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September 2005 Archives

September 28, 2005

Time to get annoying (or, Why hotlinking is dangerous)

Filed in: Website Management.

A while back, someone on hotlinked to the wee image on my Dead Can Dance page, a nice gothic picture of some arched windows. Since they were so kind as to use my bandwidth to decorate their profile page, I put in a redirection, so people see the somewhat nicer animated picture on the Spice Girls page instead, because everyone needs more Spice Girls. For some reason this person changed to hotlinking to another image on my site, so I redirected that one to the Spice Girls image too. They still have the Spice Girls picture on their profile, so they must be a fan after all.

But I grow bored. They didn't specify any width/height attributes when they hotlinked, so when the browser shows the page, it displays the graphic at full size. That means I can, say, redirect it to an image which is 5120 pixels wide and 1 pixel high, and suddenly their nice layout is alllllllll screwed up. But I wouldn't do that, would I? No, I'm a nice person... Oh, wait, I just did.


Posted at 6:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

September 24, 2005

Wallace and Grommit

Filed in: TV & Movies.

I went to see Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. While the town is preparing for a vegetable contest, local inventor Wallace and Grommit have started a humane pest removal business named Anti-Pesto. After ridding Lady Tottington (Totty to her friends) of a rabbit infestation, Wallace comes up with a plan to make the bunnies harmless.

As with the previous Wallace and Grommit outings, half the fun is spotting the wee background details (Grommit graduated from Dogwarts) and the other half is the story itself and the characters who inhabit the minds of Nick Park and his fellow co-writers. The extra-long run time was much appreciated (though it meant an extra-long production time :( and overall it was fantastic! Go see it!

Before the movie there was a short featuring the penguins from Madagascar. Though being horribly out-of-season (twas a Christmas story...), it was terribly cute and the poodle ruled. One of the penguins sounds like Pinky of Pinky and the Brain.

Posted at 5:15 PM | Comments (0)

FireFox versus Boing Boing on Bloglines

Filed in: Internet.

For some reason the last few days when I've tried to read my Boing Boing subscription on Bloglines, it's done something weird to FireFox. FF ceases to be able to load pages - clicking on a new link causes it to just sit there trying to load but never doing anything. Eventually I close the browser, but it's still sitting in memory, and I have to kill it with task manager before it'll let me restart it and resume browsing.

I can't work out why it only happens with the Boing Boing feed and not any of the other ones. It's not like they all use different Javascript.

Posted at 10:26 AM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2005

Fox Movies' Rudeness

Filed in: TV & Movies.

I got the Alien vs Predator Extreme Edition DVD for my birthday. The first thing that happened when I popped it in to my DVD player was it played an anti-piracy advert at me. You may know the one: "You wouldn't steal a handbag... You wouldn't steal a car... You wouldn't steal candy from a baby..." Though given the apparent intelligence displayed by whoever came up with this idea, I think the last one is an accurate comparison.

Come on! If someone's just forked out $40 to buy their crummy DVD, it should be obvious that they're not actively engaged in downloading movies from the Internet. I shouldn't need reminding that the MPAA is desperately broke and losing money hand over fist from people downloading movies en-mass... oh, wait, they aren't.

That said, pressing 'chapter forward' skipped to the FBI warning. HA! Take that, grossly misleading MPAA propaganda!

Y'know, I saw self-same ad recently as well. I went to look at the trailers on another DVD, and (rather than launching into the first trailer) the DVD started playing the self same advert at me. I ejected the disk and didn't bother watching the trailers. HA!

Today's rant brought to you by Fox Movies. Cheers, guys! I didn't think I'd have anything to write about today.

Posted at 7:49 PM | Comments (2)

September 18, 2005


Filed in: Misc.

I share my birthday with Adam West, David McCallum, one of my bosses, and, apparently, Hermione Granger of Harry Potter fame. It's also the anniversary of Women's Sufferage in New Zealand, and International Talk Like a Pirate day. Arrrr.

Posted at 9:15 PM | Comments (4)

September 15, 2005

OB Google BlogSearch post

Filed in: Weblogging.

