Archive for July 2007

Techy: Firefox Exploit (sortof)

July 11th, 2007

It appears there is a new Mozilla Firefox based exploit around which (as these demos shown) can be utilised to practically run anything on your computer.

However, the reason I’ve added “sortof” is that Firefox doesn’t actually trigger the exploit itself – another browser (such as Internet Explorer) has to go to a URL starting firefoxurl:// which is then passed to the command line version of Firefox which then starts the exploit. Therefore, even if you just have Firefox installed (but not in use), you are at risk.

So how can you fix this? Secunia advises you to “Do not browse untrusted sites” (yep, like that is easy – especially with third party advertisements on “trusted sites”), and also to disable the “Firefox URL” URI handler. But how do you do this?

It’s reasonably simple:

Open Windows Exporer (not Internet Explorer) and from the Tools menu select “Folder Options” menu. On the dialog that appears select the “File Types” tab.

Now in the list of registered file types find the one that says:

“(NONE)” for extension and “Firefox URL” for file type

Select it and click on delete button to delete it.
Click on “OK” to close the “Folder Options” dialog.

If the delete button is greyed out, click it anyway, click [Advanced], [Remove], Sure? [yes].

Search Engines: What does Google Analytics Bounce Rate Mean?

July 10th, 2007

As many of you may be aware, Google Analytics is actually based off the old Urchin statistical gathering systems (which was a commercial available stats package). However, the new version of Analytics has a “Bounce Rate” section – but what does this mean?

Via 123-reg, I came across Google bounce factor research data is in, I found a nice summary which basically means:

  • The Bounce Rate is the rate that people leave your site for the one they were on previously (i.e. they didn’t find what they wanted on your site)
  • Google actually uses this information to tweak the search engine rankings for your site (on the basis, the lower the bounce rate the “better” your site is)
  • The overall bounce rate for the site and each individual bounce rates for each of your keywords plays a role.

Interesting – and it’s certainly one reason not to use Google Analytics (unless your bounce rate is non-existent), but in theory, it should help persuade people to build content rich sites which actually have the content on the page which the page is being promoted for (no more search for “car insurance” and ending up on adult only websites!).

Techy: Background Processes In PHP

July 10th, 2007

From What You’re Doing Is Rather Desperate is a very nice way of running a background task in PHP. I’ve implemented compression of a .tar file in the following method using this code:

$ps=runinbackground("gzip -v $tarfile -c 1> ".$tmp."download.tar.gz 2>".$tmp."download.tar.log");
while (isprocessrunning($ps)) {
if ($count>8) { $count=0; }
function runinbackground($command) {
$command="nohup $command & echo $!";
return ($PID);
function isprocessrunning($PID) {
exec("ps $PID",$processstate);

I can then monitor (within the loop) the download.tar.log file if necessary. Hope it helps someone else.

Fun: Songs of Praise Subtitled

July 8th, 2007

A bit childish I know, but have a look at this video of Songs of Praise (a UK religious show) that has been subtitled. Can you work you what they are really singing?

Link via Complete Tosh

Fun: Samsung employees put on show

July 7th, 2007

Via Les at SEB here’s a video of South Korean Samsung employees putting on a dance/show display. Extremely well coordinated I must admit and fun to watch!

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