MainDoctor WhoMusicSoftware
Main Page

Alden Bates' Weblog

June 2005 Archives

June 30, 2005

Blogging Doctor Who on Prime TV #2

Filed in: Doctor Who.

There's now information from the Prime TV press pack up on the NZDWFC site, including an interesting description of the Slitheen, and an mpeg of one of the promotional trailers (which is, in fact, one of the BBC trailers!)

Jeff Stone and I went to see the Spielburg War of the Worlds at the Embassy last night, and Jeff found a photocopied picture of a Dalek in the toilets, with "Bad Wolf" scrawled along the top. So far it's a mystery as to whether this is a Prime promotional stunt, or some fans. So far no one has owned up on the NZDWFC message boards...

Posted at 7:52 PM | Comments (2)

June 26, 2005

Borked: My Yahoo!

Filed in: Website Management.

[snapshot of Yahoo! Briefcase]

Along the lines of This is Broken: For as long as I've been using Yahoo! Briefcase, I've had the Briefcase status box on my My Yahoo! page. And for as long as I've had that box there, it has always displayed the same message: "Problem retrieving your personal information. Please try again later."

Clicking on "try again" doesn't do anything, so far as I can see...

Hell, that's not the only thing that's broken on Yahoo! I have the login expiry on Yahoo! mail set to 24 hours. This used to mean after 24 hours, I would have to re-enter my password to get back in. Apparently they have changed this. Now the routine is:

  1. I'm prompted to enter my password, which I do.
  2. I'm prompted to re-enter my user name, password, type in the text from a graphic, tick the "Remember my ID on this computer" (again).

However, at screen 1, I can hit the "sign in as a different user" link, and I'm taken to a screen where I'm prompted to re-enter my user name, password, and tick the "Remember my ID on this computer" - I.E. the second screen above except with no graphic. This doesn't make much sense to me at all - why have a device to stop robots from logging in if it's so easily circumvented? It just makes it harder for me, as a human, to use my Yahoo! mail...

Edit: Right as I was posting this, I went to add a file to my briefcase. There were two buttons at the bottom of the page:


So which one do I press?! (It's the one on the left, but you have to look at the source to find that out...)

Posted at 1:51 PM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2005

New Zealand Cricket vs Zimbabwe

Filed in: Misc.

I don't write about politics much, but here's the situation:
The NZ cricket team is going to tour Zimbabwe in August. Prevailing feeling is that they shouldn't be going because of the ongoing human rights abuses there and the possibilty they might be in danger.

This makes me wonder: (a) why book a tour in a country you know is having human rights issues anyway, (b) why call off the cricket tour while the Prime Minister is trying to negotiate a trade agreement with notorious human rights abuser China?

Posted at 7:52 PM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2005

Blogging Doctor Who on Prime TV #1

Filed in: Doctor Who.

[TV Guide cover]

The latest TV Guide has a Dalek on the cover, and a two-page article on the new series (mostly reproduced interviews which can be found online, a guide to the monsters in the new series, and a "Fact file" with some basic facts about the series).

Holmes (Prime, 6pm) tonight played one of the BBC trailers. Excellent!

Posted at 6:31 PM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2005

Then and Now

Filed in: TV & Movies.

[picture of Voyager]

Above: The starship Voyager (from the episode Timeless) takes a short-cut through the space/time continuum.
Below: The TARDIS (from the Doctor Who title sequence) activates its Quantum Slipstream drive.

[picture of the TARDIS]

Tee hee hee! (Couple more pictures under the cut, the one from Doctor Who may be mildly spoilerly...)

Continue reading "Then and Now"

Posted at 11:37 PM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2005

UT Review: Coret Classic

Filed in: Unreal Tournament.

Level: Coret Classic
Type: Capture the Flag
File Size: 12.4 MB
Rating: 9/10

Description: Hi-tech base.

Continue reading "UT Review: Coret Classic"

Posted at 7:57 PM | Comments (0)

Justice League: Starcrossed DVD is Frelled

Filed in: TV & Movies.

I bought the region 4 DVD of the Justice League episodes Starcrossed. Unfortunately episode 3 has the English soundtrack for episode 2 - the French and Hungarian soundtracks for that episode are correct. That doesn't help me much, as I don't speak French or Hungarian.

I attempted some web searches to see if anyone else had reported the problem yet, but can't find anything.

I'll try to find out who the Warner distributor is in NZ/Australia and see if I can get any information on whether this is a problem with all of the copies, and if so whether they're going to fix it. If not, I'll have to attempt to return it to Whitcoulls tomorrow (they're shut now...)

