Archive for February 2003

Techy: Automated Nominet Registration

February 25th, 2003

[A strange Nominet logo]I’ve recently got my own Nominettag” so that I can register my very own .uk domain names with the registry body. Ok, my employer has their own Nominet tag as well – but since they are now a member of Nominet they can register domain names at a cost of around £5 instead of £80 I’ve got to fork out if I want to register one (yep, you get a £75 discount PER DOMAIN if you are a member of Nominet – tag holders get no discount).

Anyway, I’ve got to put in place a mechanism so that the registration of domain names via Nominet is quick, simple and automated. Sounds easy – after all, Nominet do have a nice Automaton that you can interface with via email. Ok – it’s not perfect (as it isvia email instead of one of the many many other protocols such as SOAP with XML that could be used for ‘instantaneous’ results) but at least it’s automated…

Alas – there’s a catch. To confirm the authenticity of each request, every email to the Nominet Automaton has to be PGP signed. And can I get a nice automated PGP signing system running? Nope. There’s nothing on the internet I can find to do the entire DNS management system for us (you’d think that of all the hundreds of companies that use Nominet at least one of them would have released some sort of code!) – nor can I get our servers to play nicely. I just want to use either Perl or PHP (I’m not fussy which!) to generate a nice templated email that has the appropriate PGP signature (either generated using Perl or PHP modules or even forking off and using GPG to sign it) and emailing it off to Nominet. Not too hard is it? Why am I having so much trouble though? PHP manages to save the pre-signed file to the temp storage area alright, but then GnuPG (GPG) refuses to either encrypt it or store the output – but it works all right from the command line. Perl – practically like wise. I’ve tried using Benjamin Trott’s OpenPGP module (yep, Ben Trott of MovableType fame) – it’s installed nicely on the server and I can run it as root. Go back to “standard user permissions” and Perl (and the Linux filing system) denies all knowledge that the module even exists!

Does ANY ONE have either a Nominet aware (or other registry – I can adapt it) domain name registration system that I/we can use that’s capable of sending the appropriate emails to Nominet? Or has someone got a bit more experience with using PGP/GPG (GPG being the Gnu PGP variant without certain patent-involving code) on a RedHat Linux (ideally in a “shared server” environment) system that can offer some advice?

I’m going to try and see if I can reverse-engineer Ben’s Stamp application at some point over the next few days to see if I can get any ideas – but third party contributions are more than welcome! I would have thought Nominet themselves would have at least provided a “basic toolkit” to their members – but alas, nope 🙁 And s–ds law dictates just as I finish writing a system from scratch, Nominet will implement the domain registration system using SSL HTTP SOAP…

News: Now I’ve seen a Kiwi fl-iy!

February 24th, 2003

[A Kiwi on a Motorised Bar Stool]Discovered via the ODP on Ananova news: Kiwi caught speeding semi-naked on motorised bar stool!

Ok, not quite the little flightless bird, but rather a drunken New Zealander on a motorised bar stool (which can reach speeds of 50mph) being stopped by police. Oh – and by looks of things, he also had tried the old trick of “setting light to his farts” and, in true comedic style, it “back fired” and he was on the motorised stool with a burning arse!

Just when you think you’ve seen it all! Heh! John Sullivan got 200 hours of community service for driving the stool without registration or a warrant (which, I’d guess, it practically a tax disc).

Poll: Who is number one?

February 23rd, 2003

[Number Two from the Prisoner]No, it hasn’t got too much to do with The Prisoner [Order from] , but Michele pointed me towards the What Number Are You? quiz. After confirming that I do exist, how I feel about other people and whether or not I like maths it says that:

I am the number
I am friendly

Hmm, yep, I would declare myself as friendly – but people say “oh – don’t worry about him: he’s just being friendly” about a dog that’s about to savage your leg off…

What Number Are You?

Fun: Cartoon Physics

February 23rd, 2003

Ever wondered what the laws of Physics that popular cartoon characters have to abide by are? Well, the research has been done and so I present the Cartoon Laws Of Physics:

Law 1
Any body suspended in space will remain in space until made aware of its situation.

Example: Wile E Coyote chases the Roadrunner off the edge of a cliff and keeps running until he looks down and realises he’s in midair – then gravity takes over and the familiar rule of 32 feet per second per second takes over.

Law 2
Any body in motion will tend to remain in motion until solid matter intervenes suddenly.

Example: Whether shot from a cannon or in hot pursuit on foot, cartoon characters are so absolute in their momentum that only a telephone pole or an outsize boulder retards their forward motion absolutely. Sir Isaac Newton called this sudden termination of motion the stooge’s surcease.
» Read more: Fun: Cartoon Physics

Guess That Movie: XXIX: Lady And The Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure

February 22nd, 2003

[Guess That Movie Round 29]Murphy’s law – just as soon as I send ph33r_m3 an email to let him know about his prize – Kymberlie manages to score enough points to be able to get one! Yep, she was the first one to correctly guess that the image in Guess That Movie round 28 was taken from the 2002 remake of H.G.Well’s The Time Machine [Order from] which starred Guy Pearce (better known to me as ‘Mike’ from Neighbours – but also popularly known as “Felicia Jollygoodfellow” from “The Adventures of Priscilla – Queen of The Desert”).

So it like at the end of this “batch of rounds” in this castle of confusion? (a batch is nine images), Kymberlie will be getting a congratulations email from me…But will anyone else? If you make a guess with your name (or alias), your email address (for my usage only) and the name of the movie you are guessing at – and get it correct – then you could be on the way to the magical “500 point prize” mark in no time!

So, welcome all you watchers of illusion (hey, that’s what movies are!) – if you guess that movie within 12 hours of it being posted and there have been no incorrect guesses, you get 100 points. Every incorrect guess takes the potential score down by 5 points. 12 hours after the image was posted, the score drops by 10points – 12hours after than by another 10points: and then a further 10points every 24hours. So guess quick and guess correctly to score the maximum points! Once you’ve got at least 500points, you can “redeem” them for an Amazon gift voucher. 500 equals a £5 voucher (or the equivalent of £5 in your own currency in your chosen Amazon store). And it’s all free to enter as well! Temporal disruption imminent: so get guessing!

(10 bonus points if you can name the TV program hinted at with the hidden clues above: and, no, you don’t have to Guess That Movie at the same time. Think of it as a mini-bonus game your lordship!)
A: Lady And The Tramp 2 – Scamp’s Adventure [Order from] . Correctly guessed by Kymberlie R. McGuire.
10 bonus points to Kymberlie R. McGuire for correctly recognising the “quotes” from Knightmare.

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