Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, October 26, 2021

I haven’t done this in a long while, so what the heck. Here are the last ten music tracks to tick up on my iPod, set to shuffle/random play:

“Truth is Out of Style” - MC 900-Foot Jesus

“A Letter to the New York Post” - Public Enemy

“Sabotage” - Beastie Boys

“Somebody to Love” - Queen & George Michael

“Lullaby (extended mix)” - The Cure

“I’m Like a Bird” - Nelly Furtado

“Rock the Casbah” - The Clash

“Because the Night (live)” - Natalie Merchant

“Finest Worksong (Mutual drum horn mix)” - R.E.M.

“Dancing Queen” - ABBA

Quite the mix, huh? Nothing if not diverse. Feel free to share your random results from your computer/music player in the Feedback box below.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 10/26/2005 11:39:09 PM
Category: Pop Culture, iPod Random Tracks
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Everyone’s favorite Bay Area hipster has landed herself a cover story: Rachel* provided the Weekly Planet a story about five costume mavens in anticipation of Guavaween.

Just in case anyone was wondering just what the heck she was alluding to yesterday

She told me about it earlier today, and was pretty excited about it. As well she should be: Not only is it a cover byline, but it serves as a nice companion piece to her cover photo on last month’s tbt* Blog Issue. She’s got the alterna-freebie print news outlets pretty well covered (pardon the pun — or don’t).

Of course, there is the risk of over-exposure. But I’m sure Rachel* can flow with it.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 10/26/2005 11:14:51 PM
Category: Florida Livin', Publishing
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tricky track
It’s pretty much official: Trackback is getting spammed to death.

Around here, the only type of blogspam I get now is of the trackback variety, without exception. The traditional comment-form spam now appears to be passe, done in by all the efforts directed on that particular front.

I have found a fix: Trackback Validator plugin for WordPress. It’s based on an operating principle fundamental to the concept of trackbacking:

The idea behind the Validator, which is under development by students in the Rice University Computer Security Lab, is simple: Trackback URLs that point to pages that don’t link back to your blog are bogus. It’s an easy test to perform, and one that no current Trackback spammer is bothering to try to defeat; since we’ve started using this plugin on our personal WP blogs, our Trackback spam rate has dropped to zero.

To me, this is exactly what trackback is supposed to be, anyway: An alert that someone else bothered to link to a specific post that you wrote, and did so within the context of their own timely content. (Obviously, there’s some room for interpretation.) There’s no other reason to shoot out a trackback. In the world of blog linkage and feedback, there’s a clear delineation: Comments are free-standing, and trackbacks are teasers to extended referential material.

In any case, the Validator has been doing its job. I’ve had it installed for a week, and it’s stopped every illicit trackback that’s come through. The image above illustrates the action: Those “last 50 trackbacks” have come through in the last couple of days, and as you can see, all but three have been spam.

I’m not fooling myself that this is a permanent solution. At some point, spammers are going to figure out how to beat this; I can’t imagine it’d be that hard to scrape permalinks, post them to a site, and then send forth the trackback. But until that happens, this’ll do.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 10/26/2005 10:58:25 PM
Category: Bloggin'
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