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 despearately 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

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. 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

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