Character set error

Because this blog was set up a long time ago, the character set settings in the database were not consistent. As a result of this and a recent WordPress upgrade, all Chinese characters on the blog were corrupted. I’ve fixed everything in the user interface, but any Chinese text in posts has been corrupted. Unfortunately due to an error in backups, no fixable backup copy was available.

The mirror at LiveJournal was unaffected by this error.

Which Way is She Turning?

Check out this freaky animation (from cranky penguin’s mommy). It’s supposedly a way of testing whether you are right-brained or left-brained. When I first loaded the page I thought she was turning counter-clockwise. I then read the article and looked back and she was turning clockwise. I can get her to switch directions to counter-clockwise by concentrating but it is very easy for her to go back to clockwise again. Which way do you see it?

Brilliant Satire

A new website, 4/29 Truth, is collecting 9/11esque conspiracy theories about the Macarthur Maze collapse and it’s absolutely hilarious.

I wanted to add its RSS feed as a subscription in my Newsgator Online RSS Reader but got an error message trying to do so. This was perfect fodder for a comment added to the 4/29 Truth site:

Newsgator Online is also in on the conspiracy to suppress the web site. They will not allow the RSS feed be subscribed to using their service, giving the message: “Error: Subscription could not be added. Please check the URL and try again.” Here is a screenshot of what happened when I tried to subscribe:

This is yet another indication of just how much the government is controlling which sites the multinational corporations will allow us to access.

(I really did get an error trying to subscribe but I’m thinking it’s more probably a temporary error and not deliberate.)

EDIT: A few hours later I was able to add the feed without any problems.

First WordPress plugin

For some reason wordpress hasn’t fixed a bug in how non-ASCII emails are sent even two years after the bug was submitted. As a result, the subject lines of emails from blogs using non-ASCII characters are sent using unencoded Subject headers. This not only violates email standards, but also tends to cause such mails to be tagged as spam, not to mention that the resulting subject line is unreadable.

Since the wp_mail() routine is one that is plugin-replaceable, I whipped up a plugin based on kpumuk’s solution posted in the bug report. It was surprisingly simple to make the plugin and now the notification emails I get aren’t all scrambled.

Plugin: WP RFC2047


Finally got around to upgrading to WordPress 2.0.4 which has been out for a while. I was kinda reluctant to do it because I know from upgrading other PHP software once you’ve made lots of modifications it gets tricky to upgrade. Fortunately WordPress is a bit better designed in this area and I had managed to keep most of my mods limited to the Ocadia themes file. One place where I’d hacked the main files was in the get_archives function which I modded to show months in Chinese and English. Fortunately I had backed everything up and it was a simple matter to pull out those mods and stick them in the Ocadia theme directory instead.

I’ve also enabled the ‘Blogroll’ feature, so if you look over in the sidebar you can see some of the blogs I read.


So, my Dad was supposed to come this week but he got a pacemaker installed last Friday so he’s postponing it a couple of weeks.

Monday afternoon I went down to Gaoxiong for APNIC22’s spam tutorial session. I arrived in the evening and hit the Liuhe Night Market for two bowls of Fried Fish Soup before heading over to the Grand Hi-Lai Hotel to check in. Tuesday was spent all day in the spam session where I gave an update on the spam status in Taiwan at the end. Also met several people from Taiwan working on the spam problem, so that’s nice. Then back to Liuhe Night Market for two more bowls of Fried Fish Soup and also ordered two bowls to take home with me. Got back home Tuesday night around 11:30.

Usually as a speaker the conference provides free registration. This time TWNIC and APNIC also paid for my hotel room, bus fare, breakfast, and lunch. I’d be a lot happier going around giving these spam talks if my expenses were covered like this all the time.

I’ve been neglecting to read my friends’ blogs lately. I’d been trying to catch up, but I was almost 300 posts in the hole, so I’ve just binned all the old articles and will start from scratch now. I’ve decided to use NewsGator for my RSS reader now. It’s an online service read through a web browser so I don’t need to worry about keeping my desktop and laptop in sync. I understand Bloglines does much the same thing and is more popular, but I’ve already gotten accustomed to NewsGator.


I’ve noticed that I don’t get a lot of comments on my blog since moving from LiveJournal to WordPress. In case anyone was worried that it would be too much hassle or you’d need to register, neither of those are the case. Just hit the comment button and fill in the form. Most comments will be posted immediately. I do have a spam filter on the comments but most of the time it takes care of things automatically. If there’s some other reason I’m overlooking, please let me know. You can do so by leaving a comment.