Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 in Retrospect, 2015 Looms

New Years Eve is upon me much faster than expected since life has been complicated of late. Of course, it has been for the entire year so I should have expected 2014 to end that way. To sum up the year it was a relentless grind.

Starting off with my father’s cancer battle, 2014 proved to be a bad year demonstrating 2013 was no fluke. Life got harder, so the blog didn’t get the attention planned for it, along with many other things.

Normally, I write a post with statistics for the blog, however this year I’m discontinuing the practice. Why? It is clear that growth is dead. Other than the front page and one post on spam, the top twenty pages viewed all were originally published in prior years.

Suffice it to say that visits decline by a quarter thanks to Google’s constant screwing around with their algorithms and my producing fewer posts. Having matured, the Web is now a pay to play business rather than the bold new frontier of the past.

Good thing the blog wasn’t created to garner wealth or fame!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve 2014

Hard to believe it is the 24th of December, yet here it is. Though Christmas has degenerated into a materialistic if not secular holiday, a little of the real spirit has manifested itself here and there.

Ragnar the Viking Kitten

Helping keep things in perspective is the kitten I rescued a few weeks back. Ragnar the Viking Kitten (as I’ve dubbed him) has responded well to antibiotics and now terrorizes the house with great glee. He was big for his age to begin with so his growth spurt has been impressive since getting healthy. Consequently, the little tiger feels like he can throw his weight around which has led him to discovering what being disciplined is about.

It is something he takes to heart. His wetting my bed in retaliation for our being out for an entire morning got him a smacked rump to accompany a nose rubbed in his own product. Since then, nary a problem of peeing where he shouldn’t. Rags doesn’t like me being angry with him which is a rare quality in an alpha male.

Still, the varmint likes to climb me when playing video games, especially ones where I’m playing online and talking to friends. Yes, he has gotten me virtually killed like a proper ravager out viking should. So far he’s winning that battle.

Other than that, Rags is an utterly endearing kitten filled with love and affection. He’s very grateful to have a warm home, kitten chow, and people to sleep on. Unexpectedly, he turned out to be good with the somewhat terrifying two year old niece of mine. She’s not a huge fan of cats despite being around ones in her house, yet she and Ragnar hit it off after awhile.

In turn, I’m grateful for his presence that has breathed new life into the household. Due to his attitude, I’m trying to improve mine and get some of the holiday spirit going. In the end, it is all about being with the ones you love, right?

At least as far as the secular side goes. There’s a lot more to it when you understand the immense gift given to all of us when the Savior was born.

So a merry Christmas to all, may you find that which is truly of value and share it with others.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Spam for Christmas

It seems that the dark elves responsible for pumping out unwanted spam of all kinds have the Christmas spirit of giving right now. Unfortunately, they completely misunderstood the true meaning of the season and are bent on raking in money for themselves.

Whether it be email or Blogger referral spam, the filters have been tested to the breaking point in December. Earlier, I posted an update on seoairport suddenly returning with a flood. A new approach that I haven’t seen outside of emails showed up too and that’s what I’ll be covering in this post.

I hope by now that everyone knows not to open an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) attachment from a stranger when they get one in their inbox. This has been a way to deliver trojans and viruses onto PCs for many years.

Easy Aromatherapy Spam 01Easy Aromatherapy Spam 02

So it was surprising to see referral spam that linked to PDFs including one hosted on Amazon’s cloud service which arrived as s3 . amazonaws . com / pdf-1ydO / qyR20YHDImN9.pdf on my Blogger stats page.

Why would anybody use such a discredited way to get hits? Another referral and a little digging provided me with a theory.

Remember to not click on links such as these, leave it to security pros and madmen to investigate. In my case, it is the latter though a virtual machine and an anonymous routing service were employed to keep my PC uncompromised.

SEO Spam or Fear the Penguin

One of the most irritating con jobs on the Net is selling links to people desperate to get traffic to their websites. This is part of what is known as “black hat SEO” with SEO standing for Search Engine Optimization. So it was rather interesting to get two false referrals from seoairport . com / site / product / in my Blogger stats today. UPDATED: December 2014 has seen a massive amount of hits from seoairport . com / site / recommended with no end in sight. New screen captures added at the end of the post.

SEO Airport Spam 01

Firing up the trusty virtual machine, I checked it out. Remember folks, don’t click on strange links and leave that to daredevils or those of us with more than one operating system on a machine. The name told me what to expect out of the site and I wasn’t disappointed.

The home page above is of basic design, which will be important later on.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

So I Was Driving Along a County Road…

And I saw what looked like a dead cat with a kitten nestled up to it near an intersection. A half mile or so further down the road I turned around when I saw nothing moving in the rearview mirror. Stopping the car and getting out revealed no dead cat, but three kittens huddled together for warmth right at the edge of the road. They were completely lost and crying for their mother.

Concerned for their safety, I managed to corral two and carry them across the road to the farm where I suspected they belonged. The third eventually followed me to the safety of familiar territory while one jumped off me when the dog residing there started barking. However, one was just fine with me carrying it and was comfortable nestled in my arm.

Talking to the surprised owner of the property it turned out their barn cat mother had taken them hunting. His surprise was my carrying them, since he had tried wooing them and never been able to lay a finger on the critters.

Looking at the purring kitten looking back up at me, I realized that another four legged denizen was going to be added to our household.

Kitten 01

Not the best picture, but I had the wrong settings on the camera again. He’s a pretty little cat with a face like a bobcat and quite a bit bigger than his siblings. Fairly sure he’s a he, since it is the old semicolon ; rather than colon : formation in back.