Category: Cool stuff

Your e-mail holds the bulk of your online information. Unfortunately, that information is out in the open. That is, unless you decide to encrypt it so only you can determine who can read it.

The growth of the internet, and e-mail in particular, has given rise to numerous types of encryption software for the secure transmission of information. There are various reasons for wanting to encrypt your e-mail today:
Client confidentiality. You need to transmit sensitive commercial information over e-mail, and you don’t want people who sneak onto or steal your computer to compromise your clients’ privacy.
You want to avoid prosecution by the government. Perhaps you you live under an authoritarian regime that is trying to infringe on your civil liberties. We’ll give you the benefit of the doubt here.
You are a business owner or the head of an organization targeted by digital con artists and you need a system to authenticate your identity amongst your clientele.

What You’ll Need

Encryption on the internet is not unlike your typical lock and key combination. What you’ll need to do is choose the lock, in the form of encryption platform, and then generate a key to lock (encrypt) or unlock (decrypt) your data.
Choose your lock

  • There are various encryption platforms. Some popular standards include:
    Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
    Triple Data Encryption Algorithm (TDEA), X.509
    Various flavors of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), including Open PGP and Gnu Privacy Guard (GPG)
  • Because encryption ought to be tightly integrated with your e-mail client, the standard you end up using is probably going to be determined by what works with your e-mail client of choice. For example, Microsoft Outlook comes with TDEA encryption, Apple’s Mail supports X.509 encryption, and there is a GPG add-on for Firefox that works with Google’s GMail.

    Create your keys

    To get started with encryption, you need to create an encryption key pair, which is like a digital signature and pass code. Your e-mail client or stand-alone encryption software might be able to create these keys for you or you may be directed to the web site of a certificate authority such as Thawte or Verisign to create and store your key.

    Enter your full name, your e-mail address, and create a pass phrase that will ensure that only you can use your key. Your pass phrase should be fairly long and complicated – you shouldn’t use names, dates, addresses, or anything else that can be easily guessed at. One simple method is to use mondegreens; you know, those misinterpreted words you used to sing along with, until you learn what the real lyrics really are and become terribly embarrassed. For example, Jimi Hendrix’s “‘scuse me, while I kiss this guy.”

    Certificate authorities create a key pair of both a private and a public key for you. The only people who should have access to your private key are you and the certificate authority; this key is what allows you to encrypt files and decrypt files meant just for you. The public key is freely distributed to anyone you correspond with; it allows other people to check your digital signature to confirm that you are the actual author, and it allows them to encrypt files and messages that only you can decrypt. Depending on the encryption standard you are using, you may have to send people your public key by attaching a file, or it may be automatically downloaded from the certificate authority’s public key server.

    Start encrypting!

    The two most common functions of encryption software are Signing and Encrypting. Signing an e-mail lets anyone who has access to your public key decrypt the message, and serves to confirm that you are the original author. Signing is useful in situations where unsavory characters may be sending out fraudulent information in your name and you need people to know what information is really coming from you. Encrypting scrambles plain text or file attachments and only allows the intended recipient to access them. Encrypted files and messages are also signed as a matter of course, so the recipient can also confirm that the message they are decoding did actually come from you.

    In the Future

    As computers get more powerful, it becomes easier to crack encryption. In fact, one of the very first digital computers ever created, Colossus, was used to decrypt German codes during World War II. Typically as code breakers get more powerful, encryption systems just use longer and longer codes to slow down brute-force attempts to guess them: right now most desktop encryption software offers up to 4,096-bit encryption.

    An entirely new system of encryption is being developed that takes advantage of the principles of quantum mechanics: quantum encryption creates an entangled key pair of qubits that is shared among two parties. These entangled qubits allow the two parties to share information securely, and – due to the peculiar role observation plays in quantum mechanics – also alerts them if anyone is attempting to eavesdrop on their secure channel. Quantum cryptography is already running on experimental military and university communication networks, and if the example of the World War II code-breaking machines is any indication, it’s only a matter of time until the technology trickles down to consumers.

