Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Submitting to Akismet from LifeType


I have updated the Akismet plugin for LifeType to allow spam comments to be submitted to Akismet.  This allows users of LifeType to help Akismet catch spam that are being missed.  When installed, you can submit spam from the list of comments.


There are some things that I want to add, when I have some time:


  • Allow a list of comments to be submitted as once

  • Allow comments to be automatically deleted after being submitted (Or at least, mark them as already submitted.)

  • Allow trackbacks to be submitted to Akismet.


The plugin will be available the next time that it is pushed to sourceforge.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Remember the Milk


One of the features that I used to use in iCal that is missing from Google Calendar is task management.  I used to create tasks for repeating items like, flea treating the dog or replacing the furnace filter.  Also I would add entries for projects that I wanted to remember to do.


When I switched to Google Calendar, I created events for these items, as Google Calendar doesn't show tasks from shared calendars.


I heard about Remember the Milk on the dl.tv podcast today, and I decided to try it out.  This site lets you manage your task list.  In addition to using the web interface on the Remember the Milk web site, you can also add the tasks to Google Calendar and iGoogle.


The other cool thing is that it uses Google Gears, so you can access your To Do list even when you are offline.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Locating access points


I had a quick thought.  At our house we can see a bunch of 802.11 networks, but I have no idea of where the access points are located.


I was thinking that there would be a neat way to locate the access points:


  • Setup three computers running iStumbler

  • Gather the signal strength of all of the visible networks

  • Use that information and the location of the computers to determine where the networks are.


It would be cool if this was added to iStumbler or a plugin for iStumbler would do this automatically

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

InCrease


Dan A. sent me an email in response to the my post about how I wished that the Folding@Home client automatically suspended the client when my Mac Book Pro is on battery power.  He sent a link to InCrease.


InCrease is a Mac OS X GUI for configuring an running the Folding@Home command line client.  In addition to the standard settings, you can have the client automatically pause when the laptop goes on battery power, and you can monitor remote clients.


Unfortunately, I have not gotten this to work for me.  Every time that I attempt to start the clients, I get the following status:




Starting...
Unit at ~/Library/Folding@home:
cannot start: isWritable YES, hasClient YES, isStopped YES, isLocal YES, owner F@H


I will try a play with this some more to get it to work.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Small servers


These are some pretty cool computers that would be perfect for small servers in your house.  Both of these computers are pretty small, and use a small amount of electricity.


FitpcThe "fit-PC" is a small Linux computer that has a 500Mhz AMD Geode processor with 256MB RAM and 52MB flash.  It also has a 40GB hard drive (I assume a 2.5" drive), USB, serial, audio ports, and a SXGA graphics controller.


I wonder if it would be possible to install everything on flash, and not use the drive.  The cool thing about this product is that you should be able to install any software that you want on it.



links for 2007-07-24

Web based email


I decided to switch to using the web interface for mail, exclusively.  This was working fine without me having to do anything, but I didn't have access to my archive of old mail.  So I decided to copy all of my old mail so I would easily be able to search through it.


The steps weren't exactly straight forward, but this is what worked for me:


  1. Created a Smart Mailbox that contained all of the mail sent or received before I started using Google Apps.

  2. Saved the messages into a single mbox

  3. Send the messages with GMail Loader.



Sunday, July 15, 2007

http:BL plugin for LifeType


I have written a plugin for LifeType that blocks spam comments and trackbacks by blocking clients that are listed on Project Honey Pot's http:BL as having sent comment spam.


It is pretty cool that Project Honey Pot has made this API available to give access to the data that they have collected.  In addition to the API, they have made an Apache module available to block http requests.


The download link will work as soon as the plugin is pushed to sourceforge.  In the mean time, the plugin can be checked out of the subversion repository.

Friday, July 13, 2007

TomTom "real world" navigation


Crave has a post that mentions a patent that TomTom has filed for some some interesting technology.  This patent application describes a navigation unit that displays navigation directions overlaid over video of the surrounding area.


This would allow the arrows that indicate where to turn to be overlaid over the the roads themselves.


I do wonder how funny this will look when the navigation unit looses sync with the GPS satellite.  Will the arrows indicate driving into storefronts?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

iChat annoyance


I have been getting annoyed with iChat. I was working at home today, and every once and a while iChat would loose connections with the AIM and Google Talk servers.  This in it self is not that bad, but what is bad is that it doesn't try to reconnect. 


Skype and web based Google Talk client, which I also have running, don't have this problem.

MP3Tunes


As I mentioned before, I am looking for a solution to store my music in a common location where it can be accessible all of my computers, where I can play it back on the Mac mini with in a TV interface, and where I can add music just by dropping the files to a folder, and they will automatically appear on all computers.


