Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Google Page Rank, fubar?

I've just been reading an article by Andrew Orlowski, over at The Register. Google has aquired a search engine (Kaltix). Maybe they want to develop certain technologies already thought up by this little start up? More interesting is discussion about the Google Page Rank and how it has died a death. I suppose different people have different views about why. Then others, will of course think everything is in order. We're getting back to the discussion (as is Andrew Orlowski's article) about how Google defines content and more importantly how it gets indexed for all to seach & see. At the moment at least Google seems to like new content over old. In some respects this is a good thing but in other cases not. Old content (old links) may now just be a sea of 404's. You're probably less likely to find this with new pages so that's a good thing to start off with.

This method of indexing that Google uses doesn't allow for moderation of content so the quality might not be very good, but how is an engine that searches so many pages going to easily automate quality assurance? I think the simple answer is, no search engine is going to be able to do this, even with some advanced AI. I suppose you could have a method by where humans search submitted links or links that the spiders have found, but this would be a lengthy process. Most engines have some sort of directory which uses this method anyway, so the massive unmoderated database is another addition! When people say that bloggers are filling up search engines with "noise", I think it is a bit harsh. Fair enough when a blog is just used like a personal diary then that would be a good point, but the fact is most blogs about all different kinds of subjects are not simply people having their say.

You can find out information and ways of solving problems which other people have already solved and then documented their methods on blogs, for example.

Maybe for people that don't want to see blog based stuff, search engines could have an option to filter out blogs. But I think this option would have to be turned off by default and people enable it if they wish. I reckon that most average web users, who may know what a blog is, wouldn't think they have a dominant place in most search engine results pages. I don't and I run a lot of searches (mainly only on Google) and I can't say that I see blogs listed on the first page or even first few pages for most things I search for. So the "noise" factor statement is a bit over the top.

Regardless of what we think, Google and the others, are still great tools and we would be lost without them!

The Dictionary.COM entry for fubar is pretty good... "Utterly botched or confused, and below that -
"[f(ucked) u(p) b(eyond) a(ll) r(ecognition).]" I wonder if that appears in a printed version?

Post ID: 76, posted by jase at 11:52 PM
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Monday, September 29, 2003

Yahoo & 3rd party IM clients, no more!

It looks like Yahoo is following behind Microsoft, they must have realised they can license out access as well and make some money too!

Not a problem if you use the offical clients, but if you're used to using an all in one application like Trillian, it's a bit annoying.

We'll have to wait and see how it unfolds, who is going to pay for licenses or not?

UPDATE: 01/10/2003

3rd party clients are reconnecting!

Post ID: 75, posted by jase at 11:54 PM
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Sunday, September 28, 2003

Still Awake!

I'm still up, which is nothing too extreme. The longest I have stayed up for before is 56 hours, if I remember right. Damn, did I appreciate my bed when I finally got in it!

I've just been busy reading and downloading stuff. Music and such like. Suppose I should get some sleep, else I will be in bed all day afterall!

Post ID: 74, posted by jase at 03:02 AM
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Saturday, September 27, 2003

Sleep Patterns

Mine appears to be all out of place at the moment. I went to bed at 5.30am this morning and got up about 3pm. Not sure what time I'll get to bed tonight (well, tomorrow morning).

I'll try not to stay in bed all day though!

Post ID: 73, posted by jase at 11:35 PM
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Friday, September 26, 2003

Simple, but effective!

# unzip ; strip ; touch ; finger ; mount ; fsck ; more ; yes ; umount ; sleep

You must have seen those commands listed like this before... I have, but seeing them again in a signature on Usenet, I think it was (I went to bed at 5.40am this morning so not sure) ) I thought I'd post them... might make you laugh, might make you smile.. then again you might just say heh.

I thought it was funny, anyway!

Post ID: 72, posted by jase at 06:49 PM
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I'm just trying out Zempt. It is a Windows application that will alow you to post to your MT blog without logging into the web interface on your site. Easy to install and configure and with plenty of features. All of what you can do on the web interface and a lot more. For example, what's currently playing on your PC can be entered into blog entries etc.

It is much like some of the applications you can get to allow the creation of auctions on Ebay and such without going to the site.

Pretty good! Yes, this post was made with Zempt v0.3

I wonder if there will be versions developed for other operating systems?
Since it is meant to be "Multi Platform".

