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Comments February 25, 2007

Gadget of the Month: Got gadgets? Not these five…

Filed under: tech stuff — Dave Rathbun @ 10:13 am CommentsComments (6) 

Last month I started a series of “Gadget of the Month” posts. Right, so one post hardly makes a series. Don’t worry; there are a few more coming. But recently I read an interesting article about five new “gadgets” to skip right now. There were some interesting choices.

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Comments February 24, 2007

Visited Links

Filed under: Web Site Design — Dave Rathbun @ 11:04 am Comments Off 

Web designs seem to no longer include altered colors for visited links. Is this a good or bad thing?

There are some links in phpBB that are styled so that unvisited links have the exact same presentation as visited links. These include forum names (on index.php) and the topic titles at the top of viewtopic.php. Other links are styled so that visited links do get a different color… such as the topic title on viewforum.php. What’s the difference? Was it a good decision, and why?

Is there anything really wrong with blue and purple links anyway? ;-)

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Comments February 22, 2007

Domain Survey (Spammer List)

Filed under: phpBB — Dave Rathbun @ 7:36 pm CommentsComments (12) 

In the interest of researching my idea of rejecting registrations from “new” domains I did some research. I am quite happy to say that while there are some issues, the idea does seem to have some promise. And I have a request. More…

An interesting anti-spam idea?

Filed under: Anti-spam, MOD Writing, phpBB — Dave Rathbun @ 2:37 am CommentsComments (2) 

Today I was fortunate to have another couple of test cases for my Spammer Hammer. I should put “fortunate” in quotes, as it really means that I’ve been hit by two more spam-bot attacks. Of course these new spam-bots are using throw-away domains like dwhg0284gerr.org and dw0gh824g24g.org. In other words, completely bogus domains set up just for the sake of answering an activation email. The first one of those was created on Feb 8, 2007. The second was created on the same day, and by the same person.

So I have a new idea. During registrations, what if I do a “whois” lookup on the domains, and automatically reject any registration from domains that are less than two months old? or two weeks?

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Comments February 21, 2007

phpBBDoctor Spammer Hammer Specification

Filed under: Anti-spam, MOD Writing, phpBB — Dave Rathbun @ 11:26 am Comments Off 

In a prior post I introduced the Spammer Hammer, a small MOD ;-) that I started on last week. phpBB boards come with features to delete users and even to delete topics or posts. What is missing is a feature that will allow moderators to easily process (delete or otherwise) posts from a single user across the entire board.

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Comments February 19, 2007

Introducing the phpBBDoctor Spammer Hammer

Filed under: Anti-spam, MOD Writing, phpBB — Dave Rathbun @ 11:26 am Comments Off 

It seems to me that most phpBB anti-spam measures fall into one of three categories. First, stop spammers from registering on your board. Second, if they do register, keep them from showing up. The last category includes MODs for removal or clean-up. I recently started development of a MOD in that last category that I call the phpBBDoctor Spammer Hammer. :lol:

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Comments February 17, 2007

Hello, My Name is Dave, and I am an AOL User

Filed under: blog — Dave Rathbun @ 9:20 am CommentsComments (1) 

It’s true, I am. I don’t like to talk about it much, given the rampant anti-AOL sentiment that seems to be the opinion du jour… mainly because I don’t feel like I should have to defend myself for my choice. :-) I actually joined in 1993, and have been a member ever since. :shock:

The initial reason that AOL was the right answer for me is no longer valid. And AOL seems determined to do whatever it can to encourage me to leave. Like their latest effort of adding their advertisements to my email messages. Before you ask, this post will not have a single thing in it related to phpBB, so you can stop reading here if you want. ;-)

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Comments February 16, 2007

What is a forum worth?

Filed under: phpBB — Dave Rathbun @ 12:37 am CommentsComments (5) 

Over the past few years I have done a good bit of coding for the owner of eInvesting.com. Tonight the website was sold for the nice round price of $10,000(US). What’s a forum worth? Tonight, there’s your answer. :-)

Comments February 13, 2007

Database Design #2 – Primary Keys

Filed under: Database Tips, MOD Writing — Dave Rathbun @ 12:01 am Comments Off 

Over the years that I have been involved with phpbb.com I have seen a number of posts – not that frequent, mind you, but more often than I would expect – asking how to “renumber my users” or something like that. It seems that folks are bothered by the fact that the first user_id is 2, or sometimes by the fact that there can be gaps in the sequence of user_id values. Why worry? Your database doesn’t. :-D

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Comments February 11, 2007

Regex Redux

Filed under: Search, phpBB — Dave Rathbun @ 12:20 am CommentsComments (7) 

In an earlier post I disected the regular expression used in the clean_words() function to remove short and long words from the search index tables. I figured out how it worked, and then why it was broken from 2.0.6 forward. I fixed it.

For english boards only. :-)

I have had some feedback from an owner of a german (swiss-german, actually) board, and the fix I provided does not work for his board. I think I know why. I don’t (yet) know how to fix it. More…

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