Posted in Mozilla | 1 Comment »
Mozilla (hence, Firefox) has been able to block images from individual sites for a long time now. I’ve made plenty use out of the ability to right click on a banner ad, select “Block all images from this site”, and never see those ads again. However, this doesn’t work for Flash-based advertisements, because as soon as you right-click on them, the Flash plug-in takes over. I used to just disable the Flash plug-in altogether, but eventually found that there were too many sites made more useful by having the plug-in available.
Today, I found the solution: Adblock. When installed in your Firefox browser, it allows you to block ALL media from any website, not just images, but Flash content too. It’s also more powerful than Firefox’s default blocker; whereas before I would have to censor m1.doubleclick.net, m2.doubleclick.net, etc., I set up a simple rule to block *.doubleclick.net, and it’s all taken care of.
I’ve been looking for a way to censor Flash-based content for years without having to set up allow/deny lists in my router, and now I’ve found it. I’m going through all of the sites I can find just to see if I can block their ads.
Posted in General | 6 Comments »
Starting yesterday, I started getting a deluge of comment spam in this weblog. Until then, it would be irregular, maybe once a week or so, but I got about 10 of them within a 24 hour period. Luckilly, WordPress has a feature which “holds” comments in the moderation queue if it thinks they are spam, and lets me delete them before they get posted, but it’s still quite annoying to deal with, because I have to then go through and delete each one.
So I found an article about changing the filenames to foil the spambots and have done so. Now anyone who wants to post a comment the “normal” way will find things worked exactly as before, but any spambot looking for the old filename of wp-comments.php will find that it doesn’t work.
Posted in General | No Comments »
There’s something perverse about swapping baby and grandparents’ heads in Photoshop, but for some reason, it’s laugh-out-loud funny to me.
I gotta get out more.
Posted in Geek | No Comments »
If anyone is interested in having their photo album hosted on everybody.org, drop me a line. I’m reasonably happy with the way my photo album software has turned out so far, but I need additional users to encourage me to enhance the software.
Uploading photos is easy. It’s just a matter of connecting to the filesystem via WebDAV, creating folders, and copying the files into it, just as easy as copying files on your own machine. Where it gets magical is that it’s also creating entries in a database for each file and folder you create. This will allow me to add additional features such as descriptions and comments down the line. But, like I said, I need additional users to encourage me to develop this.
As a bonus, it has an XML-RPC backend to query based on an ID number. In particular, I’ve got a WordPress script that allows me to post a picture by simply adding the ID number. And because it’s using XML-RPC, you could be using WordPress on an entirely different server yet still embed your photos hosted on everybody.org. Intrigued?
Posted in General | 2 Comments »
Our baby Maggie is 1 month old today. Has it really only been 1 month? She’s already weighs 10 pounds (and 1 ounce!)
She seems to be more alert than ever these days; unfortunately, she likes to be alert between midnight and 4am, much to the dismay of Hong. I stayed up until 3am with her on Monday and 2am on Tuesday, but I’m super busy at work these days and wasn’t able to pitch in at all yesterday.
Tonight, we’ve resorted to hiring a nurse to come into our house between midnight and 8am just so Hong can get some rest. It’s the kind of thing that’s too expensive to do very much, but after the last few nights, she needs a break and I can’t give it to her.
Posted in Geek | No Comments »
The system also keeps a complete history of your searches, which might be useful to some, but is also downright freaky considering that they can link that information to your Amazon.com account. (If you’ve logged into Amazon.com recently and navigate to A9 for the first time, the system will identify you by name.)
Something else that I discovered today is that if you use A9 to search, then go to the Amazon.com page, you’ll see a notice about π/2 at the top. Clicking on this brings up the following information:
Jeff Seifert, since you’ve been using A9.com recently, virtually everything at Amazon.com is automatically an additional π/2% (1.57%) off for you. Collecting this discount is zero effort on your part. It will be applied automatically at checkout.
How can we afford this additional π/2% discount?
Because of sponsored links (the small text-based ads you see on search results pages), web search has turned into a highly profitable business. The search engines are making a significant amount of money every time someone clicks on one of those ads. With our automatic π/2% discount, we are effectively sharing with you some of the money we collect from sponsored links, i.e. sharing the pi.
(Nice geek touch with the π, by the way.)
Posted in General | 1 Comment »
Two new e-mail clients were recently released with some intriguing features.
Thunderbird, which I’ve been using for a few months now, just released its 0.8 release. One feature I’m finding quite useful is its RSS aggregator, which will treat RSS feeds just like a e-mail folder or newsgroup. It polls the RSS feed every so often, discovers which articles are new, and flags them as unread. It’s something that I haven’t seen any other mail/news client do yet, but now that I’ve started using it this way it makes perfect sense. (Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if Gnus supports this.) The feature still has a few rough spots, but it’s otherwise very handy.
On the Linux front, Novell Evolution (formerly Ximian Evolution) now sports the Evolution Connector to Microsoft Exchange for free. As far as I know, this makes it the only non-Microsoft mail reader able to connect to Exchange. Considering how often Outlook seems to crash on me, this could be a welcome alternative. Then again, last time I used Evolution it seemed about as equally crash-prone as Outlook.
Oh, and don’t forget to download the latest version of Firefox for your browser needs. It’s been a better browser than Internet Explorer for a long time, and yet it still gets noticably better with each point release.
Posted in General | 3 Comments »
The past three weeks plus have been an exhausting time for us both. Maggie’s unpredictability continues to frustrate us, meaning that some days are wonderful and others are hell. It’s like working for a schizophrenic boss who, out of the blue, demands to have that report yesterday, then after you scramble to get the report done, decides he really didn’t want it that much after all.
Last night was one of those hell times for Hong, who might have been so lucky as to get 3 hours of sleep over the course of the night. I’m playing babysitter this morning to help her to get that figure up to 5 or 6. My flexible work schedule means I can always put in some extra time tonight.
Not much time for other things. When I’m not working, I’m taking care of Maggie, and when I’m not doing either of those things I’m taking care of Hong. It’s tough, but we’ve gotten some help from friends and family over these past few weeks which has made life better. My parents came over very early and helped with the housework and babysitting. We were able to go out to McDonalds one night with them watching over (and by the way, we used to almost never go out for fast food, but that night the food was delicious.) People from the church have come over with dinner and gifts. Other friends are also bringing dinner: one came over this past Sunday, another is coming this Friday. Food and adult conversation — things we used to take for granted — are now a welcome relief from the life of baby care.
I think things are getting a bit more settled than the early days, but after a night like last night it’s hard to tell. I was able to scrub and seal our deck last weekend, and last night had the chance to mow the lawn. It’s not exactly going to Disneyland, but it’s a change, and in this case, change is good.