All transcripts start from the point in the show where we head off into the meat and potatoes. They are the complete verbatim of John and Amber’s discussion of this weeks plugins that have been reviewed.
WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #543 here.
It’s Episode 543 and we have plugins for Rocket Fire, Mojo Authentication, Confetti, Hot Swinging Images, Newspapering Style, Date’n’Time shortened… and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: Alright, this is where we talk about ClassicPress and WordPress, and I don’t have anything for ClassicPress. I’m not working in it, so I have nothing to dig right now. Anyone out there who users ClassicPress, hey, reach out to us, let us know, and we’ll get that information into the show for you.
Amber: There is one thing here, ClassicPress announced at the end of 2021 the first public release candidate for ClassicPress 1.4.0.
John: Okay, well, that’s new. I didn’t realize that.
Amber: I don’t think we have any link for it or anything, but it’s a good thing to know about.
John: It is if you’re a ClassicPress user that means they are still advancing and moving forward, good for them.
Amber: Good news.
John: Alright, what do I have for plugins? The first one I’ve got for you this week is Swinging Hotspot interactive images. This is kind of a cool plugin, and it’s got a very useful feature in that you can take any image and create active hotspots on it and what you can do with those active hotspots is set up things such as information spots, you could do a map on there and have hotspots for different areas of the map for highlighting stuff. Very nice, decently useful plugin that can help make your images a little more interactive, such as, you know, this one here showcases, you know, you mouse over El Capitan, it gives you a nice picture of El Capitan, or different hotspots through the different things in here, highlighting different parts of something.
Amber: So cool.
John: And this is what you can do with your images using this plugin. It’s a really great plugin, something useful, and go check it out. And it is Swinging Hotspot interactive images, and I give it a four dragon rating.
Amber: Well, that definitely shows up mine. Mine is just fireworks, Rocket Fireworks. This is — actually; I have to say, it is actually pretty cool. It does have an upgrade, so it’s free. And you get six options of how you want your fireworks to appear on your site, which one of the cool things that they do is they actually give you an example. So like when I downloaded it, I went into the menu area, and for each option, they have a little thing that says example, and it shows you what to look like on your screen before you even choose the option. So you don’t have to choose the option, refresh, go into the site and check it out. You actually get to see it before you even choose it, which I thought was just the best idea ever.
Amber: Yeah, it doesn’t play nice with other plugins like it like Halloween Panda or anything, but, you know, most of them don’t play nice together. Otherwise, it’s pretty awesome. I rate it at five dragons. Even though it is like a freemium, it’s still pretty awesome.
John: Very cool. Alright, the next one I have for you is Newspaper Columns, back to the good old days of newspapers and this is a Gutenberg block that you can use for your site and what it allows you to create is anywhere from two to six blocks or two to six columns of content, much like the old newspapers used to be having published a newspaper, there’s a reason for those columns because those columns of text if you get them to the proper width, and the font size, it actually makes it easier for people to read the information than having long paragraphs of text across the screen, so it engages people, makes it easier for them to read the stuff, so this could be something useful. I’ve seen plugins like this in the past, and I have used them, and they have been very useful on certain sites. Not every site wants to use something like this, but if you have a site that’s text-heavy, this might be a solution to help keep people on your site and actually reading the text. You just got to get the widths appropriate but considering nowadays that most people are on a phone and they’re basically in one thin column anyway, it’s kind of an interesting one. I don’t know how this works when it goes down to mobile version, but for the most part, it should be okay. Anyway, go check it out, it is newspaper columns, and I give it a four dragon rating.
Amber: That is very nice. Now I’m curious, though, how would it work on a mobile? Next one I have is MojoAuth Passwordless Authentication. This is designed for people who are rather forgetful like me and what it does is it reminds you and your users when it’s time to change the password for security reasons. I remember plenty of jobs I worked in where I had to log in, and after a certain period of time, you had to change your password, and it’s a good security practice for a large amount of people, and I know I would never remember on my own, so this is a pretty decent plugin. It is a third-party plugin, though, so they say it is free forever with email support, but it’s not really free. You’re paying with your information. That’s how you pay for it. It is pretty good if this is something you need. It’s kind of one of the few I’ve come across; it’s like this where it’s a reminder for you to change your password rather than a password memory or something. I definitely recommend checking out if this is something you’re interested in. I rate it at four dragons.
