Lunacy Unleashed

Notes from the field in the War on Spam

Vote for me in the 2006 Weblog Awards

One of my other blogs, Homeland Stupidity, has been selected as a finalist in the 2006 Weblog Awards Best Centrist Blog category.

This is wonderful news because it means I have the potential to pull in a large number of new readers to my flagship blog, increasing my revenue and freeing up more time for me to work on Bad Behavior. (A new release will be out in the next few days.)

Please help me out by voting for Homeland Stupidity today, and once per day every day through December 15th, when the voting closes.

December 8, 2006 Posted by | Bad Behavior, Personal | Comments Off on Vote for me in the 2006 Weblog Awards

Thirty-four

Well, November 29 is my birthday. What are you getting me?

November 29, 2006 Posted by | Personal | Comments Off on Thirty-four

I spotted some Bad Behavior

People ask me about making money from AdSense all the time. While I usually will offer little tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way, one thing I want to make sure that new AdSense publishers know is what NOT to do.

The number one thing that you should NOT do is STEAL OTHER PEOPLE’S CONTENT. Yes, I know the guy who sold you the video or the eBook said it was okay. Guess what, he has your $97 bucks, and you’re about five minutes away from being up shit creek without a paddle, as you lose your web hosting, your domain names, and most importantly, your AdSense account, all because you ripped someone off.

If I catch you stealing my content, your ass is grass. (This obviously doesn’t apply if I gave you permission to use it.)

This content was stolen from Michael Hampton.

Copyright © 2006 Michael Hampton. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

September 19, 2006 Posted by | AdSense, Advertising, Bad Behavior, Blog Spam, Google, Link Farm, Personal, Spam, Splog | 2 Comments

I spotted some Bad Behavior

People ask me about making money from AdSense all the time. While I usually will offer little tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way, one thing I want to make sure that new AdSense publishers know is what NOT to do.

The number one thing that you should NOT do is STEAL OTHER PEOPLE’S CONTENT. Yes, I know the guy who sold you the video or the eBook said it was okay. Guess what, he has your $97 bucks, and you’re about five minutes away from being up shit creek without a paddle, as you lose your web hosting, your domain names, and most importantly, your AdSense account, all because you ripped someone off.

If I catch you stealing my content, your ass is grass. (This obviously doesn’t apply if I gave you permission to use it.)

This content was stolen from Michael Hampton.

Copyright © 2006 Michael Hampton. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

September 19, 2006 Posted by | AdSense, Advertising, Bad Behavior, Blog Spam, Google, Link Farm, Personal, Spam, Splog | 2 Comments

Bad Behavior 2 Update

I had originally intended to have a second alpha release of Bad Behavior 2, the next generation of the Web’s only non-content-based link spam killer, ready by now. Actually by last week. So I wanted to give you all an update on why it’s delayed and when you can expect to see some code.

As I posted back in February, I wanted to have the next alpha release out by mid-March. That didn’t happen, and it’s starting to look like early April before I’ll have something out. The reasons for this are as follows:

First off, you all should understand that I don’t work a regular 9-to-5 job like most people. In fact, I haven’t since last summer. I live solely on the income that I make blogging and from performing WordPress and other programming work for various clients. And while Bad Behavior has many generous donors, one of whom helped me obtain a computer when I needed it most, it isn’t enough to live on. Because of this, the work which generates the income that I live on must always come first. Unless Bad Behavior becomes a lot more popular than it already is, it will likely always take a back seat to the other work I must do in order to pay the rent and buy the groceries.

This means blogging and slinging code for anyone willing to pay for it. Almost. I did tell a splogger to go to hell the other day, and probably lost a couple hundred bucks. But some things just aren’t worth it. I’m trying to eliminate these guys, not help them.

Anyway, enough of that. For the past few weeks, I’ve had several clients engage me for various things, and actually been able to pick up a halfway decent desktop computer as well. And I’ll be working for at least the next week on a couple of other projects. And then there’s whoever else comes along.

Once I’ve gotten all this paid work off my plate, and have enough money to live on for a couple of months, then I’ll return to Bad Behavior with a vengeance. I’ve seen the spammers who have managed to evade Bad Behavior. They’ve hit me as well. And they’ve hit hard. For the first time I can remember, Bad Behavior is less than 80% effective, and that just won’t stand. I’ll be back on the case shortly, just as soon as I’m reasonably sure that I can stop taking paid clients for a short while and still have enough money to live on.

If you have suggestions for Bad Behavior 2, please leave a comment.

(By the way, if Bad Behavior 1 has blocked you, your friends, or a robot you want to crawl your site, read this.)

March 21, 2006 Posted by | Bad Behavior, Blog Spam, Personal, Spam, WordPress | 15 Comments

2006 Weblog Awards

The finalists for the 2006 Weblog Awards have been announced, and below, I’m going to tell you who I think will win in each category (except the regional ones). Before that, I have to say something about the awards itself.
Continue reading

January 23, 2006 Posted by | Blogging, Personal, WordPress | 4 Comments

It’s dead, Jim

My computer finally gave up the ghost this afternoon. As a few of you are aware, it’s been giving me video problems for quite a while, and today, it’s decided it doesn’t want to give me anything at all.
Continue reading

January 3, 2006 Posted by | Bad Behavior, Personal, WordPress | 8 Comments

Thirty-three

Well, November 29th is my birthday. What are you all getting me?