Post ID: 71, posted by jase at 02:40 AM
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Thursday, September 25, 2003

ProFTPD Vulnerability

As you may have already seen (should have done by now) A new bug has been discovered affecting versions 1.2.9rc2 through to 1.2.7 but earlier versions may also be vulnerable. See the ISS X-Force advisory here. For the moment at least, it seems there is a ping pong type game going on, bouncing between various popular server daemons, announcing new critical vulnerabilities. Lets hope these discoveries comfirms more code auditing is taking place to find and remove similar problems that may have not been detected yet. Lets hope it continues!

Post ID: 70, posted by jase at 11:43 PM
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Lynx or Links?

I just noticed on exiting Lynx, that I'm presented with the message "Do you really want to exit Links?" Never noticed that before, Lynx or Links?

[jasun@lab bin]$ ls -la lynx
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 5 Apr 8 18:13 lynx -> links

I've not noticed that before, thanks to Ben for pointing it out. Must be officially Links, but we all know it as Lynx.

Post ID: 69, posted by jase at 11:20 PM
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Posting via Lynx

I'm just testing posting via Lynx at the moment. I'm not so much interested in doing an entire post operation via Lynx, just testing to see if I can build pages okay. It should work, I hope so as it will save me some time when I want to make a new post as I still have not figured out why page builds stop on my other box (Windows 2000) heh. No matter what browser I use, it stops! Wierd! Anyway, read my previous post about this here.

Turns out, I can write entries etc, just not build the pages, Lynx doesn't understand that bit! Well, it seems that Internet Security was to blame on the Windows box, it stops stuff like referrer being sent out, so it was obviously doing something to stop the rebuilds working! Sorted!

Post ID: 68, posted by jase at 11:02 PM
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Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Doom 3 & The Classics

Ah I remember the days when I used to play this, then Doom 2, Quake, Quake 2 etc... We've come along way since then but, in some ways the older games are the best! I've still got my Commodore Amiga 1200 & Spectrum. I probably won't start playing the spectrum games any time soon, but some of them on the Amiga I think I'll have to play soon - Cannon Fodder, Lemmings, Jaxuar XJ220 etc or find some good emulators to allow playing them on the PC. Otherwise I'll have to locate the PC versions!

What would be good would be to see updated versions of some of these games released, much like with Doom.. after all this time. Another one: Chase HQ on the Sega. Classic games like these will always be played, but I'd like to see some of them updated too!

Or what about Treasure Island on the Spectrum?! The Spectrum was my first proper computer, followed by the Amiga then onto PC. Although I did have some of those very old and simple arcade systems, they are to the XBOX/PS2 what the Spectrum is to the PC today I suppose! So along the way I was going down the road of the consoles too. At the moment I've got the PS2 & XBOX, but prefer the XBOX as you can do a lot more with it than just play games, without even making a physical modification.

What made me think about all this was me reading a story about Quake 3 on the Gamespy site. This game is well over due for many, but I'm sure it will be worth the wait, it looks great, but how will it play?

Post ID: 67, posted by jase at 02:05 AM
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Tuesday, September 23, 2003

OpenSSH 3.7.1p2 Released

This new release fixes multiple bugs in the new PAM code, which are in addition to the other recent Buffer Management Bugs. As I previously posted about this issue, I was expecting this new release to come shortly & as always, the OpenBSD/OpenSSH team have not waited around. Like I already stated this issue does not affect OpenSSH on OpenBSD - only the portable versions 3.7p & 3.7.1p1 are vulnerable. View the advisory here, either upgrade or disable PAM support.

Post ID: 66, posted by jase at 09:02 PM
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Monday, September 22, 2003

Magazines in the post

I seem to get loads of computing magazines through the post, at the moment there is a pile of about 5 unopened ones which have come recently. I suppose I should get down to reading! Actually they will come in handy when I go on the train on Wednesday down to London!

Post ID: 65, posted by jase at 08:42 PM
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Sunday, September 21, 2003


I know we can't live with or without them but...

Are we ever meant to understand them & the ways in which they operate? I'd love to know.

Post ID: 64, posted by jase at 11:45 PM
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Saturday, September 20, 2003

New Windows Worm - W32.Swen

Only a matter of time and people were suggesting that it would happen - and it has. Another Windows Worm. Just reading some more information about it on Slashdot & Washington Post has a story with some screen shots of what the received email looks like.

