Ideas for the online revolution.

Comcast is Blacklisting this Site's Email Server

Comcast is blacklisting our mail server and has done so for the past several months or possibly more. It probably isn't targetted at this site, so much as it is targetted at part or all of Jaguarpc.com (where we are hosted). So it could be any one of thousands of sites hosted on Jaguarpc that sent out spam or email that was perceived to be spam.

This means that people with Comcast email addresses:
1) do not get confirmation emails
2) cannot reset their passwords
3) do not get email newsletters

In general, Comcast users won't get ANY email from this site.

I've been trying to fix this solution for a couple months, but haven't made any progress. Recently I got a phone number for Comcast, so I'm going to try and get the JaguarPC support team to make a call to solve the problem.

Greenpeace Melt Tool

Greenpeace has launched their Melt software on
Cool The Planet

The interface is weird. For instance, I type in Philadelphia and it gives me a long list of unlikely cities that I'd live in. I suspect 99% of people who type in Philadelphia, want Philadelphia, PA. The 7000 people in Philadelphia, MS should use a zip code or something.

They'll probably improve the interface and it will be more interesting once people add content.

Converting MySQL Database to Unicode

This article is an excellent resource:
http://www.geeklog.net/article.php/200410120657418

Basically if you want to convert your data to unicode (utf-8), then to preserve your european characters with accents like é à ç, you have to
1) do a mysql dump
2) convert the fields to utf-8 in the table structure (I use utf8_unicode_ci)
3) use a text editor, like EditPad Pro, to convert the mysql dump file into UTF-8.
4) use another text editor, like Textpad, to delete the first three junk characters:
"" You can see these by opening Textpad in binary mode (which is read-only).

Then to delete the junk, open it in Textpad's regular mode. Then delete the first character in the file and re-enter it using the keyboard (This is weird, but it appears to clear the hidden three junk characters). Then open it in Textpad using the "binary" mode to verify that they are gone.

MySpaceFeed 1.01 Release

I fixed two bugs in my MySpaceFeed software that caused the output to look bad (unneeded line break, and it would split words in half).

You can get the new version (1.01) at www.myspacefeed.com.

A Release is Coming Soon to a Website Near You

Ok, I'm serious. I mean it. A real release. Mass chaos. Security issues. Error messages galore. Bugs. Struggling at 3am to fix things, because traffic is lower then and less people will notice.

I'm hoping to convert campusactivism.org (and activismnetwork.org) over to Version 3.0 of this software that has been in development for about TWO YEARS.

It will mostly look like activismnetwork.org does now. However there is a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes. For instance I tried to make everything better organized and simpler (ex. the number of MySQL tables will fall from around 70 to around 50). There is better documentation of the code. I've got decent international support which I'm inviting developers to test out by installing the software on their own website. I wrote an installation guide and made it easier to install.

MySpace Feed - Beta Release

MySpace Feed - uses Magpie to convert RSS feeds into images for use on MySpace, Friendster, and other sites that don't allow you to have RSS feeds.

MySpace Feed
Click on the Download Source Code link at the bottom.

If you are interested in doing changes (which is totally fine with me), please post on the forum so others know about it.

I haven't put so much work into it, because I'm still not sure if that many people are going to use it. However recently a couple people have emailed me to express interest.

Activism Network - Turkey

I'm working on getting Activism Network software to work for an activist in Turkey. So I'm struggling with

1) Importing the Geonames Table - with UTF-8
I had to re-import the geonames table (that has world cities, with longitudes/latitudes) so that I would preserve the UTF-8 fields. UTF-8 uses 1-3 characters to express each letter and can support almost all of the world's languages. I had a lot of trouble importing data. Finally got it to work using Navicat's import wizard when I split the data into two chunks (otherwise it was only importing 37,000 of the 53,000 rows). Turkey has 53,000 rows in the geonames table - so hopefully most of the small to large cities are in it. It's only 4mb - so the size isn't bad at all if you just need data for one country. By contrast, the entire geonames database is 400mb (with indexes).

Google "Update" - June 27

Google changed its search engine rankings significantly on June 27. It's probably not an actual algorithm change. According to several people on WebmasterWorld it is more likely that Google removed sites from its database entirely, quite possibly by accident.

You can tell if this happenned to your site, by noticing if your traffic fell by a huge amount on June 27 (I have a site where my Google traffic fell 98% -- eg it is 1/50th of what it was before), if when you search for exact rare terms (eg "keyword1 keyword2 keyword3 keyword4" - be sure to use quotations) that your site always appears last or almost last in the rankings, and if when you do a google search for site:www.domain.org your homepage doesn't show up as the first result.

Re-Forming the New Students for a Democratic Society Conference - Aug 4-8, 2006, Chicago - ATTEND!

Today Students for a Democratic Society reached 1000 members (note: not paid members, people who self-identify as members)! They also have over 120 people registered for their conference. They've held several regional gatherings, have active chapters (how many is hard to say as many of the chapters are recent start-ups), and a very active email list (perhaps more active than any other student activist email list that I'm on).

They don't have any paid organizers, nor much of a budget. So their current progress is impressive!

I strongly encourage any student (or campus activist) interested in national networking to

Open Source Social Networking Launch - PeopleAggregator and GoingOn

Two new open source social networks have just launched. They branched off from the same code-base and thus share a lot of the same functionality. PeopleAggregator (for information about the software) or try PeopleAggregator out is a bit more grassroots and GoingOn is more corporate.

The Mercury News has a story about them.

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