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Category: Gaming

Probability rules

I have moved over to spamprobe for all my spam filtering needs. It’s an implementation of Paul Graham’s Bayesian spam detection algorithm, which detects spam based on word frequency analysis. It requires some training before it works well; you have to feed it a collection of a couple of hundred good messages and a couple of hundred spam messages so that it can build a table of spam words. Or, alternatively, you can train it over time and put up with false negatives and positives for a little while. But once you get those few hundred messages classified, you’re golden.

The really cool thing is that it doesn’t depend on a viewable list of spam words, as does SpamAssassin. I used to use SpamAssassin, and over time more and more spams were getting through, because it’s easy for spammers to look at the list of keywords that comes with SpamAssassin and avoid those words. What’s more, Bayesian filters evolve along with the spammers — if a spammer tries a new approach, but spamprobe catches the message because they didn’t go far enough, the words used in the new approach get classified as potential spam for the next go-round.

The downside is that you can’t really do a global install; everyone needs to train their own filter. Well. You could, but you’d lose a bit of accuracy. I suppose it’d be interesting to see a fairly decent sized site try. I wonder how many people get email at Flit’s site? (Just kidding.)

There are a bunch more Bayesian filters listed here if spamprobe doesn’t suit you for some reason. I get a few hundred emails a day and spamprobe has been plenty fast enough so far, though.

Welcome to the jungle

In a fit of automation, I have abused the excellent MTMacro plugin to create an <amazon> tag. <amazon title=”Monster Manual II” asin=”0786928735”> would be blithely transformed into the appropriate link to Amazon. I do this, yes, because I’m too lazy to build affiliate links by hand each time.

The macro code, for those even lazier than I:

<MTMacroDefine name="Amazon" tag="amazon">
<a href="<MTMacroAttr name="asin">/unofficfengshuih/ref=nosim/"><MTMacroAttr name="title"></a>

Mind you, I’m also too lazy to implement this in all the site templates, so until I get unlazy and do a bunch of editing, the feature’s pretty worthless.

Minature grassroots

Won’t you join me in my quest to convince WizKids Games to release a Grant Morrison miniature for HeroClix DC? Grant’s a legitimate character (with superpowers) in the current DC continuity, having appeared briefly in Suicide Squad Volume 1, issue 58. Thus, he’s appropriate fodder for a HeroClix minature.

I encourage you to write politely registering your interest in such a figure. It’s probably good to mention that Morrison exists in continuity, as per my geekish notes above.

I got back a nice response to my email:

Dear Bryant,

Thanks for your email. I’m glad you are enjoying HeroClix. We do appreciate hearing from our fans about what they would like to see in future expansions, even if we can’t always accommodate the request. I have no idea what characters will be included in any future expansions. Game Design likes to keep the figures a secret until they are announced.

Best Regards,


So there you have it. You’ll be appreciated. How often do you get the chance to be appreciated just for writing an email?