Category Archives for This web site
So today I removed all the redirects from the old site, except for permalinks and feeds. I have a fair number of individual blog posts linked by other sites, which I should keep for while. But I also have several hundred people still sucking down my old feed!!!
Thanks for sticking with me, but you need to update the URL for my feed, as I’m going to take the old one down in a few days.
The new RSS feed is http://www.kashum.com/rss2.xml
I’ve finally changed my domain name from my ISP URL to a real URL. Please change any URL you have pointing to my old site (www.zipworld.com.au/~kashum), to my new www.kashum.com site.
Or for reference:
RSS (2.0) feed: http://www.kashum.com/rss2.xml
I’ll leave the old domain around for two weeks, so please change them as soon as possible in your reader or whatever client you’re using.
Changing URLs is annoying for you and me, and I realise its easier to just delete me than change me, but please stick with it, I promise I’ll be good (or bad, whatever you’d usually expect).
Special thanks to Nathan, who kindly donated the domain a few months back. I’ve only just had time to do make it all happen.
I’m testing Google AdSense here. Not sure if that clashes with my morals. Let me know if it clashes with yours.
It has been a strange couple of months. For the past week, I’ve been sick and moving house, an interesting combination: recover for a day, move some stuff, recover for a day, move some stuff… Before that I was in Canberra for two weeks, where I most likely picked up the flu, and it was so bloody cold.
All the while, waiting for Telstra to move my ADSL connection again, so having no Internet at the same time as everything else was happening. When they finally did get it connected, it wouldn’t work, with my ISP telling me “oh, they probably didn’t jumper the modem at the exchange, that’s their usual mistake”, and then a Telstra techo telling me “yeah, it’s probably not jumpered at the exchange, some of our guys have no idea”. Great… just great… Yes, it wasn’t jumpered at the exchange. Seriously, Telstra should be dismantled and sold off in little pieces, with the copper infrastructure transfered to another government organisation. They’re completely clueless.
So anyway, now I have Internet access again, and this is the beginning of my backlog of videos. This was shot during the weekend between my two weeks in Canberra…
This site’s been through quite a few changes in the last couple of months, and I’m worried that you might unsubscribe from my feed, or think I’m moving away from what may have brought you here in the first place.
For starters, I haven’t stopped doing what I’ve always done, cynical, amusing, arguably insightful, blogging theory and other stuff. What I have done is increased the scope, and coincidentally picked up a few more readers in the process.
I also have a blog at Synop, where I work, but I’ve since copied all those posts into this blog as well, so this is now the one stop shop. Those interested in my blogging theory posts, can now get it all from here, instead of via two feeds.
My RSS feed has for a long time had filtering by category, so to make things easy, here are some URLs that you may find useful to get at specific content on my blog.
This feed will give you everything in RSS 2.0.
This is just my blogosphere theory posts. So future directions, projects I’m working on, critique of blogging fads etc. All theoretical.
This is just my video content. Not just the enclosures, but also rarely other content which may be of interest in the video space.
This is everything except my video content. For those who have no interest in videoblogging, use this feed to get all the stuff you used to get.
Or you can mix and match your own, by filtering by customising the feed yourself.
Also, you can now navigate the site directly by category as well. Just visit the home page, and the category browse filters are in the top right corner.
And there’s more coming, but you’ll have to wait a little bit longer for that news.
I need some feedback from you. I’ve just enabled the enclosures to be visible in the RSS feed, which is stupidly redundant in my opinion, but reader apps still make it difficult to get to the enclosures, and I’ve had a bunch of email asking to make it easier.
Recently I’ve also jumped on the whole vogging or videoblogging bandwagon, and was after some feedback on whether it is interesting or not, and if I should put it in a separate blog/feed to this one. I’d hate to piss off regular readers with a bunch of video they’re not interested in.
Anyway, you can leave a comment on this post, or drop me some feedback via the site. Thanks. Appreciate it. May your blogosphere be a place of wonder…
This is a test vog (sic), which I’m intentionally leaving as an enclosure only. I’ve spoken before about enclosures in the post Podcasting / feedcasting. Still not getting it…, but this time I’m upping the anti from audio to video. Doing my bit to push QuickTime and MPEG4 as a video standard, Victor, this one’s for you.
Today was a big day for my blog. My most popular post, Dear Vodafone and your mp3 ringtone DRM, welcome to the blogosphere, about how DRM and paranoia are slowing, if not holding back, the advance of technology and culture, topped at least twice the number of page views in the last 6 weeks as my second most popular post. OK, it is more a rant about Vodafone, but I promise, the idea was in my conscious mind at the time.
