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Automating vote tallying on the Google+ "Light Box" community: The TallyBot

The Light Box is a Google+ community that allows people to submit photos for community review. Qualified community members 'vote' on photos by leaving a comment with sequential hashtags like "#delete1", "#delete2", "save5", etc. The when the saves or deletes reach 10, we have a winner (the first to reach the threshold wins.)

Find the top commenters on a Google+ post

I've created a simple web app to show the top comments and commenters for a Google+ post. There's a simple bookmarklet that allows you to see results for a post you're viewing on Google+.

The current features are early beta test stage. I'll be adding new features over the next few weeks.

Feedback welcome!

Twitter Streaming API utility for Python

I've released twitter-streamer ("Streamer") under the MIT license.

Streamer is a simple Python script that dumps tweets using Twitter's streaming API via the statuses/filter method.

Social Media Smack Down: Sex, Drugs, and Coffee

I've been working on a web app that tracks and displays recent social media trends.

During the limited beta test, I'm using it to monitor social media trends for sex, drugs, and coffee.

Sex, Drugs, and Coffee: by the minute

By the minute, in the last 60 minutes:

Sex, Drugs, and Coffee: by the hour

By the hour, for the last 24 hours:

PyFiddle

PyFiddle

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Google Chrome Hacks and Tips

How do I do the following in Google Chrome? What is this thing doing in Google Chrome?

I'm concerned about privacy. How do protect my privacy while I browse? How do I block tracking cookies and ad networks in Chrome?

Disable Google Instant Search in FireFox and Chrome

I'll show you how to disable Google Instant Search without being signed in to a Google account!

I despise (really!) Google Instant Search. I find it annoying, distracting and unnecessary. If you are a long-time Google search user, you might feel the same way.

Google, once revered for its clean, simple search interface, seems like it's doing everything in its power to alienate users, by rejecting the principles that once attracted users away from bloated, annoying search engines of the past.

How do I turn off Google Instant Search?

You can disable Google Instant search by setting your account preferences while signed in to a Google account.

But what if you aren't signed in? What if you don't have and don't want a Google account?

Easy: Just visit http://www.google.com/search?complete=0 – bookmark that search (or set it as your home page if you like having Google's search page visible when you start your browser). It appears that you can add the complete=0 parameter to any Google search URL and it will disable the Google Instant search feature.

How do I turn off Google Instant in Chrome's OmniBox or FireFox Search Bar?

How to disable Google Instant in Chrome Omnibox

If you use Google's Chrome browser, and you like to use the Omnibox address bar you can disable the instant search feature in results pages (the page you see after you hit enter or 'go') by changing the built-in Google search engine template. Here's how:

Bring up the "Options" form (Wrench button, Options). Click the Manage Search Engines button.

Now, select the Google.com search engine's search template in the third column:

Replace the entire search URL template field with following text:
http://www.google.com/search?complete=0&q=%s

Dismiss the "Search Engines" form.

In addition, you might want to disable the Enable Instant for faster searching and browsing option, as this option is a form of Instant Search within the Omnibox address bar.

How do I turn off Google Instant in FireFox's Search Bar?

But what about FireFox? If you like to use the built-in search bar's Google OpenSearch feature, it's a bit more work.

The easy way

We've provided an OpenSearch plugin installer on this page to simplify the process. Simply drop down your FireFox Search Bar and click "Add Google NoInstant" to your search bar:

The hard(er) way

This method requires that you copy and rename FireFox's built-in Google.xml OpenSearch template, which is found in the FireFox installation folder's "searchplugins" folder, modify it to add the <Param name="complete" value="0"/> parameter entry (see below), then install the new OpenSearch definition in the FireFox profile folder's "searchplugins" folder.

Restart FireFox and click the Search Bar's dropdown button, and you should see Google NoInstant listed; make that your default search provider and you should be rid of the Google Instant curse henceforth.

