Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How-to Download Files in Android's Browser

Adroid phones will just flat out ignore you when you try to click on items like a Word Document linked from a web page or as a file attachment in webmail.

This can be frustrating to your average computer user because your desktop browser will download any old file, no questions asked.

The reason behind this is because the Android phone's browser will only download files that already that have associated apps installed to handle that file type.

For instance, if you want to view a PDF document you will need to first have PDF Viewer pre-installed on the phone.

Likewise, you can't see MS Word documents unless you have something like IcViewer installed.

To find some viewers simply go to the Android Market and search for "viewer" and you'll find a bunch, some of them mult-format viewers.

The only thing I found annoying is that MS Word, Excel and PPT viewers aren't included in Android by default which are the primary file attachments most people get.

Come on Google, get your shit together, just because we can download apps doesn't mean the phone should require so much assembly. Just a few more pre-installed apps would reduce the frustration level for the less technical types out there.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sprint HTC Hero : Tethering Worked First Time

I've been reading all this complicated nonsense about Sprint Hero and tethering, rooting the phone and all other stuff, maybe it's just dated but it was all out of touch with the reality of what the phone did in the real world.

I had my Hero plugged into the USB port, HTC Sync software was pre-installed of course, and simply pressed the following on the phone:


The "Mobile Network Sharing" is actually disabled when the USB cable isn't connected so it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the machine implicitly allows tethering.

Now to see you actually have a network, from the Windows Start Menu select "NETWORK" on the right hand column, then click "Network and Sharing Center" and VOILA! there's a new network connection titled "HTC Remote NDIS based Device".

How simple and freaking cool is that?

Didn't have to unlock the phone or do any rooting, it was simple as a single click in the menu.

Got a bandwidth speed of just under 450mbps on my first test but I was definitely loading web pages through the phone as I manually disconnected all other networking options.

The FUD though is about whether this causes extra fees on your Simply Everything plan or not as the Sprint salesperson warned us that using tethering is tracked separately and goes against your actual phone minutes and not your data plan.

If that means nights and weekends are free, cool.

If that means any time you tether it's burning up minutes, not cool.

Since Verizon offers Droid tethering for $30/mo. extra I can't imagine Sprint won't do something comparable or simply lose customers.

Let us know of your of tales of Hero tethering!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

BarracudaCentral.org Reliably Blocks Rash of New Spam

I'm using several DNSBL's to block inbound spam, plus blocking China entirely, which makes for a very quiet inbox most of the time.

Suddenly there has been a rash of new spam that the old BLs just didn't catch and it started to escalate.

Initially I wasn't too concerned because a spam site pops up, you get a few emails, they get black listed and the DNSBL blocks them from then on.

This time nobody seemed to be stopping them, none of my go-to DNSBL's were working so I revisited the DNSBL Spam Database Lookup site and started testing the source IPs of the email to see which list would block them.

Much to my surprise only 2 lists, barracudacentral.org and spamcannibal.org were highlighting these spammers at all.

After extensive testing BarracudaCentral.org proved to be the best out of the two so Barracuda gets added to my email filter list.

If you haven't tried BarracudaCentral.org then you probably have spam ;)

UPDATE: a few spams slipped thru that only SpamCannibal flagged so since I'm in a zero tolerance mode, I added SpamCannibal to my filter list as well.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

PubCon Heals The Crippled!

Some people are aware that I've been down with a really bad back which went out right after PubCon '08 meaning I've been barely walking for almost a year now. My back got so bad, and I have the x-rays to prove it, that the State of California actually issued me a permanent handicap placard this year! Not something I'm proud of, but it got me close enough to the door of the store to go shopping.

To explain what's going on, I have a couple of lower vertebrae with no disc between them that move against each other and sometimes slip which will send me down to the ground when it slips. This has been an ongoing problem since the 80's when I had a rather nasty high speed roller skating accident which has flared up a few times over the years. Over the course of the last year I discovered it was primarily tail bone compaction really causing me problems so I had to buy some special cushions and chairs to eliminate that problem.

It got so bad that I was unable to sit at my desk and do any work for more than a couple of hours a day for a couple of months earlier this year which finally drove me to find some solutions to the problem because not being able to sit at the computer is not acceptable.

The first place I went, and you must visit, is Relax The Back which is a great specialty store with all sorts of products for people with back problems.

My cheapo desk chair was the first thing I had to replace with some fancy (expensive as hell) ergonomic chair with lumbar support, other adjustments and memory foam!

Great, now my chair remembers every time I fart in it...

