JQuery & Drupal : setting content thru a GET request

Below you can find an example of some JQuery code that you can use to do the same as described in a previous article. I’ve stopped using the previous code, as it had too many downsides. After getting to know the power of JQuery, I have to say that it’s much better. AND it’s already included in the drupal distribution.


    $("select").change(function () {
      var about = this.value;
      var uri = '/my/page/' + about;
      $.get(uri, function(data) {

NOTE: Don’t try to use mooscript, scriptalicious, … or any other framework that doesn’t extent JQuery within your drupal. It will give you a lot of “function unkown” situations. 😉

The popularity of Ubuntu

Here’s an interesting article for the those who’re interested in the popularity of Ubuntu:

Ubuntu: Just how popular is it?

There is no doubt that Ubuntu’s popularity has grown dramatically over the past few years, but just how popular is Ubuntu? How many people have ever heard of Ubuntu? How many people visit the Ubuntu site each month? How many people have tried Ubuntu, and more importantly, how many people are actually using it?

According to Canonical’s official press release for Gutsy Gibbon, Ubuntu has a “strong and growing user base of over 6 million people.” Where Canonical got this number is not clear, and they have provided no evidence to back up this claim. Nobody really knows how many people are using Ubuntu, but we found some interesting statistics online that show Ubuntu’s popularity is growing. From these statistics, it looks like Ubuntu has become far more popular than any other Linux distribution.

Note: this article is in no way a scientific study of Ubuntu’s popularity, it is just a collection of interesting stats from around the net. Have fun with it!

So, where can we look online to judge Ubuntu’s popularity?

Continue reading “The popularity of Ubuntu”

What we often forget when implementing virtualization solutions

“The beginning is the half of every action”
Someone once told me “There is nothing more permanent than temporarily.” (roughly translated), and it’s something you often see in the IT world. A server goes down, let’s do the quick fix now and do the in depth analysis/coding later. The last step is often moved the the refrigerator called “on hold”-, “TODO” or “when we have time” boxes.

The following situation might ring some bells:

X : How de we save on infrastructure costs?
Y : Maybe by virtualizing our infrastructure?
X : Sounds good, how do we do this?
Y : Let’s first try our lab/development/staging environment?
X : And if that works move all servers to it!

Help!!! My virtual servers are breeding like rabbits
Most companies who’ve started with virtualizations, like for example VmWare of Xen, have found themselves rushing (or stumbling) way too fast in this new enviroment. The virtual infrastructure needs the same amount of thought as your physical infrastructure. It’s not because a virtual server is created at a fraction of the time it would take a physical one, that one shouldn’t follow the same steps.

Perhaps the sexiest aspect of virtualization is its speed: You can create VMs in minutes, move them around easily, and deliver new computing power to the business side in a day instead of weeks. It’s fun to drive fast. But slow down long enough to think about making virtualization part of your existing IT processes

It’s not because it’s virtual that it doesn’t need to be managed
Continue reading “What we often forget when implementing virtualization solutions”

The DO’s and DON’T’s of duplicate content.

What is duplicate content?
According to Google’s own webmaster central blog:

Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar. Most of the time when we see this, it’s unintentional or at least not malicious in origin: forums that generate both regular and stripped-down mobile-targeted pages, store items shown (and — worse yet — linked) via multiple distinct URLs, and so on. In some cases, content is duplicated across domains in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings or garner more traffic via popular or long-tail queries.

Common situations
Company “ACME” wants to have several entry points for the same website. So they register the following domains: acme.com, acme.be, acme.org, acme.eu, … etc. Now they point all those domains to the same website (content). After a bit the page gets crawled by the Search Engines. Guess what happens?

The search engine crawls acme.be and finds an article about product “acme generic”. It indexes this and continues. After a while it crawls acme.com and finds (the same) article about “acme generic”. Then it flags the article at acme.com as a duplicate penalizing it in the search results.

Why do the Search Engines do this?
To have decent search results… A lot of (blackhat?!?) webmasters will use RSS feeds of other sites to publish their own content. If someone browses the net, and wants to find information about “acme generic”, they should only get the unique & relevant search results.

What should I do then?
Continue reading “The DO’s and DON’T’s of duplicate content.”

Mythbusters bust Fingerprint Security

In relation to: Fingerprint authentication & RFID Implants

When reading up on BennyK’s blog I noticed the article he spotted at KWC. It’s a transcript about Episode 59 of Mythbusters (August 2006).

Cheap biometric thumb scanner for computers

They felt that a cheap fingerprint scanner for computers would be an easier target than the door lock, so they could test some of their ideas on it first. They used the APC Biometric Password Manager, which retails for about $50.

Their main challenge was getting a good print. They first tried using forensic dust on a fingerprint that Jamie left on a piece of glass. They result wasn’t very photographable, so they then decided to stick the print and superglue in a vacuum chamber. Much like an episode of CSI, the superglue fumes adhered to the fingerprint and they were able to get a much better print when they dusted it.

