DerekAllard.com

Its sad to learn that spammers have a better vocabulary than me

Back when I first setup this blog, one of the first things I did was setup akismet to catch spam (Sidebar:huge props to Lodewijk “Low” Schutte for his article on setting up Akismet for ExpressionEngine). I just checked today for false positives, which I do every few days. Generally the spam is very easy to spot and I delete it sight unseen, but today I took the time to read the few spam comments that were caught. 8 of them were banal, but the 9th was hilarious.

Now I know that that they often try to decieve filters with Madlib style randomly made up sentences, but this one couldn’t have turned out any better.

Your blog was of armpit awesome again even though it was petrifying for me to flagulate what happened.You turned what could have been a very folderol thing into something side-splitting and positive. Do pick with care! Also you dwell portable radio news programme show.I betrothed you xoxox

And doubly funny is that “folderol” is actually a word.


fol⋅de⋅ral [fol-duh-ral]
–noun

1. mere nonsense; foolish talk or ideas.
2. a trifle; gimcrack; gew-gaw.

Its a sad day when I learn that spammers have a better vocabulary than you do. The good news is that “flagulate” is not a word, and I get to keep holding my head high!

EllisLab Business Card

Hot on the trail of my last post (”Coolest business card I’ve ever seen”) Lookie what arrived in the mail today.

EllisLab Business Card

I have to admit, I love them. I think its the perfect mix of playful and professional, and really captures the spirit of ExpressionEngine. The text is a little hard to read, but on the back it reads:

{exp:robots orders=“kill all humans”}
    http://derekallard.com
    @dallard
{/exp:robots}

If you’re an EE user, you’ll recognize the {exp} syntax right away, and of course the other bits are my website (d’uh) and my Twitter. I’m thinking about writing in an {exp:robots} easter egg now, just for people who get my card! (yeah, ok, I won’t, but let’s just say that robots may make an appearance in EE2).

Quick Link: Coolest business card I’ve ever seen

Found via the watchmaker project, I present the coolest business card I’ve ever seen!

Rebuilding DerekAllard.com: The invasion has progressed

Who doesn’t love cheesy killer robots? Nobody that’s who!

I’ve decided to give my blog a facelift. We’ve been living with the old design for a few years now, and those darn robots just weren’t making as much progress on the invasion as they thought they would - so I decided to help them along with a rebuild.  Here’s the before and after:

Keep reading to see drafts of the robots as they evolved, and a peak into the process of the rebuild.

All your DerekAllard.com are belong to us

They’re coming…
Conquering the worlds of web design

Clickjacking: Web pages can see and hear you

This one scares me.  Click jacking essentially is where various vulnerabilities in browser, OS and the Flash player allow a malicious user to use your camera and microphone without your knowledge.  There are many variations on it, but today Adobe released an advisory statement on the implications within the Flash player, and now the beans are officially spilled.

I first read about it via Jeremiah Grossman’s blog, and then quickly thereafter on ha.ckers.org.  The definitive proof of concept can be found at guya.net, and all things considered I actually have a Post It note over my camera at the moment.

These sources cover it much better then I could, but let me just say that what scares me mostly is the variety with which this can be executed.  Javascript, CSS, iFrames, known browser or OS vulnerabilities.  The only current (practical) way to protect one’s self is to cripple plugins (in todays world of YouTube… I don’t see that happening) or to permanently change the security permissions of the Flash player (Adobe’s instructions), probably needing to cripple them, otherwise one could get clickjacked back into restoring them.

Even more terrifying is what a hacker would have seen and heard coming from my office this morning.  I’ll spare you the visuals, but it would have sounded like “Meow, meow, meow, meeeeeeoooowwwwwww!” and then “who’s a frisky girl… who’s a frisky girl”, followed by my cat making a nice big scratch under my eye…

Cool Stuff for Cool People

Man there’s good stuff on the net, and sometimes I even get a moment to read it!

The great adsense experiment on this site is over

Earlier this week I put a Google Adsense banner above the first entry on the page.  Most of my traffic is RSS, and you may have never noticed, but if you came to the site to read an article… or you know… visit the old fashioned way, then you were probably greeted by it.  After looking at it for a few days, I’ve decided that those ads are just not something I want there right now.  I mean gah, look at this… how fugly does it get?

Want to see how fugly?  Keep reading.

New look for EllisLab.com, and the GREATEST about us page of all time

EllisLab.com got a bit of an over-hauling yesterday by Rick.  The new site is much more spacious and clean, and well… sexier.  Now normally a site redesign would be a one line entry, or possibly no entry at all, but this new site brings something very, very cool with it.  It features what I consider (without overstatement) to be the greatest company profile pages of all time. Each of the EllisLab staff have been masterfully illustrated as a super hero.  The results are positively stunning.

Keep reading to see them.

jQuery on DerekAllard.com

I’ve been saying for a little while now that I’ve fallen in love with jQuery, and I mean, who hasn’t?  I’m so impressed with it, and so are the other smart people at EllisLab, that we’re integrating it into CodeIgniter, and into ExpressionEngine.  But this blog still doesn’t use it.  If you poke into the source code, you’ll see Mootools.

<script type="text/javascript" src="/js/mootools.js"></script> 

So I’ve been wanting to migrate my own code to recently out of Moo, and into jQuery.  This will let me do a few things, not the least of which is apply the CI jQuery library in another real-world test case.  So why haven’t I moved it yet?  Well, a quick audit of my code, and the only thing I’m using Moo for is the fancy lightbox effect on my about page, and several posts.  It actually is Slimbox, a clone of Lokesh Dhakar’s excellent (and popular) Lightbox.  So the short answer, is that I didn’t want to migrate the legacy code.

Then it dawned on me, my code is all semantic and clean, there’s no javascript hooks, the only markup used to implement lightbox is

<a rel="lightbox" href="something">...</a

so it should be an easy replacement.  Then yesterday, (via Ed Finkler’s Funkatron), I found the jQuery Lightbox plugin.  How is it that I only just yesterday found this?

A quick look, and it seems to be solidly written, the semantics are the same, and it should be (apologies to Ron Popeil) the “set it and forget it” solution I’ve been looking for.

So in the next few days, the plan is to migrate DerekAllard.com to jQuery, and start adding a bit more sexiness into the robot.

Next post: my favourite jQuery plugins ;)