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Spammers Blocked June 28, 2016

I have a bunch of domains that aren’t being sued any longer. So I’ve started going through their accumulated email to identify domains and hosts that are sending spam. I’ve blocked these today:


Ultimate Category Excluder 1.00

I have transferred ownership and maintenance of the Ultimate Category Excluder plugin to Marios Alexandrou. I am no longer actively developing WordPress themes or plugins.


I’m getting lots of requests on my sites for urls that include “RK=0” as the end of the URL. I block all of those requests. Here are a couple links I’ve found that describe and discuss what those odd “RK=0” requests are:

Forgotten iPad Restriction Passcode

Several years ago I set a passcode on my iPad so that I couldn’t accidentally purchase something inside an app. Unfortunately, for whatever reason I didn’t use my “regular” passcode. I finally sat down and “hacked” my own iPad so that I could make a few purchases, mostly apps that I use and I wanted to get rid of the silly advertising.

I followed the instructions at

To calculate the SHA-1 hash, I used the form at and the “shasum” command on the OS X command line.

To do the actual hex editing, I used the wonderfully easy-to-use tool Hex Fiend.

The steps are a bit convoluted, and yes, you can brick your device. But if you’re careful and follow the instructions closely, you should be fine.

And next time, write down your passcode somewhere safe.

Changing the OS X Mavericks Command Prompt

In your home directory, add this line:

export PS1=”\d, \t\n \w \$ ”

to your .bash_profile settings file. This will have your command prompt appear with the current date, current time, a line break, and then the complete path to the directory you are in. The variables you can use include:

an ASCII bell character (07)
the date in “Weekday Month Date” format (e.g., “Tue May 26”)
the format is passed to strftime(3) and the result is inserted into the prompt string; an empty format results in a locale-specific time representation. The braces are required
an ASCII escape character (033)
the hostname up to the first `.’
the hostname
the number of jobs currently managed by the shell
the basename of the shell’s terminal device name
carriage return
the name of the shell, the basename of $0 (the portion following the final slash)
the current time in 24-hour HH:MM:SS format
the current time in 12-hour HH:MM:SS format
the current time in 12-hour am/pm format
the current time in 24-hour HH:MM format
the username of the current user
the version of bash (e.g., 2.00)
the release of bash, version + patch level (e.g., 2.00.0)
the current working directory, with $HOME abbreviated with a tilde
the basename of the current working directory, with $HOME abbreviated with a tilde
the history number of this command
the command number of this command
if the effective UID is 0, a #, otherwise a $
the character corresponding to the octal number nnn
a backslash
begin a sequence of non-printing characters, which could be used to embed a terminal control sequence into the prompt
end a sequence of non-printing characters

I know this may not be very useful to a lot of people, but I wanted to make a note of this for the future. Happy New Year!

Longest LetterPress Game?

My dad and I played LetterPress last March and ended up playing 1,578 words. We made a few mistakes early on that cost us a few extra words. We probably could’ve gotten close to 1,600 had we paid closer attention.

Here are some tips and hints for doing a long LetterPress game:

  • Hope for only a few “bad” letters” so that you will have an easy letter to avoid using. We had four “v”, and “q” “x” “z” and “y” so I believe it’s very possible to have a longer game. We definitely would have traded a “v” for an “r.”
  • Hope for easy plurals, such as “s” and “es” and “ies.”
  • Hope for four or five vowels, “a” “e” and “i” at least.
  • Always submit the first few letters of a word before trying a long word. We used “batty” as our fifth word, locking out “ba” and “bat” and possibly “batt.”
  • If you’re going for a longest game score, you have to work with your opponent. Decide together what letter to avoid using.
  • It’s very easy to get excited and type in a really long word that either ends the game or disqualifies a lot of other words.
  • Try funny words. That’s how I found the word “squit.” It turns out we have several British words in this game.
  • Don’t worry about your score. The lead will go back and forth. But the score isn’t the point of the game. The point of the game is to keep the game going.
  • You can view the game to see what you’ve already played. Make sure you go back and try the plurals!
  • If you see a word, write it down so you don’t forget it.
  • Allow some time! This game took about two weeks of on-and-off play.
  • Make sure you send the replay of the game to yourself so that the world will have proof of your accomplishment.


Ultimate Category Excluder 0.96

I went back to version 0.84 and basically recreated that version as version 0.96. I do hope this fixes the bugs that are breaking people’s web sites. I have also applied to WordPress for a beta version of the plugin to be listed in the Plugin Directory. That way I can test new versions on many different sites more easily, without breaking everyone’s sites when I introduce a bug. Thank you for your patience.

Version 0.96 should appear in your admin panel soon, or you can download it form the WP Plugin Directory: Ultimate Category Excluder.

Ultimate Category Excluder 0.94

I have released an updated version of my WordPress plugin, Ultimate Category Excluder. This is version 0.94, which addresses the home page bug in the previous version. I do have a bug report about another page, but since this version should fix the problem for most people, I’m releasing it now. Thanks for your patience, and your help in figuring out what the problem is.

Ultimate Category Excluder 0.91

I have released an updated version of my WordPress plugin, Ultimate Category Excluder. A few people are finding the plugin isn’t excluding categories at all anymore. For now, you can download the old version. Replace the file
ultimate-category-excluder.php in the /wp-content/plugins/ultimate-category-excluder folder with the one that is in this zip.

If this bug is hitting you, please send me the system info that is found at the bottom of the UCE settings page. I can’t reproduce the bug on my server or test server.

Note for Upgrading to 0.91

If you are upgrading to version 0.91, you need to choose any category to exclude from the Search column on the settings page. Then save the settings. And then go back and uncheck that category, and save the settings again.

I do understand your frustration. And I’m sorry this free software isn’t working 100%.

Sites Elsewhere for September 2nd