    Google bombing involves manipulating search engines’ contextual search methodologies to cause a certain search phrase to point to an unexpected page, usually for comedic or satirical purposes. A recent example of a Google bomb happened in January 2008, when the search phrase “dangerous cult” returned the Chuch of Scientology home page as the top search result.

    Google bombing — also known by the more generic term “link bombing” — works with any search engine using a relevancy algorithm similar to Google’s. For example, run a search for “miserable failure” in Yahoo Search. You’ll see prominent links to President George W. Bush’s biography at at or near the top of the list.

    The heart of the system is Google’s PageRank algorithm, as well as equivalent competing technologies. The PageRank system assigns a numeric score of 0-10 for each page on the web. Google derives a page’s ranking from the PageRank scores of all other pages that link to it.

    The key to Google bombing is to generate outgoing links to your target from highly-ranked sites. Get enough highly-ranked sites pointing to your target using the same phrase, and you’ll push the target site to the top of the list of search results one sees when entering that mischievous phrase.

    Here’s how to do it.

    Step 1: Plan Your Assault

    You’ll need a lot of friends who can be convinced to cooperate. The number of links you need depends on a number of factors, including the PageRank of the sites the phrase is posted on as well as the precise phraseology.

    Alternatively, you can do all the linking yourself, but you would need at least a few hundred links on separate domains to get the desired result.

    Typically, the victim is someone you and a bunch of other people dislike. The more high-profile the target, the better your chances of being seen and making your point.

    Unlike the good old days, however, you can no longer google bomb for any phrase you like. The google update of Jan 07 (referenced below) means that it’s necessary to choose your phrase from words which already appear on the page in question. For example, the recent google bomb of the scientology site for ‘dangerous cult’ only worked because the word ‘cult’ was mentioned on the page.

    Step 2: Generate a Whole Lotta Links

    The more highly-ranked links search engines detect, the greater rank the chosen site will receive. Typical links include the URL of the target site, with the key phrase comprising the anchor text of the link. A link’s anchor text is the words that appear between the and the closing tag in a link.

    Tip: The more obscure the linked phrase, the better. If the phrase you choose is a popular one, you may need more links than an obscure phrase.

    The total number of links depends on a lot of factors, but think in terms of hundreds or thousands, not millions. For example, the hacker radio show Off The Hook successfully Google bombed themselves with the search term “blank expressions.” They peaked as the 6th-ranked site for that phrase with a total of about 350 links.

    Step 3: Tell Everyone

    What’s the use of link bombing if no one notices? After the bomb takes hold, publicize it so ordinary citizens learn all about your move. Use a social networking site. That is, you could generate web traffic with Twitter.

    Tips & Tricks
    In January 2007, it was announced that Google would be taking steps to limit the effectiveness of Google bombing. It’s subsequent algorithm tweak rendered most bombs ineffective. Rather than eliminate them altogether, Google directed search queries to discussion pages describing the bomb and Google’s reasons for defusing them. Furthermore, Google is known for manually altering PageRank scores for various reasons, including succumbing to political pressure. Many Google bombs have been suppressed for public relations reasons.
    Yahoo, AltaVista and other search engines have not announced any similar measures, so many older bombs that no longer work with Google still work with these other engines.
    Also, it is possible to Google bomb for commercial or self-promotional purposes. Commercial link bombing, also known as “spamdexing,” involves driving traffic to sites by the massive creation of links via bots, usually targeting the comment fields of blog posts.

    Through it all, Jobs maintained the highest level of secrecy. Internally, the project was known as P2, short for Purple 2 (the abandoned iPod phone was called Purple 1). Teams were split up and scattered across Apple’s Cupertino, California, campus. Whenever Apple executives traveled to Cingular, they registered as employees of Infineon, the company Apple was using to make the phone’s transmitter. Even the iPhone’s hardware and software teams were kept apart: Hardware engineers worked on circuitry that was loaded with fake software, while software engineers worked off circuit boards sitting in wooden boxes. By January 2007, when Jobs announced the iPhone at Macworld, only 30 or so of the most senior people on the project had seen it.

