WordPress 3.4 is here and out the door. We’ve dubbed this release “Green” in honor of guitarist Grant Green whose soulful simplicity has kept many of us company during this release.
This release includes significant improvements to theme customization, custom headers, Twitter embeds, and image captions — here’s a short clip with the highlights:
The biggest change in 3.4 is the theme customizer which allows you to play around with various looks and settings for your current theme or one you’re thinking about switching to without publishing those changes to the whole world. For themes that support it, you can change colors, backgrounds, and of course custom image headers. We have more planned for the customizer down the road.
Throughout the rest of the admin you’ll notice tweaks to make your everyday life easier. For example, if you have lots of themes we’ve made it quicker to browse them all at once without paging. We’ve made it possible to use images from your media library to populate custom headers, and for you to choose the height and width of your header images.
We’ve expanded our embed support to include tweets: just put a Twitter permalink on its own line in the post editor and we’ll turn it into a beautiful embedded Tweet. And finally, image captions have been improved to allow HTML, like links, in them.
Update from your WordPress dashboard or download the ZIP file here.
Here is a very good, clear and simple infographic to understand what SOPA and PIPA are all about. If you don’t want to read the full proposed law, this is a perfect resume to stay informed. Click on the image to see the full size version.
Great news, today! Wikipedia has joined the anti-SOPA Blackout to fight and protest against the Texan Republican right-wing Lamar Smith’s proposed law to control the Internet at discretion and completely destroy internet freedom and free speech as we know it. The Blackout will take effect on Wednesday, January 18. You can read the official press release below.
Today, the Wikipedia community announced its decision to black out the English-language Wikipedia for 24 hours, worldwide, beginning at 05:00 UTC on Wednesday, January 18 (you can read the statement from the Wikimedia Foundation here). The blackout is a protest against proposed legislation in the United States—the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the PROTECTIP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate—that, if passed, would seriously damage the free and open Internet, including Wikipedia.
This will be the first time the English Wikipedia has ever staged a public protest of this nature, and it’s a decision that wasn’t lightly made. Here’s how it’s been described by the three Wikipedia administrators who formally facilitated the community’s discussion. From the public statement, signed by User:NuclearWarfare, User:Risker and User:Billinghurst:
Great news today! Last version of WordPress has been released. It’s named “Sonny” in honor of jazz saxophonist Sonny Stitt and is immediately available for download or update inside your WordPress dashboard.
This last version includes amazing improvements like the new drag-and-drop uploader, hover menus for the navigation, the new toolbar, improved co-editing support, and the new Tumblr importer.
YouTube has a new design. However, it looks like they are still beta testing it and some people are not able to see the new design yet. As far as I know, only those who browse YouTube with Chrome can notice the new layout. Some surfers on Firefox can activate it, though . I tried to browse YouTube with Internet Explorer, and it was impossible to get their new layout.
If you are using Firefox and can’t see the new version of YouTube, you can do this to activate it.
If you are looking for some nice WordPress but you don’t want slow loading and heavy looking themes, I recommend these three new WP Themes from October 2011.
The first Theme is called “Pink Touch 2″ and it was coded by Automattic, the creators of WordPress:
Pink Touch 2
Description: A theme that has a stellar mix of color, texture and typography. Designed by Kcmr. It features a custom header, custom background, and maximum three widget areas in the footer. It comes with supports for several post formats including aside, gallery, image, quote, link, chat, and audio.
Description: Biotodoma is my first theme available for downloading. With this theme I hope to give something back to the WordPress Community.
Description: A minimal WordPress theme with lots of white space. Supports custom header and background. Adsense-ready. Tested with IE6 and above, Firefox, Safari and Opera. Threaded comments. Easily customizable with theme options. WordPress 3.0 and above.
Of course all themes are perfectly compatible with the latest version of WordPress (3.2.1)
Enjoy these great templates.
Even if you use Akismet or TypePad AntiSpam Plugin for WordPress, there can be a small amount of spam comments that bypass the WP plugins. Those very good Antispam plugins block more than 95% of bad junk messages. But what can be done with the rest?
In general, comment spammers write messages to escape your attention. Although they use smart spam bots and BlackHat software like XRumer or ScrapeBox, they want you to believe they are real bloggers, real people, writing real comments. They want you yo approve the comment and publish it on your site. They simply lie in order to convince you to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Web spammers are selling links from your blog to their clients. They do this to game the search engines and trick your readers into visiting dubious web sites. Their clients are sometimes seemingly harmless, but are often peddling fake pills, adult, scams and malware. If you enter personal information into these sites, your information could be stolen, and companies like LifeLock have to protect your identity.
Identify False Positive Spam Comments you can first check for links to spammy URLs in the comment url box. Sometimes I’ll see a thoughtful comment clearly written in direct response to the post it’s commenting on, under a real person’s name, and still mark it as spam because they link to a site whose legitimacy is questionable. Another great method I use and that never ever fails is lookup the exact comment or one of it’s sentences in google. Let’s take this sample spam comment:
and paste it exactly in google. Make sure you write it between Quotes (“sample comment”) which tells Google to look for the query in that exact order. If you get many results on the exact comment, it’s most likely comment spam. Now check this:
We received more than 330,000 results. We are talking about 330,000 clones of the same spam comment posted in blogs.
Another consideration is that old posts tend to attract a lot of spam. Real people generally recognize that if a post is a year or so old, the conversation there is pretty much over. Spambots do not realize that. It still sometimes happens that someone comments on an ancient post, but the age of the post is a big red flag.
If you can Identify False Positive Spam Comments, then you can mark them as spam and they will not comment again.