Archive for Cyberspace

Wandering Minstrel Eleventh Blogiversary

skull-punisher.gifIt’s been a couple of months and a few days since the Wandering Minstrel Site went down with some sort of WordPress file corruption. Troubleshooting with the website host was to no avail and I tried a complete reload of the WordPress files which also did not help. Unfortunately, we are going to have to terminate the internet hosting and the URLs associated with the old site.

Today would have been the eleventh year of being on the net with the Minstrel site. We originally started that blog to serve as our primary pro second amendment presence in the blogosphere. The pro 2A function will now be restored to Cap’n Bob & the Damsel.

As for the Minstrel site, we have been going through some of the old uploads accessible via FTP and downloading them to a safe place on our terabyte drive. The files being rescued are mostly images and a few other scripts and files we developed during the Minstrel days.

So, on this eleventh blogiversary, we will no longer be talking much about the Minstrel and that site now relegated to cyber history. If we discover some pertinent images or files of note, we may repost them here, if warranted. Adios to the Minstrel! SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM!

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Never Forget Tribute - Epilog

never_ani.gifThe Never Forget animated graphic first appeared in August of 2005 and ran for thirteen years until August 2018. The estimated final count aggregated by the hit counter over the years was 94,945,312 hits. The average statistics for the entire lifetime amounted to approximately 20,000 hits per day, 833 hits per hour and 14 hits per minute. It’s hard to know the exact numbers since I never kept much of a record, but the peak hit rate might have been upwards of 1400 hits per hour at the time the counter passed 50 million hits.

The animation was originally inspired by an anonymously-produced PowerPoint slideshow making the rounds on the Internet and via emails after 9/11/2001. I prepared the animation using a Flash® compatible tool and began distribution in 2005 using a Javascript embedded in PHP script. At the time, my Web Hosting Provider imposed limited bandwidth so I limited the distribution of the graphic until I was approached by a Canadian couple who offered to host the graphic citing its importance. Eventually, my Web Host went unlimited bandwidth and I began hosting the graphic locally. Thanks to those patriotic Canadians for their help in getting it going.

Every once in a while back in my pre-retirement days, I would notice a website displaying the graphic that rubbed me the wrong way, but I let it slide until in early 2007 we saw our graphic displayed on an Islamic terrorist sympathetic website. A Jihadi professor at Kent State embedded our graphic in with his terrorist bullsh*t. I was pissed. I eventually figured out a way to embed some creative JavaScript lines into the distribution script which redirected any visitors to the offending jihadi website to a pro-American military website (I bet his jihadi buddies were frustrated with that ;) ). Shortly after the redirection tactic, the jihadi website disappeared.

You might wonder why I did not wait until the hit counter passed 95 million. It was so close - only 54.688 more hits to go.Well, doing some quick estimates at the last known hit rate, it would have taken another eight months and probably more given the diminishing hit rate. It was just time to phase out the tribute.

We continue to be grateful for those patriotic sites who displayed the tribute. We hope that all patriotic Americans may NEVER FORGET!

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Announcement: Never Forget Tribute Going Away Gone

UPDATE 08/05/2018: As of today, the Never Forget Tribute distribution has been disabled. The final count appears in the right sidebar for the time being.


nfsmall.jpgLast week, I ran a check to evaluate the increment rate of the Never Forget Tribute hit counter. The observed rate seemed to be much lower than the hit statistics displayed in the right sidebar column.

The hit counter itself is accurate in that each time the tribute is served up remotely, the count increments. The hits per hour and hits per day figures, however, are an estimate based on extrapolation from a given date in the past where the number of hits was known. I had a back-burner plan to write a script that would keep a running estimation of the hit rate, but that never came to fruition. And, now, it seems, that won’t be necessary.

I updated the estimating script to more accurately extrapolate the hit rate from a known count from a week ago, and, as you can see, the hit rate is quite a bit lower than what it had been in the past. There are probably several reasons for the decline in the hit rate:

  • several browser platforms have discontinued or reduced support for Flash® animations (i.e. Firefox, Chrome)
  • the shift from computers to smart phone platforms which have minimal or no support for Flash®
  • a general decrease in bloggers displaying the tribute

At any rate, we have decided to discontinue distribution of the Never Forget Tribute. It’s not that we have forgotten the terrorist attacks on America on September 11, 2001, but that circumstances indicate that tribute hits are asymptotically approaching a zero hit rate.

