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Archive for August, 2006

Squashing Zombie Armies By Moving Server?

Server room

I have just entered a squash competition, which is due to begin in October. I hope I can make a decent run for a change. I tend to lose in the early rounds, judging by previous years. While I’m experienced at tennis, I rarely get the chance to practice squash. Moreover, those who participate are in the competition are rather good in general. They seem to be skilled with the swing and are able to see the game from a different and more advanced perspective. Endurance and strength cannot defeat these qualities.

As a secondary note, my site is likely to be down (offline, to phrase it more gracefully) for 8 hours tonight. The domain is being moved to a newer server, which is definitely good news. Zombie armies are said to have grown in scale quite significantly.

Earlier today I read an article about their impact. It claimed that Windows vulnerabilities have led to a rise of 20%+ in just one week and the implication to a Linux user is more SPAM and more DDOS attacks. With control by proxy there is, quite sadly, no liability. Yesterday I spotted an unidentified bot (probably illegitimate) which devoured half a gigabyte of pages from my site. It’s costing resources and money.

In other news, this morning I submitted a first draft of my thesis. I can finally exhale for a while.

Moving Home, Moving Server and Moving Sites


YESTERDAY I moved between apartments. I have lost a much-appreciated ‘high view’ on the city, but I’ll get used to my new environment, which quite sadly, feels like a step back.

This Thursday (or perhaps Friday) my site will be moving to a newer, better, and more reliable Linux server. As a result, the site will be down for approximately 8 hours. I don’t yet know if another personal site,, which resides on the same shared server, will be affected.

Lastly, my movement to as a social bookmarking platform has angered a few Digg regulars (I’m listed at the bottom). Some hostility (see comments) is still in the air while my colleagues find a spot under the limelight. Fortunately, some people fully understand those who ‘defected’. They are very supportive.

Well Done, John Tapsell!

Pager in KDE
A KDE pager containing eight virtual desktops

SURPRISE, surprise! It turns out that I am only one among several. Several (former) Manchester University CS students who contribute to Linux, that is. Purely by coincidence (a newly-published feed item), I have just spotted an old University mate on the KDE Web site. It turns out that he followed an educational route similar to mine and is now maintaining KSysGuard, which I use on occasions. Keep up the good work, John.

10 Kilometer Milestone

Workout session

WHAT a relief! I am finally through with the most dreadful stage of this year’s Mr. Fitness competition. Not only did I complete it, but I am also in a good position to have finished in first position, at least for that one event that is the 10 kilometer run on a treadmill. My time was 39 minutes and 18 seconds. The next stage (as well as last among a total of 10) is a mini-triathlon.

GNOME on Linux Outvistas Windows Vista


The dentiny of Longhorn?

I truly enjoy a good Linux screenshot. Here is a nice OS X-type menubar, as well as a showcase for Composite transparency in X server. The menus are a brand-new GTK modification.

Move over to another operating system (Windows Vista under a Linux hypervisor) and find that there still appear to be many problems with the latest beta. It’s a good thing that Microsoft does not name/label its operating systems by the year. With all these delays, this could become very embarrassing and confusing. And I also found the following article this morning.

“I have been testing Microsoft operating systems since Windows 95, and this is the buggiest OS I’ve seen this late in development,” says Joe Wilcox, an analyst with Jupiter Research. “Look at the older operating systems, and by Beta 2 there is a stable foundation on which the [independent software vendors] can build. Right now, Vista is like a ship on stormy seas.”

Viral Marketing Accusations

IT is pretty much evident by now that I have joined the Netscape team. I never denied it, nor did I say a word until it was official (and publicly stated).

Plastic troopsI am very much pleased to have gotten an opportunity to work with a group of talented people. Up, close and person, figures whom you were taught to dislike (principally Calacanis) are quite friendly and kind. They are not the devils that you were led to believe they are. What bothers me most are some recent accusations that come from conspiracy theorists. Some would argue that Netscape is trying to ‘poison’ Digg’s index, which is of course preposterous. Netscape would never use destructive measures or viral marketing techniques. To quote what fits the latter catergory (from Wikipedia).

Viral marketing is sometimes used to describe some sorts of Internet-based stealth marketing campaigns, including the use of blogs, seemingly amateur web sites, and other forms of astroturfing to create word of mouth for a new product or service. Often the ultimate goal of viral marketing campaigns is to generate media coverage via “offbeat” stories worth many times more than the campaigning company’s advertising budget.

Digg Bashing Reaches Inane Forums

The Digg front page
My first front pager in

I have just come across quite an amusing forum thread. Interestingly, I found a link to it on Digg. Flamebait, surely. It does nothing but bash Digg, which is sad, particularly given the idiocy in that forum, which gives it no credibility.

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