Tag: free

The Truth About SOPA and PIPA

Stop SOPA and PIPA
Protect your online rights! Stop SOPA & PIPA!

So, you might have heard some word about these bills “SOPA” (Stop Online Piracy Act) and “PIPA” (Protect IP Act). These bills were established October 26th, 2011 with the introduction of SOPA from the House of Representatives congressman – Lamar S. Smith. Basically the reason for the creation of these acts is to put an end to online piracy and the spread of illegally downloaded software, games, music, you name it. These bills come from the constant demand for intellectual property protection from organizations such as Universal Media Group, RIAA, and the MPAA. While this may seem like a very necessary and helpful action, the true potential of these bills is in fact far from its proclaimed intent.

What does SOPA and PIPA mean to you?

Together, these bills will allow for full censorship of the world-wide-web, otherwise known as the internet. What does that mean? It means that whatever you post on your Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, or whatever it may be – is up for revision by the U.S. government. Sounds a little bit like the censorship of the internet taking place in the People’s Republic of China, doesn’t it? That’s because it ultimately IS.

Let’s say you post a video on Youtube, whatever the intent of the video may be, and you include a song in that video. If you do not personally own the rights to that song, that video will be removed. Think of all the videos on Youtube right now that fit that description… That is a LOT of content, just gone now. Or maybe you post an image on your Facebook, something you found funny or just liked. Once again, that being an image you do not personally own, will be removed. This affects a lot of content and innovation that we all love so much on the web.

Here’s what will happen if SOPA and PIPA become laws of the U.S. constitution:

  • Security threats – countless websites will be forced to modify their software opening security holes and increased vulnerability to their websites.
  • Free Speech Infringement – the government controls what you can and can’t publish to what was once the worlds greatest free information resource.
  • Innovation Out the Window – developers and publishers will have a very hard time establishing government-approved content and products.
  • Internet Police” – The federal government will be using ISPs, cable companies, web hosts, etc. as their task force to achieved a censored internet.

That is just the quick summary of what these bills could mean. Maybe the bill sponsors Lamar Smith and Patrick Leahy didn’t intend on infringing on free speech or basically destroying the internet we all know and love, but that is exactly what these bills threaten to do if passed.

The sad part is that there are other ways to run a business in these industries without violating U.S. law or taking part in online piracy. Services such as iTunes, Steam, Pandora, and Last-FM all offer services for digital goods like music, movies, and games, and they do it LEGALLY. All it takes is a little innovation to provide a better service like these organizations do. What does the federal government want to do? Take full control of the internet and online life.

What can you do?

I know it seems like there isn’t much you can do about this sort of thing, but you are the ones that CAN. Contact your local representatives office and give them a piece of your mind!

Find and contact your local representative:

Join the fight against online censorship:

Filed under: Articles, FeaturedTagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Javascript & PHP Star Rating Script

I’ve searched around the interwebs for an ajax star rater and I came across a few different possibilities, all of which looked very good. The top result from google was Nick Stakenburg’s “Starbox” for “ajax star rater”. I also found Masuga Web Design’s Ajax Star Rater and a script from MySandbox to be popular results. However I couldn’t really seem to find a PHP / Mysql script that used Javascript for the rater effects. So I decided to make one based off of a script I found:

Reign Water Design’s 5 Star Rating System

This was a very nice easy to use Javascript 5 star rating script. All I had to do was make some tweaks to my preference and add on some PHP/Mysql code to submit the rating.

See the demo or download this script.

To view the PHP source code, images, and everything together you must download this script.


Insert the following in the <head> tags of your page:
[codesyntax lang=”html4strict” title=”Javascript Source Code”]
<script type=”text/javascript”>
function insertParam(key, value)
key = escape(key); value = escape(value);

var kvp = document.location.search.substr(1).split(“&”);

var i=kvp.length; var x; while(i–)
x = kvp[i].split(“=”);

if (x[0]==key)
x[1] = value;
kvp[i] = x.join(“=”);

if(i<0) {kvp[kvp.length] = [key,value].join(“=”);}

//this will reload the page, it’s likely better to store this until finished
document.location.search = kvp.join(“&”);
function alterDisplay(id){
var dropdown = document.getElementById(id);
if(dropdown.style.display == “none”){
dropdown.style.display = “”;
} else {
dropdown.style.display = “none”;
<script type=”text/javascript” language=”javascript” src=”./scripts/ratingsys.js”></script>