    The hosannas greeting the iPhone were so overwhelming it was easy to ignore its imperfections. The initial price of $599 was too high (it has been lowered to $399). The phone runs on AT&T’s poky EDGE network. Users can’t perform email searches or record video. The browser won’t run programs written in Java or Flash.

    But none of that mattered. The iPhone cracked open the carrier-centric structure of the wireless industry and unlocked a host of benefits for consumers, developers, manufacturers — and potentially the carriers themselves. Consumers get an easy-to-use handheld computer. And, as with the advent of the PC, the iPhone is sparking a wave of development that will make it even more powerful. In February, Jobs will release a developer’s kit so that anyone can write programs for the device.

    Manufacturers, meanwhile, enjoy new bargaining power over the carriers they’ve done business with for decades. Carriers, who have seen AT&T eat into their customer bases, are scrambling to find a competitive device, and they appear willing to give up some authority to get it. Manufacturers will have more control over what they produce; users — not the usual cabal of complacent juggernauts — will have more influence over what gets built.

    Application developers are poised to gain more opportunities as the wireless carriers begin to show signs of abandoning their walled-garden approach to snaring consumers. T-Mobile and Sprint have signed on as partners with Google’s Android, an operating system that makes it easy for independent developers to create mobile apps. Verizon, one of the most intransigent carriers, declared in November that it would open up its network for use with any compatible handset. AT&T made a similar announcement days later. Eventually this will result in a completely new wireless experience, in which applications work on any device and over any network. In time, it will give the wireless world some of the flexibility and functionality of the Internet.

    It may appear that the carriers’ nightmares have been realized, that the iPhone has given all the power to consumers, developers, and manufacturers, while turning wireless networks into dumb pipes. But by fostering more innovation, carriers’ networks could get more valuable, not less. Consumers will spend more time on devices, and thus on networks, racking up bigger bills and generating more revenue for everyone. According to Paul Roth, AT&T’s president of marketing, the carrier is exploring new products and services — like mobile banking — that take advantage of the iPhone’s capabilities. “We’re thinking about the market differently,” Roth says. In other words, the very development that wireless carriers feared for so long may prove to be exactly what they need. It took Steve Jobs to show them that.

    In very Orwellian logic, a couple readers have told me that the lack of gesture support in the Android OS’s UI and stock apps was a good thing, because it would let the open source community innovate in individual apps for the Google mobile platform. By leaving such basic functionality as gestures nonstandardized, they argued, the platform would be fertile ground for the open source community to develop untold wonders that would render the controlled platforms such as the iPhone as dinosaurs.

    This is precisely why I fear for Android’s future. The open source community is much more likely, based on its history, to screw around with umpteen hundred variations that are piled willy-nilly on top of umpteen OS variants, creating a mess that only a few nerds will want to play with. In other words, we’ll end up with a replay of desktop Linux, which in 10 years is still a mess of precious versions and precious innovations, yet lacks basics such as common drivers and interface standards that would let regular people use it and let developers who need to earn a living get enough of a market to bother.

    Google would be stupid to let the open source community turn Android into yet another series of technologist-oriented fantasy fiefdoms sparring like medieval kingdoms. The open source community should either leave Android alone or coalesce into a de facto manager, as has happened with successful open source efforts such as server Linux and MySQL. Of course, that means not being a free-for-all, but a virtual or real “company,” as those successful open source efforts actually are.

    If the rumors are to be believed, Google gets the problem, which is why it supposedly is planning its own gPhone for early 2010 to set a standard, deeply functional version of the platform that might actually take root.

    What to shoot in black & white
    If your scene is already bland, removing color totally could elevate a boring snapshot to an interesting landscape. Or perhaps you want to recreate the nostalgia of a bygone era. Black-and-white photographs have a way of conveying an antique, sentimental feeling that isn’t possible in color photographs.

    Effective use of contrast

    Lighting and contrast go hand in hand...

    Color vs. gray tones
    Learning how film and pixels convert colors into gray tones is perhaps the hardest part of black-and-white photography. Then again, if the perfect Kodak moment occurs while your toddler is wearing totally mismatched clothing, black-and-white quickly becomes your best friend.

