Last weekend this site was hacked into by spammers and porn purveyors. There wasn’t a lot of front-end damage, but it left a lot of mess behind the scenes, so I’ve been spending a bit of time cleaning up. The main problem was that every page now had a massive amount of hidden text in the footer, linking to more nefarious sites. This upset the Googlebot, so there’s a danger this site will drop off Google for a while while I confirm that the site is clean. So if you’re searching for TAR on Google, it might not always show up. Hopefully I’ll be able to convince Google soon that all is well, and we won’t see an interruption of service. In the meantime, some other news from the site.
- While cleaning everything up, I seem to have disabled new registration for the site. I’ve fixed that now, so it’s possible to register and comment on posts. Sorry for the inconvenience this caused.
- I’ve disabled the Twitter feed in the sidebar. That’s partially because we weren’t using it much, and partially because I’m not sure whether it was related to the security failure that led to the hacking.
- On the other hand, several TAR writers still have their own Twitter feeds. For example, mine is @bweatherson. In the future, any requests for announcements on this blog will be sent to the Twitter feed instead, unless I’m personally involved with the project being announced. (E.g., it’s a conference I’m speaking at.) So for instance there’s now an announcement about the Conditionals and Conditionalisation conference here. I think Twitter is a much more suitable platform for simple links elsewhere than the blog. And I don’t know why people ever want an announcement that’s more than a link – anything worth publicising is worth making a webpage for.
- I’ve added little avatars to the comments to make them look more amusing. Right now you get a randomly generated monster. If you’d like to replace that with some other picture, you just need to get an account at Gravatar that’s linked to the same email account as your account here. Right now I have a picture of me looking lost in Scotland, but I might replace that soon with something more NewYorkeseque.