Make Bushel’s Open Enrollment URL Easier To Use

Many choose a pretty long company name when signing up for Bushel. The Open Enrollment link is generated based on the shortened version of this company name. This link can then be supplied to your users to make it quick and easy for them to enroll (or add) devices into your Bushel. Some end up with a company name that’s difficult to tell others or difficult for others to type. Many of our customers would also like a link on their site that customers can be pointed to. There are a few ways of achieving shorter, easier, or custom links. We’ll go through two, but there are a lot of other strategies you can use as well. For More On Making Your Bushel Enrollment URL Easier To Use, See The Bushel Blog

Removing A Domain Name From A Google Search

When you are searching Google, you can restrict your search to a specific domain. For example, if you would like to find a page with the pattern “man touch” on then you can constrain a Google search using the site: operator. The search dialog box would then read: "man touch" But if you don’t find my posts helpful then you can remove the domain name from your Google searches, done by running the same, but with a “-” in front of the domain name, which given the above search inverted would be: "man touch" The resultant URL is then: To take this a step further, you could also use this awesome application called glims from to actually change your default search site from the standard search to the above URL and eliminate a given domain name from all future searches. For more on the the available operators:

Scripting FaceTime

I will go through long stretches without playing with new technology until I either get unbusy or get talked into figuring out how to do something remotely interesting with it. Like linking FaceTime up to a help desk database. It turns out that Apple made it a very straight forward process. Simply use a facetime handler as the prefix to a URL with the phone number of the other person (iPhone 4) or their FaceTime email address (usually with the desktop app). For example, if my email were then you could use the following from terminal:
open facetime://
Or if my phone number were 310-555-1212 (it is you know;):
open facetime://3105551212
Happy FaceTiming

URL Shortening in WordPress

I’m now doing my own URL Shortening using the Pretty Link plugin for WordPress. For example, the following link is a bit long: So using Pretty Link, I tell it to add a link and then it gets shortened down to (or aliased to more like it):

URL Obfuscation

There are a number of sites that have jumped up to allow you to use a URL for the site to point to your own.  Many of these are for allowing you to use smaller URLs for what could otherwise be a lengthy path.  Of these seems to be the most popular, a free, ad-sponsored site that litters twitter feeds.
Reducing the amount of characters in a database can save a considerable amount of space, according to how many links you have.  It can also allow you to paste links that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to use in sites that don’t allow enough characters for lengthy URLs.  It can also be helpful if you send people links in emails and line breaks cause them to have to reassemble the link.  You can also use this to have people open links without knowing what site they’re actually visiting…   For fun, there’s another site out there called GiantURL.  GiantURL actually takes URLs and makes them huge.  Therefore it will take more space than it was likely meant to in the initial link.  For example, if you have a short URL, such as to send someone you can pop it into GiantURL, make it huge, more than likely causing them to have to cut-copy-paste or delete characters in the address bar of the browser and wasting their time.  A very nice way to be annoying when you feel like it…