Alexander The Great

March 2, 2009

Coastalcontacts.com Scam

Filed under: spam — alexanderthegreatest @ 6:43 pm

These people left debris on my car in a rainstorm.  The garbage ( a cardboard flyer ) is adhering to my windshield.  I was just hung up on calling to complain.  Naturally, there was no phone number on the garbage left on my car, simply a web site and instructions to order high priced glasses ( which I don’t wear ) from dishonest people.

Is it legal to dump garbage on another person’s car?

April 10, 2008

Spam Words

Filed under: Software,spam — alexanderthegreatest @ 8:24 am
Tags: , , , ,

Many of my readers know by this point that I have an aversion to spam.  Add to that a strange sense of humor, and a little bit of sadness at the way the internet has been colonized by corporations – even to the point that companies we all pay for access to the internet want to charge extra fees for using particular sites, see Comcast – and we have Alexander the Great.

I’ve been thinking about moving my blog from Word Press to a self hosted ASP.NET server.  There are several reasons to do this, but many of them come down to the fact that I pay the mortgage with my job as a .NET programmer.  Version 3.5 is out in production, and I haven’t had much hands on experience with LINQ yet.  My own blog system will take some work, but it will also give me a chance to experiment with a lot of new concepts and make myself more valuable in the market.  But I digress, the real problem, in my mind anyway, is to create a spam filter that’s anywhere near as good as Akismet, which comes built in to WP.  I publish any comment that makes it past the spam filter (I believe in free speech), so I need my own,k and it has to be good.

I’m thinking the easiest way to do this is a rules based approach.  I can have a list of prohibited words, and give each of them a point value, then add up all the points for violations.  I’ve been thinking about which words to ban?

That’s what I’ve got so far.  This isn’t a terribly well planned post, really more of a brainstorm.  I would love to invite readers to share their thoughts on the matter, and, ultimately, I plan to open source what I come up with.  I firmly believe that ASP.NET is a better platform in most ways than PHP, but, sadly, there’s far less open code available for it.  A problem to be solved!

Here are some links to different spam research, in case anybody else is interested in tackling the problem.  Even if it’s already been done before, I think this is a valuable learning experience.  Like a muscle, the brain works best when it works often.

March 25, 2008

Stupidness and Gas Prices

Filed under: Modern Life,spam — alexanderthegreatest @ 10:02 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

I got this email yesterday. It was probably written by an Exxon competitor. I have no problem with that – but please don’t try to hide things from us.

Thing is, if everybody stops buying gas from the #1 distributor, that would mean suddenly there’s more demand and less supply all being channeled to the other gas companies. Everyone who used to buy Exxon going to Shell instead means Shell raises their rates. And probably winds up buying gasoline from Exxon to keep up with the demand spike.

If who writes this sends it to 30 people who all send it to 10, a lot of people are going to get the same email from several friends. Six degrees of separation and all that. You and I might both send this to the same person, but that doesn’t make that person count twice.

Friends, the only way gas prices will ever come down for more than a few days is if demand falls compared to supply. Magical wishful thinking won’t do it. Neither will Enron style accounting games, using numbers to pretend something is happening when it’s not. This is a distraction from actually doing anything to improve the situation!

THIS IS NOT THE ‘DON’T BUY’ GAS FOR ONE DAY, BUT IT WILL SHOW YOU HOW WE
CAN GET GAS BACK DOWN TO $1.30 PER GALLON.

This was sent by a retired Coca Cola executive. It came from one of his
engineer buddies who retired from Halliburton. If you are tired of the gas
prices going up AND they will continue to rise this summer, take time to
read this please.

Phillip Hollsworth offered this good idea. This makes MUCH MORE SENSE than
the “don’t buy gas on a certain day” campaign that was going around last
April or May! It’s worth your consideration. Join the resistance!!!!

I hear we are going to hit close to $ 4.00 a gallon by next summer and it
might go higher!! Want gasoline prices to come down?

We need to take some intelligent, united action. The oil companies just
laughed at that because they knew we wouldn’t continue to “hurt” ourselves
by refusing to buy gas .

It was more of an inconvenience to us than it was a problem for them. BUT,
whoever thought of this idea, has come up with a plan that can Really work.
Please read on and join with us!

By now you’re probably thinking gasoline priced at about $2.00 is super
cheap. Me too! It is currently $3.49 for regular unleaded in my town,
Seattle.

