Prettier source code on WordPress.com

Formatted source code

Posting source code on WordPress.com is quite simple: the platform already provides an extremely easy to use shortcode called sourcecode, based on a fairly flexible syntax highlighter plugin. By looking at the examples in the documentation page, however, it is evident that the default styling used to render sources is quite old-fashioned and does not fit most modern themes.

While the shortcode offers options to allow users to control many options of the rendering, it does not allow us to configure colors, fonts and size (the default size is so tiny that it is barely readable on high-resolution screens).

When I was writing the previous technical post, I did some investigations to figure out what options are available to post more readable sources if your blog is hosted on WordPress.com and I found out there are basically two alternatives.

There is no such thing as Internet Security

During the course of the last months, we have seen frequent news of security breaches, with many websites falling victims of malicious attacks. While this by itself is not a news, the frequency and scale of this kind of attacks hardly passes without notice.

Sony’s example is probably the most visible example of this trend, as Kevin Mitnick points out.

But they are not the only ones: the attacks on Citigroup and security company RSA are even more alarming. If even those companies that should be dealing with security issues every day are not impenetrable, chances are everyone’s data is at risk. Or, at least, that’s the message that most of the newspapers appear to be conveying.

While it’s easy to dismiss those people as fools, those facts should teach us something different: there is no such thing as a secure system.

A bit of confusion around Google Bookmarks?

Let’s start with two quick facts: 1. Google recently refurbished Google Bookmarks (after neglecting them for a couple of years), giving them more importance in search and allowing us to share them with friends more easily. 2. Meanwhile, a different team (I guess), implemented Bookmark Sync from Chrome, a new features that synchronizes bookmarks with a Google account (quite handy when you routinely use Chrome on many computers). Those bookmarks end up in a read-only directory in your Google Docs space.

Are our passwords safe?

I can’t tell how many times I registered on a website since I started surfing the Internet, and I bet it’s the same for you. We’ve been through countless registration forms, and we had to choose a username/password pair for each of them. But I, like the majority of you, tend to use the same credentials for more than one place, sometimes. I know it’s a good practice to avoid using the same password for too many services but, hey, we’re human beings, and we’re not so good in remembering things.

Bittorrent video streaming on Bitlet

Outsource your features!

A new trend is rising: applications which are not designed to fulfill some user’s needs but, rather, to provide some service to other web apps. Until some time ago, if you were to design your own web app, you had to write the same code, with little to none variations, to deal with pretty common issues (i.e. login, user profiles, messaging and so on) every time. You had no choice but to reinvent the wheel each time.

Web application platforms?

The everyday life of the average Internet citizen is filled with dozens of impressive web applications, which help to perform any sort of task. Ranging from planning your next trip to Holland to sharing the photos of the last party you had, a lot of activities can be effectively made easier or more efficient by using some brilliant web site. Although it’s becoming increasingly hard to find something you can’t do from within your browser, there are still some activities which won’t probably deserve their own shiny web app, being relevant just to a tiny niche of users.