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February 2005 Archives

February 25, 2005

Bribery always works

Filed in: Weblogging.

I wasn't getting any people joining up with BlogExplosion with me as a referral. As this can earn you more traffic, it's a desirable thing to have. At the time, I also had 1600 chips on Blog Shares, and BS recently introduced "Missions" which allow you to set a task for people to perform and award them chips. I created a mission to get people to join up with BE with a 500 chip reward.

End result: I had 30 people sign up with BE with me as the referrer. Eight people didn't actually activate their account, but I hadn't made that a condition of the reward, so they got their chips anyway. Only about 16 people actually collected their chips - a couple who didn't seemed to be confused about how to enter the mission. I left a note on the mission when I closed it to the effect that anyone who still wanted to claim their chips could message me and I'd happily fork them over.

BlogExplosion's a good service, but it's a pity the nature of using it to surf encourages you to only spend 30 seconds at any particular blog in order to earn as many credits as possible.

Posted at 8:31 PM | Comments (2)

February 19, 2005

Roundabouts

Filed in: Tetrap.Local.

Failing to indicate at a roundabout is going to become illegal here. All I can say is it's about time. It's a menace trying to cross the road near a roundabout when you don't know what the traffic is intending to do.

Yesterday, when I was getting lunch, I watched a roundabout near where I work to see if people were properly signalling.

Of the people turning left, the majority signaled. This is pretty much a no-brainer. One or two people didn't bother, of course.

Of the people going straight through, the majority didn't signal at all (you're supposed to signal left when coming off the roundabout).

Of the people turning right, the majority signalled right correctly when turning, but didn't signal left when turning off.

The police'll pick up a fair few $150 fines, I should think...

(I previously complained about this back in 2001, nice to see something's finally being done...)

Posted at 4:15 PM | Comments (1)

February 18, 2005

Extreeeeeeeeeeeeeme makeover!

Filed in: TV & Movies.

Warner appears to have decided to make Looney Tunes more like Batman Beyond. Their new series has Buzz Bunny and his pals nipping around in the future. Sadly I had to fire up IE to play the video because MSN are a bunch of MS fascistsinsisted I had to use it.

I want to see an updated Tweety. He could be called the Tweetenator and carry a big-ass gun three times his size. Also upgraded Granny would be cool. FRYING PAN ATTACK!!! Or Matrix-style Yosemite Sam with a machine gun in each hand.

I wonder if they'll come up with Pinky and the Brain's descendants as futuristic supervillians.

Posted at 6:38 PM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2005

Google Zeitgeist for New Zealand

Filed in: Links.

I see at long last Google has a Zeitgeist up for New Zealand. Possibly unsurprisingly, the top query is for a well known NZ auction site.

It's... not detailed, but it's something. :)

Posted at 6:15 PM | Comments (1)

February 16, 2005

Quote of the day

Filed in: Links.

From JWZ:

"How will this software get my users laid" should be on the minds of anyone writing social software.

Also, Bruce Simpson tells us about the latest copy protection move from the movie industry and how it's likely to be as effective as the copy protection on CDs. Joy! (See also the BBC news story covering this)

Posted at 5:42 PM | Comments (0)

February 14, 2005

Survivors

Filed in: TV & Movies.

Recently I've been watching Survivors, a 1970s British series created by Terry Nation. The premise is that 99% of humanity has been wiped out overnight by a biological weapon accidentally released. It follows a band of survivors as they struggle to become self-sufficent in a world where even the most basic of services no longer exist. It's very well written and realistic, and also very grim at times.

I also got to see Grave of the Fireflies, an anime film set in Japan during World War II. It made me realise that, unlike the war in Europe, I know very little about the US/Japan part of the war apart from Pearl Harbour and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I must see if I can find more information.

Posted at 6:46 PM | Comments (0)

February 9, 2005

Survivor: Guantanamo Bay

Filed in: TV & Movies.

It had to happen. Guantanamo Bay, the reality series.

How much lower can reality TV sink?

