Change user email on local Wordpress instance (without verification)

For those wondering how to skip the vrification process when you try to change your own (or possibly other) users' email address on a local wp instance -- when it reads "email change request pending" in your profile page: depending on your machine/server/php/network config, the emails may not be being sent, so the solution is simply to go in the database. Change the address directly from wp-users. Voila!

The "Tech" People

I can't help to have mixed feelings when people use the term "tech" guy, person, team, etc etc with regards to technology specialists of any sort --in my case software, often web dev. Do people mean only to use it as an abbreviation, to shorten pronunciation time? Are they simply confused about the correct and complete way to refer to different kinds of technical or technological professions? Or is it actually a strange and derogatory suggestion?

I think some people, probably insecure about their lack of knowledge with technology, find the term tech a convenient reduction of technologist because "tech." is an ambiguous abbreviation of both /technolog(y|ist)/ and /technic(al)/ (those are regexes, not phonemes). First of all, there's absolutely nothing belittling about technical professions, that's some sort of self re-assuring 19th century miss-conception of the social value of crafts and guilds. However there is a relevant difference between the usage of* and concept behind the terms technical and technological.
* Because actually, there's not a substantial formal difference: dictionary definitions seem to be circularly referencing among all these terms, except in the case of technique which may relate to artistic performance.

Technology, that which relates to the practical application of knowledge (science, engineering), is in my humble opinion one of the most important expressions and achievements of culture itself; the culmination of organized, often large-scale research and development. New technologies change history, they can affect lifestyle, architecture, arts, politics, or just about any other aspect of civilization that you can think of. Science and technology are in fact, I believe, the only human endevour that may offer our race a chance to

So for those of you who are actually insecure about technology and who prefer to (not) handle it by negating its value and that of all professions around it: My suggestion is that you throw away your snobby attitude and start learning, or at least be more humble about your ignorance, and grateful for our help. That is of course, if you want us to actually do any of the work you absolutely need instead of going online to blog about you for hours :B

How I made a new T-mobile SIM card work on iPhone 4S with my "New GPP" unlocker card

My situation. I have an iPhone 4S from Mexico. It's carrier locked to Iusacell.

My previous setup was that I got one of the newer gpp chips (idk if its pro, turbo, or what, it only says "new") and put it in with an AT&T prepaid originally. The gpp menu came up and I entered the locked carrier's IMSI, which worked. But my AT&T plan didn't offer cellular data so I wanted to switch to the $30 unlimited text & data plan from T-Mobile USA.

Long story

I ordered T-Mobile's SIM card activation kit online (it's twice as expensive in stores) and when I finally got it my plan was to simply change the old SIM card for the new one. When I did, the iPhone simply registered "No SIM". Upon restarting, it showed "Searching..." for a bit and then back no No SIM (with a "No SIM card installed" alert). I tried not to panic and thought I needed to activate the SIM card first, so I tried to do so online but it seemed to take too long so I ended up calling T-Mobile instead and they activated the card and the desired plan for me. They said it would take a few hours for it to start working.

The next day I was still reading "No SIM". I tried this desperate method (switching airplane mode on and off repeatedly, which sounds silly) to no avail. I tried using the GPP config SIM but could never get back to the IMSI input menu of GPP... But the old SIM still worked with the GPP, so nothing seemed to be damaged!

Finally

After work, to check whether GPP would work with other companies, I asked someone to let me try their SIM card. It was Sprint. "No SIM". This time however, I did the airplane switch method and something happened, the Carrier section in Settings appeared! I quickly entered it and selected T-Mobile (Sprint didn't even come up, funny) but still I never read Sprint as the carrier, so I thought that was of no consequence and that the GPP would not work with T-Mobile or Sprint for some reason, or maybe my SIM card was bad? Who knew... HAPPILY, When I re-insterted my T-Mobile SIM card (with the GPP), it magically worked!

So it seems having selected the carrier manually may have done the trick, however this was impossible while I didn't have the option to do so while "No SIM" was indicated (and no Carrier section was displayed in Settings). Also, the carrier settings with the previous SIM card didn't include T-Mobile (I think).

Anyway, it works now. Yay


p.s. Make sure Data Roaming is enabled to get 3G (as indicated here).

Transfering among MTA buses (NYC transit)

There's one big limitation not described in the MTA's website about bus-to-bus transfers: you can't transfer into the same bus line. Why would someone want to? How about a quick stop in the store that's on the way home? (e.g. Whole Foods - Houston Street for the M21 bus.)