Ain't that just a bummer?

Edit: Warner's contact page is unhelpful. No email address - what is this? The 80s?

Edit2: I returned it to Whitcoulls. Unfortunately they didn't have another copy in stock, so I got my money back instead. Whitcoulls = Cool. I may try the Lower Hutt branch and see if they have a copy without the sound problem...

Edit3: Yup, looks like the whole printing is bad (see comments)

Posted at 4:18 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

June 17, 2005

TSV 30

Filed in: Doctor Who, TSV Online.

I uploaded TSV issue 30 tonight. Published in 1992, it included reviews of the Cat's Cradle trilogy of New Adventures, and more Tomb of the Cybermen reviews.

Perhaps interesting given the fact that the TV series is back and going strong is an opinion piece by Aden Shillito, titled In Memory of the Late Doctor Who, which argues that the show should stay off the air.

There's also the transcript of a series of comedy sketches titled Fibremen of Spong (which featured a Maori Doctor and screened in a comedy show here), Missing Scenes Resurrection detailing material cut from Resurrection of the Daleks, no less than six Discovering Who, an analysis of Time Travel in the Doctor Who Universe, cartoons, artwork, and loads more stuff.

Posted at 9:41 PM | Comments (1)

You know it's getting late when...

Filed in: Misc.

You think "Hmmm, WordPress... TypePad... WordPad! That'd make a great name for a blogging servi- oh, wait."

Posted at 12:05 AM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2005

When does "next" not mean "next"?

Filed in: Weblogging, Website Management.

I'm having an odd problem with Movable Type - when I first save a new post, it has a superfluous link to the "Next Post", which actually links to the first post I made. This looks odd, since someone will spot the post on Technorati and click on the next post link, only to end up on my first post (which is now slightly inaccurate, as LJ have implemented categories, as per my previous post, but I digress, often and at length, in fact).

As I say, this happens when I save a new post. If I go edit the post and save without changing anything, the useless "next post" link vanishes. Typically, no one else on the Interweb appears have have had the same trouble.

Must be something odd in the coding of MTEntryNext which causes this...

Posted at 7:58 PM | Comments (0)


Filed in: Weblogging.

So LiveJournal (and soon, presumably, all LJ based sites) finally has categories. Sort of. They elected to call them Tags and have users enter them as free text when creating/editing entries. What you end up, therefore, is a flat hierarchy of catagories... Now all they need is a way to apply tags to multiple posts at once, so I can go back and tag the first four seasons of Voyager reviews...

I'm unsure whether LiveJournal posts will start turning up on Technorati, mainly because LiveJournal doesn't currently have a way to ping any site other than Technorati does have a page to manually ping them, but whether it'll recognise LJ-style tags is open to experimentation...

I attempted a ping using my LJ, but nothing turned up on the Star Trek: Voyager tag. That may simply be because I have my LJ set NOINDEX.

Now they need trackback too... :)

Edit: Yes, LiveJournal posts are now turning up on Technorati!

Posted at 5:43 PM | Comments (0)

June 12, 2005

Bad Wolf

Filed in: Doctor Who.

Today's Doctor Who episode? Bloody good. From last week's preview, my expectations had been pretty low, but the episode itself far surpassed them. The only possible complaint I can think of is... (and I'm venturing into spoiler territory here, so the rest of the post will be under a cut...)

Continue reading "Bad Wolf"

Posted at 8:33 PM | Comments (0)

Messing with bots & patches...

Filed in: Unreal Tournament.

I had two questions answered yesterday:

Q: Why don't some of the bots turn up randomly in Instant Action games and some do?

This turned out to be easy to fix: the .upl files in the system directory hold the definitions for bot characters. Getting them to turn up in instant action games turned out to be matter of finding the appropriate .upl file, and editing the part of the bot's definition from (for example) menu="MALCOLM" to menu="".

Edit: also, setting BotUse=1 is essential!

Q: How come, after installing the last patch, I had a bunch of Onslaught levels marked "(Bonus vehicles)" but they were no different when I played them?

That turned out to be because I had to install the UT 2004 ECE Content Pack, which comes with three new vehicles (including the Cicada, shown right), six characters (finally the Necris turn up again...) and four new Onslaught maps (Dear Epic, please put out some more Assault maps, kthxbai). I also installed the lasted game patch.

They should also fix some of the bot behaviour. Things like... ooo, bots forgetting that it's alt-fire on the link gun to heal vehicles and nodes... bots getting stuck places and/or running their vehicles into walls and staying there for the whole match... Or hanging around one node brcause there aren't any vehicles there instead of jumping to another node...

