Trolls ‘r’ us

Here’s an addendum to my original post on internet trolls.

The New York Times online has a seven page discourse on modern-day trolls and their absurdities. From that article you’ll find that trolls have graduated to an ever more mean and hateful presence, even making fun of and encouraging suicide.

Even if you only get as far as the first page, you’ll find it enlightening and disheartening.

Link to full New York Times article here.

Throwing stones

Oh look – someone is slagging WordPress because of security problems. He goes so far as to recommend a competitor, in this case, Moveable Type, which he promotes on his web site.

Should one take the time to read down to the last paragraph, one will discover that in order to have a secure Moveable Type (MT) installation, one must disable comments. His link to Moveable Type security notes mentions several additional security precautions one should take with Moveable Type to remain secure:

If you can turn off comments and search then you can effectively hide all traces of your Movable Type installation from the public eye and just use it as a convenient tool for generating static but easily-updateable pages. Most people won’t even know you’re running Movable Type. By putting your install in an out-of-the-way location, you can use security through obscurity (not always a bad thing) to protect you from any flaws that might be in the product. I use this technique on my personal weblog…

So then, in order to have a more secure blogging product, we do the following:

  • convert to another platform, specifically MT;
  • turn off MT comments;
  • and while you’re at it, turn off your MT search function;
  • don’t advertise the location of your MT install;
  • move your MT install location to a more unintelligible URL.

I really don’t have any problem with it all, I just thought it was amusing that in order to recommend overcoming the security lapses of one product, one must use another product with its own security problems.

Yawn.

(Thanks to Photo Matt for the post. He’s the founding developer of WordPress.)

Seamless WordPress 2.2.1 upgrade yet again

Once more, thanks to the Instant Upgrade plugin, version 0.2 from Zirona. I’ve used it for the last two upgrades, and it has worked quickly and flawlessly. Of course, I also do my daily backups of the database and program modules in the event of any kind of failure. Call me astute paranoid one more time.

The 2.2.1 upgrade provides some required security fixes as well as some bug fixes.

I’ve noticed that some are complaining about the recent frequency of upgrades, as well as the trashing of plugins by those same upgrades. To them, I say, why not try Instant Upgrade?

It won’t solve the plugin problem, but it certainly makes for a smooth, fast, trouble-free update: no searching for a site with the required files; no messing with manually moving files; no worrying about whether one has moved the correct files to the appropriate directories.

Thanks again, Zirona and Alex GΓΌnsche.

Contact form blues

Updated below

I was having trouble with Beast-Blog.com’s contact form on my site, so I scrapped it entirely in favor of another I found here at The Marketing Technology Blog. He calls it the WordPress Contact Form with Spam Protection.

It’s configurable, it fits nicely on a page, and by the look of it, it will prevent email spamming. More importantly, it took a minimum of fiddling to get it set up – which is all I really care about at this point in my life.

I have no time for fiddling.

I’d rather be riding.

Update: The most recent version of this plugin (v3.1.2) is broken and doesn’t display properly in FireFox. IE isn’t so great either. Sigh. I’m off to find another one that does work.

For all my faithful readers…

all five of you:

Fair warning: you might wish to turn off the feed readers for a bit.

I’ve been investigating search engine querys that have hit my blog pages. Consequently, I’m going to be updating some of my posts with metas and tags over the next several days. The reason for this is that while some queries show up with a direct link to the page in question, others do not, and land on the blog’s front page, making finding the article difficult.

I know, I should have started this from the beginning, but who knew? Not me, obviously.

Of course, I would be most pleased if at some point you would turn me back on.

I’ll be using All in One SEO Pack for this — another plugin.

Post2Blog 3.0 is now free

It never ends. Just when I think I’ve found all the blog software and more that I’ll ever need, I learn of another useful little ditty that I can’t resist downloading and trying. That goes for this, too: Post2Blog 3.00 from ByteScout, which is now free for all.

Probably the sweetest surprise is that the software can be put on a USB stick and used in its portable version. Converting it over isn’t too difficult either. Simply go to the Start / Programs menu and select “Create Portable Version”. Yes, it’s that simple.

It interfaces with FireFox and IE as well as MS Word. It handles image uploading. For a complete list of what it does, scroll down to the bottom of the Post2Blog page and read up.

Oh, yes, and one more thing I must mention: the spellchecker is live! – which, of course, can be turned off.