Category Archives: General

Disabling “Subscribe to feed” in firefox

At Vquence we do a lot of crawling of various video hosting sites and where possible we like to use APIs or RSS feeds instead of page scraping. A semi-recent features of firefox is that when you click on an RSS link you get a “Subscribe to this feed in your favourite reader” header and then the formatted contents of the feed.

This is really annoying if what you really want to see is the raw XML. Sure I could hit CTRL-U to see the source but thats an extra step and a whole other window I now have open. I couldn’t find any way to disable this functionality so I ended up writing a greasemonkey script called disable_subscribe_feed.js.

The meat of the script looks like

// Pick three element ids that appear in the "Subscribe to page" and probably 
var tag1 = document.getElementById('feedHeaderContainer');
var tag2 = document.getElementById('feedSubscriptionInfo2');
var tag3 = document.getElementById('feedSubscribeLine');

// Show the source
if (tag1 && tag2 && tag3) {
    location.href = 'view-source:' + document.location.href;

Basically it tries to detect the “subscribe to feed” page based on a couple of tag ids that exist on it and then performs a redirect to view-source: for that page. Which gives us nicely formatted XML.

Firefox popup blocking

Wouldn’t it make more sense for firefox to allow popups based on the destination site rather than on the source?

For example most popups I click on are for YouTube. Now some on these are on random blogging sites. Which means that to jump to the YouTube page for that video I have to allow popups for some random blog, which can now popup as many ads as it wants.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to allow YouTube as a popup destination. It really comes down to the fact that I trust YouTube more than some random blog embedding YouTube videos.

I haven’t thought about this very much so maybe there is a good reason why you wouldn’t want this. If a few other people agree with me I’ll go file a bug. Hmm I wonder if you could write an extension to do it.

Update: Peter raises a good point as to why this is a bad idea.

Google Analytics new tracking code

As I was setting up a new site in Google Analytics today I discovered that there is now new tracking code you are supposed to use. The old code is now unsupported. Your javascript snippet should now look something like.

    var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www.");
    document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost + "' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));

    var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("PUT_YOUR_TRACKING_ID_HERE");

This has been a community service announcement. đŸ™‚

Energy Australia social engineering attack

In the middle of a power outage at the moment, so I called Energy Australia to see what was going on.

Me: Hi, I’m in Ryde and have no power.
EA: Sure we are having a problem in that area. What’s your address?
Me: 54 Blah St.
EA: Thats under the name of Ferlito?
Me: Yes.

So if you need to find out who lives somewhere really easily just call Energy Australia and claim your having a power outage. Probably won’t work every time but it will some of the time.

Oh yeah no power till this afternoon. Bummer!