Monthly Archive: June 2005

Intelligent Smart Tub

Would love to have this one! :)

Smart Tub

This is a tub that takes orders from your PDA. You can send the tub special instructions and it will heat the water, set the level, and prepare a delightful rose-smelling balm—probably not—remotely and remain ready until you walk through the door. The tub will even call you when it completes its setup process.

More here : the cool hunter – Intelligent Smart Tub

[Via Gizmodo]

WordPress 1.5.1.3 Available

WP 1.5.1.3 is available now!

Development has moved on to some exciting new features for the next major release, but an important security issue was brought to our attention which required an update for our users. The problem is not yet public but you should update your blog as soon as possible to 1.5.1.3. If you are unable to do upgrade in the short-term you may protect yourself by deleting the xmlrpc.php file from your WordPress directory.

Its important that you upgrade to the latest version…., going by my past experience

One more weekend got over..

The weekend got over pretty soon. Don’t know why the weekends get over sooo soon !!! (don’t you think so??) ….. Slept a lot……….aaaaaaah…. got up late on both the days. The weather is pretty good now in Mangalore. Its pretty cold in the mornings (I mean, cold by Mangalore standards), and I don’t feel like getting up at all in the mornings:). So, made best use of the opportunity over the weekend.

Was at home both the days.. Played a game called Air Xonix over the weekend. Simple Xonix clone, but a 3D one. Pretty addictive. Sunday evening it wasn’t raining, so we decided to go to the beach. Had a nice time.

Oh yes, the people who hacked my site did come back to see what’s up!!…… They did try to access the files that they had uploaded (back door) , but mostly got a 404 file not found.

Back to office today. Catching up with the new stuff !

Hacked…

This blog was hacked by some soul(s) yesterday night! (around 3.30 AM IST), while i was in deep sleep. The blog home page was defaced. But the contents were kind of intact.

Was able to restore most of the things in less than 10 mins. But only after i was woken up in the morning at around 7.30 AM!

Ok. Now coming to how it happened…

One thing for sure… it was my mistake. I had given some stupid permissions on some folders on my site for some test purpose. I had forgot to remove those permissions. I am still not sure if its a security issue with WordPress. Have posted on WP forums about the problem.

Atleast 2 IPs were involved in the hack. They managed to create new wp users, gain admin access to WordPress, and then enabled file uploads in WordPress. Once that was done, they uploaded files (php based file managers, database access etc etc), which would enable them look on to the filesystem, database, and do more stuff.

They played around a bit, but luckily, they didn’t cause any damage. I am almost done with the cleanup now.

Will post more if something new turns up!

Update : 1 Mostly looks like its got to do with the security issue in WP 1.5.1.1 which was patched in v1.5.1.2. So, upgrade your WP setup if you havent done it so far ASAP!!.

Update : 2 I have installed some new set of plugins to increase security. Contact me if you are facing any problem acessing the site.

Update : 3 Found exactly how they broke in…. If you are intrested, let me know. Will share the details. The hack won’t work in 1.5.1.2.

Making sense out of AdSense

Talking about AdSense, i am wondering how it actually works!. Yes., its contextual advertising. i.e, the Ad’s that are displayed are purely based on the contents that are present on the page. And context is the King!

AdSense works like a charm for some. For others, AdSense doesn’t just work. The rest are not at all bothered about it!.

So, what is this post all about ?

For some of my pages, the Ads that are displayed are not relevant at all! No matter what the content is, the Ad’s displayed are about ‘blogging’ etc, which are not at all relevant to the topic or the content of the page. That too after filtering lot of blog related site!

Let me explain with and example.

Say URL #1:
http://www.arjunprabhu.com/blog/archives/2005/03/09/
virus-hits-instant-messengers/

URL #2:
http://www.arjunprabhu.com/blog/archives/2005/03/09/

Basically both #1 and #2 have the same content.
#1 is the permalink to the posting, and #2 is the archive for the day.

If you notice, the Ads for URL #2 are very relevant but not for URL #1. The content is pretty old, and the google-bot has visited it for sometime now. I also did a google search, and URL #1 has a PR 2, and URL #2 has a PR 0. So, that would mean that #1 is known by google much better then #2.

I was wondering about this, and posted this question on one of the forums, but still haven’t got a satisfactory answer. Further, from one of the replies that i got on the forum, I figured out that the Ad’s would be relevant if we append a querystring to the URL as shown below
http://www.arjunprabhu.com/blog/archives/2005/03/09/
virus-hits-instant-messengers/?t=1

Isn’t it strange ? Its clear that google mediabot indexes the page based on the URL. But what about the content?

So, what I am wondering is..

1. If the page is brand new (or the URL at-least is new), then the Ads displayed are very relevant
2. After media bot visits this new URL … the relevancy goes for a toss!!!

Isn’t it supposed to be the other way round ?

So, does that mean that the algorithm to display Ads for the first few times (realtime), is much better then the algorithm used later-on ?

Just curious!

Other Examples:
#1 http://www.arjunprabhu.com/blog/archives/2004/06/24/
microsoft-hotmail-joins-the-storage-club/

#2 http://www.arjunprabhu.com/blog/archives/2004/06/24/

Minor changes…

Did some minor to this blog. The first major change you would notice is the header image. It keeps changing now for every refresh. Used the image rotation script from matt. Do let me know your feedback on the images used. All of the images are shot by me using my Digital Rebel.

Other changes.. some minor cosmetic changes to ads displayed (this would keep changing for some more time), some minor changes to the items that can be seen on the sidebar.