Monthly Archives: January 2008

Using .htaccess to Prevent Hot Linking

Hot linking is when another website embeds an image from your website in theirs by directly linking to the image. It’s considered bad form, as every time the image is requested by a browser it’s your bandwidth being used, and bandwidth costs money.

The good news is that you can prevent hot linking by adding the following lines to your .htaccess file:

<IfModule rewrite.c>RewriteEngine OnRewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(.+.)? [NC]RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$RewriteRule .*.(jpe?g|gif|bmp|png)$ /images/nohotlink.jpe [L]</IfModule>

Thanks to altlab for the .htaccess rewrite rules.

Data Leak Bug in Firefox

Mozilla have confirmed that there’s a bug in Firefox that could lead to your private data being exposed. The security people at Mozilla have rated this security issue as low and are working on a fix.

The bug involves how Firefox deals with “chrome://” URI’s and escaped characters. The full technical details and a demo of the bug are available from Gerry Eisenhaur’s hiredhacker site. The demo seems to be for Windows only, so those of a Mac or Linux persuasion will have to wait to see if this bug affects them.

Until a fix is released, the NoScript add-on can be used to stop this bug in it’s tracks.

How Long Does It Take to Generate an Automatic Email?

For some reason I recently got it into my head to install Windows on my MacBook. Heresy, I hear you cry. But I’m on holidays, and I’m bored. Because Leopard comes with Boot Camp, I thought I’d give that a try, but it turns out that you need an original XP/ Vista disk – which I don’t have.

My next stop was Parallels Desktop for Mac. They offer a free trial, which is all I really need. In order to download Parallels, you need to create an account and sign in. As is common these days, an email with a confirmation link is sent to the address provided. It is now nearly 6 hours since I tried to create an account, and still no confirmation email.

If it takes this long to send an email, it doesn’t bode well for the quality of their product. In fact, I think I’ll give this a miss altogether.

Leopard Update 10.5.2 to be Released Friday

According to InsanelyMac, Apple have just released a new build of the 10.5.2 update to developers, with the public release due to be made on Friday 25th January.

I’ve been waiting for this release for quite a while now, and I’ll be hoping that SMB support is fixed, so I won’t have to go through a convoluted process to get Leopard to recognise my NAS drive.

Munster Do The Job

OK, I know this is a bit late, but I’ve been slightly sick. Granted it was self inflicted, but nonetheless I was incapable of stringing two coherent words together.

The Men in Red pulled off another classic Munster Heineken Cup performance to soundly beat Wasps and top their group. Clinical, poised, confident, and completely in control throughout the game, Munster never seemed to be under as much pressure as they were against Clermont.

Donnacha O’Callaghan, Ronan O’Gara, and Mick O’Driscoll were just three players who were at the vanguard of a team performance that was every bit of what the fans had hoped for, but hardly dared dream of.

This wasn’t a match that can be described as a chronological series of events, but more a collection of memories:

Donnacha stealing ball after ball in the lineout, making Ibanez look like a part-time amateur in the process. Ronan kicking like a man possessed, despite being under extreme pressure from the Wasps line. David Wallace’s legs pumping like pistons, head down, hitting the opposition defence and drawing in two, three, sometimes four defenders. Doug Howlett following a Garryowen, lining up Doherty, Doherty catches well, Dougie has the head down, tackles low and drives Doherty back, Doherty looks a bit shook, he won’t be doing that again in a hurry. Dennis Leamy is sin-binned, bloody ref. Shaw is sin-binned, fair is fair ref. Dallaglio is sin-binned, great man that ref. Ronan shows the ball to the Wasps line, sorry lads, the pass isn’t going there, it’s going here instead, Leamy is on the end of it, over the line, Thomond Park erupts and that’s it, Wasps now know what we’ve known for the last hour, Munster are top of the group and Wasps are out. Cheerio lads, and thanks for the game.

And that was it. Donnacha gets Man of the Match, but any one of half a dozen players could have taken that accolade. Wait until Sunday to hear the quarter final draw – Gloucester away, not the best draw, but not the worst either. For the first time, the fact that we don’t have a home draw in the quarter final doesn’t seem to be much of a problem. Granted life would probably be much easier if we were at home, but with the quality of the performance this year, there’s a bit of confidence around Limerick.

Bock was at the match and he has a few pictures up, and there’s a video and more pictures courtesy of Limerick Blogger.

Munster Passion Saves the Day

In what can only be described as a match of two halves, Munster came from 20 – 6 down at half time to finish with a well deserved losing bonus point.

In a first half that was littered with defensive mistakes, Munster were under pressure right from the kick off. Clermont spent much of the half camped in the Munster half, and showed some real class and flair to score two converted tries and two penalties, to two penalties from the boot of Ronan O’Gara.

For much of the half, the Munster pack were nowhere to be found, leaving the ball carrier exposed and isolated at ruck time. With O’Gara failing to find touch, the Munster defence were sorely tested with the inevitable first try coming from Mignoni. Who ducked under the Munster to line to snatch a well earned try. Clermont were on the scoreboard again with another try, this time Ledesma was man at the end of the Clermont move.

Munster came out after to break a different team and took the game to Clermont. From the kick off, this was a different team and the forwards started to make a difference, winning some vital turnover ball. Munster had a try disallowed for crossing in the build up, but despite this setback, Munster persevered and Mafi scored a fabulous try to bring Munster back into contention. Clermont were limited to just two penalties in the entire half, both slotted home by James Brock. With two more penalties from O’Gara that brought Munster within 7 points and they left Clermont with a well deserved bonus point.

Throughout the second half Munster showed the pride and passion that has made them one of the most consistent teams in the Heineken Cup. Jerry Flannery was immense throughout the game, and had Munster went on to win this game, he would undoubtedly have been the man of the match. Dougie Howlett also had a great game despite the fact that he was making his Munster debut and hasn’t played competitively since last September. Alan Quinlan came of for Anthony Foley in the second half and almost made an immediate difference, as did Tony Buckley when he replaced John Hayes in the front row of the scrum.

Munster’s next game is against Wasps at Thomond Park next Saturday. With Clermont expected to take a bonus point victory against Llanelli Scarlets, this is a must win game for Munster. A bonus point win would assure them of top place in the group. If they don’t take the bonus point win they must beat Wasps by more than 7 points to deny the English club a losing bonus point. Doing so would also guarantee top spot due to their 36 – 13 victory over Clermont in Thomond Park in November last year.

The Next Must Have Gadget for Your Mobile Phone?

Convergence is a word used heavily in the mobile phone industry. We’ve come a long way from from bricks that used to do basic voice calling to modern mobiles with GPS, wireless networking, multi mega-pixel cameras, video recording, MP3 ringtones, video conferencing, VOIP, gigabyte memory cards and all the bells and whistles. And all in your pocket.

For the modern phone manufacturer, the biggest trade off has been portability versus screen size. Yes, you can watch a movie on your phone, but who would want to on a 1.5 inch screen? 3M may have the answer. How about a built in projector in your phone capable of displaying an image up to 50 inches, or a 60 inch image in perfect lighting conditions? Now if only they could get a popcorn maker into my phone, I’d be happy!

More .htaccess Magic

Whilst researching ways to block trackback spam, I had a look at using .htaccess to deny access to the trackback URL for each post. Just in case you’re interested, here’s how it’s done. Add the following lines to the top of the .htaccess file in your blog directory.


SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI "./trackback/" not_allowed


<Limit GET POST>Deny from env=not_allowed<Limit>