Comment spam

The comment spam has started and some of it is slipping though the excellent Akismet filter. I fail to understand the mentality of someone who believes that posting “calabash, gourd. (5) Autophytes A spinach stew. (18)” is a worthwhile use of their time, but that’s the human race for you.

Anyway, you now require a previously-approved comment for your comments to be accepted, so don’t be concerned if your comment takes some time to appear.

WordPress tags and categories

Sometimes, I wonder if this blog should be more focused on fewer topics. The major topic is computational biology, but I like to post about other aspects of science and sometimes, non-science stuff too.
On reflection, I believe in empowering the user. So, don’t neglect that section named “categories” on the right of the page. Only want to see the bioinformatics posts? Just bookmark the bioinformatics link. Just want to subscribe to a feed of bioinformatics posts? Just add /feed to the end. In general: wordpressURL/tag/tagname, wordpressURL/tag/tagname/feed.

This works throughout the whole WordPress site. Want to see all WordPress bioinformatics posts? Easy – wordpress.com/tag/bioinformatics.

Messing with themes

I’m experimenting with the rather limited set of WordPress themes. Can we have less 2 column fixed width please? So don’t be disconcerted if things look different (and probably worse) every time you reload.

So why the move?

My move to WordPress is about complete. In case you’re wondering why the sudden move – the old site was hosted at my former workplace. They were good enough to allow hosting for a while after my departure, but there comes a day when it’s time to relocate and that day came.
One feature that I’ll miss is the photo galleries, which I built and maintained using Gallery 2. I’m thinking about moving them to Flickr – are there any Flickr users out there who’d care to comment on their experiences?

Software with attitude

Recently I installed Bad Behavior, a set of PHP scripts to deal with blog comment spam. It works very well and I’m pleased with it. It keeps a log of denied access, most of which feature standard server responses such as “403: A User-Agent is required but none was provided”. Today I spotted a custom response that made me laugh: “412: I know you and I don’t like you, dirty spammer”.

Spam bots

I’ve started banning IPs due to persistent spam bots. I assume the current WordPress has better anti-spam facilities than this “WP in Joomla” hack that the site uses, but no time to switch over at the moment.

New photos

I’m slowly getting back to photography, now that I have a whole new city and state to explore. A very few photos from our recent lab retreat to North Stradbroke Island can be found here. Straddie is an island paradise only one hour from Brisbane with white sand, clear blue water, lots of bushland and wildlife. If you have a chance to get there, take it.

Random notes from limbo

On my between-job travels through the internet cafes of Brisbane, I’ve noticed that a little graphic named “indent1.png” has appeared in the left menu where items are indented. I’m not sure that I like it, or of how it came to be there. The site is looking OK in Firefox I think, but not in certain Internet Explorers. Well, I could devote hours of my time to cross-browser compatibility, but frankly – use Firefox. Or anything but IE.
For anyone who knows me and wonders how it’s all going – I finally found a place to live, the new job starts next week and hopefully I’ll be settled, working and blogging again very soon.