Vacation, pub night and getting back to work

I had a really great time in Europe (Spain and Britain) in the last couple of weeks. Now I’ve returned to the states, cleaned up my travel gear and I’m trying to convince my body to get over the jet-lag and prepare for getting back to work tomorrow.

The MusicBrainz Pub Night was a success, if I say so myself. We ended up settling on the third pub in the list: Old Thameside. At its peak we had 14 people present, which is a record for getting Brainzerz together in one room. I really enjoyed meeting people face-to-face, espousing the virtues of MusicBrainz and getting people fired up about contributing.

We had a great number of conversations throughout the evening, but we mainly avoided plotting grand new schemes that we wouldn’t have time to implement. We did talk quite a bit about the new non-profit, AdvancedRelationships and our perennial problem of reducing the number of open moderations. We all had a good laugh at the last one — no matter what we do, it seems that open moderations tends to hover around 4000-5000 open moderations.

I really hope that in the coming year we can tackle a number of the things are we’re hoping to work on, so that we can have another full fledged summit towards the end of next year.

Thanks to everyone who showed up to the pub night — it was a really fun evening!

Blog comments disabled

Sorry, but I’ve got better things to do with my time than continually delete spam comment runs from this blog (and the administrative UI doesn’t make it very easy to delete large numbers of comments). So, pending some effective method of protection against the spammers being found, I’ve disabled comments on this blog.

For now, if you want to discuss any of the entries here, you can use the mb-users mailing list. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Mopping Up the Pink Stuff

Over the last few days we’ve had something like 200 spam comments posted to this blog, so I’ve been forced to invest a few hours of my time deleting those comments, and trying to find a way to solve the problem in a more permanent, automated way in the future.

We’ve got some comment filtering in place now, which should mean that the spam comments at least only get seen by the blog admins (thus they don’t get spidered by Google et al, which is presumably the reason for spamming in the first place; and it also means that you, dear reader, aren’t bothered by them either).

The blog software does have provision for blocking by IP address, but like e-mail spam it tends to arrive not from one or two sources, but from a multitude of machines, so having a simple list of banned IPs is never likely to be practical. However I took the list of IP address seen in the last couple of runs of comment spamming, and cross-checked them against some well-known DNS blacklisting services, traditionally used to protect against e-mail spam. About half of the blog spamming IPs were listed in those blacklists, so if anyone happens to know of a MoveableType plugin which can do DNSBL lookups, please let me know!

Without going into any detail, I’ve taken a few other measures to protect against this problem; it shouldn’t have broken anything, but if it has, please let me know about that too ๐Ÿ™‚

Saturday Morning News

Wow, that’s a lame title.  I couldn’t think of anything better :-/  This is a general-purpose update as to what I’ve been doing of late, so no single title seemed appropriate, except “What Dave’s Been Doing Lately” (and I think the title I finally went with is more punchy).

Read on for general babble about what I’ve been doing lately, and a random thought about the best way of getting feedback about server development.

Continue reading “Saturday Morning News”

Blog spam attack

In the last 24 hours this blog has been attacked by nasty porn spammers. I’ve erased dozens of spam comments and trackbacks. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve turned off trackbacks for now ( ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ) and I will add comment captchas later today to try and stop this crap. Anyone have a good suggestion on how to manage trackback ping spam?

Nothing to see here, move along

I haven’t been doing much MusicBrainz stuff the last week besides finally getting my test server up and running .. I’ll explain with two words. Xbox. Halo. ‘Nuff said.

Some media blips I thought others might find interesting:

John Peel, a UK radio DJ luminary who has brought many a budding artist into the limelight through his “Peel Sessions”, has died of a heart attack at age 65. It is a sad day. Details.

Hilary Rosen, the former CEO of the RIAA has, in a Wired article, had some promising words to say about Lawrence Lessig and the Creative Commons license. Details.

That is all.