Archive for the ‘Website’ Category

A wonderful and inspirational Facebook page

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

A happy April first to all!

As I promised, I have not abandoned this blog.  After a hiatus, I will be back in the near future with many more posts.

In the mean time, I suggest this Facebook Page, where you can gain your share of daily wisdom and inspiration on things like natural health and organics!

No, the site is not dead. Yes, there will be new content

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Just a quick announcement:  Many have pointed out that new content for this site has been a bit lacking recently.  I totally understand this and the concern that the twilight of Depleted Cranium might be looming.   However, I have every intent of keeping up the blog.

Right now, I have a number of personal and professional obligations converging.  As a result, I will be on more or less of a hiatus from new posts until April.

I realize that blogs thrive on new content and taking some time off will likely mean diminished traffic and page ranks.  Unfortunately, I just have too much going on.
Thanks,
Steve Packard

Trying out ads again

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Apologies in advance, but I could use some extra cash.  Feel free to use your favorite ad-blocker if you really don’t want to see them.

We’ll see how this works out.  If they’re just too obtrusive, I’ll get rid of them.

Recomended Facebook Groups and Pages

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

I have not always been a big social media fan, but I have to admit that Facebook is pretty great for keeping in touch with people and for finding groups of similar interests.

There are some great Facebook pages and groups that are anti-bad science.  Many of these are funny and all are worth checking out

Note that some of these are closed groups, where you have to apply for membership to the group before you can post to it, and, in some cases, read all the posts.

 

Anti Vax Wall of Shame The worst comments, posts and quotes from anti-vaccine activists and websites.

Australian Vaccination Network – Not to be confused with the actual Australian Vaccination Network, this is pro-vaccine. How they got to use the name, I have no idea.

Conspiracy Theorists Say the Darndest Things – Comically bad conspiracy claims from around the web.

Fundies Say the Darndest things – Comically bad quotes and posts from religious fundimentalists, mostly.

New Age Woos Say the Darndest Things -Similar comically bad quotes, these from newagers, quacks and similar.

GMOLOL – Crazy GMO claims refuted and poked fun at.  Also general advocacy for good science regarding genetically engineering technology.

GMO Skepti-Forum – A place for skeptics of outlanding GMO claims (not as funny as GMOLOL)

Anti-Alternative Medicine – A group opposing and exposing quackery.

 

Please feel free to add recommended groups and pages in the comments!

I’ll be back. More posts coming… really!

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Just a quick announcement:

Any regular readers will notice a great lack of new posts recently. I’m aware of this, obviously, and it certainly has resulted in a big reduction in traffic.

No, I have not given up blogging and no this site is not dead. However, I’m in the midst of a major political situation which is taking all of my time for the moment. I do, however, hope to be able to make a couple of new posts in the next week or two and I will certainly make many more in the future.

In all likelihood, my time will be very limited and posts will be relatively few up until July. Thereafter, I will have a bit more time in August, but expect to be consumed once again in September and October. Then, following November, I’ll either have a lot of free time or very little time.

While you’re waiting, feel free to contribute to my political campaign. Yes, I know, it’s a blatant call for money, and I hate doing it, but it will make a difference, I can promise you that.

Sorry about the spam

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Anyone who reads this blog probably has noticed there have not been a lot of posts recently.  Unfortunately, I have just been very busy.  As such, I also have not had a lot of time to moderate the comments.

There has been a huge influx of comment spam recently.  The CAPTCHA test has actually stopped most of it, but it seems many of the spammers have actually turned to human confirmation, using cheap labor.  Others may have used a backdoor around the tests.  But in any case, it’s clear they are far from 100% effective.

While it is unlikely that 100% of spam will be stopped, I’ve implemented some new plugins and filters in an attempt to reduce the problem.   Hopefully it will prove effective.

As before, there may be a problem with false positives.  If your comment does not show, it is likely because it was flagged as spam.  I periodically check the spam traps for such false positives and approve them, when I do find them.

Thanks for your patience.

Also, more posts coming soon!

A Few Long Overdue Updates

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

To those who have repeatedly asked for things like a return of the comment preview and better anti-spam measures, your requests are finally being answered.

