football, a halloween picture and a rant

For some odd reason I just wan't inspired today. I fiddled around in Photoshop for several hours on and off and this is the only thing I actually saved. and I'm really not very happy with it. Ehhh, sometimes you have to know when to just throw in the towel.

I don't watch much football but today I saw a really great game. I was flipping channels and caught a good play at the start of the 3rd quarter in the Wisconsin-North Western game and stayed to watch the rest of the game. Wisconsin is ranked, 14 I think, and NWestern isn't but it was hard to tell from the quality of play. They were both great--at least the offense was. The score ended at 51-48 and the play was intense as both teams struggled to stay ahead. The score at the half was 17-10 in favor of Wisconsin so almost all the scoring was in the second half.

RANT SECTION I really, really find word verification on blogs to be annoying. You all know how it works...
When you see a picture like this one to the left, you type the letters into a box and if you do it right your comment posts and you go whistling on your way to the next blog. The pictures aren't readable by automated SPAM agents so they keep spam out of the posting area. So, what's my beef, you ask?

It's two fold. One, they make some of the pictures very difficult to read. Sometimes squeezing in as many as 10 letters and they intentionally use letters that are easy to mistake like 'q' and 'l'. Since the spammers can't "see" the picture at all, you don't need to make it hard to read--you just need enough letters--3 or 4--to keep the spammers from being able to jump over the protection with blind "guesses". You don't need a large number of letters. The 7 in this picture is overkill--even just 2 letters would have something like 650 combinations, adding a third letter puts that over 15,000 combinations. Far too many for the spammer's software to guess through. Two, it's not worth it to use the protection in the first place unless you get a huge volume of hits. I don't have word verification on my blog and I get maybe 5 spams in a bad month. Compare that to how much time I have to spend to post on sites with the verification. Deleting a few spams takes a lot less time than doing the word verification on every post I make on other blogs. Phooey!

RANT update: (8pm EST, Sunday) Carmi took word verification off of his blog and within 15 minutes he had two spam messages posted to his blog. I don't know why I don't get many, but it might not be true for most. So perhaps the word verification (annoying!) scheme is necessary.

Comments

mar said…
You have a good point here with word verification. My template from blog.de doesn't have the choice of not having an authorization code (they work with digits). I just wrote to them after reading your post in order to eliminate it from my blog, we'll see what happens...
Jean-Luc Picard said…
I agree; many times, I am unable to read the letters. Why not just print them clearly.

Michele sent me here.
doug said…
Morning Ute - thanks for the visit! Sorry about the verifications thing........ as to the "balding" issue at hand here...... if you run your fingers over your head, really feel the scalp some you will have a good idea of what you will look like without hair.........and it's usually very good actually!
In my case it is because I am thinning way too much directly on top, and didn't wish to go the "Monks" route anymore if I kept my hair longer, so I started shaving it down, usually just a military style buzz cut actually but on occasion I do get out a razor and go "clean" and don't even think about what it looks like, I just know it looks better (to me anyway!) than when the 'before' pics were looking in the hair post! LOL!
Teresa said…
Hmmm... I think if you write the letters neatly, it'd be easier to write programs to read it. But as a visually challenged individual, I admit it's annoying and have turned away from some sites because of it.

As for the football... a high scoring game is less boring, I'd say. But someone isn't playing very well if you are allowing that many points. It's possible for a team to have a few exceptional plays that you can't be playing all that well if you are allowing your opponent to score 7 or 8 TDs! At least in this case they both were equally challenged (and gifted, I'm sure).
Yaeli said…
I agree with you my friend! I got a 10 letter verfication the other day that had 4 X's in it!!! How stoopid!
:o)
magz said…
I was going to say something cunning and cute, but got distracted by Captain Picard! Wow, you rock David; dont EVER tell me yer not 'cool'.. when yer friends with the sexiest little bald guy in the known universe.. introduce me, please!

(I'd like to git him out here for a real live Rodeo, teach him to ride western on a manly kinda 1/4horse instead of the foo-foo English Arabians he rides in the holodeck... oooie, YEE-ha!)
Aaron said…
I don't know how sophisticated spambots generally are, but I think Google's word verification might be meant to defeat character recognition software.

As for deleting spams, I found that moments after I deleted one, another one would invariably be sent ... like the bots were monitoring my blog for activity or something (which isn't efficient because there isn't much).

Of course, the real solution is to find out where the spammers are and smite them.
Nancy said…
I didn't have verification on my site until one post that got 5 in a row. I deleted them and turned on the word verification.
kenju said…
Calm down, Utenzi. Yes the verification is time consuming, but I think it is worth it in the end. They do, however, make it more complicated than perhaps they should.
If you hate the word verification change to a free comment program like haloscan. No you don't get your comments mailed to you, unless you get a premium account, but I don't think I've ever had any real spam posts on my comments.

Here via Michele, btw.
Carmi said…
I look forward to the day when all spammers are locked together in the same jail cell, where they will become each other's b---h and spend the rest of their days annoying each other - but not us - with their come ons and fake messages.

Ah, I can dream, can't I?

Back from Michele's tonight.
Carmi said…
Me again. I posted an update on my blog. You moved me to act immediately. Thanks!
Carmi said…
Oh yes, and Michele sent me again. Ain't she grand?
utenzi said…
Carmi, wouldn't thqat be poetic justice?

Andrea, I think you misunderstood the situation.

Judy! I'm not all that agitated over the word verification but more the tendency of people to do bullshit like this. To try to solve minor problems with things that are big problems. Damn Republicans!

