F.act..Frag.m.ents.
19.12.04
  RealClimate ..I would recommend you to check out RealClimate. It is basically a bunch of qualified climate scientists who want to dispel any disinformation about global warming that is in the media. What's so refreshing is that as scientists they don't just post and leave it there, but they respond to their commenters and adjust their articles accordingly. This is true science and these guys are doing a great service to their profession. 



14.12.04
  Depressing stories of the day - George Monbiot writes: "I hope that newspapers do not represent public opinion. If they do, it means that we consider the Home Secretary's love affair more important than the resumption of the most deadly conflict since the second world war. On Sunday, the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), already responsible for 3.8 million deaths, started again. If you missed it, you're in good company."

- Also try to check out Poisoned planet on radio 4: "Up to 75 million people in West Bengal and Bangladesh are drinking water contaminated with arsenic after an initiative to provide safe water went tragically wrong.

It was assumed that underground water which flowed from the Himalayas would be clean, when in fact it is laced with deadly arsenic which has unleashed a human tragedy described by experts as greater than Chernobyl or Bhopal"
 



13.12.04
  Yahoo playing dirty with gmail Here's an interesting fact. If you send a gmail invite to a yahoo address then yahoo classifys it as spam.

Coincidence. I think not!!!!

 



12.12.04
  Bush in this seasons fashion wear Hmmm, I'm not sure if Blair would have worn one of those 



11.12.04
  digital london ....Here's some recent interesting pages on London (my current home):

- Someone has taken a bunch of the BBC traffic cams and stuck them on a single webpage. Interesting page, although a little disturbing (remember the film sliver!)

- Look in any design book and they will mention the underground map as a great example of simplifying something complicated. Its not perfect though. Stations on the tube map may look miles away from each other may actually only be a short walk away. So Rod McClaren decided to draw a tube map with walklines. A great idea!

- NYCLondon blog has some amazing pinhole photography of london buildings

- Site dedicated to photographing derelict buildings, cafes and other premises in london.  



8.12.04
  Setting up drupal ....Here's some notes on setting up Drupal for personal reference. I thought it would be fairly simple and besides from a few quirks it was. Documentation was okay but could again do with a few updates here and there. From my experience I can say that an average user would not be able to install such an web app

I guess I'm a typical user. I have ftp access to a host for my webpages and cpanel access with various features to control the sql etc. The version I was installing of Drupal was 4.5.1


- Download drupal. I want my drupal site to be www.investigata.com/cms (my new empty domain). That means it will be a "subdirectory installation" which makes it a bit more fiddly than a "simple installation" (e.g to www.investigata.com)

- Unzipped and put into the folder www/cms on my hosted site (through ftp)

- Now to set up the mysql databases. Two stages to this. Firstly I created a database through the mySQL maintainance in cpanel. For the purposes of this blog I created a new database "test" in this window which automatically is created as mylogin_test by this application.

- Go to phpMyAdmin (well hidden link at bottom of the mysql admin page) and opens the db management window. Select the database to be mylogin_test.

- Select the "sql" tab in the main frame and browse for a file called database.mysql in the drupal installation in the includes directory. I still had this file in the downloaded zip file on my local machine so I used that version of the file. Click "go". This script should now automatically create all the sql tables.

- Next allow the application to access the mysql database. We need to create a drupal "user" (which will actually be the website). I called it something like mylogin_drupal. This is done in the mysql admin page in cpanel

- Give the user mylogin_drupal access to the mylogin_test database we created. This is done in the mysql maintainance window. Select the appropriate database and user. Tick "ALL" in the privilidges boxes (beware of shoddy interface which means you might tick the wrong box) and then hit the "Add User to DB button". Now we're cookin!!

- Now time to modify some files. This could have been done locally on my machine before I uploaded them to the host.

- The folder structure I use was www/cms as the base so all folders are referenced from that
\www\cms\sites\includes\conf.php (this is wrong in the online guide)
changed
$db_url = "mysql://username:password@localhost/drupal"
to
$db_url = "mysql://mylogin_drupal:my_password@localhost/drupal"
Here I've set the username and password to that of the database user I set up in the previous step

changed
$base_url = "http://www.example.com";
to
$base_url = "http://www.investigata.com/cms";

- Because I'm using a subfolder e.g www.investigata.com/cms instead of www.investigata.com I need to change some extra settings

www\cms\.htaccess

changed
ErrorDocument 404 /index.php
to
ErrorDocument 404 /cms/index.php

changed
#RewriteBase /subdirectory
to
RewriteBase /cms

- It should be working now. I went to www.investigate.com/cms and the site was ready to roll. Creating a login and a user name trought he site made me the administrator

- So I thought it was all perfectly going, but i discovered a slight problem. When i clicked on some links, particularly in administration I got a "file cannot be created" (or similar) error. To solve this, I simply created a folder called "files" in the directory www\cms. This is not well documented at all and I had to scour the web to solve it

- Cron jobs keep all the cleanup and config files ticking over nicely. It runs the file www.investigata.com/cms/cron.php. I set this throught the "cron jobs" in cpanel. I used the "advance unix style command". To run once a day the command is
0 0 * * * ~/www/cms/scripts/cron-lynx.sh
The file pointed to is a supplied script in drupal which will now run every day at midnight. I had a couple of problems getting this to work (I debugged by switching the cron job to every 1 minute by replacing the 0 0 with * * and getting any error). One problem was that I had to change permissions on the script file to allow the computer to exectute it (this was done inside my ftp application)


So there you have it an, heres a link to the empty site, First time I've installed such a script from scratch. Good bit of fun. As I say most of this info is in the drupal admin guide .

I'm hoping to mess with the look and feel so likely I will document this as well in the future. 



7.12.04
  Stories from Africa this week 1) WHO is making sure that cheap generic ARV drugs that are produced in India won't be around for very long. So the only option for people with AIDS in Africa will be the expensive versions (or nothing)

2) Uk continues to hire all the nurses from Africa and screw up their hospitals

3) Anarchy may sound like fun, but Somalia a country with no central government is proof that it doesn't  



1.12.04
  Wikalong ....An interesting new extension for firefox is the wikalong extension. It is a sidebar, and every single page on the web potentially has its own "wikalong" page that appears in the sidebar.

Uses? Well, the big one is for people to comment on the news stories they read on the web and get equal coverage. A bad example might be the flippant comment I just added here. Anyone with the extension who goes to this page can now chuckle an my biting wit!! (graffiti, or adding some passwords for nyt are the other alternative uses)

Personally, i'd pefer it on the right of the screen but you can't move the sidebar it seems and it feels a bit clunky (still beta). But i'll definitely keep an eye on this one 



  Clinton and Bush: "A Tight Spot" .....Classic snap of Bush and Clinton at the recent opening of the Clinton library. Bush think he's at a baseball game so tries to squeeze past Clinton and get away quickly to avoid the traffic!!  





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