Archive for September, 2005

A plague in World of Warcraft? Cool!

I’m not a big fan of role playing games in general, and Blizzard’s World of Warcraft in particular. But any game that models a world realistic enough for a plague to ravage its inhabitants is pretty cool in my book!

The powerful spell caused about 280 damage points to anyone it hit, and spread to other members of the attacking party as well. Such powerful spell attacks aren’t unusual in the World of Warcraft game world. But what happened next was just plain weird.

When infected adventurers returned to town at the end of their quest, they inadvertently passed along the Corrupted Blood infection to those nearby. In short order, the plague ravaged the population. Soon entire cities fell victim to the artificial disease. And while 280 damage points may be easy for a level-58 Night Elf warrior to contend with, it’s enough to kill a lower-level player in seconds.

Silly RIAA/MPAA try to take down WinMX/eDonkey

When are the RIAA/MPAA going to figure out that shutting down peer-to-peer services like WinMX and eDonkey is only going to make things worse?

Popular file-sharing site WinMX.com ceased operating and the New York office of another, eDonkey.com, appeared to be closed, in the continuing legal fallout among underworld peer-to-peer music services, industry sources and users said on Wednesday.

The **AA aren’t considering two things: first, it won’t be long before some other service pops up to take over WinMX’s marketshare. And eDonkey is distributed, so this action won’t make too much of a dent there at all. Aside from the software (and really, who in the world would use eDonkey when the much improved eMule and aMule are available?), there’s no reason to go to edonkey.com. Losing that isn’t going to be a big deal at all.

Another interesting thing here is that this action by the **AA has someone like me defending the P2P services, even though I almost never use them! I’ve been a happy customer of eMusic and the iTunes Music Store for long enough now that I don’t bother with P2P sites.

Which leads me to my other point: the **AA is still missing out on a huge revenue source here! It is possible to turn a fair percentage of WinMX/eDonkey users into legitimate paying customers, if the **AA were to only create services that provides what people are going to these services for. Better online music services (though Y! Music goes a long way towards this. Now, if only it did Linux), better, more reliable, and less expensive video services. Make it easy for people to download it. And the revenue source is there!

The **AA just needs to stop suing the hell out of everyone, and instead focus on creating a new business model.

Small .htaccess tip

Okay, okay, I know that the ability to use .htaccess- to change the default directory page is a pretty basic trick. But this is the first time I’ve tried it. And I am quite pleased with the results.

How does it work?

Tired of having yoursite.com/index.html come up when you go to yoursite.com? Want to change it to be yoursite.com/ILikePizzaSteve.html that comes up instead? No problem!

DirectoryIndex filename.html

This would cause filename.html to be treated as your default page, or default directory page. You can also append other filenames to it. You may want to have certain directories use a script as a default page. That’s no problem too!

In my specific case, many years ago I set up my personal blog through Blogger. At the time, I didn’t know what I was doing, so I set Blogger to save this file at http://biffster.org/thoughts/blogger.html. This worked fine for a while. But then I decided that I wanted to shorten the URL for my personal blog down to just http://biffster.org/thoughts (much like this blog is http://biffster.org/computer). The problem is, after five years of keeping my blog in one spot, more than a few people have this bookmarked. And I don’t want to alienate my readers!

I’ve toyed with doing a few different things, such as creating a link from blogger.html to index.html. My hosting provider doesn’t allow this, however. I considered mirroring the two files, so a change to one would reflect in the other. But I’d have to do that locally, ftping the changes, which would introduce lag time there.

And then, as I was headed out the door from work last night, a light went off over my head. “.HTACCESS!!!” It took me less than a minute to make this change! And it works flawlessly. Screw index.html: I simply added blogger.html as the DirectoryIndex for /thoughts and *presto*!

Now don’t I feel silly for not thinking of this a long time ago!

Profile picI am a 40-ish uber-geek, Daoist and family man. Blessed to have one incredible wife and three wonderful kiddos. Dao has been kind to me.

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