Friday, July 28, 2006


I will be on holiday (or vacation for all you American folks), camping for two weeks so I won't be online or posting for atleast two weeks. So don't expect me around, just thought I would let you know incase you got worried. I don't think anyone will miss me too much, but I had to tell you.

Anyway, I will see you all when I get back and am able to post, bye!

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Blogger FTP IOException Error

Okay, I was fiddling around with Blogger today and created a new blog to test some things on, I saw that Blogger has the feature to publish and upload your blog to another host through FTP. So I tapped in my ntl account information and pressed Save Settings, it saved correctly, and all was well until...

I pressed Publish to upload it and Blogger said the following:

There were errors.
001 EOF while reading from control connection.

So I typed "001 EOF while reading from control connection." into Google and found that it means there is a problem on Blogger, go do something important and fiddle with it later.

The following FAQ created by Alan, should help you:

  • It's a generic error that blogger spits out when someone trips over a cable.
  • There is nothing you can do to fix it at your end so go rant at Blogger.
  • I highly recommend just saving your post to a text file and trying again several hours later, or even the next day.

So that is two things that are annoying when posting to Blogger, this FTP problem and something crappy with Flock Blog feature. With Flock when you publish a post through the Blog feature it adds random "<font>" and "</span>" tags to the source code, which of course in Internet Explorer looks absolutely crap.

It's a wonderful life!

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006


I was bored again today, but this time went in search of some flash games that I could play. I went to Miniclip and found Motherload which I thought was rather fun, it had been made by XGen Studios, so I visited their website and found the game on that. When you play on XGen, it gives you the opportunity to create an account and save your game, Miniclip also gave you the choice to save your game, but it would be saved as data on your PC, which would be deleted after a certain amount of time.

On XGen however, your data is stored on a server, which can be accessed at any time, this should prevent data loss and make the game more fun to play. Also XGen has the latest version of the game which is allot more advanced.

Gameplay: The aim of the game is to control your pod to dig underground for minerals, then sell the minerals for money which you can spend on pod upgrades, such as faster engines, larger fuel tanks, larger cargo bays and better drills. This in turn makes it easier to retrieve the minerals and get more money.

Motherload; The game that takes you under the surface of arcade-style gaming and into the roots of fun. Tipping the hat to old favorites such as Dig Dug and Boulder Dash, Motherload incorporates a modern interface, fast-paced gameplay, and an in-depth storyline. Innovative use of flash allows for a dynamic and exciting gameplay in the substrata of Mars, where you'll search for the Motherload; A fabled cache of rare and valuable minerals.

Experience the dangers of Martian soil, complete with hidden gas pockets, earthquakes, and other surprises. Purchase powerful upgrades for your Mining Pod with the fruits of your labour. Compare high scores with friends to see who the champion really is. When you've finished the game, challenge more difficult gameplay modes.

Motherload; A true spectacle of the powerful potential of Flash gaming.

If you too would like to play the game then visit:

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Monday, July 24, 2006

MySpace Users Get MyMalware

MySpace users who expressed an interest in patio furniture got more than they bargained for if they clicked on an ad for earlier this month.

Michael La Pilla, an analyst for VeriSign iDefense, was searching MySpace on July 16 when he discovered that a patio furniture ad prompted a file called exp.wmf. If installed, up to five adware programs could have landed on the users' computers. La Pilla contacted MySpace but the company's defense team had already taken the ad down and was working to find its source.

Any user that was browsing with Internet Explorer and had not installed the latest Microsoft patches was vulnerable to this attack. In January, Microsoft released a patch that prevents WMF (Windows Metafile) files, so users that had installed the patch were safe. Browsers using Firefox version 1.5 or later are also protected from WMF files.

iDefense estimates that the ad was served to MySpace, Webshots, and possibly Facebook, installing the malware on 1.07 million computers.

MySpace executives were not available for comment, but Hemanshu Nigam, chief security officer for MySpace, issued the following statement:

"This is a criminal act. This ad is being delivered by ad networks who distribute these ads to over a thousand sites across the Internet in addition to ours. We are working to have these ad networks remove this ad so that they do not appear on our site. At the same time we strongly urge all Internet users to follow basic Internet security practices such as running the latest version of the Windows operating system, installing the latest Windows security patches, and running the latest anti-spyware and anti-adware software. If users have applied the simple patch available from, they will not be vulnerable to this criminal act."

MySpace, which is owned by News Corporation, has a full-time ad staff but they apparently failed to check the authenticity of the deck ad. Ralph Thomas, a senior analyst for iDefense, says that this incidence will force them to put a little more effort into content control.

"It was delivered through their page so it was sort of their responsibility even though they are not the originator of content," Thomas said. "It's not necessarily a MySpace problem other than relying on a party that served up these ads."

But MySpace doesn't want to be known as the social networking site with the dangerous ads that could render a user's entire computer unusable. Thomas said he has seen forum postings in which users were infected by this adware and had to completely reinstall their operating system.

"Even though we found only adware, there is always the potential that there is malware included in all the files that are being downloaded because the files that are being downloaded can change at any time," Thomas said. "There is always the potential that it was malware at an earlier point or it could be malware at a later point. The computer could be so compromised that it could be unusable so reinstallation of the operating system might be the only safe thing to do."

News from PC Magazine: MySpace Users Get MyMalware

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006


This is my first post with the Flock broswer, which I feel is a copy of Firefox but more advanced and with allot more features, such as Blogging. Also I will now be adding tags to the bottom of each post, so that my blog is indexed more in search engines and so that you can easily search my blog.

