Archive for July, 2008


Google said no complete privacy, but can we have some?

   Posted by: techiecat    in Uncategorized

When sued by a Pennsylvania couple after their home (on a private road clearly marked as private property) appeared on Google’s Street View pages, Google said that

Today’s satellite image technology means that even in today’s desert, complete privacy does not exist

Yes, I admit it’s true. But can we have SOME PRIVACY if we do not have all? At least, people will not see details of a house or a face from any public satellite image. While this is what Google is doing.

I actually use street view some time. It is not a bad or evil service from theory. But can Google do some extra efforts to respect our little privacy? Such as blur our faces on their images, or limit their street view cars in public places only.

You can read the full story here.


Secure WordPress by SSL

   Posted by: techiecat    in Security, Tutorial, Wordpress

Using SSL protocol to protect your critical information, such as user name and password, is a good idea. If you may log to your blog via an unprotected wireless network or you make some directory (e.g. uploads/) writable by WordPres, you’d better use SSL (i.e. using https:// type URL) to encrypt the administration traffic.

If your WordPress blog is hosted by a web-hosting provider, the provider likely has SSL solution for you already. In this article, I would like to share my experience on SSL solution on a self-hosted machine, which use a Fedora system and Apache httpd server.

The best solution in WordPress is probably to use the  Admin SSL Plugin. However, it cannot set up everything for you. I will give a complete tutorial on how to make SSL work for you, including how to get a key and certificate, how to set up SSL module under Apache and how to fix a bug of the Admin SSL Plugin.

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A Review of Online RSS Readers

   Posted by: techiecat    in Review

I was a little frustrated today, for online RSS readers. I used to be a happy woman with Google Reader. However, I found that Google Reader is slow sometimes. After I posted new posts and used ping-o-matic to update them, they just NOT showed up in my Google Reader, even though I could see the new posts in my feed link. The Refresh button is jusr useless! OK, so I said “it is the time to try a new online RSS reader”. I want to have an online RSS reader with similar interface as Google Reader which can retrieve new posts quickly. My little research is as blow.

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One of my friends has a pixelpost-based photoblog on Pixelpost is a simple, neat and pretty platform for photo blogging.

Today he called me saying that he got a “Coming Soon! Nothing to show. No image to show here!” message when he visited his photoblog. “Did you change anything?” He asked. I did some maintain on the server, but I did not touch httpd server and anything inside his blog directory. And I did see images just in the images/ directory. What’s wrong with that? Searching did not provide any useful information for me.

Finally I found that the problem is the system time of the server. When I maintained the server, somehow the system time was accidentally changed to an earlier day. He did not post anything yet at that time. So pixelpost got no images from the SQL query – since pixelpost actually queries images before the current system time (this is what I read from the PHP code) by default.

Solution: after I set the system time correctly, the problem is solved :)

Nowadays, domian name is a cheap resource to make your web space cool. After you purchase a domain, most of the domain suppliers allow you to add sub-domains. Then, it is a good idea to provide sub-domains for your friends or your web sites with different styles. In Apache, you can serve multiple domains and sub-domains using one IP address. In this article, I would like to share my experience on setting up virtual host in Apache.

Scenario: We would like to set up name-based virtual hosting. We have two domains (, and more subdomains. We want to serve them with one IP address. Our DocumentRoot path is docrootpath (you must replace with your real path).

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Where to put .htaccess for permalink and the reason

   Posted by: techiecat    in Wordpress

Permalink is definitelty a good idea. When I tried to setup the permalink in my WordPress blog, however, I was frustrated at the beginning. I always got 404 error, mod_rewrite seemed not working. Finally, I found that it is really simple. I was just confused by a statement in the WordPress Document that

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Fun Anti-Phishing Game

   Posted by: techiecat    in Fun, Security

Anti-Phishing PHIL is a web game for the purpose of educating web surfers to identify phishing URLs. It is developed by the CMU Usable Privacy and Security Lab. You, PHIL, a young fish in Interweb Bay, learn from your FARTHER how to find food and avoid dangers (phishing URLs) that lurk in the Bay. The game is fun and short (4 rounds, could finish in 10 minutes). Go ahead and play!

Anti-Phishing PHIL Game



Free music! – Review of

   Posted by: techiecat    in Review

Isn’t it nice that you share your favorite songs with the friends who visit your web site? Isn’t it nicer that you can get the songs for free? There are quite a lot music sharing apps on the web, but makes this easy and free for you. They automatically collect the songs published on the web and pack them in a nice interface. All you have to do is to

  • register an account,
  • search for your favorite songs and add to a playlist,
  • then publish the playlist anywhere you like

You can start by listening to my playlist at the sidebar and trying to add songs to your playlist.

Note: the playlist widget does not work on a Fedora + Firefox platform (that’s why I remove it from my sidebar finally). I did not test other unix/linux platform. If you have such experience, you are welcome to leave a comment here.