Archive for March 8th, 2007

Stressed

I am stressed out. JBQ is getting ready to go to Europe to visit his family later this month. I just want him to go and return safely. We don’t spend time without each other usually and having him go so far away it stresses the hell out of me.

Blocked by Digg

Remember Digg mobile? From all the digg-mobile online efforts, this was the most successful of the bunch. Apparently Digg.com is now blocking us completely! They check for the user agent if it’s “php” and they check our HTTP_REFERER if it’s mobits.com, and if yes, they block our access to their RSS feed.

I think what they do is pretty sneaky, because all we do is using their free RSS feed. We don’t grab bits and pieces of their HTML code (like some others do), but we used the legitimacy of the RSS feed (so all clicks end up on their site and not at the sites their news items are linking to). We also had a disclaimer to say that our site was not affiliated with Digg.com. And yet, they blocked us. As far as I know, we have not received a complain email by them about anything. If we had, we would have complied with requested changes.

My assumption is that they want to promote their own mobile site now, diggriver.com, so they block community effort to provide mobile access to Digg. Problem with diggriver is though that it’s not as well tested with many mobile browsers and so it bombs out on many phones.

Does anyone know how we can fake the http_referer variable our server sends to them using PHP? That would be the only way to go around their blockage. My google search didn’t reveal any way to do that although I think it’s possible because some firewalls strip such HTTP headers.

UPDATE: Thanks to “Grendelboogie” we are back in business. The mobile digg page is back up with some caching (thanks Adam), although without proper paging. Some phones will bomb out as we now serve 20 items per page instead of 10 (some motorola phones will run out of memory).

Heroes vs Lost

“Heroes” is the most successful new TV series this year and being a sci-fi adventure it is lately compared a lot to “Lost” online. Personally, I think that Lost is much better than Heroes. It has more mystery and a larger storyline somehow. I mean, it was just last week when the Heroes producers said that when the season ends this May the storyline will reset to a completely new storyline in the second season, with brand new heroes. This is going to hurt their show because the audience won’t connect with brand new characters all over like nothing has happened. Except the question of “are their powers natural or not” I don’t find the rest of the mysteries on Heroes very interesting (e.g. Linderman’s connection, Hiro’s father, or the paper company’s real work). My main problem is that the really bad guy of the series, Sylar, is just one guy. There is no “grand storyline” behind Heroes, and if it is, it does not layed out correctly in the screen. I still like Heroes, but it just doesn’t keep me at the edge of my seat. Not like Lost does (well, most of the time). And if that’s not enough, I can’t “feel” for any of these heroes. I just can’t connect with any of them somehow. Only Hiro is kinda cool.