Posts Tagged “technology”

How I Stopped Robocalls From Disturbing My Life

During one of the recent data breaches, my information was breached. More specifically, my cell phone number is now in the hands of spammers.

Several times during the day, my phone will ring. The caller ID will display a number (usually out-of-state and cities where I know no one). In the beginning I would pick them up and either hear some marketing scam, or  hear nothing but noise in the background. So I stopped picking them up. But I would still have to run to my phone at all times of the day to see who it was to determine if I needed to pick it up. It was driving me crazy. I blocked number after number on my iPhone, but they continued to come up with new numbers.

In my frustration I took to Facebook with my rant, and my brother mentioned the service Nomorobo. It sounded perfect! Nomorobo develops a “black list” of phone numbers to block based on complaints received by the FTC. So if one phone number receives lots of complaints, Nomorobo will block that number from ringing the phone of a subscriber. In order to utilize this service, one has to sign up for Simultaneous Ringing with the phone carrier. Nomorobo quickly answers the spam calls, then hangs up.

However, Verizon Wireless does not offer the simultaneous ringing feature. I scoured their help boards, and their solution is for the customer to pay Verizon Wireless a fee to block a finite amount of numbers. I can already block unlimited numbers on the iPhone, I certainly wasn’t going to pay Verizon to do the same.

I was seriously considering changing my cell phone number. I know, though, I would have missed valuable telephone calls, and that solution was not acceptable either.

My solution: download a silent ringtone from iTunes, and set that as my default ringtone. In actual practice I only receive calls from a few of my contacts. So I manually set the custom ringtones for those contacts (plus a few who could possibly call me) to something other than the default.

Now my phone no longer rings unless one of those contacts call me. I can still see the call if I wake up my phone, and they can, of course, leave a voice mail. I still have an audible tone set for a new voice mail.  Legitimate callers will leave a message. I will subsequently add them to my contacts and give them an audible custom ringtone for future calls.

No more running across the room repeatedly during the day. In this small area of my life, I have restored peace.



Protecting WordPress Administration, or, DON’T GET HACKED!

One way of protecting wp-admin is by limiting the specific IP’s that can access it. I found this simple solution here. As long as you are not using a DNS filtering service, edit your .htaccess file thus (Replace 123\.123\.123\.xxx with your own IP addresses):

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^(.*)?wp-login\.php(.*)$ [OR] RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^(.*)?wp-admin$
RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} !^123\.123\.123\.121$
RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} !^123\.123\.123\.122$
RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} !^123\.123\.123\.123$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ - [R=403,L] </IfModule>

This will give anyone coming from another IP address a 403 error.

Additionally, to prevent access from bots without legitimate referrers or user agents from spammers:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} .(wp-login)\.php*
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !.** [OR] RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^$
RewriteRule (.*) http://%{REMOTE_ADDR}/$1 [R=301,L] </ifModule>

note: change
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} .(wp-login)\.php*
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} .(wp-comments-post|wp-login)\.php*

to also help protect your WordPress site from comment spammers.

RDA, Cataloging, and OPAC Displays

The problem with the OPAC is not the bibliographic metadata. In this digital information environment, good cataloging is more important than ever, authority work in particular. It is the software that we are using to search it that is the problem.

In general, librarians understand metadata. It is the rare librarian who understands software, and its potential.

One of my favorite Twitter librarians, Aaron Tay from the National University of Singapore (@aarontay), pointed me in the direction of this article….

“…Disentangling bibliographic data from UI engineering is one of the greatest promises of the linked-data movement for libraries. The sooner that concept gets across… well, the better discussions we’ll have about rda, bibframe, and linked data.” … Read More

via Gavia Libraria (the library loon)

He is an example of someone who has “Caught the Vision”.

The user experience is solely dependent on the quality of the OPAC software. That quality

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