You will need to include this in the <head> tags as well either in <style> tags or by <link>:
[codesyntax lang=”css” title=”CSS Styles”]
#rateMe #rate_overlay {
background:#eee url(./images/star_overlay.gif) repeat-x;
#rateStatus{width:100px; height:20px;margin:4px 0 0 5px;font: 12px “Trebuchet MS”, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-weight: bold}
#rateMe{width:152px; height:50px; padding:1px; margin:0px; vertical-align:top; z-index:auto; border: 1px solid #ccc; }
#rateMe li{float:left;list-style:none;}
#rateMe li a:hover,
#rateMe .on{background:url(./images/star_on.gif) no-repeat;}
#rateMe a{float:left;background:url(./images/star_off.gif) no-repeat;width:30px; height:30px;cursor:pointer;}
#rateMe a:hover{background:url(./images/star_on.gif) no-repeat;}
#rateMe a.grey,#rateMe a.grey:hover{background:url(./images/star_off.gif) no-repeat; cursor:default;}
#rateVotes{display:block; margin-left:65px; font: 11px “Trebuchet MS”, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color:#4a4a4a;}
.saved{color:red; }

.rate_on_button {

.rate_on_button a { float:left;padding:10px;margin:0 5px;border:2px solid #666; background-color:#fff; color: #000; font-size: 2em; text-align:center; display:block; color: #000; text-decoration: none; }
.rate_on_button a:hover { color: #fff; text-decoration: none; background-color: #333; }

Basically I took the script that Water’s made and changed a few things to the css styles, added an overlay for the current rating, and wrote a php script to insert rates and determine the current rating, etc. I also added the Javascript functions insertParam() and alterDisplay(). You do not need to use this function insertParam() to create the url, you can simply set the <a> tags to something like this:

[codesyntax lang=”html4strict”]
<a href=”./index.php?r=1″ id=”_1″ title=”Terrible” onmouseover=”rating(this)” onmouseout=”off(this)”></a>

The Javascript function alterDisplay() is used to hide and show the overlay <div> that holds the current rating (if there is one). So when you mouse over the rating bar holder it hides the overlay so you can rate.

The PHP script grabs the information from the Mysql table that you specify in the function. You will need to adjust the following values:

  • $var – The column to base your mysql selection off of. Grab all rows where this column equals $id.
  • $table – The table where the ratings are being held.
  • $star_width – Width of the stars, default is 30px.

You will need to be connected to a MYSQL database before calling the rating bar function.

Since the syntax of the function is the following:

[codesyntax lang=”php” title=”Rating Bar Syntax”]
function rating_bar($id);

You will need to supply the identifier ($id) which tells the PHP script which row to grab from the Mysql table.

To display the current rating after it has been rated on – because Javascript alone is not enough – I added an overlay <div> which will hold the current rating. This is done by setting the css style of this overlay div to the following:

[codesyntax lang=”css” title=”Rate Overlay CSS Style”]
#rateMe #rate_overlay {
background:#eee url(./images/star_overlay.gif) repeat-x;

The position: aboslute and z-index: 2 style attributes make the div lay over top of the rateMe div which holds the rater and has a z-index: 1.

Test out this free script with the demo link at the top of the post or download it and use on your own website. Credit where due is always appreciated.

Any questions or problems please feel free to email me at brian@bgallz.org or post here.

Filed under: Featured, Javascript, PHP, Scripts, TutorialsTagged with: , , , , , , ,

PHP Favicon Generator Script

I decided to make a free easy to use favicon generating script that uses PHP. The script has a few features and requirements when uploading your image to be converted to a favicon. First the script checks for a few things such as file type, file size, if the directory is writable, and the specified dimensions. You can create a 16×16 icon or a 32×32 icon.

This PHP Favicon Generator Script first checks the form submitted for the following:

  • Valid file size. (Default: Max 75kb)
  • Valid file types. (Valid extensions are defaulted to image files)
  • Writable directory for favicons.

Then, once verifying these variables, we create a temporary image file on our server with the new dimensions gathered from the form (16×16 or 32×32). We then copy the uploaded image file’s contents over to the temporary file, while resizing it. Once the temporary image file has the new width, height, and copied graphical output, we can transfer this temporary data to a file on our server. Finally, we rename this image file to have a favicon file extension (.ico). Wallah!

Click here to check out the demo for this script!

Just select the image file you want converted to a 16×16 or 32×32 icon and hit submit! It’s that easy.