    Ask yourself whether the scene before you would look better in color or black-and-white. For instance, flowers almost always look best in color. But if your emphasis is on a dew drop hanging from the flower, perhaps black-and-white is the answer. You might also imagine a stop sign against a green background. If you want to emphasize the sign, keep the color. To minimize it, use black and white, because green and red convert into nearly identical gray tones.

    Contrast & key
    If you are using picture-editing software or a traditional darkroom to make your black-and-white photos, contrast and key are aspects you can emphasize or minimize in ways that are impossible in color pictures.

    High-contrast (an extreme range between bright and dark) scenes may confine a viewer’s attention to one element, while a low-contrast (with a narrow brightness range) scene may convey serenity and peace. You may also hear the terms high key (predominately light tones) and low key (predominately dark tones) in relation to black-and-white photography.

    Contrast and key are not synonyms. A photograph may be low in contrast, yet high in key, such as a blond, blue-eyed girl against a white background.

    Texture, line, & shape
    Maybe there’s an interesting weave in your son’s sweater. Or the leaves of your hosta plant have an interesting texture. Imagine how the lack of color would emphasize the texture, and how that might change the visual impact of your photo.

    Likewise, lines and shapes lead our eyes through a black-and-white picture in ways they do not in a color picture. A meandering fence, rows of corn growing in a field, and layers of rock on a cliff wall all have strong lines, and removing the color from these scenes may improve them.

    Take the color away and light does become a much more important part of your picture. Imagine a weathered picket fence with an old barn in the background. Waiting for an overcast or even foggy day will result in a soft, romantic landscape. However, shooting it late on a sunny afternoon when the sun is low on the horizon and the shadows from the fence are long and dark will accentuate the texture of the fence. The mood in this picture will be totally different.

    How Google Works

    Google’s search engine is a powerful tool. Without search engines like Google, it would be practically impossible to find the information you need when you browse the Web. Like all search engines, Google uses a special algorithm to generate search results. While Google shares general facts about its algorithm, the specifics are a company secret. This helps Google remain competitive with other search engines on the Web and reduces the chance of someone finding out how to abuse the system.

    ­Google uses automated programs called spiders or crawlers, just like most search engines. Also like other search engines, Google has a large index of keywords and where those words can be found. What sets Google apart is how it ranks search results, which in turn determines the order Google displays results on its search engine results page (SERP). Google uses a trademarked algorithm called PageRank, which assigns each Web page a relevancy score.

    A Web page’s PageRank depends on a few factors:

    * The frequency and location of keywords within the Web page: If the keyword only appears once within the body of a page, it will receive a low score for that keyword.
    * How long the Web page has existed: People create new Web pages every day, and not all of them stick around for long. Google places more value on pages with an established history.
    * The number of other Web pages that link to the page in question: Google looks at how many Web pages link to a particular site to determine its relevance.

    Out of these three factors, the third is the most important. It’s easier to understand it with an example. Let’s look at a search for the terms “Planet Earth.”

    As more Web pages link to Discovery’s Planet Earth page, the Discovery page’s rank increases. When Discovery’s page ranks higher than other pages, it shows up at the top of the Google search results page.

    Because Google looks at links to a Web page as a vote, it’s not easy to cheat the system. The best way to make sure your Web page is high up on Google’s search results is to provide great content so that people will link back to your page. The more links your page gets, the higher its PageRank score will be. If you attract the attention of sites with a high PageRank score, your score will grow faster.

    Hitting the Links
    Google uses lots of tricks to prevent people from cheating the system to get higher placement on SERPs. For example, as a Web page adds links to more sites, its voting power decreases. A Web page that has a high PageRank with lots of outgoing links can have less influence than a lower-ranked page with only one or two outgoing links.

    Google initiated an experiment with its search engine in 2008. For the first time, Google is allowing a group of beta testers to change the ranking order of search results. In this experiment, beta testers can promote or demote search results and tailor their search experience so that it’s more personally relevant. Google executives say there’s no guarantee that the company will ever implement this feature into the search engine globally.­

    Google announced the beta version of Adsense for mobile applications. With this new service, developers will be able to better monetize their applications and games. What’s more, the revenue generated should be enough to encourage developers into spending more time on their Android projects.

