Textpattern Spam

   14 July 2006, early morning

I’ve gotten 4 pieces of comment spam at this site in the last 24 hours. To some of you, that may not sound like much, but it’s actually a lo considering I’ve managed to go almost 3 years with probably only a handful of spam comments making it onto my pages. I hope this isn’t a harbinger of crappier times to come.

Comment [8]  

Building a Link-Log in Textpattern 4.0

   23 March 2006, early evening

While upgrading to the latest version of Textpattern, I decided to clean up the way I implemented my Link-Log. The goal was to minimize the number of hacks needed to get things working. This article should explain what I have done, and should be as terse as possible.

Read the rest of this post. (168 words)

Comment [1] |  

Feed Auto-discovery Plugin

   28 February 2006, late evening

I’ve finally fixed the feed auto-discovery links on this site, and in doing so made a new plugin. This plugin will generate the auto-discovery links that you place in the head section of your HTML document. These are what feed-readers use to find the feeds available at your site. This plugin lets you specify whether you want the feeds to be “smart” (aware of what section and category they are in) or not. You can download the plugin here.

This plugin will produce audo-discovery feed links. There are two parameters:

  • smart – this can equal 1 or 0. If it is 1, then the feed links will be section and category aware.
  • flavour – this can equal ‘rss’ or ‘atom’. This is how you set what sort of feed link to produce.

Also, if you find my feeds are all really broken, please let me know.

Download the plugin: rsx_feed_auto_discovery_link-0.1.txt

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The Upgrade

   25 February 2006, late at night

I finally upgraded to the latest version of Textpattern, 4.0.3. (I remember when I used to be so cutting edge when it came to all things Textpattern.) If you see anything that seems wrong on the site please post here.

Read the rest of this post. (491 words)

Comment [13] |  

I'm Back

   10 January 2006, mid-morning

I am back from Tokyo, and, since you are reading this, back online.

Comment [1] |  

Search Engine Metatags Plugin

   15 November 2005, late evening

I’ve written a simple plugin to generate the meta information used by the google bot to decide whether to index a page or not. If the page generated is an individual article page, then the plugin will generate:<meta name="robots" content="index,follow">; if the page generated is anything else, the plugin generates: <meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow">.

Scribbling.net has a couple good articles on this which are worth checking out: Noindex and Help the Googlebot understand your web site

Download the plugin: rsx_search_engine_meta.txt

Update Nov 14th 2005: The plugin has been updated so it works correctly in TXP 4.0.2.

Comment [1]  

Comments - Part 3

   20 October 2005, early morning

I’ve changed the way my comments are displayed—again. Let me know of any visual glitches. the comments should display like they have been thus far, except the comments are now surrounded by a faint orange border, and all have an even fainter orange back ground. I think this is actually how they looked the very first time I changed things, only the backgrounds were brighter then. I plan to have my comments display differently again, once I get around to figuring out how to do so in Textpattern. If you hate the new scheme, or see any visual glitches, please leave a comment.

Comment [3]  

Non-breaking Space

    6 October 2005, mid-morning

I have ‘fixed’ the way my link log entries display slightly. The final hash mark (the permanent link to the entry) should never appear alone on a line anymore. This was done by using non-breaking spaces carefully. A non-breaking space (NBSP) is a space that should not produce an automatic line break following its position. For example, if you didn’t want the number 10 000 to be displayed with the 10 on one line and the 000 on another, you would separate the two components with a non-breaking space. In HTML, this usage is sometimes forgotten, as most people use non-breaking spaces to simply produce more than one consecutive space between two words. In HTML, consecutive white-space is stripped, so, if you really do want two spaces after a sentence, for example, you would need to use two non-breaking spaces. The character code for a non-breaking space is &nbsp;. Use it wisely.

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The Funkaoshi Thought Police

    5 October 2005, late at night

Victor: Hey Ram, did you censor my previously light hearted comment on grenades?

Yes. I also erased three comments from Sunny and Ryan because they were not on topic. I do that sometimes so that there isn’t a lot of noise in the comments. It’s nothing personal. I just thought your comment, following the quote from the story I linked to, didn’t fit. I thought it was too light hearted.

I don’t erase comments often, so I don’t have a real system for saying they are gone, or explaining why. I think I’ve only erased comments here because I thought they were off-topic, or were mean-spirited. (Your comment was off-topic, as were the comments by Ryan and Sunny in another thread here.) Usually if I edit a comment, I will leave a note at the bottom saying what I have changed.

I don’t erase stuff I don’t agree with here. (Need proof? Sunny is the second most frequent commenter here! :) If I’ve removed a comment, it is almost always because I think it takes away from whatever I posted here, or whatever other people have posted in the comments.

Update: Remember Big Brother is still watching. So no crap comments God damn it — unless they are my own.

