Remove spam “Likes” from WordPress posts

How to remove spam “Likes” from WordPress posts:

1. “Edit” the post in question, in the usual Post Editor.

2. Look over on the right-hand sidebar, and scroll down.

3. There’s a “Likes and Shares” tab in the Post Editor. Uncheck the “Show Likes” check-box.

4. Scroll back up the sidebar, and click the “Update” button.

This works on both free and hosted WordPress blogs. Be aware that the above is using the Classic Editor, and things may look a little different if the newer Editor interface is being used.

You can also turn off Avatars (personal icons), if those are too spammy. The check-box for that is in: Dashboard | Settings | Discussion | Avatars | Avatar Display.

The worthless Peter Lowe ad-blocking list

The Peter Lowe ad-blocking list is obviously now worthless, due to its over-reach and scattergun blocking of all sorts of legitimate things. Back in June I found it blocking Harvard. I’ve since found all sorts of similar blocks on things that should not be blocked. I’ve unsubscribed my browser’s ad-blocker addon from the Peter Lowe list, and I suggest that you consider doing so to.

Carrot2 search – a new script for multi-column results

The Carrot2 search-engine has changed both URL and layout. It was at search.carrot2.org/stable/search and it’s now just at the search.carrot2.org URL. I guess the public-facing search may have come out of beta? This is what their new layout looks like…

Not good, on a widescreen desktop monitor.

Which means I’ve made another custom CSS for it. This slices the Carrot into a multi-column layout suited to a widescreen 1920px monitor. It works in the Stylus browser addon, and you need to tell the script to target the search.carrot2.org site

Yum, crunchy Carrot! All the z-depths are set up nicely, so you can still click on/in the filters and search box.

I like to read the URLs in search-results and so I’ve turned them dark green and wrapped them to make this possible. The results look good with URLs that line-wrap by up to three lines. But it’s unavoidable that some very long URLs will wrap over four lines, and will thus spill over the element below.

In most cases there should be no need for any scrolling.

It only works in Day mode, with the Carrot’s new toggle-able Night and Day mode…

If you want a night mode, you’ll have to manually change the colour chips to a charcoal black on…

body, body.light {

and

div.ResultList

The other drawback is that whereas the old multi-column fix showed about 25-30 results, now we’re down to about 16. If you want it up to 20+ add the following code…


.ResultClusters {
display: none;
}

There’s also the lack of a “more…” button, but this usefully forces the user to use the Carrot’s innovative faceting systems over in the left-hand pane.


To install my fix, simply go to Carrot2, then left-click on your icon for the Stylus browser addon and click “Write style for…”.

Then paste in this…


/* ==== CARROT2 - Multi-Columns v.02 Oct 2019 ==== */
/* run this Stylus script on search.carrot2.org */
div.document div.url {
overflow: hidden;
color: #3a7730;
font-size: 110%;
}
body, body.light {
background-color: #ece5db;
}
.ResultList > div > a > span.url {
color: #3f7126;
font-size: 80%;
font-weight: bold;
white-space: pre; /* CSS 2.0 */
white-space: pre-wrap; /* CSS 2.1 */
white-space: pre-line; /* CSS 3.0 */
white-space: -pre-wrap; /* Opera 4-6 */
white-space: -o-pre-wrap; /* Opera 7 */
white-space: -moz-pre-wrap; /* Mozilla */
white-space: -hp-pre-wrap; /* HP Printers */
word-wrap: break-word; /* IE 5+ */
}
a {
font-size: 100%;
}
.SearchForm {
z-index:20;
}
div.ResultList {
z-index:4;
position:absolute;
background-color: #ece5db;
padding-top: 180px;
top:0;
bottom:0;
right:0;
column-count: 5;
width: 70%
}
.ResultList > div > a >div {
font-size: 80%;
}
div.sources {
padding-top: 25px;
}
div.ClusterList {
background-color: #ece5db;
padding-top: 10px;
column-count: 2;
}
div.clusters-tabs {
width: 40%
}
div.clusters {
z-index:4;
width: 50%
}

Tested in Opera, which is a browser that runs on Chrome. It will probably work with other CSS style injectors.

Trigger a keyboard shortcut with a mouse-gesture

Here’s a very simple guide for StrokesPlus freeware users. It shows how to make an easy mouse-gesture that runs a complex keyboard-shortcut. Having such a thing relieves a desktop PC user of the need to do contortionist hand-yoga on the keyboard.

