Glitches happen, and this one illustrates how rankings with
big differences in spam volume are robust anyway.
A format change in an ancillary data source detected through consistency checks caused recomputations in selected rankings for September, October, and November 2013 in
(Cloud. was unaffected).
The old versions are preserved as v1 rankings, and the differences are visible for these overall rankings:
The source of the problem was embarassingly simple and easily fixed:
not enough inodes.
The CBL and PSBL data were affected differently because they arrive
We pick up from CBL daily a text summary table with a line per IP address.
We get from PSBL an NNTP feed of spam messages, each in its own file,
that we boil down to a summary.
So for CBL, we either got the whole file (most days of the month), or we didn’t
store it at all (8 and 11 September).
For PSBL, for each incoming message, we either stored it or we didn’t.
Which is why there are some days with PSBL data between 4 and 15 Sep,
but the volume is lower than usual.
The notice below the chart is dire because we prefer to be conservative
about these things.
Law schools game weak reputation rankings, which could be fixed,
if the law schools, the bar association, or the ranking organization
wanted to. If anyone doubts that reputational rankings can have massive effects on ranked organizations, read this.
How hard could a 3.0 be? Really hard, it turned out. That might have
been obvious if Golden Gate published a statistic that law schools are
loath to share: the number of first-year students who lose their merit
scholarships. That figure is not in the literature sent to prospective
Golden Gate students or on its Web site.
Why would a school offer more scholarships than it planned to renew?
The short answer is this: to build the best class that money can buy,
and with it, prestige. But these grant programs often succeed at the
expense of students, who in many cases figure out the perils of the
merit scholarship game far too late.