Sunday, February 27, 2005

Notification plugin for pLog


I have been using the xmlrpc interface to post to my blog. Since the metaWeblog API does not allow me to specify if I want to be notified of comments, and there is not a default setting in the core of pLog, I wrote this plugin.


This plugin listen to the EVENT_POST_POST_ADD event, and adds an Article Notification to all new articles that do not already have notifications enabled.


You can download the plugin here.


For use in the xmlrpc api, the patch described in this bug is required, as well as pLog 1.0 pLog 1.0 is required.


Update: The latest version of pLog has the patch previously described.

Friday, February 25, 2005

GMRS FCC license


Sjgreatdeals101 1832 229107679A couple of days ago, I received a free GMRS radio set that I signed up for when I completed the Great Fun offer on FreeiPodShuffle.com. I have thought that a Personal Radio system would be great to use when we go camping.


When I received the package, I realized that an FCC license is required to use the GMRS bands. The FCC makes getting a license very easy. You can just go to the General Mobile Radio Service page to get a license.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

SOCOM II


My wife bought me SOCOM II along with the PlayStation 2 Network adapter and a USB Playstation headset. I was up to 4am on Friday playing this game. I think that I am going to enjoy it. I haven't plugged in the headset yet, so I don't know how the game play will be with that. I have heard that the voice recognition is not the best.


I did try playing online, and when I did, I got my butt kicked. I am going to have to practice some more before I go online again.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

pLog plugin to validate trackbacks


In my last post, I described some ways to prevent spam trackbacks. I wrote a plugin for pLog 1.0 that implements the first suggestions


When this plugin is installed, and a trackback is received, the plugin downloads the contents of the html pointed at by the url, and looks for a trackback url. If it isn't able to download the html or is not able to find a trackback url, the trackback is deleted.


The plugin can be downloaded here. This currently requires the changes to pLog listed in this bug report. This plugin requires pLog 1.0.


Update: The latest revision of pLog 1.0 in the repository has these changes made.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Other possible ways to fight trackback spam


Last night, I thought of a couple more way to combat trackback spam (previous post):


  1. Only allow trackbacks with to pages that be auto-discovered to have a trackback url.

  2. Auto generate the trackback url, to make it more difficult for automated trackback programs to work



Tuesday, February 15, 2005

iControl


Blogging DEMO has a couple posts (first, second with video) about iControl. It looks like they are creating a network based home monitoring system.


Their network device connects to their iControl web service, then it looks for all of the iControl devices wirelessly (I don't think that this is using a 802.11 protocol). Then you can log into their service to see the status of your devices.


Friday, February 11, 2005

Google Maps and Address Book


A couple of days ago, Google released Google Maps. This is the best mapping web site that I have seen, with some pretty cool features.


This article at macosxhints describes how to hook Google Map into Mac OS X's Address Book.

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Laptop beacon


I just heard this tip on the Feb 5th episode of Inside Mac Radio. 2600 - The Hacker Quarterly had an article on how to secure your PowerBook. He includes a php script that the will track the ip addresses that connect to it, and send an email when a new one is seen. Then a cron job is added to the PowerBook that will connect to that php script.


There also is a version of the script that will cause the PowerBook to run a command when it encounters a new ip address. (So theoretically, you could have the PowerBook wipe the drive or shutdown when it is stolen.)


Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Logfinder


This podcast at Geek News Central mentioned that the eff has posted a tool that can be used by administrators to determine if their servers are logging personal data. This could be useful to make sure that ISP are not logging information that could be subpoenaed by anyone.


I like this for administrators of personal servers for these purposes:


  1. Make sure you are not logging your own personal information

  2. Can potentially tell if a hacker has access to your computer and is logging this same information.

Monday, February 7, 2005

Olympus m:robe MR-500i


1017025257168882I saw the two ads for the m:robe during the SuperBowl, and I though that this seems like a great looking mp3 player. It is a 20Gb MP3 and WMA player. It also has a built in 1.2 megapixel digital camera.


Sunday, February 6, 2005

AppleScript Tips


MacDevCenter.com has an article that lists 10 great AppleScript tips. The ones that I found most useful are:


  • Attach a Folder Actions to Network Folder

  • Search for Commands Easily in Files


[via The Unoficial Apple Weblog]

Mozilla Sunbird


The Apple Blog has a post that mentions that a new version of Mozilla Sunbird has been released. This is a pretty good looking calendar application. It has the same functionality as Apple's iCal, but also some additional features:


  1. Allows you to modify calendars that you are subscribed to. So now you can have multiple computers modify shared calendars.

  2. Support recurring to-do items

  3. Multi-week view



host records


It seems like the current implementations of host record is inconsistent at best. I just changed my isp, and since I host my own dns servers, I needed to change the host record for the dns server host name. When I had registered my domain name though networksolutions, they provide a web interface to change host records. Aplus.net doesn't provide a web interface, and I had to send an email their support dept.


It seems like there could be a better way to do this. For each name server listed in the whois record that are subdomains of the domain, the ip address should be looked up from the name servers, that are listed in the whois record, that are in a different domain. Then the registrar could update the host records. This would allow the host records to be updated when ever the zone file for a domain is updated.

Thursday, February 3, 2005

Prevent spam referrers


I have been noticing that there have been spammers that have been trying to get higher rankings on search engines by sending "referrer spam" to my site. They are sending HTTP requests with referrers from the domains that that they are trying to increase the rankings of. (To me this seems pointless, because I don't display the referrers anyplace that search engines can see.)


I just saw an entry on this pLog bug report, that mentioned a potential solution to this. Put the rewrite rules in your configuration:


RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*(loans|poker|casino|psxtreme|strip|diet|pills|learnhowtoplay|freakycheats|viagra).* [NC]

RewriteRule \.*$ http://www.freakycheats.com [R,L]


This will cause any requests that have any of those keywords in their referrers, to be redirected to one of the spamming addresses.

Gran Turisimo web site


A few days ago, Autoblog mentioned the web site for Gran Turismo 4. This looks like a great game, and an improvement over Gran Turismo 3.


The animated spectators during the rally races look great, but the feature that I am looking forward to most is the Network play. The web site currently states that it is LAN, but I am hoping that they will extend it to Internet play

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Disabled trackback supoprt


I have turned off trackback support, since I started getting some trackback spams. I am going to see if I can extend pLog's Bayesian spam filter to process trackbacks. Also maybe it would be easy to write a plugin that will allow me to moderate trackbacks.


I still think that trackbacks are very useful, and I do want to support them.