Quick, a computer exorcist!

The fact that I find this irrationally funny is worrisome. Don’t worry; I already do.
Someone’s computer (Rigo’s) goes berserk and gives darobin concerns. So, this made me laugh out loud:

2012-09-25T10:59:04Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:06Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:10Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:11Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:15Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:17Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:19Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:21Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:24Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:25Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:27Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:29Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:31Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:33Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:35Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:37Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:40Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:41Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:43Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:45Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:47Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:49Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:52Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:53Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:55Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:57Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T10:59:59Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T11:00:01Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T11:00:03Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T11:00:05Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T11:00:07Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T11:00:08Z <darobin> mmmmm WTF?
2012-09-25T11:00:09Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T11:00:11Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T11:00:13Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T11:00:15Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T11:00:17Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T11:00:19Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T11:00:20Z <darobin> rigo?
2012-09-25T11:00:21Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T11:00:23Z <rigo>
2012-09-25T11:58:24Z -!- rigo [rigo@] has quit [Excess Flood]

Chatting with a bot

We use several IRC bots at work, and this is what happens when sometimes they interrupt a conversation, out of the blue (we, humans, usually invoke them with triggers, none of which I knew I typed). This bit has only my side of the conversation, and I chose to leave out all context as it entertains me better this way:

2012-07-27T15:02:23Z <koalie> so I'll do it by hand
2012-07-27T15:02:23Z  * Zakim koalie, you typed too many words without
commas; I suspect you forgot to start with 'to ...'
2012-07-27T15:02:40Z <koalie> ok, Zakim
2012-07-27T15:02:57Z <koalie> to ... have it with both, so I'll do it by hand
2012-07-27T15:02:57Z  * Zakim sees koalie on the speaker queue
2012-07-27T15:03:05Z <koalie> silly bot
2012-07-27T15:03:10Z <koalie> ack me
2012-07-27T15:03:10Z <Zakim> koalie, you wanted to ... have it with both,
so I'll do it by 

Notes on handling identi.ca group spam accounts

As admin for the identi.ca group Friends of W3C, I spent several hours today blocking spam member accounts. Because I could, thanks to the US Thanksgiving holiday which blesses us with a couple quiet days.

A few notes:

  • It isn’t easy a task. It has to be done from the members page, one at a time, by clicking ‘Block’ and confirm the action in the next page. And it’s really boring.
  • Homepage links that contain ‘buy’, ‘cheap’, ‘best’, ‘reviews’, ‘price’ are a sure sign of a spam account. Ah, and ‘forex’ too.
  • Also, ‘deals’ especially when that follows ‘blackfriday’ in the URI. But this is seasonal spamming.
  • Homepage links which end in ‘sitemap.xml’ and ‘sitemap.php’ all turned out to belong to spam accounts.
  • Homepage links which contained ‘sexy’ turned out to be pretty disappointing. I AM KIDDING, I didn’t look.
  • Those which Bio contains ‘SEO’ most often are spam accounts. Same for Bio that contains ‘increase your’. And ‘toys’; you get the idea.
  • Some trends: identifying ‘Thailand’ as location, promotional links around SLR cameras, watches, TVs. Vaccum cleaners too.
  • While most of spam accounts show the default avatar, a small number of them do have an avatar. Most likely, an image depicting landmarks in Thailand. Or Thai masks. Or Thai temples. After a while I got the feeling they were familiar; they use a very limited pool of images. That’s why.
  • I have nothing against Thailand.
  • Is it a coincidence that some spam accounts have a Bio written in Thai? I’m asking.
  • I was fooled. Nickname ‘cutecat’, avatar of the most adorable sleepy kitteh, Bio ‘I like snow and cats’. A couple inconspicuous micro-blog entries and bam! one that points to an obscure promotional website. Dated a year ago. Blocked.
  • I reached the awkward series of those accounts which joined en masse and which homepage links contained NSFW words. They made me miss the SLRs, watches, shoes and TVs links! I looked at none. Honest.
  • There was a ‘JustinBieberPhotos’ account. Didn’t take the bait!

I’ve been at it more then 3 hours and blocked 830 spam member accounts. I have more than twice that number to go over still. I’m done for now. Next time I’ll do it for a half-hour maybe, and I’ll do it once a week. Till we’re rid of our historical spam member accounts.

These days we get a dozen new spam accounts joining that group. I hope the folks at StatusNet would look for patterns and block them as soon as the accounts are created.

How to check a CVS repo for integrity

Here’s a funny exchange I just read in one of our IRC work channels. I didn’t ask their permission to blog their little exchange, so I’ve anonymised the nicknames of my colleagues.

2010-10-05T21:00:13Z <joe> Anyone know a convenient way to
 check a CVS repository for integrity?
2010-10-05T21:03:49Z <jane> give it $20 in change for a $10
 and see if it takes the money or returns it?