Mon Aug 19 2002 07:52:
An incredible article (found via HTP) about using automatic statistical analysis of text to filter out spam. It sounds like it works, and, unlike SpamAssassin, it works (over the long term) even when the spammer knows the algorithm and the initial data set.
Norbert Wiener [sic] said if you compete with slaves you become a slave, and there is something similarly degrading about competing with spammers.
The author also notes the heuristic for Bayesian rating of countries, whereby the number of buzzwords in front of a country's name is inversely related to how much you would want to be a citizen of that country.
Mon Aug 19 2002 09:58:
Michael Stack is back from Switzerland, where he was an observer at the UN Commission For Photocopying The Reports Produced By other UN Commissions. Not really, but I know photocopying was involved somehow.
Update: stack says:
Human Rights commission. The g/f did representation for an NGO. I was chief photocopier for our delegation.
Mon Aug 19 2002 10:07:
On Chinese TV last night there was a fairly funny show called "Jacky Go Go Go". Sandwiched between juvenile short skits about the eponymous Jacky being in the hospital was an extended game Jacky and some acquaintances played in which they were divided into two teams of two, and each team had to run around some Taiwanese metropolis (Taipei?), finding and eating various foodstuffs. Hilarity ensued, apparently. An interesting fact is that one member of one of the teams looked rather like Joe Mahoney (his hair was even dyed the same color). Also, the show had a cool videogame-like animation that was used to reintroduce the show when coming back from commercials.
Extrapolated sample dialogue: the Joe Mahoney-looking guy and his friend have stumbled into a Hooters bar (!), looking for fried potato skins or some such.
Joe Mahoney-looking guy: I think this is a topless bar.
Other guy: Oh, I see. [begins to take his shirt off].
I suspect it's a lot funnier when you don't know the language, because you think of the sort of joke you would set to the action on the screen, which is quite often funnier than the actual joke. This happened to me with having watched "Dude, Where's My Car?" in Russian; the things I thought were brilliant sight gags (like the fridge and cupboard full of pudding cups) were given dumb bad-comedy explanations in the dialogue.
Mon Aug 19 2002 12:00:
What if evolution were such that adaptive traits could only take hold in a population with the help of an advertising campaign? I'm envisioning an ad for sexual reproduction:
"You got your gametes in my gametes!"
"Hey! you got your gametes in my gametes!"
"Wait a minute... it's a genetically different organism!
Mon Aug 19 2002 20:06:
I fixed a bug in indexer, and the fix will be included in the next release.
Reindexing after an add or an edit is too slow for me. I'm thinking of saving up reindexing tasks and taking care of them immediately before the next search. That will amortize the cost of writing the index to disk, and, more importantly, shift the wait onto people who do searches, like you, and away from the people who write entries, like me. (It's not a big wait, about 1 second. But I'd rather make a searcher wait 1 second sometimes than wait 1 second myself all the time). Adding an entry already takes long enough to do the weblogs.com ping.
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