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Just testing something…

Just a quick test to see if something works…

Here goes!

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Public transport.

Yesterday morning a broken train stopped everything on the Victoria Line, followed by the Picadilly Line jamming up.
Yesterday evening, the departure display board was broken at Kings Cross.
This morning the signals have failed all the way to Kings Cross and we're facing 'extensive' delays…

*sigh*

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Why you’re being redirected to my Posterous blog

Hi.
If you're wondering why you've ended up here after trying to visit TheWayoftheWeb, 140Char.com or OnlineRacerDriver.com, here's the reason why:

Several internet hosting companies have recently been hugely affected by a php exploit which has been redirecting blogs. If you visit and get redirected, you'll find an attempt to have malware installed on your computer, and unless you act incredibly quickly, you'll then end up spending the next few hours running virus scans and trying to remove crap from your PC. The hosts infected included Networked Solutions, Dreamhosts and Godaddy.

Some of the hosts have revealed how the infections happened and have apparently solved the problems. Godaddy claimed it was down to old WordPress installs and that updating to the latest versions after cleaning everything by uninstalling and re-installing would solve the problem.

Unfortunately after finding 140char.com was infected, and then acting with Godaddy's support to remove the infection etc, I'd updated all the software on my other sites, and intended to go through and triple-check everything at the weekend. However, today both 140Char.com and TheWayoftheWeb suffered the infection again, despite having had passwords changed and other security in place.

The last thing I'd ever want is for someone reading one of my sites to end up with anything malicious on their computer as a result, so in the short term, I'm redirecting all three sites here, until I can ensure my sites and the place they are hosted are going to safe and secure for everyone to use.

It's a real pain – life is incredibly busy, I'm losing potential revenue (including from new advertisers), and OnlineRaceDriver has already passed the previous figures for the best month since launch adn was looking good to really smash the totals. And instead everything is now on hold!

If you're using one of the affected hosts or you're worried that your site may be at risk, the Sucuri Security site seems to be one of the best places for information at the moment:
http://blog.sucuri.net/2010/05/found-code-used-to-inject-malware-at.html
They've also got some handy tools for removing the affection more easily from your sites:
http://blog.sucuri.net/2010/05/simple-cleanup-solution-for-latest.html
And finally if you're not running anti-virus and anti-malware software, or it's out of date, consider this a good reminder to make good use of it – there are several free options which will do a fairly good job if you're not prepared to pay at the moment, and a huge number of WordPress and other php-based sites are being affected.

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A great time for gaming. Unless your Xbox is dead.

So Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is out, the sequel to one of my favourite first person shooters on the Xbox. When I got the first Bad Company game I spent ages trying to convince my friends to come over and join me from Call of Duty to little success, but now, due to exposure to Battlefield: 1943 via Xbox Live Arcade, they've all jumped on the Bad Company bus.

And if that wasn't enough, the Stimulus Pack arrives tomorrow for Call of Duty, meaning that there's going to be a huge return to the game even from those splitters who went over to Battlefield:BC 2.

And there are some new racing games on the horizon, in addition to my continued love of Forza Motorsport 3. (Check out www.onlineracedriver.com for more info on some of them)

So why am I so sad?

A while ago my Xbox died. The infamous Red Ring of Death claimed it approximately 3 months after the warranty expired (It was an original Xbox which had soldiered on for longer than most before finally giving up the ghost at such an inconvenient time). Due to family expenses, renewing website domains and other things, I couldn't quite justify the cost of repair, or dashing out and just buying an Elite to get some much needed 120GB storage (The original 20GB harddrive had to be used frugally, but even so, it was full to bursting).

Luckily my awesome friend Tim lent me his spare Xbox for a while (He'd bought an Elite in addition to his original console).

And then the DVD drive on his Elite started packing up – and he understandably needed his console back.

So thanks to my Xbox dying and his Elite dying, I'll be spending a great gaming time without any chance of joining in. Although obviously I can see everyone else having fun via Twitter, Facebook, Windows Mobile 7 and the other million ways social networks are set up to taunt me as I spend some time updating my websites in the hope it'll go towards my Xbox fund.

Still, on the bright side, my Xbox Live subscription just autorenewed.

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Wrestling with a Modern Warfare obsession

So my life essentially has 4 elements…

1. Work.
2. Family.
3. My own websites – www.thewayoftheweb.net, www.140char.com and www.onlineracedriver.com
4. Xbox.

I'm finding that 3 and 4 keep swapping priorities, mainly based on the fact I've finally got close to prestiging for the first time on CoD:MW2.
No matter how much I try to tell myself writing, swapping ads, or creating more affiliate links might be better for me in the long run, all I want to do is run around with a UMP shooting random people.

And to think I spend my time trying to argue violent games aren't harmful – they might not train nations of guncrazy teenagers, but they definitely cripple your productivity…

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The eternal dilemma of the slightly geeky

I have some work to do, but that should be done fairly early. Then there's the eternal dilemma – work on my own sites,spend time with the family, or play Xbox…

More specifically, play Call of Duty 2: Modern Warfare.

It's been a long time since a game has kept me hooked so much – even despite the problem of people cheating, lobbies failing, and the fact that anyone with a connection in a decent civilised country has a huge advantage over players in the rural UK, where dial-up and outside lavatories are still talked about with fond memories.

And it's all down to the fact my friends are all equally hooked. In a self-fulfilling prophecy, the fact they're all still playing it every night means I want to hang out and play. And the fact I'm amongst the friends playing it every night achieves the same effect on each of my friends.

Essentially we're all bad influences on each other…

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Awesome Star Wars / A-Team mash-up

Found via http://thepiratesdilemma.com/we-invented-the-remix/amazing

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Nice programme about videogames…

Slightly pretentious in a BBC arts type programme – but also a good look at videogames in Britain. Particularly good on the open-ended landmarks – Elite, GTA etc.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00phmrs/Games_Britannia_Joystick_Generation/

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This week I am mostly listening to…

The problem of lost headphones has limited my podcast listening, but now they've been residscovered, in addition to the wonderful content put out by my employers, I shall mostly be listening to the latest from Twit.tv, and Giantbomb.

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Great TED talk by Rory Sutherland

Really interesting to have a reminder of how you can look at things quite differently.