Why can’t local government and open source be friends?

You’ve got to love the liberty of Statistics act. Specifically its ability to show, in stark terms, pretty how badly nearby authorities can screw up.

Yes, Birmingham City Council, I’m afraid I am searching at you.

Heather Brooke, who kicked off the whole MP’s prices factor, made an FOI request to Birmingham CC approximately a website it becomes constructing.

And what do you know? The price of the website went from a budgeted £580,000 in summer 2005 to, um, £2.8m via the contemporary estimate.

It was also late. Which could were brought about by concerns inside the council that it is probably the issue of ridicule; this now not being helped by using the fact that simply while it became due to move stay in March, a person noticed that it could not manage pound or euro signs and symptoms, nor apostrophes or quotation marks. (while the ten,000 pages were migrated from the vantage device to the brand new one, the ones characters – and the only straight away following – were given deleted.)

It is a bold venture, basically seeking to knit 35 sites working underneath the council’s umbrella into an unmarried one. However, its prices ballooned madly.

spaghettijunction460You can not recognize whether to snicker or cry at this, even though I suspect the council tax payers of Birmingham have something else in thoughts concerning pitchforks and flaming torches. Even though the plan become for the website online to head live this week, it hasn’t.

It would be satisfactory to suppose that the failure to write a specification where non-alphanumeric characters aren’t recognised is a complete one-off in government. Lamentably, it is not: as I found for myself more than a year again when the usage of the Department of labor and Pensions site, the checking out there had never considered (a) that a person would possibly get admission to it the usage of any other device than one strolling Home windows (b) that they may hit the “go back” key to create new paragraphs.


Thus filling in a shape with roughly 60 pages, quite a few of which required multi-paragraph answers, caused a confusing failure to work, no longer as soon as However twice. It took a variety of very lengthy and irritating telephone calls till the DWP people managed to recreate the problem. The personnel couldn’t were extra inclined to help, However their palms had been tied by the truth that they hadn’t written the specification, and so had to play detective to figure out what turned into incorrect.

However, the Birmingham case does appearance egregrious. And who’s the associate building the website online? It turns out to be a joint challenge among Birmingham CC and Capita – which has an extended record of making exact cash from crucial and neighborhood authorities contracts. Capita runs the Tv Licensing scheme, it runs the congestion price gadget on behalf of Shipping for London, and it also runs the training for some of local councils the usage of the “Voice Risk Evaluation” device – described by means of one scientist as being “on the astrology cease of the validity spectrum”, which hasn’t stopped the authorities spending more than £2m on it. Mainly, the DWP has funded the device – at councils including Birmingham. A brilliant twist of fate, you will agree.

The hassle is that the internet site never stood a chance. No one seems to have stood up in an assembly and stated: “you understand, there’re masses of superb open supply content material control structures (CMS) obtainable – there’s one called WordPress which is loose and eminently customisable.” This is strange, as WordPress was available (and as stable as any CMS) in 2005, runs on MySQL and Php (which can be each loose merchandise utilized by a number of the largest agencies within the global, which includes airlines and Yahoo). And there are pots of programmers around with MySQL and Hypertext Preprocessor skills.

Even when the project bumped into problem, in December 2007 (scroll down the timeline there) they nonetheless should have changed. WordPress changed into being followed an increasing number of broadly in important government: a developing number of government departments use it for their blogs, together with Downing Road.

Why wasn’t it desirable enough for Birmingham? Evidently there’s a winning attitude in a few components of local and central authorities that thinks that in case you (sincerely, taxpayers) are not paying via the nostril, then you definately‘re no longer getting price for cash.

No longer authentic, of direction; ask Twitter, or Fb, or Google, or any of these other large websites that depend upon loose software program. (I as soon as requested Chris DiBona of Google how a great deal it might feel to run the company on Windows instead of Linux. Lots and Heaps of stripped-down Pcs… placed the price at “loads of thousands and thousands” of dollars.)

This is now not to say that it is an awful idea to have council websites; it is an excellent concept, as Lincolnshire CC factors out:

If we grew to become off our web services… 177,000 traffic consistent with month (May additionally 2009 figures) to our net website would locate no web website.

If most effective 10% of those traffic had been to contact us by telephone – say 17,000 – then we would incur a further price of approx £fifty one,000 consistent with month (primarily based on Socitm‘s fees of cellphone contact).

That’s why there may be now a group aimed toward neighborhood and relevant government – ukgovoss – started out by way of Public Sector Forums, an impartial company, which is attempting to train the humans internal councils – specifically the ones in price of the IT departments and those just above – about the capability advantages of open source.


