Bots, Like This! I am an Ardent Fan of HTTPS and Certificates!

This is an experiment in Machine Learning, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, whatever.

But I need proper digression first.

Last autumn, I turned my back on social media and went offline for a few days.

There, in that magical place, the real world was offline as well. A history of physics museum had to be opened, just for us.

The sign says: Please call XY and we open immediately.

Scientific instruments of the past have a strange appeal, steampunk-y, artisanal, timeless. But I could not have enjoyed it, hadn’t I locked down the gates of my social media fortresses before.

Last year’ improved’ bots and spammers seem to have invaded WordPress. Did their vigilant spam filters feel a disturbance of the force? My blog had been open for anonymous comments since more than 5 years, but I finally had to restrict access. Since last year every commentator needs to have one manually approved comment.

But how to get attention if I block the comments? Spam your links by Liking other blogs. Anticipate that clickers will be very dedicated: Clicking on your icon only takes the viewer to your gravatar profile. The gravatar shows a link to the actual spammy website.

And how to pick suitable – likeable – target blog posts? Use your sophisticated artificial intelligence: If you want to sell SSL certificates (!) pick articles that contain key words like SSL or domain – like this one. BTW, I take the ads for acne treatment personally. Please stick to marketing SSL certificates. Especially in the era of free certificates provided by Let’s Encrypt.

Please use a different image for your different gravatars. You have done rather well when spam-liking the post on my domains and HTTPS, but what was on your mind when you found my post on hijacking orphaned domains for malvertizing?

Did statements like this attract the army of bots?

… some of the pages contain links to other websites that advertize products in a spammy way.

So what do I need to do to make you all like this post? Should I tell you that have a bunch of internet domains? That I migrated my non-blogs to HTTPS last year? That WordPress migrated blogs to HTTPS some time ago? That they use Let’s Encrypt certificates now, just as the hosting provider of my other websites does?

[Perhaps I should quote ‘SSL’ and ‘TLS’, too.]

Or should I tell you that I once made a fool of myself for publishing my conspiracy theories – about how Google ditched my blog from their index? While I actually had missed that you need to add the HTTPS version as a separate item in Google Webmaster Tools?

So I desperately need help with Search Engine Optimization and Online Marketing. Google shows me ads for their free online marketing courses on Facebook all the time now.

Or I need help with HTTPS (TLS/SSL) – embarrassing, as for many years I did nothing else than implementing Public Key Infrastructures and troubleshooting certificates? I am still debugging of all kinds weird certificate chaining and browser issues. The internet is always a little bit broken, says Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

[Is X.509 certificate a good search term? No, too nerdy, I guess.]

Or maybe you are more interested in my pioneering Search Term Poetry and Spam Poetry.  I need new raw material.

Like this! Like this! Like this!

Maybe I am going to even approve a comment and talk to you. It would not be the first time I fail the Turing test on this blog.

Don’t let me down, bots! I count on you!

Update 2018-02-13: So far, this post was a success. The elkemental blog has not seen this many likes in years.… and right now I noticed that the omnipresent suit bot also started to market solar energy and to like my related posts!

Update 2018-02-18: They have not given up yet – we welcome another batch of bots!

bots-welcome-experiment-success-2

Update 2018-04-01: They become more subtle – now they spam-like comments – albeit (sadly) not the comments on this article. Too bad I don’t display the comment likes – only I see them in the admin console ;-)

bots-welcome-experiment-success-3

Spam Poetry: “Cris-Crossing the Universe”

I have tried my hands at different kinds of experimental internet poetry, and all of the poems turned out to have a dystopic touch or tantalizing hints to some fundamental philosophical truth. Perhaps this says something about 1) The Internet or 2) about my subconsciousness.

Since I have reduced blogging frequency, the number of spam comments plummeted accordingly – from 600 to 150 spam comments in the queue. So it has got harder and harder to find meaningful spam. In addition, there is a new variety: Such comments are not composed of meaningful sentences, but phrases of three or four words are stitched together to form a lengthy comment that sounds like postmodern poetry in its own right.

