January 2005 Archives

SF Chronicle now publishing RSS feeds

For those of you who read the SF Chronicle online at their SFGate.com web site, the Chronicle is now publishing RSS feeds for certain categories of news and sports articles. (There is also a link to the RSS feeds page under "Resources" in the sidebar that appears on every page at their site.)

This is a good start, but I'd like to see the Chronicle expand the list of feeds to include most (if not all) article categories and have RSS feeds for articles written by their columnists.

From the Movable Type web site:

Version 3.15 fixes a vulnerability in the mail sending packages for all Movable Type versions which allows malicious users to send email through the application to any number of arbitrary users.

All users should install this update.

This release fixes a nasty bug where a malicious user can (among other things) post a comment to an MT weblog and cause comment notification e-mails to be sent to any number of recipients they choose.

As noted above, the bug is present in all versions of MT - all 3.x as well as 2.x versions. To secure your MT installation, you can either 1) upgrade to MT v3.15, or 2) install the newly-released plugin (patch-20050124-mail-spam.pl). The plugin will correct the vulnerability in MT 3.x installations prior to MT v3.15 as well as MT 2.661 (the plugin has not been tested on MT 2.x versions other than MT 2.661).

Spammers are already exploiting this flaw on MT weblogs, so it is very important to upgrade to MT v3.15 or install the new plugin as soon as possible.

Special thanks to Six Apart for their quick action on this issue. Total time from reporting of flaw to release of fix: 48 hours. (I know this because I reported the flaw.) Considering the flaw was reported on a Saturday night, this was an excellent response by the Six Apart team!

Update 26 Jan 2005: Total Choice Hosting (TCH) installed the plugin yesterday on all MT installations across all TCH servers to proactively protect their customers.

...but you have to ask for it to get it

I received a "Happy Anniversary" e-mail today from my ISP (Earthlink). I didn't realize it had been that long, but we've been Earthlink DSL customers now for 3 years. There was a link to a special anniversary page on Earthlink's web site, which I took a look at, and then started checking out other pages on Earthlink's web site.

When we signed up for Earthlink DSL, there was only one type of service - 1.5 Mbps download / 384 kbps upload speed at a price of $49.95 per month. We've been paying the $49.95 per month for the entire 3 years we've had the service.

We just paid the bill for our Earthlink DSL service, so I was interested in looking at their pages to see what new DSL customers were being offered, what equipment was provided, and at what price. What I found there was... odd.

E! Entertainment Television recently contacted me about the comments to my post "Scott Peterson's mail bag". They are producing an "E! True Hollywood Story" episode about women who fall in love with prisoners - especially those on death row. The working title of the episode is "E! True Hollywood Story Investigates: Love Behind Bars" and is expected to air sometime in March, 2005.

E! is looking for Scott Peterson admirers who would be willing to be interviewed on camera. They are searching for more potential interview subjects, so if you know someone who fits what E! is looking for and is interested in participating, tell them to stop by before January 31st.

The neat part for me is that E! plans to use a shot of my webpage on air. I've asked for permission to host a few screenshots and perhaps a short video clip of the episode when it airs, and it appears I will receive it.

I was not aware of this, but E! informed me that a couple of the comments on my post were used in a Chicago Sun-Times story this past November ("Death romance"). Unfortunately, my weblog was not credited or linked as the source of the postings.

The amazing part of all this: The comments from a two-line weblog post made 18 months ago are interesting enough to get my weblog on a TV show. Who'd believe that?

Update 18 Apr 2005: The program premiered last night - see follow-up post for details.

Kitty caught in the act

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Look at what I caught Callie doing when she thought no one was looking:

"The water tastes so much better in here..."

"What?? I wasn't doing anything!"