WordPress 3.1 Available Now!

The long-awaited WordPress 3.1 was officially released as the new stable version of WP sometime last night. This new version of WordPress brings with it quite a few major changes. It is highly recommended that you backup your entire WordPress installation (your files and your database) before performing the upgrade, as I suspect there will be quite a few plugins that won’t work the way you would expect with this new version (especially if you are a WordPress multi-site user).

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WordPress: Import Images From Another Website

WordPressWithin WordPress, it’s actually extremely simple to grab images from another website, and import them into your own installation. It takes just a handful of functions to do so. This can be extremely handy when trying to move content into WordPress from another system.

For instance, on most organizational websites, you’ll find an employee directory; and in a lot of those directories you’ll find photographs of the employees. Should you ever choose to move your employee directory into WordPress, you can easily import the information as posts (most likely a custom post type) and then pull the employee images and add them to WordPress, too.

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Disney Sued Over Website Accessibility

Another major corporation is feeling the sting of a lawsuit over the accessibility of its websites. A news release posted on Feb. 15, 2011 indicates that three visually-impaired patrons of Disney have filed a class-action lawsuit against the company.

According to the press release, the main concerns of the suit include the fact that the websites include audio and video (presumably auto-played) that interferes with screen-reading software and is not keyboard-accessible, as well as the fact that the websites include Flash content with no text alternative.

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Importing Posts From Custom Sources Into WordPress

WordPressOver the past few days, I have been working on some custom scripts to import information from an older system into WordPress as a custom post type with a great deal of custom meta information. I quickly found the key to doing so is to use the wp_insert_post() function.

In my case, I am importing information from XML files into PHP arrays. I am then using an array_map() callback to pull the information out of the imported array, format it the way I want it, assign the appropriate keys to it and more. From there, I am using the wp_insert_post() function and the add_post_meta() function to push that information into the WordPress database.

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A Few UX Suggestions for Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone 7Having used my HTC Surround Windows Phone 7 handset for a few months, now, I’ve come up with a few items to add to a user experience wishlist. If you have any other serious suggestions (i.e. not “make it an iPhone” or something like that), I’d be glad to hear them.

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Retrieving Information from the WordPress Codex

While working on the Extended Super Admins plugin for WordPress, I decided to try to pull information out of the WordPress Codex and use it in the plugin. I did a little Googling, but didn’t come up with much.

Then, I decided to look for API information about MediaWiki (the script used to present the WordPress Codex). After a bit more Googling, I discovered that there is, in fact, an API built into MediaWiki installations. The API is the same on the WordPress codex as it is on WikiPedia (and most other MediaWiki installations, I’m sure). Thankfully, much of the documentation is built right into the API file itself, so loading it up in your browser gives you pretty good instructions on how to use it.

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Another Virgin Mobile Data Outage

Virgin Mobile appears to be experiencing another semi-major data service outage. Just before 3 p.m. EST, both of my Virgin Mobile MiFi 2200 devices stopped working. They reported that they were not activated. After several attempts to reactivate the devices, I called the technical support phone line as instructed by the device control panel.

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WordPress 3.0.5 Released – Security Update

Blog software provider WordPress has just released the 3.0.5 version of their blogging software. They suggest that if you are running WordPress you update immediately.

This security release fixes two XSS bugs, some update to the media uploader to prevent information disclosure and some enhancements to harden the overall blogging tool.

You can update using the auto-updater within your WordPress admin or you can download the files from wordpress.org.

It was just over a month ago that WordPress released version 3.0.4 which was also a security release.

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The Power of Social Media – The MB Tweet Race

Those of you that follow me on Twitter (and didn’t participate) are probably painfully aware of the amount of tweeting I did this week. It was all for a good cause, though.

Mercedes-Benz hosted a “Tweet-fueled race” to the “big game” (don’t want the NFL to sue me for using their trademarked name). Essentially, from the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2011 until this evening (Friday, Feb. 5, 2011), four teams challenged their Twitter followers to show support for them and their charities. Each tweet that included your team’s hashtag gave your team a little virtual fuel to make it from their starting point to Dallas, Texas. There were various challenges, such as posting photos of landmarks, Twitter rounds of songs, etc.

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Freelancers – Do You Paymo?

As a freelancer or small business, one of the biggest decisions you can make (from a business perspective, at least) is how to track your time and invoice your clients. There are a few really good options out there. Quickbooks Online seems to be a good solution, but it can get pretty expensive pretty quickly. A friend of mine recommended CurdBee, which looks like a pretty nice option, too.

My software of choice, though, is an application called Paymo. Paymo works extremely well, is easy to use, feature-rich and is extremely affordable. There are basically only two reasons you would ever pay to use Paymo. The first would be if you need to issue more than 3 invoices in a month. The other reason would be if you need to allow more than 2 users (yourself and one other) to track their time in the application.

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