But I try to rise to the challenge, and even add one more hurdle. Rules for this poem:

  • Each line is a snippet of a spam comment.
  • Snippets must not be edited
  • Only one snippet can be extracted from one spam comment, but not every comment has to be utilized.
  • New: Snippets must be used immediately in the order of spam comments (descending by date), and they must not be re-arranged afterwards.
  • All comments have to be harvested in a single session.

The following lines were taken from about 125 spam comments in the queue on October 1st.

The idea shows through the pamphlet
where people need to respond

temperatures will most likely govern
long-lasting usable cartoon figures

in certain places the floor is sinking
We have a very big problem.

withdrawal insomnia
The arrangement exists because of the persistence

arrangement - persistence

using ontology within all things
There should be one internal link

You’ll be able to move to another location
Could certainly come zombies

A Dreamcatcher bard who have been heard
sober as opposed to
stepping off point
the one that has problems with panic attack

We will dissect too
cris-crossing the universe far far.

cris-crossing the universe

Scattered all over
the location where the profits have been

conspiracy delayed
raving about choosing real humans

our personal fashionable ethos
As opposed to the isolation
produced by Zombie galleries
creating an irritatingly low experience

in the sci fi shooting living space
extremely like black topics

Our favorite self-theory
That particular creep
seriously electrifying

seriously electrifying

Shortest Post Ever

… self-indulgent though, but just to add an update on the previous post.

My new personal website is  live:

elkement.subversiv.at

I have already redirected the root URLs of the precursor sites radices.net, subversiv.at and e-stangl.at. Now I am waiting for Google’s final verdict; then I am going to add the rewrite map for the 1:n map of old ASP files and new ‘posts’. This is also the pre-requisite for informing Google about the move officially.

The blog-like structure and standardized attributes like Open Graph meta tags and a XML sitemap should make my site more Google-likeable. With the new site – and one dedicated host name only – I finally added permanent redirects (HTTP 301). Before I used temporary (HTTP 302) redirects, to send requests from the root directory to subfolders, which (so the experts say) is not search-engine-friendly.

On the other hand the .at domain will not help: You can pick a certain country as preferred audience for a non-country domain, but I have to stick with Austria here, even if the language is set to English in all the proper places (I hope).

I have discovered that every WordPress.com Tag or Category has its own feed – just add /feed/ to the respective URLs – and I will make use this in order to automate some of my link curation, like this. This list of physics postings has been created from this feed of selected postings:
https://elkement.wordpress.com/category/science-and-technology/physics/feed/
Of course this means re-tagging and re-categorizing here! Thanks WordPress for the Tags to Categories (and vice versa) Conversion Tools!

It is fun to watch my server’s log files more closely. Otherwise I would have missed that SQL injection attack attempt, trying to put spammy links on my website (into my database):

SQL injection by spammer-hackers

Virtual Book Spine Poetry (Edition 2014 + 2015/6)

I am going to merge two overdue posts: 1) the 2014 edition of my yearly book reviews, a tradition I started last year, and 2) my next experimental poem, in a new experimental genre.

I owe to the inventors of Book Spine Poetry – and I’d like to challenge this: You can’t do that with ebooks. Which is a problem as I hardly read physical books.

But can’t we stack digital books on top of each other – creating a poem from their titles, that is: their virtual spines?

Books belong mainly in one of these genres.

  • IT security, hacking, and history / culture thereof. Plus a few history of science books
  • Life, work, technology, psychology, and their interdependencies.
  • Sleep research also including books read in 2015. Hence: 2015/6, one sixth of 2015.
  • Fiction by 1) Douglas Coupland, seismograph of geek culture and 2) Andra Watkins, a new author with a signature witty and succinct style.

Take artistic liberty I use the main title or the sub-title as a line of my poem – see the hover text on links for full information. I salt the poem with some spam comments (the lines without hyperlinks), and I add images from a building that boasts Germany’s largest unsupported concrete wall.

