Archive for the ‘’ Category has been pinned?

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

I was browsing Pinterest at a client’s office recently (it’s a fashion retailer, Pinterest might be important soon, so it was work related), and discovered that yes, people actually use Pinterest. They have pinned several of the photos from the clients web properties, such as the corporate page and it’s sister site, the blog.

And, apparently, some have pinned my own favorite blog topic,  It’s kind of neat. Personally, I reserve the word “awesome” for truly spectacular things… I can only hope that the people who used the word in their pin comment are equally choosy. Pins on Pinterest


You can see the current pins on pinterest. If you like our custom bingo card generator,, please pin us too. Or like us on Facebook. These words… they’re loosing all meaning… let’s hope the next social media phenomenon isn’t called “bonk” or “nuke” or “punch”.

BTW: We passed 1K likes recently! Actually, we’re at 1.1K right now.


Block ‘Download Now’ Advertisers in AdSense?

Monday, March 19th, 2012

We’ve been fighting (not literally) to keep various “Download Now” ads off of because they confuse many end users. I would gladly block them all as a category in AdSense, if I could figure out which subcategory to block without losing too many “good” ads. But, until we have a good way to do that, we are blocking unwanted advertisers by their domain name.

I’ve searched the web briefly for a list of web sites to block… without luck. So, I’m posting our own list of misleading AdSense advertisers in this post.

This is strictly a list of misleading advertisers that have a big “Download” or “Download Now” button and a small amount of semi-relevant text. Many of these are offering 7-zip, PDFCreator, and other open source packages, presumably bundled with some sort of advertising.

If you find this list useful, please post your additions to the list in the comments, or at least post a comment.  If we know that there is interest in this list, it’s more likely that we’ll update it!

I believe that the owners of these websites continually register new domains, so this list will probably need constant updates.


We haven’t done it yet, but I suggest adding a border around your AdSense ad units in the future. I can’t see this problem going away, we’ve already purged these ads once.

Ironically, it was fashionable to color-match borders from AdSense so that the ads blend in just a few years ago!

Once again, please comment if you find this useful… and post your additions.

Update 2014-01-15: After trying to maintain a list, I gave up. These ads keep showing up for new domains and new AdWords accounts. My current practice is to log in once a week and block the entire AdWords accounts via the Review Center. I’ve probably blocked a couple hundred over the last 2 years.

We stumbled on a user generated video about

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

In our semi-regular search of the web for references to, we found this short  video by MrFloresFilm on YouTube of an educational use of our bingo card generator. It’s always fun to see where our bingo cards show up.

Do not use xinetd to create an obscure port for SMTP

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Years ago I created a simple xinetd rule to use a custom port for SMTP.

I set this up  years ago when my local ISP started to block outbound SMTP connections on port 25 as an anti-spam measure. I had been using our web server for SMTP relay for several years before this because this same ISP had quite poor uptime in the past. When my ISP blocked port 25, my email stopped going out. I could either switch to the ISPs mail servers, or find another way to get my mail to our web server.

I can’t recall the exact reasoning, IIRC, the ISP also required that you use an email address from their domain in either the from or reply-to lines. Whatever the reasons, I created a custom port to route email through our server to continue to bypass our ISP’s email system altogether.

I chose an unused, non-standard, low TCP port and set up the redirect in xinetd. Sendmail, our SMTP server, was previously configured to  relay for specific IP addresses, I didn’t change that.

That was at least 5 years ago. It was a simpler time and spammers stuck to searching on default ports for open email relays.

Well, today I can confirm that spammers will do a port scan to find open email relays – surely there are better ways to make money that come up with crazy ways to send a bit of spam?

I learned that I had created an open relay on a non-standard port by accident. When an inbound connection is relayed by xinetd to a different port number (at least the way I did it) the service has no idea what is the real  remote IP address. Sendmail thought it was relaying for email from localhost! Argh.

Unfortunately, for a few hours today our web server was relaying spam for some Brazil IP address and advertising something or other in Portuguese. The old relay rule was turned off as soon as I traced the hole.


Another Highly Customized Bingo Card Customer

Monday, November 7th, 2011

A couple weeks ago we delivered a PDF file that combined bingo cards designed with our custom bingo card generator and a very nicely designed background graphic that the customer had designed in-house. The final result turned out even better than we expected. We hope that the event at the university in the US that contracted the job went well.

We do one or two highly customized bingo card designs every year. They’re a nice change of pace, and often, we can re-use a little bit of programming on the live site. This time, we made a small improvement to the font size of column headers that are mixed lengths. That improvement will be pushed to the site in the near future.

If you are reading this, and would like custom bingo cards to suit your own complex requirements, give us a call or email.