Spam Blogs

January 30, 2008

If you’re reading this entry on a blog that is not florafaunarocks.wordpress.com (that is, florafaunarocks dot WordPress Dot com), then chances are that the blog you’re reading is one of those spam blogs. The despicable owners of such blogs use programs that grab new posts, then reposts them with some modifications on their own blog. There are an incredible number of them “surfing” around WordPress.com, with the result that any post I make automatically gets reposted somewhere else. It’s very irritating, not to mention a copyright infringement.

It’s easy to spot such blogs. The idiots send pingbacks to your blog, which the Akismet filter automatically catches. Just check your spam comments and you’ll see them. Perhaps WordPress.com should try to collect the IP addresses of all these bots and block them. That’ll clean up things a lot. Maybe we should all report these blogs to Google to get them blocked from the search engine, and kicked out of AdSense.

Filed in: Outraged, WordPress.


Domain Tasting Swan Song: Good Riddance

January 30, 2008

Remember how I reviled Network Solutions’ policy of stealing domains from people who checked them out at their site? Well, it looks like this kind of domain tasting activity, practised by unscrupulous operators like NetSol, is about to end. In the ICANN board meeting this month, the body governing domain names decided that they will apply fees to domain tasting activity as well.

Domain tasting is basically the thing that NetSol took advantage of. It allowed them to register a domain name without paying a cent, provided they returned the domain name within a few days (I forget the exact length). It was meant to protect the registrars from credit card fraud and things like that, so that they don’t have to pay fees for domains where the registrant used a fake credit card. The whole thing has been badly abused by people everywhere, including the latest, notorious incident involving NetSol.

Filed in News.


Trend Micro Attacks Open Source Antivirus ClamAV Indirectly with Lawsuit

January 30, 2008

As everyone has been saying, there’s something deeply wrong with software patents. The latest news has Trend Micro taking up a lawsuit against Barracuda Networks, a mail and security vendor. The claim here is that ClamAV, an open source antivirus program which they use, does gateway antivirus filtering, something which Trend holds a patent in.

This is not the first time open source software has been a target of companies in lawsuits. Remember when SCO sued IBM over Linux? Well, obviously not only did SCO lose, it went bankrupt. But that was a particularly obnoxious lawsuit, and it was not over a software patent which this one is.

Personally, I believe software should be protected by copyright laws only, and not software patents as well. It’s ridiculous that someone can patent a general idea of how to do things. There are only so many ways one can do a particular thing. And to patent protection of FTP and SMTP gateways? That’s ridiculous. There really should be a law against predatory patent infringement lawsuits like this.

Filed in: Software, Outraged, News.


The Awfully Limited Stats of WordPress.com

January 29, 2008

The WordPress.com stats are awful. Sure, it gives you which pages have been viewed. Yeah, that and the phrases that led people to your site. But there’s really a dearth of information. For example, which search engines were used for those phrases? Where is the visitor path report? Browsers? Operating system? And so on.

It’s not just the poor stats. It’s that they prevent you from even effectively using third party web statistics by their removal of all JavaScript code whenever you post. So all you can do is use the stats’ basic image option, which can’t really provide sufficient information.

I want better stats. And I want JavaScript support for my blog entries.

Filed in: Web Design, Web Hosting, WordPress


Linux Moves into Schools in Philippines and Why It’s Good

January 29, 2008

23,000 Linux PCs have just been deployed in schools in Philippines. This is great news. I’m hoping that the momentum continues and that Microsoft does not somehow pay (is “bribe” the right word here?) their way into reversing this somehow.

I think it’s important that Linux becomes a real threat to Windows. When MSDOS was in its heyday, with no competitors, it stagnated. But along came DR-DOS 5, and instantly, development in MS-DOS restarted again, with useful improvements that advanced the OS significantly. Without Linux as a threat, the only OSes we’ll get from Microsoft are things like Vista. Resource hog, incompatibility and massive DRM riddled into the system. We need Linux, not only for itself, but also to improve the state of OSes all round.

But of course, ideally, Linux replaces Windows. But I don’t think this will happen soon, unless Microsoft continues their blunders and Linux actually gets some third-party applications and commercial software developed for it.

Filed in Opinion, News, Linux.


Nokia to Buy TrollTech (Maker of Qt Used in KDE)

January 29, 2008

There’s an announcement at Trolltech’s site about how Nokia has made a bid to buy TrollTech. It’s only January, and this is already the second acquisition of a major company providing core open source components needed by many, the first being MySQL.

I’m not against change. It may seem like I am, since I expressed queasiness about the MySQL acquisition, but I’m not, in principle. However, acquisitions of software companies have a habit of killing the product somehow. Like when AOL took over Netscape. Where is Netscape now? Or when the Watcom C++ compiler was bought by Sybase. The product died, and if not for the open source community’s effort to get it open sourced, that product will be ancient history by now. And so on. Somehow, the acquiring company rarely shares the original makers’ vision and energy. And Nokia? Good grief.

Filed in: News, Opninion, Software.


How to Have Multiple Clipboards

January 27, 2008

Windows clipboard is really limited. The moment you cut something, you automatically replace whatever was in the clipboard before. If you need the old copied text, there’s no way other than to go back, copy it again, if it still exists, and then paste it.

I’ve just installed a program called ClipX, a marvellous free clipboard extender. It lets you go back through your cut and paste history and paste older copies. The best thing is that it doesn’t interfere with the regular cut-and-paste that I use. And I only need to learn one more new hotkey.

There are many other free clipboard extenders if you don’t like ClipX. There are also clipboard extenders for Mac OS X listed on that same page as well.

Filed in Software.