Someone on MPGH today linked to It's A Wonderful Internet, which is basically a little flash pop-out book created by Ant Farm Interactive. This lead me to think about many questions that I had not thought about before, such as, "Who made the first website?", "Who was the first Internet Provider?" and most importantly, "Who actually did make the Internet, or come up with the idea?".

So I used my old friend Google and typed in "first ever website", it come back with a number of results one of which I think is rather interesting that is Guardian Unlimited Notes and Queries, this website allows users to submit their own answer to the question, "Who put up the first website?", tell me what you think.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Malware Search Engine Powered By Google

Google API used to search for Malware.

Metasploit has designed a vertical search engine using the Google API to search specifically for malware. The search engine can be found here.

Ryan Naraine at eWeek has an excellent write up on how the engine works, describing that the search engine has been coded with 300 malware signatures with hopes to increase that to 6,000. The engine then searches the web according to Google and finds executable files that match those signatures.

Steven Bryant from Google Watch notes that Metasploit changed the logo to "censored" after possibly receiving a cease and desist letter from Google.

Looks to me that Metasploit is having fun with this, maybe Google complained to Metasploit about the colour and style of title that he used. But it is funny, nonetheless.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Website ID Card Tutorial

Second tutorial, after tutorial display makeover, this time telling you how to make a simple Website ID Card.

Resource Pack: None

Authors Notes: No brushes, only a render, text and the Rounded Rectangle Tool are used.

Tutorial: View

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Squarespace and Blogger

Yesterday, I was casually browsing the internet and stumbled across a new blogging system, known as Squarespace. If I hadn't already created a Blog here already, I would seriously have thought about creating one on Squarespace as it isn't only a Blog, but a easy-to-edit website, from which you can add pages, image galleries, journals, guestbooks, discussions and many more! It is a lot more advanced and visual than Blogger. At this current moment I am going to be using it as my Portfolio, containing my digital images, tutorials, files and much more. With it's sophisticated site structuring, unique flexible templates and intuitive site editing controls, it really does beat Blogger!

  • Professional Designs
  • On-Site Editing
  • Automatic Site Structuring
  • Multiple Ways to Edit
  • Dynamic Layouts
  • Optimized for Readership
  • Site Dashboard
  • Journal Entry References / Trackback Support
  • Powerful Blogging Options
  • Podcasting Support
  • Industrial Anti-Spam
  • Printable Articles, Email Article Links
  • Subscribe to Changes
  • Clean URLs
  • Secure Member Areas
  • XML Syndication
  • Full XHTML/CSS Layouts
  • Movable Type Importing
  • Multiple Editors
  • Transparent Domain Mapping
  • One Step Publishing
  • Integrated Access Log
  • One Click Login
  • Advanced Spell Checking
  • Integrated Support
  • Smart Log Analysis
  • XML Backups
  • view features list...

  • Squarespace isn't as supported as Blogger.
  • Squarespace does not have many third party publishers.
  • Squarespace cannot transfer posts from other Blogging systems.
Visit My Squarespace

Monday, July 10, 2006

Firefox Version 2.0 Beta Candidate

The browser wars are heating up, as the first beta of Firefox 2.0 is due on Tuesday July 11th, and Internet Explorer version 7.0 is now on it's third beta release.
PC Magazine says. Firefox fans have the chance to download this before tuesday and get ahead of the game! The candidate has been found lurking around the Mozilla FTP site. It is finally feature complete although not ready for mass consumption.

New features include:
  • Anti-Phishing
  • Spellchecker
  • Feed Reader
  • Password Storing Exceptions
  • Secrurity Warnings
The interface stays the same, which doesn't fix some minor display errors on some PC's with different display settings such as font, font size and so on. This is openly shown in the Options window for example; view image to the right.

You can download the Windows release candidate of Firefox 2.0 Beta 1 directly, along with Mac and Linux versions, but beware. It will overwrite your existing themes, and render existing extensions unusable. A "portable" version of Firefox 2.0 that will let you try without affecting your existing Firefox setup has also been made available.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

rustGrunge Avatar Tutorial

Created a tutorial today on how to create my newest avatar, posted yesterday!

Resource Pack: Download

Authors Notes: This tutorial assumes you have a basic knowledge of the Photoshop features, brusing and text. All the resources you need should be in a ZIP format, posted with the tutorial!

Tutorial: View

Saturday, July 08, 2006

New Avatar

Got bored, so decided to create a quick and simple avatar, using Rust'n'Grunge brushes.

Total Layers: 13
Total Colour Balance Layers: 4
Total Brush Layers: 7

Brushes: "r06_rustNgrunge" deviantART
Font: "Visitor -BRK-" daFont

Comments and Criticism welcome!

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Complete US & UK Confusions

I thought that this may amuse some of you, so I posted it for all to see.
- by D J Barton, University of Durham, Durham, UK

1) Buns. You know what these are. You're probably sitting on them now. Over here buns are either bread or cake rolls. Asking for a couple of sticky buns in a bakery here will mean Mr Crusty the baker will give you two cake buns with icing (frosting) on the top. If I went into a deli in Manhattan and asked for a couple of sticky buns I'd probably get arrested ...

2) Fag. A goody but an oldie. Over here a 'fag' is a cigarette. So in the song 'It's a long way to Tipperary' the line 'As long as you have a Lucifer to light your fag' is not a fundamentalist Christian's statement that all homosexuals will burn for eternity in hell, but saying that 'if you always have a match to light your cigarette ...'

