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  • Defeating the DiggBar…

    Posted on April 11th, 2009 Finster No comments

    from-the-internetI ran into this little snippet at Daring Fireball:

    Last week Digg released something they call the DiggBar, which serves as both a new interface for Digg and doubles as a URL shortening service. The way it works is that you just add “” at the beginning of any URL, and Digg creates a short URL in the form of Here’s an example DiggBar URL that points to Further, the Digg homepage now links to these DiggBar URLs rather than linking directly to other web sites.

    But unlike normal URL shortening services, when you load these Digg URLs, rather than redirect you to the original URL, Digg loads a page which frames the content of the original site. As a user, what you see is that the URL in your browser’s location field remains, and the content of the destination site loads underneath a Digg-branded toolbar.

    Obviously, this is a problem.

    I’ve gone ahead and implemented Daring Fireball’s 3 lines of PHP code on my site here. You can see my results:

    Begone, DiggNation.

    UPDATE: Apparently, Digg has not set up the diggBar so that Digg doesn’t show up as the HTTP_REFERER. Therefore, I’ve had to unleash the nuclear option and added some javascript to block all framing whatsoever. Not really what I wanted to do, but until I come up with another solution, it will have to do.

  • AP: Youtube Knowledge Fail

    Posted on April 9th, 2009 Finster No comments

    In response to this, I am posting the following:

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Sony Home: A true Metaverse?

    Posted on October 8th, 2008 Finster No comments

    As Hiro approaches the street, he sees two couples probably using their parent’s computer for a double date in the Metaverse. He’s not seeing real people, of course. It’s all part of a moving illustration created by his computer from specifications coming down the fiber optic cable. These people are pieces of software called avatars. They are the audiovisual bodies that people use to communicate with each other in the Metaverse.

    From Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson.

    For those that don’t know. The Metaverse was the fictional social virtual-reality MMO experience that featured prominently in Snow Crash, a cyberpunk novel by Neal Stephenson. Back in ’92 (when Snow Crash was published) virtual reality and the possibilities it brought to gaming were still extremely interesting, especially for the media. Cyber-this and Cyber-that. I figured that a global virtual network like the Metaverse was just a year or two away from fruition. (In fact, Snow Crash helped popularize the Sanskrit term “avatar” to denote online identities.)

    Forward 16 years to 2008 and we’re all a little wiser and a little more cynical, perhaps. The awe I had at “virtual reality” and “holodecks” has been replaced by a kind of “Where’s my flying car?” attitude.

    Then, there’s Sony’s Playstation Home concept. Much maligned as it has hobbled along through Beta, it certainly isn’t the first free-form virtual reality experience. Second Life is probably the most widespread at this point, being so popular that it’s even been featured in an episode of CSI: New York. But reading an article by Stephen Totilo at MTV’s multiplayer blog has shed some much needed light of optimism on Home.

    [Jack] Buser [director of Home] didn’t say the things you might think of when you see “Home.” He didn’t mention virtual world “Second Life” or the current most ambitious interface for a console community, Xbox Live, as he walked me through the version of “Home’ that is currently available to select PS3 owners as part of an “expanded beta.” He described this PS3 service, this 3D virtual world as “something that hasn’t been done before.”

    I had expected to hear about features. I hadn’t, however, expected his pitch for the service to be so psychological. Buser seemed excited about what “Home” could do, but even more motivated to explain to me why gamers would want in. He talked to me about “the life of a gamer,” and how “Home” is designed to improve it.

    How do gamers meet each other these days? Buser asked me this question a number of ways, arguing that there isn’t really a place where this is easily done. There hasn’t been a good place for gamers to meet since the arcades, he said. “Home” can fix that.

    Interesting. I remember the arcades. I also remember the other places gamers would meet. The basement of the South Dakota State administration building, affectionately known as “The Dungeon”, where I could log onto the internet and download new “stuff” onto 3.5″ floppies. I got to know a couple of the regulars down there. Those were the days… but those days are gone. With ubiquitous internet and powerful gaming consoles available in every home, there’s no longer any need to travel someplace else to “get connected.” Thus, no need to meet anyone face to face, either.

    In Snow Crash, the main character, Hiro Protaganist, goes online to head to virtual bars and clubs (built by him and his hacker buddies, of course) where they can meet up, socialize, sword fight, and naturally, something interesting happens and away we go. However, there is this idea that we don’t go to bars and arcades to socialize as gamers. We go online. We have a Gamerscore. We have a Friend Code. We build our own online identity.

    My impression has been changed. What I hadn’t seen or had explained to me when I entered “Home” on my own those few months ago, was the function and helpfulness of the community. “Home” will be pointless if no one’s in it, if its central plazas are empty. Buser said they won’t even launch “Home” — an event scheduled for this fall — until they meet their goal to “have a kind of community to show people around.” The idea is it’s all social. You go to an area of “Uncharted” to find out what people there think of the game or to ask for a hint. Yes, some of us would go to NeoGAF or Metacritic or GameFAQs for that kind of stuff. But perhaps the average PS3 owner wouldn’t. For them, perhaps “Home” is the answer to questions they barely knew they had: Where do they go to meet people just like them?

    This is truly fascinating if it can catch on. If not, it’ll probably be because it was too early. Just like the virtual reality goggles. A little too much, too soon, perhaps? We’ll see. It’s still not enough to get me to buy a PS3… but maybe… just maybe it can recapture the magic of those olden days. Maybe the days of “The Dungeon” are on their way back. Maybe we’ll have a true Metaverse.