November 29, 2005 Posted by | Personal | 10 Comments

Madison from the 600 block of State Street

It’s been an interesting few weeks for me here in Madison, Wisconsin.

I spent most of October blogging from the road in various locales such as Knoxville, Tenn., Newnan, Ga., Asheville, N.C., New Orleans, La., (oh, and how I wish I’d had a digital camera) and canceled a planned trip to Florida due to Hurricane Wilma. So I went to Madison.

I got here just before Madison’s annual Halloween festivities and blogged about that. Earlier today I blogged about an initiative to recall Madison’s mayor for being too socialist.

From my adopted vantage point on the second floor in the 600 block of State Street, (no I won’t tell you exactly where) it’s been quite interesting to watch life in Madison. It’s definitely a statist’s paradise, if you can call statism paradise, which you really can’t.

State Street rents are quite high, and for good reason: it’s where everyone is and wants to be. One end of the street reaches the University of Wisconsin, the other reaches the state capitol building. You can easily walk from one end to the other. And the street is full of businesses which open, charge high prices for everything, and many close within a year. Some are closing after decades of operation.

In a strange reversal from virtually everywhere else in the country, Starbucks is the cheapest place to get a cup of coffee: $1.90 for a 20 oz. (venti) cup. Across the street at Espresso Royale, it’s $2.21 for the same size cup. But at Starbucks, you have to pay for the Wi-Fi connection. At Espresso Royale, it’s free — when it works.

Speaking of Wi-Fi, that mad mayor Dave Cieslewicz wants Madison to be the first completely Wi-Fi city in the nation. Under his plan, a Wi-Fi signal would reach virtually every point in the city limits by 2007. And it wouldn’t be free, either. A business will be allowed to come in, build out the network, and charge for it. This is in stark opposition to other cities, such as Portland, Ore. and New York City, in which the people themselves have put together grassroots Wi-Fi networks and charge nothing for them.

I’ve been extremely busy, what with blogging on two blogs regularly, one blog irregularly, writing code for paying customers, and totally neglecting this blog. And spending much of my free time with Becca, the mad scientist, whom I’ve mentioned here before. And by “much” I mean virtually all of it.

Not that I’m complaining; certainly not. I absolutely enjoy spending time with her. Even when she tells me about creative ways to kill an ex-boyfriend and destroy the DNA evidence — not to mention the body. Hm, what have I gotten myself into?

November 11, 2005 Posted by | Madison, Personal | 2 Comments

Something got unleashed…but it wasn’t lunacy, not exactly

I had a great day out today. (Yeah, I know the blog says Monday, but it is still Sunday in this universe.) Becca and I went out for breakfast to a little restaurant in a small town about 15 miles west of Madison, and not only was it a whole lot of good food, it was cheap. The only down side is my phone has no signal at all there. I hate Sprint PCS.

Anyway, after that we went back to her place, and I embarked on what should have been a simple task: download an Ethernet driver for Windows Me, install it, and get the computer working with the SBC Yahoo! DSL connection. Only problem was, the DSL connection had never been set up before! So I spent about half an hour on the phone with tech support trying to get things like the VPI and VCI out of them to manually set up the 2wire router, which I finally got set up, but then I had to register, and SBC’s registration site apparently only works with Internet Explorer. Which, uh, doesn’t run on my Linux box.

So after struggling with this for a while, I finally just hacked the page source, every other page, and finally got the account registered and the modem configured. An hour and a half gone. So SBC’s tech support is useless (what do you expect, they’re in the Philippines) AND their registration only works on IE. Whose stupid idea was that? How am I supposed to recommend this product given this piss-poor first impression?

Anyway, so I finally got it working, found the driver, burned it to CD, installed it on the target computer, and got it online. Then the next four hours was spent on: updating the anti-virus software, installing anti-spyware software, running Windows Update about five times, installing Firefox and Thunderbird, and removing all the Internet Exploder and Outbreak Express icons. Installing Acrobat Reader. Et cetera.

By this time it’s about 5 pm, and I’ve done about all I can do except for maybe defragment the disk, and it’s running about as well as it will given that it’s Windows fucking Me.

We briefly discussed the idea of eating, but that quickly fell by the wayside, and we wound up doing something else entirely. Next thing I know, it’s a bit after 7 pm, and she has to go work on a paper. So she takes me home, and off she goes.

I think I mentioned the other day that I’ve known her for 10 years or more. In all that time I never quite realized just how much we have in common. Our political views, for instance, are almost completely identical, and if you’ve read my political views, you’ll realize that virtually nobody agrees with me on everything. Or even close. And even little idiosyncratic things, like wearing a particular coat almost every day of the year, regardless of weather. She has a trenchcoat, I have a jacket. Same difference.

Where was I? Oh yes. So she and I are going to try to get together again this week, time permitting. I certainly hope I can spend a lot more time with her. We have about 10 years of catching up to do. And I realize I missed her.

Something’s definitely been unleashed tonight. Maybe it was lunacy. We’re both insane, after all. 🙂

September 19, 2005 Posted by | Personal | 1 Comment