I’ve decided to remove 3rd party advertising from the website. All external content ad-spaces (Google Ads) have already gone and also most affiliate scheme banner ads. A few direct referral text links remain, almost all on the Links page or in the picture gallery pages. These are relatively unproblematic but will be reviewed in the near future.

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Due to the ridiculously high number of attempted spammer registrations, the ability to self-register a username for this blog has been removed.

An approval system for new registration was already in place, and very effective. However, the huge volume combined with my limited time means that I can no longer deal with the administration for the approvals and/or rejections.

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A new version of Plant Base is released – 2.1.6. This time it includes updated database contents, which is at Release 26.

The program version is basically a minor maintenance release, with no obvious big changes.  The main incentive for the release was to bring the executable build up to the latest available code complier and database engine.  This gave opportunities to improve the code efficiency and possibly program stability.  This resulted in a lot of internal code changes and the work kept me busy for the last couple of months.

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I’m a bit of a stick-in-the-mud when it comes to web design – I like simple informative web pages that just “do the job” and don’t tend to follow the latest design fashions.  So our site has not changed overall for a long time.  However, there is a specific issue that clearly needs improvement, which is accessibly for mobile devices. Our old method of having a small set of pages specifically for mobiles is simply not good enough nowadays.

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A new version of Plant Base is available for download – 2.1.4.

This is a program maintenance release with only minor changes and a number of bug fixes.

Along with the new program version there is also an update to the plant database itself, data release 25. It has been some time since the last data release, so we decided to issue one now. There are many updates to existing records and some new plant records and pictures. However, there were quite a large number of amendments that we could not finalise quickly so these will be carried over for the next release.

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We have recently changed our Cookie Law compliance so that we now use a kind of semi-implied consent.  We still show a banner asking first-time website users to agree to our use of cookies, but it no longer blocks continued navigation of the site and the notice is now shown as a bar at the bottom of the page.  The notice is still more conspicuous than many – so we can be sure that users are well informed.

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You will have noticed by now that when first visiting this website, and many others, you see some kind of notice about the use of web cookies.

If you didn’t know already, cookies are just small text files on your computer that are accessed by the web browser.  They have various uses, but as they can be used to gather information about your web activities they are now subject to the EU e-Privacy Directive regulations. In the UK this is implemented by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

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