Let’s face it, not all of us work in ideal situations. Some of us can create a site for a client, create only one administrator, and leave the client with lower privileges so that they are always at our mercy.
Other times you decide to throw up Multisite just so the client can technically be an administrator, but cannot update, add, or edit plugins and themes (much less update WordPress).
Admins, admins, everywhere!
The world I live in, everybody’s an admin. Sure, it’s not an ideal solution at all, but you have to work with what you have, right?
Today I created a snippet (with a lot of borrowed code) that will disable the plugin/theme editors, and will also disable updates from showing. All you have to do is throw it into your theme’s functions.php file.
I would guess that most of the clients, copywriters, etc, do not know the power that they hold when they are administrators. This snippet simply “hides” some of that power.
Disable by default, but allow enabling
Now if an admin really knows what they’re doing, they can “opt-in” to the plugin/theme editor and WordPress upgrade notices.
All the admin has to do is go to their user profile and select which options to opt-in on.
So in a nutshell, this snippet (by default) disables:
The ability to edit, delete, install, or update plugins.
The ability to edit, delete, install, or update themes.
The ability to upgrade WordPress. All notices are hidden.
Programmers (can I call myself one?) have a tendency to be lazy. And laziness can result in a tool that may save a few seconds here and there, but by golly, those seconds matter!
I work on a lot of client sites, and the themes are rather inconsistent with adding “edit” links for posts or pages. Add in the fact that some of the sites have disabled the toolbar, I got rather frustrated disabling the code and/or manually searching for the item in the WordPress admin area.
Introducing Slash Edit
Slash Edit (WordPress.org | GitHub) is definitely one of those plugins born out of pure laziness.
I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be cool if I could just add a “/edit” (slash edit, get it?) to a post or page and be redirected to the post editor for the item?
I then thought to myself, “Surely there is some brilliant genius who already thought of this and coded a solution.”
I went to the almighty Google and searched. I went to the WordPress plugin repository, and searched. Nada. The best I could find was some random Stack Overflow snippets that hinted at adding an edit link.
Not finding a solution, I started researching the dreaded Rewrite API and saw hope. A nifty little function called add_rewrite_endpoint could pretty much get me mostly there. All I had to do was set up an endpoint (i.e., /edit) and write a redirect function.
I coded it up in maybe an hour, threw it on GitHub, and announced it to the world.
I’m going to use it as I originally intended to. When I’m working on a client site, whether on production or locally, I’m going to install the plugin. Inevitably I’ll run into the situation where I’m browsing a post or page and I spot a typo of some sort. Because I’m naturally an idiot, I haven’t logged in, so now I have to open a new tab, log in, and refresh the post or page so I can see the WordPress toolbar.
And if the toolbar is there, I click on the “Edit Post” or “Edit Page” button and am taken to the correct item in the WordPress admin area.
Or, with the plugin installed, I can add a “/edit” to the end of the post or page URL and be auto-magically redirected to the correct item. If I’m not logged in, WordPress prompts me, and then I’m redirected appropriately.
My sister even called me today from Afghanistan and asked how I was remembering September 11th. I told her I watched a few tribute shows yesterday and that I would stop by the Oklahoma Christian University tribute after work.
Oklahoma state flags paying tribute to September 11th
Here are a few more pictures of the tribute. Each of the 168 U.S. and Oklahoma flags represent a victim of the Oklahoma City bombing attack, while also serving as a reminder of the September 11th attacks where terrorism struck hard in the 21st century. Continue reading →
When I first heard of the Monumentour with headliners Paramore and Fall Out Boy, I jumped at the chance to buy tickets. The earliest I could buy them was in January, and I saw there were Meet and Greet VIP passes available, so I splurged to finally have a chance to meet the members of Paramore.
Thankfully the tour was coming to Oklahoma City, so I snapped up tickets for August 10th at the Zoo Amphitheatre. Months passed and I forgot about the tour until I received info via e-mail about how to attend the Meet and Greet.
Zoo Amphiteatre in Oklahoma City
The Zoo Amphitheatre is rather large and parking is plentiful (if you are willing to walk). There is a non-VIP General Admission area, and then there is a VIP General Admission area at the very front of the stage (the two areas are separated by a small fence).
The staff were incredibly friendly and water was reasonably priced (at about $4 per bottle). The security guards eventually took all our water bottles away in exchange for cups due to safety issues. Apparently hurling a full water bottle into the crowd causes injuries. Who knew?
There were plenty of restrooms and kiosks in which to purchase water, beer, liquor, or food.
The Meet and Greet
Ronald with Members of Paramore
I’ve been following Paramore since their Riot! album came out. I first heard of them via the game Rock Band in which they had the track, “That’s What You Get.”
I didn’t get a chance to see the band in concert before they split, but I did watch a live DVD recording of a Chicago performance.
Finally, the band was pieced back together, they released their self-titled album, and went on tour across the world. I was in Oslo at the time, and when I saw that the band was coming to Oslo, I bought tickets and went to their concert.
