Matt's Blog

Archive for January, 2008

On a New Server, Again

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Two weeks ago, BlueFur (use coupon code “10off” for 10% off your order) released yet another shared server. And, not surprisingly, I asked to be transferred to it, and I was, right away.

This new server is the first step in phasing out PHP 4. This server (named Dagon) runs Apache 2.2, PHP 5.2.4 running as the default (with PHP 4 running in CGI) and MySQL 5. That’s right, MySQL 5!

This server appears to be faster to, since execution times are down on this blog (possibly because of MySQL 5).


Twisted PageGetter is… SpotPlex?

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Awhile back, I made a post on a bot called Twisted PageGetter. Twisted PageGetter is a bot that I found while searching through this blog’s access logs, and it was crawling quite often.

Well, two days ago I got a trackback on that post from this post. They seem to have discovered, somehow, that this bot is actually crawling for SpotPlex.

I emailed SpotPlex to confirm this, and, sure enough, it is their bot. I obviously replied suggesting that they change the name of their bot, or put up a page on their site about it.

So, if you currently have Twisted PageGetter blocked, and you’re signed up to SpotPlex, you may want to unblock the eager little bot.

Google AdSense Phone Verification

Monday, January 28th, 2008

A got an email this morning from Google AdSense, saying that they’ve started requiring publishers to verify their phone number.

In an effort to protect the accounts of Google AdSense publishers, we’ve starting using automated telephone number verification to ensure that your information is accurate and up-to-date. As a result, you should see a Required Action on your Payment History Page to ‘Please verify your phone number’ after you log in to your account. To initiate this process, click the ‘Please verify your phone number’ link and follow the instructions.

Keep in mind that you have 6 months to enter the verification code. If you have not entered your verification code within 4 months, we’ll start displaying Public Service Ads (PSAs) on your web pages. If you have not entered your verification code within 6 months, your account will be disabled and any unpaid earnings will be refunded to the appropriate advertisers. You can learn more about our phone number verification process at .

For additional questions about getting paid, please visit . If you prefer a video presentation of this information, we encourage you to watch our Payment demo (currently available in English only), located at .


The Google AdSense Team

So, I logged into AdSense, and sure enough, there was the required action. It’s really quite a simple process. Just go to the page (it’ll say the required action under My Accounts > Payment History), choose when you want Google to phone you, and click continue. It’s an automated phone system that will call you. If you choose “Now” (like I did), you’ll literary be phoned within seconds. It’ll tell you to enter the number shown on the page, and hit the “pound” button, and that’s it. Then, when you’re finished the call, hit the continue button on that page, and you’re finished verifying your phone number. The call takes less than 20 seconds.

You might want to verify your phone number soon, otherwise your AdSense account could be disabled if you forget “to do it later”.

Apparently, I also have to enter a PIN they mail to me to…

Update [January 29, 2008]: The AdSense team’s blog has a post on the matter, explaining that they now require verification once you reach $10, instead of $50. Check it out here.

The Ubuntu Stress Ball

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

The Ubuntu Stress Ball

The Ubuntu Stress Ball, for when you get pissed off at Linux when it doesn’t support your hardware.

Book Three of Inheritance Cycle Title Announced

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

Brisingr CoverBack in October, I told you about how there would be a fourth book in the Inheritance Trilogy, making it the Inheritance Cycle.

Book One and Two were called Eragon and Eldest respectively. Before it was announced that there would be a fourth book, people speculated that Book Three would be called Empire, to follow the pattern of a six letter word, starting with an “E”. Well, three days ago, Christopher Paolini announced that Book Three would be called… Brisingr!

From the announcement:

I am pleased to tell you that the title of Book Three in the Inheritance cycle is Brisingr. Sometimes one’s first thought is best, and so it was with naming this book. After many months of trying to sum up a complex story in a single word, it struck me that I had had the name all along. For reasons that will become clear when you read Brisingr, this title is perfect.

Brisingr is an Old Norse word meaning “fire”, that is used throughout the Inheritance Cycle as part of the Ancient Language. Christopher Paolini explains:

Brisingr is an Old Norse word for “fire.” As you may remember, in Eragon, Brom uses the word brisingr to start a fire. This is the first time Eragon hears an ancient language word, a word of magic. Later, when Eragon is cornered by Urgals in Yazuac, he shouts “Brisingr!” to great effect (see Eragon—chapters “Revelation at Yazuac” and “Admonishments”).

Brisingr is still scheduled for release on September 20, 2008, and it can already be pre-ordered from the Random House store and Amazon.

The cover (top-left) is pretty sweet looking. That’s a nice looking gold dragon. You can see a larger version of the cover here.

You can visit the Inheritance Cycle website at