New mp121102a recording

Remember my first entirely self written song, code named mp121102a? Nope, it still has no permanent name, and no lyrics … anyone have an idea and/or want to contribute?

Anyway, now there is a new recording. Take a listen:

Posted in Guitar, Music | Leave a comment

How to remove (hide) annoying sections on web pages

Every now and then it happens that there is something on a web page which I visit frequently that I don’t want to see. Things that are simply just annoying. Sure I could try to ignore it, live with it, try to convince myself it’s not worth bothering. But why should I? There are easy solutions to get rid of it.

Most people probably know Adblock Plus and many use it, myself included. It is now available for almost every modern browser, like Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera 15+, and even Internet Explorer. It is obvious what it does, it blocks ads. But it can do more, like blocking things which aren’t ads, but still annoying.

I’d like to demo how to do it with this little example: YouTube allows to post comments (unless the person publishing a video disables it), but sadly a huge amount of comments are racist, xenophobic, sexist and so on and so forth. Few comments have any value. Maybe you are the kind of person who ends up reading that stuff even though you’d rather not and you know you just end up being disgusted. So lets assume you want to get rid of it, to kill that nasty temptation.

I will show how to do this with Firefox. But I assume it will work very similarly with other browsers and their Adblock Plus addons. Don’t be scared, it should be easy enough for the average internet user, not much technical background needed.

Everything starts with a fresh Firefox 23 and the latest Adblock Plus installed:

Firefox 23 with Adblock Plus

I opened a random YouTube page with comments:

YouTube page with comments

Now comes what’s probably the most challenging part. We need to find the area which we want to remove. Therefor we right click somewhere on top of the area which should go away, like on the text “All Comments”, and select “Inspect Element” from the context menu. In the left bottom area there is an HTML view. Click on the HTML tags (the things like <...>) and see the dotted border on the web page. Try to find the HTML tag which covers the area which you want to remove, and try to find one which has an id element (id=”…”) assigned. What we want is the line

<div id="comments-view" class="" data-type="highlights" >

Here is what it looks like:

Firefox Inspect Element

The relevant information is that it is a <div> tag, and that the id element’s value is “comments-view”. If there was no id element, we could also use the class element (provided there is a value assigned), however class is more risky because unlike id values, class values don’t have to be unique (you may block more than you intend to).

So here is how to form the filter string for Adblock Plus:

  • note the domain, here: youtube.com,
  • two # signs,
  • the tag name, here: div,
  • if you picked an id element, another # sign, if you picked a class element, a dot (.),
  • the id or class value, here: comments-view

So what we have is:

youtube.com##div#comments-view

Now right click on the red Adblock Plus icon (the one which looks like a stop sign) and select “Filter Preferences”. Select the Custom Filters tab:

Adblock Plus Custom Filters

Now click “Add filter group” and name it anything you like (I named it “My filters”):

Adblock Plus Filtergroup

Click the “Actions” button and select “Show/hide filters” from the menu. Then click “Add filter” and enter the filter rule:

Adblock Plus Filter

VoilĂ , the comments are gone:

Final result - no more comments

Posted in Browser, Firefox, Tutorials, WWW | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

mp121102a

is the working title of my first entirely self written song, consisting of 2 guitars (lead & rhythm), bass and drums. As of now, it doesn’t have a (real) title, vocals or even lyrics yet.

Watch and listen to me, as I’m playing the song:

Rhythm guitar, bass and drums which you hear in the video are exported from the original Guitar Pro 6 file. Guitar Pro is the awesome piece of software which I used for composing the song.

For audio recording I used Audacity, another great software. To combine video and audio, I used FFmpeg.

Hopefully this is only the first of many more songs. I have a few other songs started which only wait to be finished. My goal for 2013 is to get quite a few ready, so that maybe in 2014 I can plan to record an album, a dream that I’ve been having for at least the last 15 years. Looks like I am now one step closer.

Posted in Guitar, Music | 1 Comment

mysql.com goes HTML5 video

In my role as Web Developer for mysql.com I have always tried to advocate open web standards, and to adopt good new web technologies as early as possible. And I believe that an open source product like MySQL owes the World Wide Web open web technologies, rather than content which requires proprietary plugins. Which is why it’s a pleasure for me to tell you that demo videos which used to require Flash have been replaced by new demo videos which work with HTML5 video (and using Flash only as fallback for old browsers).

Take a look:

… or even better, take a look at the real thing at http://www.mysql.com/products/enterprise/demo.html.