Now that they had the fingerprint, they had to create a print of it that they could defeat the computer scanner with. They tried three different versions:

  • Paper print of Jamie’s fingerprint: They made a photocopy of the print and placed it on the scanner, but the print was too ‘muddy’. access denied
  • Ballistics gel print of Jamie’s finger: This was a many step process in order to create a ballistics gel print off of a etched copper board. They first printed out Jamie’s print onto acetate. Then they created a raised version of the print using a copper-coated circuit board. The circuit board is coated with a photo-reactive material, and by laying the acetate print on top and exposing it to light, they were able to leave a copy of the print on top. Then they immersed the board in acid in order to etch away the copper, leaving a raised print. Finally, they made a cast on top using ballistics gel. access denied. The print still wasn’t clear enough for the computer as the edges weren’t defined enough.
  • Ballistics gel print II (cleaned up): Jamie had the idea of enlarging the fingerprints, tracing over them in sharpie to clean up the jagged portions of the print, and then creating the ballistics gel print. access granted

Vmmon Issues with ubuntu gutsy gibson

The Problem

kvaes@ubuntu:~$ sudo vmware
[sudo] password for kvaes:
vmware is installed, but it has not been (correctly) configured
for this system. To (re-)configure it, invoke the following command:

So yet again; new kernel version, new issues with vmware server. Here is the “HOWTO” to get your vmware server working again.

The Fix

  • Download the latest vmware-any-any update (currently: 114 )
  • Unpack it :
    tar xzf vmware-any-any-update???.tar.gz
  • Run the any-any update (press -enter- on all defaults) :
    sudo ./runme.pl
  • Run the install update (press -enter- on all defaults) :
    sudo /usr/bin/vmware-config.pl
  • “Done!!!”
    sudo vmware

The Past
This was an update on the previous threads for Feisty:

Simple Drupal Ajax Forms (version 0.2)

The following code is a follow-up of the previous article. The code below can be used as stand-alone, without the download of the framework, AND is capable of doing multiple requests at the same time. This was something the previous code was unable to do (due to framework limitations).

function printAjaxJs() {
  $output='function getHTTPObject() { var xmlhttp; if (!xmlhttp && typeof XMLHttpRequest != 'undefined') { try { xmlhttp = new XMLHttpRequest(); } catch (e) { xmlhttp = false; } } return xmlhttp;}';
function printAjaxFunction($function,$page) {
  $output.="function ".$handle."() { if (".$http.".readyState == 4) { if (subject_id != '') { document.getElementById(subject_id).innerHTML = ".$http.".responseText; } } }";
  $output.='var '.$http.' = getHTTPObject();';
  $output.='function '.$function.'(div_id,content_id) {';
  $output.='subject_id = div_id;';
  $output.='content = document.getElementById(content_id).value;';
  $output.=$http.'.open("GET", "'.$page.'" + content, true);';
  $output.=$http.'.onreadystatechange = '.$handle.';';

The quality of the internet turning seo-black

Spam Comments
Sigh… A month ago I posted that the total amount of spam comments passed the 1K mark. Today, about a month later, the spam comments have reached passed the 3K mark.

Along with the increase I see a lot of content stealing that’s then used by blackhat SEO websites. The SEO techniques are very important to understand if you’re willing to run a decent website. But there are a lot of individuals who are abusing the system (for financial gains).

The statistics report that my RSS feeds are only “leeched”, but that there aren’t any “clickthru’s”. So I wonder if I should keep the RSS feeds online?!? Apparently it’s only used to leech content, and not that interesting to the returning visitors.

SEO Project
A while back I started a small POC project that combined all the SEO techniques I knew. The website was a wordpress blog with permalinks. I created a customized eBay plugin that would fetch data through the eBay API, and represent it on the blog. Each category had it’s own permalink (so it was very SE friendly), but it was only one page ran through variables. The categories contained the latest items along with the most popular search terms for that category. The plugin relies on a small redirect page to obfuscate the fact that it’s just eBay content publishing.

After submitting the site to Google, it took about one month to be fully indexed. At the start of the project I took time to write a few “original” articles to spice up the websites. Just to see what the effect would be between the two… One extra sidenote; I have not used any linking techniques to improve the traffic or rating of the site. It was just about the permalink & content effect.

The results after three months:

  • Visitors : ~30 / day
  • Article ratio : 5% (The articles have some hits, but 95% is on the eBay plugin.)
  • Income (last month) : 0.80€ (eBay redirect) & 0.10€ (adsense)
  • Ranking : Pagerank 0 & Alexa 0

The income is extremely low, but if you bare in mind that this website was just a small POC project to check what the impact of SEO was… Without maintaining this site, it would be self sufficient for it’s domain costs. Where even this website has a lower revenue than this POC project… 😉

(NOTE: the domain will be taken offline in 9 months when it’s due for extension)

Gutsy screensaver candy

At home I’m running “bleeding edge” when it comes to updates, but at work I stay behind a week or two when it comes down to new major (distribution) versions. So yesterday I updated my work system from Feisty to Gutsy Gibson.

Today I noticed a nice thingie when my screensaver was active; namely the “leave a message” button. Thumbs up to the ones at xscreensaver for this one cause this might be a nice eco saver (Read: “less yellow post-it notes when you return from a meeting”).