In fact, one of the follow up posts The Vodafone et al DRM content conspiracy is a little more to the point, and asks why go to so much trouble, when there is only a negative benefit for Sony Ericsson and Vodafone.
Anyway, I was virtual dumpster diving tonight for unfinished blog posts (emailed blog posts to myself, which were never completed), when I came across this wonderful piece of research by Anne Galloway, which coincidentally pretty much nails what I was probably trying to say. Unfortunately there is no HTML splash (permalink) for the paper, which is a PDF, so I’ll have to hyperlink directly to it: Design for Hackability.
Design for hackability. Please.
I’ve held off on this one for a few weeks now, for fear of letting on would be spammers. But what the heck.
With comment spam increasing over the past few months, and my seeming daily maintenance to delete them, I wrote some code to look for certain patterns, and then not reject them, but do some amusing things like make them visible to the poster’s IP address but nobody else, and then delete them after an hour or so. There’s a bunch of other tricks in there as well, but I don’t want to give too much away to them.
These spammers seem to automate their posting engines, so another neat trick is to generate random form button names, to prevent them from automating http POST requests.
Anyway, it makes for amusing reading each week, looking through the site logs, watching these guys try their stuff. Some waltz in, make their spam post and then move on, without realising their work just disappeared down the old bit bucket. Others stick around and check that the post stuck before moving on. And yet others, like the one tonight, sniffed something was wrong, and instead of trying to hack something up that works, just tried the same post over and over again. I haven’t seen that since the early computing days, when new users would just keep on clicking the same old button over and over again if something didn’t work.
I learned a few tricks from my copy protection days, the main one being not to let on that you’re working against them. The RIAA of course, being new to this game, seems to fail to understand that bragging about or claiming superiority, either moral or technical, is like a rag to a bull.
An old Apple II game called Threshold used to protect the disk with a nibble count, which I won’t go into now, but to defeat the nibble count you’d have to patch the nibble counting code, which was fine if you knew how to do it. The amusing part was that late in the game, another routine would checksum the nibble counting code, and if there was a change, would ever so gradually corrupt the graphics, making you think that the disk was corrupted. I’ve seen a lot of supposed cracks for this game which missed this later checksum, because they assumed it was just a corrupted disk and so didn’t bother looking for it.
So anyway, not only do I have a good read each week, watching these people play away, but I also sit here with a rather smug look on my face, knowing that these people have paid good money for their automated spamming tools which they think are working, but which aren’t.
Although I am flattered that they’ve coded for my custom built site. Thanks guys, you’ve made my day. Your mileage may vary.
Sensis is an Australian search engine company. They’ve only recently come on the scene, with what seems like pretty big advertising budgets. They’re actually owned by Telstra, our half government owned telecom company, who have been trying to work out how to make money out of their stock pile of underground copper wires, and who have spent much of the last decade trying (and failing) to understand what leading edge technologies they should be investing in. Not unsurprisingly, in 2004 they’ve decided in a moment of dumb arse brilliance, that a search engine might be a good new technology to spend our tax dollars on.
Anyway, I had a referer this evening from a Sensis search come into my RSS feed as if it were a web page. Dumb. Just plain dumb.
Want some more dumb? Here’s a quick 5 minute review of their results page:
- there’s no hyperlink on result URLs
- there’s a text input field labelled “In this location:”, which makes no sense until you click on “Australia only” and find out is some free form text location field
- the aligned “Australian sites only” radio control gives the impression that it affects the location box. check the radio and enter “london” into the location field. who knows what happens, as the controls don’t reinforce or support each other
- “worldwide sites” radio control isn’t aligned to indicate it’s affiliation with “Australian sites only”, or anything really
- the sensis logo takes you to the main entry page, which apparently has this URL: http://www.sensis.com.au/siteEntry.do;jsessionid=3gbwt2ri5pmbf.server2-1. why not www.sensis.com.au? they can’t use www.sensis.com, because there’s already a U.S. based defence company called that, which makes you wonder how they decided upon the name
- there’s a strange blue curved arrow in front of search result text. i’m guessing it means “abstract”, but there’s no alt/title text, and it is bright enough to indicate that it serves some more significant purpose. oh there we go, a legend which means it is “web only”. huh?
- the “Search within your results [SEARCH]” is confusing all on one line, and doesn’t clearly indicate that this is a search refinement
- the site uses greys and other pastel colours, making it harder for people to do what they’re ultimately at the site to do: find information quickly