Winterbells, aye?

On 2007-Aug-21 — Tags:

The bells were the size of the rabbit's head by then, and also sparse. Fun and addictive game for most, but I think I'm going to have to stay away from this one now ;>

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Experts exchange, a website where some people go to resolve IT-related problems, used to show web visitors the solution to the problem being viewed. That is, they let you see the first one, and then set a cookie that wouldn't let you see the next ones you visited without registering first. Naturally, there was a simple work-around to this: Just block all cookies from their site, and you could view anything.

It seems, though, that they've recently changed this: Now the solution can't be seen at all - instead, a block saying "View this solution in just 30 seconds!" shows up - and the other comments to the problem are obfuscated in a few ways:

  1. All text is encoded with ROT13, meaning that even if you viewed the source, you'd have to, uh... use Leet-key or something like.
  2. A grid-like image is placed on top of the text, making it hard to read even if it weren't encoded.
  3. When you hover over the comment, the text is replaced with a block that says "You must sign-up to view this comment".

This, however, is just what you see at first glance. Paying attention, you'd notice the solution is actually still there, oddly enough. The site used to be laid out in such a way that you'd see the question/problem, with a button at the end of it offering to show you the solution (which would then bring you to a registration/log-in page), followed by a list of categories for questions and answers (or problems and solutions, whichever you prefer), and then the comments given by others (including the solution itself).

The new layout, however, has the question, a short ad, the "encrypted" comments and hidden solution, then the categories, and finally the comments and solution in plain view. Very bizarre.

Well, at least they're not doing stupid things like trying to restrict the right mouse button (easy to circumvent, is amateurish, and often also blocks the middle button and other buttons too). I don't understand why sites continue to think they can hide their HTML (no, obfuscation by Javascript doesn't work - What, don't you realise all someone has to do is RUN it?).

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More on Celty

On 2007-Aug-13 — Tags:

Alternative title: Oh boy, we're going to have our hands full!

I'm not sure it's hit my mother yet how much effort it's going to take to train this kitten - because we're going to have to, I'm sure - especially as she seems to be a bit of the stubborn kind. Or maybe she's just that energetic, which makes more sense as she's still a kitten.

The movies are up now, but may require IE, sadly. Movies are XviD encoded to make sure to grab (or update) your CCCP.

I forgot to mention last time: We had a choice of a black male named Riker, a peach/tan-colored male (I don't really remember his color, and at the time I had trouble deciding what to call that color to call it), Celty (pronounced Kelty, by the way), and a gray faintly-striped female who apparently, despite not being the eldest managed, to be the alpha of the family. Originally, we were to get Riker (this was, I think, my mother's choice), but after looking up information on introducing a new cat (and asking our vet) we found that it was better to introduce a cat of opposite gender and thus upon hearing that we had the pick of the litter I immediately ruled out males as an option. Possibly unfortunate, as Riker did look cute, and the tan-colored male seemed to be the submissive type (though playful). I wanted a somewhat creatively colored kitten, so that pretty much left me with just the choice of Celty.

But... she's a noisy one when not being given attention... and those claws!

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That's right... There's a new kitten in town, or rather in the house, and her name's Celty.

I didn't think it was entirely a good idea, as Gizmo doesn't seem to react well to visitors... but I figured he could use some company. So far, however, they're not really getting along. Of course, this is no real surprise as Gizmo's never had any visitors save the mutt, which my mother gave him grief for (And does he ever remember!). Sadly, this means it's nearly impossible to even pet him right now as he's so ticked off and afraid that he doesn't want to be near us. I'm actually afraid he might run away.

The kitten, however, seems to be adjusting to her new home alright, although whenever she's awake she's clamoring for attention. Toys aren't good enough for her because she wants some actual interaction with another being - not surprising as she was just separated from her family. Thankfully, she's already litter-trained, and despite being locked up in my sister's room for a night or so, doesn't seem to be scratching anything (at least nothing that's already been, or is not carpet). I think she hasn't yet reached teething stage, though...

Either way, pictures of the new kitten. Videos as soon as ffmpeg is installed, but they're not great - I already had to boost the brightness and contrast.

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Can you tell if it's day or night?

Kudos to you if you can figure out the approximate time, too.

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Oops, botched that poll!

On 2007-Aug-5 — Tags:

I meant to post this sooner - had noticed the error just the day after, but I've been somewhat busy (and cranky - I hate waking up early, especially to paint, but can you do?).

I say that I've botched the poll because it had the wrong emphasis; I also failed to note that I was facing west, and therefore it couldn't be sun-up. Rather than just rerun it, though, I'm going to ask you to take another good look at the "Day or night?" picture and see if you notice anything amiss, and then read the rest of this post.


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Recent weather

On 2006-Dec-28 — Tags:

The weather this month has been craptastic. A lot of people seem to be unconcerned, though, which makes the whole situation worse. I'm sorry, the fact that it's bright, sunny, and warm in December is not a good thing any way to slice it.

We're heading towards something bad, I'm sure of it. Just like I predicted last year (or the year before, I forget), the weather is shifting about. Perhaps not quite in the way I imagined it (wintertime shifting to summertime and summertime shifting to wintertime), but I was at least partially right.

And I predict, this time, that the next summer is going to be one of two things: Either it's going to be similar unstable weather as we are having now, or it's going to be a dangerously boiling-hot summer.

It's no longer I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, but rather, "I'm having nightmares of a green Christmas." ;_;

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I made a cake yesterday. But you see, though it was a cake mix, I was in need of a small amount of flour. Really, all I needed was probably less than a quarter cup, and yet we had none. Zip, zilch, zero, nada, null, none. And all I needed it for was to flour the cake pans. Annoyed (as I'd already begun and the oven was already heating up), I quickly googled "flour substitute". The sites that came up had several suggestions, but I misread one of the lines with "corn(something)" as corn starch. This is what I used. While the cake parts themselves were okay, they ended up with some of it still on them, and well... they taste a little chalky. And to add to the goofs, when I icing the cake, I forgot to ice the center - so when I cut myself a piece, the top portion fell off (into my plate, thankfully), and realised why I had more icing spare than usual (i.e., about a third of the container left instead of about a spoonful). I ended up having to lift the top portion of the cake off redo the icing after having iced the center.
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I was pointed to a video today, about how to "hide" files in JPEGs. It's a fairly simple step-by-step example on how to hide files within another file (though it does a few assumptions of know-how). It may seem a little strange that this process works, and it is the same way that the IRC.Bmp worm works. However, the reason is pretty simple.


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Joe's Goals!

On 2006-Nov-20 — Tags:
I've been using this goal tracking system called Joe's Goals lately, which allows you to keep track of your daily (or weekly, or some-days-in-a-week-ly) goals - such as whether or not you've done exercise today, or whether or not you've resisted smoking. There are four things I really like about it: it has a really simple interface, it uses AJAX, it has few (or no) ads, and Joe is constantly working on improving it. I should also note that the reminder e-mails (configurable) are also useful. Those of you who visit my site will notice that I now have a "badge" at the top of my blog displaying how I've been doing in terms of keeping my goals, lately. At the moment I actually have few "negative goals" (i.e. things I want to avoid doing), but I'm sure a few ideas will come along as soon as some behaviour of mine annoys me. If you, like me, have trouble keeping to things you have to do regularly, you may be interested in using it. If not... well, give it a shot anyway -- all you have to do is visit the front page to see how it works and to tinker a bit with it ;)
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