    That would be really cool.

  • Zombie Attack!

    Posted on June 11th, 2008 Finster No comments

    Corvus over at Man Bytes Blog has issued the following meme discussion:

    You are in a mall when the zombies attack. You have:

    1. one weapon.
    2. one song blasting on the speakers.
    3. one famous person to fight alongside you

    This is so easy.

    1. The trusty Halberd. Corvus’s shovel is definitely a good choice, but I think I want something a little longer, and a little sharper.

    2. “Doomsday Clock” by Smashing Pumpkins.

    3. The Rock. Seems like a nice guy, and I think he could be trusted to watch my back and hold his own against the zombies.

    (I admit that this is kind of cheating for me. I’ve read World War Z.)

  • Carnival of Gamers! Wiiiii!

    Posted on May 4th, 2006 Finster No comments

    Sorry… bad pun… I’ll apologize for that, right now.

    In any event, the latest Carnival of Gamers is up. I just read the notification in Bloglines, so I haven’t read any of the articles. Looks like a lot of good stuff though. I can’t wait to dig in…

  • My Bloglines widget

    Posted on May 2nd, 2006 Finster 15 comments

    I have created a simple WordPress widget to display my own Bloglines subscriptions. Feel free to download it and use it on your own blog. It has a simple configuration form so that you can set the widget title and enter your Bloglines username.

    If you aren’t familiar with WordPress or Widgets, WordPress is the content management software I use to display all of our wonderful weblog posts. A widget is a kind of “plugin-within-a-plugin” that allows me to quickly customize the content of my sidebar.

    Download: My Bloglines widget

    Also, if anyone has any bugs and/or feedback about this widget, please send me some email at finster [at] gmail [dot] com and please include “Bloglines Widget” in the subject.

  • Installing CS:S server…

    Posted on April 18th, 2006 Finster 2 comments

    Well, I’m installing a Counter-Strike: Source server on my FreeBSD box here. Hopefully, I can get it up and running on here. The server is designed to run on Linux, so I figured I would document my procedures and steps that I took, so if anyone else wanted to get HLDS running on a FreeBSD box, maybe my humble efforts will be helpful.

    I’m pretty much planning on following these instructions I found via Google.

    I’ve done all of this so far:

    1) adduser hlds && passwd hlds
    2) su hlds
    3) cd ~
    4) wget
    5) chmod +x hldsupdatetool.bin && ./hldsupdatetool.bin
    5a) If you see an error about not finding /bin/uncompress type ln -s /bin/gunzip /bin/uncompress && ./hldsupdatetool.bin
    6) ./steam -command update -game gamename -dir ~/hlds -username yoursteamaccountgoeshere -password yourrealpasswordgoeshere
    6a) Replace gamename above with cstrike for CS, tfc for TFC, dod for Day of Defeat, “counter-strike source” for CS:S (yes, you need the quotations)
    7) The tool will probably update itself, and then begin downloading the files. Eat a snack or get off your behind for a bit, and take a walk. This can take awhile.

    So, right now, I’m just waiting for everything to download to my server. I’ll update when that finishes…

    Okay, so the download is finished. I have now downloaded phpUA and PHPAdmin as well. I think I’m going to try and install PHPAdmin first.

    Update: Bleh. Trying to install addons is worse than pulling teeth. It seems that most of the documentation predates the Source Dedicated Server, and when it doesn’t the documentation is usually flat out wrong. For now, the server itself runs great… but the addons are a completely different issue…

    Update 2: I managed to get mani-admin-plugin installed and working. I gives me all of the functionality I wanted, and then some. I also installed Webmin and set up an interface theough Webmin to start and stop the server, and edit some of the config files. So far, it seems to be running pretty smoothly. If anyone has a desire to check out the server, simply add a server with the address of “″ and you’ll be able to get on.

  • Finster’s Spam

    Posted on March 17th, 2006 Finster No comments

    Just going over some of my recent spam emails…

    This one is titled Re: Pharablmacy News. Now, even if I did send an email about Pharmacy News that this “bartomeu demasi” could reply to, I’m pretty sure I know how to spell “pharmacy”.


    The Ultimate Online Pharmaceutical: Vliwagra

    If you’re going to go to the trouble to spell “pharmaceutical” correctly, Viagra shouldn’t be THAT hard. I mean, come on, do you really think I’ll be more likely to read an email about “Vliwagra”?

    Hey how r u

    If my friend sent me an email with THAT in the subject, I would no longer allow them to be my friend.

    My good friend “zavier” sent this one: You blase of being undersized. I am.

    Uh… sounds like a personal problem, buddy.

    Well, join us next time, when I explore the intricacies of SAD TO HAVE SHORT BIGGER 2″ NOW AT NEW LOW. Yes… new low, indeed.

  • Love Joss Whedon?

    Posted on October 4th, 2005 Finster No comments

    Yes. Yes, I do.

    Google’s ads are sometimes eerily intelligent in the questions they might pose.

  • At least I have chicken…

    Posted on September 26th, 2005 Finster No comments

    AFK Gamer had a link to The Leeroy Jenkins Soundboard.

    And in case you have not been introduced to the World of Warcraft hilarity that is: The Leeroy Jenkins video.

    Leeroy Jenkins is the funniest thing on the internet since the Star Wars Kid.