The cushion I bought for the car has a cut-out in the rear so my tail bone doesn't compress during long rides or take any of the shock from bumps in the road. This may not sound such a big deal, but I got so bad at one point that I had stopped driving for a couple of months and my wife was shuttling me around. After a couple of months of ass-rehab on the cushion and the office chair I'm back in the drivers seat without any problems.

Picked up a body pillow from Bed Bath & Beyond which hugged when you sleep also helped offset pressure in a couple of problem areas, but I think the bed will be the next item to be replaced.

Then I did some physical therapy for a few months until the insurance ran out on it and I was back in action somewhat walking better, using shopping carts at stores like walkers, and still getting mild panic attacks crossing wide open spaces with nothing to lean on if my back slips.

Anyway, I was barely put back together and getting a little better in time for PubCon and here comes my biggest fear, long walks thru airports, the massive Vegas hotels and of course the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The first day went about as expected, slow, painful and very carefully plodding along to make sure I didn't jar my back.

Surprisingly, the next day wasn't quite as bad and by the end of the week I was easily walking twice as fast as when I arrived.

The big bonus was I'm back to using escalators again after one near mishap!


Not that I'm claiming to be fixed, had a few incidents throughout the week with back slipping getting in and out of cabs and such, but I'm certainly walking MUCH better than when I first got to PubCon which is a huge improvement.

So pass it along - PubCon heals!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bellagio's Bland Overpriced Buffet

We've always heard the Bellagio Buffet was "OH SO GOOD" and it's always in the "TOP 10 VEGAS BUFFET" lists so we decided to try it.


Why does everyone think the Bellagio's Buffet in Vegas is so good?

Who's doing the reviewing?

80 year olds?

The Bellagio Buffet's website says:

The freshest ingredients are brought together in an exciting display of taste and talent at the superb Buffet Bellagio.
That's a shame because those ingredients could've been frozen and defrosted as far as I could tell.

The day we dined at the Bellagio they had what looked like grilled WAHOO which was completely over cooked and dry as cardboard, blech.

We like medium rare meat but the slice of leg of lamb was a tad on the raw side and was lacking in any flavor or seasoning whatsoever, leg of BLAND was a more appropriate name for this dish.

I had some of the succulent looking rotisserie chicken, true, it was succulent but lacking in any flavor other than the chicken fat oozing under the skin.

The Italian dishes and Pizza were OK and the deserts weren't too bad, but for the money they charge it wasn't worth the price of the cab ride to the Bellagio, let alone the price of the meal.

Maybe they should learn how to season their food, good grief.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Android Phones Make Men Better Lovers than iPhone

Women, pay attention because this blog post could change your life!

Your sex life that is.

Does your man have an iPhone or iPod?

Throw those iFuckers away and get your man an Android phone for his birthday, Christmas, or just because you want the wettest wildest screaming orgasms you've ever had.

How is this possible?

Well the Android phones have a little clitoris sized trackball on the front of the phone and as your man becomes more adept at using the trackball on the Android he'll also become more adept at using that little trackball in your panties!

After just a few short days of Android phone use your man will be able to spin, glide and flick that trackball with skills that could rival a trained Gigolo!

Now all you lusty women run out and buy your man an Android phone NOW and in a couple of days kick back with your feet in the air and wait for him to want to show off his new trackball talents.

Enjoy the Android!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Poker, Charity and Big Glands

Last year it was easy to get into Purpose Inc's 2008 Poker Tournament, you just had to pay the entry fee and they picked the charity, easy peasy, no fuss no muss, just how lazy shits like myself prefer it.

Not this year, for Purpose Inc's 2009 Poker Tournament they're making me think about stuff and blog it, then post images, links and all sorts of crazy shit, too much like work.

Considering I already have lymphoma you would think I'd pick the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as my charity, right?

Well you would be wrong because when it comes to oversized glands, I prefer massive mammory glands over enlarged lymph nodes any day of the week so I'm going to pick the National Breast Cancer Foundation as my charity.

For what's it's worth, my mom is a 30+ year survivor of breast cancer and she was treated back in the dark ages using stone knives and bear skins and they just cut everything off back then and then irradiated the shit out of everything that was left.

Very savage medicine in the 70s.

Anyway, off to Vegas to play for my charity and I better win after going through all this bullshit!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Can Open Source Topple The Microsoft Monopoly?

I've been using Microsoft Software since 1980 and this is the first time in the history of computers that I think Microsoft is in a position to be easily toppled.

Who will topple Microsoft, will it be the next big computer company with a "Windows Killer"?


It will be FREE software.

It will be OPEN software.

It's already here today, there's no waiting, you can download it all for free!

