Spam, begone!

I’ve been fighting spam on my sites for too long: recent stats tell me that out of all 2640 comments that I received in a given period, only 14 of them were real! So 99,5% of my blog comments are spam and only 1 in 200 are real. I’m happy to announce that I have finally found a solution that seems pretty damn watertight:


CleanTalk* is a business that offers plug-ins for many platforms (including WordPress and phpBB) and it’s honestly the first software ever that succeeds in reliably stopping the flood of spam on my sites. Best of all, it does it completely without bothering the user with silly tests – and it. just. works. correction: screenshot of spam filter settingsunfortunately my initial setup blocked some comments but I found them in the logs and the CleanTalk support staff quickly helped me resolve the problem (see thumbnail on the right), so all is well. I’m still keeping an eye on the logs though – but even this is so much better than all other anti-spam plugins I’ve tried so far.

I’m very happy with this now. Of all the thousands of comments and registrations that were attempted since I set this up, no spams were published, and no non-spam (“ham”) was blocked. Only 2 spams got through CleanTalk and were subsequently placed in the WordPress review queue. “Two” being a manageable amount to deal with in WordPress, it was easy to reject them.
Continue reading ‘Spam, begone!’

Progress Quest: an incredible role-playing adventure game

game logo

Progress Quest is an antic and fantastical computer role-playing game, well worth the time you’ll spend playing it. And it won’t cost you a farthing! [official website]

The official introduction above is absolutely true. It’s a great little game and, although the game-play can feel a bit one-sided, it’s still offering a surprising amount of variation. It starts quite slowly – obviously the character is very weak initially, but he’ll be hacking through his enemies faster once he gains some experience, better weapons, and armor.

Even inexperienced gamers will find Progress Quest remarkably intuitive and simple to play. [user manual]

Similar to the popular games with faux 8-bit graphics, this game also doesn’t look very impressive, even though it does contain some 3D effects.

You can play the game online and a Windows version is also available. Both are free.

Use a mantra for your password

So there is a downside to using a password manager like LastPass* and all those corporate single-sign-on tools (when they work): Using passwords as a more-than-daily reminder or mantra is no longer happening.

I still use passwords but I don’t enter them anymore; my password manager does it for me. I have been using LastPass for a long time now, and I thoroughly enjoy the automatic login for anything and everything online.

Enter password

I admit that even LastPass has a password (“the last password you’ll ever need,” as they proclaim) and I still have to enter that every once in a while. Recently I decided to change my ingenious yet well-worn master password – you know, weakest link and all that. But what new password would be good? Continue reading ‘Use a mantra for your password’

Spend less on your bills

We’ve all got bills to pay. If we hadn’t, we would have a lot more money left over at the end of the month. This sounds good!

But if we don’t pay our bills, we don’t have electricity. Or Internet. Or TV. Or Water. Or insurance. That doesn’t sound so good.

If only there was a middle way…? And there is!

We don’t often look critically at our fixed expenses, perhaps simply because we’ve become used to them, or because we don’t want to face reality. But it’s a healthy thing to do: shave your expenses and save a little every month – forever.

money bill cut into pieces Continue reading ‘Spend less on your bills’

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A love button for the Internet

This is fun! Someone has figured out a way for people to send each other micropayments online. Useful when a “like” somehow isn’t enough.

It’s powered by BitCoin which is a strange virtual currency that can be exchanged into regular currencies like USD and EUR. The current rate is around 250 USD for 1 BTC so it’s more common to deal with fractions that are ingeniously called bits: 1 BTC = 1 000 000 bits.

ChangeTip is everywhere, or at least all the most common places where people meet online. I have no idea if this is going to be useful, but it sure looks fun! I’ve created an account for myself to check this out. Continue reading ‘A love button for the Internet’