Highlight the Current Line in Vim

Most text editors these days have plugins available that make it easy to highlight the line your cursor is on. Vim makes doing this easy with the following in your .vimrc file. You can use any of the valid Xterm256 colors available for the ctermbg options, and customize the look to your liking.

" Highlight the current line
set cursorline
" Set cursorline colors
highlight CursorLine ctermbg=235
" Set color of number column on cursorline
highlight CursorLineNR ctermbg=235 ctermfg=white

Send Individual Audio Files to Your Podcast Player

There are times when I have individual audio files that I want to listen to but they are not available in a podcasts RSS feed. This is mostly, but is not limited too, archived episodes for a podcast they are not included in the main feed.

So why send the files to your podcast player?

Like any other smartphone available today, I can with a fair amount of ease send files to my iPhone via iTunes. But if I simply sent these files to my music player I would loose out on a couple benefits:

  • Only having a single app to open that has the audio I want to play.
  • Not being able playback audio at 1.5x or 2x speed. (I know. I’m impatient.)
  • Lack of “special” audio effects.

In regards to that final point: I use Overcast as my podcast player of choice. It has a nice “Voice boost” effect which can improve the audio quality of poorly recording podcasts, and “Smart speed” which plays audio faster at 1x by removing empty space in the audio.

The solution? A custom RSS feed.

When I first had the idea to create this RSS feed I thought about building a Drupal site for it. I’ve been working with Drupal long enough that just about anything looks like a nail. Creating this wouldn’t be that hard honestly. But it would have a few dissaadvantages, mainly, I’d have to worry about security updates for the site. I didn’t want that. So I moved onto looking at custom scripts to build the RSS feed. I could then host the “episodes” and feed on my server, or in a public Dropbox. I am using the latter. After a bit of digging I ran across a script that suited my needs. I’ve uploaded my version to this Gist where I also added a field for artwork for the “podcast”, and changed the GUID to be based on the files modified date. After getting the script tuned to my liking I created a Hazel rule that runs the script everytime I add a new file to the “podcast” directory in Dropbox. And there you have it, a podcast customized to whatever audio I want to queue up in it.

Shell Devel

Shell Devel is a great new site with regular tips and tricks about using shell as a development environment.

Mozilla Partners with Yahoo!

I have always thought it was odd that Mozilla received a large portion of its revenue from Google as they are competitors for browser market share. So the move to Yahoo! as a default search engine is a good choice from a business standpoint. But is it good for users? I think most would say that Yahoo it is an inferior search engine.

I personally use Startpage as my search engine of choice and there has been no mention of removing the ability to change the default search engine in Firefox. So you will still be able to set your default search back to Google if you desire. It just means Mozilla wont generate any revenue off you.

Let's Encrypt - A Free Certificate Authority

A free and open certification authority backed by Mozilla, Cisco, EFF, and others. Coming early 2015. The potential of this personally excites me as moving to SSL can be very costly and time consuming, especially for a small business. But as more and more of our lives move to services online - encryption becomes all the more important.

I must say I’m skeptical about the ease of setup as SSL is always finicky. But they are claiming all that will be needed for installation is:

$ sudo apt-get install lets-encrypt

$ lets-encrypt example.com

That’s it. Example.com would then have encryption available.

I am actually really surprised Google hasn’t supported this as they have pushed for https so much this year.