker doesn’t recognize the word ‘blog’ from the get-go? Oh – it doesn’t like ‘blogger’, either:

'Blocker'?

Glad it’s got that “Learn” button, aren’t you?

bollocks

Saturday, August 27th, 2005

More template problems… Grrr… Tried resizing the images – bzzzt. Wrong answer. Oh well; I’ll address as time allows.

Template tweaks…

Wednesday, May 11th, 2005

Comments are now inline – click on the comments to see them in context instead of on a separate page… It didn’t entirely go according to Hoyles (I tried to get fancy – shoulda known better…), but this hack gave me all the info I needed.

Mystery solved

Saturday, April 9th, 2005

Evidently, if an image is too wide, it screws up the templates… The JPEG of Martin Luther King, Jr’s assassination that I linked to was too big for the template. Adding border=”0″ width=”250″ to the img tag fixed it. FYI.

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No, really… WTF has happened to my template?

Friday, April 8th, 2005

Okay, I’ve applied a bunch of default templates to this blog, and I’m still seeing things farged up… I have a hunch it’s the stupid way blogger formats centered images.

Again, I’m left with: Arrrggghhh!!!

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WTF has happened to my template?

Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

Have I changed it? No… Yet all of a sudden, my sidebar is displaying down below my posts – but when I click on the absolute URL under ‘recent posts’, it displays properly…

Arrrggghhh!!!

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