The SF Port Authority has shut down Pier 38, home of numerous startups including Automattic, the company behind WordPress. SF Port Authority says the building is unsafe and must vacated in the next 30 days. I wonder if Automattic has to move at all, since the office sits right outside of the pier. I’ve been to that office numerous times for WordPress meetups. The good thing is, most of Automattic employees work remotely and are hardly in the office anyways. Anyways, all tenants must move out of Pier 38 by September 30. It will be interesting where Automattic is moving if at all.
Hacking sites seems to be in vogue nowadays. One of the easiest ways of hacking a website is by brute force. Having difficult passwords is the only way to go. There is no excuse to having a password like “password, admin or 1234.” You’re just asking for trouble.
There are several programs online that are available for free that can generate difficult to guess passwords. Most people don’t use them because are difficult to remember. But, don’t underestimate yourself. With enough repetition, you will be able to remember them, just like lyrics of old songs stored in your head.
Within a week of repetitive use, you can master your newly minted password in no time. But, don’t stop there. It is recommended and a good security practice to change your password every six months or so. So lock up your accounts. Use difficult passwords.
After a year and a half hiatus, I’m releasing a new version of the Black-Letterhead theme. As some of you already know, the Black-Letterhead is a WordPress theme that I released under the GPL license several years ago. The latest version is now available for download to anyone for free. So, what are the new features?
- Compatible with the latest WordPress 3.2.1
- Automatic Feed Links
- Post Thumbnal support
- Custom Menus support
- Custom Headers
- Rotating Header Images
- Custom Backgrounds
- Theme Toolkit
- Choose right or left sidebar
- Two widths: 760px or 960px
- Ability to remove Title or Tagline
- Turn on/off Single Pages with Sidebar
- Display Page border/No border
- Ability to Customize Fonts
- Ability to change Text Colors
Google plans to rename Picasa and Blogger. Picasa will become Google Photos. Blogger will become Google Blogs. This is all part of an effort to rebrand some of the older Google products with a Google name on them. Picasa was acquired by Google in 2004, while Blogger was acquired back in 2003. I still think Google made a mistake by buying Blogger, albeit WordPress was first released on May 27, 2003. Clearly, WordPress is the better blog platform now. Read more about the rebranding of Picasa and Blogger from Mashable.
I just upgraded to WordPress 3.2. It looks mighty spiffy. The Admin pages have been redesigned with several new Admin features added. There’s a new default theme called “Twenty Eleven,” which I have yet to use. Perhaps, later. The coolest new feature is the new full screen editor. Adding or editing a post doesn’t seem like you’re working within WordPress at all. I love it. If you like to know more about WordPress 3.2, read the release notes.
WordPress 3.2 rocks! Update now.
Ever wonder what happens on the Internet every 60 seconds? Gizmodo has this graphic (below) that outlines what happens if you doze off for just a minute. It goes on to show you, there are a ton of activity on the internet every minute, every hour, and 24 hours in a day. Here are some impressive stats:
- 1500+ blog posts
- 98,000 new tweets
- 12,000 new ads on Craigslist
- 20,000 new posts on Tumblr
- 600 new videos (25+ hours worth) on YouTube
- 168 million emails sent
The graphic is great, although it fails to mention how much porn was watched or the number of Facebook and Twitter posts about Justin Beiber. That should amount to something.
I just installed a plugin called Twitter Tools to make my tweets at Twitter or any Twitter-based third party application to show up as posts on this blog. My posts and tweets are out of synch at the moment. So, give it a little time to catch up a bit. This should work in a few hours. Or maybe in the next few posts. My previous tweets that were not posts were just recently added as blog entries. It’s fine as it is. I didn’t think it was going to posts all the tweets in the past. Technology. Love it and hate it, at the same time.
Update: I decided to not use Twitter Tools because I was seeing duplicate posts. I deleted the duplicates. It’s a good thing it was only a couple of dozen posts. It’s not Twitter Tools fault, since I was only using a portion of the plugin, and that is, to post tweets on my blog. This might not be an issue if I use all the features of the Twitter Tools plugin, but I have another plugin that does it quite admirably..
Ok. I’m officially back with Arial. I have been using Google Fonts, the Ubuntu font, for over a year. I’ve used it with the main text and headers. No complaints here. Performance has been very good. I tried using other Google fonts, but I just didn’t liked any of them. I’ve look into using the TypeKit fonts. My pageviews is way over the 25k per month for the free Trial Library service. I’m just slightly over the Personal Library. So if I were to join, I would have to get a Portfolio with its Full Library for $50 a year. It comes down to about $4 a month. It’s still not bad. But, Google Fonts is free. That’s the reason I was using it for a while. So, now I’m back to good old lean mean Arial. Just a change of scenery. Something different. I might try a different font later on.
Most website and blog owners place some kind of copyright information on their websites and in their blogs. Copyright notices mean that the copyright holder, reserves all the rights provided by copyright law, such as distribution, performance, and creation of derivative works.
Copyrights are usually found in the footer of most designs, themes or templates. My copyright information is found in the footer. It says, “Copyright © 2003-2011. All rights reserved.” The copyright notice will need to be updated yearly to reflect the current year.
Some owners place a range of years, such as 2000-2010, just like mine, to reflect that the website or blog has been around for a number of years. Often times, the owner forgets to update the copyright information. It’s a simple text change, but there are ways to make it dynamic.
By making your copyright notice dynamic means you never have to edit the copyright notice ever again. At every New Year’s eve, while you are out celebrating, your website magically updates the copyright notice to the latest year. How? It uses a PHP function called date().
To get the current year, use the PHP date function:
<? echo date(“Y”); ?>.
If you want a range of years, you can use:
2001-<? echo date(“Y”); ?>.
There you have it, a dynamic copyright notice! And one more thing, to display the copyright symbol properly, use the HTML special symbol:
© or © which are the same as the symbol ©
In a normal day, I usually get over 1000 spam comments on my blog. Although I don’t have to delete the spam, it still takes up resource on the database. By the way, Akismet deletes all spam comments after two weeks. This gives the blog owner time to recover if a valid comment was mistakenly classified as spam.
If you really want to cut down on spam comments, you can implement Captcha. But, lots of people hate Captcha including myself, especially the ones that are unreadable. What is more frustrating than trying to guess a mangled captcha only to be thwarted again and again because it’s unreadable. Enter a solution using simple math.
So, I decided to install a WordPress plugin called Block-Spam-By-Math. The plugin adds a custom field to the comments form by posting a simple math problem. Anyone who passed at least first grade should be able to answer the addition problem. After all, 8 + 2 = is not that difficult to solve.
Automated bots that send spam will have problems submitting past the math problem. Unless, the bots become sophisticated enough to read text and solve the math problems themselves. It sounds like a whole lot of trouble, just to add that feature to send spam.
At least temporarily, spam has been cut down to almost zero. Now, I just have to deal with humans who send them. And that’s infrequent compared to bots.