nullstream weblog - Nullstream Site

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Nullstream Site

September 30, 2010 04:26 PM PST

The old Nullstream is dead, long live the new Nullstream.

This site has kinda stalled out. We have moved it over to a Facebook Page, you can find it here:

The New Nullstream

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Google Docs Blog Posting to MovableType

Nullstream Site

August 13, 2007 03:12 PM PST

John claims that he'll do more blog posts if I hook up blog publishing from Google Docs. So here it is. This post is published from a Google text editing document. It definitely makes text entry easier, but some of the features like the post title(!), categories and extended entries don't work, requiring us to still do minor editing back in MovableType. Still, the ability to re-edit posts with the rich text features and inline images may well make posting easier. Let's see how this goes. This counts as my post - John and Paul, you guys owe us a brilliant, witty post from Google Docs. Now back to my Pokemans.

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Nullstream Site

May 18, 2007 05:33 AM PST

IMG_8427.jpgOk peeps, it's time to check out the blogroll on the left menu over there. I'm in the Virgin Islands for the next couple weeks "goin' mobile". I'll be posting about the trip on both CaribbIan and my travelblog. I'll also try to get my act together and start updating the photoblog here as well. I have tons of photos cached up and just waiting to be posted.

So far, I took this picture of a local guy with some homemade rum and medicinal herb tonic. :-)

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Nullstream Mobile

Nullstream Site

April 24, 2007 09:50 PM PST

I've also completed the work on the Nullstream Mobile site, located at (or if you prefer). It uses only basic HTML, conserves bandwidth and works great on the most minimal browsers. You can view the most recent posts, the most recently commented on posts and the entire monthly post archives.

Individual posts are formatted for the small screen, and even support the new captcha features. There individual post pages also let you easily navigate between entries with links on the top and bottom of the page, as well as buttons that let you skip right to comments, comment entry, or back to the top of the page.

Let me know if you see any issues on your phone!

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Nullstream Site

April 24, 2007 09:15 PM PST

In another round of spam fighting, I've implemented a captcha system. This means that in order to enter a comment, you'll need to type the word that appears in the image next to the comment box. This is retroactive to commenting on all past posts as well, so get used to it.

Captchas aren't always images containing words that are hard for computers to decode. They're any system that tries to provide an easy solution for humans, and a difficult one for machines. Witness Hotcaptcha:

I've also implemented an internal change that will highlight the comments made by authenticated nullstream authors. This change is not retroactive, but new comments made will include the feature, as seen below.

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Nullstream Photoblog

Nullstream Site

April 9, 2006 09:51 PM PST


Announcing Nullstream Photoblog. I've put together a dedicated photoblog for my photos under The old photoblog posts are still available under the Photoblog category archive. This new format is much more typical photoblog style and will help allay grave concerns that this site should ever turn away from brilliant technical commentary. :-)

The new photoblog has its own RSS Feed. So you can subscribe to new photos independantly of weblog posts. You can also use this feed URL in Google Sidebar to pull photos from.

One of the "funnest" things for me in creating the new photoblog layout is the inclusion of Google Map APIs. The location each photo is taken is represented as a pushpin on the world map that you can click on for more information, zoom in, satellite view, etc. I've got a few more ideas as well...

I hope you enjoy the photoblog, I'll try to keep it updated quite often - so please subscribe to the RSS feed. I've a huge archive of photos over the last 6 months that should keep the pipeline full. I'm interested in feedback on what types of shots people like to help improve my photography, so make use of the comments area on each photo. You can also contact me if you're interested full size images for desktop backgrounds.

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Nullstream Site

October 16, 2005 03:42 AM PST

I'll be posting to my site over the next few weeks while I'm in Europe. I'll likely do some updates here as well in the photoblog section (Hi George!), but will keep most of the stuff over there for now. I may move the posts back here for archival purposes later on.

So far, the site seems pretty cool. It's free to post to, and lets you host any number of smaller pictures (600px wide) and 50 large format pics. Apparently there's an RSS feed for just my entries, but it's currently blank. As a reader, you can register for email notifications however, and also disable them at any time. What I liked most about this site is that you can drill down to any location in the world and see the most recent entries from people at that location. I'm sure it's a cool way to meet up with people who are in the same place at the same time. Also, it's a great research tool to find out what it's like in a place at a certain time of year.

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Photoblog Site Update

Nullstream Site

September 25, 2005 03:03 AM PST

I've updated the site templates so that photoblog entries are displayed at full site width. This allows us to post pictures that are 740 pixels wide, rather than the old limit of 480. The navigation bar on Photoblog entries has been compressed to accomodate the wider content area.

Although at first glance this seems straightforward, constraints with MovableType and the <noscript> tag made implementing custom pages for photoblog entries non-trivial. The end solution was to implement some JavaScript trickery to modify the page styles on the fly via the JavaScript document object model (DOM). The solution is actually integrated directly into the navigation bar JavaScript, and doesn't require much overhead at all. Photoblog entries also work correctly with JavaScript disabled in both Firefox and IE.

Enhancement List:

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New Navigation Bar Implementation

Nullstream Site

September 10, 2005 12:34 AM PST

At the behest of my co-authors, I've re-implemented the navigation bar that appears on every page of the site. Please comment on this entry if you were bothered by the posting speed in the past, and you notice any change (or no change). Theoretically it should speed things up...

