Coffee heat rising


UH-oh! What have we here?

“Akismet has protected your site from 21,974 spam comments…”

It has? How d’you suppose it did that when it was supposed to be turned off?

Turns out it wasn’t off. Last time I updated WordPress, I did a bulk disable of all Funny’s plug-ins, and then blithely bulk re-enabled them. Akismet has been sitting there for the past year or so, dormant after it blithely throttled the site on BlueHost. I never deleted it, because I prefer Akismet to the WP-Spamfree that substituted for it. Secretly I hoped that maybe one day it would rise again.

Well, apparently it has risen and apparently it’s no longer throttling FaM, since the site has been running with no hassles ever since the last WP update.

Not only has Akismet risen from the dead, it’s been going after FaM’s commenters like Dracula on meth! A whole bunch of regular readers who commented on the New Year’s Resolution site were marked as spammers, among them Echo of Boomer & Echo, Betty Kinkaid at Control Your Cash, Money Beagle, Joe Plemon, Daniel at Sweating the Big Stuff, Khaleef at KNS Financial, Barbara Friedburg, Evan at My Journey to Millions, Kay Lynn at Bucksome Boomer, FB at Fabulously Broke in the City, Robert at The College Investor, Kari Shaffer, Tara Schultz, Longview Bound, and Juggling Mama.

Quite the shifty crew, aren’t they?

Well, you’ve all been despammed, approved, and sprung from the spam holding tank. My apologies for not having responded to everyone—and many thanks for dropping by and commenting!

Please come back soon!

25 awesome sites for personal finance buffs

In a moment of idleness, I decided to Stumble in search of sites that might interest friends of Funny about Money. Below, 25 sites full of information, leads, and tools for personal finance enthusiasts. Prepare to bookmark!

Find Help, Get Action:

Hard-to-find 800 numbers. Includes Amazon, Google(!!), Dell, Apple. Some entries give a clue to how to reach a human.

How to Complain. For our friends in the UK.

Consumer Action. Free hotline refers consumers to complaint-handling agencies through our free hotline. This nonprofit publishes multilingual educational materials; compares prices on credit cards, bank accounts and long-distance services; advocates for consumers.

Federal Reserve Consumer Help. Contact the Federal Reserve if you’re having a problem with a bank or other financial institution.

General Consumer Information

Lifehacker. The Magic 8-Ball of interesting, useful, and amazing stuff

Federal Citizen Information Center: a gold mine of information. Click “Employment” to check out “how to get a job in the federal government.”

FRB Consumer Information. Another Federal Reserve Board page: banking, credit, mortgages, personal finance, leasing, identity theft. Useful information.

Consumer Product Safety Commission. Consumer info, news, recalls.

Consumer World. A large, active site: articles, links, tips, price comparisons…

Consumer Reports. Web presence of the granddaddy of consumer organizations; unfortunately, some parts of the site are restricted to subscribers.

Consumer’s Checkbook. Nonprofit organization reviews local companies and providers. Requires a log-in.


Retail Me Not.  Coupon codes & discounts

Local gas prices. Find the best prices in your area.

Swap Skills. Skill swapping network

DIY bath & body products: “800 bath & body recipes  you can make at home.”

How to make soap. It is what it says it is.

Bizrate: Shopping online; reviews, price comparisons

Quatloos: Cybermuseum of Scams & Frauds. Funny, often informative, sometimes provocative blog

Privacy Issues

Consumer Reports on privacy.  What information is being collected about you, why you need to know, and what (if anything) you can do about it. Did you know there’s a database tracking your record of returned merchandise?

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. Nonprofit for consumer information and advocacy

Radio frequency identification. Clear, readable, and well researched excerpt from a law review article detailing what this is and how it will affect everyone’s privacy. Even cash transactions will be trackable…right to your doorstep. So much for any ideas about “going off the grid”!

Pest Control

Spambox.  Creates a temporary e-mail address for those outfits that demand an e-mail address to “verify” when you need to download or get into a site. It forwards to your real site and then expires after a set time.

Bug Me Not.  Shared logins for sites that pester you to register

Annoyance zappers. Plug-ins for zapping many common online annoyances

Junkbusters. Reduce physical junkmail.