Free Desktop Software

It's called Ubuntu, which is a beautiful African word that I believe loosely translates into "Kick Microsoft's Ass".

As a matter of fact, Dell offers Ubuntu as an installation option right alongside of Windows 7 which costs extra!

Way to go Dell, they GET IT!

Ubuntu even has specific versions for Netbooks and Servers, so they GET IT too!

With Ubuntu you don't need to shell out big sweaty bags full of money to buy office productivity software, entertainment software, anti-virus, or even programming languages because it's all FREE!

Can you say it with me?


What did I say?


What do we like?


So why are you still feeding the Microsoft monopoly machine when everything you need is:


It's probably because you're just too filthy fucking rich and you can afford to give money away, right?

Mostly I'm talking about people that use computers like an appliance, that would just as easily be happy if their Tivo could browse the web and handle email.

These people using appliance computers are, in my opinion, what Ubuntu is all about.

Instead of Internet Explorer and Outlook you'll use Firefox and Thunderbird, or Chrome, you'll barely notice the difference except Firefox has lots of add-ons which are cool.

One major difference you'll notice switching to Ubuntu is the lack of MS Office's Trial which costs money to use after the trial period expires.

Instead you'll have Open Office which is FREE! and never expires and never requires an upgrade fee, what an amazing concept!

Free Mobile Software

Are you holding a MyTouch, Hero or Droid?

It has an OS called Android and is in all the hottest phones on the market.

Guess what, these phones aren't closed environments like iPhone or Windows CE and you can even program them for FREE!

None of this Windows CE proprietary bullshit, you can write in JAVA or script in PYTHON.

Getting the idea we're weaning ourselves off Microsoft?

What about computer professionals?

Some of you that are computer professionals all invested in the Microsoft landscape will come along bitching about how all these free software programs aren't so good and doesn't do everything you want.

You know what?

Most of this stuff would've been state of the art as little as 4-5 years ago, some of it even exceeds the state of the art, and the more people use the free stuff the more pressure and resources gets put on the free stuff to evolve faster.

Stop shelling money out for MSDN (mega waste) and big expensive tools like SQL Server when MySQL is FREE and using ASP.NET when you can get PHP for FREE!

You can program in C, C++, PERL, PYTHON, PHP, and so forth, and it's all FREE!

All the online documentation, support and tools, FREE!

So remind me again, why do you continue to support Microsoft?

Just because your computer came pre-installed with Windows?

Lame excuse, just pop in an Ubuntu DVD today and stop the madness!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

PayWave Credit Card Cloned - Was My Ass Scanned?

In all the years I've been using credit cards I've not had a single incidence of credit card fraud until now.

Someone actually CLONED my Visa PayWave card and was using an actual physical copy of the card last weekend in person in Illinois, which is a long way from California.

The credit card fraud department caught the activity instantly, and shipped me a new card via UPS in 2 days.

I'm very careful about who has access to my card, always give the machines a quick look to make sure the swipe slots haven't been tampered with, general common sense stuff.

I never sign the back of my card, instead in big red letters it says "CHECK CARDHOLDER ID" so that the vendor will ask to see my drivers license in the event the card is ever stolen.

90% of my credit card activity is the same thing every month with trusted vendors but it's mostly all online activity which doesn't give you all the information you need to clone the card.

Typically I spend cash in restaurants, unless I'm picking up a tab, except a couple of places that I frequent all the time and know the people so it's not much of a risk there, been going there for years.

What possibly happened?

Recently we took a little trip and I've only used the card 3 times in places never before used, which would narrow down the search criteria quite a bit.

However, remember, this is my first ever Visa PayWave card.

I did some checking...

Did you know some claim you can have your RFID card scanned from as far as 20 feet away?

The credit card companies claim you only get the RFID number, not the actual card number, so the limited exposure is only $25 maximum payments using the RFID data.

The hackers disagree claiming some technology such as Amex is more secure than others like MasterCard PayPass.

OK, if the RFID technology is so secure then why was the Discovery Channel strong armed into not airing an episode of Mythbuster's censored by the credit card companies?

The hackers claim all you need is $8 in gear and you can start collecting RFID credit cards.

Therefore, having been burned for the first time EVER with a cloned card, I think I'm going to call the bank and get a new card without this PayWave nonsense because I don't need people scanning my ass to scrape credit cards out of my wallet.

FYI, this was the only RFID card I carry so if they were scanning my ass it makes sense that this was the only card that got cloned.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Why buy MS Office when Open Office is FREE

I've used MS Office products such as Word and Excel for about 20 years now and I've always upgraded to the latest version as needed.

