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Category: News

Strange Joomla Bug: Articles Displaying

Joomla 2.5, or any CMS for that matter, is designed to be used by multiple people. True to its intentions, my clan’s website has a few users responsible for creating and editing content.

One of our pages is a category blog that displays all posts in the “Our Servers” category. The idea here is that if/when we add a new server, its information can be placed in an article that is placed in that category and it will instantly show up on that page. We’ve already added a new server, so this is something that has a legitimate use/purpose.

Well, one of the users didn’t manually place an author in the “Created By” section. Initially, everything worked fine. However, when someone else edited to article and saved it, it began to be displayed twice, even though only one copy of the article existed in the Article Manager. Needless to say, this was some very strange behavior.

Going back and manually adding in the author fixed the problem and the page displayed as expected.

Why SOPA and PIPA Are Bad for the Internet

Today, many of the Internet’s most popular websites (including one of my own) have blacked out their sites in one way or another in order to protest against SOPA and PIPA. But many people, as I discovered this morning, have absolutely no idea what SOPA and PIPA are.

What Are SOPA and PIPA?

Wikipedia says:

SOPA and PIPA represent two bills in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate respectively. SOPA is short for the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” and PIPA is an acronym for the “Protect IP Act.” (“IP” stands for “intellectual property.”) In short, these bills are efforts to stop copyright infringement committed by foreign web sites, but, in our opinion, they do so in a way that actually infringes free expression while harming the Internet. Detailed information about these bills can be found in the Stop Online Piracy Act and PROTECT IP Act articles on Wikipedia, which are available during the blackout. GovTrack lets you follow both bills through the legislative process: SOPA on this page, and PIPA on this one. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for the public interest in the digital realm, has summarized why these bills are simply unacceptable in a world that values an open, secure, and free Internet.

What’s Wrong with Combating Piracy?

Nothing. It’s simply the way these bills attempt to do so that we find abhorrent.

Under the current wording, the US Attorney General would be granted the power to order Internet Service Providers to block access to sites suspected of trafficking in pirated and counterfeit goods; order search engines to delist the sites from their indexes; ban advertising on suspected sites; and block payment services from processing transactions for accused sites. That’s a lot of action without due process.

SOPA and PIPA’s proponents say that enforcement will be done responsibly, but trust in the system is not a substitute for legislative safeguards.

Due to the outcry from the IT community, some changes to the House bill have been made which remove some of the technically ignorant portions, but these changes do not redeem it.

SOPA and PIPA put the burden on website owners to police user-contributed material and call for the unnecessary blocking of entire sites. If your site has any links to an infringing site, you could be forced offline. This blog, for example, gets spam comments including links to all sorts of sites. Without the protection I currently have enabled, these comments could place my blog (which has nothing to do with piracy) in jeopardy of being blacklisted.

For more information, please read this article from the EFF.

EDIT: I just found this post on Slashdot, which does a nice job of explaining things, too.

Verizon Charges for Paying Your Bill Online

According to geek.com and droid-life, Verizon will begin charging its customers a $2 “convenience fee” to pay their bills online or over the phone. Reading the article at Slashdot might cause quite a stir, but basically, this is only happening to people who don’t have auto-pay.

Obvious moral of the story: setup autopay if you have Verizon.

Not-so-obvious undertone: move to someone else.

EDIT: In a press release today, Verizon announced that they would not be introducing these fees. I guess they were getting flak from not only customers, but the FCC as well.

Longboard Island Lager

konalongboard_largeProbably my new favorite beer, Longboard Island Lager by the Kona Brewing Company is a pretty tasty brew. It’s fairly light and not as hoppy as my other favorites (Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and the like), but it’s still a helluva beer.

I think I first tried it when I got to the island and wasn’t impressed. However, I recently had it at Paradise Cove while escorting my sister-in-law and her boyfriend about Oahu.

It was on draft. It was delicious.

So, I stopped by the shoppette on my way home and picked up a 12-pack. Out of the bottle: meh, but poured into a pint glass: much better. I don’t know what it is about this beer, but it needs to be in a glass.

Kona Brewing Company has gotten this beer out there, so you should be able to get your hands on it. Crack one open, pour it into a glass, and enjoy.

Disaster Strikes

A recent collaboration of errors has led to the loss of data for this blog and a few other sites. While nothing of import was posted on this site in the time lost, another site had some fairly important content. It can be recreated, but I’m not looking forward to it.

Migrating Company Website

Although I’ve moved my blog from my previous webhost to my own server, I’m still working on getting my company’s website moved over.

I’m actually redesigning the site, as my focus has moved from small- and medium-businesses to small-businesses and individuals. The way things are here on Oahu, anything bigger than a small-business is a subsidiary of a large company with its own IT department or has its own “IT guy” anyway. Not that I’ll turn down work from a medium-business, but frankly the individuals turn out to be more profitable.

Wanna Get Rid of Spam? Try This

Create a filter which checks the body of email messages for the word “unsubscribe.” Then, have that filter either delete those messages or move them to your spam folder. Think about it. It’ll work.

New Site

Hi!

I’ve moved my blog to a new domain and server. The old posts have been migrated for historical purposes, but that’s about it.

Facebook Integration Removed

Based on my personal feelings regarding facebook and the privacy concerns expressed by numerous tech blogs, I have decided to remove facebook integration from the sites that I control.