Test Hotlink Breaking Redirect

There is a practice known as hotlinking, that is to insert an image into a website without physically capturing the image within that website. Here is an example, a photo of Luisa and me from a few years ago. It has no particular significance, other than that it is on the web and thus can be hotlinked. This first version is part of this post and is not a hotlink. It is a copy.img_1952-l-k-20091229_150

I am part of a team that runs a website with a lot of images: https://www.featurepics.com, if you need some good images drop in and we will be happy to sell you the license you need to legitimately use the photo that will tell your story. However, some sites take advantage of our catalog of images for sale by using them directly from our site. Of course they are watermarked but for some purposes that doesn’t matter. Like all sites we pay for bandwidth so each time someone looks at one of our images from someone else's site it costs us money and saves the hotlinker about the same amount of money.


30. May 2015 18:04 by Kal | Comments (0) | Permalink

Google’s Oops

GoogleBase Oops

I wonder what is going on with Google?

28. July 2009 22:22 by Kal | Comments (0) | Permalink

Zigbee Research - Mesh Networking Standard

Zigbee networking came up as a fairly serious discussion topic and I spent some time with Google. Here is where I document what I learned so I can find it again.

Zigbee is a mesh network standard that operates over IEEE 802.15.4 networking hardware. The software protocol is called Zigbee and it is administered by the Zigbee Alliance (link is to the products page). There are plenty of announced gateways and products out there. I wonder how many are real?

There is a reasonable explanation of the 802.15.4  spec here. At least it looks reasonable to a Zigbee novice like me.

Product Design and Development has a sort of round table on 802.15.4. A comment by Robin Heydon caught my eye:

The technology best suited for consumer products is either Bluetooth low energy, or a combination of Bluetooth with a higher speed radio for transferring large files. Unlike 802.15.4, Bluetooth only needs to be on when it is sending or receiving. During down time the radio is switched off to save power. Bluetooth low energy is designed for products such as watches, sports devices and products that do not need to send large amount of data.

Zigbee comes in various forms including chipset radios that cost about $5 each, near as I can tell. Texas Instruments makes some of these products. Others do as well. Here is a chipset level comparison chart. Zigbee/802.15.4 Chip Comparison Guide.

Trilliant appears to be focused on selling to utilities: Trilliant passes 1 million.

Tendril is the company that got us started thinking about Zigbee.

Tendril explained by Tendril. 

Zigbee is an "open standard", but it costs $3500 per year to get the specs. However, there is an in progress truly open source effort that you can read about at freaklabs open source zigbee blog. I think this may be the mother lode for learning about Zigbee. See the Featured Zigbee Articles.

Engaget has a Zigbee tag. Some of these look pretty interesting:

Nokia launching Z-Wave Home Control Center next year

Philips SJM3151 universal remote mirrors your iPod screen

"Tweet-a-watt - our entry for the Core77 & Greener Gadgets design competition" is a Kill-a-Watt(TM) power meter modified to "tweet" (publish wirelessly) the daily KWH consumed to the user's Twitter account (Cumulative Killowatt-hours).

And here are the instructions. There are several links inside. Pretty much anything you need to know is there.


We had a conversation with  Hayden Williamson of Digi International, mostly about their X2 ($200), X4 ($400 or $500 depending on options), and X10(?) gateway devices. These are programmable in Python and have about 1 mB of unused memory. It has an Arm processor.

An alternative to Zigbee is GainSpan's lower power WiFi: https://www.gainspan.com/ GainSpan is claim 3 years on one AA battery (versus Tendril's 2 AA).

Another alternative is X10:

And here is a fancy home power meter based on X10 and an IOBridge IO-204 Monitor & Control Module.


I just found a XBee Wiki 


27. February 2009 11:08 by Kal | Comments (0) | Permalink


My friend JCF has started a blog named thoughts. Today was her first post on, what else, thoughts.

6. October 2008 08:40 by Kal | Comments (0) | Permalink

How big of a house do you really need?

Ron from OilCrisis.com sent a link from the July 18 Wall Street Journal titled "The Newest Cottage Industry, Buyers Snap Up Small Homes; 1,000 Square Feet ...

The article talks about a family of six doing fine in one of these little jewels. Now it happens that my family and I live in a 1,000 sq. ft. double-wide mobile home with another 200 ft of deck space and a small outdoor shed. There is also a covered carport. We have one small and two tiny bedrooms and two baths.

In general it is comfortable and we do fine. It is well insulated and heating bills in winter are low. But I would like it to be larger. Not so much larger, mind you, but a bit larger would be nice. I have owned a 1,700 sq. ft. house with large double garage before, and I do not need that much space, and I neither need nor want one of the bankrupting McMansions. Maybe 1,300 ft. would do very nicely.

Our 11 year old daughter has her own room. It has a singe bed on one wall and a dresser on the other. In between is is about 5 feet, and a computer on a stand with barely enough space for a monitor and keyboard just about fills that space. The fourth wall is a closet. There is no work space, or space for an aquarium, or much of anything else. It is very basic, but adequate in a minimalist kind of way.

I do think small is fine in general. But it is not simple to fit in enough walls for bookshelves and art and windows. Storage is a biggie. I spent most of the day reorganizing 'the bodega', which is jammed to the gills. There are tools and various kinds of supplies and a plastic Christmas tree and the list goes on. I suppose a lot of people would not need all of that. With 100+ ft devoted to well thought out storage, bins, shelves, possibly moving shelves as in a library, to maximize space use, the 1000 ft house could be made to work pretty well. It would definitely help if there were a central gym with table tennis and pool tables and other sharable facilities.

Some skylights would be a nice touch. And a nice garden would be highly desirable, even though growing any significant amount of food takes significant time and attention.

3. August 2008 23:08 by Kal | Comments (0) | Permalink

FeaturePics Developers API

I just saw a press release for a way to put quality images on your website or blog.

FeaturePics Web services provides programmatic access to the FeaturePics Image Collection.
You can enhance your web site by retrieving images from FeaturePics Image Collection by subject and showing them in layouts suitable for your site design.
FeaturePics supports the XML/HTTP Protocol. As a variant, the Response can be formed in JSON format.
Code examples (C# and Javascript) are at https://www.featurepics.com/API/API.aspx

1. August 2008 18:53 by Kal | Comments (0) | Permalink

Is it a virus? "Subject: UPS Paket N361082283"

Today I got an email with the subject shown and the following text:

Unfortunately we were not able to deliver postal package you sent on July the 1st in time because the recipient’s address is not correct.

Please print out the invoice copy attached and collect the package at our office

Your UPS

It has a zipped attachment, which contains a folder named UPS_Invoice_317, which in turn contains UPS_INVOICE.exe.

I went to https://onecare.live.com/site/en-us/center/whatsnew.htm to see if they would identify it as a virus, or not, and signed up for their free scan. Files are downloading as I write this.

The Quick Scan did not find anything. I am guessing it did not look in "Temporary Internet files\Content.Outlook\...". So now I am running a full drive scan.

The full scan terminated with an error, so I ran it again. This time it found the Trojan:Win32/Agent.EE., but it could not be cleaned, probably because Istill have the email open.

I deleted the message from both email and from the computer.

It is clear I need a better scanner on the email server.

14. July 2008 19:51 by Kal | Comments (0) | Permalink


Finally this blog is set up with the basics and I can do a post if I want. So this is the first one.

26. June 2008 11:05 by Kal | Comments (0) | Permalink


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