This is not indicated in the paragraph about "making connections" of the bus riding webpage:
"If you pay your fare with MetroCard, you may transfer free from local bus-to-subway, subway-to-local bus or local bus-to-local bus within two hours of the time you paid your fare. Unlimited Ride MetroCard includes all transfers free of charge..."

Clearly, using the same local bus line twice falls in the bold-ed scenario, but of course, they don't allow it. I find this annoying, why so freaking strict? I really dislike the MTA (too bad shitibike sucks almost as bad).

Inbox Zero - not that smart?

Just a quick thought on inbox 0. The concept of processing email (as opposed to checking it) is interesting however it can very easily just result in a transfer from the inbox folder into other folders:

Notice in the following screen capture how my inbox (left) is being processed down to zero... But my action and on-hold folders (right) are getting full...
p.s. I'm using the multiple inboxes lab to display certain folders on the right side of my email screen.

Not that smart after all... I guess it just depends how you end up using it. My 2c!

Henry St & Grand St citibike station is gone.

Since citibike has no publishing about such changes and since I already called to find out what had happened to the Henry Street & Grand Street station in the Lower East Side (LES) of Manhattan, I'm writing this blog post.

Apparently and according to the representative that answered my call to 1-855-BIKE-311 (although she initially just confirmed the station was removed, dah - without explanation until I insisted) the station was removed due to a nearby construction which should last up to 6 weeks. Damn, goodbye to a convenient early summer for me (that station was in front of my building).

UPDATE:

I also emailed and I was amazed by their hand-wash response:

from:     Jorge Orpinel
to:     customerservice@citibikenyc.com


Where do you publish information on removing stations, the reason and for how long? I'm a member (ID *****) and want to have this information before hand, not just walk to the location and find no station in sight...

from:     Customer Service
to:     Jorge Orpinel


Dear Jorge,

Thank you for contacting NYC Bike Share, operator of Citi Bike.

Citi Bike station locations and all new station installations are subject to DOT approval.

If you would like more information as to why a planned station has not yet been installed, why a station has been relocated, or why a station exists at a particular location, please submit a Community Outreach and Siting form directly to DOT via their online form or by calling 311.

For additional comments or inquiries, please respond to this email. Please sign up for our e-mail list and visit our website regularly for updates.   

Regards,
Alberto A.
Customer Service

NYC Bike Share, LLC (Operator of Citi Bike)
5202 3rd Avenue
Brooklyn, NY, 11220-1707
1-855-BIKE-311 (855-245-3311)
customerservice@citibikenyc.com
www.citibikenyc.com


It seems these guys really want to beat the MTA in poor service and information standards.

Google Voice New Number Error... or Intended Blocking?

For all of us getting a There was an error with your request. Please try again  message when trying to obtain a new Google Voice number.

This is the best answer I've found so far in the Google Voice "Support" Group:


Transcription:

lucas carterLevel 1 

Apr 21


I'm trying to get google voice set up, but I keep hitting the same error. I added my mobile phone number as the forwarding number, but then when I got to picking a new number from the list provided (int "Choose your number"), I got:  "There was an error with your request. Please try again."
I did some searches and found similar problems. I'm in the 48 states, so that's not it. People suggested going to the "phones" tab in settings, but that doesn't exist. Others suggested clicking the upgrade button, but that doesn't exist either. I do see "Get a Voice number" but that just leads me back to the error. Other problems people mentioned are that my phone is already used for another GV account and I need to change it. I don't think that's the problem, but I'm happy to try changing it to my landline for now, but I can't find an option that lets me do it.

The first time I clicked "Get a Voice number" it let me setup a forwarding number, but now it skips right to "Choose your number" and the error.

If I go to 
https://www.google.com/dashboard/ it says this under voice:Forwarding phones 2 phones
That would seem to be my problem, but I can't seem to get to a settings page that lets me delete, reset, or change those - or even see what they are.

Any help would be appreciated.



HillsboroughTop Contributor 

Apr 21


I suspect this is the problem:

"If I go to https://www.google.com/dashboard/ it says this under voice:
Forwarding phones 2 phones"

The missing phones tab can indicate that you transferred the GV account to another email, have a Gmail Phone account only, failed to complete the setup steps or ported the GV number out recently.   I don't know exactly what you did in the past with the account but are likely running into restrictions that Google Voice has in place to prevent abuse.  If your current Google account does not have the option to add a new phone number then you won't be able to use that account unless someone from Google Voice sees your post and provides assistance.

