This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 26, 2007 9:13 AM. The previous post in this blog was Keep it simple. The next post in this blog is I'm hip. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Monday, February 26, 2007

Welcome back, eastern Montana readers

A while back we cleverly deduced that some mysterious troll comments we were receiving from Glendive, Montana were coming from Emilie Boyles, the disgraced former Portland City Council candidate who took the city's taxpayers for an easy ride in the "voter-owed elections" scam that currently has her chief fundraiser under indictment and publicly bemoaning his sperm count. After a few nasty Boyles-isms flashed through the comments on this blog, we decided to block her IP address from access to this site, and spare her the agitation she was feeling when she stopped by.

We figured that the address she was coming from covered either her home or her workplace, and no one else. Well, we were wrong about that. There aren't that many servers over there, and it appears that we had blacked out a wide swath of territory from access to this blog. A reader we know and trust in Wolf Point, Montana contacted us the other day to tell us she couldn't get through to our site, and when we asked for her IP address, it was the same as the one we figured was Emilie's.

Now, there are a couple of possible explanations for this. But it seems to us the most likely one is that IP addresses over in that part of the world get shared, sort of like the old-fashioned party line telephones. And when somebody's bugging you from, it could be somebody in the newsroom at the Glendive television station, or it could be somebody on a farm 100 miles away.

Well, we've unblocked that address, at least for a while. Welcome back, everybody in Glendive, Circle, and the entire Wolf Point metropolitan area -- you know who you are.

Comments (5)

Your mention of party-line telephones brought back some memories. Growing up as a little farm boy in the '70s in South Dakota, we were on one of those circuits. We shared our line with neighboring farms (3 or 4 maybe?) and the key was you only picked up when your unique ring was sounded. Another other rings you ignored. Since this was before answering machines, it sure got annoying when someone would try to call our neighbor over and over and over...

We had a party line in Down Neck Newark in the late '50s and early '60s as well. We had our own phone number, and our phone rang only for us, but we shared the phone line with one other family, whose identity we never quite knew for sure. When somebody called us, they'd get a busy signal if either we or the other party were on another call.

Every once in a while, you'd pick up the phone to make a call, and somebody else was on there. After a while, it was o.k. to click the receiver hook a few times to signal to them that it was your turn. A private line was available at a slightly higher price, but our folks had to count every nickel.

Most ISPs cycle through a group of IP addresses for all subscribers. For DSL/Cable folks it doesn't change much, but for dial-up it will change every time you connect.

So you probably weren't blocking everyone in the area, but at any one time you were blocking a random dial-up user in the area.

The dial-up theory makes good sense in this case.

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