Filtering Out Pingbacks From A “Recent Comments” Box

If you self-host your WordPress blog, you can do whatever you want.  If your blog is hosted at, you’re very limited in what you can customize.

For instance, for years I have wanted to get rid of pingbacks from myself in the “Recent Comments” box on the pages.  When I link to older messages, the box ends up looking like this:

commentsI look like a monomaniacal self-commenter.  Like, eek.  So yesterday I spent most of the day googling around trying to find out how to stop this insanity.  And it turns out that this is something that users have requested from Automattic since (at least) 2009, but they just haven’t implemented it.

Even though it’s totally trivial.  On a self-hosted WordPress blog, it’s a one line change.

So my choice here is to either start self-hosting (and I don’t want to — I host enough stuff already), or to figure out a way to work around this weirdness. offers a few handfuls of widgets.  One of them seemed promising — the “Text Widget”.  But although you can put HTML in there, there’s no way to update it automatically, or use an <iframe> to embed HTML dynamically.

Then I saw that there’s an RSS widget!  What if I were to download the comments feed from WordPress, filter out all pingbacks, and then create a new RSS feed based on that?


rssNo more pingbacks!  However, the RSS feed only has the last ten comments, and virtually all of them were pingbacks (except for the two test comments I added while developing), so I’m still the only one there in that box.  But that should hopefully fix itself after a while.  :-)

(The script caches comments, so it should build up to a more meaningful feed after a while…)

The code is on Github, so feel free to use it if you’re also annoyed by the “Recent Comments” box. Two non-optimal things about using this way to list the comments: 1) No images are allowed in the RSS Widget on, so it looks kinda boring, and 2) caches the RSS for a while (an hour?), so it’s not updated immediately.

But it’s good enough for me, and I won’t have to start self-hosting (and stop paying Automattic money).

(My very first Python script!  Python seems rather inconsistent.  Hysterical raisins, I guess.)

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Linux, Wifi Hardware and Tethering

I thought it might be convenient to set up the laptop as a wifi access point sometimes (especially when copying images off of the Flashair SD card in the cameras, since they have very short range).

There’s apparently no built-in method in any Linux distribution to have a wifi card be both an AP and a client at the same time.  This is probably because it’s a very complicated task depending on lots of hardware and software details.  But someone has taken a stab at it, anyway.

On my new Lenovo Carbon X1 laptop, with this wifi controller

04:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Wireless 7265 (rev 59)

it doesn’t work.  If NetworkManager is running, it just says “Device busy” when creating the ap0 device.  If I stop NetworkManager, I’m able to create the AP, but if I then start NetworkManager, it’s unable to connect to the real AP.

On my old Lenovo Carbon X1 laptop, with this wifi controller

03:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Centrino Advanced-N 
        6205 [Taylor Peak] (rev 96)

it works!  And it’s much, much faster copying pictures from the Flashair card when it talks directly to the laptop than copying pictures via a separate AP.  Which makes sense, but I didn’t think it would be like 5x faster…

Looking at “iw list” on both, they both seem to claim that they should be able to be a client and an AP.

Does anybody have an idea whether the newer chipset just isn’t capable, anyway?

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Mini Comics Extravaganza

I’ve been going on a small press shopping spree these past weeks.

So are the comics any good?


I have a tendency to read the smaller comics first. Here’s some of the ones I found to be particularly interesting from among the stacks I’ve gotten so far:

Runner Runner (Tugboat Press)

The first story in this anthology is by Sam Sharpe, and it’s really engrossing.

It tells the story of a super hero comic from the 40s interspersed with a tale of blind dates. (I know.) It plays with identity in a way that’s unnerving. It has that Pynchon-like feel of encoded meaning. It’s super.

The other two stories, by Evan Palmer and Joey Alison Sayers are also kinda spooky. A three-pack of spookiness. Very nice.

Ikebana by Yumi Sakugawa (Retrofit/Big Planet)

It’s both a funny send-up of art school and a moving, mysterious tale.

Like with Runner Runner, it’s also a bit unnerving. Like the characters in the story, we’re not quite sure what the piece is really getting at.

I love mysteriousness and confusion.

The Libertarian by Nick Maandag

There’s nothing mysterious about this one, but it’s really funny. Storyline: A libertarian has to pretend to be a vegan socialist feminist to win over his current crush.

Things go as you would expect, only more so. The stiffness of the drawing helps making things even funnier.

You Don’t Get There From Here #27 by Carrie McNinch

Nothing spooky here either, and not as funny. These are diary comics at their most diary comicness. This is not James Kochalka. He would draw funny nonsensicalness on days where nothing he thought was interesting happened.