This message was posted by Google personnel yesterday:
If you're receiving an error message when trying to select a GV number, please note that you are most likely encountering an issue because you have used your mobile phone number as a forwarding phone on another Google Voice account in the last year.  If you have, you will not be able to sign up for a new Google Voice number with the mobile number you're trying to use.  Please use a different phone number. 




me
 (Jorge A Orpinel Pérez change

4:19 PM (17 minutes ago)


You're probably right. They are placing many accounts on security hold and not saying anything about it. Someone is also deleting many messages in other similar threads. I'm taking a screen capture of this one as soon as I post and will publish on my blog: http://rehalcon.blogspot.com/2013/04/google-voice-new-number-error-or.html

---

If you go to this search: http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!searchin/voice/There$20was$20an$20error$20with$20your$20request.$20Please$20try$20again./voice/v40PVH45G2M/46ARqzw5AUcJ you'll find all the other threads and no answers from Google. Yet many many deleted messages, including best answers.

Best Role/Capability plugin for WordPress: 7 current plugins reviewed

WP 6 native roles come with a basic structure of user control. Not much of an access management scheme for more complex projects. You can add special roles via the wp codex API but this is sort of inefficient and difficult for non-developers.

The one thing many wish WordPress included natively however, would be content-based access. Meaning to restrict arbitrary users from accessing certain content (by category for example). This is not currently possible with the CMS default structure.

Plug-ins!

listed from most basic to better/most advanced/most useful

(so scroll all the way down for editor's choice)

URE

User Role Editor is a good plugin just to manage roles and capabilities. It doesn't feature any sort of content-based permissions but I'm linking here because a plugin like this one may be used in combination of another one to achieve our purpose of the day...

UAM

User Access Manager (not linked because it didn't work as advertised) claims to allow content-based access by category. Interestingly, instead of changing the WP roles it allows to create role groups. Then you can go into different places such as posts, pages, and even categories and restrict them one by one to certain groups. The problem is that I just tried it and it does not work recursively: I assigned a group to a parent category but the users in roles outside of the group can still access posts in child categories... Not sure if it just doesn't affect posts when selecting categories or if the restriction doesn't propagate to child categories, either way its no good it its present version :(

Members

Members allows you to add/edit roles without using code. It is basically a graphic interface to the roles and capabilities API functions, accessible from 2 new entries under the Users menu of wp-admin. Such basic functionality is available in other plugins, such as User Role Editor. Additionally, Members also provides shortcodes you can add posts-by-post to restrict access to them -- getting us closer to content-based access management. The author promisses to extend the latter for future releases (its version 0.22 at the moment). Members also lets us create new custom capabilities.
Note that any changes made to users and roles using this plugin will remain even after uninstalling it.

s2Member® Framework

s2Member FREE is a very functional system to control content-based user access according to its own concept of Levels or membership tiers. It's intended however to be used as a commercial tool to charge for membership (integrates with PayPal) and has many features that don't really matter to me at the moment but others may really love it. Especially because its extremely well documented, its easy to setup, and it has enterprise-level support. Unfortunately to use it for access control means that everyone needs to register with the site to even read a post... but I'm running a public website!
There's also a "PRO" (paid) version with more flexibility and features.
Note that any changes made to users and roles using this plugin will remain even after uninstalling it.

At least s2Member helped me realize there's various types of content-based access management. What I'm interested in and the reason for this blog post is to limit some of my existing roles (the  back-end users) in their capabilities depending on the content (again, for example by category)..

AAM BASIC

Advanced Access Manager BASIC has an interesting interface in a new "Access Manager" menu which lets us create/edit/delete roles (and assign them to capabilities). We can also establish special restrictions for any existing role such as menu item visibility and ...drumroll... content based! Yes, there's a "posts & taxonomies" tab in there where you can choose posts (by categories which display as folders), pages, and media (and even media folders, in case you too also using Media Library Assistant). Sadly, while restricting categories does make them and child inaccessible to the role (although the category count is wrong in the list), it doesn't apply to the actual posts in them! -- I'm not going through 2000+ posts one by one.