It's obvious that we've entered a new era and these things will just keep coming...

Post ID: 63, posted by jase at 08:26 PM
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Friday, September 19, 2003

Bug Central - Sendmail, OpenSSH

As I posted about previously, it appears that the current 3.7.1p version of OpenSSH does *not* fix the recent bugs, there is a working exploit in circulation. As far as I know, OpenSSH 3.7.1 for OpenBSD is not affected.

Also, if you run Sendmail you'd be advised to upgrade to 8.12.10, as there is a critical buffer overflow in the address parsing code affecting releases prior to this. A working exploit has been around for some time it seems.

Get upgrading!

Post ID: 61, posted by jase at 12:22 PM
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Thursday, September 18, 2003

MT not rebuilding Pages

I thought it was just Internet Explorer playing up on my Windows box when I was talking about Movable Type page builds stopping, but it seems not. I've tried in Opera as well but to no avail. Strange, I'll have to have a think what might have caused this to happen, works fine on other machines.

Post ID: 59, posted by jase at 12:02 AM
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Wednesday, September 17, 2003

XBOX Linux

I've been playing about with some of the XBOX Linux distributions tonight, well trying to. For some reason, my XBOX does not like the blank CD's I'm using, even though they are pretty good. I know the drives in the XBOX can be picky, so I tried some DVD's as well. It seems to read them when they are in DVD Video format, but I can't seem to get it to boot of any XBOX ISO I make or try from one of the distributions. I use Nero to burn and have tried various options.

Maybe it's because it is late and I'm tired. I'll come back to it later and as usual, I'll probably come up with something that works after a while... If not, more reading and searching! (and possibly trying different media).

Post ID: 60, posted by jase at 11:07 PM
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Tuesday, September 16, 2003

OpenSSH <= v3.6.1 Buffer Management Bug

Whispers of a new OpenSSH bug have been floating around & today an updated OpenSSH version, 3.7 has been released. The bug is affecting all versions prior to 3.7, so if you run OpenSSH on your OpenBSD boxen or a portable version on another OS, then upgrade or apply the patch.

Even though it's a bit up in the air regarding remote / local root exploitation at the moment, there are people stating they have copies of a private exploit which works.

Anyway, as we all know - Bugs (security releated or not) can be trouble and should be ironed out when possible.

minerva# ssh -V

OpenSSH_3.7, SSH protocols 1.5/2.0, OpenSSL 0.9.7-beta3 30 Jul 2002

UPDATE: OpenSSH 3.7.1 has been released, which fixes more bugs similar to the initial Buffer Management Bug. Again, upgrade or apply the patch (< = v3.6.1). If you're running 3.7, upgrade & if you're running old code also, you'd probably be advised to upgrade to 3.7.1.

minerva# ssh -V
OpenSSH_3.7.1, SSH protocols 1.5/2.0, OpenSSL 0.9.7-beta3 30 Jul 2002

Post ID: 58, posted by jase at 11:43 PM
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Verisign Wildcard

I just read a post over on Slashdot about Verisign adding a wildcard A record to the .com & .net TLD's. Another prime example of a company taking every advertising opportunity it can. I don't believe that there is anything anyone could do about it with regards to getting it removed as I'm not aware what boards such as ICANN have to say about it. It's just that we are all used to getting a simple browser error message and the like.

Like Jeremy Zawodny states, lets all block & or ask our ISP's to as well!

Why should we be foced to change, because Verisign feel the need? I suppose in some ways, it could be classed as giving Verisign an unfair advantage when it comes to users registering new domains, as they type a domain in, find it is not registered & are already at Verisign pretty much!

UPDATE - 19/09/2003

I just read on /. that Popular Enterprises, LLC has filed a lawsuit against Verisign over their Sitefinder service. ISC has also promised to update BIND to block Sitefinder according to a story on Wired.

UPDATE: 02/10/2003

The lawsuits are coming!

Post ID: 57, posted by jase at 10:47 AM
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Microsoft Linux

Microsoft are to release a version of Linux (MS Linux). Yes, really...

Ok, maybe not. But I thought it was quite funny. If they did, would it be open source? Would they try and charge for it? Let's leave the MS Linux idea at the "what if" stage.

Post ID: 56, posted by jase at 10:09 AM
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Monday, September 15, 2003

Do they not want the work?