It is also produced a record looking at attitudes amongst local authority IT managers and personnel to open supply merchandise in authorities. It is encouraging, although additionally horrifying: software program licensing can be 30%-forty% of a council’s finances; price is the cause for going with OSS for seventy five%; and 64% think their council will growth its use of OSS.

There is no mention of whether Birmingham become trying to use OSS in its challenge – even though I suppose that the truth that the FOI responses were in Microsoft.document format may be telling.

Inside the next few years, we should be seeing extra adoption of open source by means of local government; there is a huge open intention as Home windows 7 comes along for the introduction of OpenOffice for most tasks in preference to Microsoft Office, with probably huge value savings (the Guardian has been the use of OpenOffice in the course of the newspaper because December final year).

Whether it will likely be enough to recoup Birmingham’s extra prices isn’t clean. Perhaps the next FOI request must be to get the minutes from the assembly to find out which software was taken into consideration for the CMS. Every person fancy a move?

Microsoft gives up on Live Spaces: blogs to be shifted to WordPress

Microsoft is last its Home windows Stay Spaces blogging platform and shifting all its customers over to WordPress. It’s a dramatic pass which means that It is giving up a probably massive slice of marketing enterprise – possibly as it really can not make it pay.

Or as Microsoft places it, “partnering collectively” – redundant word alert – “and presenting an upgrade for 30 million Home windows Stay Spaces clients”.

Make no mistake, this is dramatic: it approaches that Microsoft is giving up doubtlessly precious turf in which it can have sold ads, in the way of Google and the Blogger platform (which generates sales for Google), and taking flight from as a minimum one part of the net area.

As Tim Anderson puts it,

“In line with Microsoft it has 7 million users and 30 million visitors; and in case you receive that commercial enterprise on the net is all approximately site visitors and monetizing traffic, then it moves me as strange that Microsoft has no better concept of what to do with that traffic than to give it to a person else…. What this indicates is that WordPress, no longer Microsoft, now has the possibility to expose commercials or marketplace other services to these users. “

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Dharmesh Mehta, director of Home windows Life Product Management and writer of the publish for the Home windows Stay Spaces team, says:

“As we looked at clients’ blogging wishes and what distinctive organizations have been offering, we have been particularly interested in what WordPress is doing. They have a host of wonderful capabilities – from a scalable platform and leading junk mail protection, to superb personalization and customization. WordPress powers over 8.5% of the internet, is used on over 26 million sites, and WordPress is visible via over 250 million people each month. No longer best that, Automattic is an employer full of outstanding humans focused on enhancing blogging experiences. So instead of having Home windows Stay put money into a competing blogging carrier, we decided the fine aspect we may want to do for our clients become to present them a great blogging solution via WordPress.”

Basically, in case you’re one of those Live area bloggers, and you’re sincerely nonetheless doing stuff to your weblog, then Live Spaces is encouraging – nay, pushing – you over to WordPress.

Because in case you don’t need to shift over to WordPress

“If you’re no longer prepared emigrate nowadays, you may additionally pick to down load your weblog content, migrate later, or delete your area.”

You have six months before it disappears into the extraordinary Bit Bucket where Geocities has long past.

Frequently, of route, you can parent out who is sincerely won out in a deal by way of evaluating the corporate statements. What does WordPress say? On its weblog (of direction), Paul Kim, its vice-president of user growth, says:

“We’re very glad that Microsoft selected WordPress as their favored new blogging carrier for Home windows Live users. It is a sign of the way strong WordPress has end up, and credit for that goes to each one in every of you who is been growing right here.”

It virtually is. And word that there may be no mention of Microsoft getting any advertising and marketing dibs there. WordPress makes its cash thru top rate blogs: you can get a wordpress web page for free, but if you pay more than you may do all forms of different matters, which include host it to your own site (even as leaving hassles like improvements to WordPress themselves.)


Following the information that Vox is final (on 30 September), and that its discern Six Apart (which created Movable Kind) is joining with VideoEgg to create a brand new employer known as Say Media, one has to suppose that the pool of hosted blogging structures is shrinking instead swiftly. Atthis charge, quite soon It’s only going to be Blogger and WordPress.

And if that’s what it comes all the way down to, you’d have to say that WordPress has the brink. It’s being taken up by way of the British government, even for non-running a blog web sites, wherein it acts as an effective content material Control gadget.

That even though may additionally neglect the emergence of “superfast weblog” systems along with Tumblr, which strip away plenty of the stuff at the outside – that can make weblog renovation complicated or tedious.

Even so, It is no longer clean from here in which running a blog, as a separate activity, is surely going. I still have the sense – as I stated remaining yr – that the lengthy tail of blogging is demise. Microsoft’s capitulation over Stay Areas appears an acknowledgement of that (its preceding submit, linked in that quote above, notes how plenty of a trouble junk mail blogs and remark junk mail had been; certainly, once I used to trawl blogs for Era content material, Live Spaces blogs were notorious for being pure splogs or reproduction/paste jobs).

