I did some coding yesterday to run a 2014 World Cup confidence pool on SportsFilter. The way a confidence pool works is you assign points to teams based on how confident you are they will win. In this contest, you get point values from 32 down to 1 and assign them to the 32 World Cup teams. The more points you assign a team, the more you are awarded when that team wins or ties a match. Anyone can sign up for a SportsFilter account and play. A prize will be awarded to the winner: the Adidas replica version of ... read more

I run my web servers by compiling the most important components from source code, which makes it possible for me to add security fixes more quickly and fine-tune my installations of Apache, MySQL and PHP. While compiling the new release PHP 5.2.8 this weekend, the make process failed with this error: /usr/bin/ld: /usr/mysql/lib/mysql/libz.a(compress.o): relocation R_X86_64_32 against 'a local symbol' can not be used when making a shared object; recompile with -fPIC /usr/mysql/lib/mysql/libz.a: could not read ... read more

I've added a MySQL database to Weblog-Pinger, my weblog update notification class library for PHP, so that it can track ping attempts and keep from hitting the same server too often. Some notification services reject pings sent too frequently. When I was the king of pings for six months in 2005, Weblogs.Com rejected pings sent more frequently than once per half-hour. If you try to ping Ping-O-Matic too often today, you get the error message "Pinging too fast. Slow down cowboy. Please ping no more than once every 5 ... read more

The RSS Advisory Board site now includes all of the articles, weblog entries, and comments from the group's old Manila site, dating back to the group's founding in 2004. I never got a copy of the old site's root file from Harvard, so I collected the content using an obscure but cool feature of Manila: All site content is saved in the discussion board as individual messages, each of which can be downloaded as an OPML file. For example, open this weblog entry from Craig Burton's Manila blog in OPML format. I wrote a ... read more

I switched to Atom 1.0 on Workbench two months ago, a move that hasn't been as smooth as I'd like because of one popular aggregator that doesn't support the format. This site is created using Wordzilla, a LAMP-based weblog publishing tool that I've developed over the last year. Writing code to generate Atom feeds in PHP was extremely simple, since most of the code used to generate RSS feeds could be applied to the task. Atom uses a different format for date-time values than RSS, so I had to write new date-handling ... read more

Earlier this week, Mozilla Firefox developer Darin Fisher announced that test builds of the browser include support for click pings, an experimental new HTML feature that makes it easier for web sites to track clicks on outgoing links: I'm sure this may raise some eye-brows among privacy conscious folks, but please know that this change is being considered with the utmost regard for user privacy. The point of this feature is to enable link tracking mechanisms commonly employed on the web to get out of the critical ... read more

UserLand Software is discontinuing free Manila hosting, as I discovered last week when one of their users sought refuge on Buzzword.Com. Edit This Page shut free service on Dec. 1 and ManilaSites will do the same Dec. 31. I can offer free hosting on Buzzword, but webloggers who are committed to publishing with Manila should be advised that I'm migrating the server to new software by May 1, 2006. A better long-term option for those folks is to subscribe to Weblogger.Com or UserLand. (As an aside, if you're a fan of ... read more