2004 News Archive
December 25, 2004
What are you doing here today? Go spend some time with your family!
Random Nahuatl (Aztec) Name Generator
December 22, 2004
Updated Street Name Generator
December 16, 2004
I've updated my Medieval Street Name Generator. Now instead of just picking a full street name from a list it now puts together a name with a street type. This will generate names that are much more unique.
Random Norse Name Generator
December 14, 2004
Small Update to the 'Not Al' Page
December 13, 2004
'Free The Mustard' sent me a small update for the Not Al page:
The song "Barney is on fire" is sung not just sung by None of The Above, but also by Tony Mason. He says it on the website www.tonymason.com.
Random Latin Name Generator
December 9, 2004
Random Gaelic Name Generator
December 6, 2004
Old Names for Illnesses
November 22, 2004
Here's a list of
Random Medieval Street Name Generator
November 20, 2004
Not "Weird Al" Yankovic Songs
November 17, 2004
I've compiled a list, from several different sources, a list of songs that people claim are by Weird Al but really aren't.
Random 1910s Name Generator
November 16, 2004
Random 1900s Name Generator
November 15, 2004
Random Egyptian Name Generator
November 14, 2004
Random Arthurian Legend Name Generator
November 13, 2004
Random Hindu Name Generator
November 12, 2004
Random Native American Name Generator
November 11, 2004
Random Irish Name Generator
November 10, 2004
Random African Name Generator
November 9, 2004
I added some names to my African Name Generator.
Random Italian Name Generator
November 8, 2004
Random Anglo-Saxon Name Generator
November 7, 2004
Random Russian Name Generator
November 6, 2004
Random Scottish Name Generator
November 5, 2004
Random Spanish Name Generator
November 4, 2004
Random Demon Name Generator
November 3, 2004
Added a Funny Picture
November 3, 2004
There's a new funny picture on my funny pictures page. It's a screenshot showing over 300 different types of spyware!
November 2, 2004
In an ongoing effort to help the load times of pages on my website, I've split the news archives into 2003 & 2004 archives (update your bookmarks). I'm also going to keep no less than 15 or 1 month (which ever is greater) worth of updates on the main page, after which they will be moved to the news archives.
Random Japanese Name Generator
November 2, 2004
I just added a bunch of names to my Japanese Name Generator.
Random Hebrew Name Generator
November 2, 2004
Random Hawaiian Name Generator
November 1, 2004
Random Greek Name Generator
October 31, 2004
Updated Karil Pages
October 28, 2004
I've finally updated the Karil Campaign Setting pages to the newer page format. It's also been moved, so update your bookmarks.
Random German Name Generator
October 27, 2004
Random French Name Generator
October 25, 2004
Random English Name Generator
October 23, 2004
Random Celtic Name Generator
October 21, 2004
Random African Name Generator
October 19, 2004
Random NPC Quest Generator
September 3, 2004
Fixed the Name Generators
July 8, 2004
My Plan for Spam
June 18, 2004
So, after week one things are looking up! As I wrote last week, I got all my filters setup & running. The first two days were excellent with nearly a 99% accuracy. Sunday the accuracy dropped to 84%, with daily retraining I've brought it back to 94%. For the complete week one stats click here.
A Plan for Spam
June 11, 2004
I've been getting WAY to much spam lately, so I put together a plan to combat my spam. I get my email on a Linux box with the program KMail but most of the techniques should work with just about any email program.
My Linux machine is an older machine so I want to minimize the impact on performance. Spam filters are CPU intensive (I know from running them before) so I want it to actually spam check as few messages as possible. I came up with a four prong attack on spam.
- Setup a filter for the mailing lists. This one was pretty easy since I get all my mailing lists from five places. Create a folder for the mailing list provider. Configure the filter to check the from line to see if it contains the mailing list provider (such as yahoogroups.com). Have it file that mail to that folder. You can make it a little more elaborate if you want like setting up folders & filters for each mailing list, but that's good enough for me.