WordPress has achieved a higher activity retaining the unsolicited mail out. The question now could be whether it is constructing its enterprise on top of an iceberg in a warming sea – or on dry land.

WordPress blogging platform hits 3.0

The blogging and/or content material control machine (CMS) WordPress, utilized by tens of millions of blogs, has reached three.zero – marking a big point in its evolution as a platform for all types of content on line.

Or as the blogpost on the WordPress site puts it:

“Arm your vuvuzelas: WordPress 3.zero, the 13th predominant release of WordPress and the end result of half a 12 months of work with the aid of 218 members, is now to be had for download (or upgrade inside your dashboard). Fundamental new capabilities on this launch encompass a sexy new default theme known as Twenty Ten. Subject matter developers have new APIs that permit them to without difficulty put in force custom backgrounds, headers, shortlinks, menus (no greater record modifying), publish kinds, and taxonomies. (Twenty Ten topic shows all of that off.) builders and network admins will respect the lengthy-awaited merge of MU and WordPress, developing the new multi-website capability which makes it feasible to run one blog or ten million from the identical installation.”

There may be a big listing of adjustments and upgrades.

The release is called “Thelonius”, after the jazz pianist Thelonius Monk; preceding variations were known as Mingus, Strayhorn, Duke, Ella, Getz, Dexter, Brecker, Tyner, Coltrane, Baker and Carmen – so you can see that There is a type of jazz thing taking place.

nica-rothschild-and-thelo-001But what is going to remember for lots WordPress users is the query of safety. At the same time as WordPress does a first-rate job inside the major of offering good safety, the reality that there are so many blogs out there the use of it method that vulnerabilities and exploits abound. Because it’s open supply software program, you have to take that as you find it – and there are plenty of factors that can be finished to harden it.

The WPSecurityLock weblog, considered one of various which focusses on reports of safety weaknesses or exploits towards WordPress, has tested the claims made for 3.zero – of which the most incredible at once is which you don’t must have an admin called “admin” anymore; you may trade the username to something else. On its personal, that is probably one of the biggest steps. From private revel in, I’d say that the opposite step which makes the largest protection difference isn’t to allow external user registration (no longer just flip it off, However additionally alternate the hooks within the code): that forestalls all way of cookie- and injection-primarily based attacks.


There may be also BlogSecurity, which has already located a “thrashing” attack based totally on the ability to retrieve posts which have been trashed (only in model 2.nine upwards). BlogSecurity hasn’t but were given its tooth into three.0, But in case you’re a WordPress consumer it’s miles properly really worth maintaining a watch on each of those.

The alternative huge hassle will be what 3.zero does to the great range of plugins written for WordPress, which add capability of one kind or some other (my private favourite for killing junk mail continues to be junk mail Karma 2, However it is unlikely this could be updated for model 3; but the code is now available for upgrade and development at a Google Code repository – although that does seem energetic.

In the meantime, right here’s the introductory video for WordPress three.zero. (Note that it needs Php 4.3+ and MySQL 4.1.2+.)

There is also Mullenweg‘s seventy four-minute speech at WordCamp in San Francisco which he says is “jam-packed with data at the boom of WordPress, three.0, what we’re making plans for the future, and the philosophy of WordPress.” (We’re going to admit to not having listened to it all.)

Boot up: the iPad presentation, WordPress malware, Google Play, ICS on SG2?

Warning: 2 hundred,000 US-based totally WordPress internet pages compromised via hijack injection attack >> DaniWeb
Security researchers are Caution that a few 30,000 WordPress web sites, eighty five% of them based totally inside the US, were compromised with the aid of a mass-injection hijack attack which sees visitors to any of greater than two hundred,000 person pages redirected to a Trojan infected rogue AV scam.

Search for code linking to a script from rr. Nu.

Samsung Galaxy S2 to get Ice Cream Sandwich on 15 March >> CNET Uk
Ice Cream Sandwich is coming to the Samsung Galaxy S2 this month. It could be later than hoped, but it seems the S2 will update to the latest version of Android on 15 March. This is in line with a submit on Samsung’s official Fb page in Israel — which has for the reason that been deleted. Hands crossed, folks…

We’re going to be fascinated to hear from humans whose device does get updated from 2. X to four. X about how they like the trade. It could jar at first.

Boot up: the iPad presentation, WordPress malware, Google Play, ICS on SG2?
Boot up: the iPad presentation, WordPress malware, Google Play, ICS on SG2?