When I left Oslo to come back to the states, I saw that they were again on a cross-country tour and were going to stop in Austin, TX. I bought tickets to that show and attended.
However, this time around, I was able to buy Meet and Greet passes so I would have to chance to quickly chat with the band, get a few things signed, and take a quick picture.
The members of Paramore were extremely nice and thanked me for coming to see them despite the dreadful heat.
What I didn’t count on when I purchased the tickets in January was the heat. August in Oklahoma City is pretty hot, and on this day, it reached 95 degrees fahrenheit. Oklahoma City is known for its windy days, but on this day there were barely any clouds in the sky and the wind was not blowing at all.
We baked. A girl in front of me passed out from heat exhaustion before any of the bands got a chance to play. She was carried by the security team over to medical. I hope she recovered enough to see the concert.
Spraying the Crowd
Thankfully the security team had hoses and would periodically spray the crowd with water to cool us down. The team would also fill our cups with water via the hoses. Eventually we at the front acted as proxies for people needing water. People would pass cups to us, we’d get them filled with water, and pass the cups back. Basically at that point, nobody gave a shit about passing germs. We were all incredibly thirsty.
Ronald Drenched with Water
I even had the security guards spray me down twice because I was so hot.
Lead Singer of New Politics
After waiting for hours in the heat and getting periodically sprayed with water, the first band came out. It was a band based out of Denmark called New Politics.
The sound was admittedly awful and I couldn’t really hear the vocalist. However, the lead singer had a tremendous stage presence and did some amazing stunts on stage (e.g., hand stands, break dancing, back flips).
I’m definitely going to check out tracks for the band because the parts I could hear were extremely good.
Hayley Williams of Paramore
Shortly after New Politics wrapped up, Paramore came to the stage. It seemed that a lot of the people in the audience were strictly there for Fall Out Boy, but everywhere around me people was singing along to the Paramore songs.
Once Paramore finished, the crowd got a bit feisty and started pushing hard towards the front. During New Politics and Paramore, there was a lot of room at the front. With Fall Out Boy, you could barely move.
Finally Fall Out Boy came out and gave a great performance. The one thing I didn’t like was the lights, which were constantly blinding me and were very distracting. Also the fire was a bit much, especially the heat it gave off (we were all really dreadfully hot by this point).
Fall Out Boy
You can check out all of the photos we took at my Flickr Account. Feel free to do with them as you wish.
I got to meet the members of my favorite band, got to see a cool opening act, and got to experience what a Fall Out Boy concert was like.
However, a day later, I’m pretty sunburnt, incredibly sore, and just want to sleep for like the next two years. But I’d do it again tomorrow if I could!
If you have your own Monumentour experience in Oklahoma City, feel free to share in the comments below.
I’ve long been a fan of the game Uno. It’s fun, addictive, and very satisfying when you win.
I discovered the Uno game in the iOS App Store, but it was standalone, crashed often, and was very tedious to play. When I saw that Uno and Friends came out and that it was free, I jumped on it. I loved the multiplayer play, the boosts, the overall gameplay, and the competitiveness.
One of my friends who I hang around often asked me what I was playing all the time. I told her it was Uno & Friends. She wanted to join in on the fun and downloaded the game for her Android phone.
She became as addicted to the game as I did. Then surpassed me. She became beyond addicted.
I have since vowed never to play the game again. The game is evil. Here’s why.
The Game Isn’t Really Free
The Uno & Friends game advertises itself as free. And to an extent, the game is free.
When you first load the game up, you’re given some coins, a handful of tokens, and an easy way to join games.
This is about when you realize it takes 2 tokens to create a new game and that sooner or later you will run out.
When joining a game, you’re suddenly introduced to boosts.
Uno and Friends Boosts
The boosts require coins in order to purchase and are good for only one game.
As of this writing, here are the boosts and how many coins it takes to purchase them.
Reshuffle Hand (50 coins): Allows you to exchange your crappy hand for an even crappier one.
50% Point Bonus (75 coins): Get 50% more points, but honestly you have no idea if it’s working.
Dampener (350 coins): The best boost. Draw half as many cards when someone plays a Draw 2 or Draw 4 on you.
Spy (400 coins): You can see others’ cards. It’s an evil boost, but it helps you win a lot.
Mirror (750 coins): When someone plays a special card against you, you can make them feel the pain and draw the same amount of cards.
Overdraw (1200 coins): The stupidest and most evil boost. When someone draws, they draw 2 cards instead of one. This boost pisses EVERYONE off and typically makes a game take way longer to finish.
You don’t need an accounting degree to realize you will run out of coins fast. And what’s the best way to earn coins? Well, you have to join games and develop a win streak. But to join games, you need tokens. And to get tokens, you either have to buy more or wait for a free scratcher so you can earn some free tokens (or watch ads until you have enough tokens to play).
So yeah, you will run out of coins and tokens pretty fast. And while you’re waiting for a new scratcher, you can’t play the game. At least, not for free.
