Archive for November, 2004

Supersize? What’s that? | Lego watch

I was at school working on my AI final project with my partner, last night. Around 8:30, we got hungry and went to the village for a bite to eat. Initially, we thought “pizza,” but that turned out to be a little expensive. We really tried looking for alternatives, but we ended up going to McDonald’s. On our way there, we were talking about the movie, “Super Size Me.” I’ve yet to see it, but I’ve heard all about it. So when I decided I wanted a “supersized” fries with my meal, I said so.
Me: Can I supersize just my fries?
McD’s: Ah. We only have “large.”
Me: Huh? What do you mean? (I was shocked). You don’t have supersize, anymore?
McD’s: Not since the documentary. Only “large.”
Me: Okay. Can I.. uh… “large” my fries? o_O
After googling, I verified this discovery. Of course, in hindsight, we agreed that we should NOT have eaten McDonald’s, as it basically turned our brains to mush for the rest of the night. I still can’t believe that an independent film managed to overthrow such a huge (and effective) marketing scheme (read: “money machine”). The media’s kung-fu is strong.

Earlier on Friday, for my UI design course, my group (of which, Shirley is a member) finally got to demo our re-design of a digital watch interface to the teacher and TA’s. We were supposed to build both a functional piece of software and a physical way to interract with it. We were really stuck on the physical aspect, so one night, I got out the lego boxes from the attic, and built a contraption on top of my keyboard. It turned out surprisingly well, and everybody seemed to really like it. 😮 No messy re-wiring of a mouse or joypad were involed; which is good, cuz I really wouldn’t know where to begin! 😀

Firefox 1.0, Thunderbird 0.9, Nintendo DS

A couple of days ago, I had the misfortune of seeing my site in Internet Explorer. If anyone is using Internet Explorer, I strongly urge you to try Mozilla Firefox. And what better time? Version 1.0 just came out! I think that Google is even doing its own thing to celebrate and encourage poeple to upgrade from other browsers. Yes. It’s not a switch, it’s an upgrade.

Get Firefox

And while you’re at it, you might as well check out the Mozilla Email client, Thunderbird (0.9), as well. (It’s got embedded junk mail filtering…) That’s the last of my public service announcements, I swear.

Get Thunderbird


Last year, when I was in Japan, I seriously considered taking the bullet train to Tokyo to attend the Tokyo Game Show. For whatever reasons (there were a few), I did not go. Now, I discover that Nintendo (one of my all-time favourite game companies) held an event in Nagoya, near where I was staying! Touch DS was an even held in Port Messe, Nagoya, to premiere Nintendo’s new handheld game system: the Nintendo DS (Dual Screen). Nintendo has a crazy flash website up (in Japanese) which includes videos of Japanese people’s first impressions of the system. They’re pretty funny to watch; people mostly say “cute!” or “amazing!” or “I did it!” or “What’s this?”. It’s fun to watch business men fail at trying so hard not to crack a smile. 🙂

Halloween pics uploaded.

Okay… believe it or not, I’ve actually had a couple of requests for the horrible pictures I took at my cousin’s Halloween party. I went with my friend Kurt (the one with the authentic cloak AND curly hair), and the two Korean students that are staying at our house. I met my brother (Wolverine), his girlfriend (Storm), my sister (1930’s Gangster Girl?), some familiar faces I didn’t expect (including my dad) and, of course, my cousin (the Wizard). I’m not exactly sure what I was… a stark white guy with jet black dreads? The sunglasses made me appear blind, and often really did blind me! 😮 After removing (most) bad photos, and some of the redundant ones, I was left with 60 photos. Of these, I have tastefully selected 21 photos to post on the web. 🙂 If you were there and want a particular photo (and you actually remember!), just email me. I don’t have time to comment all the photos… but “GB” = “Green Bastard.”

Some of the photos:

Halloweeny

Kurt ‘n I. Sometimes, drunken fingers covering the flash is a good thing!

X-Couple

Wolverine, Storm, and a digital camera.

Goupshot!

Groupshot!

The Food

The food. I didn’t eat enough. The salmon dip was really good.

Chops!

Check out those chops!

sleeping

I don’t know how I took this picture. Seriously! There were 3 others like it…

The rest of the pics (no comments)

On a completely different note, I finished The Wheel of Time – Book3. These are long books, and it seems like it’s just getting started. 😐 I have a feeling Robert Jordan doesn’t know how to end this series… but I’m hooked. Oh, and I added a direct link to strongbad email… cuz everybody should watch those! I’ve also updated the comment system to prevent mr.texas-holdem from comment spamming my precious blog. (see previous posts for details). Take that, SPAM!

Authimage finally working!

Big thanks to Gudlyf for his WordPress hack Authimage! Initially, I had a bit of difficulty getting it to work. My biggest problem was that it would not recognize that I entered the correct code. I noticed other people had posted problems about this, but no solutions were proposed. If you’re having a similar problem, read on.
    My directory structure and relevant files, for reference:

  • / (Root/Top-level directory of website.)
    • authimage.php
    • atomicclockradio.ttf
  • /tmp/ (This is where authimage creates temporary images.)
  • /blog/wordpress/
    • my-hacks.php
    • wp-comments.php
    • wp-comments-post.php
Please note that my blog directory is not the default wordpress directory. In fact, my wordpress directory is within my blog directory. The README tells you to copy the functions in “authimage-hacks.php” to your “my-hacks.php” file, but it does not mention anything about modifying any of those functions. In the function checkAICode, I had to change
$tmp_code_loc = getcwd() . $tmp_code_loc;

to

$tmp_code_loc = getcwd() . “/../..” . $tmp_code_loc;
This is because the “my-hacks.php” file must be in the wordpress directory, and the temporary image files are created in the /tmp/ directory. The functions in “my-hacks.php” must be able to access the image files to compare the filenames with the entered code. I also had to modify “authimage.php” to point to the correct “my-hacks.php” file. I changed
require_once(ABSPATH . ‘my-hacks.php’);

to

require_once(ABSPATH . ‘blog/wordpress/my-hacks.php’);
That was basically it! Everything else was according to the README file. Hope that helps someone.

WordPress and Comment Spam

So bad... it's somewhat persistent...

Well, seems like I’m not the only one having problems with this. Even this particlur “poker spam freak” has been referenced by other WordPress users. I found this discussion when looking for a possible solution. There are some embedded solutions within WordPress, but they leave something to be desired. I don’t want to moderate all the comments… I don’t want to receive them in the first place! There’s IP ban lists available (via a WP plugin), but those have to be updated. Apparently, the next version of WordPress will have more on handling comment-spam. I could add a CAPTCHA scheme to the comments, and that would be kinda cool. (See Gudlyf’s World….) This way, people would have to input what they saw in a generated graphic (a random string of numbers and letters) to be allowed to post their comments. Spam bots would not be able to do this. So I may look into doing that. There’s only one thing remaining: justice. Where’s the justice? This smug bastard is still contaminating the Internet with junk! 👿

EDIT: Comprehensive list of options for WordPress users to combat spam.