Hi All,
Yesterday we completed a major upgrade of the website.  As you may know,  Ben’s former webmaster is currently in the hospital suffering from cancer.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank her deeply for her contribution to Ben’s website over the years and wish the best for her and her family.  Ben is dedicated to continuing to support her financially and otherwise in her fight to recuperate.

A new IT team has taken over management of this website.  Yesterday we completed a major upgrade and server migration.  Items of note:
  • Migrated to a completely new server, all back end software upgraded
  • WordPress upgraded from version 2.8.6 to version 4.8
  • Major speed improvements
  • New theme and design
  • Website now works and looks good on mobile devices – try it out!
  • Search functionality now works so you can search through old articles by keyword
  • Going back many years some comments were being incorrectly marked as spam – all such comments have been approved and restored
    • This was especially happening to comments containing many links, but other kinds of comments as well
    • It appears that some people had been prevented from commenting as all their comments were marked as spam – they are now free to comment again
  • The “Remember Me” checkbox now works and you can stay logged in (I don’t think it worked before)
  • Entire site secured with SSL/HTTPS – much more secure than before
  • Full server backup in a country other than Japan – website can be restored quickly in case of disruption to IT services or data loss in Japan
  • New comment system with many new features
    • Subscribe to receive all comments on a given article by email – please make sure that the emails are not going into your spam folder
    • The page will automatically check for new comments every 20 seconds and will display a button showing the number of new comments
    • Ability to sort and view either newest comments first or oldest comments first
    • Ability to vote on comments, up or down, and sort by most positive votes
    • Permanent links to comments (i.e. “bookmarks”) re-added as requested, sorry this feature disappeared for a short time yesterday
    • Shortcuts to easily add formatting to comments
      • b -> bold
      • i -> italics
      • link -> to link a word or phrase to a particular url
      • b-quote -> indentation (block quote)
      • u -> underline
      • ul -> unordered list (each item in the list must also be made into a list item)
      • ol -> ordered list (each item in the list must also be made into a list item)
      • li -> list item
      • code -> display text as monospaced computer code
      • spoiler -> create an expandable dropdown with an optional title – people will only see the content if they click to expand the spoiler box
    • Readers without gravatars are given colorful automatically generated ones
    • Hover over a gravatar or click on a commenter’s name or the information icon to see information about that person such as the total number of comments, their activity log, etc
    • Mention another comment by number (#389561) and the number will become a link to that comment – also the original commenter will receive an email notifying them that their comment was mentioned
      Mention another user by name (@triode) and they will receive an email notifying them that they were mentioned
    • Links to share comments via social media (only Twitter and Google for now, Facebook to be added later)
  • New credit card based membership system coming soon – the website remains free for now
  • In the meantime, the cryptocurrency donation window has been reopened for those who wish to support Ben during this transition
Please comment on this post with any feedback or issue reports concerning the new website.  Thanks everyone!