When I got my new computer a few months ago it came preloaded with Office 2007 for a limited trial and guess what?

The trial expired and I didn't purchase.

Nope, I decided to bail on MS Office and try the free OpenOffice and see how it worked before forking over real money for MS Office.

For starters, I'm no longer the power user of MS Office that I used to be and I'm working outside the confines of an office that standardizes on MS Office so it's easy to make the switch.

The only thing I notice is OpenOffice seems slow loading and unloading, but after that it seems to run decent on my computer which is pretty fast.

None of my Excel spreadsheets had any issue being imported into OpenOffice Calc.

The few Powerpoint presentations I have made also imported flawlessly into OpenOffice Impress.

Now most of my Word documents were simple things, short letters, invoices and a business card template, all of which imported flawlessly.

However, I had a couple of manuals that were about 100 pages each which use style sheets and it imported the data just fine but the style sheet layout was lost. If I still had to maintain this publication on an ongoing basis then I would definitely consider getting Word instead of spending a bunch of time reformatting this document and re-inventing the wheel. Of course there may still be a way to properly import the 2 manuals but I didn't look too hard since they aren't very important at the moment.

Overall, for the low end home, student or business user, OpenOffice looks like it will do a great job.

I'll reserve judgment for power use of these applications until after I have to create a new manual or something and experience it's capabilities at a higher level.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Unleash HTC Hero Android's Bar Code Scanner

The purpose of this post is to show people how to improve their marketing efforts to the mobile market and speeding up basic information acquisition such as the URL to your site or your contact data is a major step forward.


The Barcode Scanner!

Many of you are carrying phones around that have bar code scanners built into them and you probably have no clue about the true potential sitting in the palm of your hand.

Most people just imagine scanning UPC codes on products so they can do comparative shopping while standing in a store, but that only scratches the surface of the bar code scanners potential.

Just in case you haven't installed a scanner on your phone yet, the Android Market has a lot of barcode scanners for various applications and you can find them by going into the market and searching for "barcode" to find them.

For the purpose of this blog post, download and install "Barcode Scanner" by ZXing Team which did a lot of work that appears on the Android site.

Now, who knows what a QR code is?

Hardly anyone outside of Japan because that's where the QR code (Quick Response code) was invented by the Denso-Wave corporation in 1994. Now those codes are stamped on almost everything in Japan and almost all the Japanese camera phones can scan them so all you need to do is aim your phone in Japan and get the information in the QR code.

I think we're the Dense Wave here in the US because barely anyone uses the QR codes and they save a ton of typing time on a phone. Aim your camera in scan mode and when the bar code comes into focus the camera goes BEEP and all that typing has been done for you.

What kinds of things can go into a QR code?

  • URLs
  • Email Addresses
  • Calendar Events
  • Contact Information
  • Geo Location
  • SMS
  • Plain Text
  • Phone Number
For instance, here's a QR code for the URL of this blog.

To get this URL into your phone requires no typing, just enable the ZXing scanner and aim it at the screen. When it gets the QR code in clear focus it beeps and says "Open in Browser", how easy is that?

Way faster than stumbling around the on screen keyboard.

Just think, you can add a QR code all your web pages in the lower corner to include your URL and Google gives you a free QR Code API for generating these images. Now anyone looking at a web page that wants to put that URL in their phone just scans it in, simple as that.

Looks too complicated?

Not at all, here's the link to display the URL image shown above:
To make life even simpler, the ZXing team put a QR Code Generator on the Google App Engine site that allows you to quickly create anything that their barcode scanner can scan.

Some other companies like BrightKite have already "got it" and they have a QR code for the URL on every page and they even have a direct link to their app in the Android Market!

This is how BrightKite links directly into the Android market search in your phone:
Now let's do something useful with this QR Code stuff, let's encode an entire contact information profile that you can put on your contact us web page, print on the back of your business card, or even print a QR code on a t-shirt and let anyone scan you in person!

Here's a sample contact card that's QR coded:

When you scan the above QR code after the beep it allows you to "Add Contact", "Show Map", "Dial Number" or "Send Email", all useful things to do!

What's all encoded in the above contact image?
John Doe
XYZ Corp.
123 Main Street, Everywhere, MO, USA
That's a lot of information for one little image!

The best part is it's universal information, doesn't require a business card scanner, USB cable or a keyboard to get it into your phone, just a 2 second scan and you're done.

Now that I've hopefully given you some useful information about QR codes, run out there and start putting QR codes on your business cards, web sites, t-shirts, and more.

