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April 2006 Archives

April 24, 2006

Top of the Pops

Filed in: Music.

The UK music show Top of the Pops has been screened here by TVNZ for years and years. Then a couple of years back, TVNZ opted to start making their own version, which used a NZ presenter and combined performances from the UK version with live performances from Kiwi bands. But then they stopped playing it, and the last TV Guide responded to a letter by saying that TVNZ weren't bringing it back. This made me saaaaad.

But! I emailed C4 to ask whether they're going it pick it up, and they already have! It starts on the 6th of May. Hooray!

Posted at 11:16 PM | Comments (0)

April 20, 2006

Strange FireFox prefetch problem

Filed in: Website Management.

I've noticed a couple of times an odd bug occuring when navigating forward through the issue pages on the NZDWFC site. Because they include a "next" metalink, FireFox will always prefetch the next issue's index page. This means if you click on the link to the next issue, FireFox already has the page and just needs to download the images.

However a couple of times this has somehow gone wrong. When I've clicked on the link to the next issue, nothing has happened. This seems to be a relatively rare occurance (It's only happened to me twice, as I say) but I'm mystified as to what's happening.

Because I have the access logs, I can see roughly what's happening but it doesn't help:

  1. after loading the issue's index page, in this case TSV 20, FireFox loads the index page for TSV 21. This appears from the server end to have gone as normal.
  2. FireFox re-requests the page and gets back a status of 206 (partial content) indicating that FireFox requested a small piece of the file. Total transferred: 15490 bytes (the TSV 21 index page is only 4978 bytes in size).
  3. Whenever I click on the link or try to load the page from other links, FireFox repeats step 2 and doesn't load the page.

The only way to fix this appears to be to clear the cache. I presume the cached page has somehow become corrupted, but it's hard to tell what's happening.

Posted at 11:17 PM | Comments (0)

In Your Neighbourhood: COMMUNISTS!

Filed in: Tetrap.Local.

I had to take my real camera today, because:

OK, I get they're happy about winning a people's choice award, but I dunno really if using the ol' hammer and sickle along with hordes of identical red-and-black clad "workers" is all that appropriate. What's next? The Burger Führer?

Posted at 8:59 PM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2006

Silly driver

Filed in: Tetrap.Local.

... the footpath is for people, not cars.

[Parking on the footpath]

There was about 6 inches of clearance each side. What a thoughtful and considerate parking job. You'd expect better from the AA really...

Posted at 11:29 PM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2006

TV Guide letter

Filed in: Doctor Who.

In the latest TV Guide (NZ edition), there's a letter praising Prime for playing the first series of Doctor Who, mentioning the 'lost' 108 episode of the show, and also name checking the URL for the NZDWFC site! Though Prime noted that "The next series has not started playing in Britain yet", this was only true for about two or three days after the issue of TV Guide was published...

It's nice that the site got a bit of free promotion there. Thank you, William Horner!

Posted at 9:45 PM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2006

Today's spam

Filed in: Spam.

Today's spam quoted the blurb for Ice Age 2 for no apparent reason:

NEWS MOVIES - The Ice Age is coming to an end, and the animals are delighting in the melting paradise that is their new world. Manny, Sid, and Diego quickly learn that the warming climate has one major drawback: a huge glacial dam is about to break, threatening the entire valley.

and had a humorous typo in the user agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.01; Widows NT)

I thought for a moment when I checked out the registration info for the portal domain they spammed (which has broken graphics all over it) that I had a fellow NZer trying to spam me, but the address and probably the name turned out to be fake:
  Holdings NZ Ltd
  Patrick Rinsvelt (mak7hou@yahoo.com)
  35 Hobson Street
  Auckland
  Not Applicable,10010
  NF
(The address is that of the Heritage Auckland Hotel, and Auckland is definitely not on Norfolk Island)

The IP address, which I suspect is the spammers, is allocated to the Latin American and Caribbean IP address Regional Registry in Uraguay. Googling for identical spam only turned up very few relatively recent spams, so their is probably either a new spammer or an old one using a new style...

Posted at 9:44 PM | Comments (0)

April 9, 2006

TSV 36

Filed in: Doctor Who, TSV Online.

Tonight I got Time/Space Visualiser issue 36 online. A celebration of the show's thirtieth anniversary, the issue included a story guide and a history of Doctor Who related events covering the time the show had been off the air. In an article somewhat topical to now (with the release of "The Beginning" as a box set) titled An Unearthly Pilot Episode, Jon Preddle examined the differences between An Unearthly Child and the version as originally filmed.

On the book front, there are more reviews for the New Adventures from Deceit through to The Left-Handed Hummingbird, and a major article on the creation of Timeframe written by David Howe.

