Programming Archives

Mail2News Gateways

I’m currently working on an update to Mixminion Message Sender and while I’m at it, I’d like to expand the number of mail2news gateways that it’s set up to use for posting to usenet.

Currently, I know of three that accept the name(s) of the newsgroup(s) as part of the “To:” address.  This format is necessary because the version of Mixminion that is currently available in a win32 build ( does not support a “Newsgroups:” header.

The ones that I know about now are:

Some time ago there was a fourth one:

… but it seems to have ceased operation.

I understand that future versions will include the “Newsgroups:” header, which will make it possible to use any mail2news gateway instead of just the ones that accept newsgroups in the “To:” address.

If anyone knows of gateways not listed here, I’d appreciate it if you’d take a few seconds and post a comment here with the details.  The same request goes for anyone that can give me details for building the current Mixminion (0.0.8alpha3) on windows using free tools such as Cygwin.

Once the new build of MMS is ready I’ll announce it here.

Technorati Tags: cygwin, mail2news, mail2news+gateway, mingw, mixminion, mixminion+message+sender, mms, new+version, Software, win32+build

Is Windows Collapsing?

According to an article on Microsoft had best make sure that the Windows operating system has an up to date programlife insurance quote.  Because the way things have been going with Vista and Microsoft’s refusal to just be sensible and stick with the XP that already works…. beefing that up instead of scrapping it in favor of the rolling and screaming … disaster that Vista has become.

If Microsoft can’t pull it’s collective heads out soon and do something right with XP, they’re going to end up a has-been that people will start forgetting.

Also, don’t look for the next version beyond vista, code named “Windows 7” to be any better.  From what I’ve see thus far, that thing is geared not for the user so much as it is to make Microsoft more money.  Instead of just providing a complete operating system, they’re carving that thing up into modular chunks, bits that will require more money (and activation codes no doubt) in order to add them in to the existing base install.

The only thing that this is going to do is turn people away from them even faster than Vista is doing.

Honestly, I think that vista has been the best thing for linux in a long time.  Windows 7 promises to be even better for linux.

Technorati Tags: Linux, microsoft, modular, upgrade, vista, windows, windows+7, windows+vista, windows+xp

Modifying Thingamablog For Freenet 0.5

When I started my first blog, I was using thingamablog to do it with.  I’ve long since converted to WordPress but I remember it well.  It was actually a decent program.

Then on the latest edition of the flog “My Two Cents Worth(freenet link*)” there’s talk of a version that’s been modified so that it’s possible to use it for freenet.  I’ve known about this version since it was created and I even knew that the original developer of the freenet mod hasn’t worked on it in a long time and has, in fact lost their source code in a hard drive crash.  What I hadn’t realized however was that in all this time, nobody else has taken up the project.

So, I took a look at the test flog (freenet link*) and the flog (a ‘flog’ is a Freenet Blog) of the guy who did the mod (freenet link*) and it’s all very familiar Thingamablog style blog, though the only known executable: Thingamablog-1.0.5.freenet.jar

has got a few bugs that need to be worked out.  Apparently it’s not quite the version used to insert /jaff/15// (freenet link*) and the original project was never completed.

Since the modified source is not available, I got the source for Thingamablog 1.16b from Sourceforge and tried to recreate what had been done on 1.0.5 Here’s the source code for what I’ve managed so far: Source code for freenet version of thingamablog1.16b

So far, I’ve managed to do the part described in /jaff/12// (freenet link*), so it’ will accept
#$#ps.key;/#$#e:ps.ednum;// as a base URL which FiW can then parse into the correct freesite key for insertion, but there still remains the part described in /jaff/13// (freenet link*).

I’ve not been able to figure out where in the source the thing puts together the URLs for categories, archive pages, or individual article permalinks

The problem is that while I’ve varying degrees of skill in Basic, C, html, php, tcl and a bit of javascript I haven’t done much with Java at all.  This makes figuring out somebody elses code a lot more difficult.

Back in January I tried asking on the Thingamablog forum on Sourceforge and haven’t yet seen a reply.

If somebody would be willing to take a look at this source and give me a clue or six I’d love to see this project completed and working.  Especially if it could achieve Jafo’s original goal of adding functionality to TAMB that would let it handle the inserts as well as the blog management duties.

