Blog@Case is a powerful weblog ("blog" for short) hosting system for use by members of the Case community. It's easy to setup, easy to use, and fully integrated with Case's technical architecture. Just log in to get started!

Blog@Case makes it simple to:

  • Publish content on the web.
  • Store and share digital pictures.
  • Maintain lists of links to your favorite sites, documents you intend to read or find interesting, pictures of your friends/family, etc.
  • Syndicate your content to be read with "News Aggregator" software such as Bloglines or NewsMonster.
  • Change the look and feel of your site. Personalize it any way you want!
  • Create "topic arenas" with colleagues/friends.
  • Engage in cross-blog conversations with comments and/or "TrackBacks."
  • Use your blog as the centerpiece to your online identity.

Blog@Case is based upon the Movable Type publishing platform. As such, it includes all of the powerful features native to that software. Additionally, it has access to all of the wealth of plugins that extend and enhance the Movable Type platform such as comment spam counter-measures (yes, spam, which you would commonly find in your email, has made its way to weblogs). Blog@Case includes powerful techniques to curb comment spam. It has a host of other powerful features.

Blog@Case enhancements:

  • WebDAV access to your web root. This allows advanced users to "mount" their blog's file system just as you would access a hard drive and edit/create files directly.
  • Integration with the del.icio.us online bookmarks manager. Store your bookmarks in del.icio.us and display them on your blog!
  • Integration with Flickr, an online digital photo management system. You can use your blog as a photo album or set it up to use Flickr.

Recent News from Blog@Case

Trackback is Back

You may have noticed that the trackback functionality of the blog system has been disabled for some time now. We have been engaged in an epic struggle with spammers, and while most of the spammy trackbacks were caught by the system, the sheer number of machines attempting to spam us caused an effective Denial of Service, and we were forced to disable trackbacks to keep the blog system operational.

Well, we're happy to announce we've turned the tide on the spammers and are now blocking those computers that attempt to repeatedly hit the system with trackback or comment spam. This should also reduce the amount of time you need to go in and spend effort marking icky comments and trackback as spam.

The new system has been running in a logging mode to gather metrics on what would be acceptable use versus spammer characteristics. The heuristics used are fairly draconian. A computer is permanently banned from reaching the blog system if they:

  • Attempt to submit 5 comments in any 90 minute period and all of those comments end up labelled "moderated" by the other spam measures.
  • Attempt to submit 2 comments in any 4 hour period from an IP address whose earlier comments were marked as spam by a user of the blog system.
  • Attempt to trackback to an entry on the blog system 3 times in 90 minute period.
  • Attempt any trackback from an IP address whose earlier trackback(s) were marked as spam by a user of the blog system.

If a computer does get blocked, they are given a message telling them so and asking them to email blog-admin@case.edu to get their computer unblocked.

As of right now, the new banning system has been running for under 24 hours and over 1000 IPs have been banned.

We're winning the war! Go off and trackback to your heart's content!

Posted July 21, 2006 12:37 PM

Yet Another Distributed Attack by a Spammer

We had another spammer target the system; this time targeting comments. We've blocked the spammer and cleaned his comments from the database. If you receive email notifications of new comments on your weblog, you may have received a lot of emails over last night and this morning. The offending comments have been deleted.

Posted April 08, 2006 02:55 PM

Trackback Temporarily Disabled

Trackback is temporarily disabled. A spammer has targetted us with a distributed attack. (We're currently having a little fun with him at his expense.) Trackback should be turned back on shortly.

Posted April 06, 2006 11:31 PM