Now this is just insulting

Below is a screenshot of a bit of comment spam that WP caught for me this morning.

This is just insulting!  Cooking video?!  Are they even trying?!  I mean Regarding Fanfic, I’m fairly certain, doesn’t contain anything that any properly written algorithm should decide is about cooking.

I mean, come on people!  If you’re going to run a scam, you’ve got to try harder!  Just a little more effort, just a little more, and that might have just about looked like a legitimate comment … to someone who wasn’t paying attention, maybe, but still.  But, no, of course not.  They have to go talking about cooking.  I don’t talk about cooking, so red flag number one.  Oh look, it’s on my fanfic policy page … duh.

I hope that computers reach the point they’re at in Jeph JacquesQuestionable Content comic soon, simply because I’d love to think that no self-respecting sentient machine would allow itself to send such insultingly undisguised nonsense.

stupid spam

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Indie Book Buffet

Well, today is the first of August.  So the first issue of the Indie Book Buffet is out.  Also their contest is open for all.

Just downloaded the eZine myself, so we’ll see what it’s like.  As one might notice from the cover, I’m in it this month.  Also I’ve contributed to the contest for this month.

In other news the ABCs thing will resume later today.  Sorry for the lapse, but I was rather ill.  Hard to concentrate when you feel like you’ve some terrible plague.

A little surreal

So my book is still selling well.  Which is weird.  Bestsellers list for a week, even hit #1 in Canada for a time.

And now I get a notification (well, yesterday afternoon, but I was busy and nowhere near anything I can type sensibly on) that I’ve reached 100 followers on this blog!

I expected to sell all of four copies that weren’t to my own mother.  I expected that this blog would sink to the bottom of the blogosphere with (I’m NOT going to see if that’s a real site, because I might discover it’s a popular one and then I will have to cry) and have exactly no readers (hey, I don’t read my own blog – I wrote it, I know what it says!).

It’s very surreal for a shy person who has forever spent their life with never more than a handful of close friends and a number of cordial acquaintances to have an hundred (more if you count Facebook page likes, Twitter followers, Tublr … whatever you do on Tumblr, etc.) people interested in what one has got to say.

I’m not sure what I normal for people to say in this situation, but I’ve never much cared about that.  I’m going to go with, simply, thank you.

Sharing some inspired images

Yes, I know, this is more of a Facebook thing.  Deal is, I really hate Facebook, so I visit as little as I can.  Humour me, please?  (And before anyone suggests I could’ve simply twitted these, please bear in mind that it took me over 5 minutes to find the “Post new twit” button, I’m not sure I’m up to the challenge of finding the “Post images” button on Twitter)

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Could someone, please, explain Pinterest to me?!

Not really, so much, the how to use it.  That, after several attempts I almost think I sort of might eventually understand on my own.  Rather, why Pinterest?!

What is the fascination with that site?

Pretty pictures?  I can sort of dig that.  I like looking at pretty pictures.  I’ve spent many an hour on Google Image Search, Creative Commons Search, and similar.  What’s so special about Pinterest?

Tumblr is a bit easier to make sense of — which is a scary thing to say:  Tumblr isn’t the most intuitive site I’ve ever used.

I just made another attempt to explore Pinterest and try to make some sort of sense of it.  Some effort to understand the appeal, the purpose, the meaning of this site.  I’ve failed.  Therefore, I ask you, my readers.  Is there some purpose in Pinterest’s existence?

Twitter I can almost fathom, I mean it’s a public IM.  Why a public IM?  No clue, but … you know … some people juggle geese.

Facebook sort of makes sense, and given some of its design eccentricities aren’t known to many of its users it’s not too hard to dig.  On paper Facebook I can see how it’d appeal to some people.  My main beef with it is almost entirely how it’s coded, laid out, and designed.

MySpace … yeah, okay, who cares, right?

But not Pinterest.  No, this one is an enigma.

Spammers are nuts

Really, why post spam comments on a blog?

I’ve seriously considered making a section just to share the things Akismet and the fact that my comments area is moderated catches.

Frankly, the spammers, email or otherwise, are getting just plain insulting. They’re not even trying to make this stuff look like sensible English or remotely reputable … or anything really. It distinctly saddens me to think that there’re people out there who could somehow fall for this stuff, but more than that it upsets me that they’re trying so hard to get around and through anti-spam filters that it just looks plain stupid.

Work the con, guys. The old Nigerian Finance Minister emails of the late nineties is a good example. You could almost believe it. Now? Auto-comments by bots that are utter and complete nonsense. What is the world coming to these days? Where’s the professional pride? Where’s the artistry of the good short or long con? Have we passed and forever lost the days of Spider Robinson‘s Professor and the lot and ilk upon which he was based?

Not that I want to be conned, let’s not be absurd. I’m just insulted at the genuine lack of effort and thought. The clumsiness and … mass production of it all. Even cons aren’t artisans anymore. It’s no longer a custom, handmade scenario, oh no, just the output of a MegaHAL if there was any effort at all instead of just a crawlerbot with a pre-generated message for dumping into any code it finds that might be a forum post or comments section of a site which is only so much gibberish so it doesn’t have too many keywords too close togethe as to trip the security software. Pathetic.

Ah well, C’est la vie.

Still, while it’s insulting to the intelligence of most of us, at least it means the days of the effective widespread con ought to be coming to a close. Sooner or later even the gullible (not the most gullible, of course, if you make something foolproof they’ll just make a bigger fool, as they say) will fall for this stuff and it will become a profession that shall die of its own rot, thus protecting the populous at large from such unscrupulous fellows until such time as the original artistry of it shall be rediscovered, or reinvented in the fullness of time.

And now I think of it, I shan’t ugly up even a page all its own to any such idiotic nonsense. The spam comments will simply be relegated to the oblivion of the Empty SPAM button.