your_facebook_id – To find this, go to your facebook notifications page and copy the link called “Via RSS“. The URL will be something like http://www.facebook.com/feeds/notifications.php?id=668921524&viewer=668921524&key=1c9c72f322&format=rss20 and “668921524” is the id you need.
your_friends_list_key – To find this, go to your facebook Friends List page and click on the list. The URL will be something like http://www.facebook.com/friends/edit/?sk=fl_447510731524 and “447510731524” is the key you need.
This is useful if you want to make sure you don’t miss any activity of a particular group of friends – I don’t go to Facebook every day but I do go to a RSS reader every day. It is also useful if you want to filter out and ignore a particular group.
I don’t know how people manage Facebook without using this feature!
I used to think that a hard part of scaling a website from one webserver to two webservers was sharing the sessions between the machines to keep the users logged in whichever machine they were served by. I was pleasantly surprized that it is possible to accomplish sharing sessions between two servers by changing only 5 lines in the php.ini file (the 2 biggies are session.save_handler and session.save_path).
In WordPress 3.0, my WordPress logo image (on the left) broke. So I opened a bug and six weeks and 100 bug comments later, I have upgraded to 3.01 and it is working again. Thanks guys!
The reason why the logo image was broken was quite interesting(?)… In v3.0 WordPress automatically started auto-correcting Wordpress to WordPress (i.e. Word-lowercase-p-ress to Word-uppercase-P-ress) and because my image file name was called “WordpressLogo_blue-m.png”, the auto-correction was breaking the link. Auto-correction shouldn’t cause links to break and it seems that v3.01 fixes it.
The filter function that does this auto-correction is called “capital_P_dangit” – The WordPress guys are obviously pretty frustrated by this spelling mistake!
Why? What’s so bad about the Digital Economy Act? My objection to this law is that it gives corporations the power to ban a entire household from the internet and I feel very strongly that everyone should have the right to be online. I would go so far as to say, for me, life without the internet wouldn’t be worth living. Just because someone in the household has broken some licensing agreements shouldn’t mean they are stopped from all the useful online stuff such as paying for road tax, campaigning for freedom, conducting research, enjoying art, planning travel, etc etc.
Other reason this Act seems unfair to me:
The Act uses a guilty-until-proven-innocent system.
The Act will add extra costs on wi-fi providers – meaning less public wi-fi. I had hoped the whole country would be blanketed in wi-fi by now.
The Act is a threat to sites that permit user-generated content. This is because it has web blocking provisions that let copyright holders get a site taken down for inadvertently hosting a small amount of copyrighted content.
The plugin isn’t all that generalised, so I’m not sure it’ll be useful to many people but I think it’s a tool worth sharing.
This plugin doesn’t change the WordPress media gallery admin interface – galleries are created and inserted into pages/posts as normal (i.e. using the media upload GUI + the
[gallery] shortcode). WordPress authors won’t need to change or learn anything new.
The plugin makes efficient use of WordPress media (no front-end image resizing via CSS!) which means it doesn’t matter if one of your authors uploads a load of 3MB images to a gallery – it’ll still run fast.
The plugin doesn’t pre-download images that aren’t needed – it displays a loading spinner image when the user is waiting for a image on load.
Should be easy to style the gallery in your own way – uses CSS classes and IDs.
The user can click on the main image to cycle through the gallery.
Uses jQuery for cross-browser hover fade effects.
Small JS footprint: 2854 bytes.
Outputs valid XHTML (unlike the default WordPress gallery!).
This gadget should be really good because it is nice and small, works in Linux out of the box and it is super convenient having a mini combined mouse and keyboard at hand. However, unfortunately, the mouse isn’t sensitive or responsive, the key-presses have unpredictable delays, the range isn’t good enough and it completely stopped working after a couple of months. I do not recommend buying one.
Three whole days without even a single scrap of food entering our bodies, only having water to keep us going.
I’m joining in – it started at 11am:
I ate the following a few minutes before 11am:
Massive plate of home-made lentil curry.
Massive bowl of nut based cereal.
Massive energy drink.
Some vitamins that were lying around from years ago.
I’m totally stuffed now – let’s see how I am in 72 hours, cold turkey! I’ll probably miss coffee a fair bit too.
Friday, 26th March Update.
Proof! Wii Fit can't lie!
I managed it. The first 30 hours were the hardest then it plateaued and I coped fine. I wasn’t even all that hungry by the end. I was very busy with work so I had a lot to take my mind off being hungry. After the first 24 hours, I had lost 4lbs, then 6lbs, then 4lbs – so I lost 1 stone in total – not that it means anything because I’m sure it’ll just go back on (but I’ll try not to let it).
I expected to feel drained and have trouble sleeping or getting up early, perhaps even stomach cramps but none of that happened, my energy levels were ok, physically.
Apart from feeling hungry, there were some other negative side effects:
Mild headache started on day 2 and lasted into day 3.
My brain stopped firing on all cylinders part way through day 2
Upset stomach started on day 3.
Aching carve muscles started on day 3.
Felt a bit “away with the fairys” from day 3 – not dizzy but not quite right.
This story is set in a Shakespearean-like era with kings and princes and swords and battles – minus the romance. Actually, it’s more like medieval Merlin and the knights of the round table because the civilization is shrouded with myths and has the equivalence of dragons because it is semi-integrated with alien cultures and alien artefacts. I didn’t find the story all that engaging but I did find the planet the story is based on well worth reading about. Banks calls it a “Shellworld”, a ancient alien construction built up from several separate layers, each effectively a world in itself, with its own planetary conditions, civilizations and even artificial suns. The tech level of the story builds and builds and the ending is true action Sci-fi.
My favourite bit of all the culture novels is reading about the ship minds and AI. Banks really captures my imagination and hits the Sci-fi sweet spot.
I find the Page Speed tool from Google extremely helpful for optimising my websites. I have a tip which can save time if your website is failing the “Optimize Images” test. Using the in-built Smush.it is one option but if most of your images are jpegs, you can achieve the same result and save time using a command line tool called jpegtran with the -optimise parameter to do lossless compression and the -copy none parameter to strip out image meta-data.
Disclaimer: As with any image processing always keep a copy of the original images.
To install jpegtran in Ubuntu, do: sudo apt-get install libjpeg-progs
To optimise a single jpeg image: jpegtran -copy none -optimise -outfile image.jpg image.jpg
To optimise all jpegs in the current directory: for img in `ls *.jpg`; do jpegtran -copy none -optimise -outfile $img $img; done
To optimise all jpegs in the current directory and all child directories: find . -name “*.jpg” -print0 | xargs -0 -I filename jpegtran -copy none -optimise -outfile filename filename
If you need to optimise various image formats, there is a PHP CLI tool called smusher which uses Smush.it and can work recursively on directories. Might be worth a look. It would be nice if Smush.it had a API – their FAQ mentions they are working on it.
Ubuntu will be switching their default search engine from Google to Yahoo in the next release (v10.04) because they have struck a deal where they will get a cut of the money made whenever a user clicks on a advert after doing a search. The only reason that this is interesting is that Yahoo search is powered by Microsofts Bing search engine which brings up some interesting questions: On the positive side, Microsoft will be paying for free software development, but on the negative side, Ubuntu users will be making money for Microsoft.
Tuxradar did a open ballot to gather peoples thoughts on the subject. They discussed it on episode 1 of season 2 of their podcast and they even mentioned me at 35:23. I was making the point that the default search engine of Firefox is moot because many people are switching to Google’s Chrome browser.