An electrostatic haptic show for the visually impaired >> Countrywide Technological know-how Basis
This undertaking makes use of electrostatic stimulation of the fingertips (static hang) to display laptop pictures to the exploring fingertips. The tactile patterns are felt as a variable sensation of texture or vibration.

Charming. However, what type of mad idiot could think that Apple could include some things like this inside the iPad? Oh, dangle on.

Google Play: The brand new call for Android Marketplace >> Pocket-lint
We didn’t cowl this as we had been busy with LulzSec/Anonymous the other day:

From Monday, you may now not download apps from the Android Marketplace, but instead, from Google Play. Over the following few days the firm will push out an update to Android handsets that modifications the name of the app you have been the use of. This might confuse a few, especially as Market updates tend to take place extra mechanically than maximum. Nothing tons adjustments even though. The name is to mirror The brand new multimedia save that sells now not the best apps, but music, movies and ebooks too. This became something that Android Market did earlier than, with sections for apps, films and books growing out of the original providing which became solely for apps. Google is also hoping that this new call, and a few minor tweaks, will make human beings spend extra money. That is probably actual, but we cannot see all people being organized to cough up £four.forty-nine to rent “The Scorpion King 3: War for Redemption”.

Eben Upton of Raspberry Pi interviewed >> Nottingham Technological know-how Weblog
Eben Upton, one of the trustees of the Raspberry Pi Basis, kindly agreed to an interview with NSB currently. It turned into a Captivating dialogue, bearing on how the number of humans analyzing pc Science has dropped over the last 10-15years, guidelines for children who need to enter this area, and what it’s been want to expand the Raspberry Pi tool. A transcript of the fine bits is shown beneath. Revel in.

This has been one of the maximum eagerly-awaited pieces of British technology we are able to ever recall. And we have long memories.

We Need to speak approximately Android >> Fraser Speirs
I spoke at a conference near Cardiff these days and in Q&A, I got The Question. I like getting the Query. What is the Question? This: “What is wrong with Android?” I realised, giving my solution, that I’ve in no way written down my objections to Android. Before we get into this, allow’s keep in mind that I’m mostly talking about “What is incorrect with Android from the angle of a person making plans an extended-time period 1:1 deployment in a school”.

Though one might have thought that you could update “school” with “organisation”. Though perhaps organisations have extra money for customising things inclusive of backup. Word one among his conclusions: “You are either shopping for into a platform or You are shopping for devices.”

In the thoughts of a hacker >> Fox News
Fox had the news on Sabu. This but reads a bit like A Doctor Writes in Private Eye:

There has been no indication so far that Monsegur is a methodical criminal who has accumulated a great fortune. Nor has every person cautioned that he’s a cyber-terrorist attacking entities that oppose his political or religious ideology (although time will tell). As a substitute, the facts handy would propose that chaos, in and of itself, is the reward he seeks–busting matters up, bringing them down, causing humans to go through because the shape they depend upon to prepare their thoughts and intentions dissolves.

Observe that it additionally hits Godwin‘s Law a few paragraphs later.

Changed into Nameless’ hacker-informant Sabu a device of FBI entrapment? >> Forbes
Obvious Question:

Crook defense legal professionals for those accused hackers aren’t any doubt poring over [Sabu‘s] communications with their clients, and looking for evidence of entrapment: the defense that the U.S. government, with an influential member of Anonymous as their pawn, driven hackers into the identical unlawful acts for which they may be now prosecuting them. Months after Monsegur [Sabu‘s real name] began cooperating with Regulation enforcement, his Twitter feed (with forty five,000 fans) continued to rally his hacktivist “brothers” to assault governments and private corporate goals. A message he wrote in past due December requested for fellow hackers to provide him stolen documents so that they may be posted under the banner of “Antisec,” the sub-motion towards the safety industry wherein he became a vocal organizer. “Leakers, Protection researchers or hackers who have vulnerabilities or leaked medical doctors touch us,” Monsegur wrote.

One would hope the FBI had that discovered already, given it becomes monitoring his verbal exchange 24/7.

Google looking to unload Motorola’s Television set-pinnacle box business >> NYPOST
It’s the Big apple put up, a tabloid, however then Fox News had the Sabu scoop in advance this week:

This just in: The Tv set-pinnacle box is on its deathbed. Google is trying to sell off the set-pinnacle field enterprise it will inherit from Motorola Mobility even before it closes at the $12.five billion acquisition, The publish has discovered. The pass seems to be an about-face from last August, whilst Google CEO Larry web page, in saying the deal, advised the business could play a role in his plans for revolutionizing the dwelling room. Google isn’t the most effective participant trying to get out of the business. As the submit reported solely closing month, Cisco is also searching for to sell Clinical Atlanta, which together with Motorola has had a close to duopoly at the set-pinnacle container business.

