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RomanNumeralsAndLinkFarmers [add child]

Roman Numerals and Link Farmers

In our never ending battle against link farmers and spam purveyors, we have added aa new weapon: The Roman Numeral Code. Implemented by our talented intern, Eric Meyer, this feature forces you to convert a randomly generated number from Roman Numerals to decimal. You can see this at the bottom of your screen right now.

We realize that this is a minor inconvenience, but it has become necessary in our war against the link farmers.

A year or so ago we were inundated by link farms. They spread like wildfire through our blog pages. Cleaning them out manually became a terrible problem. So we launched our first volley against them. We cut them off from their lunch! Links that are posted on this site ARE NOT LINKS.. They get converted to raw text, and are not put into <a> tags. SEARCH ENGINES WON'T FIND THEM!. (The emphasis is for the link farmers who are reading this. I want them to understand that there's no point in farming links on this site.)

This strategy worked fairly well. Most link farmers realized that it was pointless to continue to farm links, and our incidence of poker and porn farming decreased precipitously. But then a new breed of, much dumber, link farmers arose. These nitwits just didn't care that their efforts were fruitless. They build automatic engines that farmed their idiotic links, couching them in pleasant phrases that looked marginally responsive to the topic. Like: "Great post, I really learned a lot. I also learned from: poker, porn, loans, etc." We cleaned these up manually for awhile, but the burden grew too great. So we shut down the ability to comment on older articles. That helped, but still the farmers sowed their weeds.

So now you have to convert a roman number to decimal in order to post your articles. I hope it's not too much of a burden. I expect the comments to this article to be interesting because they will, by definition, all come from people who do not find the task too much of a burden.

!commentForm -r

 Tue, 27 Jun 2006 15:19:44, Tim Ottinger, For people who have been out of school a long time
I've not used roman numerals for a very, very long time, I am thinking at least 30 years, so here is a handy reference for those of us who are crusty and rusty.

 Tue, 20 Jun 2006 13:24:44, ,
 Wed, 14 Jun 2006 08:06:02, JakeB[?],
Let's just hope that those link farmers don't get their grubby hands on this tutorial on how to write a roman numerals converter using TDD:

That brings up an interesting point; do we want link farmers to adopt TDD techniques as well? It'll only make their coding more effective!
 Tue, 13 Jun 2006 14:27:59, RScott, Maybe another evolution
For your next go you might want to convert your randomly-generated Roman Numeral into a graphic instead of using the searchable text. Link Farmers would find it more difficult to auto-convert graphic information into a string. But, try not to use something I've seen recently: warped/skewed graphic alphanumeric information. Some of us slowpokes, like me, can't visually distinguish between a lower-cased u and an upper-cased U in those twisted graphics.
 Mon, 12 Jun 2006 11:24:20, Tanton, Interesting
This is definitely becoming more common. I've also seen it done at: poker, porn, loans, etc... ;-)
 Sun, 11 Jun 2006 21:26:04, George Jensen, how interesting
Alright, at least I know that roman numeral.
 Sun, 11 Jun 2006 19:06:37, MichaelFeathers[?],
It's kind of fun to consider that with enough training, spammers could eventually develop strong AI for us :-()
 Sun, 11 Jun 2006 13:06:00, Stan, Cute
I was just at another site that makes you pass a randomly selected little multiple choice test, like "Blue is a _ color, _ size, _ flavor"