There Is No Cat

Groovy '60s Sounds from the Land of Smile!

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Who am I?

I discovered something funny in the way Radio Userland tracks comments on Radio-authored weblogs. The entire attribution bit is keyed on your e-mail address system-wide. So when I went to visit my friend Andy's weblog tonight and see if there had been any comments following up something I posted there, my comment was attributed to someone named Vanessa. Vanessa?

I've been burned in the past by leaving a usable e-mail address on Radio weblogs (scraped by spammers back when Dave Winer didn't think spam was a problem), so as a matter of policy, I don't do that any more. I use the address "", which is an address that automatically bounces back a message to whoever sends something to it saying "someone gave you this address because they didn't want to hear from you and/or didn't want their address scraped by spammers." Apparently Vanessa uses the same trick. Because attribution is keyed on the e-mail address used, any time someone posts a comment to a Radio Userland-authored weblog that uses Userland's comment system and uses that e-mail address, it changes all attributions everywhere within the system. So poor Vanessa is now the author of a comment on a blog somewhere that's credited to Herman Munster, at least until the next time someone posts a comment to a Radio-authored blog using the e-mail address "".

I love it when a poor design choice is exposed like this....

Posted at 6:38 PM


Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

Everyone uses that. If you ever come across a "" by the name of Person P. Persington, that's me. :)

Posted by Bob at 6:28 PM, July 14, 2005 [Link]


This site is copyright © 2002-2024, Ralph Brandi.

What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio

There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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