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Tech Tips

Know thy enemy

This paper on honeynet.org is an excellent discussion of web application security issues. Read it and weep.

Secret Stuff - AdSense competitive filter tool and URL/site ranking and visibility links tool

I've added a couple of handy webmaster tools to the site, but they've been hidden for a while - so it's time to let you all know about them:

URL/Site visibility links tool - quick links to SEO tools. I've added this page because I find myself checking these statistics from time to time, and wanted a convenient place to stash my collection of links. Since I went through the trouble, I figured someone else might find it useful.

URL/site ranking and visibility links for your URL

Site visibility and ranking links

URL: http://

Note: URLs may be case-sensitive - be sure to use the same case used on your site!
This tool provides handy links to various online tools you can use to check a site's ranking, backlinks, and 'visibility' in various search engines, social bookmarking sites, blog trackers, etc.
Links for URL http://exodusdev.com/
Technorati LinksLinks to this URL on Technorati
del.icio.us bookmarksCheck del.icio.us bookmarks for this url
Yahoo Site Explorer - SITEWIDEInbound links to site
Yahoo Site Explorer - URLInbound links to this URL
Alexa statisticsHow does Alexa like exodusdev.com?
Live PageRankCheck PageRank across multiple data centers

How to evaluate a web site

I found this page over on the UC Berkeley Library site describing a set of steps to use in evaulating web pages - how to determine whether the information on the page should be trusted. The guide offers a list of suggested questions to ask, and the implications associated with the answer to those questions.

This can help you develop a critical eye when visiting a web page.

Help for the weary Drupal developer: api.drupal.org and drupal.org OpenSearch plugins




OpenSearch Plug-ins for Drupal.org, Drupal 4.7 API, Drupal 5 API, and Drupal 6 API

I've created some Drupal-specific OpenSearch plugins for Firefox (and IE7, too!). They provide Drupal.org and api.drupal.org search integration in browsers supporting the OpenSearch search plugin protocol.
They are useful when searching for Drupal API routines or other Drupal development subjects. Install them as you would any other OpenSearch plugin...

When DID you load that page?

Page rendered on Mon, 05/29/2017 - 8:41pm
(0 seconds ago)

When I'm viewing Drupal administration pages, like referrer logs or other time-sensitive pages, I like to know the time of the last 'refresh' (and therefore how stale the page content is).

So, here's a quick and dirty Drupal block definition. (The javascript is not very idiomatic, but it'll do for now until I can update it. In fact, I plan on making it a pure client-side javascript widget, but that's another post for another day.)

It will display the date and time the page was last loaded, and the 'age' of the page in seconds - it uses a javascript interval timer to update this every second.

Insert AdSense Ads Automatically in Drupal Nodes and Teaser Lists

Here's a useful Drupal module that tweaks a node's body or teaser to insert an inline AdSense ad, when a node is rendered on a full page or teaser list.

This allows site administrators to enable automatic insertion of an AdSense ad into the page without the content editor having to insert inline [adense] filter tags, or having to edit a site's template.php (or other template files.) This offers a big advantage, as you can change the ad format, group, and channel on the fly without hand-editing each node (which is the only way I can think of doing it if you are using inline filters). Another advantage is that you can enable/disable the inserted AdSense with just a click of the mouse - no need to edit each node.

List of PayPal buttons - cheat sheet

Here's a list of PayPal buttons to help avoid wasting time filling out forms on Paypal's site.

I find PayPal's site to be cumbersome at best, and if you are not on a fast internet connection, browsing through all the "user friendly" pages to find the information you need can take a long time.

So, this page contains a list of all PayPal checkout buttons I can find, and I include a link to each button so you can copy and paste it in to your own web pages with minimal fuss.

User profile spam attack

On Christmas Eve day, several of my sites were 'visited' by what I presume to be a bot, all from the same source IP address.

The attack consisted of attempts to register many new user accounts, each having a username containing the term 'DVD':

Soccer DVD, DVD Immature, Underworld DVD, Adult DVD, Enigma DVD, DVD shrink, Blues DVD, Trick DVD, Portable DVD Player, DVD Decryptor, Federation DVD

The email addresses were all unique of course - since the bot attempted to register multiple user names on each site. The sites were configured to include a text field user profile, so that users can share interests, etc.

The spam bots were stuffing URLs and text ads for DVDs into the profile fields, in an attempt to generate search engine "link love", or so it appears.

WinXP/IE6/Sendmail.dll

Updated: 2005.08.18
Added links to WFP info and tools

When you click the "Send a Link..." menu item in Internet Explorer 6, Outlook Express 6 attaches a .URL file, but doesn't insert a plain-text version of the link in your email message.

I don't know who thought that this was a good thing, but it is annoying.

Here's some info on how you might be able to fix it. (I had used these techniques on a pre-SP1 XP Pro installation, but there have been some changes since then, so please check the updates below.)

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