3) Faggots. Meat balls made from offal (chopped liver) in gravy. Also a small bundle of logs suitable to burn on a fire.

4) Pants. You call pants what we call trousers; pants are the things that go underneath.

5) Rubber. In this country a pencil eraser. Don't be shocked if the mild mannered new Englishman in your office asks for a pencil with a rubber on the end. Especially when he says that he enjoys chewing it when he is thinking.

6) Shit. To us, bodily waste. To you, practically everything as far as I could figure, good or bad (and you certainly don't want us to touch yours ...)

7) Fanny. To us the front bottom; to you the back one. In Britain, the fanny pack is known as a bum bag for obvious reasons ...

8) Muffler. To us what you call a muffler is called a silencer. In the UK a muffler is a long scarf a la Dickensian Novels. A muffler was also a derogatory name for a certain part of the female anatomy at my school, though this was probably unique to us. Try explaining THAT to a upstanding American when you are standing at the petrol (gas) station in fits of laughter ...

9) Pavement. Sidewalk to you. I couldn't think of anything smutty to go with this.

10) Pissed. To you it's quite legal to be pissed in a car in a traffic jam. In fact, in large cities sometimes you cannot help it. For us, it means that you have been over doing it 'down the boozer' (pub) and a kindly policeman will shortly flag you down and arrest you.

11) Shag. To you a dance. To us sexual congress. In other words you may have to summon up the courage to have a shag with someone, before you might have a shag with them later on. Also a sea bird similar to a cormorant and a type of rough tobacco.

12) Fancy. To be sexually attracted to or to desire. Also a tea cake.

13) Ass. To us a quadraped of the horse family or a stupid person. The word you guys are looking for in English english is 'arse'.

14) Sneakers. We call these 'trainers' for some reason.

15) Waistcoat. You call them vests.

16) Football. A classic example of our culture gap. To us football is what you call soccer. To you football is what we call pointless. You probably think the same way about cricket ...

17) Baseball. In England we play a game called 'Rounders' which has identical rules bar the bat being a short baton designed to be used with only one hand. It's only played in schools. In the US, it's a PROPER game ...

18) Some Food Differences:

[US] = [UK]
Zucchini = Courgette
Milky Way = Mars bar
Three Musketeers = Milky Way
Starburst = Opal Fruits
French Fries = Chips
Chips = Crisps

19) 'Knock You Up'. In our country, to wake someone up in the morning so they won't be late. Slightly different meaning for our American cousins ...

20) Pastie. A pastie is a meat and potato pastry that originates from Cornwall, UK. In the guidebook I had for Michigan, it mentioned that some Cornish tin miners had come over and brought over the recipe with them when they settled the Upper Peninsula. Even so, I had to taken aside and carefully told what an American pastie was so I wouldn't embarrass parents in front of children at the summer camp I was working at when I was talking about my liking for Cornish Pasties ...

21) Knackered. I'm not sure if you have this word in the US. When I said I was knackered I got puzzled looks. It means you are tired. It comes from the fact that horses are often tired when they have testes removed (their knackers) when they are castrated. (Sorry! I guess you didn't want to know that ...)

22) Fag. (Oh no not again!) When at a public (i.e. private - confused you will be) school in the UK, you may have to 'fag' for an older boy. This usually involves shining shoes, cleaning up and performing other favours for this older lad. In return for fagging, the older boy looks after your interests and makes sure that you fit into the school and promote the school spirit (bon vivre, not necessarily the alcoholic kind). This may also be a fag (i.e. a tiresome thing).

23) Trunk. In the US what we in the UK call the boot of a car. In the UK, the trunk is the front end of an elephant. Can be embarrassing if you happen to be a pachyderm working as a taxi driver in NY. (Also a large metal and wooden box much beloved of Edwardian travellers).

24) Spunk. In the US it is perfectly acceptable for a boss to ask whether you are feeling full of spunk of a morning (i.e. full of get up and go.) This situation in the UK may only arise when a director is quizzing a male actor in the adult entertainment business.

25) Woody. In the UK, an acceptable description of a wine that has taken on the flavour of the barrels it has matured in. In the US *never* go to a wine tasting and claim that this wonderful Californian Chardonnay has an excellent 'woody' flavour, unless you are the female co-star of the aforementioned male actor and you are in the process of filming an 'arty' movie.

26) Hood. To our American cousins, the bit of a car that the engine sits under or place where you might live if you are a rapper. To us Brits, the part of a coat that is designed to cover your head when it rains. What you call the 'hood' we call the 'bonnet' on a car.

27) Gas. To the citizens of the United Kingdom, an instrument of warfare, the stuff that you use to cook your dinner on or a state of matter that is neither liquid nor solid. To you guys, what we call petrol and the gaseous by product of bottom burps (wind).

28) Pecker. To keep one's pecker up is a state of mind in the UK, an athletic feat in the US and a way of life for the common or garden woodpecker.

29) Toilets. Although we have a lot of colourful euphenisms for the lavatory experience in the UK (e.g. spend a penny, watering the daisies) we lack the prissiness of our American chums. To us a toilet is a bog, a kharzi, a shithouse (or alternatively an outhouse in more polite company), a gents/ladies but mostly a toilet. It is perfectly acceptable to be in the Ritz and request to use the toilet. However, you guys seem ashamed of the t-word. Hence you go to the John (where no-one called John is there) and the bathroom (where there is no bath). ... And a word of warning for English chaps in the US -- never admit to eating baked beans out of the can.

30) Beer. What you call beer, we call lager. What we call beer, you call disgusting. This might be mutual.

