Meta Archives, page 2

Not only do I blog about blogging, I also blog about this very blog! So meta!

Hotel Wifi JavaScript Injection

So I’m checking my blog on the hotel wifi, like ya do, and I notice something a little off with the style. There’s a dark colored bar at the top of the page that shouldn’t be there. That’s funny. Maybe a recent Firefox update changed how they treat CSS?

Justinsomnia screenshot showing weird blue bar
Screenshot of Justinsomnia with weird bar circled in red

I probably wouldn’t have thought much of it, except my blog had recently been hacked (someone had gained elevated access to my web hosting account and prepended every single PHP file with a base64 encoded rootkit), so I immediately decided to view the source. Sure enough I saw some unfamiliar CSS and JavaScript that had been injected after the <head> tag (reformatted here for readability):

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Emending an esoteric Exif error

From November 2006 until June 2007 (coinciding with my use of Ubuntu’s Edgy Eft v6.10), there was a bug in the old photo importer (or in Gimp, I’m not sure which) that failed to set the Exif orientation tag to 1 (aka top-left) after rotating a photo. This was solved in the following release of Ubuntu, though the fix was somewhat incomplete—as I wrote about in How to fix Eye of Gnome’s photo orientation in Ubuntu Feisty.

What this means is that the vertical photos I edited in Gimp during that time had an Exif orientation tag indicating that the top-left of the image was something other than the top-left as it appeared when I hit save. The funny thing is that Firefox (to this day) completely ignores this orientation tag. So I had no idea there was a bug lurking in the Exif metadata of the photos on my blog.

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Does anyone out there know anything about Pinterest?

I’ve recently seen it show up in my referrer logs, and it turns out a bunch of people I don’t know have “pinned” a bunch of photos from my blog. I feel like this site came out of nowhere.

pinterest justinsomnia screenshot
Screenshot of pinned images from my blog

You can imagine my surprise when I discovered my sister-in-law browsing Pinterest over the holidays with her new Android-based Toshiba Thrive tablet! When did everyone get so high-tech?

December Cookie Traffic

I love December, and not just because of my birthday or the holidays—because it’s when people start baking lots of cookies. And inevitably, someone searches Google for a certain long-lost cookie recipe and stumbles upon my Melt-in-the-Mouth history (or my original post about the recipe that inspired it).

melt in the mouth cookie traffic
Blue is the Melt-in-the-Mouth recipe, red is the history

And the best part is that occasionally they’re so floored to have found the recipe (usually after missing it for several years), they leave a comment to express their heartfelt thanks. Here’s a taste.

From Marlene:

Justin I too had the recipe 25 yrs ago. THANK you for posting this!! My Son still remembers when I made them. Now we can share these with his children!!

From Gina:

My mother has had this recipe for years, since I was a little kid, and I’m 40 now. We used to make them every Thanksgiving and Christmas. But we lost it a few years ago and I’ve been looking for it ever since. I can’t believe I finally found it!!! Thank you!!!!

From Melissa:

I’m just another grown kid searching for childhood cookies! I imagine my mama found this recipe in Woman’s Day like your grandmother did. No one else I knew ever made them, but we loved them. I have my mama’s handwritten recipe but they never come out like hers. I will compare notes tonight and see if she left out any “special” instructions. I look forward to sharing these with my grandkids this Christmas! Thanks for your diligence!

You are welcome, all. Please, help yourself to a cookie:

A plate of Melt-in-the-Mouth Cookies
A plate of Melt-in-the-Mouth cookies

No Justinsomnia in Ghana

I got an email from Terrie in Ghana the other day who told me my blog was being blocked by MTN, a mobile telecom provider in many countries across Africa and the Middle East. But get this. The stated reason why my blog is blocked: because my site falls under the “child abuse content” category. Yikes!

MTN: content filtering access denied screenshot

How did I get on that list? And what other lists am I on? I mean, I might have posted the occasional NSFW photo in the past (L’Origine du monde and Christy Turlington come to mind), but “child abuse”? And the real kicker is, I’ve been to Ghana! Back in 2004, I spent two weeks working in Accra and had the opportunity to visit Kakum National Park and Elmina Castle.

Ghana tro tro observers are worried
Ghanaian “tro-tro” with an apt slogan

Anyway, I sent an email to MTN Ghana’s customer care department. I’ll be curious to see if I get a response.