4 of the Best Spam Filters for WordPress

When a blog receives lots of comments, it is a sign that the blog is a popular one among visitors. On the flip side, a blog with spam comments looks unprofessional. You can either spend your days deleting all of the spam that your WordPress blog is sure to receive, or you can leave the majority of the work up to spam filters. There are a lot of options out there for WordPress spam filters, but the following are some of the most popular that you may want to try.

Akismet

Automatic Kismet (Akismet for short) is very well liked by all who need spam blocked from their blogs. You can get it as a WordPress plugin or you can go straight to Akismet.com to download this spam filter. Keep it updated and you will enjoy a spam-free blog space. As Akismet gets to know your site, it will be able to spot spam with even more efficiency.

Bad Behavior

This spam filter vows to slow the “flood” of spam by stopping them before they even get sent. In their own words, “Bad Behavior also transcends other link spam solutions by working in a completely different, unique way. Instead of merely looking at the content of potential spam, Bad Behavior analyzes the delivery method as well as the software the spammer is using. In this way, Bad Behavior can stop spam attacks even when nobody has ever seen the particular spam before.”

Defensio

Defensio not only acts as a spam filter, it also blocks malicious content and filters profanity and unwanted URLs. This is clearly a one-stop shop for creating a cleaner blog environment. Powered byWebsenses ThreatSeeker Network, Defensio is supported by most platforms including WordPress.

Spam Hitman

This is a simple spam filter for WordPress, but the best part is that you can decide on some of the details. For instance, if you think that you might write about poster printing in your blog and you will say poster printing 10 times but no more than, you can set the spam filter to pick up a comment that says poster printing 11 or more times. Or you can allow your regular visitor to always be able to comment, even if they use poster printing 11 or more times.

Spam filters will save you a considerable amount of time and effort when keeping your blog clean. Try out each of the above WordPress filters to see which one works best for you, and then sit back and let your filter do all of the hard work with blocking spam.

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5 Ways to Remote Test Your Website for Usability

The usability of your website can be measured to an extent. There are programs that will test the usability or you can use people to test it. Remote testing allows you to find trouble spots on your website so that you can fix them. Let’s say that you have a website the specializes in brochures. You need to know if your users understand how to order brochure printing on your website. Otherwise, you could be loosing valuable customers with a difficult to use website. Here are few ways to remote test your website.

1. Have someone you know test out your website while you screen share

This can be a very good way to test your website usability. Find a friend or coworker who is honest and helpful. Have them visit your website while you are screen sharing and on the phone with them. As they look over your website, ask them general questions that will help you to see the usability of the site. Ask about their impressions while you watch them click on links and navigate your site.

2. Use an electronic test that will give you an idea of your usability

This type of unattended research will automatically read your website and tell you where individuals will generally look and how you website measures up. You can find many online tools that will measure your usability in one way or another.

3. Usertesting.com

Usertesting.com will give you results in less than an hour. For $29 per user, you will get a 20 minute video of that user making their way around your website. They will also give you a written report along with the video.

4. Use forums to answer your questions about usability

By asking other impartial users to test out your website, you will get a good idea of its usability. Hackernews is a good place to get advice on creating a new website. You can also ask about testing your website there.

5. Silverback for Mac and Morae for Windows

Here are two programs that use gorilla testing techniques to help you better understand your customers and how they use your website. They record facial expressions along with clicks and other actions. Other techniques they use are surveys and focus groups.

With one or more of these remote testing tools, you can make sure that your business website is as effective and successful as it can be.

 

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What’s going on with Sony, Android and Google?

Yesterday we witnessed Google TV open it’s web-doors and it reminded me of a common thread between Sony and Google.

Nov 2009 saw Sony announce it was releasing a Xperia phone using Android OS

May 2010 saw Sony announce the first TV to feature Google TV, it’s a fair guess that it’s running a variant of Android.

“I am delighted to announce the unique alignment of Google’s rapidly growing, open source Android platform with Sony’s unparalleled expertise in the field of TV design and technology.” – Sony’s Chairman, CEO and President, Sir Howard Stringer

In addition to this alignment there’s also lots of rumours about things you’d associate with an Android device:

Aug 2010 rumours around Gamescom about Rear Touch, whilst Rear touch isn’t specific to Android, touch alone is something we’ve not seen on a Sony device.

Sept 2010 – PlayStation looking for Android developers. This could be anything from partner marketing apps, PSP2 systems or Google TV PSN connector?