31) Hard. In the UK, you might see an unshaven tattooed uncouth man with big muscles in a pub. If you accidentally spill his beer, he might get upset and request you to join him outside. He might say `Come on then if you think you're hard enough!' Or even 'I'm hard, me, so you better watch your step, mate.' He is not casting aspersions on your sexual persuasion, nor does he have an erection. He is merely stating the fact that unless you buy him another pint of lager in the very immediate future he might beat seven shades of shit out of you. In the US, our friend the male actor would probably say 'I'm hard' while sharing a bottle of woody flavoured chardonnay with his co-star ...

32) Flummoxed. Our US chums will be flummoxed if you use this word. It means to be confused. The typical reaction of the average Brit upon arriving in the US. Then again you might be 'hit for six' (i.e. upset to the point of falling over) by it all. Which just isn't cricket, eh chaps?

33) Roundabout. Imagine you are travelling in the UK along the M3 into Basingstoke (why I can't imagine -- it's a God forsaken place.) You have already worked out that a motorway is the same as a freeway and you are feeling pretty pleased with yourself. In front of you is the biggest rotary you have ever seen. In the UK, we call them roundabouts. To instill a morbid fear of these things in our children we force them to play on minature versions of them in playgrounds (wooden disk that turns around with bars to hold onto) and make them watch endless re-runs of the Magic Roundabout. This program was originally a french satire on politics in the late 1960s though it looks just like a animated kiddies show made by someone on SERIOUS acid. Sugar cube eating dogs indeed.

34) Cookies. You eat these with milk and with great self control you only eat two at a time (you don't? naughty!). We call them biscuits. You call biscuits those dry crackery things that might go in soup (or at least in the part of the US I went to).

35) Stuffed. To be full up after eating too many cookies. Also 'Get Stuffed' a cookery program for insomniac students and people on a low income, where you are told how to make fancy versions of beans on toast using everyday ingredients like baked beans, bread, butter and curry powder. The recipies are invariably called things like 'Currybeanytoasty-yum-yum-a-go-go'. As well, 'get stuffed' is something you say to someone who isn't your best mate.

36) Randy. In the US a perfectly reasonable first name. Pity then, the multitude of poor Americans given this unfortunate appellation when they come over to old Blighty. Wherever they go, grimy street urchins snigger, little old ladies try desperately to stifle guffaws and ordinarily quite sensible members of society burst out in laughter. And why? In the UK, saying 'Hi, I'm Randy!' is akin to saying to our American cousins 'Hello friend, I'm feeling horny.' However, save your pity for poor soul Randy Highman who introduced himself to my supervisor at a conference not so long ago ...

37) Aluminium. Over here we say 'al-u-min-i-um'. You say 'aloom-i-num'. Neither nation can spell the word ... (Aluminiumiumium?)

38) Kip. In the UK to have a sleep or a nap. A kip house is apparently a brothel. Being young and innocent I was unaware of this ...

39) English Swear Words. Our chums across the Atlantic should be warned about the following. If some English bloke comes up to you and uses one or more of them when addressing you, please be careful. He may not be friendly ...

i) Wanker. A charming little word that implies that the addresser is accusing the addressee of onanism. Usually accompanied by the coital f-word and the oedipal compound-noun. The addresser may also raise his right hand and portray a chillingly accurate portrayal of the act in question ...

ii) Bollocks. The round male dangly bits. Also, saying 'the dog's bollocks' is akin to stating 'this is the shit' in the US. Not to be confused in agricultural circles with 'bullocks' which are bull shaped and go 'moo!'.

iii) Nancy Boy. A male who may express either a sexual preference for his own gender or acts in a less than masculine way.

iv) Spanner. Not only a component of every good mechanic's toolbox (see below) but also someone not overly blessed with intelligence or savoir faire. A geek, nerd, dork or a dweeb in other words.

v) Tosser. See 'wanker' and then use your imagination ... Also tosspot.

vi) Slag. A woman of uncertain worth and reliability. Also used in English 1970s police shows (e.g. The Sweeney) when describing a notorious criminal. (e.g. Dosser Jenkins? That slaaaaag!). Originally used to describe a by-product of the (now sadly nearly defunct) coal mining industry.

vii) Wanger. Many a Saturday night I have heard this word being shouted by rival groups of young men at each other. The dulcit cries of 'Oi Wanger!!' have disturbed the peace of many a town centre. It is a word used to either describe a penis or an attempt by the alcoholically challenged to say 'wanker'.

viii) Plonker. Another willy euphenism. Immortalised in the TV program 'Only Fools and Horses', starring David Jason & Nicholas Lyndhurst -- 'You plonker Rodney!'.

ix) Naff off. Go away. As used by the Princess Royal, Princess Anne. For a while she was known as the 'Naff Off Princess' in the tabloid press.

x) Wazzock. A fool or idiot.
Strange Fact: British males often use wanker, bastard, tosser, plonker etc as terms of endearment.

40) Cars. In the UK, only the luxury car market have automatic transmission -- in other words the Jaguars, Rolls Royces and Bentleys of the world. Most cars have manual transmission. This is because our roads aren't straight. As a consequence all learner drivers have to learn how to drive using a car with manual gears. I was told that in the States this is referred to as 'learning how to drive stick.' In the UK, asking your driving instructor whether he could teach you how to drive stick may cause potential embarrassment ...

