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When spammers strike back

Submitted by Jakob on 15 May, 2006 - 19:45.My Blog | Internet

You might have noticed more and more spam getting through your email filters these days. If you ever read one of these spams you might have seen that instead of text, these spams contain images that are attached to the email. Since OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is decent at best there's no method presently to automatically identify these messages based on their content. However what is highly ironic about it is that anti-spam software has used the same method to stop spam and prevent automated sign ups at websites and forums by so called spambots that post junk and advertising. The hunted is now using the weapon of the hunter...

More template design guide updates, more info on .cfg files

Submitted by Jakob on 14 May, 2006 - 14:22.My Blog | phpBB | Templates, Themes and Skins

After publishing the last two parts of the guide I realized there was not much written about cfg-files and what they're used for so I added another chapter to the guide. This chapter, called "Some .cfg file magic", explains how .cfg-files work and how you can use them to create some cool effects.

The phpBB Template Design Guide updated

Submitted by Jakob on 14 May, 2006 - 00:46.My Blog | phpBB | Templates, Themes and Skins

The phpBB Template Design Guide was updated today and the last two parts were added. Parts four and five cover some common questions, problems, general advice as well instructions on how to export, distribute and support your template. I've tried to share the things I've learnt over the years I've been working with phpBB and designing as well as releasing templates.

A different perspective on the music filesharing debate

Submitted by Jakob on 13 May, 2006 - 13:18.My Blog | Music | Politics & Society

The debate on filesharing is heavily polarized and seemingly dominated by two camps; the record companies with their signed artists as allies attempting to come off as guardians of justice forming the vanguard of an army of lawyers marching on the supposedly anarchistic, irresponsible filesharers. I think this view, which is popularized through media, is extremely inaccurate and is an obstacle in every attempt to try and understand the issue and its underlying causes. Filesharing was inevitable and is here to stay, in fact its success is in part due to record companies' strategies.

Problems are good for one thing: fixing

Submitted by Jakob on 9 May, 2006 - 20:11.My Blog | Drupal

When I added the Dreamfall review yesterday I realized certain things did not work as they should, and after investigating the problem further it turned out that there was a problem with blog type nodes. After receiving good advice in the #drupal at I began to troubleshoot, and in the process found a great way to set up a staging version of my site for testing new code and modules.

Dreamfall - beautiful and bittersweet but a journey that ends too soon

Submitted by Jakob on 8 May, 2006 - 15:09.My Blog | Computer & Video Games | Reviews

I just finished Dreamfall, the sequel to the highly acclaimed game The Longest Journey. I have some mixed views and feelings regarding the game, but in summary I'd say it is beautiful, mesmerizing but also utterly confusing. It is a game that pushes the limits in many ways, visually and mostly when it comes to its narrative form. This game is more like a journey, an interactive movie that pulls you in and gets into your heart, which is why the separation in the end is so painful.

The quest for the usable wiki

Submitted by Jakob on 6 May, 2006 - 15:28.My Blog | Human-Computer Interaction | Usability

A wiki is a wonderful idea, in essence it's a website that anyone can edit and view. I've used wikis in several projects related to my studies in order to have a common site for storing documents and notes related to our work, and that has worked well and our teachers have appreciated it. So far I've used, tried and looked at four or five wikis, and despite the simple idea behind the wiki, none of them is easy to install, use or customize. Why does it have to be so complicated? I don't know, but I have some ideas on how to make a more usable wiki.

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