Google BlogSearch was launched today.
I suspect most of the blog search searches will be for terms relevant to bloggers (blogging software, spam, current events, etc). I was amused to find I'm top ranked for Operation Overlord, despite the entry in question being a review of an Unreal Tournament map and not much at all to do with the World War II event, but as most searches for information on Operation Overlord are likely to be conducted on the main index, I doubt it'll matter. The most interesting thing is the freshness of the results (sort by date and you'll see how long ago the latest post was made).
Feeds don't block robots
LiveJournal allows users to block their journals from being spidered, however as their URLs are in the form, they can't use a robots.txt file to selectively block journals. Instead they use the meta robot tags on each page. Herein lies the problem: there's no supported way to add meta tags to rss and atom. End result: Google has indexed a bunch of journals which the owners wanted kept out of the index. This was a problem previously with other search engines like Technorati, but Google has a much, much higher profile... A reminder that noindex tags are not a guarantee no one will find your entries.
Technorati 1, Google BlogSearch 0, IceRocket 0.5
says Eric Rice. But I'm sure Google will be doing plenty of tweaking before they take blog search out of beta...

One thing I noticed searching on the blog search with Firefox: When I click on a link and get redirected to the end page, FireFox is displaying Google's [G] favicon on the tab and in the URL bar instead of the favicon for the site. Odd bug there.

Edit: Google are working on the LJ problem.

Posted at 9:29 PM | Comments (2)

Outing Spammers #3

Filed in: Spam.

Current trackback spammers attacking me:

  • - using Snoopy v1.0
  • - using Snoopy v1.2
  • - using Net::Trackback/1.01
  • - using Net::Trackback/1.01

Emailing's host doesn't appear to have done any good - their last spam attempt was on ther 13th. appears to be using a really old list of trackback urls to spam, is it's using the old mt-tb.cgi filename (which returns a 403). I'm also getting a lot of hits on entries using Net::Trackback/1.01 as a user agent from three IP addresses in the 69.50.*.* range, which resolve to These may be the software collecting URLs to trackback spam. is new and was first seen here on the 14th... The IP address doesn't resolve but five trackbacks got through to MT's junk folder, and registration info on the domain they spammed ( is:

Andre (
Italy, Rome
Tel. +34.3467####

I really hate when they have fake details. Takes the fun out of it. It was registered through Yes, I think that explains the hits from BANNED!

Posted at 7:40 PM | Comments (2)

September 12, 2005

OB New Orleans post

Filed in: Misc.

I haven't posted on this before, 'cause everyone else was talking about it enough, really...

Last week I found an album of music from New Orleans and almost bought it, because there's not likely to be any music coming out of New Orleans for a while now.

I'm also still partly in denial. It's hard to believe that the pictures on the evening news of a flooded city, corpses floating in the water, are from a city which once housed half a million people, in the most powerful country in the world. The place is currently in a state where it is uninhabitable, and the former population are scattered in temporary shelter, including sports stadiums. Just about everything that could have gone wrong did. The mind boggles as to how America is going to house these people, many of whom have lost everything, and how long it will take to clean up and rebuild New Orleans, if that's indeed what they do...

Score one for global warming.

If even the US can't weather a disaster like this without thousands of casualties, what chance do the rest of us have when Mother Nature throws us a curve ball? If a comparable disaster hit Wellington or Auckland, I doubt the New Zealand would be able to recover (though in our case it's more likely to be an earthquake. Wellington has few routes in and could be easily cut off). But I digress.

We're less than five years into this century, and life has not been kind to the US. Here's hoping the next five are better. It's difficult to conceive of them being worse...

Posted at 8:40 PM | Comments (0)

September 11, 2005

Map of Confexia

Filed in: Unreal Tournament.

I was playing the Battle of Celeste this morning and noticed that there are a couple of subway maps in a couple of places (near objectives 4 and 9). Being a curious sort, I took a snapshot (click on it to enlarge):

Celete's subway system

I was interested to know whether it matched any real subway system. With the help of Google and the fine folk in #DrWhoChat, I tracked it down: It's Frankfurt's subway system, only mirrored.

