mailto: blog -at- heyrick -dot- eu

Where is HeyRick?

While I have found the XName DNS service to be "reasonable", if not exciting, I am lately finding more and more that Orange seems not to be holding or updating the address information. I try to access my website, and it fails.

However, if I pop over to, it reports that the site is up.

Is anybody else experiencing this problem?

As a temporary work-around, I opened my Hosts file (C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts) and added the following:
So now if a regular access to "" fails, I can try just "" to resolve the address locally and skip the public DNS.

Now that I've written it, the name is 'known'. Go figure...


Are you with TalkTalk? Carphone Warehouse?

Ditto the old Tiscali and UKGateway.

I have a visitor from near Southampton who uses Tiscali, and another from near Aberdeen. IP address (it changes). Everytime these users visit my blog, the address follows, between thirty seconds and five minutes later.

Originally, this device identified itself as "TalkTalk Virus Alerts Scanning Engine", which we know is utter crap as no virus engine worth a damn would be looking at a site some 30 seconds after the fact. It'd be too late by then.

Amusingly, the Huawei snooper (yes, people, this is Phorm all over again - go Google for details) is not smart. My b.log operates using GET instructions, you'll maybe see above "?diary=blahblah". This is not passed on, so the snooper just ends up requesting the most recent page over and over (which is what my b.log code offers if you don't pass a specific date). Hehe...

However, time to put the paranoid hat on. If this user near Southampton/Aberdeen is you, then be aware that your requests are being taken and passed to a different IP address located in a different part of the country. EVERYTHING YOU DO IS BEING MONITORED.

I'm sorry, I cannot shout that loudly enough. My friend Mick and I have been tracking the tracker in tandem on our site logs. He gets hits from London. Mine are Southampton and Aberdeen. This isn't to say Liverpool is safe, it just means I probably don't have any Tiscali users from Liverpool.

Before you think I'm being overly paranoid, go Google for the TalkTalk engine. This is a known thing, and where is OFTEL when you need them? Oh wait, Phorm, nothing much happened. God forbid an ordinary tourist take photos in central London, but hey, snooping on a citizen's internet behaviour? That's fair game!


Snoop-free HeyRick

It is possible to access HeyRick in a manner that is nearly impossible to snoop on (plus is a lot safer if you're using a public access point).

Simply prefix the domain with "https" instead of "http".

But be warned - you will get scary warnings. FireFox will block it and say "This connection is untrusted".
This is because the certificate is signed to Plesk, not to me, and it expired in 2008. However I'm not selling anything, we're only looking for a way to engage encrypted data transfer.

Therefore, if you feel you can trust me (although given the above, it might be more a matter of not trusting your ISP), do the following:

  • Firefox
    Click on the bit that says "I understand the risks". In the part that appears, click on "Add exception".
    A window will appear, while the site is identified and a report given (Wrong Site, Outdated Information, Wrong Identity).
    You should now click the "Confirm security exception" button. Whether you select to Permanently store this exception or not (which means you'll need to do this every visit), I shall leave to your discretion.
    Internet Explorer
    Click on "Continue to the website (not recommended)" ought to work. It doesn't on my system, I get dumped at "res://ieframe.dll/" which is "not found".
    You're on your own here, I think IE sucks and rarely use it. Sorry.
    Will provide a warning prompt, asking you to approve or reject loading the page. Click on "Approve".
    If you wish to have this exception stored (and not asked per-session), click on the "Security" tab and then tick "Remember my choice for this certificate". Then Approve it.
    Don't worry if you missed that and can't find this dialogue again, if you didn't ask Opera to remember, you'll be prompted the next time you start Opera and visit my site as https.
    Android browser
    There does not appear to be a mechanism to remember settings, so when the warning appears, you'll need to tap "Continue" each time. It's a per-session thing (but note, some battery managers may terminate the browser process).
    Firefox (Android)
    Much like the full-sized version, except instead of opening a window describing what is wrong after the "I Understand the Risks" link, it offers instead two buttons - "Visit site" and "Add permanent exception". Tap whichever you feel...


Rice cooker

My rice cooker, a €20 Orva, arrived from Amazon in a matter of days. Using it was simplicity itself. After washing it out, I added four cups (using a small doser) of rice, and eight cups of water. Plugged it in, pressed a button...

From cold, it took around 10 minutes to start to boil, with a further couple of minutes before it got a bit lively, see this video...

The lively boiling, always in danger of spewing over the sides, but only a few dribbles in reality, lasted for around five minutes. Then there was a click and the machine switched to keep-warm mode. I'm supposed to keep it there for ten minutes, but it was closer twenty (I was programming, y'see...).

The scoop supplied is a dopey-looking spatula with nobbles, that actually was surprisingly effective. The rice was plump, sticky, and cooked perhaps in less time than it took me using the microwave. A dash of soy (Japanese, not the saltier/stronger Chinese stuff) and I was good to go.

It has been suggested to me that my problem is because I did not wash my rice enough prior to cooking, so next time I'll wash it vigorously and get back to you on how that goes.


Busy weekend - hi Mick! ☺

Mick saying goodbye to mom.My friend Mick payed a visit this weekend. It was great to see him again. We stayed up until 3am geeking out, plus now he's in no doubt at all that animé can be more than cute blue-haired magical girls. I showed him some Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and described the special of Shiki.
You can watch some "best bits" of Higurashi (graphic violence, NSFW).

I made him some stuff, and I can say that the Shinode rice was appreciated, especially with a decent soy sauce. The fine bean-paste cakes (horribly expensive, but lovely) were also a hit, all washed down with my favourite Sweet Sakura Tea.

Mick then slept overnight in my tent, and the following day we went out for a vide grenier (!) and fête de mouton.

There's a lot more to say, but I'm running out of time (it's Tuesday as I write this!) so I'll upload it now and continue in a later entry.


Your comments:

Please note that while I check this page every so often, I am not able to control what users write; therefore I disclaim all liability for unpleasant and/or infringing and/or defamatory material. Undesired content will be removed as soon as it is noticed. By leaving a comment, you agree not to post material that is illegal or in bad taste, and you should be aware that the time and your IP address are both recorded, should it be necessary to find out who you are. Oh, and don't bother trying to inline HTML. I'm not that stupid! ☺ ADDING COMMENTS DOES NOT WORK IF READING TRANSLATED VERSIONS.
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