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May 2005 Archives

May 31, 2005

Vodafone overloading makes newspaper

Filed in: Misc.

I noticed this morning that the Dominion Post had an item about how Vodafone's free TXT offer was overloading their cell network on the weekend. Messages came in twice sometimes, or hugely delayed. At one point I got a collection of 7 messages at once.

But rather than cancelling the offer, they threatened to suspend the service of anyone abusing the free weekend TXT offer, without really defining how many TXT messages constitutes abuse. I'm still mostly in awe of anyone who can type proficiently enough on those damn keyboards to send more than a half dozen messages.

Of course some phones have "predictive" TXTing, where you press buttons and it tries to guess what you're trying to type. I had a go of this recently and wasn't impressed - typing 2663 (COME) resulted in it predicting I was typing "BOND" (At least it got one letter right!). There ensued much cursing and backspacing.

Posted at 1:08 AM | Comments (0)

May 25, 2005

The importance of checking what you're linking to

Filed in: Website Management.

There's a page devoted to links to sites of Marvel comics workers, one of whom is named "Mel Bush". I'm fairly certain it's not the same Mel Bush that the Mel Bush page on my site is about, because, for one thing, that Mel Bush is a fictional character and unlikely to be drawing comics for Marvel. The proprietor of that site doesn't appear to have checked and gone ahead and linked anyway.

Not that I'm going to complain about getting links, but if you're going to link to a page, at least check that the page is what you think it is.

For some reason I'm completely unable to load anything on that domain - I presume they've blocked all traffic from Xtra for some reason, because I always get a timeout. Google's cache is a wonderful thing.

Posted at 12:58 AM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2005

Looking for somewhere to read newspaper comics

Filed in: Internet.

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)

May 21, 2005

UT Review: The Battle of Celeste

Filed in: Unreal Tournament.

Level: AS-Confexia
Type: Assault
File Size: 40.9 MB
Rating: 9/10

Description: A vast ruined city.

Continue reading "UT Review: The Battle of Celeste"

Posted at 11:32 PM | Comments (0)

May 17, 2005

The Dead Link Problem

Filed in: Website Management.

Tonight I wrote a wee program* which scans the site mirror I have sitting on my hard drive, grabs all the external links, and checks said external links by doing a head request. Thusly I can locate and fix any dead links.

Dead links are a big problem on the web. Putting a link on my web page is a risk, because at some point in the future that link has a high probability of going "dead" (the page is gone), redirecting, or even redirected to a porn site. As a surfer, it's annoying to click on a link looking for some information, only to find the page has disappeared, so as a webmaster, I make it a practice of checking my links semi-regularly to make sure they all work and go where intended. Since is pretty large, I have to use a link-checking program...

Which caused me to ponder another question: Why do webmasters have to check their links independently? It seems to me that search engines have already done all the work. They've crawled my pages (so they know which URLs I'm linking to) and they've crawled the pages I'm linking to (because that's what search engines do) so it follows Google, Yahoo!, MSN, etc, already know which of my pages have dead links on them. Wouldn't it be nice if one of them provided some easy way for me to get this information so I don't have to go checking the links myself?

Given the high percentage of pages out there containing dead links, such a service would probably be well received...

* So if you got any funny hits on your web site from " link checka", that was my 1337 programming skillz.

Posted at 1:23 AM | Comments (2)

May 16, 2005

Anyone lost a concert pianist?

Filed in: Misc.

Silent "Piano Man" poses British beach riddle

LONDON (Reuters) - A smartly dressed man found wandering in a soaking wet suit near an English beach has baffled police and care workers after he refused to say a word and then gave a virtuoso piano performance.

Ever helpfully, Yahoo! News doesn't provide a photo or even a link to the site they mention, so here's the item on the NMPH site. Meg thinks he may be some sort of promotion or some such.

Posted at 7:50 PM | Comments (3)

May 12, 2005

Raspberry Coke

Filed in: Misc.

Apparently Coca Cola is launching Raspberry Coke in New Zealand. There's even an auction on TradeMe to win the first bottle. Ooookay...

See also: The Verdict.

Posted at 8:32 PM | Comments (0)

May 10, 2005

Random photo of construction work

Filed in: Tetrap.Local.

Construction of the new Pak 'n Save in Lower Hutt is coming along nicely.

