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Musings and Meanderings…

  • Posted: January 23, 2008
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  • Author: Christina Warren
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  • Filed under: blogging
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  • Tags: No tags set for this entry.

I started writ­ing about the Oscar nom­i­na­tions ear­lier yes­ter­day, but I got side-tracked with my foot, live blog­ging the Apple earn­ings call, which was actu­ally really inter­est­ing given the mar­ket con­di­tions and the idi­otic after hours sales frenzy. Stu­pid share­hold­ers — who sells stock in a com­pany that earns 16 cents over pro­jec­tions just because they have soft pro­jec­tions for the next quar­ter, a quar­ter that is his­tor­i­cally soft for the entire mar­ket­place — even though the com­pany is noto­ri­ous for down­play­ing expectations?

Any­hoo, right before that call started, the Heath Ledger stuff started com­ing in over the news read­ers and a day later, the Inter­net and social webs are still abuzz. I have to admit, it was shock­ing to me too — and I cer­tainly had an emo­tional response (not a deeply emo­tional response, but a response), unlike when Brad Ren­fro died last week and I was totally non­plussed. Speak­ing of Ren­fro, frankly I still don’t under­stand all the Face­book freak outs. OK, so a guy our age who we all had a crush on in 6th and 7th grade died — he was a drug addict — it was totally unsur­pris­ing, given how he was arrested buy­ing heroin in one of the nas­ti­est parts of LA. Plus, I mean, when was the last time you saw him in a movie that didn’t go direct-to-video? I remem­ber his bit part in “Ghost World” — but Jesus, that was like 6 years ago.

With Heath Ledger I guess it is slightly dif­fer­ent because he was well on his way to being an actual star with actual box office mojo behind his name (and that’s the dif­fer­ence — you can be famous but not be famous enough to drive peo­ple to the movies — see Alba, Jes­sica). I thought he was supremely tal­ented and really do feel for the daugh­ter he left behind and his family.

I can’t help but be dis­turbed by how much of the Euro/LA paparazzi ele­ment infil­trated his New York apart­ment. That’s what dis­turbs me. I can kind of under­stand that hap­pen­ing in LA, that is part of the cul­ture, for bet­ter or worse, but New York is sup­posed to be different.

Oh well. In other news, I’m play­ing around with var­i­ous Open Source CMS plat­forms again. Joomla! 1.5 was just released and Dru­pal 6 should be out soon (RC2 is out now). I really like most ele­ments of Word­Press, but there are ele­ments of the back­end code, espe­cially with regards to how the data­bases are struc­tured that don’t really impress me. Nor­mally, I wouldn’t care — but after kind of rein­vig­o­rat­ing my inter­est in PHP and over­all web devel­op­ment, I’ve taken a stronger look.

Oh! Speak­ing of Word­Press — if any­one has com­mented on my blog in the past two weeks and the com­ment did not show up, I apol­o­gize. It’s Akismet’s fault. Don’t get me wrong, I think that the spam plu­gin is great in the­ory — but as of right now, it is utterly unus­able to me. Why? Well, after Shashi tried to com­ment on my last post, he told me that he was trapped in Akismet’s fil­ter (appar­ently it hap­pened to him before ear­lier in the week), well in the course of try­ing to res­cue his com­ment — I was unable to actu­ally view the com­ments Word­Press had marked as spam inside my dash­board. This had actu­ally been kind of an ongo­ing thing. I had six total spam accord­ing to the dash­board, but I could not see any of them. Thus far, I have only received one track­back spam com­ment, and that was two weeks ago. Since then, I just assumed that the non-existent, yet accounted for spam was either a track­back or acces­si­ble some­where. But after Shashi’s tweet, I real­ized that legit­i­mate com­ments could be trapped, so I did my damn­d­est to try to retrieve them.

Doing lots of Google searches and search­ing the WordPress.org forums basi­cally led me to find­ing lots of other peo­ple who have expe­ri­enced that prob­lem over the last 18 months or so (I was find­ing stuff from sum­mer 2006), but there was no defin­i­tive solu­tion, nor was there an expla­na­tion for why this was hap­pen­ing. For some peo­ple, it was some­thing that was self-corrected, lend­ing cre­dence to the idea that it is a server prob­lem, but then some other forum posters who seem to be active in the project said that Akismet won’t show you any com­ments that it “knows for sure are spam” — mean­ing that if another per­son has clas­si­fied some­one or some address as a spam­mer, you won’t see it. Now, that sounds patently absurd to me. In any event, absolutely noth­ing would let me find a way to retrieve my com­ments marked as spam and I was unable to find out where the spam com­ments were stored in the MySQL database.

So Akismet is dunzo. Defen­sio is my new spam fight­ing plu­gin. It installs and con­fig­ures almost iden­ti­cally to Akismet — except I can actu­ally see com­ments it marks as spam. So far I have had only one com­ment not get cor­rectly labeled (it was spam, Defen­sio missed it), but see­ing as my other com­ments even before the dis­ap­pear­ance were show­ing up as spam, this is man­age­able. No offense to the Word­Press crew — and con­grat­u­la­tions on that $29.5 mil­lion sec­ond round of fund­ing — but if I can­not have access the com­ments you are mark­ing as spam, whether they are or are not — your plu­gin is useless.

Long rant short, if you com­mented and the sys­tem ate it — I apol­o­gize — please com­ment again.

Out.

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2 people have left comments

Wayne Dixon - Gravatar

Wayne Dixon said:

if you have PHP­myad­min Access to your wp data­base you can ‘re-activate’ the com­ments. Just con­nect using php­myad­min then browse to the data­base. There’s a table called ‘wp_comments’ Under there there are 3 options. 0,1,spam. Spam are the spammed com­ments. 1 is for await­ing approval, and 0 is approved. So chang­ing just those com­ments that aren’t approved to approved is the eas­i­est way to re-enable the ‘dis­abled’ com­ments. any ques­tions twit­ter me, or dm on twit­ter @waynedixon.

Posted on: January 23, 2008 at 6:54 pmQuote this Comment
Christina - Gravatar

Christina said:

Wayne, Thanks for the sug­ges­tion! That was actu­ally one of the first things I did the other night, but because I unin­stalled and rein­stalled Akismet first (mean­ing I deleted it from my WP direc­tory and then re-uploaded it), I feared I may have over­writ­ten any of the Akismet spe­cific entries. BUT, as luck would have it, I WP-Backup e-mailed me my com­plete data­base back-up on Sun­day and I checked the tables in wp_comments the other evening and still came up empty, lead­ing me to think that either Akismet auto­mat­i­cally deleted some­thing with­out my con­sent or the com­ments marked “spam” are not held in my local DB. Or the script is just buggy and it deletes shit instead of mark­ing it as 1. Because Akismet was show­ing “4 total spam” on Sun­day, despite me only hav­ing man­u­ally ver­i­fied one (and delet­ing it a cou­ple weeks ago).

I really, really appre­ci­ate the sug­ges­tion though!

Posted on: January 23, 2008 at 7:46 pmQuote this Comment