For news tips, pitches, speaking engagements or media inquiries: Contact

Musings and Meanderings…

  • Posted: January 23, 2008
  • |
  • Author: Christina
  • |
  • Filed under: blogging
  • |
  • 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 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.





January 2008

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:

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