If this is too experimental: see my chronological Reading List instead.

it still appears to be a bit surreal to be honest

The Secret Life of Sleep
Exploding the Phone

Hackers
are generally preventing the situation
Democracy Without Secularism

Night School
The Art of Deception

Outliers
Lean In
don’t hesitate and lunge for a goal
Ghost in the Wires

architectural poetry

Not Without My Father
Catch Me If You Can
I am a Strange Loop
The options can be a little intimidating

 Walden
The Glass Cage

The Surprising Science of the Mind at Rest

The Year Without Pants
Slack
Nevertheless, for all it’s success,
Carry On

Microserfs
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big

The Hard Thing About Hard Things
Good sleep, good learning, good life
The real trick now is maintaining a pipeline

architectural poetry

Generation A
The 4-Hour Workweek
Farewell to Reality

Girlfriend in a Coma
Hers was a outstanding life
Countdown to Zero Day

Spam Nation
So Good They Can’t Ignore You
it feels like to have a million dollars in bitcoins
Spoilt Rotten

Gödel, Escher, Bach
Robust Control System Networks

To Live Forever
I have always disliked the idea

architectural poetry

Quantum Computing since Democritus
as elliptical and centred as
The Twenty-four Hour Mind

Internal Time
Engineering Security
including officers with drawn weaponry

Generation X
Thinking, Fast and Slow
Moving On
if you are tired of accepting failure

Applied Cryptography
It truly is incomprehensible to me now,
Dreamland

Its not like you’ve said something extremely impressive architectural poetry

Poetry from the Virtual Scrapyard Anniversary: I Subconsciously Think about This Element

Today is an anniversary: The first Search Term Poem has seen the light of day one year ago on my Facebook timeline – this was my debut as a search term poet on WordPress on 12-12-12.

I have created tons of artifacts from the virtual scrapyard since then.

Spammers had enough time to hone their skills since my latest spooky Spam Poem – and indeed: Spam comments mutated – to the more sophisticated! Unfortunately the spam filter caught them all, but the latest spam is better suited to serve as raw material for my stream of consciousness.

Rules:

  • Each line of the poem including the title is a fragment of consecutive words copied from the spam comments on this blog.
  • Comments must not be re-used. Each comment is trashed after having been poem-ized.
  • Editing is not permitted; typos must not be corrected.
  • In a line different fragments must not be concatenated. 

I subconsciously think about this element

the Edifice
does kill me
rather unpretentious

Light is absorbed with the crystal
precious metal shinning
explained by their all-aroundness

considering the portfolio clutch
it has some overlapping

In other words the sock in the freezer cooler
an issue that students take with each other every day, Master of science

reassured of the fact
the 2nd hand will become moving
timeless and energetic
The surveillance cameras seem at everybody
whose way also keeps on adjusting
fit your individual status

Geekiness of Classical Mechanics
you can obviously see the rules of grid from the bottom
made up of a series of pipes

being one of the few individuals
I watched the flick under her name once more
currently renewing my passport
Personalized redevelopment
appeal to the telltale

i am just adhering to you
involved with unintended degeneration

Wonderful goods from you
lead your escapades in all serenity
the only potential difficulty is being capable to find them

difficult to distinguish between good and evil
let us determine what you think
I sit on the sidelines
I have learn this submit

This is a local matter
obviously not the case
responding of all time continues to be emerging
This poison is the most thorough destruction of life forms

Dont write a status message at all
that could no doubt get applied yet again
Not rocket science

Like them or can’t stand them
Material storage can happen
Determine underneath

we’re not seeing the storyplot
and the shadows
they are often all-knowing

What really annoys me is
wholesomeness connected with thought process
What’s wrong with it? What’s right!?

The power to complete the task
with a mere click of the mouse
aren’t quick to tarnish
on more levels than one
Stay up as late as possible

in this technological world the whole thing is accessible
pragmatic and enterprising
common at any point in time

Wipe out overwork
there are more reasonable options
more desirable than being dynamic

now I embrace this
epic saga
vintage (classic)
I agree with your point of view

Dumaine01

Oil painting by Bernard Dumaine (Wkimedia, Free Art License)

What? A Spooky Spam Poem of Danger, Fear, Hope, and Lifeless Faces

It is time to purge the spam queue again! Spam commenters are still gloomy and plagued with existential questions and answers.

I am very proud of the simple and powerful title. What? was a complete spam comment. I even clicked the associated link as it felt so genuine.

What?

there is no danger
If you have no fear.

The sector hopes
it will be famous
I did not expect this.

