Fake blogs ruin Technorati

The number of fake blogs out there are absolutely clogging up Technorati’s search results for the phrase double bass.

I used to like to run a search now and then to find out what bloggers had to say on my favorite instrument. Most of the results came back as mentions from jazz recordings, rock drummers practicing double pedal techniques, or high school students lamenting something annoying about their school orchestra. (Like “Terry in the double bass section won’t talk to me anymore.”) Factor in the word “contrabass” and you get more useless results like “contrabass saxophone” that need to be filtered out. I enjoy a good rant about contrabass saxophones as much as the next guy, but hey I just don’t have the time…

But once in a while, you come across something interesting. Take for instance this one. Or this one. Real bassists with real thoughts. And with a bit of creative filtering, you can get all the unrelated posts filtered out, so you aren’t hearing about other instruments that happen to include the word “contrabass”, talk about rock drumming, or even some of the typical posting things that the tragic youth will use, such as l33t h@x0r t3xt. (Thankfully, only the stringed double bass instrument is called a contrabass by itself.- the others use the word as a modifier, such as contrabass flute, contrabass clarinet, and so on.)

But every week it seems to get harder and harder to find the real posts on Technorati, because of the explosion of fake weblogs that use scripts to post tons and tons of random keywords. So now when I try to search for the phrase “double bass” on Technorati, I get this nonsense.

Thanks, assholes!

Update: Here’s a slightly better filter.

The new de Young

San Francisco just isn’t San Francisco without the de Young Museum. I am so glad to see it back.

I for one think the new architecture to be totally cool. Love it. But there’s a lot of controversy – not everyone is totally in love with the building and it’s details.

San Francisco just isn’t San Francisco without a major controversy over every little detail for something like this. But that’s what makes it a great city – people don’t take anything at face value.

Well, I’ve been looking forward to this one for some time. Can’t wait to go check it out.

The Remote Control

Regarding today’s announcements from Apple: What really knocked my socks off today wasn’t the iPod Video announcement. What I thought was much more significant was the iMac’s Front Row software and the iMac’s accompanying remote control.

The only question is, where’s the receiver that I can stick on top of my TV, and how can I make this work with a Mac Mini? (Or more likely, when will Apple make this available.) Update: Apparently the answer to that question is 2-3 weeks. Hat tip to John Gruber.

Here’s a real viable media center solution. Plug a Mac Mini into your TV array. Have instant access to your music, photos, home movies, and play DVDs all right there from the console. It’s got WiFi access, so in addition to that, you quickly pop over to the web browser to look up something. Heck, you’ve got your bluetooth keyboard with a built-in trackpad, so maybe check some email. Maybe some video games too – hello? Did you say video iChat with the folks on the big screen? Well, you’ll need to add an accessory for that. Want to store more video on there? Get a snap-on hard drive kit. Ka-ching, ka-ching goes the sound of the accessory market. Oh and by the way, you can buy your favorite TV shows now and just download ’em, or use your box to record shows like a Tivo. And you can have it all to go on the iPod, too.

Yeah, you could do all that probably just fine without the remote. But then you’d be operating a Mac – a computer – and probably most people will just go cross-eyed and the prospect of setting all that up and dealing with it on a day-to-day basis as part of their entertainment center. But stick it in a remote that seriously looks more easy to operate than those old 4-button clickers that Zenith had in the 70s, integrate the stuff with Front Row, and it makes a very compelling demo in the Magnolia Hi-Fi store. Or Best Buy. Or Sears. Or Target. The remote transforms your Mac Mini from a cool geek accessory to “Why do I need anything else but this plugged in to my TV?”

Spam Stats

Some fun spam statistics from my favorite spam filtration system, SpamSieve.

Filtered Mail
6609 Good Messages
60169 Spam Messages (90%)
97 Spam Messages Per Day

97 sets of wasted electrons, straight to the trash, every day. Wow.

SpamSieve Accuracy
47 False Positives
157 False Negatives (77%)
99.7% Correct

Really it’s probably closer to 99.99%. SpamSieve stopped making any mistakes months, if not over a year ago, and that number is just the holdover from when I was actively training it. I can’t remember the last time I found a good message lying in the dung heap.

815 Good Messages
1584 Spam Messages (66%)
98085 Total Words

692 Blocklist Rules
1379 Whitelist Rules

Showing Statistics Since
1/28/04 1:12 PM

Not bad. Approaching almost two years of being spam free. It’s interesting to think that before that date, my primary email address was almost entirely untouched by the damned vermin.

I once took a job interview for a small business up in Walnut Creek. The guy actually asked me in the interview if I could write a script that would comb through some newsgroups and message boards to harvest email addresses. No, dude, no. As in “I’d rather have a nice, long, slow root canal” no.

Seven of Nine

CNN.com – Conservatives spar over Miers nomination – Oct 9, 2005

At the heart of the matter was whether enough was known about Miers’ positions to satisfy conservatives who want to see a seismic shift in what they perceive as a liberal Supreme Court.

Despite the court’s perceived leanings, seven of the current nine justices, including O’Connor, were appointed by Republican presidents.

I’m trying to figure out what this means.

What it could mean is that the radical right is never satisfied – seven out of nine judges is just two shy of a full puppet show.

Or maybe it means that no matter what the leanings of the Supreme Court, the whole thing always has to continually be pushed just a little farther to the right.

But I think what it really means is that no matter who picks the judge, the ones that have to look at the law day in and day out tend to be on the side of justice. And this perception from them of a “liberal” supreme court is an indication of just how far away from the center of justice the radical right has drifted. It’s become justice vs. agenda really, which is sad when you think that justice should be above it all.

What is most curious is the nomination by Bush of Miers to the bench. From the look of it, appointing a barely qualified candidate, seems more than just a slip of judgement or an “I’m gonna nominate whomever I like” sort of thing. I think the White House wants her to fail, possibly as a way to tenderize the entire legislative branch in preparation for a nomination for Alberto Gonzalez or something. We shall see, I suppose…