Why is this guide needed? Because StrokesPlus documentation is good but very techie, and it seems impossible for search to find a good basic two-minute starter guide with a couple of clear examples. So here it such a guide.


1. Open your StrokesPlus menu and go to Actions…


2. In the StrokesPlus Actions | Global Actions section, choose an un-used mouse-gesture and simply modify it. Here I’ve modified the simple “Last Track” gesture that’s meant for media-players, so that it runs ALT + SHIFT + 4.

acSendKeys(“%+4”)

This mouse-gesture is then used in a Web browser, being invoked with a ‘right-click and drag’ with the mouse. The triggered command then sends my selection from the text of a news story or journal article to my ‘Save as eBook’ addon. (Note that the gesture needs to be in StrokesPlus’s ‘Global’ folder, not its ‘Internet Browsers’ folder, to work for me).

Having this mouse-gesture is especially useful with ‘Save as eBook’ (a great Instapaper replacement, able to grab more types of text and more private). Because it’s all too easy to hit the wrong item in the plain menu… and thus accidentally blank your ebook!

One can even add a command to wait three seconds, then have the ‘Save as eBook’s “OK” button automatically pressed to exit it…

acSendKeys(“%+4{DELAY 3000}{ENTER}”)


3. In your selected StrokesPlus gesture, write your own command and change the comment. Press APPLY and then OK in that order. You’re done.

Test your gesture and see that it works.


“Write your own command? How do you do that?”

Here are the basics of how to write your own command. I’ll use the gesture that works with my ‘Save as eBook’ addon as the example…

acSendKeys(“%+4”)

acSendKeys = do specific keyboard key-presses, in a specific order.

(“”) = always present, to neatly wrap up the keystrokes and commands.

% = the ALT key

+ = the SHIFT key

4 = the number 4 on the keyboard. (This could also be an a-z letter)

The other big keyboard strokes you’ll need for encapsulating keyboard shortcuts are:

^ = CTRL

{F_1} = F1. This can run through to F_9 = F9. Note that the { } brackets are required. Here’s an example that uses them…

acSendKeys(“%^{F_1}”)

This will run the keyboard shortcut ALT + CTRL + F1 when you make your chosen mouse-gesture.

Similarly, such brackets are also required for…

{DELAY 3000} = wait three seconds

{ENTER} = press the ENTER key


That’s it. Hopefully that’s enough to get you started.

Mind the Gap

MIT’s Mind the Gap is a new comprehensive survey report on open source publishing systems that can be used for scholarly purposes. The only one I can see that’s missing is WordPress. Which is open source, free, easy to use and rent a server for, and can be quickly tooled-up with plugins for such purposes. In fact, it’s not even mentioned once, even to explain why it and its plugins were omitted.

Carrot2 multi-columns Stylus CSS style

Update: Carrot2 changed the layout and a new script is now needed. here’s the fix.

I made a Stylus CSS to have the Carrot2 Clustering Search Engine give its results as a five-column layout showing about 32 results. This is suited to a desktop PC with a widescreen 24″ monitor at 1920px.

On each search result block, I’ve increased the title in size a little, the snippet has been shrunk a little, the URL turned from difficult-to-read grey to a more usual dark green, and the results numbering has been effectively removed by turning it white. Numbering runs down each column and then starts again at the top of the next.

In the straight one-column version, all results come in on a single page and there are usually between 32 and 75 of them. There is thus no pagination (“next page”) in my columnar version. In my version if you wish to see the lower hidden results, right-click your Stylus icon, switch off the style and scroll down. No re-load is needed.

However the lack of pagination in my style may actually be found quite useful. Because it pushes the user toward testing the Carrot2 auto-clustering feature, in order to try to surface stuff that may be down in the inaccessible follow-on results.

Here’s the code. I’ve double-checked that WordPress isn’t blanking some bits of it. To install simply go to Carrot2, then left-click on your icon for the Stylus browser addon and click “Write style for…”.



/* ==== CARROT2 - Multi-Columns v.01 ==== */
element.style {
}
div.document div.url {
overflow: hidden;
color: #3a7730;
font-size: 110%;
}
div.snippet, div.document div.url {
font-size: 97%;
}
div.document .rank {
color: #ffffff;
}
a {
font-size: 113%;
}
#documents {
column-count: 5;
}


It will probably work with other CSS style injectors.