Lifeless Face 024

not all people realize
un-ambiguity and preserveness

It looked spooky and far-out
do not provide an exact mental picture

Lifeless Face 035

a big, unscrupulous, supercool unyielding drive
this can be the worst
how they believe
is impossible

captivate attentions

unpredicted emotions
were also in close proximity

Lifeless Face 039

people come together and share thoughts
digging into more facts as we speak

It seems too complex
Sit down and do some math on your own

your enthusiasm
reduces the measure of atomic number 8
the proper functioning of machines
you will not be accessible.
unaware of these details

Lifeless Face 022

it seems as though you relied on
particular choices
no I don’t

precious familiarity
thus a classic.

you are my function
spit you out wrong, shriveled, depressed, disturbed or disgusted

thats all I have to say.
Always go after your heart.

Lifeless Face 050

I owe the Lifeless Faces to photographer nottsexminer.  They are available on Wikimedia – I stumbled upon them by searching for spooky.

I build upon his work, so according to the Creative Commons license on Wikimedia:

share alike – If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.

Keep that in mind if you build upon my spam poem :-)

Existential Spam Poem: The Soul of This Bag

I follow the call to arms by fellow spam poet Michelle(*)(**). Every time she blogs about spam poetry, I have a spam poem in my drafts folder – so I think I need to release the current one now.

This time I defined the following goals: there should be a topic and a narrative, and the topic should be decided on before creating the poem.

Of course (read my previous posts) my topical choice is: The Meaning of Life. I went for solving all those mysterious questions brought to the table by philosophers in a single spam poem.

So I was searching for powerful existential language in about 160 spam comments.

And then something odd happened. I probably can’t deny having been heavily influenced by Johannes’ pivotal spam poem about a Conversation with God. (That some god seems to have removed from the internet now – in the future.) When I had read his poem I figured: How on earth would you uncover a conversation with god in spam comments?

But when I searched for the ultimate questions and answers in my spam comments I realized that any suitable existential phrase is either

the pompous statement of a

Cult Leader

or  the longing plea of a potential

Disciple.

So I believe Johannes has unlocked what spam comments are really about – once for all.

I am just his disciple.

The soul of this bag

These was the precept we used
Sign up before it is too late

Its like you read my mind!
I have been seeking ages
I wish to apprentice
I’d really love to be a part of community

there are risks
with regards to the dimensional finely-detailed of the pieces

Please let me know where you got your design
that could give instant relief

seek out stableness and quiet
the things that you ought to perform right away
It’s very effortless

so here it occurs
your broadcast offered bright clear idea
auspicious
Your favorite justification

These are actually enormous ideas
how a user can understand it.

I know this is totally off topic
you suspect that your method has become infected
is it a issue on my end?
how could we be in contact?

this type of discussion is futile
it’s time to be happy
I’ve added you

St Andrews facade

The Cult of Spam Term poetry grows like weed in between the steel and glass monuments of the empires of The Corporate World (St. Andrews Church in Sydney, Wikimedia)

New readers: You find a primer on the history of spam poetry and related links below my previous spam poem. Let’s also welcome a new shining star in the community of spam poets – I haven’t been aware of this blog until Michelle pointed me to John’s spam poems:

Poetry From The Spam Filter: Seven
(Voice from the future – blog offline now)

John even gives sublime audio performances of his poems – though I had always imagined my spam poems would be read by somebody with a British accent, Monthy Python style. I would like to hire John Cleese!

(*) Update – Breaking news:

Michelle’s freshly minted, enigmatic spam poem: Wisdom from the Spam-Master: Coded Secrets, Ozone Conspiracy (**)

(**) Voice from the future – blog post not available anymore.

Remarks Written by Brain-Dead Visitors

Dear reader, enclosed you find my latest spam poem. Each line is verbatim from a spam comment (including typos). The meme pool had comprised about 400 spam comments collected in the past three weeks.

This time I forced myself to compile the poem extremely fast, scrolling through these comments in Data-from-Star-Trek-style and letting my subconsciousness decide. Therefore I call that sub-genre Postmodern Science Fiction Inspired Spam Poetry Devoid of Meaning.

I did not select phrases with less than 4 words. This rule is optional, not part of the Rules of the Cult – see historical information below – and I did not make up the last sentence of the poem, even the emoticon is genuine!

searching for sanskrit tattoos

too enforced a Political platform
that roam across the surface over periods of numerous millions of years

Your house is valueble for me
Good luck for the next!

