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January 2006 Archives

January 31, 2006

myspace tubgirled

Filed in: Website Management.

You may recall I was previously having trouble with people on myspace hotlinking to my LJ icons like crazy. Previously I redirected the image requests from the hotlinking sites to a 5120-pixel-wide gif in order to mess up their layouts.

This, however, doesn't seem to have discouraged hotlinking much. I suspect the problem is that many of the myspacers have page layouts which are already so fubar they don't notice when my gif image screws things up further. So a couple of days ago I went to step 2.

Step 2 involved me changing the redirection to a copy of the infamous tubgirl image (If you haven't seen it before, for the love of God, don't Google it). It's amazing how quickly the hotlinking disappears when people suddenly find they have one of the foulest images in existence on their web page.

Posted at 6:35 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

January 27, 2006


Filed in: Misc.


I saw this number plate today and it confused me a bit. In computer games, "gib" is the term for a piece of an exploded game character after, say, they step on a mine, while "FXR" could be interpreted as a contracted form of a particular piece of leet speak which could lead one to translate the number plate as something entirely inappropriate.

But the vehicle it was attached to was parked on a construction site, so a more likely translation is "Gib fixer" or "one who neuters male ferrets"

Posted at 6:21 PM | Comments (2)

January 25, 2006

"Proposal for Gold Sales" scam

Filed in: Spam.

I'm not even sure I know quite what this one is proposing...



PROPOSAL FOR GOLD SALES In our search for reliable associates in addition to-me, we obtained your contact by the Internet and we are impressed of your profile from there our interest in the management of the businesses with you. We are very sorry as this letter can surprise you. We are minors of group of village organized in gold based in the west africa in Republic of LIBERIA .

I'm shocked. What sort of people use minors to mine gold. Only adults should be miners!

Because of the difficulties of the government of liberia give a licence to the protocols in transactions of sale of gold and for the safety of our goods, we have successfully transferred (65kilos) from gold to the metal which is (purity of 99 % of 22 carats), being stored in the Agency Company for Safety Extracting in Ouagadougou in the Republic of Burkina Faso the West/Africa. Currently we seek the honourable foreign purchasers who will be able to accept and respect the agreement of trade and to treat the business with us. the case so more necessary.

Ummmmm... Tilt. There's a French version of the email included as well, and I suspect that the English version is simply the French version run through an autotranslator (the "minor" goof is present in both language versions). This portion of the email appears to suggest they couldn't get a mining licence and want to sell their gold under the table.

However our price is (6.500 $ per kilo) and the system of operation is after the analysis; the pleasant part of the quantité is paid to us here while one of our representatives will accompany the goods with his final destination for the balance payment or if possible with satisfaction, the quantité can be paid suddenly. The customer will be responsible for all the tax payments in Burkina - Faso in % well pleasant during the payment. The customer is welcome visit us in Burkina - Faso for the full insurance and the modus of operation. We will be happy to have joined and any of your favorable interested associate. You are welcome and hoping to receive news of you at his possible time more the first.

Translation: You give us $6,500 per kilogram of gold, we run away very fast with your money before you realise there is no one coming to give you the gold.


And oddly I got another email from Amos Zongo about an hour ago, now claiming to be auditor general of the Bank of Africa and wanting to offload 16 million dollars. Gets around, does Mr Zongo. Interestingly the second scam email was addressed from "OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO" - the Bozeman, Montana of Mr Zongo's scam emails, evidently.

Posted at 8:28 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (1)

January 24, 2006

Thunderbird's Spell Checker

Filed in: Computers.

Thunderbird 1.5 is a pretty cool email program which keeps getting better. 1.5 has a spell checker which underlines misspelled words as you type them and allows you to right-click and fix your spelling. As I make a lot of typos, this is very helpful. However, there's a couple of words missing from their dictionary...

[Thunderbird corrects my spelling]

Hee hee hee! :)

Posted at 7:42 PM | Comments (0)

Why does driving turn people into dickheads?

Filed in: Misc.

I was waiting to come out of the driveway this evening, signalling that I was going to turn left, when a van nipped past and parked directly to my left (on a yellow line, I might add) completely blocking my view of the oncoming traffic to the left. Way to go, dickhead!

I'd have gotten out and given them a piece of my mind or (more likely) snapped a picture and sent it off to the proper authorities, but (a) it was raining and (b) there was a somewhat impatient person in a van right behind me also waiting to emerge.


PS, and this is completely unrelated: To the person using rfetch to grab my atom feed: You don't need to refetch it every five minutes - I don't post that often. :)

Posted at 5:43 PM | Comments (0)

January 23, 2006

Three things I did this weekend

Filed in: Misc.

1. Fiddled with the format of my weblog. I don't know if I'm going to keep it, depends on whether it grows on me or not.

2. Made more Star Trek: Voyager Livejournal userpics, to bring the total to 55. Samples:
Nananananana Bat'leth! And she had huuuuuuuge tracts of land

3. Managed to win another battle on BlogExplosion, bringing my total to 3 wins, 11 losses. That's sorta sad. :)

Posted at 9:00 PM | Comments (0)

January 20, 2006

Vodafone: "Sorry for any confusion"

Filed in: Misc.