Incidentally, DuckDuckGo has a bang! for flicking searches from Duck-to-Carrot: !carrot This can also be embedded in a menu in DuckDuckGo by using the UserScript ‘DuckDuckMenu’ and adding:

http://search.carrot2.org/stable/search?source=web&view=folders&skin=fancy-compact&query={searchTerms}&results=30&algorithm=lingo&EToolsDocumentSource.country=ALL&EToolsDocumentSource.language=ALL&EToolsDocumentSource.customerId=&EToolsDocumentSource.safeSearch=false

How many users are Google’s captcha’s driving away from the service?

Google Search’s captcha’s are becoming intensely annoying. You can’t seem to go more than five pages of results deep with the same search before Google throws up a captcha, even with a relatively unsophisticated verbatim search such as “author name” “annotated”. And it’s not happening because I’ve been hammering the service in other ways.

How to: Google Search in columns at Summer 2019

There’s now a temporary sort-of fix for the badly broken GoogleMonkeyR browser userscript, the fix being kindly made by IzzySoft. My thanks to IzzySoft, but it still has numerous problems and also doesn’t work at all with News results. One of the worst problems is that results can get ‘sliced’ across columns, with one bit of a result at the foot of column one, and the other bit at the top of column two. It also doesn’t work well with Google Hit Hider by Domain.

For now then, I suggest that someone wanting three-column Google Search and Google Books, on a widescreen desktop PC, should abandon GoogleMonkeyR. Instead try the following, to get Google Search looking like this…

1. Disable any installs of GoogleMonkeyR.

2. Get the Stylus extension. This is a host that enables quick makeovers of the style of a website, via simple style scripts.

3. Then install the Stylus style “Google Search in columns”, after first setting “3” columns in the download options. I could not get four columns to look or feel good.

4. I tried some Google Search makeover Styles, but none could colour the link title and URL separately. I’ve learned to instantly ‘read the URLs’ over the years, and thus want them clearly identifiable at the merest glance. For a fully configurable colours makeover I went to the Dark Theme for Google Chrome addon, which can do such things and which seems robust and updated.

5. Tweak the colours in this Dark Theme addon. It’s fully configurable, inc. in my Opera browser, and you access its options via right-clicking its icon.

This gives you easy ways to set the colours, and you can even set a timer so the dark mode only kicks in at dusk and turns off at dawn.

There’s also a custom .CSS injector which looks interesting, and I’ll tinker with it at some point.

6. Now you want to tell Google to deliver only 9 results per page, by using an access URL with a command embedded in it that limits the number of results. 9 results suits a three column layout, and (once you get rid of other clutter), means you usually don’t have to scroll down to find the “next page” controls.

https://www.google.com/webhp?hl=en&complete=0&tbo=1&num=9&tbs=li:1

num=9 is what’s switching you from 10 to 9 results.

7. Finally you use the popular UBlock addon and its Element Picker to perma-block page clutter, as it appears in the Google Search results to mess up your layout. Such as huge slabs of video suggestions, instant answers, and other distracting and often irrelevant auto-fluff. There’s a bit of an art to such blocking, but you’ll get the hang of it. Just keep at it until all you’re getting is what you want — just the actual search results.

8. Here’s what my Google Search looks like on a desktop PC, with this setup.


Google Search. Everything ‘at a glance’, suited to a desktop widescreen, and with all URLs and controls clearly visible. Only the Google Books switch-through link is behind a dropdown menu, but at some point I’ll find a fix to replace “Shopping” with “Books” on the menu.


Google Books.

Nothing seems to budge Google News, in terms of getting results into columns, unfortunately. GoogleMonkeyR used to do that, but it no longer works and the new fix doesn’t do it. Nothing else seems to work on it.

As you’ll see above I use the UserScript “Google Search Sidebar” to get the neat sidebar, JURN in a UserScript to inject a quick search-query passing link into the Google menu. I also use uBlock to block the distracting book-cover thumbnails on Google Books.

I also run Google HitHider by Domain. Which in some cases means results look like this…

The spaces are results from blocked domains, being elegant replaced with a blank block where the result would have appeared, and thus not spoiling the layout.