We will NEVER FORGET 9/11!

The termination of support will be accomplished in a couple of stages:

  1. Initially, we will attach a notice to the tribute stating our intentions and a link to this post.
  2. Finally, we will disable the scripts that are activated with each remote link.

I expect the initial state to go into effect this week. Depending on responses in the comments here (if any), I will deactivate the distribution within a month.

OPTIONAL - For those displaying the tribute, you may remove the code from your website as follows:

<script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript" src="http://capnbob.us/graphics/never.php"></script>

The ffile name may also be never118.php or never100.php.

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Twelve

TwelveToday not only marks the Autumnal Equinox, but an even dozen years that this humble blogger has been posting here. We are still at the status quo from last year when I posted that we were not as dynamically involved in political commenting then and still are today. The only difference is that at this time last year we thought that Donald Trump might be defeated in the POTUS contest, which, thankfully, is contrary to what actually finished with the result of Felonia Pantsuit’s loss.

Life has been good for us over the past year, with our acquisition of a new motorhome, the birth of a second great grandchild and our ability to drive the former vehicle to meet the latter little person. Later this year, we expect to be able to visit with yet another great grandchild after his birth in November.

We will continue to periodically post here on personal events with maybe a little mix of our favorite hot political buttons like fake climate change and what the gutless RINO’s are up to. It is sure to be another interesting year.

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Computer Malfunction on the Road

Mount Rushmore

Due to a primary computer failure, posting here will be sparse. I am using Damsel’s computer to post this.

We did have a spectacular view of the total eclipse yesterday. We were at Mount Rushmore today on our way to Rapid City where we are camped tonight.

Here is one of Damsel’s eclipse images from yesterday:

Totality

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Email Hacked

hacked.pngOver the past couple of weeks, I have been getting bombarded with a bunch of “Undeliverable Mail” messages on one of my private email accounts. Sometimes, I would receive hundreds of them a day.

At first, it seemed to be a nuisance that could be eliminated by setting up a rule for received messages in my email client. The rule would detect one of several senders and/or subjects that were common to the messages and would summarily delete the message on the server - I would never see them again in my inbox. But, as it turned out, that was not the end of it. My mail server then started rejecting my outbound emails with a message indicating that I had exceeded my daily limit of 500 emails.

So. it was not as simple as I originally thought. The returned emails were a product of some phishing spammers spoofing my email address to send their crap through my server. I was only seeing the rejected emails that did not make it to the intended address.

I did some research on-line and found that I needed to change the password for the hacked email address. I also ran anti-virus scans on my computer to see if malware here was originating the spam. Norton AV advised me that it found nothing.

Since there was no malware, I assumed that my address book had not been compromised. The spams had to be originating from a source that knew my email password. How was that compromised? I have to assume that at some time during our recent trips to PRK (Kalifornistan), someone monitoring the unsecured wifi at the hotel where we were staying picked up on the username/password transactions for the email address. I do have a private wifi device which is secure, but the 3G service it provides is pretty slow, hence the use of the hotel wifi.

Since I changed the password for that email address, the problem has gone away. From now forward, I will not be using the hotel house wifi on future visits for anything other than browsing - no shopping, no banking, no emailing - period.

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NIST Time Widget



Quite by accident, I found this widget at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) website, time.gov. I was looking for the NIST time applet, but siince I have Java® disabled, I was unable to view the time. Then, I noticed a link on that page to their Flash® NIST Widget.

Once I clicked on the link to the widget, I saw another link to a page that published details about embedding the widget on your own website. That page had the HTML embed code along with details on how to customize the widget for your own preferences of how to display the time, background color and time zone. I set this one to ?setcolor=#EAEDF2&setzone=-07&set24=true which represent the parameters for our light blue background color, the UTC minus seven timezone (Arizona) and to display the time in 24 hour format.

Since I already have my own Flash® time and date widget in the sidebar on the main page, I doubt that I will be embedding this one. Note that my widget is driven by the time YOUR computer is set to and the NIST widget gets the time from the NIST Time and Frequency Division (with a minor network delay).

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