Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Downtime

Friday, October 28th, 2011

The last couple of weeks have been shaky for our servers. This was out of my hands, thankfully, as it was problems at Driver Database’s server provider. Hopefully they’ve managed to sort things out so that these types of failures won’t happen again.

During this time the image upload functions at Driver Database seized to function properly. They are working again now but if you submitted photos to the site during the last week please re-submit them!

The ultimate time saver

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

The cropping in action

I finally decided to really do something about the situtation for approving (or in somce cases deleting) sent in helmet photos. The helmet photos are sent in in all various shapes and sizes and they need to be 130×116 in size when they appear in the driver’s profile pages.

Up until today there’s been a lot of manual work to update the photos as they have been cropped and resized in an image editor and then been uploaded via FTP once they’ve been resized and renamed. Time consuming.

It would of course be much better if the cropping and saving could be done on-the-fly at the website. I’ve been on the lookout for some Ajax scripts that could do the cropping but haven’t really found any that suits my needs until today. The reason for me not writing one from scratch is because I suck at Javascript and Ajax. I fortunately found the jsCropperUI which does the trick just perfectly! All I had to do was to write a simple PHP back end to handle the actual saving of the file and I was good to go!

I emptied the helmet queue in no-time!

And if your helmet submissions weren’t included it was probable because one of the following reasons:

  • The submitted helmet photo didn’t actually include a helmet
  • The driver wasn’t wearing the helmet
  • The file wasn’t a JPG but a BMP file
  • The photo was smaller than 130×116 pixels
  • The quality of the photo was just too bad

Spamming “Most Buzz”

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

I thought I’d take a few moments to explain how the “Most buzz” list and the Driverdb.com “popularity” ranking works. It’s really simple, it counts the number of unique pageviews a driver’s profile page gets. This is nothing scientific at all, but it does give some sort of yard stick as to which driver is the most talked about, and therefor mostly researched driver at Driver Database. This works unless people with nothing better to do start spamming their profile pages to get better ranking in these lists.

So, what are the measures taken to limit this?

Here’s how it basically works:

Once per day (when most buzz gets updated) a script runs and triggers when it finds what it believes to be “unnatural” hits based on the surfing pattern of the visiting IP address. It then counts the unnatural hits and the natural hits for each profile page. If a profile page has only 10% (for example) of its hits coming from natural visits, the following day only 10% of the total hits will be counted. The next day this number might be 20% and then 20% of the hits will be counted the day after.

It’s simple, really, if you try to inflate the view count, you will have to work a little bit harder each day as the script adapts to the new percentages. And when you’re down at 0.1% you do the maths on how many times you need to change your dynamic IP to get a pageview…

First post

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

Ever wondered what gets updated at Driver Database? This blog will tell you. Everything that gets updated, whether it’s results or changes to the code, gets mentioned here. Fun times.