Be inventive, tattoo your wife's name on your arm in QR code!

Explore the possibilities because I think the market, now armed with all these QR code scanning phones, is ready to be bar coded.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sprint HTC Hero Android Phone Custom Notification

The only thing I found real difficulty with in it's initial intuitiveness on the Android phone was setting the custom notification sounds for various things to sound unique.

For instance, I have specific inbound emails that come from my alarm monitoring company when a server goes down and I need it to wake up the dead when the alarm goes off not just go "BING!" and go away.

So here's the dirt on making custom ringtones.

Plug your Android phone into the USB cable, mount it, and then create the following top level folders:


Those folders add new sounds for notifications, ringtones and the alarm clock respectively, just drag and drop your .wav and .mp3 files into these folders and they'll be visible in the list of sounds after you unmount the drive.

I uploaded a few very loud MP3 files and then set each notification accordingly.

To make a custom SMS or email message notification click on:

The files you uploaded into notifications should appear on the list.

Likewise, if you want to make custom gmail notification sounds:

The software needs a little work to make this easier or some programmer with time to burn should crank out an app, but at least it can be done with a minimum of fuss.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

HTC Hero Android Phone Music Sync

I'm not sure what all the fuss is about not having any software to sync music for the Android.

Many first time users don't seem to know how to make the Android Visible to the PC. Pull down your notifications window on the Android, you should see an entry at the top "USB Connected", touch that then touch "MOUNT" and your PC should be able to see your phone. An auto-play window should pop up on the PC and ask you what to do with this device.

I went into Windows Media Player like I would for any other music player, like my Zen.

Clicked "sync->refresh devices" and it popped up with the "Android Phone" which I added to the devices list.

Then I simply synch'd up my usual play list and it was on the Android in just a couple of minutes, no fuss, no muss, worked first time every time.

Sometimes I think people try to over think shit when the solution has been where it was supposed to be all along.

Sprint HTC Hero : Android Phone or Tricorder?

Just picked up my new HTC Hero phone from Sprint yesterday and it's pretty damn cool all on it's own but after installing a few super cool apps, it's damn near a Star Trek Tricorder!

Why do I equate the HTC Hero to a Tricorder?

Because it interacts with the real world in some amazing ways that are just the beginning of what's to come.

  • It can hear and analyze voice and music
  • It can see barcodes, do rudimentary iris scans, handwriting IDs and more
  • Locates "life signs" with face detection
  • Uses GPS to match real time images with maps
This is all way cool, it's not just a PDA, it's interactive with the environment and is starting to perform basic analysis of what it sees and hears.

I would suspect in a couple of years or sooner you'll be able to point your Android phone at someone's face and it'll locate them on Facebook, show you their twitter stream and myspace page within seconds and avoid those awkward situations where you can't remember the name of someone you know.

Better yet, for the safety of everyone, especially the children and ladies out on the town alone, it could easily tell you everyone walking nearby that is a sex offender or has a violent criminal record so you can easily avoid these people, tag their GPS location when spotted and alert everyone to be alert.

However, that's not here yet, but it's so close you can almost taste it.

What's here now:

Google Voice Search

The Google Voice Search hears about as well as I do so it gets about 90% of what I say correct but it's amazing, you barely ever need the keyboard.

Got a leak in the kitchen faucet?

Click the little search icon button on the front of Hero, touch the microphone and merely say "plumber" and Google gave me a list of plumbers within miles of my house.

Looking for Pizza? Burgers? anything at all?

Don't type it, just say it.

It's not limited to simple words either, it'll accurately type in a whole sentence but sometimes makes little mistakes like "Deck the halls with bowels of holly".

Voice GPS Navigation

You tell the navigation system where you want to go, it quickly plots a course, and starts audibly and visually telling you how to get to the next leg of your journey.

High traffic volumes and alternate routes are also taken into consideration but I haven't had a chance to use it for more than a couple of rudimentary tests but it was very accurate so far.

Google Mapping and Sprint Navigation Integration Failure

The only thing I'll ding the HTC Hero with, and maybe I just couldn't figure it out yet or maybe there's an app out there that will do this, but Google Maps doesn't appear to pass it's information into Sprint Navigator which is damned annoying and easily fixable.

It just makes sense that when I've already located where I want to go in Google that there would be a smoothly integrated link to Sprint's GPS Navigation system but I sure didn't see it.

Barcode Scanners linked to Product Databases

Possibly the coolest damn thing ever because when we're shopping from home at the computer we can compare prices, read reviews, and basically see if we're getting the best product available with the best price, or not.

