We have email spam and IM spam. Today I received a spam text message on my mobile phone (either Sprint sold my number or the spammers haven’t even bothered to harvest numbers, simply sending them out in numerical order because it’s so inexpensive). Oh joy. Next I predict – and I probably shouldn’t say this out loud – spam in the comments section of blogs. Essentially anything we use to communicate, unless it’s a private network, is vulnerable. We’ll have to start anticipating this and designing protection in at the beginning, but I wonder if that’s even possible.

Categorized as Email

Comment Engines

Just an implementation note…I recently spent several hours researching and trying out comment engines. The various hosted systems like YACCS can be quite nice, but when their servers slow down it slowed my site down. There are some nice PHP systems, but that was a learning curve I wanted to avoid. I ended using SnorComments2, a simple little Perl-driven system. Set up was painless, it doesn’t require any additional Perl modules, the interface is highly customizable, and it even has its own little admin interface.

Within Tinderbox, I set up a Boolean attribute for notes that let’s me turn on comments or not for each note.

Categorized as Blogs

.htaccess – it slices, it dices

This .htaccess tutorial reveals that this one little file is more than you ever imagined! Password-protect files, redirect files or whole directories, specify error pages, prevent directory listings and hotlinking to images, and more!

Apache web server not included.

Philip Greenspun’s Future

Philip Greenspun’s Research page reveals several interesting ideas. He’s known for explaining how to build robust database-backed websites when most people were still hand coding everything. That was a process of making everything modular and separated from the presentation, and in many ways the next generation of the web is a continuation of that. He gives the impression of being a mad scientist at times, but the resulting ideas are solid.

Comment Survey

Because the Noisy One values your opinion he asks, should Noise Between Stations offer you, my dear visitor, the ability to add comments to each post? Your answer here. (Survey closed.)

Update: The survey revealed 75% in favor. Comments included:

…you might find them annoying after awhile, and after awhile you might find that you are writing more for the audience than yourself…and after awhile you might start to filter your own writing.

Too many cooks spoil the soup. If I wanted to read others’ comments, I’d read their weblogs. Buck the trend and keep NBS comment-less…

Let your thoughts stand in splendid isolation, i’ll link to them then we can all argue over at my place…

Of course! finally!

On occasion I’d like to bat around an idea here, but I don’t want to change the nature of what I originally wanted NBS to be, so I plan on putting in comments sometimes.

It’s funny when I see a high-traffic site link to something interesting on a lower-traffic site, and in so doing ‘stealing’ the community by hosting comments regarding said link. This isn’t my reason for wanting comments here, but it’s worth observing.

Categorized as Blogs

Instantaneous Posting

There’s a sidebar on your blog and it too is a blog. But it’s simply a list of links. And the list is powered by your visitors. They stop by and, like a coin in the metal box at the cathedral, leave you a link. The metal box in this case is a text box with a ‘Post it’ button. No seperate pages, no passwords, nothing else. The page refreshes and the link is added instantaneously.

(I kinda like the cathedral metaphor, because the donations benefit all future visitors)

I’m sure this is a quick scripting excercise, but is anyone already doing this, or does the script already exist?

Categorized as Blogs

MacOS X Email Client?

So I recently upgraded to MacOS X and for the most part I’m loving it. But I haven’t found an email client that sings. So far

  1. I hear the MacOS X Mail program is kinda lame
  2. I’ve used Eudora in the past, and I’m willing to again. The interface is embarrasingly bad at times, but I’ve been using it for so long it’s second nature.
  3. Mailsmith has all the speed and niceties you’d expect from the makers of BBEdit, but it’s optimized for keyboard shortcuts, having almost no buttons in the interface. Too clumsy for me.
  4. I’d be willing to check out Entourage (especially to try out Six Degrees), but apparently Microsoft only sells it with Office and I don’t use Office enough to justify upgrading.
  5. Anyone using Mulberry? It looks very strong technically but a little suspect in the interface department.
  6. Being quite satisfied with Mozilla, I’m seriously considering using its email. I like having the ability to email, surf, and do basic HTML markup all in one place.

Your opinion?

Update: Mr. Allen, and a couple others, say Entourage is solid. Of Powermail he says, ‘…fairly stripped down, good filtering capabilities, and nicer looking than Eudora.

Mr. Garrett writes in that Entourage does have some nifty features but that search is ‘appallingly slow‘ and instead he’s considering Mozilla, as is Michael. I save every email ever and tend to search my folders a lot, so this is making me want Entourage less.

Herr Garrett also mentions Zoe, which we agreed was intriguing but perhaps not ready for everyday use.

And, I just found the Apple directory of email clients.

So, I’m trying the Powermail demo to see if it’s worth $49 more than Mozilla.

Also, there’s SweetMail.

Categorized as Email

Get Me Some dot com

Over lunch L. and I invented a new web service, soon to become part of the LazyWeb. You insert a metatag into your page that indicates whether you have a partner or not. Our service aggregates this info, along with similar info of people, say, on your subway line, in your social network, your blogspace, your blogroll, etc.

If in the unfortunate case that you separate from your partner, you check and you’ll see related people who are in the same scenario as you.

Aside: We had a good laugh over this, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about how practical it would be. On another level, the laughter is at the expense of the current social networks analysts, who are finding a lot of connections that may be devoid of any practical meaning.’s connections aren’t strong enough to be an indicator of compatibility, or even simple attraction. And yet, it does get you thinking about dating services of the future.

Mozilla Help to the Rescue

Clicking a Link

Most web pages contain links you can click to move to other pages.

1. Move the pointer until it changes to a pointing finger. This happens whenever the pointer is over a link. Most links are underlined text, but buttons and pictures can also be links.

2. Click the link once. While the network locates the page that the link points to, status messages appear at the bottom of the window.

Attention Amazon Shoppers…

oh my, Amazon is trying their version of Blue Light Specials (communicating artificial exclusivity to generate demand). But just as with Kmart’s merchandise, it’s all crap. A George Foreman Rotisserie? Ugh.

It’s odd that the week I decide to link to the wonderful writing of is the week the domain is stolen.

I tried writing a polite letter to NetSol notifying them I’d switch any domains I’d registered there to another registrar, but despite their feedback policy I didn’t receive a reply. Bastards.

Categorized as Internet

Is this mike on?

Testing, testing…great, this seems to work. As threatened, I’ve moved my blog from Blogger to Tinderbox. As a first step I’ve simply replicated all the current functionality, so you shouldn’t notice much difference. Links should open in new windows these days.

Gradually I’ll be using all the goodies of Tinderbox to do fun new stuff here, and will explain the reasoning behind the move. But I need more time.

I haven’t had the chance to test my layout with all of the usual browsers, if you see something odd please let me know.

Categorized as Blogs