Factor being that the set-pinnacle box commercial enterprise is the most effective profitable a part of MMI.

Microsoft and Apple should hit Amazon, not Google >> The Register
Matt Asay:

Amazon’s fork of Google’s Android is a much bigger danger to Apple’s iOS than Samsung or other Android licensees ever were, as it comes sponsored by using a whole atmosphere of Amazon-provided content. This hurts Apple, however it additionally minimises Google’s advantages from Android, as nicely, as Amazon’s Kindle Hearth comes with an Amazon browser, no longer Google’s. And Amazon, no longer Google (or Apple) cleans up on content material bought thru the tool.

Apple Unique Occasion March 2012 >> Apple
Wednesday’s creation of “The new iPad”, and related things. In case, you’re one of these unusual those who prefers to honestly see the presentation rather than read the liveblog. However, surely, who does that?

You can follow Dad or mum era’s linkbucket on Pinboard. To suggest a hyperlink, either add it underneath or tag it with @gdntech on the loose Scrumptious provider;

WordPress blogs under attack from hack attack

WordPress blogs, one of the maximum widely wide-spread amongst custom installation blogs (and utilized by companies such as Downing Street and the Day by day Telegraph) are inclined – and being hit – through a malicious program that influences any old (ie earlier than 2.8.four) version.

Info are here (and also on WordPress‘s website).

As Matt Mullenweg, who has performed a key part inside the development and commercialisation of WordPress, points out, it is no longer a great deal fun in case you get hit:

Right now there’s a computer virus making its way around old, unpatched variations of WordPress. This specific worm, like many earlier than it, is smart: it registers a user, makes use of a security trojan horse (fixed earlier within the yr) to allow evaluated code to be executed thru the permalink shape, makes itself an admin, then uses JavaScript to cover itself while you observe customers web page, attempts to clean up after itself, then goes quiet so you in no way be aware at the same time as it inserts hidden unsolicited mail and malware into your old posts.

Among the ones who’ve been hit is Robert Scoble, who fell sufferer to a preceding hack however has now been hit once more:

Some weeks in the past a few hackers broke into my blog here (this become earlier than 2.8.four was launched). At the beginning I notion they simply left a little porn web sites in multiple blog entries. So we upgraded WordPress (I was on 2.7x back then). Deleted a faux admin account. Deleted the porn web sites. And thought we had solved the hassle. We failed to.

They broke returned in, but this time they did load extra damage. They deleted approximately two months of my weblog. Sure, I did not have a backup. I must discover ways to do backups (we are doing them now). Existence has a way of thrashing you in case you do not have backups.

WordPress, being loose and open-supply and primarily based on MySQL and Php (and so its customisation requires talents which are in extensive supply), has spread widely when you consider that its preliminary launch in May also 2003.


And, as a broadly used open supply application counting on Hypertext Preprocessor, it is at risk of assault. The present day one makes use of Sq. injection via the “registered user” element, and so on.

Its vulnerabilities were noted: it is got them.

The attacks are becoming extra common (as are the updates to close holes). At the least upgrading is simpler using the WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin – it is a lifesaver which backs up and updates your WordPress blog in region.

As soon as the updates have been made and blogs secured or cleaned up (which may be more difficult in a few instances than others) then the questions will begin. Principally: does WordPress, with its rankings of files, offer too large a goal for stimulated hackers to be the weblog platform of desire for huge or small organizations?

Some humans are already comparing it to Windows: this sort of massive goal that any attack is bound to hit a few massive fish, and lots of toddlers. And how many humans have enough manage or interest in their weblog to visit the trouble of cleaning up? Home windows botnets inform you what the situation is like on Home windows. Spam remarks tell you how things are in phrases of cleansing up comments. And what approximately cleansing up the hacked content of your blog?

It is a key query, and the answer May additionally decide whether WordPress becomes either a key building block of the net, or “hello, take into account while all of us used WordPress?”

SoakSoak malware leaves 11,000 WordPress sites blacklisted by Google

More than 11,000 websites the usage of the WordPress running a blog platform have been blacklisted by Google, once they were infected through the “SoakSoak” malware.

Safety firm Sucuri, which first suggested on the blacklisting, claims that the malware’s effect might be some distance wider though, stretching to “loads of heaps” of websites.

SoakSoak modifies a record in infected web sites’ WordPress installation, then hundreds a Javascript malware from the soaksoak. Ru domain – for this reason the call.

Sucuri claimed that SoakSoak is the usage of a vulnerability inside the RevSlider WordPress plugin that it first noticed in September, however which is regularly used inside WordPress themes, that means internet site owners may not have recognized they had to replace it.