I'm not linking to this one because after further tests I decided it doesn't work. Assigning taxonomy based restrictions to a role yields unexpected restrictions in others... Another annoyance with it is that some quite useful features (such as restrictions for posts inside categores...) are locked unless you buy AAM Premium... It would also be nice that media attached to restricted posts was automatically restricted. On the other hand, AAM can create new capabilities, and it's the only plugin so far that can be setup (with ConfigPress) to delete capabilities (any, not only the custom ones -- which can be pretty dangerous for your WP). Fortunately, deactivating the plugin removes all special restrictions.

Restrict Categories

Restrict Categories adds itself as an item under the Settings menu. Under its Roles (1st) tab, it allows to select the categories one-by-one or all-at-once (unfortunately no recursive selection) that can be accessed by that role. It doesn't work if you are selecting more than 989 categories :( please fix this... I'm opening a support topic with them.

Role Scoper 

We're down to Role Scoper. This plugin is complicated, not recommended for beginners... As it name suggests, the plugin allows to restrict role capabilities to work only on certain content -- by-category included, and it works recursively (option must be chosen). Again, this one is confusing because it bring into play new abstract, fixed RS roles such as "Page Editor" or "Content Manager" that map to certain (undisclosed) wp capabilities and are described in the "WP Role Definitions" tab of RS Options. To complicate things further you can also activate RS user groups which in turn can be given RS roles for site-wide permissions... Anyway, this is what I did to restricted managing some categories to only some of the back-end users:
  • I first created a new role similar to Editor with another plugin (as of now URE being the best one just for that);
  • I assigned certain users to the new role;
  • (optional) Having a public website: Under the Roles menu, Options (1st) sub-menu, then Realm tab: in the Access Type section I un-selected the "Viewing content (front-end)" check-box;
  • (optional) Selected all the "sync WP [Role] to these selections" check-boxes in the "RS Role Definitions" tab of RS Options -- not sure what this does though;
  • Enabled groups in RS Options, Features (1st) tab;
  • In the Restriction menu, Categories (1st) item: under 1. I chose "Restrict selected roles" and "for categories and sub-categories", under 2. I went to the category of interest (a parent) and selected all the RS Roles except "Post Reader", and clicked the Update button on 3; (Probably because of my thousands of child categories, the page returned was completely blank but I went back to the same category restrictions page and confirmed the changes were applied.)
  • In the Roles menu, Categories item: under 1. I chose "Assign for selected and sub-categories", under 2. I checked the [role] in question (as a group), under 3. I went down to the same parent category as before and checked the same RS Roles.
Understanding exactly what the steps above do is not trivial, feel free to investigate. In the end this whole thing didn't work for me exactly as I wanted it to. The one problem I found is speed. It's very slow when filtering access to many categories and the posts in them, so the lists can take a looong time to load... Happily as with AAM, deactivating the plugin gets things back to normal.
As a funny note, Role Scoper was developed within a religious project you can learn more in its About page. It also has a larger/newer version (it costs) called Press Permit.

---

So there it is. Nothing seems to work perfectly, or maybe I have to redesign my project (too many categories). Maybe restricting admin access based on content is not the best thing to do with WordPress, It was not designed that way (which is why we shouldn't call WP a CMS). Then again that's probably why they came up with the multi-site WP Network, so consider that option instead if you can still re-start your project or migrate your content.

How to show Stereo Mix in Windows 7 for Alienware M11x R2

When you want to record the system sounds directly (not from the microphone) in Windows 7, you need to have "Stereo Mix" in your list of recording devices (right click on the speaker icon on the task bar and choose "Recording devices"). A great application* of this is to record VoIP calls** such as those done on Skype or Google Talk/Google Voice
*You will need a good audio recording application such as Audacity (free).
**Check out this page before recording phone calls to learn about how legal that actually is where you live: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_recording_laws#United_States

To display the Stereo Mix "device" in an Alienware M11x R2 you need to reinstall the original driver from the manufacturer, since Windows probably already updated the driver to its own version which doesn't support this functionality.

You can get the file here: http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/19/product/alienware-m11x-r2#anchorProductAudio, the current version distributed by DELL is 6.0.1.6083. Over here it seems you can also find older and newer versions directly from Realtek: http://www.realtek.cz/realtek-download.php?realtek=ALC665&system=6 *
*I didn't need to do that, 6.0.1.6083 worked.

This is how your Recoding devices list will look like after reinstalling and restarting Windows*:
*Actually you first need to right click the list, make sure the disabled devices are being displayed, and then right Stereo Mix to Enable it first.


Now Stereo Mix should be listed when selecting a recording device in your audio software :) Happy recording!