Sept 2010 sees Yoshida-san say “Future platforms will be developer-friendly”, could this be an Android based PSP2? It’d certainly be a damn sight easier to make games using a common open-source OS and Sony have been long term fans of open-source platforms such as Linux as we saw when they used to let you install it on your PS3. And many developers will know that all the early development software for their consoles that comes from Japan is typically Linux based, which is a royal PITA.

Sept 2010 saw Shaun Himmerick ‘confirms’ the next PSP in his PAX10 interview. Well, all he did was recognise it’s existence.

Does this mean anything? Is it leading anywhere? Who knows but there’s a lot of pieces out there. Yes, I did work at Sony but it doesn’t mean I know anything more than anyone else as I’m sure you can imagine how limited information is in a large corporation and it wouldn’t be the 1st time that everyone else got to find out before the people closest knew.

Maybe it’s wishful thinking but I really hope they do use Android, it’d make all of the game developers lives an awful lot easier and gain some of the ground lost to Microsoft and Apple, who both make it an absolute doddle to make games for their platforms.

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Episodic Game Content Done Right

I think there’s a missed opportunity with Episodic games that are currently being launched, they’re largely just about delivering a known experience over an extended period of time and splitting the costs throughout each episode.

There’s very little focus on the user experience and, more importantly, the social experience that episodic content can repeatedly deliver.

I think they key to this is engaging everyone in a simultaneous and recurring experience, like a TV show.

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My Favourite iOS Music Apps

I’ve spent a little while this week whiling away the hours with a couple of music related apps for iPhone / iPad I’d recommend you check-out. Perfect for a Sunday morning.

BIT.TRIP BEAT

My Favourite iOS Music AppsI saw a video of BIT.TRIP being played over on YouTube and it looked exactly like my kind of game. It look fun and furious with a great graphic style all of its own. I had to have it!

BIT.TRIP BEAT is the arcade game for the new millennium, fusing Pong with interactive beats. Use the accelerometer or touch controls to move the paddle up and down bouncing beats back from which they came! Listen and react to different beat progressions as you try to survive an onslaught of spectacular retro visuals. Successfully chain beats and obtain the megasphere to go for insane scores, not to mention the elusive “Perfect Score.” Team-up with your friends for the intense Multiplayer Gameplay Mode! Bounce to the beat with BIT.TRIP BEAT!

My Favourite iOS Music AppsBIT.TRIP for iPad

My Favourite iOS Music AppsBIT.TRIP for iPhone

Modizer

My Favourite iOS Music Apps

Modizer is a great way to check out those old game tracks like Chris Huelsbeck’s Turrican 2 Intro, and Rob Hubbard’s Lightforce and Zoids played on SID and MOD, not only does it sound amazing but it includes a nice visualiser too.

It has built in access to HVSC and other libraries of music making it a breeze to find your favourite tunes and be amazed at what can be achieved in a tiny bit of memory.

Get your self some old skool tunes!

Modizer is a multiformat modules & chiptunes player which allows you to listen to computers and consoles music (C64, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Amiga, PC, GB, NES, SNES, SMS, Genesis/Megadrive, PcEngine, PSX, …).
Minimum requirement is iPhone 3G/iPod 2G, iOS 3.0 or more.
Modizer is also optimized for iPad & iPhone 4.

Based on multiple high quality playback engines and using either the FTP server, the builtin WEB browser or the integrated Modland & HVSC databases you can discover or listen again to the best music from the videogames (8/16bits era) and demoscene history.

Discover some real gems from famous people like Chris Huelsbeck, Jochen Hippel, Purple Motion, Lizardking, Audiomonster or Rob Hubbard, …

My Favourite iOS Music Apps Modizer for iPhone
My Favourite iOS Music AppsModizer for iPad

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Flow – Make Better Games

I’ve been meaning to re-present something I did for a whole game development studio a while back about ‘Flow’. It instantly improved production and was something we held dear as a team.

Have you ever said anything like:

  • “Wow, is it that time already?”
  • “Sorry, I was miles away”
  • “I get my best work done when everyone’s gone home!”

If the answer is yes, then you’ve experienced a state of Flow and most likely been incredibly productive. It’s sometimes called being “in the zone” too among others. Here’s my take on a well-known psychological state and why it’s important to game developers.

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Welcome

Hi, my name is Simeon Pashley and I'd like to introduce you to my blog. I've been professionally developing software since 1986. After an extensive career in Game Development, I switched to Web Development in 2010.

I work full-time as CTO, CIO, CMO for food ecommerce business Approved Food and I'm an acting Director for web developer Ring Alpha.

I also own & operate WriteDaily View my Speakerfile Profile

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