Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Encrypting mailto: links to avoid spam

Anyone who has placed a mailto: link on their website may or may not have noticed an increase in spam email. Gmail has an excellent spam filter so I never really have much of a problem.

There have been a few different ways suggested on how to put a "Spam Proof" email link on your website.

Linda Roeder suggests using javascript although the main argument I have against this is the same reason I keep my javascript to a bare minimum... What if javascript is turned off?

Another way that has been suggested is to make an image with just your email address but this involves any users to take a note and manually type in your address into an email.

You can also put a form on your site allowing people to send you feedback, but what if you actually want people to know your email address for future correspondence?

The best way I have found so far is by encrypting your email address. This works by substituting each letter in the address including the "at" and any dots into html character code.

This might sound like a lot of hard work but web designer Rob Spangler provides a quick and easy to use tool on his blog. Simply enter your email address and if you don't want your email address to display to users, what text you want to display in the link. This then transforms a plain text version of your address, easily trawlable from the web. Into a nicely encrypted mailto link such as the one below

graham.macleod@gmail.com (view the page source to see the encrypted version)

Keep in mind, it's always best to give users the choice of using a mailto link and also a feedback form since not everyone uses a mail client and for some people, clicking on a mailto link will cause
an unconfigured outlook express to open up.

How long it will take for the spammers to pick up on this method I don't know but at least our mailboxes will be safer for a while.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Garfield minus Garfield

One of the cleverest and simplest, projects I've stumbled upon while surfing is Garfield minus Garfield.

"Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life? Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness in a quiet American suburb."

I would recommend subscribing to the blogs rss feed as you get one or two per day and they always manage to make me piss myself luaghing.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Trip to Amsterdam

2 of my mates, Tommy and Rosco, my girlfriend and I flew out from Edinburgh Airport at 2pm on Thursday the 27 of March for 3 nights. I can't remember that much of it to be honest.
I do remember however, sitting in a pub in the red light district trying to convince Rosco to get a reach around from a skanky ho' (she wasn't actually that skanky to be fair) and then him falling off his stool and breaking the leg (of the stool).
You can see the photos on my flickr.
Most of the days were spent either in the coffeeshops or pubs.

Some of the coffeeshops we visited were

  • Rookies - purchased some Santa Maria
  • Stix - purchased some Bubblegum
  • The Seville - Played pinball and the machine broke

On the last night, before we went out, we had a game of cards while getting pissed up. You can see my funky victory dance below

You can't say I don't have mad skillz.

P.s. Rosco never did get his reach around. The romance was shattered as soon as we saw a guy wearing an anorak walk into her window and her closing the curtain after him.