An end to comment spam bots on Digg?

Social bookmarking and technology news website Digg has decided to implement CAPTCHA testing within the comment posting mechanism, presumably to stop scripts automatically posting unwanted comments on popular story pages.

Unfortunately, neither a CAPTCHA image nor a box to enter your result is visible yet, effectively disabling commenting until Digg’s programmers get around to finishing their implementation. This is most likely a case of test code being pushed to the live server prematurely rather than a deliberate attempt to prevent comment submission entirely.

Captcha? There is no captcha!

Update: Oops, it seems like story submission is broken too. Step 2 spits out a load of SQL before the normal page content; the rest of the submission procedure (including CAPTCHA verification) appears to complete normally, but the story is nowhere to be found in either the relevant digg area nor my profile.

Update 2: Looks like they’re fixing it as we speak. All pages now display “take a break, we’ll be back in 10. +digg”.

Update 3: Back to normal, just about. They’ve removed the CAPTCHA verification for comment posting, and story submission is working too (the story I posting during their “outage” has now appeared). The top search box on every Digg page isn’t working correctly – it’s showing a blank search form instead of the search results I’m expecting – but apart from that, everything’s fine and dandy.

Official Windows Vista hardware requirements

According to guidelines on Microsoft’s site, Vista will require 512MB RAM of more and a “modern processor”. It is still unclear as to whether you’ll be able to run the OS on a Pentium 4 or Athlon XP system, or whether a newer 64-bit chip is needed. A graphics card supporting WDDM is required to make the most of Vista’s user interface; older cards will only be able to provide a “Windows XP-comparable desktop graphics experience”.

Thankfully, the new GeForce 5200-based card I’ve ordered (I’m no gamer) supports the new technology; the noisy old Radeon 7500 it’s replacing does not.

(via digg)

Goodbye Webfusion, hello uptime!

For the past few years, this domain has been hosted on a server operated by Webfusion, a UK web host. Unfortunately, since being taken over by a certain large ISP, reliability has gone through the floor, to the point where the servers are rebooted almost daily, taking down my website and email at the most inconvenient time. The general consensus is that Webfusion are simply cramming too many users onto each server (it’s a shared hosting setup) causing them to fall over, and I’m not the only one who’s unhappy: Google “Webfusion reviews” and you’ll see what I mean.

Fortunately, W2-S Internet Services, through whom I purchase my hosting, have taken proactive action and have begun migrating customers to US-based servers operated by a separate company. Already I have noticed the increased reliability and response, and I’m getting additional features (such as hosting for multiple domains and PostgreSQL support) for the same as I was paying with Webfusion.

My only concern about migrating to servers in the US was that it would slow my site down; however this proved to be unfounded as I’m still able to max out my 1Mbps ADSL connection when downloading from this server. When I think about it, most of the sites I visit are probably hosted in the US anyway, and they don’t seem considerably slower than UK-hosted sites.

The most arduous part of the process was moving my data from the old server to the new, and even that only took a day. It also gave me a chance to give my Web space a well-needed Spring clean.

So, thanks to W2-S, who I highly recommend by the way, and goodbye to Webfusion – let’s hope they sort themselves out, but it’s too late for me I’m afraid.

Some guitar stuff

Here are tabs & chords for some of the songs I enjoy playing. I’m a novice guitar player, so most of these should be relatively easy to play. They’re provided by Ultimate Guitar, my favourite tabs/chords site.

Avril Lavigne – I’m With You
B*Witched – Blame It On The Weatherman
Bob Dylan – Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
Damien Rice – Cannonball
Green Day – Boulevard Of Broken Dreams (Acoustic)
Goo Goo Dolls – Iris
Guns ‘n’ Roses – Patience
McFly – She Left Me
Oasis – Songbird
REM – Everybody Hurts
Rufus Wainwright – Hallelujah
Starsailor – Alcoholic
Stereophonics – Just Looking

Enjoy! introduces new design

I use Firefox for all of my day-to-day browsing, but today I loaded up in Internet Explorer and got a shock – the site looks completely different! The top navigation bar has had a major redesign, and now sports only two tabs – ‘[your name]‘s Store’ and ‘View all 31 product categories’.

According to SearchViews, the new design is available to all IE and Firefox users. For some reason, I’m seeing the old design in Firefox, but I’ll put this down to a minor teething problem rather than deliberate discrimination against users of non-IE browsers, as friends with Firefox are getting the new page design.

Note that Amazon’s international sites are not affected – presumably there is less of a need to redesign because there are fewer categories to clutter up the interface.

read digg story


I’m halfway through reading Manna, a sci-fi book (freely readable online) about robots and their impact on society. It’s a fantastic read and I thoroughly recommend it.

Update: Just finished! I reckon this would make a good movie, although maybe the geekiness would need to be toned down a little.