Sunday, June 22, 2008

Obsfucating email

One of the annoying things about some jobs is that random people need to be able to email you, meaning that your email needs to be out on the web — No, not me, but you'll note I have my email address on the sidebar anyway.

This almost automatically generates a lot of spam, as harvester programs search your HTML source and look for the mailto: links.

There are ways to hide email addresses from programs, as a look at the source code for this page will show. Depending on how secure you want to try to be, I've found three levels code that might help reduce spam to your email address. Of course, it doesn't protect you from spam generated because a virus or spyware code got your email from someone's address book, but it should help keep the spam down a bit. Note that all require Javascript:

Note that I've not labeled any of these best, and I don't claim they will work against every possible harvester, but it should help. You'll probably also be better off starting with a brand-new email address. And, of course, making sure that everyone who puts your email in his address book uses Linux.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Annoyances of Upgrades III: I Want My Music Programs

Yet another annoyance in the upgrade to Hardly-a-Heron: the distribution no longer includes XMMS, one of the better light-weight music players. It includes something called XMMS2, but after a few minutes of playing with it I couldn't figure out how to get it to play one song, you, know, like:

xmms2 House_of_the_Rising_Sun.mp3

something that's simple in xmms. Fortunately, there are not one, but at least two sites that take you through the process of installing the original xmms from source, including all the development packages you need to install.

And Heron still doesn't have an MP3-enabled SoX. Fortunately, once you've installed all the development packages mentioned above, the installation of sox is pretty straightforward.

I have to admit, I'm getting Grumpy, I'm getting Grumpy, all the time.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Annoyances of Upgrades II: Things You Put in the Cup Holder

More stuff that annoys me about the Gnome Upgrade: when I put a CD or DVD into the cupholder, I most likely don't want to listen to music or watch a movie just then. Yet under Ubuntu Hardy Heron and Gnome 2.22.2 (when you don't know who to blame, blame everybody) a music player automatically pops up.

Of course, this is Linux, so there's gotta be a way to fix this, and there is. It took a while to find, but it's in the Nautilus File Manager. Once you know that, click on Edit => Preferences or run nautilus-file-management-properties from the command line, and click the Media tab. Then edit the various options as desired. Regrettably you don't seem to have a lot of choices. You have Gnome's default program, and “Ask what to do” option, “Open a Folder” and “do nothing.” No option to change e.g. the Camera program from F-Spot to gThumb, though you can do that using gnome-volume-properties.

Gee, you'd think an advanced desktop environment would put all of these things in one nicely labeled place, wouldn't you? Apparently only if the environment is sufficiently advanced.

Grump, Grump