Personal Technology

Gmail hack

Not sure how many people know about this gmail hack, but it’s come in handy for me recently, so I thought I’d throw it out. Suppose you have an account on a service like Twitter, but now need to sign up for a different username, or just want one account for business and one for personal use. Twitter (and other services) won’t let you use an email that is already in their system to sign up for a new account.

Here’s where the gmail hack comes in. Gmail has one feature and one bug that allows you go get around having to have a secondary email address. The first is that Gmail allows you to create an infinite number of + aliases for your gmail account, in the format:

You can use any text at all after the plus sign, and gmail will ignore it completely for the purposes of delivering the email to you, but WILL let you filter and search on it. So I could set up a second twitter account called fakegriffey, and give it the email address, and Twitter will let me, since that isnt in their database. Gmail will happily deliver it to my griffey@gmail account, and all is well.

The other hack is that Gmail completely ignores periods in any account name for delivering email. griffey is the same as gri.ffey is the same as griff.ey is the same as g.r.i.f.f.e.y. By giving Twitter some variation, you can get around their email limit and still keep your email organized.

Hope this is useful to anyone who didn’t know about it!

Personal Technology

Hack of the week: Dropbox

I’m really particular about the background images on my computers. I like dark, subdued backgrounds that don’t attract the eye. I do like pictures, but ones that highlight any icons easily and don’t strain my eyes trying to find what I’m looking for. As a result, I’ve spent years collecting images that I like, upgrading to higher and higher resolutions as my monitors got better and better. I’ve got tons of fractals, dark photos, and other such images that I just prefer to have as my desktops.

Oh, and a few pictures of Eliza, of course.

So previously, I’ve kept a copy of this “Wallpapers” folder at the root of whatever computer I’m using, and set the system to use that as images for the desktop. But then if I find a new image I like, I’ve got to remember to distribute it to my laptop, and my home desktop, and my work desktop…blah.


Enter: Dropbox. Now hopefully everyone knows how amazingly awesome dropbox is by now, but if you don’t, just click that link and sign up for it. Trust me. Dropbox creates a folder on each of your computers that you install it on, and a folder in the cloud, and keeps all of them in sync all the time. You get 2 gigs free, and can pay for extra space as you need it.

I just realized that I can now put a Wallpapers folder inside my Dropbox, and it will propagate to every machine. I can set my desktop pics to choose from that folder, and anytime I find a new one, it will automagically sync to all the others with no effort from me. So all my pics will be the same on all my machines, no matter which I find and add from. It’s a little thing, but it makes me happy.

Digital Culture Technology

Interesting WP Spam Hack

A really interesting spam hack popped onto my radar today. Here’s the post from the LITABlog, as seen in browser:

LITABlog Spam Hack

Here’s the bottom of the post. Nothing unusual, right?

LITABlog Spam Hack

Here’s the same post in Google Reader:

LITABlog Spam Hack

Spamolicious! Where the hell did all that come from? From this little piece of code in the post:

LITABlog Spam Hack

A hidden bit of code in the bottom of the post. I hadn’t seen this before, but Joshua M. Neff told me it happened to him as well. In the comments there was a link to the wordpress developer’s blog about a similar issue…but not an identical issue. I don’t think this is necessarily a SQL injection issue.

So: anyone have any thoughts? How did that code get put into an existing post? LITABlog is running the latest version of WordPress, so it’s not that. I don’t see any more of them, but I won’t unless I look through the code manually or whip up some SQL-fu that greps for the hidden css string. Which I will do if I must, but I thought maybe someone out there had a better idea. đŸ™‚