Vodafone apologised for their misleading txt last week:

2 clarify last wks TXT from Vdfn, International TXT increases from 20c to 30c frm 25 Jan 06 for Prepay customers only. Sorry 4 any confusion. 4 mor info call 222

If they were reeeeeally sorry, they wouldn't be raising the price. ;)

Posted at 8:47 PM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2006

The Inevitable Cell Phone Wallpaper Question

Filed in: Misc.

Since I now have a WAP-capable cell phone, the obvious step of making a WAP version of occurred to me. But what to put on it? Phone wallpapers? I googled and searched, but no one seems to have a list of what resolutions are common for cell phone screens. Interweb, you have failed me!

I found the same question had been asked on Wallpaper Junkie with the response "128x172". Looking at free wallpaper sites yielded various different sizes: 120x160, 132x176, 208x176, 276x132. My own cell phone appears to take wallpapers which are around 128 by 128 (Though it crops the top and bottom and prints "Vodafone" in big letters on it, so more like 128 by 96).

While I suspect it would be nigh-on impossible to get hold of statistics regarding which models are most widely used, has a handy feature where you can select a make and model and it'll provide you with wallpapers in the correct resolution for your phone. I took the liberty of looking at which dimensions were most prevalent:

Resolution  # models
Rest<= 5

This leads me to conclude that I couldn't go far wrong in providing wallpapers in the top 4 or 5 resolutions.

Posted at 8:24 PM

January 16, 2006

New Phone

Filed in: Tetrap.Local.

I bought a new phone from Bond and Bond on the weekend. It has a camera, WAP, polyphonic ring tones, etc, etc, and so what better way to celebrate than by posting some blurry phonecam pictures of construction?!

Harvey Normans
Lower Hutt Mitre 10 MegaHarvey Normans, by Melling Bridge. They just started recently.

Pak N Save
Pak n Save, which I photographed before, and which is opening the middle of next week.

Not hugely great picturewise, but OK for taking random photos of silly things.

Posted at 5:49 PM | Comments (1)

January 15, 2006

Good old Microsoft

Filed in: Computers.

For a moment before posting this, I had a feeling I'd written about it before, but Google revealed nothing... So here I present to you the results of trying to update a PC using Windows Update:

"Security Update for Windows (KB839645) Could not be installed because of an unknown error."

Perhaps they'd care to elaborate?

Also on the subject of broken stuff, my PC crashed earlier on today. After rebooting, I found that Mozilla's FireFox and Thunderbird had both completely lost their settings. Not only that, but Thunderbird had completely lost all of my email. The mail was, I'm glad to say, still on the disk, but the configuration file which told Thunderbird where it was was snafu. This appears to be because Thunderbird keeps the file permanently open while running, and it wasn't closed properly during the crash.

Fortunately I was able to recover the data and get my email back, but I doubt the average user would be able to do that.

Posted at 9:37 PM | Comments (2)

Yahoo! Group's bouncing policy sucks

Filed in: Internet.

It seems to be that on occasion Yahoo! Groups tries to send a mailing list message to me and it bounces (probably because the mailing server is temporarily down). Any sane person would just wait a bit and try again, but from what I can tell, Y!G simply suspends all mailing list emails to that address, waits four or five days, then sends a "reactivate your subscriptions" email. Which is fine, except that way you unnecessarily miss a whole pile of emails.

Come on, Yahoo! Try again! It's not like bouncing emails are cosing you money.

I suppose I should have noticed I wasn't getting any emails from Yahoo! Groups.

Posted at 10:45 AM | Comments (0)

January 14, 2006

The Night of a Thousand Batgirls

Filed in: Links.

A couple of LiveJournalers drew and posted picture of Batgirl, which lead to other artists on their friends lists drawing and posting pictures of Batgirl, which lead to over 200300 pieces of artwork of Batgirl, all in different styles. The Internets is awesome! :)

Posted at 2:15 PM | Comments (0)

January 13, 2006

The TARDIS Tales Collection

Filed in: Doctor Who, TSV Online.

The latest issue to hit the TSV archive is The TARDIS Tales Collection, a special issue which included every installment of Graham Muir's comic strip up to The Final Chapter in TSV 32, and added the epic 10-page Sauceron. As well, Graham provides commentary on the strips, and some of his pre-TARDIS-Tales comics are printed, such as this excellently funny one-page summation of the first episode of Death to the Daleks.

Of course, The Final Chapter wasn't the last TARDIS Tales, so there are more comic strips to come in future issues, though the next one isn't until TSV 35...

On a related note, Paul relates how the NZDWFC site was recently visited by award-winning NZ author Keri Hulme!

Posted at 8:04 PM | Comments (0)

January 12, 2006

RIP Satellite Dish

Filed in: Misc.

LiveJournal are retiring the icon I made for linking syndicated accounts, so a moment of silence, please, for the satellite dish icon.

