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 Like a modern day Diogenes.

2004 News Archive

Merry Christmas

December 25, 2004

What are you doing here today? Go spend some time with your family!

Merry Christmas!!!

Random Nahuatl (Aztec) Name Generator

December 22, 2004

I've added a Nahuatl (Aztec) Name Generator to my Name Generator Page.

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

I've added a Norse Name Generator to my Name Generator Page.

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

I've added a Latin Name Generator to my Name Generator Page.

Random Gaelic Name Generator

December 6, 2004

I've added a Gaelic Name Generator to my Name Generator Page.

Old Names for Illnesses

November 22, 2004

Here's a list of

Random Medieval Street Name Generator

November 20, 2004

I've added a Medieval Street Name Generator to my Name Generator Page.

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

I've added a 1910s Name Generator to my Name Generator Page.

These names were taken from the Social Security Administration Popular Baby Names website. The surnames were taken from U.S. Census Bureau Name Files website.

Random 1900s Name Generator

November 15, 2004

I've added a 1900s Name Generator to my Name Generator Page.

These names were taken from the Social Security Administration Popular Baby Names website. The surnames were taken from U.S. Census Bureau Name Files website.

Random Egyptian Name Generator

November 14, 2004

I've added a Egyptian Name Generator to my Name Generator Page.

Random Arthurian Legend Name Generator

November 13, 2004

I've added a Arthurian Legend Name Generator to my Name Generator Page.

Random Hindu Name Generator

November 12, 2004

I've added a Hindu Name Generator to my Name Generator Page.

Random Native American Name Generator

November 11, 2004

I've added a Native American Name Generator to my Name Generator Page.

Random Irish Name Generator

November 10, 2004

I've added a Irish Name Generator to my Name Generator Page.

Random African Name Generator

November 9, 2004

I added some names to my African Name Generator.

Random Italian Name Generator

November 8, 2004

I've added a Italian Name Generator to my Name Generator Page.

Random Anglo-Saxon Name Generator

November 7, 2004

I've added a Anglo-Saxon Name Generator to my Name Generator Page.

Random Russian Name Generator

November 6, 2004

I've added a Russian Name Generator to my Name Generator Page.

Random Scottish Name Generator

November 5, 2004

I've added a Scottish Name Generator to my Name Generator Page.

Random Spanish Name Generator

November 4, 2004

I've added a Spanish Name Generator to my Name Generator Page.

Random Demon Name Generator

November 3, 2004

I've added a Demon Name Generator to my Name Generator Page.

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!

Webpage Updates

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

Faster! Faster! Faster! A new Hebrew Name Generator for my Name Generator Page.

Random Hawaiian Name Generator

November 1, 2004

Here's another one. A new Hawaiian Name Generator for my Name Generator Page.

Random Greek Name Generator

October 31, 2004

Here's another one. A new Greek Name Generator for my Name Generator Page.

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

Here's another one. A new German Name Generator for my Name Generator Page.

Random French Name Generator

October 25, 2004

Here's another one. A new French Name Generator for my Name Generator Page.

Random English Name Generator

October 23, 2004

They're comming fast & furious now. A new English Name Generator for my Name Generator Page.

Random Celtic Name Generator

October 21, 2004

More tools for your character names! A new Celtic Name Generator for my Name Generator Page.

Random African Name Generator

October 19, 2004

I just uploaded an African Name Generator to myName Generator page. With this tool you can generate as many names as you need.

Random NPC Quest Generator

September 3, 2004

I took the tips from Roleplaying Tips Weekly E-Zine Issue #148 and made a Random NPC Quest Generator to help give ideas for adventure hooks. I also added a page for other RPG Tools I might make.

Fixed the Name Generators

July 8, 2004

Today I finally discovered what the problem was with the name generators. The real problem was with a bug with the particular version of HTP I've been using. It looks like the bug caused those particular javascripts to be removed from the page entirely! I just upgraded to the newest version, which fixed everything. Thanks to everyone who emailed me about the problem.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

GenCon Tips

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Diet: Cons goers are notorious for not sleeping properly. Eat well & you may be able to stay up longer. Also drink lots of water!
  9. Hygiene: Get a shower, we're not crying cause we're homesick!
  10. Auction: Go to the auction, you can find some hard to find stuff there.
  11. Gift Shop: Visit the gift shop early. Many of their items run out quickly.
  12. Pack Light: Those books get mighty heavy after several hours.
  13. Security: Don't leave your bags unattended ever. Those things are known to grow legs.
  14. Have a Good Time: GenCon only comes once a year!

Building Really Annoying Websites by Example

March 28, 2004

Although this website has some really good tips to keep your website from being annoying, I find it interesting that they chose to annoy me by requiring a java plugin for something that could have been done just as easily with html or javascript.

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.

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Copyright © 1998-2006 Phillip Riley

Last Updated Sat Aug 11, 2007