Here’s the PHP function we want to include in our header, prior to loading the HTML:

[codesyntax lang=”php” title=”Favicon Generator Script”]
// bgallz.org – Web coding and design tutorials, scripts, resources and more.
// favicon Generator Script
function generate_favicon(){
// Create favicon.
$postvars = array(“image” => trim($_FILES[“image”][“name”]),
“image_tmp”        => $_FILES[“image”][“tmp_name”],
“image_size”    => (int)$_FILES[“image”][“size”],
“image_dimensions”    => (int)$_POST[“image_dimensions”]);
$valid_exts = array(“jpg”,”jpeg”,”gif”,”png”);
$ext = end(explode(“.”,strtolower(trim($_FILES[“image”][“name”]))));
$directory = “./favicon/”; // Directory to save favicons. Include trailing slash.
$rand = rand(1000,9999);
$filename = $rand.$postvars[“image”];

// Check not larger than 175kb.
if($postvars[“image_size”] <= 179200){
// Check is valid extension.
if($ext == “jpg” || $ext == “jpeg”){
$image = imagecreatefromjpeg($postvars[“image_tmp”]);
else if($ext == “gif”){
$image = imagecreatefromgif($postvars[“image_tmp”]);
else if($ext == “png”){
$image = imagecreatefrompng($postvars[“image_tmp”]);
list($width,$height) = getimagesize($postvars[“image_tmp”]);
$newwidth = $postvars[“image_dimensions”];
$newheight = $postvars[“image_dimensions”];
$tmp = imagecreatetruecolor($newwidth,$newheight);

// Copy the image to one with the new width and height.

// Create image file with 100% quality.
imagejpeg($tmp,$directory.$filename,100) or die(‘Could not make image file’);
// Image created, now rename it to its
$ext_pos = strpos($rand.$postvars[“image”],”.” . $ext);
$strip_ext = substr($rand.$postvars[“image”],0,$ext_pos);
// Rename image to .ico file
return ‘<strong>Icon Preview:</strong><br/>
<img src=”‘.$directory.$strip_ext.’.ico” border=”0″ title=”Favicon  Image Preview” style=”padding: 4px 0px 4px 0px;background-color:#e0e0e0″ /><br/>
Favicon successfully generated. <a href=”‘.$directory.$strip_ext.’.ico” target=”_blank” name=”Download favicon.ico now!”>Click here to download your favicon.</a>’;
} else {
“File was not created.”;
} else {
return ‘The directory: “‘.$directory.'” is not writable.’;
} else {
return ‘The directory: “‘.$directory.'” is not valid.’;

} else {
return “Could not create image file.”;
} else {
return “File size too large. Max allowed file size is 175kb.”;
} else {
return “Invalid file type. You must upload an image file. (jpg, jpeg, gif, png).”;

Then we must include the HTML form that will submit the image and dimensions to PHP:

[codesyntax lang=”html4strict” title=”HTML Form”]
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd”>
<html xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml”>
<meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=utf-8″ />
<title>PHP Favicon Generator Script from bgallz.org</title>

<h2>Create Your Favicon</h2>
<form action=”index.php?do=create”  enctype=”multipart/form-data” method=”post”>Image Dimensions:<br />
<select style=”width: 170px;” name=”image_dimensions”>
<option selected=”selected” value=”16″>16px x 16px</option>
<option value=”32″>32px x 32px</option>
<p><span style=”font-size: 14pt;”>Favicon Image:</span></p>
<input name=”image” size=”40″ type=”file” />
<input style=”font: 14pt verdana;” name=”submit” type=”submit” value=”Submit!” />
<p><a href=”https://bgallz.dev/488/php-favicon-generator-script/” target=”_blank”>PHP Favicon Generator Script</a> from <strong>bgallz.org</strong></p>

So we have the function included in our header, and the form is presented by the code above. Now we just need to call the function when our GET value for “do” is set to “create” – which the form does for us.

Here is the PHP to include after the HTML form:

[codesyntax lang=”php” title=”After Form PHP”]
if($_GET[“do”] == “create”){

// Call the generate favicon function and echo its returned value
$gen_favicon = generate_favicon();
echo $gen_favicon;
echo “Place your download instructions and anything else you want here to follow the download link after upload.”;



Also be sure to follow this PHP with the closing tags for HTML:

[code lang=”html4strict”]

Be sure to include the HTML head tags in your HTML pages that use the favicon. These are given on the script’s index and on the demo.

This header HTML looks like this:

<link rel="shortcut icon" type="image/x-icon" href="./favicon.ico">


How to Force Download for .ico Files

Open a new text document in notepad. Paste the following code within the document:

[code lang=”htaccess”]
<FilesMatch “\.(?i:ico|gif|png|jpg|jpeg)$”>
Header set Content-Disposition attachment

Now save this file as “.htaccess” exactly like that. Place this file in the directory you are saving your .ico files to for download. This will force the access of these files (ico, png, gif, jpeg) to be a download only type.

Thanks for reading!

Click here to download the script!

Filed under: PHP, Scripts, TutorialsTagged with: , , , , , , ,