- Next setup a catch-all filter that checks to see if the email is actually addressed to you. I check a lot of my archived spam before I deleted it, if it wasn't from one of my mailing lists it was spam. Create a folder specifically for these messages it can help you setup additional filters for regular mailings you may have missed in the mailing list filters.
- Next setup a filter to catch mail from people who email you regularly. Configure the filter to check the from line for those email addesses & have it file those into their own folder (or configure it to file them in the inbox). I do this simply so it doesn't have to spam check these messages, checking to from line is much faster.
- Finally filter email through a spam checker. I personally use Spam Assassin. You can find instructions to setup KMail to work with Spam Assassin here. Their suggesion for the check filter was to check for spam by checking for a heading filter that looks like this: '"X-Spam-Status: YES', but Spam Assassin also tags the headers with a spam rating 'X-Spam-Level: ******' so you can customise the level of protection you want by varying the number of *'s that you want to filter for. Instruction for using Spam Assassin on Window & OS X can be found here. Train your spam filters. I had over 800 spam & more than 1000 non-spam messages to train my filters with, so it should be 99.9% accurate.
I'll keep you posted on the success of my techniques.
Made a New Webpage
May 14, 2004
A friend of my mother had me make up a website for their lighted decoration business. They do home decorations & wedding cake decorations. You can find them at crystalexpressions.org.
May 2, 2004
Here's a few helpful tips for first time GenCon goers. I wish I had know some of these before I went last year:
- Preregister: Last year I didn't decide to go to GenCon till just 2 days beforehand. I payed for it by waiting in line for 3 hours for my badge.
- Preregister: I can't say this enough! Although they've promised they will iron out the problems from last year, in addition you should register for your events.
- Dealer Room: Definately check out the dealer room. In fact, you should plan several hours to browse the dealer room & try out some of the new games.
- Free-Time: Plan for some free time. Although GenCon is a 24 hour gamiing event, you should plan for some sleep, time to eat, & some time to meet people. Also Indianapolis is a wonderful town with lots to see and do. Especially check out the mall & Hollywood Bar & Filmworks.
- Budget: Plan on spending anywhere between $40-$150 for a Hotel room. Cheapest rooms can be found 10+ minutes outside of town. $30 per day would be a good bet for food budget. Don't forget event costs, parking costs, & costs for adult beverages (if you like to drink).
- Walk: If you're not used to walking several hours a day then you should probably start now. I just started an exercise program last month (not specifically planning for Gencon). Start off easy just walking a mile or two a day, as the weeks go by increase your speed and/or milage. Also wear comfortable shoes.
- Wednesday: Show up on Wednesday if you can. This will give you the best opportunity to get some sleep before the Con starts in eranest. There's also talk of open gaming in one of the hotels Wednesday evening.
- Diet: Cons goers are notorious for not sleeping properly. Eat well & you may be able to stay up longer. Also drink lots of water!
- Hygiene: Get a shower, we're not crying cause we're homesick!
- Auction: Go to the auction, you can find some hard to find stuff there.
- Gift Shop: Visit the gift shop early. Many of their items run out quickly.
- Pack Light: Those books get mighty heavy after several hours.
- Security: Don't leave your bags unattended ever. Those things are known to grow legs.
- Have a Good Time: GenCon only comes once a year!
Building Really Annoying Websites by Example
March 28, 2004
Microsoft: OpenOffice.org vs. MS Office
March 27, 2004
Microsoft has published a comparitive guide OpenOffice.org 1.1 vs. Microsoft Office. Among the funnier claims is that MS Office is protected from viruses.
If you download the original file and look at the document properties you can see that it was written with QuarkExpress 4.11 for Macintosh. It's funny how they won't even use their own product to make this competitive guide. Though they really should have really outdone themselves & written it with OpenOffice.org & use it's export to PDF feature.