McNinch commits to the diary idea totally. If all she did that day was have breakfast and draw some comics, the strip says that she ate breakfast and drew some comics.

Even so, I found myself reading the strips avidly. The charming art work doesn’t hurt, but I just found the whole thing… soothing.

I went off and ordered issues 1-10 right away.

King-Cat Comics & Stories #75 by John Porcellino

Well, duh. Everybody loves King-Cat, so how interesting can that be?

This issue focusses completely on the cat, Maisie, from when Porcellino got her to when she died. I have to admit a cried a bit at the end there. (Well, I don’t have to. But I did anyway.) And there are funny bits in there, too.

And I just love Porcellino’s artwork. So simple, clear and attractive lines.

The Weather Festival Phenomenon by Ron Regé, jr

While I do enjoy Regé’s more straight-up philosophical comics, I just adore his narrative work. The tension between the story and the ecstatic art is just wonderful.

This series of comics is based on a story by Banana Yoshimoto and is about love and loss and stuff. I can’t wait until the third chapter is out. It’s quite engrossing.

Gorilla Bear #3 by Cara Bean

There’s something very appealing in Bean’s artwork. The juicy blacks and the scratchy lines…

And the stories are both quite affecting and sometimes somewhat loopy.

The Anthropologists by Whit Taylor (Sparkplug)

The artwork here doesn’t really appeal to me that much, but the straight-up old-fashioned narrative is appealing.

It’s the story of two young anthropology students in Australia. Nothing very dramatic happens, and I guess you could say that it’s not the most original story in the universe, but I still found it quite enjoyable.

Double+ by Ben Sears (Study Group Comics)

I didn’t think I was going to like this one. At first glance it looked like yet another video game story book (a genre I find way more boring than playing video games, and that’s boring enought), but it’s more of an oddball sci fi quest thing.

And the artwork is really appealing. All the pages looks like a sand storm have just passed by. (Or a pixel storm, I guess.) So everything is just a bit smudged and worn. It’s a very nice effect.

The Right Here, Right Now Thing by Paulina Stulin (Jaja Verlag)

To round things off, here’s a comic that’s not from my US small press blitz, but from a Berlin trip from a couple weeks ago.

A story of travel and love and smuggling drugs, it has a meandering quality to it that I like quite a lot. The figures are kinda stiff, but the colours are very nice…

Well, that’s it. I didn’t want to babble on for too long. Mini-comics, mini-nattering…

Off to order more!

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Look, I’m a Windows developer:

DSC01961Actually, I just pushed the Concerts in Oslo Cordova app to the Windows Phone store to debug the submission process.  At work I’ve tried to push an app several times to the store, but Microsoft just says “it doesn’t work”.  When I ask “er, what doesn’t work?” their response is “it doesn’t work”.

And pushing the CSID app helped!  From the server logs, I can see that Microsoft never let the app contact the server.  So either they don’t actually test the apps before putting them on the store, or they only test them in non-networking mode.

Which would explain why the app at work gets the response “it doesn’t work”.  It’ll have to provide more in-depth error messages when there’s no network, and perhaps that’ll make Microsoft let the app through.

*crosses fingers*

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TSP1989: Play Me Something

A reader pointed me towards where I could find a copy of Play Me Something.

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Comix Berlin

I visited Berlin recently, and as always, I tried to find some comic book stores with interesting comics. Which is always a problem.

But after binging for several minutes, I visited Modern Graphics.  It’s a warren of a store with crowded shelves and connected rooms, but it has a large selection of comics created by people from Berlin.  Which is what I was looking for.

I do kinda read some German, but it’s slow going, so I picked out a bunch that were either in English or were mostly silent.

DSC01956In addition to the local selection they had a bunch of interesting comics from elsewhere.  Really nice store.

Grober Unfug is a very different kind of comics store.  It’s open and airy and carries mostly graphic novels (and there may have been a room at the back with super-hero comics?  I did not venture there).  I didn’t really find that much to buy there, though…

DSC01957But I did find this very pointed silent book:

DSC01958 DSC01959 DSC01960

It’s by Marc-Antoine Mathieu and looks quite interesting.  Haven’t read it yet, though.

I should get a job as a professional comic book store traveller…

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TSP2015: Dreams Rewired

Dreams Rewired. Manu Luksch, Martin Reinhart, Thomas Tode. 2015.

I was unable to locate this documentary anywhere for my Tilda Swinton project. If somebody knows where it can be found (either in some physical format or online), please let me know.

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