Housekeeping: TTAG Comments System Fixed, Amended


As you may have noticed, we’ve fixed TTAG’s comments system. Your bon mots will now appear immediately—unless they fall afoul of common spam criteria (e.g. too many embedded links). To achieve this miracle we disabled WordPress’s Akismet spam filter and enabled Captcha. Some of you may not have noticed; the above box doesn’t appear for commentators that have an account on the TTAG blog. Some of you may. The Captcha system keeps spambots from posting stuff while allowing humans to get through. I know: it sucks to have to fill out the form every time you submit a comment. But this frees RF and Dan to do something other than releasing comments from an over-zealous spam filter and deliver unto you amazingly awesome content. Thank you for your patience and understanding.


  1. avatar Aharon says:

    I’d be fine with a one-time member registration process if it simplifies things. Every site we visit and search we do, every comment we make, and all our emails are already recorded by government.

    1. avatar Hanover Fiste says:


  2. avatar Matt in FL says:

    I guess I’m in the club, because I haven’t seen the Captcha yet. If it’s some sort of system that clears the posting for the regulars, and doesn’t inhibit the ability of the one-offs or infrequent posters, that seems like the best of both worlds to me.

    1. avatar Aharon says:

      Me too. I think I got cleared because Robert and Dan got sick of all the emails I kept sending them about my comments not printing.

      1. avatar AlphaGeek says:

        All of you fools are in the same boat with me: we post comments with sufficient frequency that we qualify.

        I prefer to think of it as being strongly interested and engaged. Not obssessive. At all. No sir.

      2. avatar Matt in FL says:

        You can ask ’em. I was really, really nice about comments this time. I sent them one email at about 1300 yesterday, when the comments system had been down about an hour, but I haven’t bothered ’em since.

  3. Make an account, otherwise you can’t complain. You just need a valid email address.

    1. avatar Skeev says:

      Where do I need to make an account?

  4. avatar duke nukem says:

    ill make an acvount! i love this site! but i have yet to see this captcha box

  5. avatar Joe says:

    Just testing… Please insert something pithy [ED: something pithy] here

    1. avatar Steve in MA says:

      “Rod A into slot B”

  6. avatar Cameron S. says:

    This post is a test.

    Also, keep up the great work TTAG staff!

  7. avatar DoomsdayJames says:

    A test with Safari…

  8. avatar Accur81 says:

    Hope it works, cause I can’t always de scramble those flippin words.

    1. avatar AlphaGeek says:

      If you get it wrong, it’ll give you a second try with a different string.

      For those of you who suck at decoding CAPTCHA strings visually, if you look close you’ll also find that there’s an audio option. It’s there for the visually impaired but I know folks who use it because they have trouble sorting out the regular CAPTCHAs.

  9. avatar Michael F. says:

    No Captcha for me.

  10. avatar Arete13 says:

    I have an account but I guess I’m not in the “cool kids club”. I have an impossible riddle of a captcha in front of me.

  11. avatar Richard W. says:

    Reaching levels of 2004 complexity! 😀

  12. avatar AlphaGeek says:

    I was wondering if this was going to be the result of the spam-filter meltdown. This is actually much better than I expected — some sites make you fill out a CAPTCHA every. damn. comment.

    It’s amazing how much TTAG declined in value and interest for me over the last week as the comment black-hole problem worsened. More than half the value of this site is in the discussion threads following the article.

    1. avatar Nick Leghorn says:

      Trust me — the site stats reflect that frustration.

      If it isn’t working as well as expected, give me a holler.

      1. avatar Aharon says:

        How about an incentive program paying regulars five cents per word we type in the comments? I got the idea from the California politicians.

        ($1.20 please)

        1. avatar AlphaGeek says:

          That would be like paying software engineers a bounty on every bug they fix: a self-perpetuating fountain of money for the participants.

        2. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

          Ha if I could get paid for the articles I submit we would be on a role!!! Just kidding.. 😉

        3. avatar CarlosT says:

          AlphaGeek, that’s one of my all time favorite management brainwaves.

      2. avatar rightontheleftcoast says:

        keep up the good work Nick

      3. avatar AlphaGeek says:

        I’m seeing occasional significant slowness in processing posted comments, but that’s probably because everyone’s loins have been aching for the sweet release of a working comment system.

        Blame Chris Dumm for that graphic image, BTW. 🙂

  13. avatar Forrest says:

    Hmm, I wonder if I’m in the cool kid club.

    EDIT: Yup, feels good man.

  14. avatar JoshinGA says:

    Well, I suppose Ill find out if I get the “captcha” as well….

    EDIT: Woooo it worked. Feel free to remove if desired.

  15. avatar SubZ says:


  16. avatar Castle says:


    EDIT: Nope. Sweet.

  17. avatar Brandon says:

    Did I make the cut?

  18. avatar NWGlocker says:

    Oh thank god. No captcha for me. I was afraid RF was going to flip it on after all the emails I send him

  19. avatar A Trusted Friend in Science says:

    Hopefully captcha will filter out the bots, but I fear they’ll never go away.

  20. avatar Arete13 says:

    Still have a captcha… 🙁

    We can still be friends, right?

  21. avatar Chotch says:

    Little known fact, by using reCAPTCHA you are helping digitize books. So technically you could type anything in for the second (easier to read) word.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      You almost took the words out of my mouth. I saw a show on “Nova Science Now” with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and I think it’s way cool. 🙂

  22. avatar Hermit says:

    Testes testes…one two….three?

    EDIT: Awesome, no captcha for me, and I rarely post. I feel cool.

    1. avatar speedracer5050 says:

      Three Testes?? Does that make you trisexual??

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        Trisexual – they’ll “tri” anything sexual.

  23. avatar Liberty2Alpha says:

    I feel special, too.

    I was going to rage if I had to do the silly captcha thing.

    (At least now I know what to call it.)

    1. avatar AlphaGeek says:

      In case anyone else is wondering, CAPTCHA is an acronym. (I swear I’m not shouting it at you.) It stands for:

      Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart

      The Wikipedia page is an interesting read even if you skip over all of the geeky details.

      1. avatar James says:

        Turing test? I hadn’t planned to go anywhere.

  24. avatar Kelly in GA says:

    Survey says…
    SUCCESS! You can’t Captcha me!

  25. avatar JPD says:

    Testing…..testing…..testing. Houston, we have ignition.

  26. avatar Skeev says:

    I’m typing the captcha and I still get the “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

    How do I get an account to make my life easier?

  27. avatar Long Island says:

    I can see the captchas from here….

  28. avatar Conway Redding says:

    In the main, I HATE Captchas, which have seemed to me somewhat glitchy, in that often I have had to enter in code words several times before I finally got it right, and despite having no known visual processing problems. But I understand why y’all felt this change was necessary.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      Every one I’ve seen has a link or button to change the image if you can’t get the one.

  29. avatar Robert K. Tompsett says:

    I guess it will work.

  30. avatar Joatmon2 says:

    Hmmm, lets see if this makes it. I haven’t been able to post, guess i’ve been bad.

  31. avatar Michael B. says:

    CAPTCHA is creepy but whatevs.

  32. avatar My Name Is Bob says:

    Testing to see if I’m on CAPTCHA island…

  33. avatar Ben in UT says:

    This post is a test.

    EDIT: Hooray!

  34. avatar Testpost says:


  35. avatar WC says:

    Will comments made before the fix be posted, or are you finished filtering old comments?

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      I’m guessing that if you haven’t seen it by now, it’s gone. Lost in the shuffle.

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