Can you please help someone in dire straights?

Reece Markowsky is a friend and colleague of mine from work who lives and works in British Columbia.  Late last week he received word that his brother passed away after a protracted period of hospitalization.  As one might imagine he's devastated by this.  Unfortunately his sister-in-law Shari is now a single mother of two young boys who is now on a single income, trying to pay for the funeral, and trying to get by until she can find a job.  Reece has started a crowdfunding campaign on her behalf.

If you can spare it, would you please donate to their …

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Getting yourself set up on Terasaur.

Long-time members of the open source community no doubt remember iBiblio.org, which is one of the first and largest online archives of open source software. It doesn't see as much love as it used to due to how many open source project hosting sites there are out there (including the venerable Sourceforge, Github, and Google Code). Also, because cheap to free personal web hosting is so common, it's trivial to upload your projects these days. In recent years, however, the iBiblio team set up Terasaur, a BitTorrent tracker which makes it much easier to distribute large projects (such as …

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HacDC Spaceblimp trajectory track.

Screenshot from aprs.fi:

If anybody's monitoring APRS, the Spaceblimp's callsign is W3HAC-11. We lost the probe a few hours ago and can't pick up its telemetry. If you pick anything up or you happen to find the probe itself in Virginia please get on 146.415 MHz (voice net) and tell us!

Enough fighting with mod_rewrite.

One of the quirks of the old version of Pivot I used to run was that it generated its RSS and ATOM feeds as static XML files with the names /rss.xml and /atom.xml, respectively. Since upgrading to PivotX, which implements these news feeds in a standard fashion (i.e., with the URLs /rss and /atom) with some URL rewrites, everyone who was using the URLs generated by the old release was left out in the cold. I've been trying to set up mod_rewrite to transparently redirect requests for the old feeds to the new ones with an HTTP …

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An open question for my readers.

While going through my server logs tonight I keep seeing logfile entries like this:

a.b.c.d - - [13/Jan/2008:22:59:49 -0500] "GET /pivot/archive/2007/11/16/serious_vulnerability_found_in HTTP/1.0" 404 321 "http://drwho.virtadpt.net/archive/2007/11/16/serious_vulnerability_found_in" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.2; Win64; AMD64)"

Someone's going to articles on my website that exist, but then they're clicking a link someplace in the article that's sending them to the same URL prepended with the string /pivot, and I can't figure out where or why they're causing …

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HOPE in jeopardy.

A message from Emmanuel Goldstein of 2600 Magazine yesterday afternoon brings mixed news: Due to the scheduled demolition of the Hotel Pensylvania, the HOPE Conference is in jeopardy. The Hotel Penn, love it or hate it, was really the only hotel in New York City that 2600 could afford to hold HOPE in; it was also one of the few hotels that most of the attendees could afford to stay in... New York City isn't a cheap place, let's be honest here. They are probably looking at moving it to a different city, but it's too soon to tell, or …

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