    In order to qualify for the beta service, a developer’s application must generate 100,000 impressions per day. The developers generate revenue based on the number of people who click on an advertisement they display. The click-through rate, or CTR, is often higher on mobile ad units because they are highly targeted toward their audience.

    The other important metric in determining payout is CPM, or cost per thousand impressions. Desktop websites can have a CPM as high as $3 since publishers are allowed to display three units on one page. But for mobile ad units, you’re only allowed to display a single ad at a time. Ads are displayed at the bottom of the screen in the game menus, and are not visible during gameplay.

    Since the service has yet to fully launch, it’s hard to determine what rate the developers can expect to earn from their impressions. For example, a CPM of $1 on 100,000 impressions would result in a profit of $100 a day or roughly $3,000 a month. That’s a nice bonus for the developer in exchange for placing a few lines of code in their application.

    Adsense will be a direct competitor for Admob. Google has a large Adwords customer base, and I expect they will be able to move these ad sales. It will be interesting to see how the rates compare between the two services, though it is my experience with Adsense that they pay pretty well versus the competition.

    Cestos from Chicken Brick Studios is an example of an Android game that is trying the mobile ad unit revenue model. Downloads for the free game range from 10,000 to 50,000. In comparison, many of the best selling Android games fail to pass 10,000 downloads.

    As one of the first multiplayer titles, Cestos has become wildly popular among Android gamers. Included with the game are many community features such as buddy lists, chat rooms, private messaging, and player rankings. Using the game lobby, it only takes a few clicks to invite your friends into a quick challenge match.

    Each match lasts only a few minutes or sometimes even seconds, so it is easy to play 10 games in a row. At the end of each game, you are returned to the main menu that display ads. By increasing their player community and encouraging more play time, they will continue to grow their impressions each month.

    Since sales of a static game eventually stall in sales a developer will need to update their game with new content and features to attract new players and retain current customers. Chicken Brick has responded by adding new maps, support for soft keyboards, and a feats system to unlock extras that is similar to Xbox achievements.

    The game is an absolute blast, and I hope that Adsense succeeds so developers like Chicken Brick can justify offering some titles for free. In the end, though, it all comes down to the advertisers and what they are willing to spend. I have yet to discover any Android app that has generated a high income–we’ll have to wait and see if Adsense will have the first success story.

    1. Stop encouraging refunds.

    The Android Market lacks a formal application prescreening process and we’re cool with that. We also like the clearly stated return policy of 24 hours.1 The problem is that the Android Market almost encourages customers to seek a refund. Upon downloading an app, a screen with two large buttons of equal size is presented: open and uninstall. This poor UI presumes disappointment. Worse, there is no confirmation if the uninstall button is accidentally touched.
    2. Allow developers to promote apps through promo codes.

    The ability to grant a promo code in the Apple App Store has proved to be valuable for app exposure. Developers cannot buy promotion within the Android Market, a stance of neutrality which we appreciate, but we need other tools to aid marketing elsewhere. Google Checkout’s coupon feature should be exposed to the Android Market. Bloggers have contacted us asking for evaluation copies and giveaways. Our only current option is to throw the apk around the internet and that’s just asking for casual piracy.
    3. Improve browsability.

    Google accounts are required for the Android Market, yet customers can’t go anywhere on Google’s site to browse and purchase applications. The App Store within iTunes offers a fun browsing and impulse buy inducing experience. With no phone to computer syncing, Google should build an equally elegant Android Market for the full web browser where purchases could be pushed to the phone for download.

    The Android Market should aid app discovery with features like similar purchase lists and product screenshots. The more information available about an application, the less likely it will be returned. Just under half of Rejoinder‘s purchases have been refunded. We know that we have a great app, but it’s not targeted at tech savvy frat boys. Unfortunately, Android Market doesn’t help us convey that.

