Features. Lots of features.

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Posted by: stak
Posted on: 2007-07-21 14:40:20

Well, not "lots". Just two. Feature #1 is the session manager. If you have an account on this site and are logged in, you can click on the "Account" link in the left navbar to see the session manager. It basically lets you view and delete sessions, which gives you better control over your privacy and security.

In case you hadn't noticed, my site lets you log in from multiple different machines simultaneously (unlike sites such as Facebook, where logging in from one machine will log you out from previously logged-in machines (with the exception of mobile users)). What this means is that if you log in from some random computer and don't bother to log out (I know I usually don't), your session information is remembered on the server. Ordinarily, unless you check the "remember me" box, the browser you're using will delete the cookie when you close it, so this isn't really a problem. However, if you're using a public terminal, then it's possible that somebody has installed malware to steal cookies, which means they can pretend to be you when accessing this site.

Anyway, to cut the long story short, you can now delete old sessions from the session manager on the accounts page. The session manager lists the last access time and IP address for each of your sessions; delete any you feel are too old or that you won't use again. If you accidentally delete the session you're currently logged in with, that's not really a problem; you'll just have to log in again. (I suppose you could also do this as an alternative way to logging out.)

And now on to feature #2: protect-o-vision. All of my blog entries already have a permissions value associated with them, so that I can restrict visibility to members/friends. Now, I can further restrict parts of a post. So, for instance, if I have a publicly visible post such as this one, I can include in it some stuff that is only visible to logged-in users. The restricted fragment will be in a slightly different color, just because I can :). This might seem like a rather odd feature to add, but it'll come in handy for some other things I'm planning on adding in the not-too-distant-future. The really awesome thing is that it took exactly 16 lines of code to make the change.

Posted by Eric at 2007-07-22 10:17:32
Man, this is going to make following your blog from LJ that much more annoying.
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Posted by stak at 2007-07-22 10:43:50
Yeah, sorry about that. It wouldn't be a problem if (a) there existed a personal feed reader that allowed you to specify cookies when fetching the feed and (b) you used said feed reader. The only one I know that satisfies (a) is Opera's built-in feed reader, but that's lacking in other ways. Perhaps it's time to start making feature requests of Google and LJ :)

Alternatively, if you're interested in following the blog from Facebook instead, I could look into modifying my Facebook app so that other people can add it and get updates more easily, rather than the hit-and-miss approach of posting to mini-feeds. It probably wouldn't even have to be visible on your profile, it would just be a hidden app.
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