As I have previously discussed, we're currently getting the new server room ready. We are still trying to sort out people to install the air conditioning and the gas pipe to power the generator. Is it that companies don't want the work? We've been getting quotes from various places but some of them keep letting us down when they are meant to turn up and do the work...

They will be getting paid enough, so...

What's the problem?

Post ID: 55, posted by jase at 10:37 AM
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Sunday, September 14, 2003

Movable Type error, something more sinister?

It seems that MT was not at fault, I.E was on the PC I was using. For some reason, when trying to make a new post or rebuild pages, it was simply stopping at "Rebuilding new entry..." etc.


A reboot should sort it...

Post ID: 54, posted by jase at 10:31 AM
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Saturday, September 13, 2003

SATA drives with Kernel 2.4.x

By default, 2.4.x kernels don't support SATA hard drives unless they have had the appropriate kernel patch applied. Distributions such as Redhat 9 for example won't find SATA drives without the patch so won't install as default in a SATA drive only system.

The other option is to wait for the next distribution releases, or use a newer kernel. What about trying to do a fresh install from CD? It's not easy (possible?) to use a newer kernel as part of the install as far as I know, which is a pain. The only current distro to use a patched kernel by default is Suse 8.2.

Lesson learnt: don't assume certain technologies are supported already! (Like I just did!). Hmm, what to do?! Let me have a think...

* Wait for a new release
* Go with Suse 8.2
* Install an IDE drive
* See if there is another option

Above is a list of things that first come to mind, I'm sure there are more options!

Post ID: 53, posted by jase at 04:42 PM
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Friday, September 12, 2003

Crazy Clubbers - Clubbing gallery & more!

Since moving my clubbing site Crazy Clubbers over to a new server, I've not got round to making certain things on the site work again. So I think that is something for me to work on this weekend. If you're a clubber, be sure to check it out!

I really need to update the gallery with new pics, I've got loads to add, but I have not got round to updating the gallery. Once I get Image Folio or some other gallery system in place, it will make my job of updating it a lot easier. Also, check out the forums, feel free to talk shit about anything you want! :-)

Post ID: 50, posted by jase at 05:12 PM
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Thursday, September 11, 2003

Blog Design

Well I've been having a play around with the style sheet and have come up with what it looks like now. I've still got some more stuff to add / change, but I think it's looking a lot better than it was. Any comments? If so, you know where to leave them!


Post ID: 49, posted by jase at 12:40 PM
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Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Hardware Hell... or Hardware Harmony?

Just reading JZ's blog I came over this post about his hardware troubles. I found it interesting, as it is one of those types of problems that really annoy you, no matter when they occur!

Luckily, I've never had any problems like this when building new boxen, for myself or at work / customers. Each time, it has been a case of putting the bits together and boom...all is well!

A few months ago I put together my new box, the spec is as follows:

* Intel P4 2.4Ghz
* Samsung 20GB IDE HDD
* Maxtor 120GB IDE HDD
* Liteon 52X CDROM
* Pioneer 106D CDRW/DVD-RW/+RW
* Old Gfx card (Got to change this)
* Onboard networking / sound on the motherboard (Gigabyte 8PE667 Ultra 2)

Which pretty much sums that one up. It is nice, but I've just built another new box... the spec of this one is:

* AMD AthlonXP 3000
* Samsung 512MB DDR RAM
* Maxtor 120GB SATA HDD,
* Sony 52X24X52 CDRW
* Sapphire Radeon 9600 Atlantis 256MB DDR Gfx card
* Onboard sound / ethernet on motherboard (Asus A7V600)

So 2 nice boxen there for me to play with.
My old box (P120) which was switched on for most of the time it was my main machine (up until March this year, heh) is still running fine, after all this time. I've upgraded bits on it, but only ever had to change the HDD which became faulty. I think I'll use that box for something else now. The first new box is switched on all the time and is running fine so far, the other new box is built, but has no OS yet!

Points to learn? Well, hardware can be reliable, as I have found, but it can also be unreliable as we find at the most unexpected times. Whatever happens, I always prefer to build my own. One of the main things people make mistakes with is buying incompatible hardware...so check if you're not sure! In second place must be rogue static discharges killing your equipment!

Post ID: 48, posted by jase at 09:54 PM
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Tuesday, September 9, 2003

Communication Established.

