The Testing Begins

Today RPC-heir is on it’s test flight. As the new weblogs.us website inches closer and closer to completion, testing for bugs must begin now so that once the feature development is done, most bugs can be squashed in the process. Hopefully this process won’t take too much time.
-John Havlik

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Diggnation Icon Mosaic

Several icon mosaics have found their way to the front page of digg. But all of them lack quality in one sense or another. Most featured repeat images, using only a few hundred icons instead of close to all 10,000+ icons of users on digg. This new mosaic is flash based and great. Due to the popularity of certain icons, they have made their way onto this more than once, such as the Gentoo logo and the Homer Simpson brain x-ray. I’ve found my icon, at 61 down from the top and 16 from the right. It happens to be on Kevin’s left shoulder.

Here is the link: Giant Diggnation Mosaic

-John Havlik

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Zealots

Whether on an internet forum, or in the real world, zealots are harmful to the community. Take a minute and think about it, Debian zealots can be blamed for the quasi bad reputation the Debian community gets, just as other Linux distributions and even Apple with their own zealots screaming at the top of their lungs. Then think beyond the internet and technology, into the real world. Why does the world snub Jehovah’s witnesses, or even born-again Christians? Typically, these classified under these titles are zealots, whom attempt to sway others into believing what they do, to the point that they seem to be part of a cult. Look now to the Middle East. Terrorists come from radical Islamic groups, essentially the same as calling them Islamic Zealots. Even some in Israel are zealots against the Islamic people, typically creating homesteads on Palestinian territory just to provoke the Palestinians. If these zealots would just fall back in line the world would be a better place. But, due to the zealot nature, they will never back-off. Only death, or possibly age will stop their idiocy.

-John Havlik

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WordPress 2.0.4 Comment Bugs

Today after Thunderbird fetched today’s new e-mails, two displayed an oddity, a blatantly blank e-mail column for the comment author’s e-mail address. Since making comments on WordPress requires an e-mail address to be entered, this immediately raised one’s attention. One spam comment was on my blog, it was sitting in moderation, as was the reason for the e-mail; the second was on the Weblogs.us test bed. Oddly enough, logging on is required to post a comment on any entries in the test bed blog, and open enrollment for usernames is closed. Regarding the test bed, one last oddity must be addressed; the IP address used by the spammer was a Tor client.

Tor is a distributed proxy network developed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). As a distributed proxy network, or rather an onion routing system, Tor protects the anonymity of its users. Anonymity is a double-edged sword; it can protect from unwanted snooping, and can cause anonymous spamming. To give an example of Tor’s power; Websense still has a very difficult time blocking Tor traffic from escaping a corporate LAN, making it a great tool for students and people in large corporations that have Websense.

Causing these spams to make it through to moderation is the un-ethical practice of directly accessing the wp-comments-post.php, which is strangely still open, most likely for support of talkbacks and pingbacks. Once I get the testimonials plug-in finished I may have to take a quick break on the Weblogs.us site so that I can get Cribsense into a state that is more manageable and useful to combat abuse of the wp-comments-post.php file.

-John Havlik

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Gnome: My New Favorite Desktop Environment

Yes, I’ve been installing Gentoo on a computer again, this time it’s a server for a client. The server is nothing fancy, p3 1.0Ghz, 512MiB ram, 20GB + 80GB hard drives, ATi Rage Fury Pro128, DVD-ROM, and 10/100 NIC. When compared to my server (p3 800, 256MiB ram, onboard video, etc.) it is a much more capable system. Due to troubles with KDE in my server I decided to give Gnome a try, which offers a much more pleasant experience. At first look Gnome looks basic, dull, and boring; after spending just a few moments with it, the benefits steam forward. Applying even the now standard theme makes things more appealing to the eyes. Gnome’s ability to prompt for a root password when required to run a program is much nicer when compared to KDE, which just refused to let the process run, it feel akin to running Vista, though Vista is the one copying GNU/Linux in this case. Other nice things about this go-around are the lack of a seemingly strained system, when compared to my server. This can’t necessarily be attributed to Gnome, as my server isn’t as capable as the one I’m working on.

-John Havlik

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