    Mixing free and paid app listings also hurts app discovery. Applications in the Android Market are listed by popularity and release date. Free applications had a long lead time over paid applications and dominate the popularity list. For a paid application to break into the top popular listing, it needs over 5,000 downloads. This is a difficult chicken and egg situation: our app can’t be found unless it’s popular and the Market does little to promote new apps.
    4. Improve license enforcement.

    Protection offered to app developers was broken in less than a 12 hours of release and has never been improved.2 We don’t believe in DRM because we know that most people who pirate software never would have paid for it anyway. This, however, does not mean that Android Market should ignore piracy. It wouldn’t be difficult to do a check upon installation or first run to confirm that an app has been licensed to the Google account of the phone.
    5. Realize the potential synergy within Google.

    Google Search: Yes, really. Search within the Android Market isn’t up to Google’s standards. When looking for Bejeweled, the search could not do a partial match of the application name and did not offer suggestions of potential intended spellings. This is just inexcusable for the world’s most popular search engine.

    Google Analytics and Google Checkout: these two products have an existing, powerful integration that allows online retailers to track a customer from ad click through purchase.3 As a developer, I would love to know where our customers are coming from, which blogs customers who don’t return our app read, and other demographic factors that influence purchases. Extending this integration to Android Market would offer insights to help developers better market their existing apps and make wiser business decisions about the next apps to develop.

    On a similar notion, Google Analytics should add a _trackPageview like API4 to allow developers the ability to track user interaction within apps. Aggregated data about how customers use an app is useful for improving usability and measuring post sale satisfaction.

    Google AdSense: Some people will never buy an app. AdSense for Android would allow developers to justify more feature complete lite editions of applications. AdMob’s runaway success on the iPhone should have Google worried that it’s going to miss the next great ad medium.

    The Apple App Store for iPhone and iPod Touch isn’t perfect, but the Android Market must learn from its competitor’s success if it wants to attract serious development. The immaturity of the Android Market makes us hesitant to pursue further Android application development. We have lots of great games coming that shouldn’t be exclusive to Apple products. If Google builds as great a marketplace as it has a mobile platform, great app offerings will follow.

    There are lots of internet marketers and even affiliate marketers today who put in a lot of effort into building up a website domain.

    They build it with content, get it indexed with the search engines and get website traffic on a daily consistent basis.

    At the end of the domain registration, they sometimes let these domains expire. Only the website owner knows why and one of the best ways to market your business is to purchase an expired domain name.

    Why You Should Consider Purchasing An Expired Domain Name

    When a domain name expires, this is an excellent opportunity for you to jump onto a name that fits your website business. After you purchase this expired domain, you inherit everything the previous domain owner has done for it. This is worth every penny you invest into it.

    As an example we purchased our domain name once it had expired, it cost us a little more money through a broker to do this but it already had many one way back links pointing to it so some of our marketing for the domain name was already done.

    Sometimes these domain names can range from $10 to hundreds of dollars or even higher depending if there are domain brokers behind it. Each day there are thousands and thousands of domains expiring and you will be sure to find something that will help grow your online business just with the domain alone.

    You Need To Research Everything Before Getting Any Expired Domains

    Remember, not all expired domains are great. You need to do your research to find out what expired domain to take advantage of. First off, you want to choose an expired domain that has positive feedback on it. If you do a Google search and type in the domain name, you can find out if there are any negative comments against the domain name.

    It would be terrible to buy an expired domain that already has a bad reputation and the back links to it are customers slamming the domain from their own blogs.

    It Is Better If The Domain Name Has An Established Traffic Flow

    When you are looking for a good expired domain name, the website traffic to it is key. The domain name may have expired awhile ago to just recently but there could still be traffic because of the search engines. If the domain is expiring soon and the website owner is actually advertising it, you can ask for traffic stats.

    Professional website owners will follow through with screen shots of daily to unique visitors. This should give you an idea of how much traffic the expiring domain has been getting for the time it’s been out in cyberspace.