This would make creating and maintaining a flog so easy that it could well bring more *current* freesites into existence.

Besides, as was pointed out on /mytwocents/61//(freenet link*), 0.7 has taken this idea and run with it.  THEY have a thingamablog that is tailored to talk directly to the 0.7 node.

I don’t know about anybody else but this idea originated on 0.5 and I’d like to see 0.5 benefit from an easy to use, self contained, Flog publishing system that this could turn into.


* Note: links marked with “(freenet link*)” will only work if you have freenet 0.5 running on

Technorati Tags: Anonymity, anonymous+blogging, anonymous+publishing, Blogging, blogs, flog, Freenet, freenet+blog, freenet+publishing, java, Open+source, Programming, publishing, sourceforge, thingamablog

UK ISPs Snooping Customer Browsing Habits

Not only are they snooping on the browsing habits of customers, it’s going a lot farther than that.  First there’s an article on where BT, One of the UK’s largest ISPs, admits to spying on 36,000 customers.  The article tells how BT chose 36,000 of it’s users for a trial run in which they tested a system developed by a US software company called “Phorm”.

They’ve got this new idea for serving targeted advertising where basically your web browsing traffic is intercepted, analyzed, and used to serve targeted advertising.  There’s an article on The Register that details How Phorm plans to tap your internet connection and it’s an insidious thing with it’s roots firmly entrenched in spyware.

What’s really annoying about it is that you actually have to opt out of it if you don’t want to be part of it.  Apparently the way these UK ISPs are going to do this is that you’ll be opted in unless you specifically jump through hoops to opt out.  Fortunately, for Firefox users there is something that can help.

There’s a Firefox plugin called “Dephormation” that opts you out of phorm everywhere you encounter it and it also lets you know when you run into a website that’s got a connection to one of their “webwise” sites.

Once I had that plugin installed, I found that going to this link got me a notification that Dephormation had found a link to a Phorm/Webwise/oix/ site.

Right now, this online invasion of privacy seems to be mostly in the UK, but don’t be surprised when it starts showing up in the US. it’s just another step along the way to having everything we do or look at monitored in some way.

Technorati Tags: advertising, browsing+habits,, dephormation,, invasion+of+privacy,, isps,, oix,, phorm,, Privacy,, snooping,, spyware,, targeted+advertising,, Tracking,, uk,, webwise

“Link Juice” And Social Bookmarking Sites

Anybody that’s been around the web in general and blogging in particular knows very much the value of social bookmarking sites, like Digg, Technorati, StumbleUpon and others. They’re the source of a lot of traffic and it’s helpful to be indexed in their sites.  If you’ve got the SearchStatus plugin for Firefox and you enable it’s option to “Highlight Nofollow Links”, you’ll also know that most of the links on most of these sites are Nofollow links.

This means that while using technorati tags and social bookmarking links is a great idea, there is zero sense in using anything but nofollow links in the tags and in links to other social sites

Sometime back I wrote “Build Traffic With Technorati” in which I first talked about the famous blog index and a tag generator javascript that I discovered.  Then later in “How To Choose Good Tags” I reposted the Technorati Tag Generator.

Since then, I’ve decided that it’s best if links like technorati tags and the Sociable plugin’s links to other social bookmarking sites are Nofollow.  I’ve edited the code in the tag generator so that the tags it produces are nofollow.

I spent some time trying to do the same with the Sociable plugin for WordPress but haven’t managed it yet.  Then earlier tonight I ran across a little gem on Andy Beard’s blog called “Sphinn Support – Antisocial (SEO Friendly Sociable) WordPress Plugin“, about a version of Sociable that’s been hacked to make the links it generates Nofollow.  It also adds a tweak or two and fixes a bug in the stumbleupon code that was in the original.

I’m thinking that especially with the way Search Engines <gazes pointedly at the image in the sidebar> are working these days, it’s a good idea to be a bit on the stingy side with “Do Follow” links.  Even if you don’t want to be stingy with it, there’s still no reason in the world to use a “do follow” link to a site where most (if not all) of the links on it are Nofollow.

Technorati Tags: link+juice, links, nofollow, sociable, social+bookmarking, social+networking, sphinn, stumbleupon, technorati, technorati+tags, twitthis, wordpress, wordpress+plugins

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