I recently got a new toy, in the form of a Canon EOS 450D, and started pushing some of my images to Flickr. Note that I very much consider myself a beginner at this whole photography-thing, and I appreciate all tips and tricks of the trade.
Having said that, I find this new hobby to be incredibly fun and involving, and have shot almost a thousand images in just a couple of weeks.

Experts Exchange’s deceptive practices

For future reference, I sent the following spam report to Google about Experts Exchange’s deceptive search results, in this case for the example query “experts exchange html”.

I’m a bit unsure about how to categorize this, but I guess “cloaking” is the closest I can get here.

The problem is as follows:

When you search for any page and a Experts Exchange results show up, and you click on the result link, the page Google sees shows up only under certain conditions:

If the browser user turns off referrer logging, the content showing Experts Exchange’s solution to any given problem is not shown or served to the end user. If the user turns on referrer logging, the page visited from the search result is different.

Exact steps to reproduce:

  1. Open query page
  2. Turn off referrer logging (F12 -> Send Referrer information using the Opera Web Browser – similar options may exist in other browsers)
  3. Open the first search result leading to in a new tab
  4. Scroll to bottom of page — note that no search results are available to the end-user at all.
  5. Go back to the Google result page
  6. Turn referrer logging back on (Reverse procedure from step 2)
  7. Now load the same search result as in step 3
  8. Compare the resulting document – it now contains the solution text not available following the procedure in steps 1-4.


In the past, I’ve used a bit of bash magic (grep, sort, uniq, mostly) to try to get an overview of my feed subscriber counts. Thing is, it was too much effort for me to do regularily, so I’ve given up on that, and I’ve instead switched to FeedBurner for my feeds.

If anything breaks for you, I’d like to know.

How to use ‘find’ to search for files created on a specific date

This is one of the pieces that started with me thinking GNU find has an ugly wart, ending with me actually reading the man page, only to find out that the wart isn’t there, and that it’s actually fairly elegant.

Last year, I fell victim to the massive security breach on Dreamhost (note, that Dreamhost were nothing but terrific to me, and they have been for the last five years, so I still recommend them). This resulted in me receiving a delisting notice from Google for certain documents on my site, this morning, because I had somehow failed to nuke the injected spam on at least one document. So, I had to find all documents modified that day.

So, I had to find all of the files modified on . If this was yesterday, or a week ago, using -mtime would have been trivial. However, I can’t tell the offset from today’s date in seconds, minutes, hours or days, so I had to find something better. A quick Google search brought up this, (mis-)quoted below for convenience

$ touch -amt 200601260000 /tmp/ref1
$ touch -amt 200601262359 /tmp/ref2
$ find . -type f -newer /tmp/ref1 -a ! -newer /tmp/ref2

Which, you know, seemed clunky. Having to create two useless files in order to find files createdbetween two dates lands firmly on the ugly side of things, and is just the Wrong Thing To Do. man find to the rescue, which contains this bit:

-newerXY reference
Compares the timestamp of the current file with reference. The
reference argument is normally the name of a file (and one of its
timestamps is used for the comparison) but it may also be a string
describing an absolute time. X and Y are placeholders for other
letters, and these letters select which time belonging to how
reference is used for the comparison.

The relevant placeholders for X and Y are in this case m and t:

m: The modification time of the file reference
t reference is interpreted directly as a time

So, when I want to find all files modified on a certain date, for example, ‘2007-06-07’ the final input is:

$ find . -type f -newermt 2007-06-07 ! -newermt 2007-06-08

Better than what I first had feared, no?

The “interrobang”: is one of my favorite punctuation marks, intended to combine the exclamation mark and the question mark. Every time I use it though, I get the same question: How do you type it?
The short answer is: The interrobang is to be found in Unicode, at the code point “U+203D”:, so the question here is really “How to type Unicode characters?”
h3. In Gnome/GTK+ applications
In Gnome/GTK applications, you type the character by first pressing CtrlShiftU, at which time you will get an underlined u to the left of the editing caret. You then type in the Unicode code point, 203D. When you now press space, the interrobang will now display. In XFCE, replace space with CtrlShiftX (this also sort of works in Gnome, except in the console, where it will insert junk.
h3. In Opera
In Opera, this works a bit differently: When a text field is focused, you first write the Unicode code point, 203d and then press CtrlShiftX. The chaaracter should now change to the desired ‽.
h3. In Windows XP/Vista
The procedure for Windows XP/Vista is nearly identical as for Opera, just replace CtrlShiftX with AltX.
h3. In KDE
Sorry, you’re “out of luck”: (for now) – use a character selector application or applet for now, or even use Opera to edit text.
h3. Bonus
Those familiar with Spanish know that a question or exclamation in Spanish starts with an upside-down punctuation mark, “¿Que?” or “¡Hola!”, and there *is* an upside-down interrobang, at U+2E18, so you can now go all “⸘Que‽” on people