Donncha's Wednesday Links

Confusion reigns again. As promised yesterday, today is Wednesday’s Links! I really gotta get that plugin written so it’ll create these titles automatically. Happy Thanksgiving to all my US visitors!

  • Automattc Projects lists most of the commercial and GPLed projects Automattic has worked on. I’ll be looking at the secure admin plugin later. Should be useful for WordPress MU installs.
  • Lorelle reports on a new form of spamming and copyright theft called spinning. There are pay-for online services out there that generate nonsense content that search engines think is English, but is really fragments of content taken from other sites with words replaced to avoid the duplicate penalty. If you find someone scraping and stealing your content, you can get your own back on them. If they use Adsense, Daily Blog Tips recommends that you report them for copyright theft. Hopefully the thief will have their Adsense account suspended. Excellent idea.
  • George Barr has a great post on camera design. I love his opening paragraph.

    Someone sent me a joke the other day – one of those, “how come” type – one line of which was “how come they put a man on the moon before they put wheels on luggage?”

  • Preventing ad blindness from DBT again. Useful ideas if you have advertising on your blog.
  • Pop culture will eat itself – what a great capture!
  • Happy Blog Birthday to Dave. 10 years young!
  • Everyone eats right? Even the cloned Storm Troopers in Star Wars needed somewhere to sit down and eat. Here’s what happens when Darth Vadar wandered down to the canteen. Via Emmet.

    If you like that one, check out Darth’s hidden talent which I also got from Bifsniff.

Idiot spammers

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This post was written manually using Donncha’s fingers. Check out the Akismet anti comment-spam plugin to stop the idiot spammer at 75.126.132.23 using “Blog Comment Poster”.

Someone in London loves my luggage

On my way out to San Francisco my luggage was delayed in London and in similar fashion, when I got into Cork Airport it was again delayed in London. For all I knew my luggage was lost! I wouldn’t mind except:

  • Once per trip is enough, please British Airways, keep track. It’s simply not fair.
  • My flight from San Francisco arrived at 1pm, flight to Cork was scheduled for 2:15pm. It’s cutting it a bit tight but I’ve been in this situation before and my luggage came through. How close before? Let’s just say we had to sprint from one terminal to another in Heathrow to catch the next flight!
  • My flight to Cork was delayed for over an hour. First the flight captain fell ill in Cork and had to be replaced, thus bumping the boarding time to 3:15pm, then we actually started boarding at 3:25pm, before waiting on the tarmac for at least 40 minutes because repairs and tests had to be made to the plane. I finally arrived in Cork at 5:20pm.

Don’t you think British Airways could have moved my luggage from one plane to another in 2 hours? Not a chance. Thankfully it was delivered this afternoon, almost 20 hours later by Aer Lingus staff.

I guess someone in British Airways has a fetish for luggage with pink and blue ribbons. Yes, I bet it was the ribbons.

Dvorak vs Malik at WordCamp on video

John Pozadzides has released the first video from WordCamp and it’s sure to be one that will interest many. John C Dvorak debates with Om Malik on the subject of Blogging vs Journalism. It’s hosted on blip.tv and John has uploaded a high quality version there.

I won’t embed it here, go look at John’s post for the video! Thanks John for doing such a great job!

We spent a good portion of today at SFMOMA, where they have a really interesting photography exhibit, and some of the modern art on the first floor really caught my eye, especially the self portrait of Andy Warhol and the image containing the pencils across the room from it. Blew my mind they did.
Later we went for dinner but in between we relaxed in a local park. Here’s a photo Alex took of me and Matt. Alex has a neat little RF transmitter and receiver for his camera and flash. He lay the flash on the bench next to him while he shot this photo. Good fill flash and it’s not in-your-face like an onboard flash would be. I have to get my hands on an RF transmitter to go with my 580EX!

While on the subject, this is Automattic. There are quite a few of us now, and as you can see, we’re really getting into the formal “must wear a suit to work” dress code.

Sunday Morning Wordcamping

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Barry spoke at length about High Performance WordPress this morning, and Matt came on stage to introduce and summarise the main features of the new Hyperdb. If you missed it you’re definitely going to want to watch the video when it comes out. I certainly wouldn’t have guessed that Barry was out last night telling me, “ah you’ll have one more before you go..” ๐Ÿ™‚
Great talk guys!

Barry’s talk is already online. That was fast!

Rashmi Sinha, Iterative Design in Agile Environments

Rashmi Sinha’s talk on “Designing Massively Multiplayer Social Systems” is fascinating. I agree with her observation that the Internet really isn’t democratic. Whoever is popular will get ever more popular, in general. There are exceptions of course but the well established bloggers like Robert Scoble are hard to dislodge from their pedestals.