Posted at 6:02 PM | Comments (0)

February 7, 2005

TSV 29

Filed in: Doctor Who, TSV Online.

TSV #29 went online last night - the most material for an issue yet! Included in this issue:

  1. Boatloads of stuff on The Tomb of the Cybermen
  2. The Young One's Vyvyan becomes the Doctor's companion
  3. The first of a series of additions for the Time Lord role playing game.
  4. The start of Scrapbook, another regular column in which magazine and newspaper clippings of interest are presented.
  5. An analysis of the legends surrounding The Mythmakers.
  6. The Doctor regenerating into a Dalek!
  7. And possibly the piece of fanfiction with the lowest content-to-title ratio in all history!

Posted at 11:18 PM | Comments (0)

February 5, 2005

WinFast 2000XP part II

Filed in: Computers.

Continued from here

I removed said card from my PC. On reboot, WinXP still detected the devices and attempted to install the drivers. Utilising Device Manager, RegEdit and System Restore, I aggressively removed said drivers and devices from my system.

Unfortunately after a reboot, Windows XP no longer recognised my CD/DVD ROM drives, and the Sound Blaster Live wasn't working. They appeared in the device manager, but were listed as not working. I right-clicked on each and chose "Uninstall", removing them from the list, then rebooted. Windows detected the devices on bootup and reinstalled the drivers for them, then asked me to reboot again. Tada! Everything fixed.

Now, I don't care whether it was Microsoft's fault or LeadTek's fault, but removing drivers for one device should not frell the drivers for another.

Posted at 11:31 AM | Comments (3)

So much for that idea

Filed in: Computers.

I went to reinstall my Leadtek TV capture device. When I tried to install this the first time after installing XP, attempting to load the driver would reset the PC. I assumed this was for the same reason that Unreal Tournament 2004 would make my computer reset (IE, the CPU was kaputski), but I've just tried to reinstall the thing, and it still resets the computer while trying to load the driver.

XP attempts to install the driver for "WinFast TV2000 XP WDM Crossbar", reports the driver has "not passed the Windows Logo testing to verify its compatibility with Windows XP", and promptly resets the PC if I tell it to install anyway. I even downloaded updated drivers from LeadTek's web site and the same thing happened. These are specific XP drivers too.

This card worked fine under Windows 98. *sigh*

Dear LeadTek, two things:

1. If you put Windows XP drivers on your site, make sure they actually work with Windows XP. Like actually testing them.

2. Adding the drivers to the "Add or Remove Programs" program is all very well, but having it launch the installer to install the drivers instead of the uninstaller to uninstall the drivers is Not. Helpful.

Posted at 10:08 AM | Comments (2)

February 4, 2005

Think like a spammer

Filed in: Spam.

I got a comment today. See if you can spot anything suspicious about it.

%syn(Cool|Nice|Rulezz)% %syn(blog,|portal| site ! I)% hope to make %syn(my own|own weblog|my diary)%, not worse than yours ;)

Gosh, no, nothing suspect about that...

("not worse than yours"?! Cheeky.)

The "nofollow" attribute was recently introduced (see announcements by Google and Yahoo), the theory being if links in comments don't count towards the target's ranking in search engines, spammers will be less inclined to spam blogs. I'm still sceptical. Spamming blogs costs nothing, and the process can be automated. Unless every single blog on the net upgrades to use the nofollow attribute, I don't think there's any reason for the spammers to stop.

I don't think I'll be uninstalling MT-Blacklist any time soon...

Posted at 7:02 PM | Comments (0)

February 2, 2005

Better hotlink protection

Filed in: Website Management.

I upgraded the hotlink prevention on tetrap.com to use a method suggested by Smarter Image Hotlinking Prevention on A List Apart. I have a lot of trouble with hotlinkers, mainly from message boards and people linking to album covers from EBay.

The new method allows linking to pictures like so but prevents the use of the img tag for imbedding. I've implemented the script in Perl rather than PHP, and it also checks to make sure the image exists (and returns a 404 if it doesn't), so is a slight improvement over the A List Apart method.

Posted at 8:11 PM | Comments (0)

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