Use your music or television as a continuous background noise
Are you sure concerning the supply?

Teeth are not made of bone
Will there be a part 2?

If you are inside the horizontal scenery
The caribbean have an infinitely more elementary reach

The instruments that lag in real life, lag correctly
I lost track of what I had been performing

A creative bent of mind and an eye for detail
to a great extent kind of free in bizarre grades of refinement

Such is the case, you must purchase tokens
but eventually you have to deliver

Could it be only me or does it look like a few of these remarks come across like they are written by brain dead visitors? :-P

Historical context for new readers:

I crafted my first search term poems and spam poems some months ago in my Mad Scientist’s Garage – MacGyver-style, typical engineer’s poetry.

I have also been the chronicler of the Early Spam Poetry Community. This was my write-up of the dawn of Spam Poetry and Search Term Poetry and I had the honor to review the first on spam poetry recently.

More recently spam poets entered the stage who really know how to handle languages made spam poetry real poetry (Voice from the future – both links offline now – spam poetry is ethereal and fleeting.)

The Nasty Commenter Spam Poem: A comment that haunted many bloggers – now dissected and disarmed. You can also see how the spammosphere reacts to the poem!

An Android Girl Coming of Age or a Conversation With God: The first poem I am aware of that contains a story, a dialogue. I have also learned how spam poetry works from the analysis in this article: Like regular poetry, the words already exist; they are just waiting to be put together in the right order.

Androids

Androids (Wikimedia). Probably the Android girl coming of age needs a drink after her spiritual experience?

Surprise Potatoes in the Soldiers’ Vegetable Soup!

Having blogged for more than a year I have finally reached the status of renowned, serious blogger. I have carved out my niche, and I have been asked for providing feedback on a book in that particular category.

Of course, it is a book of spam poems.

 Surprise Potatoes in the Soldiers’ Vegetable Soup

… compiled by my LinkedIn connection Alan Mundy – “poorly translated Chinese recipes cannibalised to form the most insightful and thought provoking book of its kind ever written (presumably)”

Checking Alan’s LinkedIn URL again I confirm it starts with uk which does not come as a surprise. A book like this can only originate from the country that produced Shakespeare, Monty Python and Douglas Adams.

I am a blog spam expert, so it is an enormous task to review, understand, and do justice to e-mail spam poetry.

Meta-Information

A bunch of spam poets – Alan Mundy, Jess Bryan, Rob Cleaver, Richard Sutton, and Dan Roberts (If any of you wants to have your name sanitized for the sake of online reputation – let me know and I replace it with *****; if I have forgotten somebody let me know, too) – have assembled poems from spam, adhering to the following rules:

  • You can only use lines from the text in your poem – you must not add anything
  • You must not edit the original lines in any way
  • You can use partial lines but must not mix lines together to create new lines

(I promise I will follow these next time, too!)

The book contains 101 spam poems plus the original spam e-mails as bonus material, sort of ‘making of’. The original e-mail spams are rather long-winded which might give the poet a greater selection of phrases to pick from, but in the other hand it might be tiresome to read through all this without turning your brain into the juice of three bark.

Poetry

The poems are as food-centric as the original spam was. This was a novel experience for the philosophically inclined geek in me who prefers postmodern spam poems lingering on the new age-y.

Having read the book for countless times in the past week I have changed my mind – though recommended to all the hobby chefs among you it the poems will also appeal to the refined ethereal poetry lovers. The poems contain gems of timeless wisdom such as Very often you use also be young and aphorisms on ethics such as Be good if you die.

It is in particular the embroidery with all stuff food-related that provides a consistent down-to-earth theme to put all these grand insights gained from spam into perspective. So the poems are both artistic as comprehensible to readers that did not have that much exposure to advanced experimental poetry. After all didn’t great physicist Richard Feynman say A poet once said, ‘The whole universe is in a glass of wine.’? Cross-checked again: Wine is featured in four poems!

Also the Stephen King fans will enjoy their share of creepy violence – Cut in your liver!  – and science geeks will love terms as Transmission intensity.

There is also a poem titled A sexual poem… (The header lines have been created by the poets BTW). Thanks for your understanding that I cannot quote from this on your geeky family blog though it might boost my Google ranking.