Comment [11]  

Have a Mint

   18 September 2005, late afternoon

As I mentioned in passing a few days back, I spent some of my hard earned money on the web site statistics application Mint. I hate buying software—a lot. Paying money for a bunch of PHP pages was even harder for me to do, but I am glad I did it.

Read the rest of this post. (544 words)

Comment [11] |  

She's Popular

   13 September 2005, mid-afternoon

I’ve been running Mint for little under a week now. I’ll write all about it once I’ve used it a little bit more. So far I am enjoying it, and think if you are sufficiently dorky it is worth the $30 price tag. One thing I have learned from using it is that the most popular page on my site thus far, not including the home page and the recent comments page, is this photograph of Carvill’s legs I posted some time back. I think I’m going to stop letting Google Images index my photoblog.

Comment [4]  

Hot Linking

    8 August 2005, evening time

”[Hot linking] is the placing of a linked object, often an image, from one site in a page belonging to a second site”. When someone links to an image I post here for the purposes of using the content on their own site, they are essentially stealing my bandwidth, since it is 1&1’s web servers that are serving up the image, not their own. Nevermind the fact that people shouldn’t be using my photographs without my permission—especially on ugly-ass web sites.

So how do you stop someone from linking to your content like that? Well, if the site that hosts your web site lets you use .htaccess files, you do so with the following snippet of code I found at the comprehensive guide to .htaccess.

  1. RewriteEngine on
  2. RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
  3. RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)?mydomain.com/.*$ [NC]
  4. RewriteRule \.(gif|jpg|js|css)$ - [F]
  5. Download this code: /static/code/10.txt

That should refuse access to your images from pages that aren’t hosted on your own site. (That said, if people notice anything broken here, please let me know!)

Some of the people at myspace.com need to learn some internet manners.

Comment [2] |  

My Most Discussed Posts

    7 June 2005, late at night

I’ve added another listing to the archive page; you can now browse the top 20 most commented on posts at this site. I don’t think these posts contain the best comments I’ve received here, or are in anyway the most interesting things I’ve posted here, but for whatever reason they generated the most disucssion. I will continue to add little listings like this to the archive page in the hopes that it will be of interest to people who stumble on this site and want a quick primer on what the site is like.

Comment [2] |  

Comments - Part 2

   10 May 2005, evening time

So, as you may recall (probably not) I mucked around with the way comments are displayed here many months ago because the way they were being displayed bugged me. Frankly, the way they are being displayed now still bugs me. That said, Shima approves, so I think I’m at a point where I can leave things alone. I’m back to using ordered lists again, behind the scenes anyway. Some time last night, I had a version up that used definition lists. It looked a bit strange. Please comment here if you can’t stand the new scheme. There are so many sites out there that do a great job with displaying user-feedback. One day, I will copy one of those sites. Till then…

Comment [7]  

Usability and my Photoblog

   29 March 2005, early evening

I wrote this on May 5th, 2004. I don’t know why I didn’t post it then.

My old roommate Alex is one of the few System Engineers I know that can build stuff. That’s a whole other post. When I showed him my photoblog last term, he made a suggestion which I was too lazy at the time to make. If you look at where I placed the previous and next links, every time you click on one of the links, your mouse will probably not be over the links on the new page. The size of the photo and the size of your browser window will determine where the links go. I didn’t think this to be much of an issue, because I assumed most people would read the blurb, and then click on the links. He suggested that if you wanted to quickly scroll through the images, the links I had would be a nuisance, since you’d need to reposition your mouse on each new page. So, my site now has navigation links at the top of the page.

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Google Likes Me.

   24 March 2005, late at night

Search for anything thing I’ve written about in Google, but tack “Blog” to the end of your search string. As of today, my site is the number one hit for lots of things I would never expect—for example: Magneta Lane Blog, Esthero Blog, Ivana Santilli Blog, Drake Hotel Blog, Mitsou Blog, Korean Man Blog, Memory Allocation Blog, Dark Sun Blog. I’m the number 3 hit for Swades Blog, and I wrote about Swades yesterday. I’m the number 5 hit for Supermaket Blog. Mind you, a lot of the crap I write about other people simply don’t. Searching for Mac Mini Blog you won’t see me, as I imagine other blogs, real, popular blogs, wrote about the Mini. (I am on the 4th page.)

I wonder if google is trying to make me feel better by returning my page as the number one hit whenever I search for anything.

I should also mention my site is the number one hit for Bukkake Blog—please don’t search for Bukkake at work.

Update Oct 24th 2005: Google’s love affair with my site seems to have ended.

Comment [1]  

Spam Spam Spam

    8 March 2005, late at night

I’m going to turn off comments for the night. Whoever is spamming me can go fuck themselves.