41) Blowjob. Blowjob, although a word in common use now in both our countries, was referred to as 'Plating' before the GIs came over during WWII. Hence the calling card of Cynthia Plaster-Caster, the woman who made plaster casts of the erect willies of Jimi Hendrix and the Dave Clark Five, amongst others, had 'Your plater or mine?' on her calling cards ...

42) Jelly & Jam. In the UK, jelly is either the stuff you US-types call jello or a seedless preserve made from fruit, sugar and pectin. To confuse things further, fruit preserves are generically called jam over here too. Hence, if you were in an English restaurant enjoying a piece of bread with peanut butter and fruit preserve on it you would be eating 'a peanut butter and jam sandwich.' BTW, I used to enjoy peanut and jelly sandwiches when I was little in the UK sense of the word ... Sloppy, but very nice.

43) Stones. To you big rock things that geologists play with. To us also a unit of weight. 1 stone is equal to 14 pounds. Also, English pints show remarkable value for money compared to their US conterparts -- 567ml compared to 430ml. Good thing to know when ordering beer.

44) Cheeky. In the UK to say someone is 'cheeky' is to imply that they are awnry or suggestively rude. Much beloved of the 'Carry On' Movies which starred Barbara Winsor and Sid James. Typical dialogue:
SJ: You don't get many of those to the pound! (Referring to BW's ample cleavage)
BW: Ooohhh! Cheeky!
SJ: Phoooarrr! I wouldn't kick her out of bed for eating crackers!
BW: Ooohhh! You are awful! (for a bit of variety ...)
SJ: Loveliest pair of ... eyes I ever saw!
BW: Ooohhh! Cheeky!
and so on ad nauseum ...

45) Khaki. In the UK a light beige colour. In US khaki can also be green when referring to army fatigues which are generically known as 'khaki'.

46) Knickers. A similar problem to 'pants' (cv). In the US they are knee-length trousers like what the Brits call 'breeches'. In the UK, they are the things that go underneath. Typically British men wear pants under their trousers and women wear knickers, unless of course, you are a Tory (Conservative) MP and then anything goes ... Also NORWICH was an acronym used by service personel during WWII for '(k)Nickers Off Ready When I Come Home'. To be on the safe side when visiting the doctors it's best to keep your pants/knickers on ...

47) Wellies. In the UK a type of waterproof rubberised boot named after that Great Englishman, the Duke Of Wellington. You guys in the US would call them 'gumboots' or 'galoshes'. In the UK wellies are much beloved of Tory MPs with large country estates and farmer-types with sheep, particularly the 'Hunter' welly with the handy straps on the side.

48) Warm Clothing. In the UK we wear warm woolly upper garments during the winter which we call 'jumpers'. You call them 'sweaters'. Boring but true. Also a long woolly dress is called a 'jumper' in the US. I suppose both nations have the joke:
What do you get if you cross a kangaroo with a sweater?
A woolly jumper.
Groan. Somebody carbon date that joke please ...

49) Spanner. You see that long metal object in your tool kit that you use to adjust bolts on your car? We call that a spanner, not a wrench.

50) Slash. In the US a line denoting a separation on the written page or on a computer, or even a rip or tear in a piece of material. In the UK also a euphenism for a wee, a jimmy riddle or urination. Also the name of a rather well known guitarist who was born in England and hence should have thought a little harder before choosing his 'nom de rock'n'roooolll, man'.

51) Liberal. In the US someone who has enlightened and progressive views on abortion, welfare, health care, racial and sexual issues, and sympathsizes with the needs of those less fortunate than themselves. Or at least that's what they say. Republicans probably wouldn't agree with this statement ... In the UK, someone is neither left wing nor right wing but somewhere in between. In both countries, 'liberal' can be used as an insult and a compliment. Although most Americans liberals would probably balk at the idea, in the UK they might be considered to be socialists. (Shock! Horror!)

52) Snogging. You know that thing you do when you are with your loved one when you tickle each others tonsils? In the UK that's called snogging. Much beloved of kids at school discos in between swigging illicit bottles of vodka and Special Brew beer and 'getting on down' to Take That (screaaaaammmmm!) (popular beat combo in the UK much admired by girlies).

53) Git. An undesirable and miserable person. Between 'sod' and 'bastard' on the 'are you going to get your head kicked in?' scale.

54) Jock. In the US, big guys who like sport, women and acting macho. In the UK, a Scottish person who probably also likes sport, women and acting macho but in a Glaswegian (i.e. from Glasgow) accent. Which is probably more scary since a lot of people have difficulty understanding them ...

55) Lemonade. In the US, non-fizzy fruit drink possibly made from lemons that we Brits call 'squash'. Our 'lemonade' is fizzy, akin to your pop or soda (depending on what part of the US you are from.) I was most disappointed when I found this out for the first time in a US cinema...

56) Crossing The Road. In the UK we love our cute fluffy and feathery friends. So much in fact that we name our road crossings after them. We have pedestrian walkways that have broad black & white stripes (like on the cover of 'Abbey Road' by the Beatles) which we call 'Zebra Crossings'. We also have crossings akin to yours with the 'walk/don't walk' signs on them which have a little red man standing still and a little green man walking. These are illuminated when you are supposed to stay where you are or walk respectively. For some inexplicable reason this is called a 'pelican crossing'. As for the little green man flashing ...

57) Hotels. In the UK the floors in a hotel are numbered ground floor, first floor, second floor etc. In other words the first floor is the second floor, the second is the third and so on and so on. In the US, you have a more sensible numbering system. A good thing to note if you are a US bell-boy(UK)/bell-hop(US) looking for Take That's (screaaaaammmmm!) suite on the eighth floor in a UK hotel. (BTW Just follow the detritus of fluffy toys and soggy knickers (cv) ...)