Dave Winer at Wordcamp

Dave Winer talking at Wordcamp.

John Pozadzides, Wordcamp Cameraman

John Pozadzides is the guy with the camera on the balcony at Wordcamp. He’s going to post videos of the event online and is looking for suggestions about where that should be. I’ll suggest blip.tv, as it’s served me well in the past!

Liz Danzico, Usability Analysis of WP

Liz presented research into the backend that will eventually make it into WordPress 2.4

Finally, Charles Stricklin has a great write up on the second day including the reminder that I sort-of promised to release that Paypal Instant Payment Notification code ..

There are literally hundreds of images from WordCamp on Flickr. Scott has posted a few too, and made them available under a CC license and here are a few photos taken by Alex who is just as mad about photography as I am!

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Really finally this time. I had my photo taken and then they made a cartoon out of it. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

I'm in San Francisco, luggage is in London

Thanks BA, this is the second time I’ve flown to San Francisco, and it’s the second time my luggage has been delayed in London. Notice a pattern? Don’t you like my name? Grrr. My luggage is supposed to be delivered tomorrow night to the hotel, but i need to do some shopping this afternoon for essentials.

On a lighter note, almost all of Automattic are downstairs in the lobby and it’s good to finally meet many of them! Mark and I had an uneventful flight, and even fixed or discussed a few bugs on the way! Desktop Tower Defense is no easier at 36,000ft than it is at sea level however. Oh well!

See you all at WordCamp!

Overdue update! Luggage was delivered around 4am on Saturday morning so I picked up the case and had a change of clothes just in time for WordCamp!

WordPress.com stats for your own blog

Andy announced a new WordPress stats plugin that uses the polished WordPress.com traffic graphs on your own self-hosted WordPress blog. I’ve been testing it here for the past few months and it’s worked fine. I must download the new plugin and install it to see what other goodies Andy has added since.

Eventually I’ll get around to releasing my own referrers plugin, but as our newborn Adam is taking up so much of our time it might be a while before I get around to it!

Is Flickr under attack by spam?

Has anyone else noticed an increase of spam comments on Flickr lately? I noticed my first spam comment there only last week, complained about it, and the comment and user were both deleted shortly afterwards. I thought nothing more of it.

This morning I got an unwelcome shock when I checked my Flickr comments through Bloglines. More spam comments. There’s a screenshot below. When I clicked through to the photos in question both comments had been deleted but later on another spam comment appeared and I now suspect any comment left by users with usernames starting with “a” with a mixture of upper and lower case characters and digits. Maybe it’s time they invested in an Akismet license for Flickr.com? Thanks Lloyd for the reminder!

Continue reading “Is Flickr under attack by spam?”

We are live from BarCamp South East!

Here I am blogging away at BarCamp South East. It’s been a great day so far. My talk was scheduled for 10:50am which was a relief to get out of the way. Feedback has been positive too and horrors of horrors, I actually enjoyed the talk! Video and podcasts will be online eventually and I’ll update this post when they’re available. Elly left Bernie’s dictaphone on the seat next to me, Joe and Conor had video cameras so I’m sure you’ll get to hear or watch me talk about WordPress one way or another if you’re interested!

Thank you all for the comments on yesterday’s post. I’m hopeful that things will return to normal sooner or later on inphotos.org!

Now, I’m off to look around and mingle with the rest of the attendees!

Just spotted on Lifehacker, is How to manage kids in the home office, a topic brushed upon in my talk.

Iโ€™m sitting in the Drupal talk now by Alan Burke and Stephane Corlosquet on the laptop. John Handelaar is showing off his voter site written in Drupal. Itโ€™s a great presentation on the power of Drupal and itโ€™s plugins.

Ken McGuire has a review of the day, and apart from everything else, and it was great to talk to Justin Mason finally.

Great day. I think everyone’s looking forward to the next one in May!

Conor O’Neill has posted videos of my talk on his blog. I could embed them here, but he went to all the trouble of uploading them, so go visit his blog and check them out. There are bits there about scaling WPMU by hashing blog_ids and partitioning databases, as well as how to get past the 32,000 file limit of ext2/ext3 in the blogs.dir files directory. Also, if you work from home I discuss my experiences doing the same, and communicating within a virtual company.

Bernie has posted the first podcast of my talk. He’s posting the second half tomorrow about working from home and in a virtual company.

The second part of Bernie’s podcast is online today! In this part I talk about working from home and balancing work and home life. Should be of interest to everyone working from home!