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Reflections on 10+ years of blogging

Om Malik shared yesterday what he’s learned in 10 years of blogging.

1. Blogging is communal.
2. Be authentic.
3. When wrong, admit it and listen to those who were right.
4. Be regular.
5. Treat others as you expect yourself to be treated.
6. Respect your readers’ time.
7. Wait 15 minutes before publishing.
8. Write everything as if your mom is reading.
9. It’s not opinion–it’s viewing the world a certain way and sharing that view.
10. A little snark goes a long way.
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Looking back at a year with WordPress

It was approximately one year ago that I migrated my web site to WordPress. In a way it felt like going home again, as I’d used the predecessor to WordPress, a blogging system called b2, for a couple of years around the turn of the century. I liked b2, but it lacked moderation capability and my blog was becoming a spam magnet. Had I been able to hang in there a few more months, WordPress would have come to my rescue, but I didn’t, so my migration took about a decade longer than it could have.

Better late than never. And it’s been a good year.

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How to view questionable PDFs safely

I said Tuesday that it’s a bad idea to download and view PDF (Adobe Acrobat/Adobe Reader) documents from questionable sources, but I didn’t really elaborate on why, nor did I tell you how to view questionable PDFs safely.

The reason is that pretty much anybody with a little bit of determination and the ability to follow a recipe can plant a trap in a PDF file and use it to gain access to your computer. Adobe Reader is extremely prone to these kinds of attacks, and don’t think you’re safe if you don’t run Windows. There are toolkits that will inject traps that work on Macintoshes and Linux too.

Yes, your antivirus software should catch it. But most antivirus software doesn’t dig deeply enough into PDF files to find it.

Scared yet? You should be. You do have some options.
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Don’t fall for the new Facebook stalker scam

According to trusted antivirus vendor Sophos, there’s a rogue Facebook application, posing as an app that claims to reveal a way to see who’s been secretly viewing your profile.

It’s a scam. And it’s spreading rapidly. It posts messages on your wall and tries to get you to visit a spam site. Don’t fall for it, but if you already have, delete the fake messages it posts.

Here’s a real app I want you to install instead: Safego.
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Putting blog updates on Facebook

Some unknown percentage of my Facebook friends are interested in my blog posts. And some other unknown percentage of them would be if they knew what I was posting. There are several ways to get WordPress to put blog post links on Facebook, but some work better than others. I’d like to thank Rob O’Hara for doing 90% of the R&D for me on that, by telling the world about FT Facepress II.

There was just one problem for me: My web server can’t send e-mail.

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Why would anyone want my e-mail account?

One of my train acquaintances’ e-mail addresses got hacked last week. And yesterday The Consumerist warned not to play games on social networking sites telling people what your royal name would be by substituting things like the names of places you’ve lived for your real name. That led to people asking why anyone would want an Ordinary Joe’s e-mail account.

Ordinary Joe’s e-mail account is priceless, that’s why.
Read More »Why would anyone want my e-mail account?

The circulating privacy threat warnings miss the boat

This week I’ve had multiple people send me warnings they saw on Facebook about a new privacy threat, which, after I read about it, really appears just to be something that aggregates information already available about you.

Perhaps not coincidentally, PC Magazine has a piece telling you what you need to do if you’re really concerned about privacy and really want to disappear. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2376023,00.asp
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Fixing my b0rken WordPress installation

A little over a week ago, WordPress started acting weird. First, it just got dog slow. Then my site stats page started freezing until I scrolled down and then back up again. Then I started seeing a WordPress.com logon screen on my site stats page. I had to look that account up. Thank goodness for Gmail. Then my Akismet spam filter quit working. Then my stats page stopped working entirely.

I lived with it for a couple of days. I figured maybe WordPress and Akismet had changed something. Or maybe my Linux distribution had. And maybe some update messed things up, and some other update would come along and fix it. No such luck.Read More »Fixing my b0rken WordPress installation