So I give this alleged first(*) book on spam poetry 5 of 5 stars.
(*) As usual, I did not do research on this, and I do not want to be involved in disputes about originality. It’s probably the spammers who own the stuff and who have licenced it under Creative Commons.

Vaina chilena - Mario Gonzalez

Since there is a lot of yolk in these poems and some wine, and since a glass of wine contains the universe according to Richard Feynman, I have picked an image of a cocktail containing both (Trusting Wikipedia / Wikimedia on this).

PS: I have not forgotten about  my scheduled post on networking, professional online profiles and the like. But now you know already how professionals really use LinkedIn!
PPS: Calling people ‘connections’ is LinkedIn’s terminology, not mine.
PPPS: My blog spam queue is exploding!

Impolite and Humiliating Spam and Why We Really Need Tags for Spam Comments More than Time Machines

It has been a while since my last spam poem that was really compliant with the rules. My most recent attempt at Spam Poetry bent the rules. (But it is true – I am usually changing the rules as I go.)

Recently I have learned from fellow blogger and spam poet Michelle that there is National Poetry Month in Canada. She has raised the bar for spam poets quite a bit with this post. (Voice from the future: Link is broken – web.archive-isize it yourself!) I am not sure if I can rise to the challenge.

My spam queue is spilling over every day, but I have been choosy in the past weeks: I have only considered impolite, negative, and downright humiliating spam comments eligible for this poem – and these are rare.

I have removed some words, such as kinda or a bit to make this so-called poetry more dense, and I have added a few comments which are strictly speaking not humiliations. But in one of many possible universes, they probably are.

WordPress architects, in case you read this – I would like to request the following feature: Please allow for tagging spam for future poetry and for archiving spam already poetri-sized. I have evaluated spam comments for two months now for negative statements, copied all interesting phrases to a draft post – and deleted the comments afterwards.

Now at the end of this mind-boggling creation process I came up with the idea of adding some quirky, but not necessarily negative comments. And I have run out of spam. And I have announced the poem already to the Canadian Community of Poets in a comment to Michelle’s blog. High expectations of fellow spam poets and spam poetry aficionados are lying heavy on me. I need to publish an incomplete poem.

If I would have been able to archive and tag spams, I would have revisited re-evaluated them. Currently I have no other option than to time-travel back to uncover the deleted comments.

Unfortunately, at an earlier point of time I am / will / have not been aware of my new idea and as soon as I would / will / have been arrived in the past I would / will have forgotten what I had been / will be / would have been searching for.

Having stated this, my spam poem now makes a lot of sense (to me):

Past few posts are out of track! come on!
the last several posts have been boring
I miss your tremendous writings.

I do not agree on everything you write.
you simply copied somebody else’s story

the posts are too brief for newbies.
Could you please prolong them?

Have you ever considered adding more than just your articles?
execute an effective enquiry about his past record.
Yeh! Right! This is absolute nonsense
Read Even more

you need to check the particular spelling on your posts.
The words in your content seem to be running off the screen
you might want to put that on your blacklist.
Several ones are rife with spelling problems
I find it very troublesome to inform you.
improve website design!

Fancy, acquaintanceship, honour, you shouldn’t connect persons over a commonly used hatred to get anything at all. [*]
I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Quite unusual.

[*] I have no idea what this means. Very postmodern! The last paragraph should add an unusal perspective and render the poem enigmatic, useless and mostly harmless. (Remember, we are going to celebrate Towel Day in about 42 days.)

Processing my spam comments happily, applying the same procedure as every months – I nearly failed the Turing Test again.

Turing Test version 3

Turing Test (Wikimedia): Human or machine?

The following was a spam (?) comment on my first post on politics and economy which was not exactly a funny and light post.

The following time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I imply, I do know it was my option to learn, however I truly thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about one thing that you could possibly fix if you werent too busy on the lookout for attention.

I figured: Depending on the definition of whining and attention seeking I cannot deny the validity of this comment completely.

I needed to do a Google-check this comment, and I learned that many bloggers have fallen for the same spam comment.

But this post on Culture Digitally // Examining Contemporary Cultural Production provides an interesting explanation why we fail the Turing Test often: It is not machines becoming more human, it is us acting more like machines on web 2.0.