people apparently still do link exchanges

A typical link exchange request showed up in my inbox a little while back.
On Dec 24, 2007, at 6:23 AM, Dev [redacted] wrote:


We visited your site and are interested to swap links with your site.

We would add your link at the home page of / PR3 which will actually help to increase the search engine rank of your site and give you some targeted traffic too.

We'd appreciate a link back from the home/internal page of your site for the mutual benefit.

If you are interested please reply to this email with your link details.

We look forward for your positive response.

Best regards,
Dev [redacted]
Not one to pass up on a great deal, I naturally responded:
That's be great, Dev! I've been a longtime fan of

Please notify me when you've got a URL to listed on your site.

Dev was pleased and was looking for me to do my end of the business deal.
On Dec 28, 2007 11:25 AM, Dev [redacted] <> wrote:
Thanks for the information. We have added your link at .
Please add our link at your home page, after completing please inform us about the current status of our link.

Here is our link info:


Title- Affiliate Programs

Description1- is going to release a top notch software called Affiliate elite. The software will be released limited in number and first come first served method will be employed. So don't miss the opportunity.

Dev [redacted]
I've got to say, I didn't think he'd taken me seriously, so I was surprised to see him email me again a couple days later.
On Dec 31, 2007, at 2:26 AM, Dev [redacted] wrote:

Thanks for the information. We have added your link at veiw it.
Please add our link at your home page.

Here is our link info:


Title- Affiliate Programs

Description1- is going to release a top notch software called Affiliate elite. The software will be released limited in number and first come first served method will be employed. So don't miss the opportunity.

After completing please inform us about the current status of our link, reply soon

Dev [redacted]
I could sense some anxiety in his email, so I checked out -- an industry leader. There was no link to reddit. Shocker.

Not that I was actually going to participate in this link exchange, but I still felt a bit cheated. Nonetheless, it was time to come clean.
I'm sorry, Dev, I was just messing with you.

I didn't think you would respond -- most spammers don't.

Don't take this the wrong way, but I think what you're doing is pretty reprehensible. Really, does anyone still trade links in these schemes??

Anyway, best of luck with your future partners (spam recipients?),
I haven't heard back yet. Maybe I need a new hobby.

why we can't trust the french

Here's proof that the bear lobby is much stronger than anyone is willing to say. I took this photo in a Paris subway station: The title of this event is Bêtes et Hommes which my translator says means "Animals and Men" -- so why the picture of a bear?!

Now, I'm no zoologist, but I know there are plenty of other animals they could have used for this advertisement. Why not put the friendly silhouette of a hippopotamus*, or the awkward outline of a giraffe?

But instead the French caved to the bear sympathizers. This kind of blatant pandering to the Ursidae family would never be tolerated here in the U.S.

Don't look for any help from us,
Jacques, when the bears storm your cities and pillage your croissants. You brought it on yourself.

And now, a poorly voiced-over montage of Colbert:

*OK, so the hippo actually one of the most dangerous animals to humans (excluding the mosquito, which would be a lame choice for an animals poster). Don't tell the bears -- if you thought they were a threat to our country now, just wait until they found that out.

reddit &amp; xkcd fundraiser pulls in 3K for EFF

In case you missed it from our dev blog:
I definitely learned a few things about fundraising strategies that I'll be sure to employ for next year, but we're still quite pleased with the attention and funding you all were able to give EFF. Within a little over a week (and well after you no doubt emptied your coffers for Ron Paul and Kucinich) you donated $3045.51 to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

This was admittedly a very last minute project, coming right on the heels of one redditor's self post. I'm aiming to do it again next year and with some proper planning, make it an even greater success. Along the way, I got some great suggestions and feedback from you, some of which we were able to implement as we went along (such as the awarding methods).

Speaking of which, if you were one of our top 10 donors or one of our first 50, you've been notified by me. If you still haven't gotten an email, don't fret, we're randomly selecting another 40 to win signed xkcd comics.

With some help from the postal service, I should be mailing out prizes next week.

Thanks again to all of you who participated, either by submitting/voting on a non-profit, telling a friend, donating, or doing all three while upgrading to dual-boot bsd.