John: Very cool. Yeah, the third-party thing is always kind of problematic when you’re dealing with something like that to me. Alright, the next one I have for you is WP Date and Time Shortcode. Now, you may not need something. This is a very simple, straightforward plugin. It just pulls the information from the WP Data Program or not program, but the stuff that’s built-in there for date and time pulls the date and time from the PHP, but with the shortcode, you can display numerous ways, you put the Shortcodes anywhere you want, put them in your header bar, put them in a sidebar, put them on a page, but it will display the current date and time in whatever way you want whether it’s just general settings or Month, Day, shorten days, hours, days a month, there’s a whole lot of choices with this. I just thought it was a useful one because there’s some times that I really do want to put a date into a header or something, and I just don’t want to hassle with stuff, but I want something that will stay consistent and keep a consistent time up there. Very useful, straightforward plugin; go check it out, it’s the WP Date and Time Shortcode, and I give it a four dragon rating.
Amber: I can see a lot of uses for that; I’m always looking for the date on articles I read. Last one I have is called Confetti. This is actually pretty cool plugin for getting joyful confetti onto your site. It does have an upgrade, but it’s only $19 for a single site, so you are only billed once a year. In the free version, you can only choose what kind of Confetti style you want. Okay, they’re essentially the same thing. They’re both pretty awesome. This one gives you the example beforehand. I’m sorry I misspoke with the other one; I just seem to have the same writing. The other one was Plug and Play Let It Go, totally free, and this one is the one that is a freemium, and this one is the one that has six options where they give you the example first, so sorry about that confusion there. I rate it at five dragons.
John: Cool, go check it out. Alright, we have no ads yet, but hey, we’ll eventually get around to it, but we do have…
We do. We don’t have any new contest right now, but we do have a winner for the contests that we sponsored up to the holidays, the one-year hosting package valued at $350 from johnoverall.com, and Greg is the winner. Congratulations Greg. I hope you enjoy that hosting. He has already been in touch with me. He’ll be set up real soon and rolling to start playing with a new website on johnoverall.com hosting, and after so much
Amber: Congratulations, that’s awesome.
John: After he likes it so much, he can tell everyone else about it and send all the clients to see me. Alright, so we got to cover up a few things before we go into the Q&A segment. Plugins covered by me on this show was the Swinging Hotspot interactive images, which I gave a four to, the Newspaper Columns, which I gave a four to, and the WP Date and Time Shortcode which I gave a four to.
Amber: I’m sorry, for some reason, I heard your voice, and I just did not register anything you said.
John: I put you to sleep, alright.
Amber: Nope, my brain is just not fully here today. I even had caffeine; I don’t understand. Reviewing the plugins we covered, right?
Amber: I covered Rocket Fireworks, which I rated at five, MojoAuth Passwordless Authentication, which I rated at four, and Confetti, which I rated at five.
John: Alright, reminders, commercials, we don’t really have anything there. There will be a meetup coming in, hopefully in the springtime. More on that, as we get closer and have the weather, we can have it now, have a snow clearing party and everyone come clear snow.
Amber: That’ll be interesting.
Amber: Make some hot buttered rum.
John: No, not going to happen. Alright, other than that, we don’t have much else. If you’d like to be in interview show or, you know, some plugin authors or plugin developers, then they want to get some promotions. Hey, reach out to me for an interview. I haven’t done one in a while, and they can do that by going to wppluginsatoz.com/interview to schedule an interview with me, and if you happen to have plugins, you’d like to see us preview, hey, go to wppluginsatoz.com submit plugin review to submit those plugins to us. Alright, it is time for us to wander into — oh, we got to close out a couple of other things here, don’t we do that? We do that after…
Amber: We end the show halfway through the questions?
John: We do. I’m sorted out. See what happens. You take next week off; you’re all out of sync. Alright, let’s go in here.
It’s question and answer time.
John: With Amber.
