On Saturday, I'm going to disable anonymous commenting on PATSP. This might inconvenience some of you, so I thought I should let you know sooner rather than later. It is my understanding that existing anonymous comments will not be affected, just the ability to leave new ones.
The reason for the change is that I am getting flooded by spam comments, and have been since about last November. First I tried to ignore it, then I tried to enjoy it, and now I'm trying to shut it down entirely.
The Google/Blogger spam filter does catch a lot of them, but there seems to be a bit of a time lag. It looks like a lot of stuff gets sent to legitimate-comment moderation initially, and then after a few hours, the system detects it as spam and puts it into the spam filter. Which means that I am constantly noticing "Yay! A new comment!" only to be disappointed when I check it out and it's a bunch of gibberish like this:
The worst part is that it seems to be accelerating. PATSP receives a new spam comment every 40 minutes, on average. It's making me crazy. I considered just adding Captchas and retaining the anonymous comments, but Captchas are kind of annoying, and I'm getting the impression sometimes that the spam might be being left by actual people who can solve Captchas anyway. (Those of you with blogs who use Captchas should let me know how well they've been working for you.)
So anyway. I apologize to those of you who will be affected by this. It's not personal. I held out as long as I could.