Update: I turned off commenting here at 11:06 PM, and got another piece of comment spam at 12:00 AM. Son of a bitch. So chances are there is a bot posting here. I’ll need to look into this more to see how the bot can post when comments are turned off. Comments are back on since turning them off isn’t a cure for comment spam.

Comment [4]  

Banh Design Can Go Fuck Themselves

   11 February 2005, evening time

Ladies, cover your ears eyes. Fuck. I was being spammed by the cunts at Banh Design are fuckers. It might be silly to call-out a comment spammer, but this is the first time I’ve received spam on my Textpattern site. I think the fucker is entering the stuff by hand since it is all coming from the same IP. Now, the question I have is, why does Textpattern have a ban-comments-from-ip feature if it doesn’t do anything?

Comment [6]  

Feed Auto-discovery

    5 February 2005, late morning

The smart auto-discovery links are working now, but slightly differently than what is outlined below.

I’ve mucked around with the feed auto-discovery links on my site. Before every page on my site had links to two feeds for my site; the feeds only differed in their format, one being RSS, the other being Atom. I don’t post links to my two feeds directly, since clicking on either would just take you to a page of gibberish. A good feed reader will let you subscribe to the feeds for my site given just my site’s URL.

I’ve since tried to make the auto-discovery links aware of the section and category you are in. (I’ve also cleaned up the URLs for linking to feeds.) If you are reading my movie category and you want to subscribe to my movie related posts, you can just copy that link in to your feed reader, and it will subscribe (hopefully) to one of the following two feeds:

  • http://funkaoshi.com/rss/category/movies/
  • http://funkaoshi.com/atom/category/movies/

There are some bugs I need to fix; currently you can subscribe to feeds that have no content, like the feed for my links page. I’ll hopefully tidy this up over the weekend and post more details on what I did (as well as the plug-in I made).

The most important point is that you can now subscribe to particular sections or categories of my site. If for example, you find yourself saying, “Man, Ram’s links suck ass!”, you can subscribe to just my blog and debug posts. If you just want to know when I write about a restaurant, you can subscribe to my restaurant category’s feed.

Comment [1]  

Referrer Spam

   18 January 2005, evening time

The amount of referrer spam I get in my refer logs is ridiculous. I used to enjoy reading my logs, it was a good way to find new sites to read. Now it’s just a sea of Texas hold-em poker sites and other such junk. I should post the links on Slashdot; that’d take their sites down fast enough.

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Archive Page

   13 January 2005, late at night

The archive page is now complete. You can view older articles on this site by date, category, or popularity. As I think up more exciting ways to let you browse old posts I’ll update that page. Let me know if there are any problems.

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Date Based Archives

    6 January 2005, late at night

This article at Pixel Meadow got me started on finally trying to implement a proper date based archive at this site. You can check out the archive page which now features links to my posts in a given month. I think adding date aware navigation at the bottom of each archive page would be handy, but I am not sure when I will get around to doing it.

Dunstan’s idea of making all dates links got me started on taking my changes a little bit further. So, you can also click on the various parts that make up the date of a post to go to a page that contains all the other posts made on that particular day, month, or year.

I will probably write up what was involved in getting this working shortly. The short version of what you need to do is: change the doArticles() function, modify your .htaccess file, rewrite the posted() function, and write a function that generates the archive table. (I had some other complications because of the changes I made to display my link-log inline.) If you see any problems please let me know.

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Friendly Time Plugin

    5 January 2005, late evening

I’ve written plugin implements the idea discussed by Dunstan on his personal blog about displaying the time a post was published in a friendly manner. Simply place the <txp:rsx_time_of_day /> tag in an article template form and it will print out the time in a friendlier manner. For example, 12:00 will get turned into “lunch time”. I’ve basically copied his code verbatim. You can go and change what is output by editing the switch statement.

Download the plugin: rsx_time_of_day.txt

update: Bug Fix, $timeoffset was not declared as a global variable.

Comment [9]  

Import Moveable Type Export File into Textpattern

   18 December 2004, late morning

I’ve modified the Wordpress Moveable Type import script so that it will import posts, comments, and primary categories from a moveable type export file into a textpattern database. I think that under the GNU license my changes are OK.

Read the rest of this post. (413 words)

Comment [16] |  

Referrer Spam

   15 December 2004, late at night

In an attempt to clean up my referrer logs which have become inundated with spam, I have blocked requests to this page from referrers with at least 2 dashes in their name that are .info domains. If you notice any problems please let me know. Of course, the problem here is that if you do have any problems, you probably won’t see this post.

I am blocking the spam using the following commands in my .htaccess file:

  1. RewriteEngine on
  2. RewriteBase /
  3.  
  4. RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^.*(-).*(-).*(-).*$
  5.  
  6.  
  7. Download this code: /static/code/5.txt

This will turn on mod_rewrite, check if the referrer URL has 2 dashes and ends in .info, and if it does send back a forbidden error.

Comment [1]  

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