58) Waste Disposal. In the UK our household waste is called 'rubbish' and is taken away by the dustmen or bin men in their dustcart. In the US you have two types of household waste -- garbage and trash. Also, you see that piece of street furniture into which you are supposed to put the packaging from your lunch? We call them bins; you call then trash cans. I was sooo confused about this.

59) Merchant Banker. On both sides of the Atlantic an honourable and decent profession. In the UK, cockney rhyming slang for an onanist (see 'wanker'). Possibly apt.

60) Buying A Drink. Those establishments where you buy alcohol late at night where you are not allowed to drink it on the premises are called Off Licences (or Offies) in the UK and Liquor Stores in the US. I'm over 21 and was repeatedly carded(US)/id'ed(UK) when I tried to buy beer (this was before I tried American beer). I thought that a British Passport was good enough ID for a liquor store since it got me in the country, but no, I needed an in-state driver's licence. Hellooo? I'm a tourist with a British Passport and an English accent who is wearing a t-shirt with UK tour dates on the back. Don't you think I *might* be the genuine article? (Sorry. The incident still annoys me.)

61) Please And Sorry. In the UK, no sentence is complete with either or even both of these words. In the US, the former is said begrudgedly and 'What's the name of your lawyer?' is said instead of the latter.

62) English. We speak English in the UK. So do you in the US. But yet we don't speak the same language ...

63) Women's Things. Pads = US. Towels = UK. Tampons = everywhere. Do you have the ones with wings too? Do you have a patronising Clare Rayner-type who does the advert?

64) Crusty. In the US the state of a bread roll when it is freshly baked and smelling yummy. In the UK, as well as this, a person of possibly no real fixed abode who engages in an alternative lifestyle involving travelling around the country, wearing 'alternative' clothes (ex-army or hippie gear), having a pragmatic attitude to drugs and has possibly dubious personal hygiene. They would rather be called 'Travellers' and I admire them for their stance against 'straight' society. (oooh a bit of politics there ...)

65) Bum. In the UK, the definition of 'buns' (cv) describes more than adequately the biggest muscle in the body. In the US, a person whom we would call a tramp. Also the act of being a bum. I have been reliably informed that Take That (screaaaaammmmm!) have cute bums but only one (the scruffy git (cv) with the dreadlocks) actually looks like one ...

66) North/South Divide. Ask anyone from the north of England where the North ends and the South begins, they might say 'Worksop' is the dividing line. Ask anyone from the south and they might say 'north of Oxfordshire' or even 'north of London'. These definitions differ by well over 100 hundred miles! In the north the people have cloth caps, whippets (racing dogs, not aerosol cans of whipped cream!), keep pigeons, speak in a funny way and drink bitter in grim working mens clubs. In the south, the people are either country yokels who speak in a funny way, or people with loads of money who speak like the Queen or brash Cockneys who speak in funny way while engaged in dealings of a dubious nature and drinking lager. That is, if you believe the stereotypes as portrayed in the media. It is all utter bollocks (cv).

67) Pardon. As I said before, being sorry is all part of being English. We apologise for things that aren't our fault again and again and again. I am convinced that the first word that an English baby learns to say after 'Mama' and 'Dada' is 'sorry'. Anyway, 'pardon me' is a polite way of excusing your way through a crowd or excusing yourself or if your bodily functions betray you in public. The US equivalent, 'excuse me' only seems to be used in a sarcastic way, i.e. 'Well excuuuuuse me!' while exchanging lawyers' telephone numbers.

68) Lorry. A UK truck. A word used in the tongue twister 'Red Lorry Yellow Lorry' by parents to torture their kids. Try it. You'll hate me for it.

69) Irony. Along with sarcasm, the basis of English humour. Totally lost on most of our American chums. Saying '... NOT!' is not sarcasm.

70) Easy. When an English girl says 'I'm easy' she is not saying 'Please sleep with me.' She is saying 'I don't mind what we do.' Then again in the presence of Take That (screaaaaammmmm!) who knows?

71) Bonk. In a similar vein, to bonk someone in the UK is to enjoy sexual congress with them. It also means to hit someone, usually on the head. The two might be related if you like that sort of thing ...

72) Rumpty. The latest word coined by the British Tabloid Press for fun stuff in the dark. Obviously they got bored with bonking... Anyway, a typical sex scandal headline in the Sun (infamous tabloid paper owned by Rupert Murdock) would read 'Robbie-ex-from-Take-That (screaaaaammmmm!) caught in four in bed rumpty with Divine Brown, OJ and some ugly Tory Minister who will shortly be resigning' ...

73) Suspenders. In the UK those things that women hold their stockings up with. You call them garters. Confusingly, when I was in Cub Scouts, the things with the tags on them you used to hold your socks up were called garters too. These were instruments of torture -- ideal for pinging and causing yelps of pain during prayer on church parade services. Some children are sooo cruel. Anyway, what you call suspenders we call braces.

74) Aubergine. Frankly foul purple vegetable used in moussaka. You call them eggplants.

75) Dinky. In the US something that is small or poorly made. In the UK something small and cute. I'm not sure if you had Dinky Cars in the US, but these toy cars are now worth a fortune over here. And I gave all mine away too (sob!) ...

76) Table. Imagine you are in a boardroom. The chairperkin (note dubious PC nomenclature) says 'I reckon we should table the motion about the McBigcorp account'. If you were American you would think 'Gee, I guess we can forget about that for a while' -- i.e. the motion has been postponed. If you were English, you would think 'Jolly good show old bean! I fancied (cv) talking about that one!', i.e. the motion has been brought up for discussion. How do people in trans-atlantic companies cope?

