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Comcast starts fighting Bots

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October 12, 2009, Washington Post Comcast Trials Browser Alerts for Bot-Infected Customer PCs.

I haven't been watching lately but at one time I noticed a good portion of my spam came from Comcast sources. This effort seems a bit weak and late, but better than nothing. Maybe if it works (customers don't complain) they will get more active - to save that 10-15% load on their system.

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October 12, 2009, Washington Post Comcast Trials Browser Alerts for Bot-Infected Customer PCs.
Comcast seems to be among the more proactive of big retail broadband ISPs when it comes to fighting spam. I don't get much spam anymore from them (or from any of the U.S. providers except occasionally for Verizon) so maybe it is working.

I like that the botnet warnings are derived from observation of outside behavior (e.g., Spamhaus) rather than unsolicited and possibly intrusive (and objectionable) scans of the customers' computers. As long, of course, as the warnings are properly targeted in a dynamic IP network.

On a more personal rant^h^h^h^h note, I do think we need to have a huddle with the Post's headline writers. I found myself wondering what kind of thing a "trials browser" might be (maybe a lightweight web browser without a seat designed for going up hills) when it occurred to me that "trial" is the noun that describes what you do when you "try" to do something, so what would have been wrong with "Comcast Tries Browser Alerts..." or "Comcast Tests Browser Alerts..."??

I'd just heard a piece on the radio this weekend about how newspapers are tending to give up the fine art of pithy, length-conscious headline writing in favor of simple headlines that work well with SEO -- owing to its ambiguity, this particular headline seems like an ideal candidate for SEO makeover.

-- rick

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...Comcast seems to be among the more proactive of big retail broadband ISPs when it comes to fighting spam. I don't get much spam anymore from them (or from any of the U.S. providers except occasionally for Verizon) so maybe it is working.

I like that the botnet warnings are derived from observation of outside behavior (e.g., Spamhaus) rather than unsolicited and possibly intrusive (and objectionable) scans of the customers' computers. As long, of course, as the warnings are properly targeted in a dynamic IP network. ...

Certainly Comcast's infamous rate-limiting initiative had some effect and this latest seems a 'kinder' move with the same objective.
... On a more personal rant^h^h^h^h note, I do think we need to have a huddle with the Post's headline writers. I found myself wondering what kind of thing a "trials browser" might be (maybe a lightweight web browser without a seat designed for going up hills) when it occurred to me that "trial" is the noun that describes what you do when you "try" to do something, so what would have been wrong with "Comcast Tries Browser Alerts..." or "Comcast Tests Browser Alerts..."?? ...
:lol: Indeed, the insidious conversion of nouns into verbs has certain pitfalls and besides exposes the author of such atrocity to be fundamentally unsuited to the mass communications business, having presumably been lectured countless times in exactly the way you have done but still offending.
...I'd just heard a piece on the radio this weekend about how newspapers are tending to give up the fine art of pithy, length-conscious headline writing in favor of simple headlines that work well with SEO -- owing to its ambiguity, this particular headline seems like an ideal candidate for SEO makeover.
Seems inevitable now that it is mentioned but a great pity if so.

Once, headlines and photo captions and such were the responsibility of the 'sub-editor', a minor functionary with important roles, not the least of which was to be anonymous and to absorb blame on behalf of those who weren't for any and all major blunders in the presentation of a news item. These people always have been prone to the diversion of their frustrations over such injustices and the limits placed on their creative impulses - by occasionally resorting to ferocious punning. And it seems to me to that this has been increasing lately. Undoubtedly punning is "the least form of humour," as my Grandfather (born at the height of Queen Victoria's reign) would sneer, yet many/most of us enjoy such wordplay greatly. It seems we are to 'outgrow' such diversions, collaterally. My Grandfather would have approved.

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Oh, I miss James Kilpatrick!! He must be so frustrated that newspapers are getting worse about the proper use of language instead of better.

Not only do they misuse words (like 'trials' rather than 'tries'), but they actually use the wrong words. And, many times simple mistakes like 'its' and 'it's' are confused. It is a disgrace.

And, it can't be blamed on texting either, because it was happening long before. It is a symptom of our times that too many people are so lamentably incompetent to do what they do. However, I do have more sympathy for those who seem to not understand simple organization and ideas after I was so confused because of the tumor on my brain. I did think I knew what I was doing, but things just didn't connect correctly. I suppose that is what happens to others all the time. I have known a couple of people who have had extraordinary IQs - they, too, saw connections that I could only dimly perceive. No wonder that communication is so difficult among human beings!

But, I think that one characteristic of MENSA members is that they are all punsters! I know that the intelligent people I know are. And, I am not, but I enjoy it. Only once in a great while do I make a good pun.

Miss Betsy

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Only once in a great while do I make a good pun.

I'm with you. The more painful the grown, the more devilish the joy!

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We spent a few days on headline writing back in my high school journalism class. The idea was to fit the headline for size by approximate character count (yes, we used proportionally-spaced type, but the setters could usually add a bit of lead here and there to fit it out). In addition, you had to try to give a fair summary of the article (for straight news) or something pithy and attention grabbing (for features, which is where the puns come in). Either way, you were writing those headlines for people.

Now I guess online newspapers write headlines for SEO robots to digest.

-- rick

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...Now I guess online newspapers write headlines for SEO robots to digest.

I CAN HAZ NEWZ?

Well, perhaps it's for the best - the attention spans of some people I know battle to encompass an entire headline. Let a robot lead them. Until the machine stops - http://www.plexus.org/forster/index.html

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On the other hand in today's Post

"In Grape Shape" story on local wine industry

"Juicy Times for Cider"

"Bubble Trouble" Page 1 teaser for page 16 Economy story "Don't Reinflate the old bubbles"

But what can you do (dare you do) with "Shooting Kills 2, Wounds 3"??

As someone implied earlier, SEO gets the news, fluff gets better headlines.

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