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securing WordPress

Part of securing a WordPress installation is checking up on your file permissions. In order to prevent overwriting by malicious code, limit the permissions to read-only except where necessary.

Here’s a good start:

Relative PathSuggested permissions

I should also mention that I highly recommend WordFence for securing the internal WP system itself.

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results of a recent wardrive

During a recent Sunday afternoon cruise, I collected the names and locations of all the WiFi routers in range of my car. Some of the access point names are creative, listed here. (I omitted the many openly vulgar ones one would expect to find in a college town.)

Plays on “WiFi”1000px-Osa_device-wireless-router.svg

Pretty Fly For a WiFi
So fly for wifi
WiFi Art Though Romeo?
WiFi? Why not Zoidberg?
4OH!4–Dont Trust Our Wifi
4Fer my wife-i
99 Problems, but WIFi ain’t one
A Lannister always pays his wifi
Bill Wi the Science Fi
The Creepy Wifi from Doctor Who

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single floppy disk


I came across this Commodore 64 floppy disk drive in its original box at the hackerspace. Remember the days when floppy drives were this big? I don’t… just a little too early for me.

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the trouble with pixels

The PC industry is presently in a period of major bungled transition and chaos related to high-DPI hardware being released before Microsoft and Windows applications can support it. By mistake, I bought a laptop with a beautiful 13″ 1920 x 1080 screen with a 276 pixels per inch density. Packing this many pixels into a small space means that to display something at the same physical size as a standard-density display, it must be “larger” in terms of the number of pixels used to represent the intended object, whether it be a window, text, buttons, graphics, etc.

A typical 13″ display is made of 1440 x 900 pixels at 110 pixels per inch.

13.3″ 2014 Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus: 1920 x 1080 = 2,073,600 pixels
13.3″ Mid-2007 Apple MacBook: 1440 x 900 = 1,296,000 pixels

What does it mean when you cram nearly twice as many pixels in the same space as before? Everything appears half its usual size. Thus, the operating system software has to double the size of everything it displays in order for it to physically appear the correct size. They haven’t figured this out yet.

The vast majority of Windows software is not designed for this, and Windows itself does a terrible job at dealing with this. I tested Ubuntu 15.04 and it wasn’t much better; for example Google Chrome’s UI will not scale.

Microsoft and Samsung grossly mishandled and/or neglected their implementation of DPI scaling. For example, take a look at this application, Arduino. The text and interface are impossible to read unless I move my face to within 5″ of the screen. This renders the application completely useless, and there’s nothing I can do about it.


An example of an application which does not support high-density displays. The text an interface features are impossible to see.

My advice to you: Hold off on your next laptop purchase. Wait a while until the software industry catches up with the advances in hardware. Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus was initially a haphazard product.

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US Space Shuttle cockpit

Space shuttle cabin

So many wonderful buttons!


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user experience

Remember when designing anything: users will find the most efficient way to use your product, even if it’s not how you intended.

Test your product by pretending you have no time to deal with it.

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Honda Si love & history lesson

Si badge

“Si” badge in the front grille of a contemporary Honda Civic.

The “Si” ( originally indicating “Sport injected”) is a trim of the Civic line from Honda. It’s Honda’s designation that the vehicle has upgraded performance characteristics compared to the other trims (LX, DX, EX, etc.). They often had different, more powerful engines installed from the factory, along with stiffer suspension and different tires for improved handling. The Si model followed the same body designs and general engineering as the other Civic models. This article summarizes the Si’s heritage and reviews the changes over the years.

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build your own Dougal

I’ve had my entire genome sequenced. Here, you can download me as an 8MB ZIP file. I hereby release my source code into the public domain. Happy replicating!


You can also listen to it.

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