Craig Box's journeys, stories and notes...

Posts Tagged ‘internet’

Album distribution

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

Guess what year that acquiring music from the Internet really came into its own...

MP3 album distribution

Greasemonkey helps the Internet get what it wants

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Another great way that the Internet gets what it wants is with the Greasemonkey extension to Firefox. It lets you automatically add to the Javascript on pages of your choice.

I wrote a script to suffix "open new" onto RequestTracker searches, as version 3.6's quick search box seems to show you all the tickets, even the ones that have been resolved for three years. You will need to change the sites this applies to to match your own.

Today, a workmate asked for my Expert-Sex-Change login, to get around the ROT13 and blurring they now put on their answers if you're not signed up. (Cheatin' bastards want Google juice for it, be prepared to show it to everyone.) "I bet someone's written a Greasemonkey script for this", I exclaimed, and lo, they had. I reproduce it here with a nice little click-to-install as the author's WordPress eats the quotes.

By the way, if you do any web development at all (and I don't do very much - just tidying things up), install the Firebug extension. Right now. It's fantastic. We do everything through this. Everything.

The Internet gets what it wants

Friday, April 20th, 2007

Where possible, I subscribe to the Internet through Google Reader. It's online nature makes it make sense to me

Some feeds only have half of the information on them - MySpace blogs (if you're a Crowded House fan you might be interested to know their head roadie writes a diary) are cut off after about 200 characters, and web comics like Penny Arcade and the Perry Bible Foundation have RSS feeds, but without the actual comics in it.
But the Internet fixes these problems, even if the people who publish the information don't.

Props to XKCD for publishing their comics in their feed.  I guess it takes a nerd comic to get it.

Not technomarketplace

Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

A couple of days ago, I listed some Thinkpads on Trade Me on behalf of my employer, who has accumulated too many of them. He specifically wanted them listed so they would fetch what they were worth, rather than us putting a dollar figure on it and selling it cheap to a friend.

Then, I told you all about them. My boss likes to sell things off cheap. You might get a bargain. Promotion is everything.
A friend of mine, who now lives in Australia, said "Oh, yes, I'd like one of those", and created a Trade Me account for the purpose. Someone posted on the auction saying "Beware of saidperson, they're a new user in Australia", and I responded along the lines of "thanks, but I went to Uni with this person, and they're genuinely interested in purchasing it because of the favourable AUD-NZD rate at the moment"

NO! shouted Trade Me:

Dear Craig,

Listing no. 69170303 has been withdrawn.It has been brought to our
attention that shill bidding has occurred on your auction.

Shill bidding occurs when members of the same household or friends bid on
each others auctions. We do not allow this on the site. This is because we
are unable to determine if this is with genuine intent to purchase the
item or is an attempt to increase the price on an auction.

It is a breach of our terms and conditions. Please ensure that you do not
allow friends or family members to bid on your auctions in the future.

Your co-operation in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

So, I try and take the path that leads to Trade Me making a successful sale, openly and honestly, and this is how I get rewarded.

Kyle very accurately observes "if it was happening to things you wanted to buy with sellers creating new accounts and bidding against their own items we'd be pissed off if they didnt stop it". Correct, but this happens all the time. My friends list auctions and say "Here is stuff I'm getting rid of", and if I'm interested, I bid. I only ever bid up to a point that I'm prepared to pay, should I win the auction. That's not shill bidding. Where's the beef?

All medicines have benefits and some have risks

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

I wouldn't ever look at the web if it wasn't for AdBlock and the Filterset.G updater. It pains me to try and use a computer without these two Firefox extensions installed - there is just so much background noise that you don't remember seeing, after seeing a pain-free web for a wee while.

But, like Panadol, there are pains it fixes and pains it creates. Adblock can't tell which ads you want to see and which you don't. I first noticed this last election, when I wanted to see the National Party's thank-you-very-much ad. See the two missing boxes? A friend sent me these fantastic 50s ads, (including wallpaper for other bacon lovers). Robin Capper's link to the new Sony Bravia ad suffers much the same fate.

Two morals of the story. First, if you're putting an ad on the 'web, don't put 'ad' in the image path ?. Second, if you're setting up AdBlock for people (and I firmly believe it improves the internet experience and will defend to the death my right to use it), make sure they know about the site whitelist and when to use it.

"Bloggers beating journos to the rush"

Monday, July 24th, 2006

Woosh Wireless are buying Quicksilver.

I started by saying "You heard it here first", but apparently NZGames had the news last week.

Plea to ICANN

Monday, June 26th, 2006

Something that the .NZ registry does, but I don't think that ICANN does, is take expired domain names and put them into a holding pool. That way, for a period after their expiry, they don't work, but they are marked "pending release", and only the original owner can pay to get it back - everyone else has to wait. This is excellent if you forgot to pay for your domain and it lapsed - the lack of DNS records will point it out, and you won't find someone has bought it out from underneath you.

In 2001, Neil Finn put up an ambitious multimedia website at; with a one year contract on his designer, it seems he also only got a one year registration on the name; it expired, someone else bought it, and now it's never going back to him at all. Neil moved to and (probably unrelated) lost interest in the project.

What's the alternative? Register names for 10 years? Thats obviously what Network Solutions wants you to do.

I'm not sure how to fix the problem; if the price of domain names was hitched up substantially (you can register a .com for a third to half the price of a .nz, so I'm thinking at least ten times), it would mean that anyone with just a joke or an idea wanting to make a name for itself would have to think twice, but the speculators wouldn't be quite so interested either. And because anyone can buy a domain name, everyone does, forcing people with unique names to register them just so no one else does. Just think; if Angelina hadn't snapped up all simple derivatives of Shiloh Jolie-Pitt's domain name, she might have had to resort to

I wish the internet had a benevolent dictator who could point at a domain name and say "you are not using that in the spirit of the Internet; I'm taking it away from you".

Zork over IP

Wednesday, June 14th, 2006

Ever wondered why you can't play Zork over the telephone? Now you can, with ZoIP.

Web 2.0 vs chmod a=rwx

Monday, June 5th, 2006

Meanwhile, over on Planet NZTech (I'll pony up the cash for for btw), Richard McManus (You're a manus, nah, you're a manus!) compares Web 2.0 to chmod 777. I think this is a horrible analogy, because to me, chmod 777 implies "anyone who has any access to this data has full access, including overwriting or deleting it". Not the impression you want to give people about their hosted online data!

I'm not sure what to think of the new Slashdot. You can tell that the owners liked their old design a lot.