Using WordPress Behind a Proxy

Occasionally, it’s useful to setup a test WordPress installation on a local machine, however, if this machine is on a corporate network, there’s a good chance it uses a proxy server for external requests… this is fine, until you try to install a theme, or a plugin through the built in tools. When these pages try to access wordpress.org to find plugin/theme data, errors are going to be returned and WordPress will return something like:

An unexpected error occurred. Something may be wrong with WordPress.org or this server’s configuration. If you continue to have problems, please try the support forums.

Try again

To fix this, simply tell WordPress about your proxy server by adding the following to wp-config.php in the root of your WordPress install:

/* Configure proxy Server */
define('WP_PROXY_HOST', 'www-cache.leeds.ac.uk');
define('WP_PROXY_PORT', '3128');
define('WP_PROXY_USERNAME', '');
define('WP_PROXY_PASSWORD', '');
define('WP_PROXY_BYPASS_HOSTS', 'localhost');

The above example is configured for The University of Leeds’ proxy server. You should be able to obtain your network’s own configuration from your browser config.

Facebook Chat Now Works With Jabber/XMPP

Yup, facebook chat, notorious for being the world’s worst chat platform (yes even worse than MSN) now allows you to connect using XMPP (the best chat protocol in the world).

All you have to do is set a facebook username, then you can connect using username@chat.facebook.com and your facebook password… it really is that easy!

You can see more details and instructions for specific chat clients here: http://www.facebook.com/sitetour/chat.php

Artificial Intelligence – www.cleverbot.com

I remember the first artificially intelligent bot I ever spoke to. It was back in the days of the Amiga and its name was Claude. It could answer very basic questions like “How are you?” but as soon as things got even remotely complicated, it would say something like “Is that the door bell I hear? You’d better get that!”. Evidently, things have moved on in the world of AI. Check out www.cleverbot.com. Here is a conversation I have just had with it: Continue reading Artificial Intelligence – www.cleverbot.com

4OD for Linux has finally arrived!

It’s not quite 4OD, it’s 4OD catch-up, but as far as I’m aware the only difference is the inability to watch archived shows, such as old episodes of Green Wing or Black Books… but maybe in time this will become a reality too.

So what has prompted this new service? I’d like to think demand from mac and Linux users, but who knows. The shift from Microsoft’s WMP to Adobe’s flash player has certainly made the whole thing more accessible though. Whilst it would be nice to have a completely FOSS solution, this is unrealistic at present and I think Channel 4 should be applauded for taking steps to make life easier for non-windows users.