Where in the World is Rebecca Today?

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Google Friend Connect

Do you use Google? Now you can add my blog by going to the google friend connect box and clicking “join” or “add”…right now I can’t remember what it says. LOL

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More Self Promotion

In addition to listing myself with Network Blogs, I’ve now got a page on Facebook for my blog. If you’re a facebook user, could you please go “like” my page here? You don’t have to add me as a friend (though if you want to, feel free), but I’d appreciate the “likes” on Facebook 🙂

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users can comment directly on Facebook.]

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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When Complaining Works

I sent an email off to Dreamhost complaining about the lack of help I received from their security team. I received a wonderful email from a member of their tech support who went through my entire site and found the malicious code on more pages (that google had not found, as the pages were on plug-ins not currently in use). I was able to completely remove the code, and I have to say, Dreamhost was much better about it this time around!

It took me an hour and a half to remove every last bit of the malicious code, but it’s gone. And hopefully with the new WordPress upgrade, this won’t happen again. Apparently there was a flaw in the previous version that made it easy to hack into. So, if any of you are using WordPress, go upgrade it to the new version that was released on December 1!

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Fixed!!

I know I promised not to post twice in one day, but I needed to post this….and I’ll likely be posting a third post with all the NaBloPoMo links later today, too.

So, I generally love my hosting company (Dreamhost), but I have to say, I’m really kind of annoyed with them right now.

When this mess started Monday morning (GMT), they sent my problem to one of their specialists. I didn’t hear back until Tuesday afternoon (GMT), and most of what they told me to do had nothing to do with my problem – For example, I got told to update software on other domains and sub-domains when the ONLY sub having any issue at all was blog.beccajanestclair.com. So, I turned to google (via Swagbucks*) for help.

I tried the Google Webmaster Tools, and Google pinpointed three files as being “infected” – my about this blog page, a photo page from an August blog, and I forget the third. I deleted those three pages and the photos that had been displayed on those pages, and will need to re-write an about this blog page tomorrow. Dreamhost had not mentioned these files, only 2 files that were buried deep within 6 folders of a theme I hadn’t even ever used, which I also deleted. I then decided if the themes really were the problem, I had better go through and remove all the wordpress themes I wasn’t using. Dreamhost suggested re-installing my current theme, but unfortunately download links to it no longer exist. I had decided I would search for a similar looking theme, and take my css sheet from the current theme to make a new theme look like the current theme if I had to.

I had about 10 help sites open by this point, so I can’t tell you which site it was that actually gave me this idea, but I went into the WordPress theme editor and opened all the php files for my current them and really looked at them. My coding skills aren’t super or anything, but I was confident I would notice something off, as I have modified most of the php files marginally to achieve my custom theme. Sure enough, at the top of every single php page was a random string of code. Please note, Dreamhost did not suggest doing this. Dreamhost did not even tell me what string of code to look for, and did NOT detect the string of code in all my php files when they looked. The files they had told me to delete had been css files, but the css file for my current theme was the only part of my theme that was clean! I removed the string of code from all the files, and then went into FileZilla and checked all the other php files on my server. Nothing else was infected. I also took this time to remove lots of old files, and to remove previous incarnations of my website, including the very first version using frames and a version using python. I don’t think I needed to remove these files, but I figured I might as well start to clean up my stuff, since I have now held my domain for nearly 10 years. The me of 10 years ago (age 21!) is very different than the me I am now, and while I had the old pages buried deep in random folders, I really don’t think I want anyone finding them.

And good news from google, too – I just checked the webmaster tools and it says:

Status of the latest badware review for this site: A review for this site has finished. The site was found clean. The badware warnings from web search are being removed. Please note that it can take some time for this change to propagate.

Woot.

So. Rebecca: 1 Dreamhost: 0

*Oh, and when I started googling with Swagbucks yesterday, my points count was 649. As of right now, I have 721 swagbucks, a little over a 100 to go for another £5 Amazon voucher!

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users can comment directly on Facebook.]

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Still Infected

No signs of the problems with my website being fixed. Dreamhost sent me an email yesterday to tell me they had forwarded my issue to a “specialist” and the email said that because it was being sent to a specialist, they couldn’t guarantee their usual 24 hour turnaround, which is really usually about 5 hours or so. So….I wait. And meanwhile, worry about my site. I had a great end of NaBloPoMo post planned with links back to every entry for the month, but I don’t want anyone clicking on my website until things get fixed.

Even odder is I tried using the google webmaster tools to figure out what was wrong, and it tells me nothing, but still says my site is infected with malware, so I’m really confused. The pages it pointed to as being “infected” were my about this site page (which I’ve now deleted) and a page that displayed a photo from an entry back in August (which I’ve also deleted). Google claims that going to those pages doesn’t direct to those pages but goes to a malware website, but I’ve checked things out and there is nothing there at all. I’ve looked in all the source files, I’ve checked every file in my ftp directory, I’ve reviewed the htaccess file…and I can’t figure it out.

So I’m going to cross my fingers that Dreamhost can fix it soon for me and that it won’t be too hard to get google to stop listing my site as being infected. I don’t get a whole lot of google hits, but I still enjoy seeing the traffic.

Other steps I’ve taken:

-If you’ve commented on my blog in the past week and I did not know who you were, your comment was deleted. I do apologize, but since I couldn’t track the source of the problem anything unknown got canned. If you previously left me comments, I kept it. If you want to leave your comment again, feel free but also let me know who you are. I also deleted comments left by fake email addresses or listing fake URLs. I consider an email address to be fake if it’s just a string of random letters. Again, if I’ve deleted a legitimate comment, I apologize and ask that you re-post it.