Amber: So before I get started, if anyone out there has any questions they’d like to have asked on the show, send them into me at email@example.com, and we’ll get them up here and see if we can stump my dad. My first question is, what initially drew you to computer and then to coding?
John: Oh, god, that goes back, way, way…
Amber: It was back, but what was it that drew your interest? What caught you?
John: Oh, I was a bit of a math geek at the time. I was in seventh-eighth grade doing advanced algebra. Now, I can’t.
Amber: Did you like math?
John: I like math, and then I found out about computers, and I found that you can write code out and you can make it do anything you want if you write the right code, you can make them do anything you want.
John: So yeah, I just enjoyed them. And then, of course, I couldn’t touch them for years because I got myself in trouble for hacking. So I wasn’t allowed near the computers anymore. So then I came back to them in the 90s, and then I was still was all about the code. I used to — I’ve seen some things recently posted up about changing the hexes on code and thought I remember doing that briefly. I got into doing it changing the hex of a program.
Amber: Changing the hex, what is that?
John: Your code. Your real code, not the PHP code you read. We’re talking that’s beyond the PHP code is the actual what the computer see or what the computer chip sees. Computers don’t see the text that we see. They see…
Amber: No, they see the ones and zeros.
John: That’s the hex code.
John: Yeah, and you can actually go edit that and change the output.
Amber: Oh, that’s cool.
John: Yeah, there’s a lot you can do with computers. If you dig really deep, you can do a lot of things, and that’s what got me. I was like, there’s just so many things just like puzzles and puzzles and puzzles, and then you get to create puzzles sometimes you just keep …
Amber: So it was the puzzles that really drew you.
John: Yeah, it’s still puzzles to me, when I am interested in working on computers I’ve just been sitting in front of for so long now. I’d rather be puzzling out plants, you know, growing things is puzzles too, it’s all puzzles. It just depends on what puzzles I’m interested in.
Amber: My next question is, where do you start when learning about cybersecurity?
John: Where do you start? Start with your own computer.
Amber: I mean, like, which corner of cybersecurity you start looking at and learning about?
John: God, I couldn’t even recall where I started, just like, oh, we got this security issue here. This is coming in as like someone’s getting through my firewall. That’s basically if you have a problem or you think you might have a problem, you start on the security for that. Security for your programs, security, for your service, security on your local computer, the biggest one is to start with your local computer, you know, the computer at your desktop and start security there, and it expands out from there.
Amber: Okay, so really, you should probably start with learning what kind of security flaws your computer may have?
John: Yeah, start with your computer and move from there and, you know, the biggest flaw in security is the human equation.
Amber: Human elements.
John: The human element, because there’s ultra-secure systems out there that get hacked into, and it’s not because somebody breached their firewalls. It’s because someone breached the humans that have access to the terminals, and they can breach the humans in multiple ways. One of the biggest ways that a lot of white hat penetration testers do is they go by a big company that has a lot of employees going in and out the front door, and they go scatter a few flash drives out in front.
Amber: Yeah, that is a favorite, I think.
John: Yeah, it still works, which is surprising that it still works, you know.
Amber: It still works. Wow. I guess that’s not too surprising humans are innately curious.
John: Humans are innately curious. Somebody is walking in. They see a flash drive. They pick it up, you know, it’s like, wow, I wonder what’s on it and without thinking they plug it into their work computer to see what’s on it, thinking well I don’t want to infect my computer. No, let’s infect your entire company’s network. So humans have the biggest problem is cybersecurity, and they always will be because humans we are manipulatable. I mean, that’s why phishing emails still arrive in there. It’s like even every once in a while. I’ll still see one that’s like, holy crap, that’s almost real.
Amber: I’ve seen a couple of those, yeah.
John: Some of them are really good. It’s like, and so they work on people, you know its psychology.
John: Alright, read out your last question. We’ll close out the show for those listening on the podcast.
Amber: Alright. What is the biggest threat that you are worried about facing this next year in cyber security?
John: Oh, that’s a beauty. Alright, we’re going to let my girl take us on out of here, and we’ll come back and answer that question.
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John can be reached at his website, JohnOverall.com, or email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for joining us, and have a great day.
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