Then I got an email from MP3tunes mentioning that if you buy the Logitech Squeezebox you can get a one year subscription to the MP3tines Premium Locker for free.  I mentioned before that I thought a Squeezebox would be a good solution, as I know that the SlimServer software will read music files from a shared network mount point.  It looks like the SqueezeBox will play content directly from MP3tunes, so you don't need to leave a computer up.


One other cool thing about MP3tunes is that there is iTunes integration. With this, the tracks in your MP3tunes locker will appear in your iTunes as a shared iTunes Library.



Tuesday, July 10, 2007

links for 2007-07-11

MediaCentral revisited


I have been playing with MediaCentral for a while, and I really do like the application.  Unfortunately, it will not do what I want.


The main reason that I am looking for a replacement for FrontRow is because I don't want to have to add music tracks to iTunes in order to play them.  I just want to drop them in a folder and have them accessible.


MediaCentral does have this capability, but unfortunately it takes a long time to display the list of folders if there are a lot of them in the "My Music" folder.  For example, I have 1700 folders (artists) and it takes about 3 minutes to display a list.



Hole in Mac OS X Parental Controls


I mentioned a while ago that I setup our kids' iMac with Parental Controls, so they wouldn't be able to modify the state of the computer.  For example, I did not give them access to modify the Dock, so their programs will remain easy to access.  I also did not give them access to "Open all System Preferences", so they couldn't change the system settings.


I started to notice something strange.  Some programs were starting automatically, that I had not set up.  This was strange to me as I thought that the only way to add login items was through the Accounts Preference Pane, which had been disabled.



Saturday, July 7, 2007

Canceling efax


I got another email from efax mentioning the upcoming rate increase.  I mentioned before that I wanted to cancel our service, but this pushed me over the edge.


I called the number on the email and they game me the customer service number.  When I called the customer service number, and selected the option to cancel my account, and was redirected to http://www.efax.com/cancel.


When you go to that page, you have to select the "Chat Now. 24x7" button.  Then you have to make your cancellation request via a web based chat session.  (Make sure you answer the question about why you want to cancel fast enough, otherwise they will disconnect the chat, without canceling the account.)

Friday, July 6, 2007

links for 2007-07-07

MediaCentral


I mentioned previously that I have been pretty frustrated with FrontRow.  MediaCentral looks like it will do pretty much everthing that I want, and does things that FrontRow doesn't do.


MediaCentral has some pretty cool features:


  • Presents a catalog and can play IPTV streams

  • Plays TV for DVB-T broadcasts

  • Plays various video formats, both from iTunes and accessible in an mounted file system

  • Plays DVDs and DVD VIDEO_TS files

  • Plays music from CDs or iPods

  • Plays music from iTunes Library or files accessible on mounted file systems

  • Plays internet radio stations

  • Skype integration

  • Plays classic video games

  • Views photos from iPhoto or on a mounted filesystem

  • Plays photostreams from .Mac or flickr.



Library Books


Library BooksLibrary Books is a cool application.  This application lets you track the library books that you have checked out.


The cool thing about Library Books is that it connects directly to the library to get the list of books that you have checked out.  Also you can use this application as an easy way to search the libraries catalog.


[via Lifehacker]

Videos in Gallery


Last night, I uploaded some videos to our Gallery2 installation.  Gallery2 supports videos by default, but there are some plugins that you will want to install:


  • ffmpeg - This plugin generates thumbnails for movies.

  • thumbpage - This plugin lets you select a time offset for the frame to be used for the thumbnail.


Even without those plugins, adding movies works fine.  The only things that don't work is the thumbnails don't appear, and playback doesn't happen in the embedded player.


Now that this is working so well, I think that I will be moving the movies that I have hosted on .Mac homepage to Gallery2.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Starting Folding@Home at login


Now that I have started running the Folding@Home clients, I figured that I might as well install it on the kid's iMac, so that when they turn it on it can do something useful in the unused CPU cycles.


The easiest thing to do, and what is recommended in the Folding@Home documentation is to add the command line app to the Login Items in the Account Preference Pane.  The problem with this is that Terminal launches and the output from the tool is piped to the newly opened console.


I wanted to find a solution that would silently run a tool, on login.



Folding @ home on Mac Book Pro


I have been interested in distributed computing projects for a while.  I have decided to try Folding@Home.  One of this projects goals is to help understand the process of protein folding.


When I installed the Mac OS X client on my Mac Book Pro, everything worked correctly.  That is until I disconnected from AC power.  When I did that, the battery was being drained pretty quickly.


The Folding@Home client should have an option that would either pause or slow down processing when the laptop goes into portable mode.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

links for 2007-07-02