The original mechanism used MovableType's server side 'build time' includes to dynamically insert the comment, category and date listings into the side of each page. This is better than actual server side includes, which will dynamically build the page on each request - instead, MT builds the page only when items in the relevant category, comment, etc. change. This produces a html file rather than an asp or php file.

What we were finding was that page loads were fast, but comment and new entry posts were getting very slow. This is partially becuase our host is somehow throttling our CPU usage on page rebuilds. Then again, our cpu on page rebuilds is growing because each comment post causes ALL pages on the site to be rebuilt (well, not quite... see additional benefit, below).

Continue reading "New Navigation Bar Implementation"...

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Nullstream Links

Nullstream Site

August 27, 2005 10:51 PM PST

Haven't you ever wanted to know what sites those Null boys are linking to? Now you can. We've setup a Nullstream account on that you can view here. This link is also available on the nav bar along with a handy RSS feed for the reader of your choice. Enjoy.

(Disclaimer, I'm only taking credit for links I've prefixed with my name. Most will be full of Geeky content I'm sure. I can't vouch for the other guys).

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New Friend Blogs

Nullstream Site

July 15, 2005 02:48 PM PST

I've added two new blogs in the "friend blogs" section to the right. The first is my sister's travel/photo blog from Central America.

The second is a friend's site with a lively debate forum (that is not yet linked from the home page). If you want to debate politics or celebrity gossip - it's the place to be. There's a decent balance of liberal and conservative over there, although the liberal tends to be more outspoken (and bitter - LOL)!

Rounding it out, we've got Chizzy and Bryan, aka "9 hours ahead"; an interesting blog by expats in Switzerland, and Metrotronic, who posts deep insights into the human condition, and the occasional beautiful photo. Both are great when they actually do updates (ok, ok, we don't update that often either, and we have three authors!).

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Nullstream Site

February 25, 2005 12:09 AM PST

iconfactoryDumpster.jpgYou may notice that the site now has an icon in the toolbar, and since you've bookmarked it, also in your bookmark menu :-)

The icon is a sandcastle, downloaded from Iconfactory (click pic for link). These guys have great quality freeware icons for "non-commercial use". It's really amazing how talented Mac people are. And how roomy 128x128 feels for an icon.

The reason for adding the icon wasn't so much to make us "trés cool", but to ease the reading of common news sites. I like to store commonly visited news sites in the bookmarks toolbar folder by dragging the icon from the address bar into the toolbar (quick links bar for you IE users). This toolbar will rapidly fill up, and it doesn't wrap. I believe there is a Firefox extension to wrap it, but either way - it starts taking a lot of real estate. I realized that you could actually right click on the bookmarks and delete their names! So for sites with an icon, you just get a little icon up in the toolbar. I've managed to cram 8+ site links in a tiny space, and now you can too with the nullstream site!

A little background on how it's done. You simply put a Windows format .ico file in the root of your web server and name it favicon.ico. So our icon is You can download these icons directly via sites like Iconfactory. You can edit them with VisualStudio on Windows, among others. In order for the icon to display in the browser, I had to delete all sizes stored in the file except 16x16x16 and 16x16x256 (the third dimension is color depth).

Adding a favicon is also good because nearly all modern browsers request it each time the site is accessed for the browser session. So your server will show lots of 404 errors for favicon.ico. I figure with web caching, it's actually better for performance to have the file than not have it! Checking for the file will send the request all the way back to a disk check.

Favicon.ico was actually started by IE, which is why the icon isn't a gif, or set of gifs. In classic Microsoft form, however, IE only displays these icons sporadically in their bookmarks or toolbars, and it wasn't till Firebird that I found it useful enough to actually use.

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Nullstream Site

February 24, 2005 10:14 PM PST

No Need to Click Here - I'm just claiming my feed at Feedster

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Comment Spam

Nullstream Site

January 19, 2005 05:24 AM PST

Google, Yahoo, MSN, MovableType and others have agreed to not boost search rankings to sites with links marked with the rel="nofollow" attribute set. While this doesn't physically prevent comments on blogs from being created with links back to sites, it does prevent them from doing any good on search rankings. I'm very impressed to see these major search providers working together, as well as the major blogging software packages all jumping on this standard. An elegant solution that everyone can get on board with.

I've updated the site to mark all links within comments with this attribute automatically, so only links within the main posts will do anything to boost search rankings of sites. I believe this also closes the door to trackback links boosting the value of various blogs.

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Syndication Formats

Nullstream Site

November 21, 2004 06:03 PM PST

This blog is syndicated in several formats:
RSS 1.0
RSS 2.0

Why are there so many formats?
Read The Battle of the Blogs

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New Website

Nullstream Site

November 21, 2004 03:59 AM PST

Lyapunov FractalNew layout is complete on the main page. Archive pages, individual entries, and post results do not reflect the layout changes yet, but comments can be viewed and posted directly from the main page. Click on a comment to expand the comment section, or show/hide all comments using the side layout. New UI also supports custom styles per author, and simplified posting interface with javascript validation. Layout tested on IE6 and Firefox 1.0.

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First Post

Nullstream Site

November 9, 2004 09:10 PM PST

<slashdot>First Post!</slashdot>
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