Unseen censorship in media blogs?

October 23, 2006 Link to post  Permalink

I encountered a strange thing this weekend. I commented on a blog entry and disagreed with the blog poster. All comments are moderated on this blog, which is fine, but my entry has not yet shown up. A number of other comments posted after mine have appeared, and these all agree with the original author.

How many other comments that disagree with the author have also been filtered out? This now looks like everyone agrees with each other.

In this case, the subject in question is about the Seahawks, so it’s not a subject that affects world peace, but the blog is run by the King 5 news organization, and now I have to ask more questions about their biases in other areas of their reporting.

The problem I have with this is that, until I experienced it, this was hidden from me. I may expect this on a clearly partisan site, but a responsible news organization should be able to do better.

Using Capistrano to deploy ZenPhoto to Dreamhost

October 15, 2006 Link to post  Permalink

ZenPhoto is a very focused and lightweight photo gallery application. I’ve played around with a number of web based photo applications, and I’m currently using ZenPhoto for my own photos.

As a follow on to my post about deploying Wordpress using Capistrano,
I’ve now got a deployment of ZenPhoto running there too. Here’s what I did to make this easy.

1. Create a new domain (or sub-domain) in the Dreamhost control panel, make sure to use PHP5, using my account. I then set the web directory field to be ‘domain.name/current/public’ instead of the default of ‘domain.name’. I also removed the WWW using the radio buttons.

2. Create a new MySQL database using the Dreamhost control panel

Apache follows symlinks in unexpected ways on Dreamhost

October 15, 2006 Link to post  Permalink

I don’t know if this is just Dreamhost, I suspect its a general Apache thing, but following a Symlink for a directory doesn’t work the way I expected, so to help others avoid this problem, here’s the simple fix.

I have an app in ~/my.domain with a directory called ‘something’ that is being served by Apache. Inside this directory are a bunch of other directories with files. The real ones were served fine, but the symlinked directories were causing 403 errors when I requested a file.

http://my.domain/something/real-dir/a-file works ok, but http://my.domain/something/symlink/a-file fails.

I do have the Options FollowSymLinks line in my .htaccess file.

Dreamhost discount code for $92

October 10, 2006 Link to post  Permalink

I have a new discount code for $92 off Dreamhost plans paid annually. The code gives smaller (but still significant) discounts for monthly plans.

Use CRAZ92 when signing up at dreamhost

Menuism - a new Rails based site just opened up

October 3, 2006 Link to post  Permalink

I’ve not seen anyone else blog about this yet, but a new Rails based site has just opened up.

Menuism looks to be another social networking site, but based around restaurant reviews. I’ve signed up, and will post some reviews over the next few days.

Dreamhost increases limits again

October 3, 2006 Link to post  Permalink

Dreamhost just increased their limits for all accounts. I have a Code Monster account – $16/month for 4+TB bandwidth and 400+GB disk space. Both of these numbers are the base, and increment weekly. The increments have also been increased.

Their $8 plan has 200GB storage and 2TB/month transfer!

One thing I like about Dreamhost is that, when they change their account limits, they apply the changes to all existing accounts, not just new accounts. Dreamhost is not your cell phone provider!

You can get an even bigger discount ($30) by using my referal code CRAZ8 during the signup process. Here are the plans

How bad is the Comcast DVR?

October 2, 2006 Link to post  Permalink

Since we moved into our new condo, we now have Comcast TV service. In general, this is a good thing. We now get the local channels in HD (still not available in Seattle with DirecTV), and the price is good, as our condo association has a base Comcast package to the building.

The only piece that doesn’t work is the DVR. We have a Motorola DCT 3412, dual tuner and it has some issues. Searching the web indicates that we aren’t the only ones suffering here.

The worst one is that the thing crashes 2-3 times a day, it seems to be when you are watching a show and another show stops recording, so typically just after the hour.

The UI for this thing is Ok, but a bunch of the default options are just wrong, which makes setting up shows a pain. Also, the combination of series options makes for a confusing setup. Tivo this aint.

Wordpress with Capistrano and Google Sitemaps plugin

September 9, 2006 Link to post  Permalink

If you use the Wordpress Google Sitemap plugin and you use my non-patented Capistrano deployment scripts for Wordpress, then you’ll need to make some changes for things to work well.

Here’s what to do:

1. Add to the before_symlink task in my deploy.rb file two symlinks for the sitemap files in the shared directory:

2. Set the Sitemap plugin to generate the files to the /path/to/your/domain/shared/sitemap.xml, instead of the default path. The default path will be the current release directory, and you want to have the sitemap files to persist across Wordpress deployments.

Seahawks Game: Dallas Cowboys pre-season

September 7, 2006 Link to post  Permalink

The Dallas Cowboys came to town on Saturday, August 12. For the second event in a row, we had to
stop and wait 10 minutes for a train outside the stadium. A smart planner would have worked out
this train thing on game day, but I guess getting caught in bad traffic is part of the event.

Our food and drink order seemed to work a little better this time around. I think there were a few
issues, but not as bad as the first event. I believe Levy comped us for this event since their
first event was so bad.

Again we had the only security person on the suite doors. The suite next to us – Club 9 – was
completely empty, but unlocked. It didn’t take long for people to wander in and make themselves at
home. Some of those people were from Club 10 – they just wanted better seats! Lisa had security
move them on.

The Seahawks didn’t play too well for this one, but the crowd started out in mid-season form, so we
all had a good time.

How can I use X-Sendfile in my Rails app?

September 5, 2006 Link to post  Permalink

Lighttpd, apache and mongrel have the ability to have a Rails application tell the server to send a file from the filesystem. This can be used to provide high speed serving of files by the server, but still allow the app to have some control over what’s served.

Here’s a good description of the Apache module that can do this.

All of the samples show code that look like this (this one’s in PHP):

My question is – how can my app make use of this cool functionality?