Guilty Until Proven Innocent
Feburary 22, 2004
Monday the New Mexico House of Representatives passed a bill that would require every car sold in the state to have an ignition interlock. This device is essentially a breath analyzer that prevents the car from being started if the driver is drunk. Ignition interlocks require a breath test, which takes 30 seconds to complete, to start the car as well as random 'rolling retests' to discourage others from taking the test for you. These rolling retests require the driver to take the test as the car is moving. If the driver fails a retest, the horn sounds and the lights flash until the car is turned off. The bill's lead proponent is Dem. Ken Martinez who believes the bill is a quick fix for New Mexico's drunk driving problems. Opponents of the bill argue that it penalizes car dealerships and law abiding citizens who have never driven drunk. Perhaps tougher penalties and larger fines for people who actually drive drunk would be a better idea.
Microsoft is Big Brother
Feburary 21, 2004
Broadand Reports notes that Microsoft is now sending snail mail warnings to downloaders of the leaked source code. They're also apparently working in conjunction with several un-named peer to peer vendors to send out legal warnings to any users who search for the leaked code. The notice on Microsoft's website has been updated to reflect the new warnings.
Has anyone noticed that the RIAA has tried for two years to figure out how to connect an IP address to a snailmail address with out resorting to subpeonas, yet M$ did it in about 4 days?
Removed Menu Bar
Feburary 12, 2004
I've decided to remove the menu bar from the top of all my webpages. I've had reports that it was causing some problems with some browsers & it should make download/display slightly quicker.
Nit Picking Lord of the Rings
Feburary 2, 2004
Phil Eskew has compiled a comprehensive list of the differences between the Lord of the Rings books & the movie. This combined with a letter written by Tolkien & the the letters of tolkien should give you some idea what Tolkien himself might have thought of the films. Personally I like them regardless of their 'faithfulness'. What you have to realize is that some things that work really well in book doesn't work out so well for the movies.
More Fun in Utah
Feburary 1, 2004
According to the Deseret Morning News former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt signed Utah's 2.4 million residents up for a pilot program that gathers dossiers on every single man, woman and child and didn't bother to tell anyone. According to the article MATRIX -- Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange '...cross-references government records from both public and private databases, putting together a dossier on individuals for use by law enforcement.' The state's homeland security specialist dismisses concerns: '...any data gleaned for Utah's participation in MATRIX is information already available to law enforcement.' The Utah legislature is trying to figure out how to get the state out of the program but the question is how was the Governor able to enroll the -whole state- without anyone knowing? I know that other states are considering such measures also. Sometimes I feel I'm in a time warp...1984 instead of 2004!
The House Judiciary committee approved a bill to extend copyright-like protection to databases, despite opposition by AT&T, Amazon, Yahoo, and Google, among others. Currently mere compilations of facts, such as phone books, are not copyrightable. This would change that. Coverage from Cnet, Internetnews. No word on a Senate version. Let's stop this one before it grows. Senator Orrin Hatch from Utah is the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, he wants to destroy your computer, is a software pirate & best friend of the RIAA.
You know sometimes I feel like I'm a broken record. This guy is bad news. Someone please tell me that the old fart is up for relectiion with a credible opponent!
Building Brand Loyalty
January 9, 2004
I heard this story on the radio a few days ago. Basically cola companies say that it would be bad to ban sodas in schools because 'It's easier to establish those habits in children than in adults.' Yeah, it's easy to get kids hooked on caffine. 'And each child represents tens of thousand of dollars in potential earnings for a company over a lifetime.' Ah there's the rub, it would cost them tens of thousand of dollars if they couldn't get them hooked.
Lucky & Unlucky Days of Japan
January 7, 2004
Tex Texin links here from his Lucky & Unlucky Days of the Japanese Calendar.
Link Here, Get a Link Back Here
January 3, 2004
When you link here please send me an email. If you have a website with similar content to mine I'll post your link here.
Steve links here from his Melbourne/Palm Bay Gaming Guild campaign website.
Copyright © 1998-2006 Phillip Riley
Last Updated Sat Aug 11, 2007