What is ielowutil.exe and why is it running on my computer?

If you're anything like me, you've noticed that Internet Explorer 8 and 9 seem to be accompanied by a child process named ielowutil.exe. The file properties description for this process isn't very helpful, and, in fact, might lead you to believe that it has something to do with your computer's microphone!

The file description reads: Internet Low-Mic Utility Tool. This sure sounds like it's doing something with your microphone, doesn't it? It turns out that this is a misleading description.

Drupal 6 Block Cache Mode Patch Module

Overview

Drupal 6 has a long-standing bug in the block module (as of 5/10/2011). This bug affects block caching mechanisms. The bug manifests itself if you have block caching enabled.

Once a module's blocks have been registered with the system (in the {blocks} table), the block's caching mode settings are never updated in the {blocks} table, regardless of subsequent cache flushes or other system updates. This is only a problem for modules that change the 'cache' info returned from hook_block op='list' calls.

Uninstalling and re-installing the module won't fix the problem due to another Drupal 6 bug.

More info

This problem impacts any module that changes the caching mode returned in hook_block('info') operation. In particular, the views module allows you to edit a block view's caching mode after creation, but, due to this bug, the changes will never take effect, leading to much head-scratching.

More info

The fix

There are a few core patches available (see Issue 235673, above), but they may not apply cleanly to your Drupal 6 installation; I don't patch core unless there's a critical need. In this case, the patches failed to apply on the sites that needed the fix. So I created a simple custom module that implements the guts of the most recent patch.

Note: You can download the module in the Attachments section, below. Leave a comment if you find this module useful, or, if you have questions about it.

Essential Drupal Modules for Drupal 7

Drupal 7 has been released. As expected, it appears to be a significant improvement over Drupal 6 and earlier versions. Congratulations to the core team for this major milestone!

But what about essential contributed modules? The #D7CX (Drupal 7 Contrib Experience) effort was intended to ensure that Drupal 7 did not suffer the same fate as the Drupal 6 release -- many modules were not available for Drupal 6 well after its release (the problem continues to this day).

In order to make the biggest possible impact, we need as many modules as possible to have full Drupal 7 releases on the day when core Drupal 7 is released. Our failure to accomplish this for Drupal 6 was devastating. So, let's turn our attention toward D7CX - Drupal 7 Contrib Experience.

We are collecting pledges from maintainers to support the D7CX effort. A pledge consists of writing a statement like below at the top of your project page on drupal.org. [...]

Source: http://d7cx.com/node/1 (now defunct)

My experience shows that availability of stable contributed modules is crucial to adoption: I delayed migration from Drupal 5 to Drupal 6 on my existing web sites for well over a year, and when rolling out a new web site that would have been perfectly suited to Drupal, I chose to roll out with Drupal 5 due to the availability of fully released and tested contributed modules.

As a former Drupal contrib module developer, I understand the difficulties related to upgrading modules for each major version's new release. I'm just now getting back into Drupal module development, and with the Drupal 7 release now a reality, I wanted to know how successful the #D7CX pledge effor twas. So I started digging around, looking for contributed modules with a full

As of today, 1/9/2011, here are some of my favorite Drupal contributed modules that do not have a full Drupal 7 release available on the project homepage. (Most have alpha, beta, or -dev versions available, and they may be perfectly usable on a production site, though I'd suggest a thorough test first.)

  • Administration Menu
  • Adsense
  • Adsense Injector
  • Amazon
  • Bad Behavior
  • Devel
  • Google Analytics
  • Image API
  • LoginToboggan
  • Mollom
  • Panels
  • PathAuto
  • Token
  • Views
  • XML Sitemaps

So, unless I misunderstand what "a full Drupal 7 release" means, it looks like we have a ways to go. I will see if there is any way I can assist in the effort...

How about you? What modules do you rely on, and are they available for Drupal 7 as a full release? If not, what can you do to help make the Drupal 7 version available soon?

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