Alex Santoso's Comments

@Nicholas Dollak - I don't purport to be an expert in Israeli legislations. All I know is that there are no civil marriages in Israel, only religious ones, although the government does recognize civil marriages done outside of the country.

The problem with the law - besides the discrimination aspect, is that some people can't necessarily "prove" their Jewishness (which for some reason, only flows through a maternal line).
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It wasn't that long ago that the last anti-miscegenation law in the world was repealed (mid 1980s, South Africa) but there are still places in the world where you can't marry someone because of differing religion. Israel, if I'm not mistaken, prohibits marriage between a Jew and a non-Jew.
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@seefish3 - yeah, most of the filtering is actually done to combat spam, rather than censor comments for being inappropriate.

To illustrate the point, if a spammer uses "girls" in the comment and hit the blog with hundreds of comments, then the engine will filter out everything with "girls" and put them in moderation until we get tired of having to clear valid comments with the word "girls" in it and manually clean the filtered keyword. By then, the spam blast would've been over.

Mind you, we have Akismet that filters out 99% of the spammy comments already. You're caught by the blog's secondary filter.
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@seefish3 - moderation is triggered by excessive links or presence of certain keywords. The keywords can be quite unusual (and not the thing that you thought would incur moderation) - this is because it has been used in the past in spam attempts, so we keep an eye on 'em.

We used to moderate for, shall we say, salty language, but that turned out to be too big of a task without a dedicated moderator.
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@Kalel - that's weird! I'd appreciate a screenshot of that the next time it happens (hopefully it will never happen again, but that may be wishful thinking).

Right now, we've turned off most of the banner ads on the blog while we track down the culprit. Thank you everyone for your patience and please accept my apologies for the inconvenience.
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Hello everybody - our ad server guys are still hard at work in trying to track down the ads. They've tracked down a few, and have banned those - but we don't know how many of these rogue ads are there to begin with, so if you still see them in the next few hours, please give us the location URL (landing page). That will speed things up a bit.

@Nat - I don't think the blog is victim to a scripting attack. If so, most of you would've seen the ads and we would've been deluged with angry emails (instead, I get less than a dozen - but it's still something we pay very close attention to, because I'm sure many more saw them but didn't say anything). Nevertheless, we'll continue to upgrade our servers' security protocols.

@JamesM - thank you for your thoughts. You're absolutely right about the perils of third party ads - it's a source of constant frustration for bloggers like me who have to rely on such services because we don't have internal sales team.

One of the reasons we have the online shop is that I want another source of revenue for the blog that is independent of advertisements. Ad revenues on a per impression basis have been declining for many years. Because more people ignore ads, the ads themselves have become more intrusive.

If something catastrophic happen with the ad business, at least we'll still have the shop to help support the expenses of the blog.

We've debated ad blocking on Neatorama a while ago. It was an interesting and frank discussion, and as far as I can tell, nobody's point of views were changed.

I'd like to point out that hosting cost for websites vary very differently based on the amount of bandwidth involved. Neatorama's hosting and bandwidth costs certainly aren't "pocketable" - it's in the tens of thousands of dollars annually - if not for ad and shop revenues, we won't be able to afford having the blog, period.
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Thanks guys! We're definitely looking into it - in the meanwhile, please add your (bad) experiences to the comment. They all help our ad server guys track the rogue ads.
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In theory, you're right, Semi, but RIAA has been known to issue take down notices without fully investigating whether the clip/file actually infringes on anything.

Take for example, the case of Penn State's professor Peter Usher, who got a nastygram because his server contains files with the combination of "usher" (well, naturally, since that's his last name) and mp3 (the file turns out to be an a capella song performed by astronomers about the Swift gamma ray satellite.)

The bad rep of RIAA is not my doing. They got that all by themselves.
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The field of sensationalism is a particularly hard scientific discipline requiring years of training. Those crafty titles don't just write themselves, you know ;)
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@Raul - Sorry about that! We used to ship to Mexico, but half of the shipments never arrive (and shipping replacements get really, really expensive), so we stopped shipping there. It's too bad, because we have quite a few good customers in Mexico.

@Frau - yes, Adam numbered his autographed plates. Now, who has the highest number? ;)
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@Donovan -

I had the same experience, a negative bill from MCI that for whatever reason managed to become a postive. So I ended up having a credit of $40, to owing $40. When I complained, they refunded me $40! Then I had to explain in great length why they still owe me another $40 ...
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@seefish3 - Here's what I think are the translations:

SU ROOT = Superuser Root (Root account is a special admin account with all privileges)

UBR L33T = Uber Leet, with "leet" derived from "elite" status on Bulletin Board Systems before the Internet came into being.

I'm guessing on this one: CSS 503 = CSS is Cascading Style Sheet, a file that tells your browser how to render a webpage. 503 seems to be an HTTP error code (Service temporarily unavailable). CSS503 is also a Cisco Server Rack. I'm thinking this one plate isn't truly a custom plate ...
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@geekazoid - bacon jellybeans! I love those things!

@Kyle Kriz - if you ordered two separate times, then they get packed and shipped separately. But if you order two items on a single order, you should've received them in the same shipment. Please email me and I'll take a look.

@barbara - yes, we do ship to the UK.

Given the backlash against the strawz last time, it seems that we've done a lot better on this Mystery Sale! And please check the book - they should all contain authentic autographed plates, signed by Adam Koford himself.
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We've been around long enough to know that we win some, we lose some in terms of covering stuff. There's simply no way to be the first in covering things that happen on the Web. ')
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Profile for Alex Santoso

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