Now that the oil companies and the OPEC nations have conditioned us to
think that the cost of a gallon of gas is CHEAP at $1.50 – $1.75, we need to
take aggressive action to teach them that BUYERS control the
marketplace…not sellers.

With the price of gasoline going up more each day, we consumers need to
take action.

The only way we are going to see the price of gas come down is if we hit
someone in the pocketbook by not purchasing their gas! And, we can do that
WITHOUT hurting ourselves.

How? Since we all rely on our cars, we can’t just stop buying gas.

But we CAN have an impact on gas prices if we all act together to force a
price war.

Here’s the idea: For the rest of this year, DON’T purchase ANY gasoline
from the two biggest companies (which now are one), EXXON and MOBIL.

If they are not selling any gas, they will be inclined to reduce their
prices. If they reduce their prices, the other companies will have to
follow suit.

But to have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of Exxon and
Mobil gas buyers. It’s really simple to do! Now, don’t wimp out on me at
this point…keep reading and I’ll explain how simple it is to reach
millions of people!!

I am sending this note to 30 people. If each of us send it to at least ten
more (30 x 10 = 300) … and those 300 send it to at least ten more (300 x
10 = 3,000)… and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth group of
people, we will have reached over THREE MILLION consumer. If those three
million get excited and pass this on to ten friends each, then 30 million
people will have been contacted!

If it goes one level further, you guessed it….. THREE HUNDRED MILLION
PEOPLE!!!

Again, all you have to do is send this to 10 people. That’s all!

(If you don’t understand how we can reach 300 million and all you have to
do is send this to 10 people…. Well, let’s face it, you just aren’t a
mathematician. But I am . so trust me on this one.

How long would all that take? If each of us sends this e-mail out to ten
more people within one day of receipt, all 300 MILLION people could
conceivably be contacted within the next 8 days!!!

I’ll bet you didn’t think you and I had that much potential, did you!
Acting together we can make a difference.

If this makes sense to you, please pass this message on. I suggest that we
not buy from EXXON/MOBIL UNTIL THEY LOWER THEIR PRICES TO THE $2.00 RANGE
AND KEEP THEM DOWN. THIS CAN REALLY WORK.

Keep it going

Is it just me, or do others find it funny that the author writes things like “I need gas as badly as junkies need crack, and that means I should get to set the price!” Typical entitled thinking, almost certainly hatched by a Republican.

March 13, 2008

Stumble Upon a DP Spammer

Filed under: spam — alexanderthegreatest @ 9:56 pm
Tags: , , ,

Digital Pointless is a cesse pool, but if you have a wet suit you can dive right in. Yeah, it’s filled with urine drinking monsters, but some of them look funny. It can be an interesting and illuminating journey through the bowels of the web. (I would recommend you to defend yourself with marijuanna, my dear reader, lest you become angry at the filth you see. The point is to spread awareness – anger by itself helps nobody.)

One thing that becomes clear right away is the spammers and scammers all have an angle to push. It’s a lot like prison. Virtually all of them make money through the web – in fairness it’s only the most prolific who use underhanded methods, but these are who stand out most. Because most of these schemes demand a sucker (it’s ironic that some are sheerly for the benefit of search engines and PageRank), web traffic is of the utmost importance.

Enter Stumble Upon. She’s the pretty girl at the party, but she has a reputation as being easy. 5 million users with diverse interests, and an efficient method of showing them things they might like means that a fun site is also a spammer’s dream. It’s pretty often I find someone on DP begging to trade Stumbles. Here’s how I deal with it

  1. Copy the message the spammer posted asking to trade Stumbles – a violation of the terms of service.
  2. Visit their site (ideally the page they’re “campaigning”) and give it a thumbs down.
  3. Review the page, and type SPAM, along with a link to the offending message. Beneath that, paste the message they posted into a <blockquote> tag.

Why? Spammers are invading Stumble Upon and other social networks to make a profit. The only way to make them stop polluting the waters, hurting the system for the rest of us is to remove the profitability. And to do that, we must expose their spam campaigns for what they are – give fellow users the full evidence, and let them reach their own conclusions.

When this happens on a large scale, Stumble Upon will stop being attractive to spammers, but still allow people to find quality information and entertainment on the web.

