fun webstuff

Web design time management

Here is the truth about how web designers and web developers spend their time creating sites:

Web design time management

Funny as hell, but oh so true.


Google Sitemaps and Movable Type

Google Sitemaps is a new project from Google that aims to allow content creators to update the Google bots with information about site structure and update frequencies, among others.

Google has made available a tool called Sitemap generator. Its written in Python to generate sitemaps from server logs, url lists and when run on your server it can also make lists based on server directories.

There has been circulating a few different templates for Movable Type almost since Google Sitemaps was announced. Many of them has suffered from the rush of getting them published as soon as possible.

If you are running a blog based on Movable Type, the template from Anders should be the one you choose: Google SiteMaps for Movable Type – now with correct Last Modified dates (Anders Jacobsen’s blog)

Not only has he fixed some bugs from the first templates published. He has also made sure you can distigunish between the new, fairly new and archive material so that you can set priority to max for new url’s while lowering priority of scanning for archived material (which probably hasn’t been updated since you wrote it – in any case).


Gmail invite spooler

Looking to get yourself a Gmail account? The easiest way is to use the gmail invite spooler. At present time it has over 1.5 million(!) invitations to give away.

[Via Google Weblog]

flash software webstuff

Jon Udells screencast of the life of a Wikipedia article

This one seems to be going the rounds on the blogs I read: Heavy metal umlaut: the movie

Its very interesting to see the evolution of this article through 2 years. To me it shows the power of Wikipedia as an encyclopaedia.

Being an old Flash developer, it was also nice to see him using a system that utilises Flash for presentation, its in my mind clearly the right choice on the web today.

Naturally I became curious to what tool he might have used. From what I can gather by my quick detective spree he is using a tool called Camtasia Studio. It records from the screen in full motion and also allows you to narrate with audio as it is recording. Camtasia outputs the resulting movie as Flash (swf or flv), Windows media (wmv), Quicktime, Realmedia, animated gif or as a projector file (exe).

With a price of US $299 its shouldn’t be out of reach for people that want to easily make guides for software or even for web sites and web applications.


World on fire

Sarah McLachlan just scored herself a new fan. Instead of using 150,000 dollars on her video (not uncommon) she decided to give it all to various chareties. (According to the video, a total of $15 was used to make the video).

Check out the video for World on fire, and also the donation list – could give you some good tips on how to use some of your christmas gift money this year.

Oh, and has the full story of how it all came about.


Why do everyone want a GMail account?

Seems like Userfriendly has the answer

BTW: Still giving out invitations, but only to people that I have “met” in one form or another. (Sorry everyone else, you will have to wait for the beta period to end, or get your invitation elsewhere).


Gmail invitation

Seems like all the bloggers I know have invitations to give away. Well, they are not alone. Although it took a while before I got my first invite, I am now reciving a lot of them from Google Mail.

Because I am such a lazy bloke (all programmers are lazy, I am told), I’ll just copy/paste the text from Anders regarding the invites I have to give out.

Like many others, I have a couple of invites to Gmail available. I initially had 3, gave them out and now I have some more, so it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop any time soon. If I know you, if we’ve met, if’ve we’ve chatted online or have read eachothers blogs and you still don’t have a Gmail adress, drop me an email and I’ll send you an invite.

Friends & acquaintances only; sorry, random strangers.


Ghost town

Although not a work of art or design, Elana aka “Kid of speed” from Kiev has made a very thought provoking website called Ghost town

Its about Chernobyl and how it is to travel through the very radio active city close to it, as well as the area around the reactor.

[Via Kyrre]


Harvard study of Gator

An interesting on-going study of Gator by Ben Edelman at Harvard has gathered much interest lately.

Today it appears that the pop-up ads provider Gator is fighting against the study of its software and advertisement placement. On the Greplaw blog Ben writes about Gator blocking access for his test servers, now he is looking for proxys to use for his study.

anti-spam webstuff

Automated Denial-of-Service Attack Using the U.S. Post Office

Interesting way of fighting spam, spans real world “Denial-of-postal-Service-attack” (From Crypto-Gram Newsletter)

In December 2002, the notorious “spam king” Alan Ralsky gave an interview. Aside from his usual comments that antagonized spam-hating e-mail users, he mentioned his new home in West Bloomfield, Michigan. The interview was posted on Slashdot, and some enterprising reader found his address in some database. Egging each other on, the Slashdot readership subscribed him to thousands of catalogs, mailing lists, information requests, etc. The results were devastating: within weeks he was getting hundreds of pounds of junk mail per day and was unable to find his real mail amongst the deluge.

Using all the people of Slashdot might work to some degree, but as Bruce Schneier of the Crypto-Gram Newsletter writes in his newsletter – it gets really interesting when you automate the process of adding someones address to requests for catalogs etc.

If you type the following search string into Google — “request catalog name address city state zip” — you’ll get links to over 250,000 (the exact number varies) Web forms where you can type in your information and receive a catalog in the mail. Or, if you follow where this is going, you can type in the information of anyone you want. If you’re a little bit clever with Perl (or any other scripting language), you can write a script that will automatically harvest the pages and fill in someone’s information on all 250,000 forms. You’ll have to do some parsing of the forms, but it’s not too difficult. (There are actually a few more problems to solve. For example, the search engines normally don’t return more than 1,000 actual hits per query.) When you’re done, voila! It’s Slashdot’s attack, fully automated and dutifully executed by the U.S. Postal Service.

Somehow I think spammers such as Alan Ralsky will be very careful about giving out their mailing addresses in the future.