gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for August 2008

WordPress 2.6.1

August 15, 2008 @ 12:15 By: gordon Category: Meta, WordPress

WordPress 2.6.1 is out.  It fixes the inevitable .0 bugs that new releases have.

As always, upgrading via Subversion was painless:

svn sw http://svn.automattic.com/wordpress/tags/2.6.1/

Followed by hitting the upgrade URL and poking the magic button.

CBC’s Olympic Mobile for BlackBerry users

August 15, 2008 @ 10:47 By: gordon Category: BlackBerry, Current affairs

While poking around the CBC’s Olympics website, I noticed they had a BlackBerry icon for over-the-air download.  Unfortunately, the URL is long and ugly and not terribly conducive to being typed into one’s mobile browser, even with a full keyboard.

Fortunately, TinyURL let me turn http://www.cbc.ca/partner/researchinmotion/4-2/CBCOlympicsPageLauncher.jad into http://tinyurl.com/cbcBBolympics, which is much more mobile browser friendly.

Happy downloading!

Spray-on stucco sucks

August 14, 2008 @ 14:44 By: gordon Category: General

If I wasn’t a hater of spray-on “popcorn” stucco before having my apartment painted recently, I am now. (more…)

Spam crawling ‘bots and AntiLeech

August 13, 2008 @ 01:46 By: gordon Category: Meta, WordPress

I just happened to be looking through my blog’s logs and noticed that a ‘bot had crawled through numerous pages on my blog in a very short period of time: - - [13/Aug/2008:06:01:45 +0100] "GET /2008/02/01/ HTTP/1.0" 200 35253 "-" "ISC Systems iRc Search 2.1" - - [13/Aug/2008:06:01:49 +0100] "GET /2008/02/05 HTTP/1.0" 301 84 "-" "ISC Systems iRc Search 2.1" - - [13/Aug/2008:06:01:52 +0100] "GET /2008/02/05/ HTTP/1.0" 200 35375 "-" "ISC Systems iRc Search 2.1" - - [13/Aug/2008:06:01:56 +0100] "GET /2008/02/06 HTTP/1.0" 301 84 "-" "ISC Systems iRc Search 2.1" - - [13/Aug/2008:06:01:59 +0100] "GET /2008/02/06/ HTTP/1.0" 200 33373 "-" "ISC Systems iRc Search 2.1"

The “ISC Systems iRc Search 2.1” user agent caught my interest, so I did a little research with Google.  As I suspected, it seems that this user agent is associated with a web crawler used by an address harvester used by spammers.  I use the AntiLeech plugin to battle content thieves and the like, so I added the user agent to its blacklist.

But how to tell if AntiLeech is actually working?


Swimmers in the middle of the Rideau River

August 13, 2008 @ 01:07 By: gordon Category: Dragonboats

I’ve been steering a dragonboat on the Rideau River almost every week since the end of April.  We depart from the Rideau Canoe Club at Hog’s Back for an hour long practice, heading upstream.  Sometimes we make it as far as the railway bridge a couple of kilometres upstream, but usually we stay in Mooney’s Bay and just around the corner upstream.

More often than not over the last couple of months there have been people swimming in the middle of the river near the Mooney’s Bay Beach.  Having gone scuba diving there, I can understand why they might not want to swim in the swimming area, but they really shouldn’t be out in the middle of the river.  They are very hard to see and look very much like the marker buoys delineating the race course.  A couple of times I almost turned around them instead of a real marker.

But the real problem is that in addition to dragonboats, canoes and kayaks, there are often motor boats zipping along the river well in excess of the 10 km/h speed limit that exists on that part of the river.  Unless the boaters are paying attention, they might run the swimmers over and possibly not even realize it.

So, on the off-chance that one of these swimmers is reading this, please think twice the next time you venture outside the swimming area.  Or if you insist on swimming in the middle of the channel, could you drag a float with a marker flag on it behind you so you’re a little more visible.

Dear PETA: You should be ashamed

August 09, 2008 @ 00:27 By: gordon Category: Current affairs

The organization known as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA has come up with the following ad, which is based on the horrific murder and decapitation of a young man from Winnipeg on a Greyhound bus.


The English language does not contain enough adjectives to properly express my complete and utter disgust with this ad.  To compare the horrific murder and decapitation of the young man from Winnipeg on the Greyhound bus with what may go on in a slaughterhouse has stepped way over the line of what’s acceptable.

PETA, you should be ashamed.  You and your ad writers owe Tim McLean’s family, everyone who was on the bus, the trucker who stopped and anyone else affected by the incident an apology.

I will never, ever, donate one penny to PETA as a result and I will not knowingly ever buy anything from any company that supports PETA, and I encourage you to do the same.

Shame on you, PETA.

Read what other bloggers are saying about this and check out the story on CBC and on CNN.