Light a candle

December 1st is World AIDS Day and in honour of it, Bristol-Myers Squibb is donating a dollar to AIDS research every time someone goes to their Light to Unite website and moves the match to the candle and lights it. Spread the word; looks like this is the real deal.
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Hacked

So, around 7pm Friday night UK time, a person or persons unknown used a vulnerability in one the scripts powering one of the sites I host to install a shell kit, and then subsequently a bulk emailer program and two fake websites in directories called "www.a****n.com" and "www.e**y.com". They then proceeded to fool innocents into visiting these sites hosted on my domain after following email from my domain into relinquishing their usernames and passwords. A little over 11 hours after it started, my hosting company automatically detected the suspicious activity and immediately disabled my account, which was exactly the right thing to do. Since then I have regained access, reset various passwords, and been slowly repairing the damage, but it will be a while before everything is working. It's also quite possible that despite some hatchet work on my part, when my account was re-enabled the hole they used to get in was also re-enabled, as I'm not sure exactly what happened yet. In which case, they will come...
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My blood's not good enough

As many of you who are UK resisdents are probably aware, the National Blood Service in the UK, a fine organization which does in many respects a wonderful job, has one major stain on its record: it does not allow gay and bisexual men to donate if they have ever had sex. Whether oral or anal, whether it was yesterday or a decade ago, if you are a man and you've had sex with another man you can never give blood again. This ridiculous and discriminatory policy is plainly visible in their blood donation test, specifically this question. They weasel out of this policy being discrimination by claiming it is "behaviour based" (hence the question about sex acts rather than strictly sexuality). But it doesn't bear any scrutiny: why should the gender of the person you have sex with affect the dangerousness of that act? Their explanation of their policies does nothing to explain. So now you have the capability to sign an electronic petition asking the Prime Minister to overturn the ban. The petition is hosted...
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Wii! So I had a go on Steve's Wii this afternoon at Dan's sumptuous paella-fest. I am by no...

Wii! So I had a go on Steve's Wii this afternoon at Dan's sumptuous paella-fest. I am by no means a console player -- I've never owned one, or played any game on one for more than about 10 minutes without getting bored -- but that thing is a whole new ball game. Playing tennis that feels like playing tennis, from the motions you make to the sounds on the court, is so totally different from the usual button-A-means-you-jump dynamic that it needs a different name: low-fi virtual reality, or something. So in summary: they're amazing, and even non-gamers will want one. Well done, Nintendo, for making a console game seem interesting to me for the first time since, well, the original Nintendo system.
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Hacked again :-(

I was hacked again. Aaargh. This time I was ready and caught on much earlier, and also found how they were getting in. So hopefully that should be the last of it. Now to pick up the pieces...
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"So, when are you leaving?"

I have been asked this question at least once by every single person to whom I have mentioned I'm moving to San Francisco. I don't know, okay? Moreover, nothing is going to happen to change my not-knowing status until at least the 4th of January. So until then, like me, you'll all have to live with some uncertainty. Sorry about that. In other news: I finished my christmas shopping, on time but wildly overbudget. Luckily, I like giving people stuff.
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Mehragon and oh, I'm gone

Went to see Eragon with Mikey today. It's... well, it's the kind of movie that only I could like. If you can concentrate entirely on the visuals, it's a very pretty movie. Shame about the plot and the dialogue, so the actors tried their best, bless them. In other news, I'm off to Tobago, then Trinidad, then Tobago again for a bit, the whole lasting two weeks, back in time for NYE. Me and my potential tan will see you then!
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My Island Paradise

Not much time to upload photos at the moment, but one will say a thousand words for me: Hope you're enjoying all that fog, London!
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Textual intercourse

A quick note: for those of you who have received texts from me from my Trinidadian mobile number, it seems the number can send but not receive international texts -- so please send any messages to my UK number, which can receive and reply just fine. P.S. It's still hot and sunny.
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The year-end review

This year's review was significantly complicated by the fact that the archives of this blog have been totally inaccessible for most of the year. So today I made use of some valuable holiday-time to correct the database corruption that was responsible1. So the archives are back, and now I can review them. Here's last year's review. I'm a little bit premature doing this review on the 26th, so let's hope nothing majorly newsworthy happens between now and the 31st, hey? This year, major events and better pieces of writing on this blog included... January As usual, I'd resolved to post every day, so traffic was heavy... Emotional Animals were the order of the day at our New Year's Eve celebrations Ariel Sharon exited the political scene with a major stroke I somehow managed to become the top result for Orlando Bloom on Google image search, which drove stupid volumes of traffic to my site for the ensuing six months. A small percentage seem to have stuck around and subscribed to the RSS I found a...
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Possibly newsworthy...

So you know how I said I hoped nothing majorly newsworthy happened between the 26th and the end of year? Well, James Brown died, as did Gerald Ford, and also Saddam Hussein in a rushed-through travesty of an execution. It's still only 11am on the 31st. Stuff can still happen.
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Happy New Year!

And once again yay free tubes, yay Ken!
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