On another note, BT have finally sorted the configuration out on my router so it's all up and running now, 2mb all the way! I shall be writing to Demon though to make them aware that 5 days downtime on a business connection is not acceptable. No fault on their side, they did everything they needed to, the problem was with BT, but because it's all upto BT to sort this stuff out, Demon can deal with tjem over it. I will certainly not be paying for the period I was offline and will try and get the 150 charge for the regrade squashed which isn't too much to ask from BT for causing me problems for 5 days! Other than this I've never had any real trouble with the feed, other than occasional latency/routing issues which will be evident on any connection sometimes, some more than others, however.

Post ID: 47, posted by jase at 11:42 PM
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Interesting idea and Ben has done some work on getting tos mobile to MT gateway working to his desire. I think I'll have to get this functionality added to mine along with better design and other things...I'm going to get it sorted soon!


Post ID: 46, posted by jase at 11:37 PM
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Monday, September 8, 2003

Demon & BT support

Err, you would think BT would accept fault calls from ISP's 24/7. They do, but they only "look" at the faults during office hours. My ADSL is still down, it better get sorted tonight! (Hence why no updates over the weekend).

Post ID: 45, posted by jase at 03:05 PM
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Friday, September 5, 2003


The regrade of my adsl has been done, but it looks like BT configured the router to use NAT, so at the moment the connection isn't working.

I was going to make a post when I got home last night but as I had no connectivity, I could not. There was no point hooking my modem up. The new bits came for my other new box this morning so I'll be building that tonight! Lets hope BT sort the configuration out.

Post ID: 44, posted by jase at 10:52 AM
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Wednesday, September 3, 2003

No sleep

Damn, I need some sleep. I went out last night after work and got home at 2.30am but did not go to sleep. Instead I stayed up and then went to work.

I think I'll sleep well tonight.

Post ID: 43, posted by jase at 03:08 PM
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Tuesday, September 2, 2003

Booting Linux after ghosting with Ghost 2003

Ghost 2003 is pretty handy when you want to create a complete replica image of a drive onto another drive, CD etc. However, there are a few things to remember. For example, when Ghosting Windows boxes, you'll obviously need to change things like the SID, Computer name, IP address (unless using DHCP) and other things which need to be unique to each box, unless this is a backup of the current system. The same applies to Linux and all other OS's.

Straight off though, Windows should boot on a new drive after being ghosted. Linux on the other hand, when using the Grub Boot Loader, will not (stops at the GRUB promt) What needs to be done? Well, you could see what Symantec say about it, but their instructions are not entirely correct.

How did I do it? Firstly I booted the box off the Red Hat 8 install cd (using 8 on this system), then at the prompt type "linux rescue". After choosing language / keyboard layout, you you are asked if you would like to mount the system partition, choose yes and it will be mounted as "/mnt/sysimage". You will then be dropped to a shell, type "grub" and you'll now be at the "grub>" prompt. Type "root (hd0,0)" which should be fine for most systems. Then type "setup (hd0)" which will re-write the Master Boot Record. Now simply type "quit" & reboot the system.

If damage to the cavalry is minimal, your system should now boot using the new drive!

Post ID: 42, posted by jase at 11:11 AM
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Monday, September 1, 2003

Google Page Rank

Before I was able to mention it to Ben, he's posted about Google giving his blog a page rank.

But what he failed to note also, is that my blog has also got one! His Page Ranking is higher clocking in at 5, mine is at 4 if I remember correctly.

It's okay though, as I've got a bigger penis than him. I think it's time he checked out the MT spam comments on the various blogs, to find some sites to get an enlargement.

As you know Ben, I'm only joking.HEH.

Post ID: 41, posted by jase at 11:36 AM
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Spam Comments

I've seen this talked about before, but I've just noticed that I've had a few spam comments advertising penis enlargements and the like. I just deleted them of course, but there must be some automation involved here to find MT blog's where these comments can be easily posted? As who would spend time looking manually?!

I've switched on email when new comments are posted, but maybe a new feature of MT could be moderation of comments before they are posted? Unless someone has hacked this in already?

On thing I did notice was that one was posted as person "vig-rx". Looking back on Jeremy Jawodny's blog to this post about MT spam comments, good old vig-rx is listed... and what do you know, he's posted some spam! Maybe there should be some name banning as well, just to annoy the spammers.

Post ID: 40, posted by jase at 11:30 AM
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