New Theme (Work In Progress)

For those of you who have visited my blog before, you may notice that my blog is rocking a new theme. Yes, after over 4 years I’m finally ditching my very hacked up version of the “Neat!” theme for something a bit more modern. It’s called Mystique and it was made by digitalnature.

I’m still making minor tweaks to the theme, so bear with me while I make the transition and feel free to report any issues in the comments for this post. 🙂

Due to the scare, the increasing trend of site-specific shortening services such as’s, and the awesomeness that is YOURLS, I’ve decided to join in and purchase my own short little domain name. I went the same route as did with a “.me” domain and ended up with “”.

It’s powered by YOURLS which is written by the well known WordPress plugin developers Lester “GamerZ” Chan and Ozh. It even comes with a WordPress plugin that can automatically create shortlinks for your new posts and even post it Twitter (I had been using Twitter Tools previously).

For example, here’s the short URL to this post:

Cool, huh? 🙂

Ugh, I Lost All My Uploads / Plugins On This Blog

So I tried to upload another blog on this server via the automatic upgrade and it apparently freaked out and apparently it deleted all of my plugins and uploads for this blog. I have no idea why, but it did.

Waiting on my friend who runs this server for me to find a backup, but until then this blog is mostly broken.

UPDATE: Turns out automatic file backups were never set up, so the most recent backup we could find was from exactly 2 months ago. I think I already reinstalled all of the new plugins I had installed since then, but I’ll need to reupload any uploads I’ve done in the past 2 months. Please report any issues via this post.

I’m Turning Off Weekly Twitter Reports

Since I don’t post enough on this blog, I’m going to turn my weekly Twitter reports. If I blogged at least once a week, it wouldn’t be a problem, but I often don’t so it was spamming my blog.

If you actually care about what I have to say on Twitter, just follow me. Note I do try to keep the random boring personal crap to a minimum, so don’t be scared to follow me. Infact I find I’m often Tweeting something interesting I find rather than writing a short blog post about it.

Your Comment May Have Been Deleted

So I woke up today to find this e-mail in my inbox:

Dear Defensio user,

We have reasons to believe that a few of our api keys might have been compromised and our research indicates that your key(s) might be among them.

Don’t worry, YOUR ACCOUNT WAS NOT HACKED AND YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION IS SAFE. However, in order to protect your privacy, we thought the best thing to do was to regenerate new api key(s) for you.

As of now, DEFENSIO IS NO LONGER FILTERING SPAM on your website or blog. To re-enable it, please login to your account at and then go to “My API Keys” where you’ll find newly generated keys. You should then update your website or blog settings with the new key(s).

When an API key is invalid, apparently it’s supposed to go to the moderation queue, but it didn’t for me which meant I got 400-500 spams overnight on my blog. Lovely.

So, I just spent the last few minutes deleting page after page of spams from my blog. I thought I skimmed through each page looking for legit comments, but I know I missed at least one (of mine specifically). If you found one of your comments from the last 24 hours has gone missing, please post it again. I probably accidentally deleted it. Sorry.

As for Defensio, I’m still happy with their spam accuracy, but I really wish they’d fix that bug in their plugin. It was hugely annoying to wake up to so much spam on my blog. That’s the whole reason I use Defensio — to avoid that. *sigh*

My Two Weeks With Defensio Anti-Spam

For many, many years, I had been using Spam Karma 2 for comment, pingback, and trackback spam protection here on my blog and it seemed to do a decent job. The idea behind SK2 is to check for things like Javascript (few bots have JS enabled), the number of links in the post (spam obviously has lots usually), how long it took them to post the comment (bots post it nearly instantly), and so forth. Each property would add or subtract karma points from the comment until a final score was given. The comment would then be marked as ham (good) or spam (bad) based on that score.

It of course wasn’t perfect. Spam bots are getting smarter and a plugin such as SK2 alone just couldn’t be accurate enough. So, a year or so ago, I added an Akismet plugin for SK2. The idea is the plugin talks to Akismet and gets a ham or spam rating for the comment. This result is then given to SK2 to use in it’s overall score. It worked great, at least for a while.

However, even with the help of Akismet, SK2 just wasn’t cutting it lately. Akismet was too often saying it was ham when it really was spam or on occasion, the other way around (that ham was spam).

So, two weeks ago today, I decided to give Defensio a try.

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