As Paul points out, TSV 36 is the halfway mark in archiving issues online, at least until issue 73 comes out later this month!

I've basically got the whole of the NZDWFC site converted to XHTML! The only thing left is the Editor's Log which is still using the default Wordpress template - I still need to find out how templates work in Wordpress...

Posted at 9:08 PM | Comments (0)

April 6, 2006

...and your father smells of HYPE

Filed in: Energy Drinks.

Wikipedia defines Hype as "A hyperbole, largely synonymous with exaggeration and overstatement, is a figure of speech in which statements are exaggerated or extravagant."

So, I'm not sure exactly why someone (It's manufactured by Mmm Int. in Holland) thought this was a good name for an energy drink. Hype comes in silver (elderberry/cranberry flavoured) and gold (which tastes vaguely like Red Bull). Gold also has slightly less caffeine than silver according to the can.

The disclaimer on the side is funny though:
"HYPE should be kept safely out of reach of those whose conversation you do not enjoy! Drinking HYPE before a BBQ may lead to excessive smack talking. Any action you get while drinking HYPE will be purely coincidental. Look for HYPE! wherever things are happening."

Those crazy Dutch!

[Edit 07/03/07: Razzmatazz no longer appear to be importing Hype]

Posted at 11:09 PM | Comments (0)

The War Against Spam Part 2

Filed in: Spam.

My apologies, one of the points in the MO described in the entry for Mike Tison last time is actually the MO of Alexander Morozov. Morozov is the one clusterbombing pages.

Alexander Morozov

  • Comment spams with porn URLs. He and the Bulgarians are together responsible for most of the spam hits on my site.
  • Has a script which is easily fooled by my on-page measures, but cluster-bombs and loads entries a lot which uses bandwidth.
  • As well as the above, the queries he makes to the comment script can be over 11kb in length, including the text twice as a text parameter and a comment parameter. Other parameters used include sk2_time, sk2_my_js_check1, currency_code, business, domains, and item_name. May be a multi-purpose script.
  • .com domains spammed: novusdelta, legacyart
  • .org domains spammed: holyroodarchaeology
  • see also: Spamhuntress Wiki: Dyakon (He's using a (fake?) New York address in domain registrataions now)

Other .com domains spammed:

  • 888pokerguru via comment, registered to "Liron Snir" in Israel.
  • homeequityloan-zz via trackback, registered to "Javier Navarrete" in Florida (See also: Spamhuntress Wiki: Florida comcast spammer)
  • northvip via comment, registered to "Somer" (buglee11@yahoo.com) in Minsk, Belarus

The "Liron Snir" spam actually got to the point where it was almost posted! The domain's now in my blacklist of course.

Posted at 8:49 PM | Comments (2)

April 4, 2006

The War Against Spam

Filed in: Spam.

So, what losers do we currently have trying to spam attack my weblog?

The Bulgarian twins

  • Two attack modes:
    1. Irregularly referrer spams, always to the same URL on my site, mostly poker-related URLs but also some financial/pill sites. Easy to block at the .htaccess level.
    2. They've been hitting mt-tb.cgi fairly constantly, despite getting error 403s (I renamed the script over a year ago).
  • Registration info leads back to top-support.net and support2000.net which both resolve to the same IP as support-4u.net (See previous post on the Bulgarian twins).
  • See also: Chris's Wiki: Those amusing Referer spammers

Kazakhstan spammer Timur Tasbulatov

Russian spammer Mike Tison

  • Comment spams with porn URLs.
  • Has a script which is easily fooled by my on-page measures, but cluster-bombs and loads entries a lot which uses bandwidth.
  • He attempted to spam me using an MSN spaces URL, but the email address used is identical to one I found spamming a health-medical.us subdomain domain. That domain uses name servers belonging to one of the domains on the page linked below.
  • See also : Spamhuntress Wiki: Mike Tison

But, despite all that, I remain spam free.

Posted at 10:45 PM | Comments (0)

April 2, 2006

Xtra Broadband speeds

Filed in: Internet.

Xtra here in NZ have been making a big fuss over how they've finally brought their broadband service speeds up to a 1/3 of world standard instead of only 1/30th. Of course, I'm not seeing any difference at all, because we've burned through the paltry 10GB data cap which Xtra insists on placing on accounts. Our connection (shared between three computers) is therefore currently choked back to worse than dial-up speeds, and web pages are taking 5 minute or so to load. An online transaction I was attempting to make timed out because the connection was so slow.

So, will the extra speed which Xtra has provided just mean we burn through the 10GB monthly allowance faster?

Perhaps they should change their name from 'Xtra' to 'Less'.

Posted at 5:18 PM | Comments (0)

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