When we're shopping in the real world these days it feels like you're naked, you can't look at the reviews, you can't comparison shop, so often we go home and end up getting something drop shipped from Amazon.

Now that's all changed with tools like ShopSavvy that combine bar code readers with online databases where you can compare prices, bundled options, reviews and everything you need to know to make a well informed purchase.

Music Recognition Software

Download the music recognition app Shazam and it can identify the song playing in the background at the local bar or restaurant, assuming it's not too noisy, or the background music on the TV show or movie you're watching or the all too obvious song on the radio.

It has accurately identified almost everything I've thrown at it except some music on the wife's soap opera.

Amazing piece of software, a must have.


I could go on and on about other apps that also do amazing things but you kind of get the idea.

The HTC Android phone has already transcended just being a device to chat on voice or text into the beginning of a very exciting combination of technologies that allow us to bridge the real world with the wealth of information on the internet.

What we're seeing now is just the beginning, my mind reels with the possibilities, which are virtually unlimited.

We're quickly converging on a single hand held device that is a truly personal digital assistant that can recognize objects, people, places, voices and even function as a universal translator some day real soon.

The next step will be artificial intelligence that filters and prioritizes all this data based on your own personal preferences and then the PDA will reach it's true potential and become invaluable, a device that could initially reshape the retail landscape because price gouging will quickly become a thing of the past.

I'm waiting for the next killer Android mashup app, what will it be?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Screwed of Prize by IMCharity Party

Yeah, that's right, I'm going to rant about a charity party.

However, before I rant, I'm going to 1st say it was REAL FUN and I had a REAL GOOD TIME and I'm wondering why the place wasn't packed way more than it was and where all you cheap SEM/SEO bastards were that could've contributed to the IMCharity?

Anyway, on with the rant...

After shelling out $50 to get inside which is nothing, it's for a good cause, I decide to go crazy and donate another $20 for the raffle which is supposed to give you 20 tickets.

This short little lady who's arms couldn't even hope to be 20 tickets long unrolls a "bunch" of tickets and hands them to me.

She walks away before I realize I've only got 18 tickets, not the 20 for $20 she advertised. How fucking hard is it to count out 5 and then fold them over 4 times for 20 tickets? It's not, it's easy peasy and quick.

Sure enough, the 20th fucking ticket won a prize and some other cocksucker had my mother fucking ticket!

I didn't actually want the prize, probably would've given it to a friend at the party, but the point was I wanted to WIN the fucking prize in order to give it to the friend!

$20 for 18 tickets, what the fuck!

They raised over $10,000 for Doctors Without Borders and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

That's wonderful work, but I still want my other 2 tickets which had the fucking winning goddamn ticket!

Hell, isn't it bad enough I actually have Lymphoma that I then get shorted 2 fucking tickets?

Anyway, great party, had a blast, even if I didn't get all my goddamn winning mother fucking tickets.

See you all at the next IM Charity! ;)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Alexa The Texting Sewer Diving Moron

A manhole cover left off and a stupid girl texting without watching where she's going meet their shared destiny in one smelly misstep.

I'll agree that the city employee that left the manhole cover off needs to be taken out behind the woodshed and let his Grandmother beat the shit out of him with a belt for doing something so stupid.

However, Alexa bears some blame here too walking around not paying attention to where she's going.

Who would they sue if she stepped in front of a bus and had to be scraped off?

I'm sorry, but both were at fault here and BOTH of them should be punished.

Stupid Alexa shouldn't profit from being to fucking stupid to not watch where she's going.

That's my opinion, what's yours?

If you don't agree with mine, I don't fucking care, piss off.

NEXT WEEK: Alexa still texting falls face first in newly poured wet cement sidewalk and becomes a statue.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Men Not Working - Slow Blog Ahead

After a few weeks it might seem like I've given up on the blog but that's hardly the case.

Just been using my blogging efforts in other places, stirring the pot here and there, and taking some heat for stupid comments.

If you missed some of the fun try these threads for giggles

Something AdSense:
Google Bugs May Contribute to Lower AdSense Income

Something Linux:
Making easy graph XML output from log files
Instantly List All Outbound Links

Something for Bot Blockers:
MJ12Bot Agrees To Try Bot Validation

Our old buddy Lord Majestic agreed to try to implement a simple way to allow webmasters to validate MJ12BOT's distributed crawler and avoid all those fake MJ12BOTs that are climbing in the backdoor spoofing MJ12's user agent.

So you can see things are happening, just not happening here at the moment!