-Blocked All IPs of potential spam comments. I have a really good spam filter, but some comments still get through. I blacklisted every IP address that was attached to recent spam comments. Spam comments are comments that don’t make any sense, aren’t relevant to my post, contain links to sites that are not personal webpages. If I have accidentally blacklisted your IP, you will not be able to leave comments. If you want to be taken off the blacklist, just send me an email and let me know your IP and who you are.

-All user accounts at the “subscriber” level have been deleted and the ability to create your own account has been removed.

And that’s about it. I HAVE managed to post every day for the month of November, I just can’t post links to all the entries yet. 🙁

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Applologies for the Large Photo!

So sorry about the not re-sized photo in my last post. I wrote all the posts last week when I had time and scheduled them for later publication, so I didn’t catch it right away since we were out all day. When I add photos in a gallery, WordPress does it all automatically and makes the gallery, but for some reason it seems to not resize one photo and then I am unable to manually resize it, so I have to go in and delete the offending photo.

It’s now been taken care of, but I’m sure it messed things up for some people. Sorry about that. If it happens again, please send me an email or poke me on IM to fix it.

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Comments Malfunctioning?

Could someone reading this on the blog (http://blog.beccajanestclair.com) please attempt to leave me a comment? I’ve been getting a few complaints that the comment feature isn’t working properly, and before I try to trouble shoot it, I need to know what the problem is!

Thanks!

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YouTube & Vlogs Change

YouTube has apparently joined up with Google. I don’t have a problem with this as I use Google for most thing anyway, but what I DID have a problem with was YouTube/Google deciding to link my YouTube account to my Google account I had listed as my email when I signed up for YouTube. Unfortunately, this was under my old e-mail address I am no longer using. For those of you unfamiliar with Google’s empire, if you’re logged in as one name on gmail, you’re logged in as that name across all of Google. Logging into a service with a different Google account will log you OUT of the other services because Goggle has issues with you being logged in as two at once (unles you have 2 browsers).

I decided to switch my YouTube account to a new one, since I didn’t want to mess with the whole logging in/logging out of every Google service just to upload a video. My new YouTube is beccajanestclair. All NEW vlogs will go on the new account. All OLD vlogs will still be under annaonthemoon79, but I’ve also created a playlist of all of them here: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=1D39B56344B3ECD1, which will have a link on the sidebar of the blog, too. All old Vlogs embedded will still exist. This is ust the account for all NEW vlogs. If you were subscribed to me on YouTube, you will need to subscribe to the new account.

Confusing, I know. But at least now my YouTube account matches the blog!

I probably won’t have many new vlogs right now, as most of vlogs I took recently are on the video camera Tim took back to the UK with him. I will have a backlog of video (including the wedding!) to upload after I move!

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I’m Married!

You might be wondering why this blog has been so dead lately, even after I promised more entries. Well, as I posted before, Tim proposed to me while we were visiting him in September….and we decided to get married in November! Of this year. Yep. I got married on 5 November 2009. Also known as Guy Fawkes Day or Bonfire Day, so there will always be fireworks and Tim can never forget our anniversary 😀

This also means I’ll be making the permanent move over to the UK within the next month or so. This blog will NOT go away. It will probably become more of a “life in the UK” type blog with traveling mixed in there…and I still have a list of things I really ought to catch up on, like my mom and my trip back in September! I missed out on NaBloPoMo or whatever it was called since I was planning a wedding, getting married, and then honeymooning for half of it, but I think I’m going to challenge myself to blog daily until the end of December….or until I catch things up, whichever comes first!

Our wedding was beautiful, and everything we wanted it to be. I will copy/paste over the post I made to the Wedding Plan community shortly for everyone to read who missed it. We honeymooned in Florida, so expect some posts about that eventually, too!

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For more photos, you can check out the Picasa page of our photographer (and Best Woman) at: http://picasaweb.google.com/falnfenix/RebeccaAndTim?feat=directlink#

Or, you can check out the photos taken by my mom, me, Tim, and Erin (our Maid of Honour) at: http://picasaweb.google.com/rebeccajlockley/OurWedding5November2009#

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me.]

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Adding Links and Blogs

I’m in the process of adding blogs and links to the main page of my blog. If you’d like me to add your site, please leave me a comment and I’ll add you. If you have a link to my site or blog on your site, let me know so I can reciprocate! These links are different than the links on the link page for Flutterby Design. Links on Flutterby Design are affiliate/reciprocal links only.

[Note to LJ users reading this via the LJ feed: Please click on one of the links at the top to go directly to my blog to leave comments, as comments left on the LJ feed will not be seen by me.]

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About this Blog…

I’ve edited the “about this site” page, and thought it was worth sharing on the regular blog. I put it behind the more tag, but I don’t think those tags work on the RSS feeds. Sorry!

Read more

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Site Redesign!

My bog’s undergone a layout change, please let me know what you think!

(of course, now I have to change the rest of my site to match…..)

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A Question to the RSS Readers

If you’re reading this via a RSS reader/LJ RSS feed, would you rather I change the RSS settings to show the whole post at once? Though then if you want to leave a comment, you’d have to come over to the page anyway, so I’m not sure which is the better option. You decide.

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