I serve ads on the Drudge Retort using Blogads, a great ad broker that occasionally has trouble serving the ads. When this happens, pages on the Retort load more slowly because they can't fetch a Javascript program and CSS stylesheet required by Blogads. I decided to fix this problem by writing Cache Remote File, a PHP script that performs three functions: Save a cached copy of a remote file Display the cached copy for 10 minutes before requesting the file again Display the cached copy when the remote server is ... read more

Hoosgot a web application for creating a hierarchical Dmoz-style link directory in a browser? The term "hoosgot" is newly coined by Dave Sifry, a founder of Technorati and one of my former homies on the RSS Advisory Board. He's launched the web site Hoosgot (as in "who's got?") for lazy people who have technical requests for help. Just use the word "hoosgot" as a verb in a request on your blog (or @hoosgot on Twitter) and it'll end up on his site, where it's hoped someone more industrious can help you with a ... 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

My attorney Wade Duchene has filed our response to the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution (UDRP) complaint made by MGM Studios over Wargames.Com. We're getting closer to the day where a panel of three arbitrators decides whether to give the domain to MGM, which owns a trademark registered in 2003 for the 1983 film WarGames. UDRP arbitration is an increasingly popular tool for intellectual property lawyers trying to acquire domains for clients, as MGM's firm is attempting here. If they lose, all it costs is a ... read more

Wired News has declared Dave Winer vs. me as one of the top blogfights of 2006. Back in early 2005, blogger and RSS guru Dave Winer hired programmer Rogers Cadenhead to port Winer's popular Weblogs.com site to a more robust platform. The project was a success -- Winer sold Weblogs.com to VeriSign for more than $2 million later that year -- and Winer struck a verbal agreement with Cadenhead to perform the same magic on another of Winer's web properties, Share My OPML. Winer paid Cadenhead $5,000 but the project ... read more

I'm working on the next edition of Sams Teach Yourself Java in 21 Days, an 800-page monster that will cover Java 6 so thoroughly that all the other Java authors will stop writing their books and pursue retraining for a non-technical profession. (Computer book authors should talk smack like rappers. One of these days I'm going to start an East Coast/West Coast feud with Seattle's Glenn "PC-Diddy" Fleischman.) Ten years ago, the original edition of Java in 21 Days made a big deal out of Java applets, web-based ... read more

Because I don't want to add captchas to Workbench, this weblog has been drowning in comment spam. Since I began accepting comments in September 2002, I've received 13,000 legitimate comments and 172,000 spam. I'm trying a new technique this week that makes spam easy to detect by putting a bunch of bogus text areas on a weblog form, hiding them with Cascading Style Sheets, and checking them for input when the comment is submitted. I call these fields comment flak. Spammers typically put their junk comment in every ... read more