spike

2009-05-24-spike

Evan, with his hair all spiked up for his cousin’s first communion.

rest stop

2009-05-23-rest-stop

we went for an epic 11km ride around our community today, and wound up taking a break at the far southwest corner of Tuscany, on a bluff overlooking the Bow River valley.

serenity pond

2009-05-22-serenity-pond

I stopped at the duck pond near campus to cool down, and wound up spending a few minutes enjoying the calmness of the pond, with ducks and songbirds moving into the area.

Presentation – Identity in the Open Classroom

I was asked to give a presentation for the From Courses to Dis/Course online conference last week, and chose the topic of identity as it relates to openness. My session, Identity in the Open Classroom, was a fun (for me, anyway) exploration of the issues, and I think served the purpose of framing discussion.

Here’s the video of the recording from the session:

the full chat transcript for the session is available, as well as the full Elluminate session recording.

and the slide that wound up framing much of the question and answer portion:

open_closed_control_chaos

fogvalley

2009-05-21-fogvalley

the community of bowness, and canada olympic park, obscured by the first real fog of the season.

benched

2009-05-20-benched

I stopped at The Bench™ for a few minutes on the ride home this evening. Definitely my favourite thinking spot (in #yyc, anyway)

Stopping Spamblog Registration in WordPress MultiUser

Comment Spammers Burn In Hell...I’ve been running a copy of WordPress MultiUser for over a year now. Comment spam hasn’t been much of a problem, thanks to Akismet, but if I leave site registration open (so students and faculty can create new accounts and blogs), the evil spammers find it and start sending their bots en masse.

I tried a few plugins, with varying levels of success. There’s an interesting one that attempts to limit registrations to a specific country, but it falsely reported some valid users as not being in Canada. Captchas work, but also block some valid users (and the signup captcha plugin I’d been using is possibly abandoned).

So, I did some quick googling, and came across the page on the WordPress Codex about using .htaccess files to stop comment spam. I made some modifications to the technique, and am now running it on UCalgaryBlogs.ca with apparent success. The apache logs show the bot attacks are still in full force, but not a single one has gotten through in order to register. And valid users have been able to get through. That’s pretty promising.

Continue reading “Stopping Spamblog Registration in WordPress MultiUser”

COP and boxcars

2009-05-19-cop-and-boxcars

Canada Olympic Park, with the last remnants of the snow still hanging on. Note the angle of the flag on top of the hill. That was headwind, the whole way to campus…

cochrane

2009-05-18-cochrane

I rode out to Cochrane again today to take on The Hill™ – it almost won this time.

This is the lumber mill on the east end of Cochrane. Little Known Fact About D’Arcy #231: I briefly worked for one of the housing construction companies that built some of the giant houses along the river – the same company that built our own much-less-giant house.

mallard

2009-05-17-mallard

Evan and I explored the ravine behind our house, and stumbled across this mallard swimming in the shrinking pond at the bottom.