Needless to say, not only the fact that these videos are delivered as HTML5 video is interesting, but of course also what the MySQL Enterprise Monitor can do for you, like analyzing your queries, or monitoring your replication and alert you when things go wrong.

And stay tuned, there is more to come in the future!

Posted in MySQL, PlanetMySQL, WWW | 2 Comments

db4free.net’s protest against SOPA & PIPA

Lets hope this is never necessary again!

Because it’s never wrong to fight for the right thing. For our internet! Not some government’s!

Posted in db4free.net, Politics, WWW | Leave a comment

db4free.net is joining the protest against SOPA & PIPA

db4free.net is joining the protest against SOPA & PIPA and will stay down for 24 hours, starting January 18, 2012 at 02:00 UTC.

Learn more on what this is all about at americancensorship.org

… and why the WEB GOES ON STRIKE

… or watch some of the many videos related to SOPA on YouTube.

Posted in db4free.net, MySQL, PlanetMySQL, Politics, WWW | 2 Comments

Another much needed cleanup

db4free.net had a great time of pretty flawless running recently. No outages, no emergencies, quite relaxing for an administrator. Except for one problem which got increasingly worse and worse: performance.

It was time to drop some users again. Who did I drop? First of all those who haven’t accessed their database for more than about 2 months. But also some who used up excessively much disk space. There is a kind of (unwritten) fair use policy, but db4free.net is a testing service and not a backup service for huge data loads, so this data is gone.

And if I say it’s gone, it means GONE!

I made it unambiguously clear on the registration page that the db4free.net team reserves the right to delete databases and/or accounts at any time without notice, and cleanups are exactly among the things I had in mind when writing this (besides the always possible danger of unintentional data loss).

So complaints will be silently ignored (or deleted, if posted in the forum, which by the way also got updated to the latest version).

However, I hope that most or better even all of you who do use db4free.net in a fair manner will find their database again, and will continue to appreciate the service.

And the reward for your fair use should be better performance due to more available resources thanks to the cleanup. Which by the way certainly wasn’t the last one.

So while you should make sure to have backups of all sensitive data at any time, if you want to minimize the risk of losing your database at db4free.net, access is frequently (a simple connect, regardless through which client, will do), and try to keep your dataload within reasonable limits for a low level budget of a testing service, which db4free.net still is (rather than a hosting service). I can’t point that out often enough.

So happy testing … and remember to explore the new features of MySQL 5.6 which is the (probably soon to be released as GA) latest development version with the latest and greatest features!

Posted in db4free.net | 1 Comment

db4free.net now running MySQL 5.6

db4free.net has been updated again.

The server now runs MySQL 5.6.4 m7, the very latest, and lets hope, the very greatest.

Enjoy!

Posted in db4free.net, PlanetMySQL | Leave a comment

Occupy Flash

Please help get rid of Flash once and for all!

Posted in WWW | Leave a comment

Moons – not Earth’s, but Jupiter’s … proudly presenting: the Galileans

Taking good pictures of astronomical objects is quite challenging. Especially if you don’t own highly advanced (and very expensive) equipment.

For quite a long time I thought that the only celestial object which is in my reach to take good images of, was the Moon. Here is one of the better Moon images that I have taken:

Full Moon photo (taken 2011-03-19, ca. 20:30 CET), may be one of my best yet

Over time, both my skills and my equipments advanced a bit. And I managed to take pictures of almost all the planets out to Saturn (not counting planet pictures taken through web-based observatories like GRaS). There are:

Mercury:
Photo of Mercury rising over nearby house (taken today, January 18)

Venus (probably my best planet picture so far):
Photo of Venus, taken through telescope (image is mirrored)

Mars (the red dot on the left; certainly my worst planet picture so far, but for the purpose of completeness …):
Mars next to the Moon

… and Saturn:
Photo of Saturn, taken 2011-04-02 ~22:15 CEST (2 days before opposition)

I didn’t have a picture of Jupiter yet, but that is rather coincidental, as Jupiter is the brightest planet just after Venus and certainly an easier target than Mercury, Mars or Saturn.

Today I not only completed this collection by adding a picture of Jupiter, but also passed another milestone. My first pictures showing Natural satellites (colloquially known as moons) other than Earth’s Moon. Here is Jupiter with (from left to right) Io, Europa and Ganymede:

Jupiter with Io, Europa and Ganymede

To complete the Galilean Family, I took another one showing Io and Callisto (the little dot quite some distance outside):

Jupiter with Io and Callisto

Last but not least, this is what they looked like in Stellarium (Stellarium is what actually allows me to tell which dot is which moon).

Jupiter with Io and Callisto

Posted in Astronomy | Leave a comment