WordPress 2.8.5: A Hardening Release

Hardening release? Really?

Anyway, version 2.8.5 of popular blogging platform WordPress is available and it features code cleanup and addresses some potential issues. You should upgrade as always, either from within your WordPress install, or by downloading from wordpress.org.

In other WordPress news, the team is pimping the exploit scanner plugin which sounds like a good idea if you think your WordPress site might have been hit, and also urges you to participate in the 2.9 beta testing.

Pingdom Adds Twitter Support, Web Hosts Beware

Uptime monitoring service Pingdom now supports alerts via Twitter, which means that you could get tweets when your site goes down. This is great since it offers realtime public information about downtime, and puts more pressure on the web hosts. After all, if you’re an open customer of Host X, then tweets about your site going up and down all the time will hurt their brand and hopefully force them to try harder.

People already search Twitter for information about various service outages, and for those who choose to send out their Pingdom alerts publicly on Twitter this will now add more information to that. We hope this will lead to more facts and less speculation.

Transparency, gotta love it! So now when tdhedengren.com or tdh.me fails, you know you can blame Media Temple, and when tdh.se is down you should bitch to Binero.

Get your own free Pingdom monitoring account to try it out. Just add Twitter in your site settings within the account.

Envato Launches ActiveDen – Oh Wait, That’s Not New After All!

Envato’s Flash marketplace used to be known as FlashDen, but has now changed its name to ActiveDen. Why? Well, Adobe doesn’t want the good folks at Envato to use their trademark, being “Flash” obviously, in this fashion. Collis Ta’eed emailed the members and published a blog post on the matter, talking not so much of what he thought of Adobe’s demand but rather of the future, because obviously they complied and changed the name.

The new name amends the use of the word Flash, and it also opens up the marketplace for the future. In the last year we have added a budding Flex library and we now look forward to listing other interactive products like Adobe Air and maybe even Microsoft Silverlight!

Beware of using trademarks in your own brands and domains is the lesson here.

China Continues to Build The Great Firewall

The Lost Laowai blog has updated its list of blocked website in China. New additions include Friendfeed, Vimeo and URL shorteners Bit.ly and Post.ly, to just name a few. These sites and services join Twitter, YouTube, WordPress.com and TypePad blogs, Facebook, Tumblr, and a bunch of other sites where you can speak your mind. See the post for more on this.

110 Million Indians Get Twitter

Twitter continues to find new mobile carriers to partner with across the globe. The latest addition is Bharti Airtel, which operates in India and reaches 110 million people. This from the Twitter blog post:

Our partnership with Bharti Airtel, the largest mobile operator in India, means a huge population of people can now send tweets at standard rates and receive tweets for free. Bharti Airtel is offering people in every city, every village, every remote taluk and even the smallest panchayat the opportunity to connect to Twitter and enjoy the open exchange of information with no added fees.

They then go on and talks about how Twitter is about people, which certainly have been proven true over the past year.

Drew Carey Wants 1 Million Followers, Will Pay For Them

DrewCarey

Drew Carey, or @DrewFromTV on Twitter, wants more followers. He also wants to donate money to Lance Armstrong’s charity organization Livestrong. So why not do both at the same time? If Drew Carey gets 1 million followers by December 31st this year, he’ll donate $1 million to Livestrong. And if he gets less? Well, it’s a buck a follower, so it’ll be money for Livestrong no matter what. Right now @DrewFromTV is at 73,814 followers, but that’ll probably change. [Read more…]

WordPress.com Partners with PicApp

PicApp is a service that lets you embed legal images on your site, and now you can do it with a shortcode on WordPress.com as well. There’s a demo video in the WordPress.com announcement post, and another one on the PicApp blog. There’s also a plugin for stand-alone WordPress users, which is nice obviously.

Oh, and while we’re at it, WordPress.com got a revamped theme viewer as well. You might want to check that out too.