SoakSoak malware leaves 11,000 WordPress sites blacklisted by Google
SoakSoak malware leaves 11,000 WordPress sites blacklisted by Google

“The largest issue is that the RevSlider plugin is a top rate plugin, it’s no longer something every person can without problems improve and that during itself turns into a catastrophe for internet site proprietor,” wrote Sucuri’s Daniel Cid.

“A few website owners don’t even understand they’ve it as it’s been packaged and bundled into their issues. We’re currently remediating lots of web sites and when enticing with our customers many had no idea the plugin became even inside their surroundings.”

Cid introduced that even if internet site owners try to easy the 2 affected documents of their WordPress set up, they’ll be rapidly reinfected.

“This campaign is also utilizing a number of the latest backdoor payloads, Some are being injected into photos to further help evasion and others are getting used to inject new administrator users into the WordPress installs, giving them even Greater control long time,” he wrote.


“A few users are clearing infections and getting reinfected inside minutes and the cause is because of the complicated nature of the payloads and improper cleaning efforts.”

WordPress, the world’s most popular blogging platform, is vulnerable to a piece of mysterious Russian malware called ‘SoakSoak’ that could already have infected 100,000 pages, experts have said. Google has already blacklisted over 11,000 sites

Dreamhost offers quality WordPress site hosting and storage, including both cloud storage and private virtual servers, and now offers a substantial discount on services as well to allow new customers to take advantage of these benefits.

Rival Safety firm Kaspersky’s Hazard Submit weblog referred to that there are More than 70 million web sites jogging on WordPress, even though there aren’t any figures for how a lot of them are the use of the RevSlider plugin.

Security researcher Graham Cluley suggested that Google’s choice to blacklist Extra than 11,000 affected domain names quickly after the assault was publicised turned into “a short-thinking reaction which optimistically will make it More difficult for the attackers to monetise their cybercriminal campaign”.

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In the meantime, affected site proprietors have been identifying the way to get their blogs cleaned up and again on Google. In case, you’re one among them, this thread on the professional WordPress discussion board can be beneficial.

WordPress pulls interview with anti-gay group Straight Pride UK

WordPress has removed an interview with the “homophobic” campaign Instantly Delight United kingdom after the organization used US copyright law to problem a takedown notice.

In an interview published on his WordPress weblog, scholar Oliver Hotham posted an interview with the institution defined as having a “homophobic schedule” with the aid of gay rights’ campaigner Peter Tatchell, wherein they stated that they “admire President Vladimir Putin of Russia for his stance and assist of his united states of america‘s conventional values”.

Hotham stated the data was volunteered by using the Immediately Pride Uk press officer in the course of an electronic mail exchange.

Instantly Pride United kingdom – whose internet site states “there may be not anything proper with being gay, there’s not anything proper with being bisexual” – became requested through Hotham for its response to anti-homosexual assaults in Russia and Africa.

gay-rights-activists-hold-008Hotham says that Nick Steiner, a press officer for the organization, stated in a record headed ‘press launch’: “Straight Satisfaction aid what Russia and Africa is doing, these u. S. A. Have morals and are paying attention to their majorities.”

“Those international locations are not ‘anti-homosexual’ – that is a term constantly utilized by the gay time table to play the sufferer and suppress critiques and perspectives of those towards it.

“Those countries have passed laws, those legal guidelines are to be respected and no different united states of america need to intervene with any other u. S. A.’s legal guidelines or law.”

Whilst requested who the image of heterosexual Satisfaction might be, the spokesman expressed extra assist for Vladimir Putin, whose crackdown on gay rights has been the trigger to a widespread anti-gay campaign in Russia.

Hotham published the interview on his WordPress blog, but says he became then contacted with the aid of the Directly Pleasure Uk press officer asking him to take away the piece within seven days or be threatened with a DMCA, Digital Millennium Copyright Act, takedown word.


Hotham did now not take down the publish, and WordPress then proceeded with a DMCA takedown notice on 3 August.

The DMCA includes a provision mandating any organization to instantly remove cloth if they may be knowledgeable it breaches copyright.

Hotham and Instantly Satisfaction Uk are based totally in Britain, but the regulation does cover WordPress, Hotham‘s American blogging platform.

“They’ve approximately 50 likes on Facebook – I am now not all that afraid of them,” he informed the Mother or father. “I concept they have been weird and thrilling. No person had taken the time to invite them what they clearly idea.”

Hotham argues that the running a blog companies ought to be more aware of the possibility of abusive takedown notices being filed.

WordPress is legally required to reply to DMCA notices, but additionally informed Hotham how to counterclaim, although one of the requirements became to “consent to local federal court jurisdiction, or if remote places, to the precise judicial body”.

“It’s a large hassle,” Hotham stated. “I am a scholar … I don’t need to chance going to courtroom.

