software

BBC News – Leaked letter shows ISPs and government at war
Dave wants a scheme were people uncheck a box to get pr0n described as "default on" filtering, allowing him to claim victory without the ISPs changing what they’re doing.
(tags: politics pornograpy porn censorship internet david-cameron)
David Cameron’s crusade against images of child abuse has a whiff of politics – Editorials – Voices – The Independent
What is Dave up to? The Independent identifies it as a clever bit of politics.
(tags: pornography politics porn censorship internet david-cameron)
12 Silly Things People Believe About Computers | Terminally Incoherent
(tags: computers it support funny)
Victory Lap for Ask Patents – Joel on Software
"There are a lot of people complaining about lousy software patents these days. I say, stop complaining, and start killing them. It took me about fifteen minutes to stop a crappy Microsoft patent from being approved. Got fifteen minutes? You can do it too."
(tags: prior-art software patents)

So, those blighters at Google are getting rid of Google Reader at the beginning of July. I currently use it. What should I use instead?

I read my feeds on a variety of devices so it’d need to be something which shows the same subscriptions wherever I’m reading from. That’s probably a web-based reader, I guess.

Most of my feeds contain text rather than pictures. I’ve got them sorted into various folders. Sometimes I read them by folder, sometimes (mostly on my phone) I read them as an uncategorised stream, sometimes I read one feed at a time. I do read on my phone, so it needs to have a decent mobile site or an Android app.

Please advise.

Changing my mind on nuclear disarmament – Charlie’s Diary
Charles Stross argues against renewing Trident.
(tags: trident nuclear disarmament charles-stross war)
Coding, Fast and Slow: Developers and the Psychology of Overconfidence
"I’m going to talk today about what goes on in inside developers’ heads when they make estimates, why that’s so hard to fix, and how I personally figured out how to live and write software (for very happy business owners) even though my estimates are just as brutally unreliable as ever." via Andrew Ducker
(tags: software programming scrum estimation daniel-kahneman)
What Martial Arts Have to Do With Atheism – Graeme Wood – The Atlantic
Sam Harris on martial arts, meditation and atheism: "No one’s ever accused me of being an optimist, but I think reason and intellectual honesty will win. They’re just too useful."
(tags: religion atheism martial-arts meditation sam-harris)
How Not to Die – Jonathan Rauch – The Atlantic
Many doctors aren’t good at having "the Conversation". A doctor uses film to illustrate patients’ options at the end of their lives.
(tags: film ethics death health medicine intensive-care)

I’m mostly writing this down so I remember it, but maybe it’ll also come in useful to other people. This is how I converted from LJ to WordPress.

Getting data out of LJ

WordPress’s LiveJournal importer is buggy and doesn’t do a bunch of stuff I want (such as re-writing links to my own posts so that they now point to the new blog). Luckily, jwz has been here before, and wrote a Perl script to download a journal and output WordPress’s XML import/export format. This does better, but needed a bit of hacking to suit my obsessive need to avoid information loss in the transfer to WP. I’ve stuck my own version here: the comment at the top describes what I changed. You’ll need LJ::GetCookieSession. Like all Perl scripts, this one is configured by global variables near the top, so you’ll need to change those too. You then say
ljgrabber.pl -v --wordpress --comments > wordpress.xml
and then upload wordpress.xml to the WordPress importer (Tools, Import on the WordPress dashboard).

Note that I haven’t used any of the other advertised options (to re-write bits of your LJ so they point to the new blog) in my modified version of the script, so damned if I know whether they work, crash, or delete your journal. Probably best to try it on a spare journal first, I’d’ve thought.

Installing

I ran through WordPress’s famous 5 minute install having stuck the untarred WP download in the right place on my site. Excitingly, this left wp-config.php (which has stuff like the database password in it) with both public read and public write permissions (assuming it was the installer and I wasn’t immediately pwned by something before anyone had seen the blog). So, you might want to watch for that.

Plugins you will want

  • Akismet: WordPress blogs attract a lot of spam comments. Akismet kills them all. Possibly there’s something I can do about this to make my blog less obviously a WordPress one, but I haven’t worked out what they’re using to identify it yet.
  • Avalicious will grab user pictures from LJ if your commenters specify a LiveJournal as their website URL. Since jwz’s Perl script produces such comments, installing this gets you the familiar looking icons for everyone. Note that you will want to apply jwz’s patch or it’ll kill your performance on pages containing comments from people who deleted their journals.
  • Live Comment Preview: cos it’s handy.
  • Subscribe to Comments: nearest thing I’ve found to LJ’s email functionality. I’m not sure whether it’s actually emailing you replies to your comment or just any new comments. Probably should check that.
  • LiveJournal Crossposter: does what it says on the tin. Note that if you go back and edit imported posts, it seems to want to post them again (presumably because the imported posts don’t have whatever magic it uses to tell that they’re already posted to LJ), but for posts which it has cross-posted for you, it’s clever enough to apply subsequent edits back to LJ, too. Note that there’s a setting which controls whether it just posts excerpts or the whole entry. For now, I’ve set it to the whole thing, even if it does mean the Russian mafia are getting advertising revenue from my writing.
  • Updraft Plus Backup/Restore: backs up the database and files to Google Drive, which I wasn’t using for anything else.
  • WP Super Cache: Crimefighting Jesus told me to, and he runs the hosting company, so he should know.

I expect I’ll tart it up a bit at some point but the default theme seems reasonable enough for now. Any other top tips welcome, I guess.