Thirty-one ways to leave your lover

If you run any sort of text messaging service, you’ll have to process unsubscribe requests. The standard such messages is “STOP.”

To make things easier for customers, in addition to “stop”, I wrote code that also looked for “unsubscribe”, “quit”, “cancel”, “end”, “delete” and anything beginning with the word “fuck.” (Messages merely containing the word fuck often wanted something else entirely.)

Many folks are pretty…creative with their cease-and-desists messages, and manual review is required to make sure you catch all of them. Here are thirty-one such requests for your amusement:

  • Already did!!!! Stop harassing texts… This is invasion of privacy
  • Cancel
  • Da fuck?
  • Delete me off the record
  • Dont ever text message me again
  • Dont give a fuck!!!
  • Don’t ever text me you fuck
  • Don’t text me
  • Don’t text this number again.
  • Ech don’t text me
  • End
  • Fu
  • Fuk u
  • How can I get you to STOP sending me messages?
  • I know. Stop please.
  • I will now report this phone number as illegally spamming per the FCC
  • Leave me alone
  • Please remove my phone number.
  • Please stop texts
  • Pls stop sending me messages!!!!
  • Qui
  • Quit
  • Remove
  • Remove please
  • Shame on you! It’s illegal to solicit cell phone numbers
  • Shut up
  • Stoo
  • Take me off this list.
  • Yes I have now stop texting me
  • Yes I have, you can stop sending texts now
  • Yes STOP

Book publishers, infused with aggrieved privilege 

Clay Shirky’s essay on Amazon and the book industry is so full of great lines, it’s hard to pick just one.

The fact that any bookseller ever “runs out” of a book is now ridiculous. In the twenty-first century, not being able to correctly stock or distribute a product whose main ingredient is information suggests a degree of technical and managerial incompetence indistinguishable from active malice.

Bruce Schneier briefed congress on the NSA

I suggested that we hold this meeting in a SCIF, because they wanted me to talk about top secret documents that had not been made public. The problem is that I, as someone without a clearance, would not be allowed into the SCIF. So we had to have the meeting in a regular room.

This really was an extraordinary thing.

Bruce Schneier

Making Flickr badges work with https

Following Eric’s instructions, I switched to https.

I then had to get rid of the pesky mixed-content warnings. Most were pretty straightforward — I had a few JavaScript files and images that used absolute URLs and HTTP; I switched them to use HTTPS.

However, my flickr badge presented a problem. (It’s bothering some other people too.) While it was easy enough to swap out the <script> tag:

<script src=" count=5&display=latest&size=s&layout=h&source=user&user=37996608105%40N01" type="text/javascript"></script>

for the https version:

<script src=" count=5&display=latest&size=s&layout=h&source=user&user=37996608105%40N01" type="text/javascript"></script>

that wasn’t enough. It only changes the thumbnails, not the tracking pixel, which still points at:

<img src="" width="0" height="0" alt="" />

Fortunately, responds to HTTPS requests. I wrote a thin wrapper around this, replacing the call to with a call to a local file:

<script src="/wp-content/themes/paul2/flickrbadge.php? count=5&amp;display=latest&amp;size=s&amp;layout=h&amp;source=user&amp;user=3799 6608105%40N01" type="text/javascript"></script>

flickrbadge.php is a tiny script:

<?php print str_replace("", "", file_get_contents("" . $_SERVER["QUERY_STRING"])); ?>

Doing creative work

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
― Ira Glass