Archive for May 20th, 2006

Scheduled Posts No Longer Appear in “Most Recent Posts”

I have finally gotten around to fixing the problem with the “Most Recent Posts” list on the “single post and comments” pages, where posts scheduled for the future would appear in the list, and clicking on the link to them would give you a “404 page not found” error.

Here is what the list looked like on Saturday night before the change.
Blix Recent Post List with Bug

Here is what it looked like after the change.
Blix Recent Post List without Bug

Notice that a bunch of posts are no longer listed…those posts were, at time of the pictures, scheduled for the future.

The problem was caused by an oversight in the “Blix” theme coded by Sebastian Schmieg where he didn’t take into account WordPress’ ability to schedule posts. You see, to schedule a post you have to specify a time in the future for it to appear and then click “Publish” once you are happy with the post.
Setting post timestamp in WordPress

This changes the post’s status from “draft” to “published” in the database, which means that WordPress may show it to you on the blog.

The WordPress dashboard shows a list of recent posts and scheduled posts
Recent and Scheduled posts in WordPress dashboard

This is acheived through code which checks the timestamp of the posts with the current time…much like the blog pages do. Here is the code for the recent posts:
WordPress dashboard recent post code

And here is the code for the scheduled posts:
WordPress dashboard scheduled post code

If you look carefully you will notice that the main difference (other than adding time until post appears to the scheduled posts) is that the “recent posts” section looks for timestamps “< " (less than) the current time, whilst the "scheduled posts" section looks for timestamps ">” (greater than) the current time.

The “variable” $today is defined near the top of this particular PHP script (multiple PHP scripts make up most pages both on the admin interface of WordPress, and on the public blog side of things).
Variable defined in WordPress dashboard code

So here is the code for the “Most Recent Posts” section of the sidebar, I have highlighted the code which I added from the “dashboard”.
Blix Sidebar code without bug

Samuel.

2 comments May 20th, 2006 at 11:49pm

The New (Possibly Improved) 2CC Emergency Tape

This morning on 2CC something went wrong with the 5am news from Sydney (my guess is that somebody didn’t press the right button at 2UE), and instead of news we got silence for 15 seconds, followed by the 2CC emergency tape. I’ve heard this new emergency tape a few times but it until this morning I had only heard the first few seconds.

The new emergency tape starts the same way as the old one…a short, generic, 2CC station ID, but after that it is completely different. Some presumably witty person has the first bit of “programming” on the tape as a song…namely Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound Of Silence”, a rather apt song for a tape which is launched automatically after 15 seconds of silence.

Following this song there is an outdated but relatively generic promo for Mike Jeffreys’ Breakfast Program and, if I recall correctly, one of those “advertise on commercial radio” ads.

By this stage in the emergency tape I was mildly worried about the dodgy Optus satellite that carries the Southern Cross Broadcasting signal. Thankfully though a weather pulse came through, which prompted 2CC’s computer to break the studio silence and therefore interrupt the emergency tape. The weather was followed by the return of John Kerr’s programme, which indicates to me that it was human error at 2UE that created silent news.

None the less, I hope the infamous alphabet song is hidden on 2CC’s emergency tape somewhere, as an emergency tape just isn’t an emergency tape without the cheerful sound of “A you’re adorable, B you’re so beautiful, C you’re a cutie full of charm…”. It has a strangely adorable quality that almost reassures the listener that everything will be back to normal soon.

Samuel

May 20th, 2006 at 02:41pm

Feminism V Feminazism

Regular readers would be aware that I have referred to some people as being a “feminazi” from time to time. The word feminazi is a very misunderstood word, and whilst I believe that I know the difference between a feminazi and a feminist, I’m not so sure that everybody else does. It can be difficult to explain the difference clearly, which is the reason for this post.

Last night as I was doing one of my trawls of the sites that link here, I noticed that a page titled “Feminazis Don’t Do It For Me” linked here, and I thought they might have linked to my recent article about Canberra radio ratings, where I referred to Virginia Haussegger as a “horrible feminazi”. Ultimately it turned out that I’m just on the blogroll of the site with the “Feminazis Don’t Do It For Me” article.

Anyway, the “Feminazis Don’t Do It For Me” article written by muslim feminist Umm Yasmin seeks to clarify the difference between the two words. To quote some of the article:

I decided to visit the Women’s Room at my university to relax, have some lunch, and get away from the noise. I walked in and at first you just see a bit of a messy room with couches, a microwave, a sink, a bookcase full of books and various other bits and bobs. Then you begin to see the graffitti on the wall. “C**t-love,” “dead men don’t lie,” double female symbols hooked together, were written everywhere. All the stereotypical derogatory images of feminism comes flooding into my mind. There is a reason why an awful lot of people deride feminism for being anti-male, butch, lesbian-centric, etc.

