Oh how things change

I haven’t posted on this blog in nearly 3 years. I have migrated it from running on my Mac Mini at my home, onto a real VPS in a datacenter, but I just haven’t posted on it.

So what is the point of this blog now? Truth be told, I don’t know. I just don’t have a strong desire to blog anymore.

I spend my time mostly playing Dota 2 and other multiplayer games these days. I hang out in IRC channels, even one on my own small network made of my server at home, and the VPS that runs this blog. Sometimes I make a small cool application, but I’m just not that creative, nor am I confident in what I make.

I suppose one thing I can share is my Stargate Episode Randomizer, which suggests a random Stargate episode to watch. It is very simple and programmed using the very light Camping web framework for Ruby.

I know this post isn’t much, but maybe you’ll be inspired to develop some application of your own.

A post? They have those on blogs?

I load the front page of my blog nearly every day. I just can’t seem to create a post that has enough value that it’s worth posting at all. However, now I will.

That aside, I have been looking at CloudFlare, and I’ve implemented it in some areas. WordPress is locked to a domain, so this blog isn’t behind CloudFlare. Most sections of theoks.net can be viewed behind CloudFlare by replacing theoks.net with theoks.tk.

What CloudFlare does for you is that it caches static resources like CSS, Javascript, and images, closer to you, resulting in faster load of images and styles. Especially on the image board, and the zoomable Minecraft map render this can be advantageous.

I have also added Google’s +1 button to post pages, as well as the home page, and moved the Tweet button with it to below the post content.

In related news I got into Google+, which is pretty exciting. You may ask me for an invite, but I cannot guarantee that you will be allowed to join.

Blog Optimizations

So I took some time to check things up, and I looked up some stuff. I took a look at Mashable’s 11 Ways to Speed Up WordPress. I picked up W3 Total Cache and set it up. I set everything to store in memcached, and in two memcached instances, one on my server that runs my blog, and one that runs on a virtual machine on a server in my basement.

It seems to have sped some loading time up, but I don’t know. If you think it did, by all means, comment.

Thanks to those behind W3 Total Cache, and Cyrus Patten, author of the post on Mashable.

Spamming Tactic: Exploiting Search Engines

It’s nothing new, but I see it happening right now. Spammers are searching for “leave a comment” on Google, and using those results to feed into spam bots that go and do the work. Google, please stop letting spammers search for “leave a comment”. Just block that string from being searched, as it won’t ever affect an actual user. Nobody would just be searching for “leave a comment” and not haveĀ  malicious intentions.

Software doesn’t have insight like this, and that’s why programmers must remain in the business. To help the software learn.

Spam, spam, spam

Spam is always a problem. It’s a problem for everyone. Blocking it is also a problem. You can lots of the time have false positives. Which gets annoying. Also when your anti-spam doesn’t block enough. Or when it gets in your way. Maybe it doesn’t even work with your specific software.

I have spam problems too. SpamAssassin is the most well known open source mail-based anti-spam solution. The developers behind SpamAssassin need your help. They need you to submit “ham” and “spam” mail in order to teach SpamAssassin to recognize new spammer techniques.

Check the project out at this wiki page.

Blog statistics for August

Viewage graph
As you can see, our blog views have really declined. NO ONE who is a registered user of OKS Blog has viewed this blog in the past four days! Right now, the total number of views is stagnant at around 1,377 and we wish someone would come and view this blog. We had 40+ views on August 10th, followed by a few more peaks & valleys, but the line is flat. Help OKS Blog raise that line! Link to us on your blog, on Twitter (follow @oksblog), Facebook, Myspace, whatever. Tell your friends, colleagues, co-workers about this great blog!

Things around here might get a lot faster

I was able to compile the memcache PECL extension for my copy of PHP on my Mac. Now I just need a separate machine for memcached. When I get such a thing, OKS Blog would be much better, as queries from the DB would be cached through memcached, and memory is *much* faster than hard drive.

Click on a few ads (seen near the top of the page) to support my crazy venture of a separate memcached machine, and we’ll see how speed improves when we get a memcached machine up.

The memcached machine will be running a stripped Fedora 11 install (as in no GUI), with a 64-bit kernel (because it’s a whole new machine I’m gonna put together). I know that memcached is used in the Fedora Infrastructure with MediaWiki. Possibly, I might have the wordpress-mu install use memcached as well.

For those of you who don’t know what memcached is, memcached is “a high-performance, distributed memory object caching system, generic in nature, but intended for use in speeding up dynamic web applications by alleviating database load.” (from the memcached home page) memcached came from LiveJournal, a project of Danga Interactive. We’ll see if when we get a memcached instance (if we get a memcached instance) things speed up.

Open Source Solutions for WordPress spam comments

You probably don’t know, but I’m working with some other Fedora contributors on a Fedora install of WordPress MU. The thing is, for a spam solution, all of it has to be open source, so Akismet or reCAPTCHA won’t work. So I ask you, Fedora users and contributors. Firstly, is spam an issue onĀ  your blogs? If so, what do you use for anti-spam on your self-hosted WordPress blog? Leave a nice little comment.