“It indicates that they haven’t tailored to the fact that WordPress is this huge aspect for people to do journalism on … They have got to work out a brand new machine for this.”

Censorship using the DMCA, says WordPress

In a statement, WordPress stated it known that this changed into an abuse of the DMCA regulation.

“We assume this changed into a case of abuse of the DMCA and we don’t think that taking it down became the right result,” said Paul Sieminski, standard recommend for WordPress parent business enterprise Automattic. “It’s censorship the usage of the DMCA.”


He explained that WordPress critiques and acts on all notices, except claims are overly large or no longer compliant with the DMCA law.

Could WordPress be the next Tumblr?

Giant media and internet agencies maintain scooping up social-media services: among others, MySpace went to Information Corp, YouTube to Google, Instagram to Facebook, and now Tumblr to Yahoo. For the younger founders and their buyers, the trajectory in each case has been 1) create a proprietary platform; 2) lure gazilliaccessories of users; three) promote for big amounts of money to a profitable business enterprise as a way to parent out the way to monetize all the ones users.

Now take into account a 20-something entrepreneur named Matt Mullenweg. Just like the founders of such a lot of other crucial structures, he has been coding most of his life. Within the decade of its existence, his running a blog software, WordPress, has come to be a crucial a part of the net, powering about 20% of all web sites. If the media and net giants were bidding on Automattic, the determine enterprise of WordPressand an expansion of ancillary merchandise, I am betting that they had wave tests Within the variety of the $1.1bn or in order that Yahoo is said to be buying Tumblr.

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Right here’s the thing, even though. WordPress is not Just like the other products I just referred to, and Mullenweg, who informed me past due ultimate 12 months he has no purpose of promoting out, is a different kind of founder. I bear in mind WordPress to be the maximum vital platform around due to the fact it is a) open and b) controlled through a young guy and crew whose hearts and minds, from my angle, are exactly Within the proper region on the proper time. I admire them tremendously.

yahoo-and-tumblr-010It is now not that Mullenweg is towards creating wealth. In truth, he and Automattic make numerous it (although he does not say how much) thru WordPress, which gives loose, hosted blogs and a spread of for-pay services, inclusive of essential corporate and media customers which includes the Ny Times, the Wall Avenue Journal and CNN. The sales are sufficient that the organization has sunk “tens of millions” of dollars into WordPress improvement, to enhance it and guide its thousands and thousands of users, individual and company.


It really is WordPress, the commercial arm of Mullenweg‘s operatiaccessories. However extra crucial, in the end, is WordPress. Org, which gives the software without spending a dime, open-source. This means everybody can download it at no fee, adjust it at will and use it on his or her personal server. I am some endless human beings who’ve performed that, and I’ve come to rely on it for numerous blogs I maintain. (I additionally have numerous WordPress blogs, consisting of a place for some lecture room paintings).

The WordPress community is add-onsiderable in component due to the fact, like different major open-source initiatives, it has end up the center of an ecosystem. There are tens of hundreds of extensiaccessories to be had for WordPress – software that do everything from lower comment spam to create online stores to you name it, plus full-size numbers of “themes” that provide users flexiblity in how the website will appearance and experience for the person. Automattic has created a number of the plug-ins, However third-celebration builders have carried out the giant majority. A few are loose to apply, Like the center software, while others come with a charge.

Contrast this with all the other foremost for-earnings platform operatiadd-ons, along with Google, Fb, Twitter, et al. To a more or lesser degree, they allow builders to create applications to run on or along their platforms, However they may be definitely in control. The 0.33-birthday celebration builders and their products live essentially on the whim of the platform proprietors, and so does the content material that we (you and that i) placed into their computers. We get convenience in go back, However we need to usually maintain in mind who’s going for walks things. With WordPress. Org sites, we’re in control.

As Mullenweg informed my students ultimate 12 months:

“I assume It is without a doubt vital for the unbiased web to have a platform, and to the extent that WordPress can serve that function, I assume It is a splendid privilege and duty. We don’t all want to be running on Twitter and Fb and (LinkedIn) profile pages and being bought to the best bidder, essentially, again and again once more, a thousand Instances, whenever someone masses a page. I mean, we can do better than that.

The Guardian’s News Feed plugin for WordPress

Nowadays we are freeing a new tool to enable you to put up Guardian articles at once in your weblog. You could add your personal observation to a piece of writing and then post the article in full with only some restrictions (greater on that underneath).

Here are some simple commands for putting in and using the Dad or mum’s Information Feed plugin for WordPress.

