WordPress.com, one of the most used blog host, now allows users to post text and images by email. If you are at work with Outlook or on the move with a BlackBerry and wanted to publish at quick post, this feature can be extremely useful.
Post by Email, is simple to use.
From the new ‘My Blogs’ menu you can generate special email addresses. You can create as many email addresses as you need, one for each blog you have access to.
You can send email from any email client, whether in a browser, on your desktop, or from your cell phone and as much formatting will be retained as possible.
Your images will be included and automatically converted into thumbnails. If you include multiple images, they’ll be converted into a gallery.
Post by Email Features:
- Transcoding of any video files supported by the WordPress video player (mp4, mov, wmv, avi, mpg, and m4v).
- Add your email addresses directly into your address book using downloadable vCards. (You don’t even need to remember the address)
- Automatic notification of a published email post.
- Automatic removal of standard signature blocks, with support for manual removal of other signatures.
- Conversion of YouTube URLs into embedded videos.
WordPress, one of the top open source blogging platforms and which we have reviewed here, holds a vast directory of plugins and widgets to enhance your blog functionality and performance. Here we are presenting few handy WordPress plugins for images and graphics.
Picasna lets you create professional fullscreen flash galleries from your Picasaweb account. You can upload images directly to Picasa Web Albums and they will appear on your blog or web page in no time. You can even adjust the image and album cover sizes. This plugin is platform independent and requires a browser with Flash 7 or higher.
- Fullscreen browsing.
- Show albums from your Picasaweb Account.
- Adjust thumbnail and album cover sizes.
- Next image preloading.
- UTF-8 Unicode. Now supports all languages
- Light and dark color schemes.
- Browser and platform independent. Requires a browser with Flash 7 (or higher) installed.
WordPress fans and critics alike have avidly awaited the release, considering this as the close-to-final version of WordPress 2.7 before its final release, originally targeted last November 10. The 280 commits have polished the new admin UI and finally solved many blocker bug problems. The new UI now includes the menu icons created by Ben Dunkle and Verena Segert, the winners of Project Icon, WordPress’ icon-making contest.
The RC1 roll out is a significant milestone for the WordPress team because this means they have finally moved to the last leg of development before the final release of WordPress 2.7. This comes after a series of beta releases that attempted to solve a series of showstopper bugs.
RC1 is ready for use in production, and WordPress encourages users to help evaluate the said release with the end-goal of improving the final release version 2.7.
WordPress 2.7, by the way, is touted to be packed with better graphics and functionalities, taking the simple task of blogging into a higher level.
You can download the RC1 here.
There’s a security hole in the actual version of WordPress which allows an attacker to randomly change passwords of other registered users (done by crafting an username). The passwords won’t be revealed to the attacker himself, but it is annoying for users to have their passwords changed suddenly. This attack, coupled with a weakness in the random number seeding in mt_rand(), could be used to predict the randomly-generated password (which is not something you want).
To keep up with WordPress development, checkout their blog.
I’m sure that many early technology adopters already found out about FriendFeed, the lifestream aggregator. What this does it merges your RSS feeds into one feed. And I’m giving you an example: let’s say you have an account on Facebook, StumbleUpon, Flickr, Twitter, LinkedIn, Amazon Whislits or even your personal blog…you can aggregate all the RSS of all these services into one and then share with people. There are other services like that but FriendFeed is the most known. All these services are hosted services which means you don’t 100% own it (you have to open an account and add the stuff).
Now you can have your very own personal service like that (well, almost – exception: merging the feeds)! This was made possible by Sweetcron, a self-hosted lifestream aggregator which now is in public beta. The developer is YongFook, a web producer from Tokyo, Japan (his website is an example of a Sweetcron installation).
I registered to their site in order to download the software (you will be confused a bit because you don’t get to download the software right away, they will send it by email the link to download).
I’ll spare you of registering your email with them so you can start experimenting right away.