It has been a while since I last upgraded WordPress to the latest version. Today I am doing just that, along with updating some of the plugins and seeking out some better ones. Comment previews should be back, as the new WordPress version once again supports the plugin. New captchas or other measures may be seen today as I experiment with various new options and plugins.

This is long overdue.

But be advised that if you catch the page in the middle of an update or when a plugin is being tried for the first time, you may experience some erratic behavior or interruptions to page arability.

Sorry, but a CAPTCHA has been added

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

I’m sorry to have to impose an annoyance on commenter, but unfortunately there has been a rash of bot-generated spam, and the unobtrusive and transparent WordPress plugins I have been using to try to catch it have not been doing a very good job lately.   It seems that the spam bots now do a very good job of emulating the behavior of standard browsers and are managing to change their IP’s and wording fast enough to avoid many of the blacklists.

As a result, I have had to add a CAPTCHA to the site.   I know how annoying some of these can be, especially when it is extremely difficult for humans to tell what the characters are due to extreme amounts of distortion.   Because of this, I have chosen a font and style that should not be too difficult to deal with.   Hopefully it will still provide the necessary level of security to stop bots, as most of them do not even bother trying to decode CAPTCHA.

Again, sorry for this annoyance, but it has become necessary.

More Posts Soon – I promise!

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

To all readers –
You may have noticed that Depleted Cranium has been a bit light in posts recently.   It’s been a few days since the last one and that one was a few days after the one before that.  Sorry about that!

My personal life has just been very busy recently.  On top of that, I’m working on a couple of posts that are going to be rather long and highly researched.   Please bear with me while I get things updated.  New posts will come soon!

Also, please don’t tell me it should be “bare with me,” because it is actually bear.  Bear is the animal, but it also means to hold, carry or stay.   Bare means naked.

Thanks

-Steve (AKA DrBuzz0)

Sorry If Your Comments Do Not Appear or If Comment Threads Are Spammed

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Like most blogs, this site gets its share of spam comments.  Most of them are from various sites looking to get traffic or try to use the comments for free advertising.  Others are from various malicious individuals who simply want to cause trouble or harass readers and blog authors.

It is the policy of this site not to block or restrict comments simply because they disagree with a premise or express an opinion that is not wanted.  Only comments that are entirely for such advertising are blocked along with repeat offenders who only want to repost the same thing over and over or harass readers.  That said, the right to editorial control is reserved.

As a reader, you have probably seen spam comments from time to time.  However, the vast majority never show up on the public side of this website.  In fact, the comments are spammed multiple times per day, but well over 95% are caught by filters, which flag spam comments and prevent them from showing up.   These filters use several methods, including blacklists of URL’s and common phrases along with banned e-mail addresses and IP ranges.

The filters are not perfect, and in addition to sometimes allowing spam to make it through, they also sometimes flag legitimate comments as spam and send them to the spam folder, rather than posting them.  This is not intentional.  It is simply an unfortunate reality that compromises must be made to balance the effectiveness of the spam filters with the problem of false positives.

Over the past few years, one particular spammer has been of particular difficulty in dealing with.  In addition to deluging the site with repetitive, often incoherent comments, this spammer is very tenacious and responds to having comments blocked with the use of different ISP’s and alternate e-mail addresses.   Because of this, they sometimes manage to slip through.  When this occurs, the filters are updated.

This spam usually comes from the province of Quebec Canada, but more recently, has been traced to ISP’s in Chicago, Illinois, USA.  It’s not clear if this is the origin or if proxy servers are being used.  Some of these comments have managed to get past all the automated filters and show up in the comment feed.

As a result of this, it has become necessary to tighten the rules for comment filters.  Unfortunately, this does increase the risk that legitimate comments will be flagged and not show up.  I do periodically check the spam folder to see if any comments have been miss-identified as spam.   These comments are not lost, and I do correct this when I find them, thus restoring them to the site.   Due to my busy schedule, this can sometimes take a couple of days.  If your comment does get flagged, you can contact me by email.

Also, be aware that despite these measures, it is still possible some of the unwanted comment spam will slip through.

Gee… I wonder who could be responsible for this???