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kacked.com



Avoiding Ads On The Web

I'm posting this more for my benefit than anybody else's. The next time I install my desktop system I might not remember what this stuff is called or where I downloaded it.

I like running my web browsing sessions through an ad filtering proxy. Lately I use privoxy, but I've used Junkbuster before too, which I guess is the precursor. There was an article on Slashdot recently: "Does Adblock Violate A Social Contract?" After reading it I installed the firefox plugins mentioned there and I like how they work --privoxy always has an image it uses to block ads and I don't like the way it looks. With this adblock, they're just gone.


Kacked Podcast?

Been obsessed with all things iPod since my brother gave me a shuffle for my birthday about three weeks back. He seems kind of obsessed with it as well. He's just got a bunch of audio gear --gearing up for the podcast radio show thing.

I've done some experiments with it. I kind of like the idea of a podcast but not sure if I have anything to blather on about (not like I'm doing here for instance.)

Been writing some software for my iPod too. Started out, I was trying to see what I could do just to get the thing working on linux. That took some doing--a couple days worth--but it's licked now. I'll probably summarize that when it gels. But then I started fussing with trying to get the best sound I could out of the thing.

Wrote a script to convert some lossless audio compression format to iPod aac, and then discovered some other lossless compressed audio format (or I guess it was the files I discovered), so redid the script to convert this other new format. Then discovered another and another, each time rewriting the [bash] script. I'm convinced I'll run into another lossless compression format, so I decided to put all the different incarnations of the script into one. And to write it in a modular subroutine type fashion so I can add stuff to it as I come across it.

Right now it does four different types: Shorten, Flac, Apple Lossless (alac), and Monkeyaudio (ape), and can alternatively encode to mp3 rather than aac (or do both at the same time.) I'm cleaning it up and will probably post it here in a few days.

Another one I've got working is the stream timer, recorder, converter script. It basically will record most anything that streams over the internet (video too) and convert it to iPod aac. That will be going up soon too.

Oh yeah, and I'm all setup to begin doing my own podcast. Everything is there. The web server is setup and I've run through how to record, setup a microphone, etc. And I checked out skype today as well. Used it to make an internet phone call to somebody in an office in Pretoria, South Africa. Good audio quality, maybe I'll be able to use that to do some kind of phone interview thing.

And I "hacked" my own web site on April fool's day. Did anyone notice besides the search engines?


Problems With Spam

Past several months been getting a lot of spam in the comments of my site. Kept searching on google for something to fix it but couldn't figure out the right search terms. Getting pretty bad past couple days --damn spambots hitting my site every couple hours. Got tired of erasing their comments (links to porn sites.)

I don't know if I finally came up with a search term that worked or if comments spam was such a problems for others that they wrote some software to deal with it. Guess it was both.

I had been looking for some kind of "drop in" software I could adapt which implements that thing you see when you sign up for accounts or access some feature that people don't want bots accessing (see the whois feature on godaddy.com to see what I mean. (try the whois feature on godaddy.com to see what I mean.) The thing where you have to enter some slightly obscured numbers and letters in order to continue. Anyway, so now I know, this is called "captcha" and there are a couple of plugins available now for blosxom.

I like the way the one Bill Ward wrote works, or I guess maybe I mean looks:

Bill Ward: Captcha Plugin

But I wasn't able to get that one working. Near as I can tell it requires me to upgrade my Openbsd from 3.5 to 3.6.

So, I setup this one instead:

Pasi Savolainen: Blosxom Captcha Plugin

The ascii art looks kind of goofy, but it was much easier to setup. Adios comment spammers (and thanks Pasi!)

I'll try setting up the other one later, after upgrading to Openbsd 3.6 (since this is a good idea anyway.) But for now it works. At least kind of. It doesn't seem to display correctly in all browsers and all screen resolutions. And this reminds me that my site looks like crap at lower screen resolutions. I'll just have to bite the bullet and fix this.


Think Again

Thinking about switching to Linux? You already have...

(excerpt from The Open Source Paradigm Shift by Tim O'Reilly):

"'How many of you use Linux?' I ask. Depending on the venue, 20-80% of the audience might raise its hands. 'How many of you use Google?' Every hand in the room goes up. And the light begins to dawn. Every one of them uses Google's massive complex of 100,000 Linux servers, but they were blinded to the answer by a mindset in which 'the software you use' is defined as the software running on the computer in front of you. Most of the 'killer apps' of the Internet, applications used by hundreds of millions of people, run on Linux or FreeBSD. But the operating system, as formerly defined, is to these applications only a component of a larger system. Their true platform is the Internet..."

The Network Is The Document



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