Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

So I comment a lot of lines out in my /etc/hosts file. This usually means that I end up with a lot of cruft at the top of my file. And while I write comments into files and scripts here and there, I don’t always want to see them. So I can grep them out by piping the output of the file to grep as follows:

cat /etc/hosts | grep -v "^#"

You could also do the same, eliminating all lines that start with a “v” instead:

cat !$ | grep -v "^v"

February 13th, 2017

Posted In: Mac OS X, Unix

Tags: , , , , , ,

One Comment

Comments on this site have been a pain since I enabled them about 2 1/2 years ago. I believe I enabled them due to something some judgmental person said when they couldn’t comment on an article I had written. During the first year, there was a lot of fine tuning the spam blocking to try and keep out the spammy crap. That continues to be a work in progress, but it seems to be in pretty good shape.

During those couple of years I ended up racking up a queue of about 7,000 in the spam category and another 2,000+ in the pending category (which meant I need to deal with them). I was dealing with comments every day, but I’d miss a few and it built up over the course of a couple of years. Tonight, I either addressed or cleared out all but 17. My database is much happier. The 17 remaining are thoughtful questions and require thoughtful answers, so I’ll get to them when I have time to provide such an answer.

In the meantime, note that now that it’s all cleaned up, if there are any comments, feel free to post and I should actually respond at this point… Sorry for being latent on those up ’till now.

June 26th, 2012

Posted In: sites, WordPress

Tags: ,

In a constant search for achieving comment nirvana for the sites I manage, I was recently looking into integrating WordPress (and a couple of other CMS engines) with Facebook. The sites are setup to only allow authenticated users to comment and it just seemed like with all of the single-sign on technology out there that it just didn’t have to be so annoying. After installing the OpenID integration it seemed like there still had to be a better way to allow even more people to authentication. How about Facebook?

Facebook has done a lot of work on making their API one of the best in the social networking world. The initial implementation of FBML was a little clunky (a client was an early adopter) but it proved to be one of the things that set them apart from the competition. And the API doesn’t just allow for embedding objects into Facebook, it allows for extending Facebook out as well. One of the best examples of this is for authentication.

Which brings us to actually making it work. The first thing to do is go grab an API key. To do so, visit and click on Set Up New Application (or Provide the domain name and any other required fields and out pops an API key and a secret. The API key will be exposed but the secret will act as a password of sorts, much the same way many other key exchanges function. Copy these and do not give them out.

Once you have your key, go to your WordPress site and log into the admin page. From there, click on Plugins and then click on Add New. Search for WP-FacebookConnect. Install the one from Adam Hupp and then locate it in your sidebar (it will say Facebook Connect). Click on it and then provide the API Key and Secret and click on Update Options.

Now that it the plugin is installed and configured it’s time to add it to your theme. This part is a little more tricky than most but it can be as simple as a single paste. Copy this into your clipboard:

<?php do_action(‘fbc_display_login_button’) ?>

Now click on Appearance back in the sidebar and then click on Editor. In the Editor scroll towards the bottom (usually) and locate the form that takes in the comments, which likely begins with:

<div id=”comment-form”>

Now paste it in immediately above or somewhere inside the form, which means somewhere below the first line but above the following:


Once done, open one of your pages and you should see the Connect with your Facebook Account icon so you can authenticate using Facebook. You can also move the text around in the box by moving between areas in the comments.php file (in the themes screen). If you don’t see the Facebook icon then try accessing the site from another browser as you might still be logged into your administrative portal.

Finally, consider the strategy that you use for managing comments. You can still hold comments for approval, you can still approve once and give users unbridled commenting love and you can still scan comments for spam using one of the filters for doing so. That is according to you. But you now have an easy-to-authenticate to solution where visitors don’t have to sign up and get an email back, etc. But they can if you want, given that there are still at least 4 or 5 people (I believe they are in deep freeze somewhere) who don’t use Facebook, and you wouldn’t want to alienate them!

January 28th, 2010

Posted In: WordPress

Tags: , , , , , , ,

After talking with the folks at Xsanity I have decided to try and open up comments to the site. You can still auth and post comments if you have an OpenID account, but you can now do so through the standard WordPress method provided you fill in the Captcha info. We’ll see how this works. Last time I tried comments there was simply too much spam. I’m willing to give it a second shot though, especially with the fancy-schmancy OCR whatnot enabled…

To get Captcha to work I used the WP-reCAPTCHA plug-in available here. In order to activate it you need an API key from recaptcha but once you paste that into the fields you simply enable the plug-in and then re-enable comments on the WordPress Settings page. All in all, took less time than writing this post.

January 13th, 2009

Posted In: sites, WordPress

Tags: , ,