77) Twat. In the US, calling someone a twat is unwise since you are accusing them of resembling a part of the female anatomy. In the UK, a mild insult meaning 'idiot' much beloved of school children who might get into trouble with naughtier words.

78) Swank. In both countries to be 'swanky' implies that you are showy and vulgar, or to say that something is 'swanky' could also mean that it is posh or expensive. Comic book characters (e.g. those in UK comics The Beano and Whizzer & Chips) are often seen going into the 'Hotel de Swank' after getting money for some good turn, where they promptly blow it all on a plate of mashed potato with sausages sticking out of it. I have never seen such a delicacy on offer in the hotels I have been in, much to my disappointment. Anyway, I have also been reliably informed that 'Swank' is also the name of a US DIY magazine populated by young women who have great difficulty keeping their clothes on or their legs together. They also wear high heels in bed. Weird. I have a theory about how the magazine got named. The editor was wandering around Soho, London (the red light district) one day when he heard a Londoner shout 'S' wank innit?' (It is a wank(cv) isn't it). Thinking, 'Aha -- I'm au fait with English slang: hence 'Swank' would be a great name for a porno mag' he toddled off back to the US and created said magazine. Unfortunately, in this context the Londoner was probably referring to his job being pointless ...

79) Potty. In both countries 'potty' is that little plastic seat that kids are forced to use when they need to expel bodily waste when they are too big for nappies(UK) / diapers(US). Americans take the meaning of this word into adult life unchanged. English chaps use 'potty' to describe someone who is a bit silly, dolalley or, to be frank, mad. After watching the film 'The Madness of King George', I can see how the two meanings might have a common ancestry ...

80) Bloody. You guys might describe an item covered in blood as 'bloody'. So might we. 'Bloody' is also a mild English swear word which is always used in cheesy programs made by Americans about the UK. Hardly anyone over here uses it anymore. Similarly, the word 'bleeding'. We use 'fuck' just as much as you guys, the big difference being that we can use it on network television after 9pm in a non-gratutious way, whereas you can only shout 'fuck' in the privacy of your own home. So there.

81) Grass. You can walk on it and you could smoke it (if it wasn't illegal). In the UK you can also do it as well. To grass on someone means to tell on them, usually to an authority figure like a policeman or a teacher. Someone who tells on a lot of people is known as a 'supergrass' -- most often used when describing IRA informers who do the dirty on their Republican chums. Also 'Supergrass' is the name of a pop combo who are rather more popular over here than they are in the US. Whether they named themselves after this definition or one more akin to why Green Day are called 'Green Day' is uncertain ...

82) Policemen. UK policemen are unarmed. As a consequence I feel safer over here than I did in the US. Anyway, the following are used to describe policemen: bobbies, peelers, filth, cops, pigs, the old Bill (or the Bill), rozzers, coppers, a plod or perhaps 'bastards' if you are feeling lucky. I'm not sure how many of those you guys might use. Imagine you are a tea leaf (thief) and you spot a car in good nick (reasonable condition) so you decide to nick (steal) it. Along comes PC (Police Constable) Plod, puts his hand on your shoulder and says 'You're nicked mate!' even though he isn't your friend and he probably isn't wielding a knife. This is your cue to say 'It's a fair cop! You got me banged to rights and make no mistake. You'll find the rest of the swag (ill gotten gains) in the sack!' if you are stupid or 'I aint done nuffink copper!' if you are aren't.

[Note: Some UK policemen started carrying sidearms in October 2000, and by now enough policemen in London carry guns to have resulted in at least one mistaken fatal shooting. Yet there is no question that the general level of UK city violence has escalated, if still to nowhere near United States levels. The debate continues.]

83) Crime And Punishment. If you had 'been a naughty boy' and taken to court, you may find yourself confronted by a 'beak' (a magistrate), who might send you down for some time 'at her Majesty's Pleasure'. You would go to gaol (or jail), or 'nick' as it is sometimes confusingly called.

84) Banger. Three meanings in the UK: a sausage, an old car well past its prime and a small firework that makes a loud noise. If you were repulsed by the idea of eating a faggot (cv), the British banger would really make your stomach turn since it makes even a Taco Bell meal look like it contains high quality meat. The Tabloid press seem to think that the European Economic Community (the UK is a rather reluctant member) wants to ban the British Banger. WRONG! They just want to reduce the breadcrumb, eyes and goolies (male genitals) content and put meat in instead ...

85) Conk. A nose. Also conkers is a game were small children thread horsechest nuts to lengths of string and hit the nuts together. The first nut to break is the loser. A conker that beats many conkers is known as a 'bully', as in a 'bully-niner' is a conker that has beaten nine other conkers. It has probably been soaked in vinegar, baked in an oven or scooped out and filled with concrete. If such a conker hit you on the conk you would know all about it.

86) Soldiers. On both sides of the Atlantic, members of the military who run around shooting things while wearing khaki (cv). Also in the UK, soldiers are pieces of buttered toast or bread that you dip in your soft boiled egg at breakfast. Yum!

87) Half Inch. To you, half an inch or 1.27cm. To us, to borrow without asking first. The likely activity of a Tea Leaf (cv) in other words.

