nyanchat – how to discourage spam in realtime chat enabled webapps

On the dayjob we created this nice platform where you can talk about tv programs on the second screen. We deployed it as villavanthilt and enabled everyone with a webbrowser to talk along with the live TVshow and share the conversation. This all went well until we launched the realtime wordcloud as an app on the platform. It renders a wordle.net-like wordcloud as you type of all messages passing the view. The problem is people started spamming to get their word in the cloud. After one evening getting loads of spam, deleting loads of users who recreated their account, we decided to make it stop…

Of all the cruel ways we came up with to punish spammers, or all the gentle ways of changing their behavior, there was one that seemed spot on. As a plus it was easy to implement, needed because the show ends in just two days.

  1. find spammer
  2. I think  you noticed the spam, just click it to open the spammers profile
    Notice the two red buttons, one is remove user, the other is mark as spammer

    spam mainly comes from uneducated kiddies, not viagra sellers as there is bot protection
  3. mark the user as spammer, a websocket message is sent to the user forcing a reload, and making the villachat…

    nyanchat, replacing the spammers(mine in this screenshot) text input window with nyancat
  4. The user could still log out and create a new account but their logout (afmelden) button is gone, there session stays open and they can’t create a new username.
    regular users can logout

    spammers can't sign out, button is gone
  5. thanks nyancat
  6. As a bonus the nyansound is there too and the session stays signed in for four days. That should teach em. Oh yeah talking about teaching clicking on the cat opens the wikipediapage on spam, educating the user.

Feel free to check out villa.een.be, but don’t make me nyan you

    Thanks to everyone who helped thinking up this and other ways to punish/educate spammers. Happy spamming,I’m coming to get ya!

    zipstick release

    I uploaded something to www.zipstick.be. Actually I downloaded something onto it and uploaded something from it because it’s a host for files with an interface that becomes active as you put your stick in the topmounted usb port. So head over to wherever zipstick is located, grab your USBstick from you keychain (you should have one on your keychain if you haven’t lost your keys since 2006) and grab some nice releases while you are there. Besides the kaotec.zip (obvious choice if you’re into computed glitch stuff) I’d recommend “SURF KILL.zip” for easy listening and “Kapotski+othinspake.zip” for the excellent DD#12_B track filed under groovy broken guitar tunes I guess. More kapotski here.

    on the kaotec side: the software used for the CA-tracks is homemade and on the release. pure data and probably unstable… go grab it and enjoy

    Pic of the day

    I recently made pic of the day at gentblogt. I guess it can be tagged with serendipity as I was just shooting pictures on my way to work, on a misty morning and I got it all right by accident. It was really worth stopping to watch the waterside with the little clouds rising as the sun rose in the background, although everyone else seemed to be complaining about traffic instead of looking left/right.


    problems uploading to mignon gamekit arduino

    I recently got a mignongamekit from a friend. I assembled it, and the demo game is working. Of course I’d rather attach it to a homemade cable and antenna, so I can take control over some space station with it, but that’s not gonna happen until I get the programmer to work. I’m trying to hack one out of an existing FTDI breakoutboard I have. I use it for programing the arduino pro mini. Problem is it has one pin more then the migprog the mignongamekit proposes. the “CTS” pin,

    First I just floated that pin, then I connected it to ground, always same ending

    "avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding"

    The programmer resets the arduino fine, but after the timeout, the demo game just starts. The programmer is not fried as it still programs my other arduinos. I then switched tx/rx cables, so the tx on the programmer connects to the rx on the the gamekit and vv. but stil the communication is not happening. I tried all combinations of board/Serial Port, also the 8Mhz ones… Whats wrong? Is it something with the programmer? or with the gamekit? Am I trying the impossible?

    maybe I have to try this, but for now that doesn’t really solve my what the hell is the CTS pin for…

    Any input appreciated.