gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for January 2008

Identifying sites affected by the wordpress.net.in spam injection hijack with Google

January 13, 2008 @ 14:37 By: gordon Category: General, WordPress

The wordpress.net.in spam injection hijack I wrote about recently doesn’t always put something visible in the footer of a page when it’s affected a site.  A quick-and-dirty way is to Google for the following:


wordpress.net.in +failed +warning

Those three elements will usually appear in the listing for an affected site like this one:


If your site is listed, you should probably go read my blog entry about how I dealt with this problem.

GSAK 7.2.0 – now with Google Maps

January 12, 2008 @ 02:05 By: gordon Category: Geocaching

Clyde’s Geocaching Swiss Army Knife (GSAK) program is the gold standard when it comes to geocache waypoint managers.  It allows geocachers to maintain a database of thousands of geocaches from the pocket queries they can generate if they’re premium members on geocaching.com.  Macros allow you automatically to run all sorts of complicated tasks and there are lots to download from the GSAK support site.

GSAK is free to download and use.  After 21 days a nag screen starts to appear if you haven’t registered, but you can still use the program.  Periodic updates with new features and maintenance releases are included when you buy the program, which is a steal at US$25.

Spend the $25… it’s worth every penny and more.

The latest version, 7.2.0, has added maps to the long list of features.  Now you can view a Google Maps widget in the cache preview pane.  Being powered by Google Maps, you can zoom in and out, pan around and select various maps and satellite imagery.  Of particular interest to Canadian users will be the Canadian topo button that allows you to view Canadian topographic maps.  You can see an example in the screen capture below.  (The Google Maps navigation buttons only appear when the mouse is hovering over the map, which is why they don’t appear in the capture.)


exljbris Free Quality Font Foundry

January 11, 2008 @ 13:02 By: gordon Category: Seen on the 'net

I stumbled across the exljbris Free Quality Font Foundry website and blog while poking around the recently released themes for WordPress.  Currently, there are about half a dozen very sharp looking fonts that you can download and use for free.  Worth a visit if you’re looking for a slightly different typeface that’s not so different you’ll only use it once.

Cell phones according to Wii

January 11, 2008 @ 08:47 By: gordon Category: Statistics, Wii

More from the Everybody Votes Channel available on the Nintendo Wii.

Question: Do you have a cell/mobile phone?

  Yes No
Global 77.7% 22.3%
Male 77.1% 22.9%
Female 78.7% 21.3%
Canada ~66.6% ~33.4%

Worldwide Prediction Accuracy: 91.1% (i.e. most people’s crystal balls were working when they made their predictions.)

I eyeballed the numbers for Canada from a bar graph showing yes/no votes, but we were definitely far behind Finland, which the graph showed as having almost 100% of the people indicating they had a cell phone.  Not really surprising given the fact that Nokia, a leader among mobile phone manufacturers, is based in Finland.

Of course, the Everybody Votes Channel is not scientific, but it’s still interesting.

OC Transpo’s anti-idling policy

January 10, 2008 @ 17:01 By: gordon Category: Environment

A couple of days ago I wrote a short entry about Ottawa’s anti-idling by-law that’s now being enforced. According to a story by the CBC, OC Transpo has an anti-idling policy that’s stricter than the by-law in that it requires drivers to shut off their engines if it’s warmer than -5 C out. A reporter went to a transit station on a day when it was 7 C and observed 15 buses, of which 13 sat empty with their engines running for an average of 9 minutes, which violates OC Transpo’s policy. Apparently, there are ramifications for drivers who don’t respect the policy, though OC Transpo did not specify what they were in the story. Hopefully, the media coverage will be enough to pressure OC Transpo to enforce their policy more rigourously because this is both bad for the environment and wasteful of our money.

Kudos to the 2 drivers who did respect the policy — you set a good example for the others.

Blogging gets greener

January 10, 2008 @ 00:58 By: gordon Category: Environment, Meta

One of the recently released widget plugins for WordPress lead me to a site called CO2Stats.com. Basically, you get a little scrap of code to insert into your blog (or any other type of website for that matter). When people visit your site, they cause a contribution to be made to renewable energy projects that help offset the CO2 they estimate running your blog causes to be emitted. The people at CO2Stats did some calculations and determined that the global average rate of carbon emissions due to the electricity consumption of a single personal computer interacting with a server is 17 mg of CO2/second. That is then used in a calculation involving the number and duration of visits to a website to calculate the total emissions for a site. The offsets are funded by advertising sponsors who are committed to making the Internet a little more environmentally friendly.

An entry in the Boston Herald Green World blog has an interview with the people behind CO2Stats.

Congratulations Grace!

January 08, 2008 @ 22:08 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, Family, General

It’s always exciting to see someone you know mentioned in the news and especially so when it’s someone you’re related to.  Well, my cousin, Grace O’Connell, was announced as one of three finalists for this year’s Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers for her short fiction entry entitled The Bottlenecks.  The award is given to a writer below the age of 35 who has yet to have a book published.

The winner will be announced on January 15th.  Good luck, Grace! 🙂