Archive for November, 2010

Spamlists and WordPress

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I’ve been getting dozens of e-mails with spam posts to this blog and it’s become far to annoying to ignore any further!  I’ve been using WordPress’s integrated blacklist tool, but it’s time consuming to maintain and only protects against past threats.  I took a look at the database and I’ve managed to collect over 3,000 spam comments that take up more than 20 mbs of database space…which is quite a lot IMO.

In the past the best prevention I’ve found against spammers is to use spam lists.  One I like in particular is  You have to sign-up to get an API key, but after that using it is very straight forward.   Stop Forum Spam is a big one too, you don’t need an API key to check for spammers so it was even easier to add.  I put a simple WordPress plugin together to integrate the lists with my blog.

Plugin Name: Spamlist
Plugin URI:
Description: Uses spamlists to stop spammers
Version: 1.0
Author: Foxumon
Author URI:
License: GPL2
add_action('wp_blacklist_check', 'spamlist', 10 , 6);
function spamlist($author, $email, $url, $comment, $user_ip, $user_agent) {
    $username = $author;
    $email = $email;
    //$ip = $user_ip;
    $fspamcheck = file_get_contents(''.$email.','.$username.','.$ip);
    if (strpos($fspamcheck, '<isspammer>true</isspammer>') !== FALSE) {
        wp_die('Your e-mail address has been marked as spam.  You may request that it be removed here:','spam');
    $fspamcheck = file_get_contents(''.$email.'&username='.$username);
    if (strpos($fspamcheck, '<appears>yes</appears>') !== FALSE) {
        wp_die('Your e-mail address has been marked as spam.  You may request that it be removed here:','spam');

I’m currently not planning on submitting it to the WordPress plugins directory or anything like that, but you want to try it out too you just save the code as “spamlist.php” add it to a “spamlist” folder in your plug-ins directory and then it ought to show up in your admin where you can active it.

It’s currently not set to report the spam that it blocks in any way…I’m not sure if I want it to or not.  I’m currently looking at over 3k of spam comments that are just sitting around taking up room in my database, but at the same time I don’t want to get any legitimate posters blocked without anyway of knowing.  Anyways, I’m going to test it out for now and see how it goes :)

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Cloud Backup

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I’ve been looking into cloud storage recently and decided to list out the prices and pros and cons of the more well known cloud storage services out there today to help me make my choice.

A few weeks after I started poking around I received a newsletter from Dreamhost letting me know they give out 50GB of free backup space to all their customers.  You can also add on more space for .10/GB with no charges for transferring files…so that’s who I’m going with :P  But I thought I might as well finish up my reviews.

Drop Box
20$/m for 100GB
Pros: It has a web interface and a desktop program, you can share files with multiple people, and has a plugin for QNAP drives
Cons: Pretty expensive and has a 100GB limit

Amazon S3
9.30-13$/m for 100 GB
Pros: Only pay for what you use, pretty decent prices, can be used to serve files for your website, and has a lot of ways to access your data
Cons: You have to pay for transferring files which could add up

$5/mo for unlimited
Pros: Pretty cheap and unlimited
Cons: Price is per computer, so if you have a lot of them it can add up and you won’t be able to share your files.  there’s no free version so you can’t really get a feel for it before you buy.  I’m not a big fan of trial memberships.

$5/mo for unlimited
Pros: Cheap & unlimited
Cons:  I looked at the free account and I didn’t like the interface too much, seems like the only way to access your files if from installing a program on your computer

I’m leaning towards Amazon S3, it’s cheap and can be accessed from anywhere and could be used for servicing files for a website as well so it’s pretty flexible with what you can do with it.  I worry about racking up some fees with file transfers though.

I also like Dropbox since it’s user friendly and there’s no surprise fees involved, but it’s pretty expensive and can only go up to 100GB.  You can get more space from them for referrals, but I don’t see that helping me too much.

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Scalare Twitter

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I’ve been getting into Twitter recently and downloaded the program “Scalare.”  It’s a Mac application that works with Growl to give you instant twitter notifications on your desktop.  If there’s a link included clicking on the notification will take you to there.

I’ve been enjoying the software but all the notifications can get in the way, it doesn’t seem like there’s anyway to retweet, and every time I launch the application it brings up old DMs and @ mentions.  ‘Sides that I’ve been having a good time using Scalare :)

Here’s how Scalare looks on my computer (fear Id!):

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Backup URL


Backup URL is a web service that’s similar to the wayback machine.  It will “create a copy of any website that you can share and view any time knowing it will last forever.” All you need to do is input the URL of any page and it will make a backup of the HTML and give you a link to hold onto.  I tried it out with and the result was spot on. But like the wayback machine it doesn’t save the images…so it’s not truly a copy that will last forever…  Once the publisher deletes the images the website they’ll be deleted from Backup URL as well.  Although, if you’re looking on keeping a copy of articles then that wouldn’t really matter :)

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