88) Cock. There are four obvious meanings that are common to both the English and the Americans. A willy (penis), a male bird, to ready a gun and to knock or place something off centre. In England there is a fifth. If a person says 'Ello cock!' they are greeting you as a close personal friend. The first meaning may also apply if you are a very close personal friend and the third may apply if the first makes its unwanted presence known in an unsuitable situation ...

89) Squash. To you a vegetable. To us a fruit drink similar to US lemonade. Also called 'cordial', though how friendly a bottle of orange squash can be is open to debate.

90) Mug. There are many meanings to this word, e.g. a vessel to contain your 'cuppa' (cup of tea). In the UK, a mug is a fool or an idiot and to mug up is to learn. In the US a mug is a thug or a hoodlum (shortened version of mugger I suppose). In other words, you better mug up on how not to be a mug before you are mugged by a mug.

91) Drug slang. In the UK we have some great rock festivals like Reading, Phoenix and Glastonbury (yeah!). You guys have Lollapalooza (okay) and Woodstock (wasn't the second one a dodo or what?). Anyway, we have some drug slang which you might hear if you were into such things at these events (not that I'm condoning them but ...)
Vera Lynns (or Veras): skins or tobacco papers (named after a WWII singer.)
Mandies: Mandy Smiths (very young ex wife of ex Rolling Stone Bill Wyman) or spliffs.
Billy Whizz: speed or amphetamine, named after a comic character who could run very fast.
E: ecstacy or MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine). Much hilarity ensues when a contestant on the UK quiz show 'Blockbusters' asks host Bob Holness 'for an e'. Ho ho.
There are many others ...

92) Mean. In the UK to be mean implies you are frugal to the point of being stingy. In the US you might be mean (i.e. aggressive) because of that English guy's inability to get his wallet out and buy you a beer (cv).

93) Autumn. My favourite time of year when the leaves turn orange, red and yellow. You call it 'Fall'. I prefer Autumn.

94) Candy. We call them sweets. Unless they are American confectionary, then we call them candy too. I have met quite a few Americans girls called 'Candy' but never ever an English one called 'Sweets'.

95) Cutlery. The implements you eat with. You guys also call them flatware.

96) Sucker. In both countries a fool or a silly person. Also a piece of candy on the end of a stick that us Brits call a lollipop or a lolly. We also call money 'lolly' too to make things just that little bit more confusing ...

97) Z. The twenty sixth letter of the alphabet. You call it 'Zee'; we call it 'Zed'. A whole generation in England has had to relearn the alphabet after hearing the 'Alphabet song' on Sesame Street. Sadder still, the song doesn't rhyme with the English 'Zed'. At least the 'Numbers song' works (1-2-3-4-5, 6-7-8-9-10, 11-12, do do-do do-do do-do do etc etc ...)

98) Tire. When visiting the garage make sure you know the difference between a UK tire (band of metal placed around the rim of a wheel designed to strengthen it) and a US tire (pneumatic effort called a 'tyre' in the UK). If you make a mistake it could be a very long and bumpy ride home.

99) 99. In the US purely the number before one hundred. In the UK a yummy variety of ice cream consisting of a scoop of vanilla soft-scoop ice cream in wafer cone with a chocolate flake stuck in it. The cone is specially designed to allow the melting ice cream to flow all over your hand before you get to eat it.

100) Centennial. Dull but apt. You call the period lasting a hundred years a centenary.
Read full, unformated, original copy.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Hewlett-Packard to Hack Customers

Hewlett-Packard is taking a cue from hackers to help protect corporate systems.

HP has decided to hack into its customers' computers under a new service to test their reliability.

The penetration-testing service for businesses will begin in October. HP hackers will use the same techniques as hackers to gain access to its customers' machines.

Richard Brown, threat management department manager at HP Labs, told that once HP has control of a system it will attempt to make the system safe.

The HP Active Countermeasures service will use a single server and 10 clients to scan through a range of IP addresses to scan. They will sniff each address for any flaws and exploit vulnerabilities by sending malformed protocol messages to open ports. Other techniques will include buffer, heap and stack overflows to gain control of clients' systems.

If a machine is such a security risk, HP will shut it down so it's no longer a threat to the infrastructure, Brown said.

Read More…

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Russian Roulette and Template Change

Russian Roulette is "the practice of placing one round in a revolver, spinning the cylinder and closing it into the firearm without looking, aiming the revolver at one's own head in a suicidal fashion, and pulling the trigger. The number of rounds placed in the revolver can vary. As a gambling game, toy guns are often used to simulate the practice. The number of deaths caused by this practice is unknown".

Carlos Katastrofksy used this concept to create a Russian Roulette netart project, replacing the shooting activity with a random downloader. Press a provided download button and get a file, but who knows which file? Maybe a picture, a sound, a virus?

Dangerous downloading isn't the only important aspect here. Like in any P2P application, downloading implies uploading, for a file to be downloaded by someone it has had to be generously uploaded by someone else. The files stored in Russian Roulette are the files people decided to share. We don't get to know who uploaded what, just their names.

Russian Roulette:
Author's Call for Contribution:

I changed the template sidebar as I was annoyed with the original one, also added some Collapse and Expand buttons to it so that you can collapse some of the unused sidebars and expand some of the more used. Maybe they are useless, because the state does not save so when you re-visit you will have to hide them again! Nevertheless, enjoy them!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Blog Template Change

I decided to revert back to a default template for my blog as custom templates are extremely buggy and out of date most of the time. Took me ages to revert back as I had to copy over things such asw the sidebar, profile container and so on. I also removed the News Feature as I don't think that I will use it and it didn't look too nice anyway. If only Blogger had more templates to choose from.