[Men at work]

As the bounding fence was at a bit of an angle, this was taken rather awkwardly holding the camera over a wire gate and looking at the LCD screen at the back.

Posted at 9:51 PM | Comments (0)

May 9, 2005

Subway cut the horseradish

Filed in: Tetrap.Local.

Yup, it appears the local Subway has taken horseradish sauce off the
menu, along with red wine vinaigrette. So now as well as mustard-less
meatball subs, it's horseradish-less melts...


On the upside, apparently Caesar dressing is coming back...

(This was Subway Watch. Next up, the Burger Show!)

Posted at 10:35 PM | Comments (1)

Vodafone's "free TXT weekend"

Filed in: Misc.

Vodafone here announced last week that SMS text messaging would be free on their cell network on weekends until March next year. I won't be surprised at all if they announce they're cancelling it next week, as this evening their network seems to be heavily overloaded. Ten minutes of typing on the gad-awful cellphone keyboard, and then I get an "SMS is not sent!" error.

It somewhat does demonstrate why TXT messages cost as much as they do (20 cents currently)...

Posted at 1:19 AM | Comments (0)

May 6, 2005

Oh my god

Filed in: Website Management.

Jonas Luster linked to a CSS cheat sheet. This will make my development sooooo much easier. Also finally I can see how to make paragraphs indent on the first line only, which I'd previously assumed CSS couldn't do, simply because I couldn't find the correct syntax anywhere in the CSS spec.

Now I cry with happiness.

Posted at 12:51 AM | Comments (0)

May 4, 2005

An email I received today...

Filed in: Spam.

X-Originating-IP: [] (
Date: Wed, 4 May 2005 04:37:08 +0200
From: "Cynthia Wood" <cynthia_wood1@*******.it>
Subject: From Cynthia Wood
Reply-to: cynthia123wood@*******.com

Lloyds TSB Group plc
25 Gresham Street
London EC2V 7HN


I discovered a dormant account in my office, as Group finance director with Lloyds bank London. It will be in my interest to transfer this fund worth $20,000,000 million dollars in an account offshore. If you can be a collaborator to this please indicate interest immediately for us to proceed. Remember this is absolutely confidential. My husband does not know about this risk taking. My family will be in shambles if it burst out and i will also be in trouble aswell as loose my precious job. Your contact phone numbers and name will be necessary for this effect.

Regards and respect,

Cynthia Wood
Group Finance Director
Lloyds bank London

Dear Cynthia

Firstly, you should really talk to your web site people as, according to the Lloyds TSB site, Helen A. Weir is the Group Finance Director. Much as I am interested in your figure of 20 trillion dollars, I find it difficult to work out (a) why a British institution would have money in dollars instead of pounds, (b) why a British institution would have an account containing some 10 times the GDP of the United Kingdom, and (c) why the Group Finance Director would be emailing random people offering shady under-the-table deals, though I can see why you would therefore be emailing me from Italy.

Incidentally, you should learn how to properly write subjects for emails. "From Cynthia Wood" tells me nothing that the "From" line doesn't already.

Sorry I can't help, however I have this fellow in Nigeria who's trying to get rid of $10 million as well, so perhaps the two of you could get together in a mutually benificial arrangement.

Love, Alden.

Posted at 9:20 PM | Comments (1)

May 3, 2005

More Accidental SEO

Filed in: Website Management.

Dear Google,
Thou art on crack.

Google results for Doctor Who Downloads

My crappy downloads page should not outrank the official BBC Doctor Who site. That's... seriously wrong.

Posted at 9:23 PM | Comments (0)

May 2, 2005

UT Review: Thrust

Filed in: Unreal Tournament.

Level: AS-CBP2-Thrust
Type: Assault
File Size: 17.4 MB
Rating: 7/10

Description: A series of buildings in a lush green island in (what looks like) a sea of oil.

Continue reading "UT Review: Thrust"

Posted at 10:55 PM | Comments (0)

May 1, 2005


Filed in: Doctor Who.

Holy. Crap.

Without a doubt the best episode so far this season, and quite possibly the best since ever. If the entire rest of the season is complete crap (I'm sure it won't be) it'll still have been worth it to get this one episode.

Absolutely brilliant.

Posted at 9:59 PM | Comments (1)


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