    Make Sure The Domain Name Is A Good Match For Your Niche Market

    Choose an expired domain that fits your niche. With so many online entrepreneurs cashing in on niche topics, it’s best to find a domain that will fit your niche business. For example, you definitely don’t want to buy a generic domain such as “craft supplies” if you specialize in the niche of organic screen printing supplies.

    Always research what is marketable in your niche marketplace and go from there when choosing an expired domain name to buy.

    You’re choosing a domain name that your existing traffic can be led to. When you are Purchasing the expired domain make sure you do it as quickly as possible to ensure that you can benefit from it quickly. Have that domain in your sales letters, blog, newsletter and whatever else you are using to market your business.

    This post is going to give you the resources you need to block spam comments and trackbacks on your wordpress blog without having to use Akismet to do it.

    Firstly however lets talk about what happens if you use Akismet to handle your comments and trackbacks.

    Akismet is a useful tool in the right hands but what has been happening with all the hype surrounding spam comments and spam trackbacks is that if other Bloggers do not like what you have added to their post by way of your comment you can end up being flagged as a spammer on the Aksimet web server.

    And they do this simply by clicking on the spam link below your comment as illustrated below.

    Once you do this what happens is that you click is then recorded and placed into the Akismet web server where it is then processed as a spam comment.

    However after reading the Akismet FAQ page they also state that if you think you made a mistake marking a comment as spam you can also then simply go back to that comment and approve it.

    I don’t know how you handle comment spam., but once I make the decision not to allow the comment I delete it, so for me the option to recover the comment and remove it from the Akismet spam filter has already passed.

    Many are doing this without really knowing or understanding what the implications are to the commentator such as being blacklisted in the Aksimet web server where all their future comments are treated as spam.

    If you want to know more about this then check out this post Growmap’s blog Akismet Deletes Comments Bloggers Never See…

    You Should Have Control Of Your Online Community

    You have to remember one thing when creating a blog: it is your online community and the people who visit and comment on your blog are the ones that are helping you to succeed online. Why would you want them to post a comment on your site only for them to see a blank white screen appear, which then can lead to you continuously receiving emails with people saying that they are not able to post comments on your site.

    So as you can see by allowing this to happen you are potentially losing customers from your site by making their experience an uncomfortable one. It is in your business interest not to let others control it for you…

    So How Can You Set Up Your WordPress Blog Without Using Aksimet And Block Spam?

    Over the past month we have been testing different plugins to see what will best suit our needs in regards to comment spam as well as trackback spam and we have come up with some additional plugins that will not simply make your comments disappear without you ever seeing them but will also eliminate all the unwanted comment and trackback spam without putting extra work onto you.

    The first wordpress plugin that we are going to suggest you use is Si CAPTCHA . Once this is installed and setup your commentators will simply need to enter a code to then have their comment submitted into moderation or published immediately depending on your own blog preferences.

    The Si Captcha options page is very easy to use and understand. The only thing we needed to change was the setting for the difficulty level. The default is set to medium and we changed that to high.

    As you can see from the screen shot above, the options panel is very easy to understand and has additional options such as activating the Captcha on the log-in page of wordpress as well, which we did not need to use.
    One Problem Remained However Once We Disabled Akismet…”Trackback Spam”

    This was a problem that was very easily solved with another free wordpress plug-in called Simple Trackback Validation. This is a very useful plugin that stops a lot of your trackback spam.

    What Is Trackback Spam?

    Trackback spam is virtually the same as comment spam but has the ability to get around some of the safeguards that spam filters put in place. And for those that do not know what a trackback is, it is simply an automatic acknowledgment which is sent over the Internet indicating that another blog has linked to you.

    The Simple Track Validation Plugin is very easy to setup on your wordpress blog with the default settings being enough to stop virtually all trackback spam – at least for our site anyway.

    Hopefully this post has given you another alternative to consider when selecting which plugins are right for your WordPress blog and online business. We are not saying that there is anything wrong with using Akismet, but it was not suitable to our needs.

    We want to be in control of what happens on our site so we decided to join other Business Friendly DoFollow Blogs who are not using Akismet. If you have found other plugins that can be just as effective as the ones we have mentioned above please join in our discussion.