For fun, here are some other anti spammers

Now forward this to 800 of your friends in the next 32 seconds, or I’ll steal your underwear.

January 18, 2008

Conservatipedia (SPAM Report)

Filed under: spam — alexanderthegreatest @ 2:15 pm
Tags: , , ,

The author of Conservatipedia, in a comment on an earlier post of mine, asked why I considered his tactics spam.  In laughing about his paranoia surrounding Aladdin, bizarre ideas about night lights turning children gay, God preventing atheists from having children, and other nonsense.

Back to the question, though.  Chris Fraser, Hailing from Las Vegas, Nevada (at least so says his profile as wm009), the man actively trades Stumbles and participates in other, equally and occasionally more shady tactics as Stallion of Digital Point. Let’s take a look – his latest post is in a thread in the freebies section titled “2:100 stumbles,Let go!!” (errors original). The thread opens

Stumble
http://www.plrprostore.com and http://www.freearticalepro.com/Artic…our-Blog/24466

I will stumble all yours as autotech123,Thanks

And, as of this writing, concludes with

Stumbled as wm009

link (to http://www.conservatipedia.com/2008/01/night-lights-turn-children-gay.html)
link (to http://www.lifefitnesshealth.com/archives/fear-of-failure/)

This IS Spam!

Our hero Stallion or wm009 or Mr Fraser is violating the terms he agreed to at both Stumble Upon and Digital Point. The traffic gleaned by this traffic lines his pocket via the always tasteful abortion counter ad.

What others are saying

A site regrettably titled God Is For Suckers threw Conservatipedia to the lions. Dan Price has covered the story. Andrew Sullivan said “truth isn’t always truthiness”.

Fritzy says, to the question of whether or not Mr Fraser is having a joke

I’d like to posit a third possibility–that this guy is an attention whore with a sadistic streak. I’m no psychologist, but after having read this non-sense, I see just as much implied contempt for his assumed audience (weirdo fringe Christian Taliban) as I do for his expressed opponents (dirty liberals, godless heathens, et al.)

I could be projecting, or this guy could really be that frighteningly stupid. What do Gifsters who have visited other posts on his site think? I refuse to go to his site to sludge through another post as I do not have the where with all, nor the desire to provide him with a return visitor.

So, Is It Satire?

Chris has this to say

This site is not a satire
It must be hard for seculars to handle the fact that there are real people out there that follow God’s words and live by it. They prefer to live in their of mind numbing MTV shows like Pimp My Ride and Sweet 16, instead of a nice relaxing evening reading over the Bible.

The question apparently remains unanswered. As with the blog itself, there are what could be weak attempts at humor in this response. And the mystery of how a person could be stupid enough to believe what’s on Conservatipedia could possibly figure out how to use the internet?

January 11, 2008

Conservatipedia – A Spammer, Cheat, and Idiot

Filed under: Modern Life,spam,Terrorism — alexanderthegreatest @ 6:58 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Conservatipedia is a web site that proves its possible to consistantly produce lower quality drivel than Wikipedia. Like most spam, it’s a Google BlogSpot splog. (Splog = spam blog) What’s unusual about this particular site is that the paranoid delusionals seem to have found their way onto the internet. Consider this quote, whining about Disney’s cartoon, Aladdin

Alababistan is a fictional city in the Middle East. The movie tries to show how “great” the Middle East is and how “happy” Muslims live. They never seemed to showcase masked men running around with AK47’s shooting little girls that are trying to goto school.

Even the patently ignorant would admit the movie takes place before the AK-47 (a Russian weapon) was invented. Here’s another bit of schizophrenia spilling into the blogosphere

The Genie in the Bottle
No it’s not Christina Aguilera, but a metaphor of the Islamic belief of suicide bombing infidels. The Genie in the bottle will grant three wishes to that person that gives it a rub. The idea that there are virgins waiting in heaven after you blow yourself up, is the same false belief of a Genie in a bottle granting a wish. All this movie did was have children running around rubbing bottles and learning how to be suicide bombers.

The site boasts 2 RSS subscribers. It’s “marketed” (ie spammed) by cheating Stumble Upon using Digital Point (banned from Stumble Upon) to recruit fellow spammers. The entire thread is in violation of SU’s terms of service, and has been reported.

Like many Republicans, the owner of this site is a hypocrite. This purveyor of spam actually has the text “Spam will not be tolerated.” on his side bar.

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