Here is the direct link to the download site: http://code.google.com/p/sweetcron/downloads/list
And here is the direct link to their documentation: http://code.google.com/p/sweetcron/wiki/Installation
* A web server with at least PHP5 and MySQL4.1
* A web server with mod_rewrite installed
* Some rss feeds of your activity across the web
Installation (administration video below)
Download the ZIP file and unzip it. Now you have the root and two directories: “public” and “system” (and “index.php“, “.htaccess“, “favicon.ico” and “license.txt“).
To configure Sweetcron lifestream aggregator before uploading do this:
- 1. In “system/application/config/” rename “config-sample.php” to “config.php”
2. Open “config.php” in a text editor (Notepad, Editplus, Notepad++, Ultraedit would do it) and replace “http://www.your-site.com/” with your full site URL, including trailing slash.
3. In “system/application/config/” rename “database-sample.php” to “database.php“.
4. Open “database.php” in a text editor and fill in the username, password and database.
Upload the files by FTP to your web server account (you have two choices: to install it on your account’s root or in a sub-folder).
For an easy upload I recommend to use Filezilla FTP program.
You have to create a database to hold your data. Many hosting companies offers this options from their control panel (usually named “MySQL Databases“. Go there and create a new database. Then create a new user (don’t forget the username and the password). Then attach that user the the newly created database. That’s it…with this part.
Big news from vBulletin forum software makers: vBulletin 3.8, vBulletin 4.0 and Project Tools 2.0, Blog 2.0 add-ons
The makers of vBulletin, a very popular forum software, announced the upcoming of two versions of their software: vBulletin version 3.8 and 4.0 Although the team is primarily working on the version 4.0 they didn’t forget about the version 3.x.
Later this year they will release the version 3.8 which will have some more new features like (snippets from their announcements forum):
- * Private Messaging Improvements
vBulletin 3.8 will have a number of changes and improvements to make the system easier to use and manage.
Users now have the ability to change the sort order in private message folders from the existing date-newest-first default.
They have added also Quick Reply to the private message viewing page, removing the need for a visit to a separate interface.
In order to find what you are looking for more quickly and easily, there’s now an inline search system too.
Also, as an anti-spam measure, it’s now possible to limit the number of private messages any user may send in a given period of time.
* Social Group Discussion Topics
While the current ‘social group messages’ system allows messages to be posted to a social group, unlike forums it does not allow messages to be divided up into discussions. Being one of the most requested features the team will implement this in the version 3.8. Social groups in 3.8 now have the ability to contain individual topics, each with reporting, inline moderation and many of the other tools one would expect from vBulletin.
* Social Group Avatars
In the new version, when users create a social group, they can upload a picture to represent the group, which will be shown both on the group page, and on the list of groups.
* Social Group Categories
To help users to find more easily a social group that they’d like to join, the administrator can now create categories to which social groups can belong.
* Most Recently-Updated Albums
Bringing users’ album pictures out of the dark recesses of their profile, vBulletin 3.8 has a system to display the most recently-updated albums from all users in a unified interface. Now everyone will know when your members upload new pictures!
* Moving Album Pictures
It’s now possible to move pictures from one album to another, rather than having to delete and reupload (that’s much more user friendly!).
* Thread Prefix Permissions
For the administrators who want to be able to limit the ability of their users to access thread prefixes and prefix sets, vBulletin 3.8 now gives you that ability.
vBulletin 3.8 will have the same system requirements and recommendations as vBulletin 3.7.
To see the features of the current version click here
vBulletin 4.0, the much expected big release
The team has focused on working on this important release (while working on 3.x too).
vBulletin 4 is an extensive rewrite of the vBulletin system, aimed at providing a superior experience both for users and administrators, while providing a much faster development cycle for vBulletin4-based features and products though code flexibility and stability.
Architecturally, vBulletin 4 follows MVC (model-view-controller) object oriented principles, allowing far greater capabilities in code re-use and extendability. It will make far more extensive use of caching and is being designed to be scalable on a level that previous vBulletin versions have not been able to achieve.
