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January 11, 2006

You know you're in New Zealand when...

I noticed recently that has been upgraded to the current Basic account limits of 3GB of disk space and 125GB of bandwidth per month. Kudos to HostForWeb! However that lead me to notice something else:

At home, I pay $NZ40 a month for 10GB a month bandwidth (shared between me and 3 other people) while I'm also paying $US10 a month for a site which has 125GB of bandwidth a month.

The main reason for this, of course, is because all ADSL here is provided by Telecom, giving them a monopoly which the government has completely failed to break.

I wonder if HostForWeb would mind if I camped out in the server room...

Posted at 12:18 AM | Comments (1)

November 26, 2005

My precious files!

I'm trying to work out something: Exactly why is the University of Mannheim so interested in my robots.txt file?

The only reason I block robots from indexing the "shared" directory is because stuff in there is hotlinkable - I put pictures in there so people reading my weblog via the rss feed can see the pictures without having to come visit the site itself. But I don't want random people finding the pictures on Google Images and then hotlinking to them from message boards/myspace/etc.

So far as I can tell, it's some sort of security project... perhaps they're looking at robots.txt because people will be blocking directories containing supersecret files. If you have files you don't want people to find, don't put them on the Internets!

Posted at 7:49 PM | Comments (1)

November 7, 2005

When is a blog entry not a blog entry?

When it's a usenet post.

I have a search feed set up on BlogLines because I like to keep track of what people are saying about a certain celebrity I like. Mostly this works, except for a while last month when a Smallville news site added her name to an item in their news feed, which was updated daily with the content of the entire news page (therefore giving me the same info over and over for a couple of weeks). Some people really need to read up on how rss is supposed to work, but I digress.

On Usenet, which is also accessable via Google Groups, there's a certain newsgroup which shall go unnamed (though no doubt some of the people reading this will know which one) which I unsubscribed from a while back for two reasons: 1) it was largely full of trolls, and 2) a moderated, more-friendly alternative newsgroup was set up to cover the same basic subject.

This is where BlogLines comes in. Apparently BlogLines also carries feeds of Usenet groups, including the one I mentioned above. This means I also get subjected to the aforementioned trolls whenever one of them mentions the search terms for my search feed. Unfortunately there isn't any way around this, as BlogLines have no way to exclude certain feeds from being included in the search results (I suggested this could be handy a while back, when I was having the problem with the Smallville site).

This is more my problem than anything, but this is my weblog, so I thought I'd whine about it here a bit. :)

Posted at 5:33 PM | Comments (1)

November 3, 2005

Google is down?!

The end is nigh! Mass hysteria! Cats and dogs living together!

*goes to start on the cannibalism*

Seriously, WTF?

Posted at 9:43 PM | Comments (6)

September 24, 2005

FireFox versus Boing Boing on Bloglines

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)

May 24, 2005

Looking for somewhere to read newspaper comics

For a long time I've been reading newspaper comic strips like Ballard Street and so forth on a site called However recently they've started running adverts for smilies which somehow over-ride FireFox's popup-blocking and popup anyway. I've tried, but they appear to be running the same adverts.

Are there any web sites out there which:
a) carry newspaper comic strips (hopefully the ones I like to read), and
b) will respect my desktop configuration and not bombard me with popups?

I could probably read them through BlogLines or something, but I feel guilty reading them that way.

Posted at 7:42 PM | Comments (1)

April 30, 2005

Damn scams

Is it just me, or is everyone else getting a lot more of those Nigeria-style scams recently. It seems the rate they've been appearing in my Yahoo inbox has been stepping up as of late.

I'm tempted to start sending out replies stating that my country's government has a strict policy of hanging scammers, and they have an extradition treaty with the country of origin.

Posted at 10:43 PM | Comments (2)

March 31, 2005

Obvious scam, anyone?

Drae Barclyas Mmeber,

Tsih eliam was stne by the Baalcrys srevre to vfirey yruo eamil aderdss. You msut cmoplete thsi prsseco by cikcilng on the lkni bwole and eniretng in the slaml wdniow yuor Bayalcrs Mihsrebmep nmuber, paocssde and mbaromele wrod. Tsih is deno for yruo prnoitceto - besuace semo of our mebmers no loegnr hvae assecc to theri emial aderdsses and we mtsu vreify it. To veyfir yoru eiaml aerddss and acsecs yuor bkna anuocct , ckc

Of course at the bottom was a cunningly crafted form styled using CSS to look like a regular link. The CSS didn't work in FireFox, only IE - yet another reason to make the switch to an alternate browser, people!

But come on, even with the "link" looking like a link, is anyone going to read the text above and think it's a legit email

I mean, I know there's no shortage of stupid people out there, but really. A chimp could spot that one.

Posted at 12:19 AM | Comments (2)

March 10, 2005

Blacklisting strikes again

JeffStoat's emails to me started bouncing today. After some investigation, we discovered that his SMTP server's been blocked by SpamCop. I didn't even know my webhost had put a blacklist on my mail server. 'Scuse me while I go see what can be done.

Posted at 10:30 PM | Comments (0)

January 6, 2005

BlogShares and the porn links

I inadvertantly discovered that BlogShares has some interesting HTML on their site. In the "Junior Sponsors" box, right below "BlogShares Gear" there's a row of 1 pixel, white links to porn sites.

Course there's a comment in the source to remove it after the 20th, so if you're reading this later than the 20th of January, they are probably gone...

Posted at 10:31 PM | Comments (2)

January 2, 2005

BlogExplosion and popup windows

Once again, I got a popup window while surfing on BlogExplosion. The "Block popup windows" option in FireFox is also being disabled by the same javascript that launches the popup window.

I have reported the problem to BlogExplosion. Of course, when you go back to the same blog, the popup doesn't come up again, making it difficult to trace. I have some suspicions as to what's causing it...

I've added the domain from whence it came to my hosts file to attempt to block it

Posted at 10:30 PM | Comments (3)

December 27, 2004

Firefox and popups

I've been discovering one of the hazards of surfing on BlogExplosion is that a few blogs seem to have popups. I guess popup makers are beginning to find ways around FireFox's popup prevention. Already scanned for Spyware, so I'm fairly certain it wasn't that...

But it's makin' me nervous...

On another note, why is there no Google International Zeitgeist for New Zealand?

Posted at 3:10 PM | Comments (4)

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