Twitter helps in catching a criminal!

Once again the power of Twitter and social software is helping in the area of law enforcement. This excellent article explains the series of events in great detail. A 15 year run of an activist spammer named “Mabus” has ended. Mabus sent out thousands of death threats through his reign of spamming has now been arrested.

Today the Montreal Police announced that an arrest has been made (in French here) in the “Mabus” case. It wouldn’t have happened but for Twitter. This post explains how.

Generating Captcha Security images

After reading this post from PlanetLotus during my lunch break about captcha and the other night I was messing around on my site, which is a WordPress site written in PHP, I wanted to see how captcha like spam protection would work in PHP.  There is a great article with source code over on a site called White Hat.  The article does a good job showing how its done and the code is very legible.  Of course this is in PHP but I think the concepts could easily be moved over to Java or another language.  It also shows a nice tip on redirecting an image url to the php file so it appears as a image in the HTML to the end user (if the source was ever looked at).

Akismet catches a lot of spam!

Ever since I started using the Akismet plugin for WordPress I rarely if ever get any spam. You can see from the chart below it has caught over 1,000 spam attempts.  I also use the math question on the comment form so bots can’t just submit the form – that has also helped out a lot.  The great thing about Akismet is it catches it when its a manual submission by some spammer.  I have however found about 5 comments that were legitimate in the spam bucket.  The chart below is generated by the Akismet Stats plugin in the WordPress dashboard.

Akismet is working like a charm!

Ok, I have to thank Chris Aniszczyk for the Akismet tip.  The plugin has already caught every single spam since I turned it on 3 days ago.

Blog spam is out of control!

Not sure where to begin with this one but I want to let my readers know the pain and suffering I go through each day.  If it wasn’t for the fact I have a WordPress application on my iPhone and marking comments as spam is as easy as a single click I think I would just kill the site.  I am now getting 5-20 spam posts a day on this site and I even have a basic spam control on the comment form.  I could log into the actual site each day and click the spam button on each of these but I like just doing it on my iPhone as soon as I see a comment.  The one thing I do not want is these people getting any hits or clicks from my site so deleting them as soon as possible is imperative.   I guess this is just “business as usual” as a site becomes more popular, I can’t imagine how bad this is for really popular sites!