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Comments November 25, 2008

Spammer Evolution

Filed under: Anti-spam, blog — Dave Rathbun @ 2:19 pm CommentsComments (1) 

Today I decided to check in on my “honey pot” board that I have running. I haven’t been there in a week or so but things were still humming along last time I looked. This time when I logged in I got a warning from my pop-up blocker. My initial reaction? I’ve been hacked. :shock:

PM Spammers

It turned out that the real answer was much more benign… it was the notification of new private messages popping up. More…

Comments November 18, 2008

First Spam In … Over a Year

Filed under: Anti-spam, blog — Dave Rathbun @ 11:08 pm CommentsComments (6) 

Today I got my first spam that successfully navigated the Checkbox Challenge. It was caught by Akismet, which shows the power of a layered defense. On phpBB2 boards we have seen an increase in manual spam. Manual spam is really hard to defeat because it’s done by humans. On the other hand, it’s more expensive for the spammers too. I will be watching this closely to see how things trend over the next few months.

phpBB2 Refugees Questions and Answers (Q&A)

Filed under: phpBB2 Refugees — Dave Rathbun @ 7:15 am Comments Off 

This post is intended to provide answers to some of the questions that I have already been asked related to the launch of the phpBB2 Refugees community. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask them via the comment form and I will answer them. The answers to these questions are based on my own input only at this point. Some of the answers might change as the community evolves over the coming months.

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Comments November 17, 2008

Calling All phpBB2 Refugees

Filed under: phpBB2 Refugees — Dave Rathbun @ 3:30 pm CommentsComments (15) 

As many of you already know, phpBB2 support at phpbb.com is going to be frozen in a few months. By “frozen” I mean that the last phpBB2-related forums at phpbb.com will be closed as “read only” and only phpBB3 will be supported / MODded / styled / discussed there. I have gone on record more than once as stating that I understand why the phpBB Group has decided to do this. They want to move on to phpBB3 without the legacy phpBB2 holding them back. That makes sense to me, given their limited resources. I don’t have a problem with their decision at all.

In the last few months there really hasn’t been too much said about the decision. I expect that might change once things actually close.

Based on my own analysis, I have decided to stay on phpBB2 for at least another year or two. At this point I believe I will be waiting for 3.2 to be released before I reconsider migrating forward. As a result I will remain involved and interested in phpBB2 matters for a while. I have long suspected that I am not alone in this situation, and recent conversations have not done anything to change my opinion. For that reason (and more) I am proud to make the pre-launch announcement of a new site. I give you: phpBB2 Refugees :)

phpBB2 Refugees Logo

Now if you click that link today, as I post this, you won’t be able to get in. Not just yet. More…

Comments November 11, 2008

User Selectable Board Width

Filed under: MOD Writing — Dave Rathbun @ 11:57 pm CommentsComments (6) 

I got an interesting request for a feature on a new board I’m working on tonight. This is a phpBB2 board (of course :) ) and I am using a variation on subSilver. That template is “fluid” meaning the width will expand to fit the size of the window. Years ago having a site expand to fit the window was okay. Now that some people are using 1600×1200 pixel resolutions it can be hard to read. The human eye / brain simply can’t scan a line of text that far without losing track of where you are. I solve this myself by running my browsers at less than full screen, but that’s my choice. If someone else chooses to run their browser window stretched over two high-resolution monitors that should be there choice as well.

Where is this going? Based on the remarks made earlier tonight I worked out a really quick and easy MOD for phpBB2 (and the idea would work just as well for phpBB3). It’s a few bits of code that allow users to set a fixed width for the board (by pixel count) or opt for a full screen display. It took about an hour from initial concept to execution. :)

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Comments November 5, 2008

Board Advertising Options: Google Adsense Part III

Filed under: Advertising, phpBB — Dave Rathbun @ 7:50 am CommentsComments (1) 

In the first post in this series I talked about Google’s Adsense program and how it works. In the second post I talked about my implementation of Adsense on my big board, and I started to talk about the revenue that I have made from the program. The money has been good… I have averaged $100 per month since I joined the program several years ago. I can’t complain about that; if I walked by a $100 bill sitting on the street I would certainly stop and pick it up. :lol: What is interesting is how I have managed to average $100 per month… the numbers behind that number, so to speak. This post will provide that information. With pictures. Lots of pictures. :-D

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Comments November 1, 2008

Spammers Going Google

Filed under: Anti-spam — Dave Rathbun @ 1:11 pm CommentsComments (5) 

Google has a big challenge. Their blogger service is overrun with splogs. (And they don’t make it very easy to report them either.) Their web site search results have become polluted with people playing keyword and page rank games. And now their gmail service is being used to register spam accounts on phpBB boards. As of last month gmail is in second place for spammer registrations blocked by my Checkbox Challenge on one particular board. If I use only 2008 data gmail is essentially in a tie with mail.ru for most spam registration attempts.

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