Now what if you want to play, but are out of the coveted tokens that it takes to play a game? As stated before, you can wait for a new scratcher to show up. Or, you can spend real money and buy some tokens. And if you want more coins, yeah, you can pay real money for those too. Uno & Friends calls them Coin and Token packs. They start as low as $1.99 (USD) for a handful or as much as $39.99 for quite some more.
Granted, the Token Pack is what you want to purchase if you want to play games or tournaments. You can’t play without tokens. But, if you want a better chance of winning, you need to buy boosts (especially in tournament mode). To buy boosts, you need coins. Want more coins? Buy a Coin Pack.
So is Uno & Friends really free? Kinda. But for those who really want to play, they are shelling out real cash for the chance to beat you into submission.
VIP is a Ripoff, but Totally Necessary
We’ve already established that Uno & Friends is free. It’s not quite bait and switch as you can really play Uno & Friends for free if you really want to and you have quite a bit of patience.
When first playing, the game quickly tries to encourage you to pay for VIP. So what exactly is VIP?
Uno & Friends makes money from the purchase of Token Packs, Coin Packs, and (gasp) ads. Without purchasing VIP, you will be subjected to watching ads between games. To get rid of these pesky ads? Buy VIP.
Back when I purchased VIP, it cost $3.99 (USD). I expected heaven and earth to move, but no, the only thing I got was an annoying VIP sticker when I played and the removal of ads. You get one or more tokens extra when you do a scratcher, but that is the extent of the benefits. You don’t get more tokens when leveling up. You don’t get extra coins.
There’s really nothing gained by buying VIP. But if you want to get rid of those pesky ads, it’s a must-purchase item.
I’ve already mentioned several of the boosts available, but there are even more to purchase in tournament mode.
The boosts give you an unfair advantage over others playing who haven’t purchased boosts themselves.
Typically the players who haven’t had a chance to purchase boosts are at lower levels (likely level 20 or below). Uno & Friends allows you to play with people of all levels when playing (which is kind of unfair in itself if you are at a rather high level).
A player with boosts will trounce these players. We at higher levels have already amassed a large amount of tokens and coins, so we can basically purchase any boost at whim. Those on lower levels have just started and typically can’t get any boosts unless they purchase a Coin Pack.
So yeah, I love playing against players at lower levels. I can see their cards. I will mirror the crap out of them. I will even turn on the evil overdraw if they piss me off.
Am I cheating? Hell, yes. But the game allows me to do it, so I do.
The Game Crashes. A Lot!
If the game crashes and you lose tokens or coins, that’s just too bad. If you try e-mailing Gameloft, all you will get is stupid excuses like quitting all apps on your Android or iOS device and/or restarting your device. The game is absurdly slow on my iPhone 4S, and is also really slow on my friend’s iPad 3 and Android device.
The game typically crashes in the last round of a tournament (especially if you are winning). It crashes randomly during regular games. The game just crashes. A lot.
Uno & Friends
Yet the Game is Addictive
The game makes use of psychology to keep you hooked. The closest term I can think of is that of Classical Conditioning, in which behavior is strengthened or weakened, depending on its consequences. You might as well throw in Gambler’s Fallacy in there too.
So when you lose, you’re frustrated and think you’re destined for a win (which may or may not come). If you win a lot in a row, you might as well play some more to boost up your win streak.
Uno and Friends Broken Win Streak that Costs 20 Freakin’ Tokens
The geniuses of Uno & Friends have made the game so addictive that the more you lose, the more you play. The more you win, the more you play. And the more you play, you suck up valuable tokens and coins (which you must purchase when they run out).
Remember, purchasing Coin and Token Packs costs real money. If I were to guess, the guys behind Uno & Friends are sitting on a gold mine.
I Refuse to Play Anymore
I’ve invested about as much money as I can stand towards Uno & Friends. Yes, the game is fun, but I don’t want to pay any more money towards the damn game.
I can’t stand the “cheating”, even if I partake if I have enough coins. I really fucking hate the overdraw boost, and it seems that every other game has some bastard who has it on.
I can’t stand the constant crashes.
And personally, I don’t find it fun anymore. I’d rather just go to the store, buy the actual cards (which I have done), and find two or three deserving souls to play the “old school” game with. It’s much funner when you beat someone’s ass in person.
So Yes, Uno & Friends is Evil
The fact that the game requires real money to play in order to have a good chance of winning is enough to call it evil. Add in the constant crashes, the poor support from Gameloft, the blatant cheating, and unfairness of playing different levels together, then you have a truly evil game.
I personally won’t play the game anymore. If you read the reviews on the respective app stores for the game, you will see many agree with me. Many are just fed up with it.
Uno and Friends – Ronalfy
So goodbye Uno & Friends. I doubt anyone will miss me.
My friend who got addicted to Uno & Friends after I introduced her to it is still very much playing the game. She’ll probably write an article later detailing all the ways to get tokens and coins aplenty without paying.
If you have your own tips, please share them below and they’ll make it in the article.
If you have your own grievances, please share them below as well.