If you get bored, just come over to Twitter and kick me in the nads, it seems to keep the people happy when you give them what they want.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Stop DNS Site Hijacking With Apache Redirect

There have been several instances of DNS hijacking reported lately so I thought it might be useful to briefly address this problem and it's easy resolution.

DNS hijacking occurs when someone using a different domain name aims their domain name at your server and it hijacks a domain on your server. Both domains, the hijackers and yours, now serve up the same exact content. The search engines aren't sure which one to believe so the hijackers domain, if it gets crawled, may suddenly inherit all your site pages and your domain goes away completely in the search engine index.

This has actually happened a couple of times to various people I know or I wouldn't bother sounding the alarm that this could also happen to you.
Some cases appear to be accidental leftovers from people using 3rd party DNS services that still point to servers they no longer use. Others appear to possibly be deliberate, trying to hijack someone's site in Google or other search engines, and sometimes it works too!

If all your sites are using virtual hosting and share a single IP then it's a crap shoot which domain they'll hijack.

However, if you have a dedicated IP for a site that uses a dedicated SSL server then they can aim their DNS entry directly at your site and potentially take it for a search engine joy ride.

The easiest way to stop this is to add the following lines into your .htaccess file on every site in your server and replace example.com with your own domain name.

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^(example\.com)?$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://example.com/$1 [R=301,L]
This also canonicalizes your domain to the non-www form of the domain name.

If you want your canonical domain to start with www. then you'll need to add that to the script.

Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Updating Apache Zaps Plesk 8 Suexec

Boy did I hit the panic button tonight when I did a server software update and suddenly everything running in a CGI-BIN folder started generating 500 errors.

I remembered this problem with earlier versions of the Plesk control panel I use, but it seems that back then it was a simple CHMOD problem, took a look and the SUEXEC group, owner and flags were all still proper.

Lots of stuff down, clock ticking, trying this and that, mild panic setting in...

Turns out the stock Apache SUEXEC isn't compatible with Plesk 8 whatsoever which is why everything was coughing up 500 errors.

Luckily for me there is a second copy of it laying around in a Plesk folder so a quick copy and everything is back running just fine.

cp /usr/local/psa/suexec/psa-suexec /usr/sbin/suexec
Most of you won't have a clue what any of this Linux gibberish is about so don't worry about it but if this happens to some other nerd using Plesk out there perhaps in his moment of nerd panic he'll find my post and know how to solve the problem quickly.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bankrupt Silicon Valley Crybabies - Try Living Within Your Means

Reading this post on WebGuild about "Down and Out in Silicon Valley" really pisses me off.

The author is trying to make me feel bad about someone making $12K/month ($144K/year) that's now grabbing grub at the food pantry and using food stamps.

Give me a fucking break, why the hell did you spend it all?

What part of "bank" didn't you understand?

Back in the 90's someone I used to work with was a multi-millionaire just from his stock options in one company.

What did he do?

You probably already guessed it, he bought a million dollar house, hundred thousand dollar cars, all of it on credit of course and kept the money in the stock market.

Ujita just arranged for a new food pantry in Los Gatos where the median income is $175,000 and where many home owners have been wiped out. Their mortgages have overtaken the value of their homes and a layoff quickly depletes theirs saving and soon they find themselves in soup kitchens.
Classic mistake, when you can afford to pay cash, pay cash and keep your ass debt free within reason and have some of those things called assets, which you can sell when the shit hits the fan and you need money.

Well, of course my friend lost it all when the dot-com bubble burst and was sitting there with massive payments needing to be made and millions gone in a flash, POOF!

So ask yourself, if you can't afford to pay cash for a new Cadillac Escalade but you could pay cash for a Buick, maybe you stick to a Buick budget, or perhaps get a used car a couple of years old at nearly half the price.

People are out of their fucking minds trying to impress people with bigger better faster newer cooler and then when it hits the fan expect everyone to feel sorry for their plight, loan them money, cut them slack, bummer dude.

For instance when I worked in the corporate world of Silicon Valley almost everyone on my team was driving Mercedes and Porches while I was driving a Ford or a Buick and pressuring me to get with the program and get a car that went with the status of the job.

Guess what, that's $50K price difference between what I paid for my car vs. theirs and my cash went into the bank while their cash depreciated every time they drove that car.

I'm not jealous, if driving that $100K car makes you think your dick is bigger or harder than mine, then enjoy your big fucking expensive car but don't expect sympathy from me when the economy blows a gasket and you have no money because you spent it all.

Wah fucking wah.

I'll admit I blew a wad on a 50" plasma TV but of course I could afford it just off the interest earned from the money I saved not buying the overpriced German car.

