Happenings – 2011 Sep 3

It’s been a slow week for mathematics… but I pretty much have a post written for Monday evening. I just haven’t done much else, mathematically speaking… OK, a little more work in Stillwill’s “Naive Lie Theory”, and I’ve got some ideas for playing around with subgroups of SO(3), which is the group of rotations in 3-space.

Other than that…?

Oh, I had made no earthquake prediction for September… late last night I saw that there had been a 7.1 in the Aleutian Islands (Alaska) – that would have made predicting a magnitude 7 in September a cinch – but it’s been downgraded to a 6.8. Let me find a different limb to go out on: there will be a magnitude 8 (or higher, of course) earthquake somewhere on earth by the end of 2012.

What else?

Spam, of all things.

Some of you may noticed a comment by “Google” about liking my blog. I wasn’t sure about it – spam or not? – so I let it stand.

Until a second identical comment showed up. OK, into the trash with them both.

When a third one showed up, I flagged the email provider; any future comments from that email service will be held for moderation.

If you’ve ever tried fighting spam, you must have heard of Spamhaus. A very professional not-for-profit company which publishes several lists of spammers. Better, they are used by some very serious organizations – such as the US Federal Courts, the US Navy, and a lot of universities. Too many years ago, a spammer won a default judgement against them in an Illinois court. Upon appeal, the judgement was reduced to $27,002… and upon appeal – we learned a day or two ago – the judgement was reduced to $3. (There were 3 counts. Apparently only the amount of the judgement was subject to appeal.)

i’m delighted. Finally. But it was a damned good thing that an outstanding law firm took on the case pro bono.

Here’s more about Spamhaus… and more about the case. Most of what I know came from reading the newsgroup news.admin.net-abuse.email; there is at last one excellent summary post in the thread “e360 – The Final Judgment”.

Well… do I work on Monday’s post, or use quaternions to play with the symmetries of the tetrahedron…?

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