Aaron, the smiting thing sounds fun. Where do I sign up? I haven't had any problem with spam being resent to me but I've never had much of a problem with it except that one week when they were coming fast and furious--and soon after so many people installed anti-spam software without really accessing the nuisance value.
Barbara said…
Hi Utenzi, Michele sent me over. I use that word verification thing, I was getting killed with SPAM. Is there something about my blog that the sapmmers like?
utenzi said…
Sorry, Carmi!
Karen said…
Sorry about word verification, but it ended my spam problem immediately. Glad you enjoyed the Wisconsin-Northwestern game. Here in Wisconsin, it made us sad, but the Packers made us very, very happy today!

Oh yeah, Michele sent me....
Carmi said…
Hiya Utenzi. Thanks for the followup comment. For those of you who are following the proceedings on my site, I turned word verification off after reading Utenzi's excellent entry here.

Well, within 10 minutes, I had received two rapid-fire pieces of comment spam. Fascinating stuff - and not to worry, Utenzi, I'm not at all upset. I'll leave word verification off overnight and see how it trends out.

It amazes me how much garage is circulating out there. It would all go away if the minutely small percentage of folks who actually go for this c--p would smarten up.

Sigh...the journey continues.
Tammy said…
It looked like you got missed at Michele's, so here I am! :)

I used to blog with MovableType. Until I started getting several hundred spam messages (both comments and trackback) in like a 15 minute time span...10 times a say. I couldn't EVEN begin to keep up with deleting it. I get alot of hits, but I wouldn't call it a huge volume. I switched to WordPress because it had better built in spam protection. Now I hardly get any. But to me, if someone needs to use the word verification thingie to avoid that major annoyance, it's not that troublesome for me to type some silly letters. JMO, of course. :)
yellojkt said…
I'm resisting the verification as long as possible. I think the effort to delete two spams and save the hassle to ten commenters is worth it. Of course, it's my effort versus theirs.
kenju said…
I'm baaaaaack! Michele sent me this time.
Beanhead said…
I never thought that I would get spammed but I did. I really hate having the word thing on but if it works it works.

Here from Michele's today.
Michelle said…
I hate the word verification too. Hence i have haloscam! However i choose haloscan because at the time blogger were going through some real problems, commenting was one of them. I have never had spam with haloscan. i visit some blogs where hits are few and far between, and they are full of spam! I don't know what the answer is, me being the techno challanged gal i am!
Ciera said…
Food for thought [word verification]. Well, I'll think about it tomorrow...now I have to go home!
Trish said…
Hi! Thanks for visiting. Of course you WOULD have to run into my "shopping" post... and get the impression I'm a "typical woman"! Actually, I hate to shop which is why I planned it for today and am annoyed about forgetting the darn coupons!

My eight-year-old just told me about the 18 inning game! Yikes!He's up too late as it is watching the Yankees... oh well, tomorrow's a holiday!
Pieces of Me said…
hey! I dont have a prob with the word verification..I put it on my site because I hate spam....I get enough in my emails!! I dont like how sometimes it is hard to read but if you mess up you get a new one lOL no biggie...TTYL here from Michele's!
sage said…
Hey Utenzi, Michelle sent me. I agree with your comments about word verification, but I'm still using it. Once I was denied on my own site because of getting the letters confused!
utenzi said…
That's funny, Sage. I'd not mind it as much if they didn't make so many of their pictures hard to read. :-(
Trinity13 said…
I had problems with spam until word verification came along. But I can't tell you how many times I've had to repeat the verification process because I got one letter wrong.

Btw, Michele sent me!
colleen said…
I get the word verification wrong nearly 50% of the time...but I like trying to read something into them (like vanity plates) and imagining what good and high scoring scrabble words they would make.

Next time you talk to Carmi can you let him know that I want to comment on his site...but he only accepts blogger comments now and I'm not on blogger.

Michele sent me this time.
kenju said…
Michele sends me back again, Utenzi, 'cause you got skipped! Sorry.
Russ said…
Michele sent me.
I am a newbie when it comes to blogging but I had to turn on the verification because I was getting several spam hits. Guess you are lucky my friend!
kenju said…
Yikes, Utenzi, are you really that hateful toward babies - or are you trying to be funny?
utenzi said…
I've never understood why people find babies to be cute, Judy. To me they look like some kind of space alien and slug-like to boot. *shudder*
Crayonsetc said…
I tend to get a bunch all at one time, but they are always on older posts... so I just periodically close the older ones... then they started leaving track backs... so I close those too ;) Thanks for stopping by Crayons... and Yes, I am weird.. I love the snow... probably cuz I grew up in Phoenix ;)
Marie said…
I use Typepad and am limited to one or two spam comments a month--on older posts. I actually enjoy reading the generic comments:
'like your interesting blog. Check out mine.'
Word verification doesn't bother me too much. But I do find the squishing together of similiar letters a pain.
Pearl said…
Word verification is hard, yep, but so are those spam attacks. I ahd one last week that only lasted just over a day but dropped over 200 spams.
GPV said…
right you are on the spam problem,
it's easier to remove it from the comments than doing anything against it.word verif is annoying.
Great post. I actually like the picture. Maybe you'll have more that you will like too. I would agree with you on the verification thing. I've had difficulty myself.

Nice site and nice job.
Isheeta said…
Just don't jinx it for yourself, I used to have zero spammers and now when i remove it, voila!
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utenzi said…
Lois is a nasty Spammer. Avoid her at all costs! Don't let that cute pout in her picture fool you!
Weary Hag said…
I never cared for word verification until the spammers found me and started to have a picnic for themselves. Then, I'll have to admit, it came in quite handy. The amount of comments left didn't decrease because everyone else was having to resort to it as well. I guess most people don't really mind typing a few extra key strokes in order to be heard.

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