Block Fake Disposable Email Addresses

If you run a website that allows account signups, you’ve probably faced abuse from fake users, abusive users, fraudsters, and other malicious actors. If you look at their email addresses, you may have noticed a pattern among these users. Fake users tend to use disposable emails and temporary email services that allow abusers to quickly cycle through new emails with unique address names across thousands of domains. These services make it possible with a simple mouse click to generate a brand new email address.

Since the creation of T.LY URL Shortener, I’ve had to learn a ton about how to stop malicious users on the internet. One part of this was preventing users from signing up using disposable email addresses. Fortunately, there is a Laravel package that handles this functionality. I got a quick solution released that auto-updated from an ever-growing list of fake email address domains. Read More

Weather Extension Updated

I am excited to announce Weather Extension has been updated to the latest browser extension manifest v3. Manifest V3 is part of a shift in the philosophy behind how extensions approach end-user security and privacy. Manifest V3 focuses on the three pillars of that vision: privacy, security, and performance, while preserving and improving our foundation of extensions. Overall these changes will make the extension more secure for the end-user.

Manifest v3 required a complete rewrite of many features, including the background task of how Weather Extension updates the temperature badge icon. Most of the issues should be resolved, but if you experience any issues, please let me know at [email protected]

Feature Request

Please send me an email if you have an idea or enhancement for Weather Extension: [email protected]

Dark Sky Shutting Down

Back in March 2020, Dark Sky announce they were acquired by Apple and were shutting down their API and site. This has caused a lot of confusion around the future of Weather Extension. Dark Sky API and the website will be shut down on March 31st, 2023.  My plan is to keep the extension running using other APIs and incorporate Apple’s new Weather Kit API that will offer similar data to Dark Sky. Read More

Are URL Shorteners Useful Today?

Short URLs are everywhere, and I do not see them going away anytime soon. Services like T.LY, TinyURL, and Bitly have billions of short links spread out all across the web. If these services shut down, billions of URLs would fail to redirect, and this could break the internet. Explaining what a URL Shortener service is not complicated. Most people know how they work and the purpose but here are a few reasons to create short URLs that you may not know of.

Make URLs Shorter

There are many uses for short URLs besides the obvious long link to short link. How much easier is it to share: t.ly/short vs https://timleland.com/are-url-shorteners-useful-today/. This is common use case when links are shared verbally. For example, when sharing a URL on YouTube videos, podcasts, radio, and tv, a long complicated URL is not going to result in many visits.

Some other use cases are when there is a character limit such as text messages which are limited to 160 characters. This also use to be an issue on Twitter but they solved the issue by using their own URL Shortener.

Short URLs are also easier to remember when typing or saying. I may not remember the full URL of this blog post but I will remember t.ly/short. Read More

New Google Meet Extension

In today’s remote workplace, often Google Meet is the primary way companies communicate. I often chat with a coworker then realize a video call would make it quicker to come to a solution. This usually involves opening a new Chrome tab, browsing to https://meet.google.com/, clicking on the new meeting button, copying the URL, and sharing the URL in chat. These few extra clicks gave me the idea to create a one-click solution using a Chrome Extension called New Room for Google Meet.

The extension is simple and does the work of creating a new Google Meet Room and copying it to your clipboard. Chrome extensions are great for small utility programs that enhance your web browser. If you are a Google Meet user, check out the extension and let me know if you have any additional ideas for features or similar tools. Pro tip: Google offers a few shortcut URLs for creating new Docs(docs.new), Sheet(sheet.new), Slides(slide.new), and Meet(meet.new).

Click here to Install the Extension