June 2008

Mollom - Software as a Service to fight Web Spam

Opening up a public website to allow people to comment is a risky endeavor nowadays. Vandalism and ‘blog spam’ can be very labor intensive to cure after an attack. Fortunately there are a couple products and services that help in fighting this Digital Evil through machine parsing.

Do you Twitter?

Today I have been introduced to the magical world of Twitter, some sort of ‘nanoblog’ where you can post what you're currently doing, but not much more. Yeah right you'd think, since Facebook offers this function as well for quite some time already. Granted, but Twitter allows you to do so very simply through the Web or even via your cell phone.

Experimental - add POIs and new icon for gas stations to your Mio C620 GPS

Read this first!

  • The description below will only work for the Mio C620 and Mio C620T models. Reasons for this are: (1) the C620 unit uses an internal format for storing POIs where a couple other models provide support for Google Earth '.kml' format through POIloader; and (2) I never tested this on another model.
  • I take no responsibility for the description given below. You may ruin your GPS unit if you attempt what is described below. Do not even attempt at performing the steps below before ensuring you fully understand every single step outlined below.

You have been warned. Now read on :-)

If you own a Mio C620 GPS you may have noticed that you can not add POIs (points of interest) out of the box, unless you key in the details directly on your GPS unit. Since I wanted to add about 60 gas stations this was not an option. Hence I have been searching for a way to upload my list of gas stations to the Mio C620 GPS unit. And add a custom icon for these new POIs.

Spammers get more aggressive

Bored of spam (unsolicited mails)? I bet it's hard to find someone who is not at least annoyed by this intrusive phenomenon. For a couple weeks I noticed many spammers switched tactics from misspelling words in the subject to plainly insulting the addressee. It appears spammers constantly learn from online experiences to trigger your reaction. I wasn't expecting flame war tactics to emerge in the spam plague.

Added a Tech Tips section

I decided to create a Tech Tips section to my site. Enjoy!

Looking for a Drupal module?

One of Drupal's key success factors certainly is its huge collection of modules. However, the sheer number of developed modules does not ease your search for extra functionality. In addition, sometimes the same functionality is provided by more than one module. Probably you'll like DrupalModules.com: on this site you can conveniently search for modules, restrict your search to a specific Drupal major release, choose between similar modules based on reviews...

Running Drupal without cron

Although many hosting providers now offer hosting packages with PHP and MySQL, most do not offer cron functionality, i.e. the possibility to schedule tasks. The simplest way to set up these scheduled tasks within Drupal is by means of the Poor Man's cron Drupal module. Once installed it will check whether cron must be run whenever your Drupal site is visited.

Hide primary links in Drupal

Some Drupal themes provide their own menu system instead of Drupal's built-in primary links menu. When enabling these fancy menus, your Drupal site may end up with two menu systems instead of one. In order to get rid of the primary links menu, you need to disable it:

  1. Log in with “administer menu” privileges.
  2. Navigate to to administer » settings » menus (admin/settings/menu) and set ‘Menu containing primary links:’ to ‘No primary links’. Repeat for the secondary links.