Also, I can't be the only one which finds it annoying that the male "nightmare" characters (Mr. Crow and so on) have half their taunts delievered in the default merc male voice.

Posted at 1:56 PM | Comments (0)

June 7, 2005

The Tomorrow People and Dodgy Special Effects

Filed in: TV & Movies.

Occasionally you come across TV series which are of highly variable quality. Take the classic 1970s British series The Tomorrow People, about a group of youngsters who have developed such psychic powers as telepathy, telekinesis and teleportation (Though sadly not precognition, otherwise they could regularly save themselves a lot of hassle).

I thought I was safe, you see. I'd already seen A Man For Emily, which has to be the most insanely bad episode of any science fiction series ever, and the first two stories of season 6 were actually quite good, but then...

Continue reading "The Tomorrow People and Dodgy Special Effects"

Posted at 7:46 PM | Comments (5)

June 5, 2005

UT Review: Firestorm

Filed in: Unreal Tournament.

Level: Firestorm
Type: Onslaught
File Size: 2.0 MB
Rating: 7/10

Description: A volcanic island in a sea of lava.

Continue reading "UT Review: Firestorm"

Posted at 10:24 PM | Comments (0)

Recently Added: Doctor Who on Television eBook

Filed in: Doctor Who, TSV Online.

Last week Another Time and Space was added to the NZDWFC site. This is an eBook written by Paul Scoones which details the screening of Doctor Who in New Zealand from 1964 to today.

It includes details of the background of the screenings, listings of the dates and times each episode was played, the episode blurbs from TV listings magazine The Listener, and also clippings from that magazine. It's an updating of The Doctor Who Listener, which was published in paper form in the late 80s/early 90s.

Another Time and Space is a continuing work in progress - there are more clippings and blurbs to go up, and doubtless there will be more information to put up once Prime starts playing the new series...

Posted at 11:12 AM | Comments (0)

June 3, 2005

Wireless networking problem - sorted!

Filed in: Computers.

The problem we were having with the wireless network previously turned out to have a simple solution - changing the channel which the network was running from eliminated the interferance from the microwave oven. Excellent!

Posted at 8:40 PM | Comments (1)

June 2, 2005

Blog Spam status report

Filed in: Spam.

First trackback spam in a while got through today... It managed to get past MT-Blacklist, but was moderated by MT-Moderate before it could appear on the entry.

At least (as far as I can tell from my logs anyway) the Bulgarians have given up trying to comment spam me constantly - the last hit from that was around the 16th of last month. The .htaccess filters I got from Spamhuntress' site were pretty much blocking their hits...

It looks like they're concentrating on trying to trackback spam me - I'm still getting plenty of spam trackback pings, though I don't think the one that got through was from them... Many of the pings are coming through, which I have blocked in .htaccess, of course. Those pings which have gotten through have been stopped by MT-Blacklist.

I have a regex set up in MT-Blacklist which stops all of their trackbacks. The software they're using generates random sentences all in the same format using a small collection of phrases:
(check|visit|check out) (the|some) (sites|pages|relevant pages|helpful info|information) (in the field of|dedicated to|about)

808 hits blocked so far (though that's not accurate because I refined the regex a couple of times). I'd like to just block pings with links in the body, but (a) I'm not sure if that would block valid pings, and (b) MT-Blacklist doesn't have any way to specify comment versus trackback or specific fields thereof.

I'm also tempted to try hacking MT-Blacklist to return a 403 when it blocks a ping, on the off-chance it might discourage the spammers further...

Posted at 9:17 PM | Comments (3)

June 1, 2005

Raspberry Coke: the Verdict

Filed in: Misc.

Eh, not as good as I thought it'd be. Better than diet with lime, but not as good as vanilla or regular Coke... (and I'm usually biased against diet drinks because the artifical sweetener they use tastes odd to me, and is a bit cloying).

It tastes vaguely like you're drinking a raspberry tart. My rating: 7/10

Incidentally, while I'm on the subject of Coke, they cheat horribly on the "Nutrition information" on the bottle. At a glance, it has a table which shows energy, protein, sodium, etc "per serving" and "per 100mL". At first glance, I'd expect the "per serving" figures to be the total for the bottle, but at the top it says "Servings per Package: 3" and "Serving Size: 200 mL", so to get the total for the bottle you have to multiply by 3. How many people buy a 600 mL bottle of Coke and drink a 3rd of it at a time?

I presume also they're required by law to state the protein and fat content, otherwise they're just wasting three lines, since the content for both is 0g.

Posted at 12:18 AM | Comments (0)


Archives Site Map