If you are running WordPress blog software (and it’s not upgraded to the latest version) you might have been a target for hackers who are looking to take over blogs for search-engine optimization (SEO) of other sites they control, traffic-redirection and other bad purposes.
Most of the attacks consist in using SQL injection and XSS cross-site scripting and that is because the user input isn’t filtered properly by the software. Some of the attacks use bots which can create hundreds of spam pages on your blog automatically, place a backdoor (so the hacker can come back at later time) or steal users passwords.
Hackers are taking advantage of the open-source nature of the software to look and analyze the source code of a specific software they want to attack and test it for potential vulnerabilities. Then the developers and users have to detect, track down, and shut down the vulnerabilities in the code that those attackers are using.
The pattern seems to be the same: when a new hole is found, it’s broadly exploited, then developers rush out a patch and/or a new release. Most of the damage inflicted by the automated exploits can be reversed with an upgrade but in some cases you can be left with thousands of spam pages and images to clean up (and they are usually well hidden). If the attacked software is very popular (and that attracts hackers too) – like WordPress – then thousands of installs can be compromised.
Chances are that a blog owner realizes late that his blog was hacked that why it is important to keep up with the latest upgrades and security patches from WordPress.com and keep an eye on your blog: monitor the statistics, the blog usage, have frequent backups and track other security blogs for news about any security holes one of them is BlogSecurity.net.
We’ve discontinued the widget for now due to weak demand. I guess there are other better solutions out there for content syndication.
WordPress blog software has its origin in Michel Valdrighi’s b2 software. In 2003 b2 became the genesis of WordPress www.wordpress.org, a fork project using the b2 source code, which simply had fallen behind web standards and on which no further development was planned. Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, two bloggers, began developing WordPress and were soon joined by Valdrighi. It took a year, but WordPress’ versatility and open source nature, combined with a decision by the developers of Movable Type to radically raise prices for their software, led WordPress to be one of the frontrunners in blogging software.WordPress’ value lies in its easy customization. It seems like there is a plugin for everything: Akismet (akismet.com) catches spam, podPress (podpress.org) turns a WordPress installation into a podcasting platform, etc. And it only takes a little knowledge of PHP to write your own plugin. WordPress is routinely used as a content management system for websites not meant to act as blogs – it can be used to create a directory just as easily as it can be used to post updates to a blog.
There are some video-tutorials for WordPress 2.3, 2.5, 2.6 and 2.7 at the end of the full article. Check them out!
Just What WordPress Needs
To run WordPress, all you need is a server that supports PHP and MySQL. While the WordPress developers recommend Apache or Litespeed web servers for users who plan to subject their WordPress installation to more than typical abuse, it’s not necessary. If you’re planning to install WordPress, you don’t even need the most recent versions of either PHP or MySQL: PHP 4.2 or greater and MySQL 4.0 or greater will work just fine.
Getting WordPress Running
For those individuals without much technical savvy, WordPress can be an ideal CMS for a single simple reason: one-click install. Many web hosts have begun offering accounts with what is essentially an automatic installation process: users simply select WordPress as their CMS of choice and the host takes care of setting it up.
If you’re interested in handling the installation procedure yourself, it’s still not overly complicated – as long as you know a few basics about setting up a website: to start, download the installation package from WordPress (wordpress.org/download/) and unzip it. From there, you’ll need to create a database for WordPress on your web, along with a MySQL user with all privileges (for both accessing and modifying the database). Rename the file “wp-config-sample.php” to “wp-config.php” and open it in the text editor of your choice. Fill in your database details.
At this point, you’ll need to decide if you’d rather have WordPress on the root of your domain or on a subdirectory. To integrate WordPress into the root, move all the files contained in your unzipped installation package (excluding the directory itself) into the root directory of your web server. If you’d rather have your WordPress installation on a subdirectory, move the entire directory into the root directory of your web server (including the directory itself). You can rename the directory if you wish.