Looking for News

Try the following suggestions to increase your daily intake of news feeds.

  • Surf the latest headlines from all over the world. Results are based on google search rankings, the larger the font –> the more hits in google, I recall. Headlines link to an array of news organizations.
  • Aggregate a few headlines from, say, cbc.ca/rss in your own blog sidebar.
  • Create your own online newsreader at bloglines.com or google reader.

Add your own suggested news feeds or feed aggregators in a comment or trackback here.

Hotlinking Images? We have all done it. Warnings!Warnings!Warnings!

When adding an image to your page on iblog.stjschool.org with a link to an image on another site, you may get unexpected results. This is called hotlinking: when images appear to be embedded on your page, but are simply linked to someone else’s page.

Advantages: no bandwidth or disk quota used from your account because you are not storing/delivering the image here.

Disadvantage: many “smart” sites forbid and display a 404 error. Some may just limit to a finite number, say 5 visits per day. Unscrupulous sites will surprise your visitors with a redirected hotlink path to images you didn’t want to show. YIKES! Hence, HOT- linking, as in play with fire? … gonna get burned.

The ethics of “hotlinking” can be equated to the ethics of stealing an image without the original author’s permission. Look for a “you are forbidden” message. But that’s not all, a web server can simply detect a hotlinked image and replace it with anything they like. Be warned, if I can program the snowotherway server to refer all attempts at hotlinking to a 404.html file, so can any other. Judge wisely, test and retest a “hotlinked” image before committing it to publication. Unscrupulous webservers fight this “theft” in unscrupulous ways, so be very careful.

Now, a smart web host, like snowotherway, will use server settings to eliminate the practice of “hotlinking” into your file folders to “steal” our bandwidth. And, no, I won’t refer redirects to “unscrupulous” images.

Commercial sites like Amazon.ca, and imdb.com, may even encourage the practice of hotlinking for obvious commercial reasons. But they are huge, have tonnes of bandwidth, and they may profit if you follow an image from their site.

Conclusion, a human is the only judge of what a picture image on the ‘net looks like. No computer or software can actually “see” an image. So be warned, what you tell another site to deliver in an image to your web page, may not be what your visitors get.

Out,

D. Sader

Found snow mold

I have noticed some themes generate error messages under certain conditions. I am trying to fix code so broken themes, widgets, and plugins work perfectly.

The most popular errors in the server logs are when widgets are used to display content you haven’t created yet. For example, including a recent comments widget in your sidebar, before you actually have any comments will result in an error message. I included a Links widget in PingoLino, but I didn’t have any links, hundreds of errors.

Trying to sort out which errors I need to pay attention too, and which errors are merely the result of carelessness is tougher than I expect.Feed validator helps.

If you notice errors occurring in a particular theme, widget, or microcontent, let me know ASAP. Show me while you are at school.

When activating a new blog, don’t be in a rush to delete the default Mr. WordPress links or Hello World posts or comments. Having empty posts or comments or empty Blogroll causes errors to be reported as well. Most errors vanish after content, links, categories are added to your blog.

I’m certain you’ll see a rash of bizarre behaviour if you allow anyone else to be an administrator, author, contributor of your blog, I did in testing. If user A and user B both administer the same blog, all links/content appear on the pages they are supposed to, but when user A tries to Manage Links or Posts, only A’s posts and links appear and can be edited. This merely confused me, causing momentary panic, then confusion. Add users to your blog at your own risk. Do not make them Administrators, unless you know what you are doing and why. Anything you actually delete from your blog is gone. But stuff can be hidden in very many mysterious ways. Take care.

D. Sader

Style Your Blog

Before you go further, choose a theme that has a “Theme Editor” (variously titled such as “Theme Options”, “Edit Styles”). Choose a theme that allows you to change the header image AND the font colours(StripedPlus isn’t only one, is it?).

Step One: Title your blog.(do not use your name)
Step Two: Write your own one sentence blog description.
Step Three: Get an image from www.freefoto.com.
Step Four: Use Photoshop to put all layers together. Export the image, keep it less than 20k. Small .png is best.
Step Five: upload your image, find its url and copy/paste.

Pay attention to the imagery in the photo, synch with your blog title/description. Pay attention(eye dropper) to the colours in the image and edit your font colours. Choose a “unique” font in Photoshop for your blog title/description. Scale the final result to fit the fixed height/width of the header in your theme.