Posted at 3:46 PM | Comments (1)

September 8, 2005

What I can remember about NZ's political parties

Filed in: Tetrap.Local.

I don't usually post about political stuff, but since there's an impending general election, and also a leader's debate on TV1 tonight, I thought I'd review what I can remember about each of New Zealand's political parties and their election promises...

Labour: Currently in Government - have done well barring a few scandals such as PM Helen Clark claiming not to be able to tell when the car she's in is travelling at 150 kph. Promising tax cuts for some low earners (doesn't affect me) but not going to reduce the petrol tax because "it would encourage people to use more petrol". Better stop work on Auckland's motorway then, because it will encourage people to drive faster.

National: the main opposition, lead by Don Brash. Promises tax cuts for everyone, though the Labour party disputes this is affordable. Wants to abolish the Maori seats, and close of Treaty of Waitangi claims fairly soon. Has been accused by the Labour party of having the aid of the US Republican party. Also most recently linked to a cult.

Smaller parties:

The Greens: the environmentalist vote. Would have coalition with Labour next time, probably. Would probably get more votes if Nandor tidied himself up a bit.

Progressives: lead by Jim Anderton. Currently in a coalition government with Labour. Have a lower public profile than men's netball.

ACT: lead by Rodney Hide. Would form a coalition with National after the election and believes National needs them to form a government, but currently aren't polling too well.

NZ First: lead by Winston Peters. Likely to have the most seats of the minor parties next time, but Winston says he's not going to form a coalition with anyone.

United Future: lead by Peter Dunne. Also likely to shack up with National next time.

Maori Party: lead by Tariana Turia. Focuses on Maori issues, and would like to form a coalition with Labour, but Helen Clark isn't keen.

So, not that much then.

Posted at 8:31 PM | Comments (0)

OB Weblog Birthday post

Filed in: Weblogging.

Yup, this weblog is one year old.

El mucho excitement.

Posted at 6:35 PM

September 4, 2005

UT Review: Operation Overlord 2004

Filed in: Unreal Tournament.

Level: Operation Overlord 2004
Type: Assault
Download Size: 13.1 MB
Rating: 9/10
Downloaded from: Unreal Tournament Files (File Front)

Description: A recreation of the Normandy landing during WWII

Continue reading "UT Review: Operation Overlord 2004"

Posted at 7:09 PM

September 2, 2005

TSV 71

Filed in: Doctor Who.

TSV #71 arrived in my mailbox yesterday. As well as reviews of the first series of New Who, there's an interesting article in which the writer relates the reactions of NZ schoolchildren on being shown pictures of the previous Doctors and the episode "Rose". Sadly, the only Doctor they recognised as Doctor Who was Tom Baker, though some of the guesses they took at the others (William Hartnell as Winston Churchill?!) were hilarious.

I was also interested, despite not having read any of the books recently, to read WHO-F-O, an article on the BBC book The Indestructible Man. That particular book borrows heavily from the Gerry Anderson series UFO, Captain Scarlet and Thunderbirds, and the article lists the references to Anderson's series in that book. It also has a handy "Who's Who" of actors who've been in both Doctor Who and any of Anderson's series.

There's also lots of other cool stuff in there as well, of course - a more comprehensive list will be up on the NZDWFC site soon.

Posted at 8:46 PM | Comments (1)

September 1, 2005

Outing Spammers #2

Filed in: Spam.

Subject: Mr (, using the User agent "Snoopy v1.0", hitting ~5 times a day with trackback attempts. Now blocked in .htaccess.

Likely identity: using Network Solutions, I checked some of the domains he'd been spamming. They all had the following registration info:

Name: Maximilian Berkovich
Organization: Rasta Community
Street1: Ann Karelina street 123
City: DeepTown
Postal Code: 34543534
Country: Ethiopia
Phone: +21.4353XXXX

Googling turned up no further information, and unfortunately there's not enough there to make a fake-or-not decision. Like Net::TrackBack, Snoopy v1.0 looks to be legitimate software twisted for evil use.

I took the liberty of emailing's admin address, but haven't had a response yet...

Posted at 11:10 PM | Comments (0)


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