Lastly, this couldn't have been pulled off without the generous contribution of xkcd -- I trust Randall's hand hasn't been sprained from all the signatures.

posted by alexis [kn0thing]

the world loses a hero

And the yeti still hasn't been found.

Sir Edmund Hillary died yesterday. Just last week I'd learned from a game of Trivial Pursuit that he was allegedly searching for proof of the abominable snowman on his Himalayan ascent.

Photographic evidence of the yeti:

But he'll be remembered for being the first to reach the summit of Mt Everest, solidifying the international reputation of Kiwis as badass outdoorsy folks. Until his death, he continued to do remarkable fundraising and humanitarian work for the people of the Himalayas.

News of his death quickly climbed (sorry, I couldn't help it) the reddit front page and the redditor who submitted it, ninzee, messaged me to suggest a special logo doodle. It was a great idea -- fortunately the alien isn't nearly as acrophobic as me.

May your legacy live on, Sir Edmund Hillary.

it must be a sign

One of the many joys of traveling for me has always been foreign signage. Maybe someone can shed some light on what someone was thinking when he/she made this sign. And if you're ever visiting Tikal, you'll want to see the Mayan ruins and all, but be sure to find this sign. So I get the first one, something about not bringing a mace/club with you through doorways that are too small -- it could be misinterpreted by the inhabitants. The third one is also pretty straightforward, don't doodle on the artifacts. Fine.

But the one in the middle must forbid defecating in the wells? Potable water is way more fun. That, or don't sit on the artifacts. But I'd like to believe it's the former. Maybe that's why I'm not an archaeologist. Running around Tikal with my Indy fedora and whip didn't convince many people either...

I still think we'd all be better off taking sign design cues from Guatemala.

a new redditor is born

OK, well, that's not necessarily true, but the world could probably use another geek baby.
Jeremy pointed me toward a comment on reddit yesterday that was from an interesting photo collection of start-to-finish pregnancy -- with triplets.

A redditor named brobak commented:
You know, I couldn't make this up if I tried. I am actually sitting in the hospital delivery room, with my wife. She's been in labor since 5am. Its...10:42pm as i write this. I hopped the hospital wifi, because there's not much for me to do now that she's on the epidural and resting(and yes, I am that much of a nerd that i'd actually post to reddit while in labor and delivery). She's stalled out at 8cm, and we're waiting for the petocin to kick in and see if we can push her over the edge to pushin' time.

We've only got a single in there, so she wasn't nearly that large, but i tell ya, its a hell of an experience. Here's hoping we can finish this up tonight. Wish me luck reddit.
It was a momentous day; the first time a baby was born live on reddit. Probably.

Either way, the response from the community was overwhelmingly positive and laced with a few good jokes.

We got an update from brobak later that night:
EDIT: Just wanted to post a follow up briefly. My son was born at 4:27am on the 8th. After 23 hours of labor, 2 hours of pushing, they decided that it wasnt happenening and went to a c-section. It worked out fine, and the kid came out fine, and in good shape. needless to say we're exhausted, but I did want to post a follow up and thank you all for your support. Thank you.
Success! A healthy mommy and baby brobak probably missed today's reddit logo getting some well-earned rest, but hopefully a few other redditors noticed the little babe in blue.

Apparently hospitals here in the States do this kind of newborn sex identification with little hats? I would use nail polish "B" or "G" like on a pet turtle, but that's just me.

Congratulations once again. It's a shame we don't sell reddit baby-tees or I'd send them one for baby brobak. Oh well, hopefully the logo will do. One day, when baby brobak is old enough, he's going to be really confused by all this :-)

2008 will be the year of poetic spam

Here's my obligatory New Year's greeting. I had a rather prophetic start to this year involving a spammer named Ираида, which I believe translates into eer-ey-ee-dah (Russian for "the spam bard"). I interpreted this to mean that all the spam we'll be getting in 2008 will be in iambic pentameter or haikus.

to a mortgage endowment.
I have contacted various
the documentation

playtime can create
successful children. Above all,
help them excel.

very beginning of
and author of
The superficial emptiness