If you can't afford it, don't buy it and the next time the economy takes a dump you'll survive with something called "savings", one of those magical things banks help you accomplish if you don't fucking spend it all trying to impress your goddamn friends and family.

Nobody will be impressed when you're homeless.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I can't blog anymore!

My blogging bone appears to be broken.

Got a few good rants backed up, will see what I can do about those.

Until then, read this post about Rich Snippets and Microformats

Friday, March 13, 2009

Credit Card Fraud on Unused Card!

Here's one for the record books.

I just got a wake up call at 8am from the credit card fraud dept. at a major bank, who's name will go unmentioned, but you can purchase their stock for less than the price of a Happy Meal.

Anyway, one of my credit cards that's been quietly and securely sitting in my desk drawer and hasn't been used in over 5 years is out making ridiculously small purchases. If this happened to any of my other cards I would probably gloss over such a small charge until they zapped me for a much bigger item, but the fraud dept. noticed this sudden use of an idle card.

It would appear someone managed to steal an ancient list of credit cards and is merely guessing at the new expiration date!

They certainly didn't get this from my trash as all credit card data is shredded, and I mean minuscule confetti kind of shredding, so unless you have infinite time on your hands and a lot of tape and glue, you're not getting anything from me freely.

So there you have it, my fun Friday wake up call from the friendly credit card dept.

Hope this day gets better as it goes along.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Florida Drinks Cat Piss Picture Book

A couple of years ago I was faced with the horrors of the cat piss they try to pass off for beer in Florida. Last week I was back in Florida and found myself face to face with the same situation, a state full of cat piss beer, but I was determined to find something drink worthy.

A few places had something called Yuengling which by it's very name sent shivers down my spine sounding like some rice beer shit from Japan.

I decided to give it a go, and here's how it went...

Challenge: IncrediBill vs. Yuengling Ale

How could anything called Yuengling taste good?

This shit better be fucking good!

I'm pleasantly surprised.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Iterasi Archives Sites Without Permission

Guess what boys and girls?

There's another wonderful new site that allows people to copy your shit without your permission!

Iterasi allows their members to "archive" individual web pages.

The pages on my site have a meta tag "NOARCHIVE" which tells everyone DO NOT ARCHIVE this page yet they archived it anyway. They also stripped out my frame busting javascript so they are seriously thwarting sites at every turn that don't want to participate in their tool.

Being that Iterasi is in Beta maybe I'll cut them a little slack, very little, but just a bit.

On their web site it says:

At iterasi, we love the Web. So much so, that we want to keep it. Forever.
If you really love the web you would follow standard web protocols and if the webmaster gives you permission, fine, do whatever you want.

For those of us that don't allow it, back the fuck off.

Here's the IP and user agent details:

"Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0; WOW64; SLCC1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)"
They operate out of this IP range:
OrgName: Infinity Internet, Inc.
NetRange: -
Infinity Internet is a mixed service with both hosting and business/residential DSL services so blocking the whole range probably isn't safe.

The reverse DNS shows:
pointer ip78.117.colo.iinet.com.
For the time being, you can opt-out of Iterasi by blocking anything with an RDNS containing ".colo.iinet.com" which seems to stop them dead in their archiving tracks.

Here's a few things Iterasi could do so webmasters don't get hostile:
  • Honor robots.txt
  • Honor meta tags like NOARCHIVE
  • Provide a user agent string that identifies Iterasi accessing a site
  • Provide reverse DNS so we can tell it's your company and not a spoof
Until that time, I have you permanently blocked and I'm sure others will soon .

Thursday, January 01, 2009

MSNBOT Crawled Thru Javascript!

Today I caught MSNBOT-MEDIA crawling thousands of links that were only accessible thru javascript.

These links were only intended for human use, only accessible via javascript, therefore never added to robots.txt...

... until today

Here's the MSNBOT specifics used for this crawl: "GET /feedback.html?id=1010101234 HTTP/1.0"
"msnbot-media/1.0 (+http://search.msn.com/msnbot.htm)"
I have a page used for site feedback for various page elements and each link on the page has an OnClick command like this:
a href="#" OnClick="OpenFeedback(1010101234)
Elsewhere in the code is the actual function:
function OpenFeedback(id) {
window.open('feedback.html?id=' + id,.....')
MSNBOT appears to have assembled it together and was crawling thousands of links such as "/feedback.html?id=1010101234" and so on, page after page.

I have no clue if this was a handjob done just for the site in question or some new pet project testing their ability to crawl javascript, but the game has definitely changed.

To put it bluntly, javascript itself is no longer sufficient to curtail crawlers on the web, at least not simple javascript.