First, to install it, You could either use the Plugins tool for your WordPress admin panel, or You could down load it from WordPress. Org Here:

Open Platform: WordPress Plugin
Then you may want to achieve a get right of entry to key thru the Father or mother’s Open Platform. You can sign up and then attain a key Right here:

wordpress-newsfeed-pluginsThe system is self-serve, and you will have your key in moments.

You then want to configure the plugin. You could do this from the main dashboard in which you need to see the Guardian Information Feed Configuration panel. In this panel input your API key into the field marked API key.

Open Platform: WordPress Plugin
Now, You could start the usage of it. you will see the “Guardian News Feed” option to your “Posts” menu. That is in which You may seek and read for articles that you’d want to put up.

Open Platform: WordPress Plugin
When you locate an editorial you want to put up, click on the ‘Store to Drafts’ option. And you’ll then be able to upload your feedback before posting it.

Open Platform: WordPress Plugin
It’s it, truely.

We have blanketed a few publishing recommendations inside the seek panel. It is a listing of a few pleasant reminders if you overlook what turned into within the Terms and Situations that you agreed to:

1. Modifications: You shouldn’t put off or regulate the textual content, links or pics you get from us.
2. Key: In case you don’t have a key, get one Here. It’s required. In case, you do have one, please don’t percentage it or use it anywhere else.
Three. Ads: Articles include Commercials and overall performance monitoring embedded in them. As above, you shouldn’t change or get rid of them. You could, of route, use your very own Advertisements some place else on your blog, too.
4. Deletions: Once in a while however very not often we must cast off articles. When that takes place, this plug-in will replace the withdrawn Father or mother content inside your weblog post with a message pronouncing that the content material isn’t to be had anymore.

A few other matters worth noting:

• This primary new release is a beta, model zero.1.
• It the handiest works when you have your very own hosted WordPress weblog. It does no longer paintings In case you are the usage of WordPress or another weblog platform.
• We are able to be growing versions for other structures, too. Stay tuned.
• There are some troubles with this version that we are operating to restore. As an instance, articles with restrained rights are showing up inside the seek interface, but you can not publish them.

There’s an FAQ on WordPress. Org with a few greater data. You could additionally put up questions inside the Google Group. We might like to pay attention what you believe you studied of it and the way we will improve it.

Lastly, the plugin is designed to be used as is. We have several methods of operating with partners In case you want to do something that varies from our preferred Phrases. Find out extra Right here:

Guardian launches dedicated WordPress headlines plugin

Today we’re glad up-to-date announce our information headlines plugin for WordPress. This is the primary information headlines plugin of its type on the famous WordPress platform and offers considerable benefits over current information RSS plugins.

Not likeupdated the plugin we unveiled years ago – which enabled bloggers up-to-date syndicate our content material in full on their personal web page – this plugin has been specially constructed updated offer applicable information headlines and their thumbnails whilst mixing seamlessly inup to date any topic.

Easy upupdated

WordPress Widget Options
Easy, sincere setup

Using the up-to-date plugin experience built inup-to-date WordPress, the plugin can be hooked up in any WordPress website online in less than two minutes. The plugin affords a Simple widget that may be located at the website and gives some of Options up-to-date up to date what is displayed at the web page.

wordpress_on_screen2From the Category selection you could pick out from 27 Father or mother information sections up to date locate content material this is applicable on your website online. You can pick out whether updated display the modern articles or the ones which might be proving up-to-date be the most famous at the Father or mother website online. After choosing what number of articles updated show and the most appropriate Dad or mum logo up-to-date web page’s topic you may up-to-date and take a look at out your new content material.

Perfect for blogs

Mild WordPress topic
The plugin operating on a theme with a Mild up-to-date style

The plugin up-to-date designed with blogs in the front of thoughts. Do you run a weblog with a focus on films? Song? Maybe fashion or education? What about technology or politics? A majority of these are devoted sections in the Father or mother and we put up content material in Some of these sections very regularly. Up to date up-to-date weblog might see hyperlinks up-to-date exciting content material without you having updated do any ongoing paintings. As soon as humans understand that the content material you offer within your weblog posts and displayed from the Father or mother is up-to-datepical and exciting it attracts repeat up-to-date up to date yourupdated weblog.

Theme adopting

WordPress plugin on darkish px220
The plugin running on a subject with a darkish hisupupdated fashion

The plugin has been designed upupdated the topic of your web page bearing in mind a wealthy and seamless integration. Some of web sites have already applied the plugin and we’re very thrilled with how properly it has blended in with their themes. If you would love to look examples of the way the plugin blends with distinct topics, test the screenshots on the WordPress plugin page


Content material requests are made updated our content material API. The responses are up to datered briefly inside your WordPress database making sure your site does no longer make up to dateo many useless calls and influences your page load times. You could deploy the widget as frequently across your site as you like and use special settings in each vicinity.