Regular readers of Dervish will know I am a feminist, specifically a Muslim feminist. That means, I believe that no person should be treated as worth less, or be discriminated against, than others on the basis of the sex or gender. Because women have historically been the ones to face gender-discrimination, my attention is focused on feminist issues, but I am interested in ending discrimination generally.

Notice the last few words there? “I am interested in ending discrimination generally”. The words of a true feminist.

Ms. Yasmin goes on to explain what a feminazi is:

Now, of course feminism comes in a wide variety of flavours, but why is it that university Women’s Rooms have to be dominated by the feminazis? I slowly looked around the room (no one else was in there at the time) and took it all in. No, this is not my place. No, this is not my feminism. It was for and about women who hate men, who promote lesbian homosexuality as the paramount expression of sexuality, and who have little or no time for other types of feminists.

The article, not surprisingly attracted some interesting comments, and I felt compelled to reply with my own comment:

# Samuel Gordon-Stewart Says:
May 20th, 2006 at 1:03 am

Dear Ms. Yasmin,
I agree with your definition of “feminazi” and how it negatively affects decent feminism. In general I think that most “decent folk” (just follow along, you’ll get my meaning in a moment) understand the difference, but don’t see a difference between the two words.

“feminism” is, as you eluded to, an effort to stop the ongoing discrimination against women which seems to be ingrained into western culture.

“feminazism” is, on the other hand, an effort to turn the tables so that discrimination against men is acceptable, but not against women (not that I’m saying discrimination against women is acceptable, because it isn’t, but I think you know what I’m trying to say).

Unfortunately the feminazis, being the vocal minority, have managed to mangle the public conception of feminism in such a way that people think feminism is the same thing as feminazism.

We need more genuine femanists like yourself to stand up and have a public voice, before true feminism is permanently buried under feminazi clap-trap.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart

Anyway, go over and have a read of the article by Umm Yasmin, it is a very compelling read, and I think it explains the differences very well. The comments are well worth a read as well.

Samuel

11 comments May 20th, 2006 at 06:11am

A Whole Lot Of Spam Comments

Praise the lord for spam filters!

In the last few hours, one of those unscrupulous spambots bombarded this blog with 415 spam comments about hotels, credit card rates and mortgages amongst other things.

The first comment came in a few hours ago and hit the moderation queue (technically it was misuse of the “trackback” feature found on most blogs, and I have all trackbacks and pingbacks set to hit the moderation queue, as they tend to just be notifications that other websites are linking here), and since then, the nearly 400 bits of spam have been picked up by the spam filter.

All of the comments contained a bit of bold text outlining what the link was about (eg. “Free Credit Cards”), and then some raondom gibberish text to try and fool the spam filter into thinking it is a legitimate comment (eg. “chestnuts Donovan subscribing gleamed.clattered punished anthems scroll”), followed by some more text which explains the link (eg. “Amercan Express”), followed by a link to one of their many websites.

The spam attack is still going, and I have just received my second email telling me that a comment has hit the moderation queue, with the comment being a spam comment that hasn’t been picked up by the spam filter. This time around Gmail decided that the email was spam, although I have corrected it.

A few weeks ago I was thinking about finding a way for the spam filter to email me when spam comments get caught, as it was catching legitimate comments, but now I’m glad it doesn’t notify me, as having Gmail’s spam filters start declaring that my website is spamming me with emails containing spam comments would be really annoying.

If you’ve posted a comment in the last few hours and it hasn’t appeared, could you send me an email so that I can track it down and make it appear. I’d rather not delve into the spam filter list if I can avoid it, but if it has falsely recognised legitimate comments as spam, then I would like to know so that I can inform it, and therefore improve the adpative spam filtering rules.

Incidentally, one of the really exciting things about this spam filter is that it is built in to WordPress 2.x, which means that almost every installation of WordPress is using it, and by making use of some central resources, it is a mass adaptive spam filter. So if one website gets spam, the others can learn from that and block that spam when the spambot hits them, and even learn what tricks spambots are attempting to use, and block them as well.

This is similar to what Gmail does, just Gmail does it with the thousands upon thousands upon thousands of Gmail users, and therefore has millions, and possibly billions of emails to learn from each day. For the record, I have received 1165 spam emails in the last 30 days, with all but two (from memory) being correctly identified as spam by the Gmail spam filters.

1 comment May 20th, 2006 at 12:53am


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Blix Theme by Sebastian Schmieg and modified for Samuel's Blog by Samuel Gordon-Stewart.
Printing CSS with the help of Martin Pot's guide to Web Page Printability With CSS.
Icons by Kevin Potts.
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