Teh satellite dish

I made that icon back in 2003 when they first introduced seperate icons for syndicated accounts, but now it's being replaced by a sparkly new orange jobbie. So sad.

Edit: and already someone's complained!

Posted at 10:02 PM | Comments (2)

January 11, 2006

Vodafone's misleading TXT

Filed in: Misc.

Yesterday Vodafone sent out a TXT message:

Want 2 TXT yr friends Overseas? If u r on Prepay,TXTing from NZ will cost u jst 30c starting 25 Jan 2006. 4 more details call 222 Or visit

This sorta seems to imply that there's just been a price drop, however as the Dominion Post pointed out this morning, they're actually raising the price by 50% and dressing the price rise up as a good thing.

So... is the message up there misleading? Personally, I think so...

Posted at 10:13 PM | Comments (0)

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

Filed in: Internet.

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)

January 10, 2006

"New" Satay Chicken

Filed in: Tetrap.Local.

I noticed my local Subway (Maybe I should make a category... tetrap.local.subway) has signs up proclaiming "New Satay Chicken". New? But they've had satay chicken as long as I've been going there! Asking about it illicited an odd look and "The satay chicken is new" so perhaps they've just changed the recipe?

Slightly more alarming is the "For a limited time" phrase. Does that mean satay chicken will disappear from the menu once the limited time is up? Oh noes!

Posted at 7:02 PM | Comments (0)

January 9, 2006

Do Whitcoulls even want to sell Doctor Who DVDs?

Filed in: Doctor Who.

I ask myself this sometimes. Like today when I went to the Lower Hutt Queensgate branch to buy City of Death, which was released last Thursday.

It wasn't in the first place I looked (the new releases section) though last month's Doctor Who DVD was. I then looked in the science fiction section, which is where Doctor Who DVDs live and, after a bit of hunting, found two copies of City of Death hiding behind a Dune box set.

Then I went to Dick Smiths and looked at the range of cellphones - while they had a big wall display, all it consisted of was dummy cellphones with no actual information next to them. Like a feature list or prices. Evidently not in a hurry to sell any then.

Posted at 6:31 PM | Comments (2)

January 7, 2006

UT Review: Galadriël System

Filed in: Unreal Tournament.

Level: ONS-Galadriël-System
Type: Onslaught
Download Size: 9.44 MB
Rating: 8/10
Downloaded from: Unreal Tournament Files (File Front)

Description: Zooming about in space in flying saucers to Jarre. Weeeeeeeee!

Continue reading "UT Review: Galadriël System"

Posted at 12:49 PM | Comments (0)

January 3, 2006

Comparing Movable Type and Wordpress

Filed in: Weblogging.

One of the things I've been meaning to do for a long time now is upgrade the TSV Editor's Weblog to use a decent blogging package rather than the software I'd whipped up myself (which did little more than let the blogger add an entry). As Movable Type's licence only allows for one user, I opted to install Wordpress.

Installation is a lot easier than MT. Wordpress has almost a third of the files to upload, and they're all in the proper directories in the zip file. It's therefore just a matter of following the brief installation instructions to get started.

I wasn't as impressed with the back end. It doesn't look as elegant as the MT backend. The "dashboard" which is the welcome page you get when you log in is cluttered with news from the Wordpress development blog (MT shows titles from their blog only, and tucked away at the side). That said, the only one who's going to be looking at the back end is going to be the author anyway.

The page for adding an entry is very nice with the advanced options hidden until you click on the appropriate title (I had to google to find out what a "Post slug" was though). I also like the concept of using the blog software to add "pages" too (I.E. HTML pages which aren't actually blog entries).

Prefilling the links list with links to (I presume) the Wordpress developer's blogs was a bit cheeky though!

I haven't yet looked at how easy it is to create skins for Wordpress - that will be the next step, so I can make the Editor's weblog look like it's part of the site.

Posted at 9:16 PM | Comments (1)

January 2, 2006

Referrer spammers

Filed in: Spam.

I got my site stats updated (apparently there's something wrong with the auto-update feature in the latest copy of cpanel, and I've been having to put in support tickets to get the stats updated) only to find that since the 29th, some lousy spammer's been crawling my site with their referrer set to several spam sites.

Coming from random IP addresses (probably open proxies or zombie computers, they burned through some 50mb of bandwidth on the 30th, all to spam a couple of sites in the referrer. And I don't even publish referrer stats for my site, so they wasted their time and my bandwidth for nothing.

An unrelated spammer also hit me recently: I had some odd referrers from a few other blogs - when I checked the entries didn't have links to here on them (though one was clogged with comment spam) so I checked my logs, and found it Mr He would hit my site once to load an entry page (with the referrer set to a random blog entry from elsewhere), then attempt to post to the comments script. As I've put a couple of extra commented-out <form> tags in my HTML, he was hitting the wrong URL and so didn't get anywhere. Fortunately he always came from the same IP address and so was dead easy to ban.

What a pain.

Posted at 5:23 PM | Comments (0)


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