Adios to flash embeds

With fewer and fewer browsers supporting flash, and the impending end of support for flash by Adobe, it was way past time for to eliminate its use. All instances of flash video on have been converted to HTML5 compatible video. Any reasonable current browser should now be able to display the video content.

Sphider 3.4.3-MB, SphiderLite 1.1.3, and Sphider 2.4.3-PDO have been released

The Sphider 3.4.3-MB and SphiderLite 1.1.3 releases fix a number of issues which arose under PHP 7.3 and PHP 7.4.  It was found that as of PHP 7.3, image indexing in Sphider MB releases had broken. This has been resolved. A couple of cleanup items were also done with each.

Sphider 2.4.3-PDO is a one time maintenance release to keep the PDO version running under PHP 7.3 and PHP 7.4. It is not intended to resume development on the PDO version at this time.

Sphider status

It has been awhile since there have been any Sphider updates. Has it been abandoned?

HECK NO! There just haven’t been any complaints, so nothing to fix (that we are aware of). And we haven’t had any ideas for new features.

Basically, if it ain’t broke, we are going to “fix” it.! If there IS an issue, let us know. If you have an idea for enhancement, let us know that, too.

Boeing Starliner software issues

Boeing experienced some software issues on its unmanned test of the CST-100 Starliner. One of the flaws prevented the Starliner from docking with the International Space Station. A second identified flaw could have potentially had catastrophic effect on the return from orbit. Boeing has been criticized for taking shortcuts in its software testing.

The response:

The program manager in charge of Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule program said Friday that additional checks would have uncovered problems with the spaceship’s software that plagued the craft’s first unpiloted orbital test flight in December, but he pushed back against suggestions that Boeing engineers took shortcuts during ground testing.


Mulholland said Boeing engineers performed testing of Starliner’s software in chunks, with each test focused on a specific segment of the mission. Boeing did not perform an end-to-end test of the entire software suite, and in some cases used stand-ins, or emulators, for flight computers.

Hmmm… It would seem to me that not performing an end-to-end test and using stand-ins or emulators in place of actual flight computers ARE SHORTCUTS!

I am calling BS on this one…

Forbes and ads – the bad apple in the basket

Do you have ad an blocker?  Do you want to read an article on, but they insist you turn off your ad blocker?

Don’t do it! is littered with ads,  most merely annoying, but some downright malicious! So do you just forgo forbes, or risk getting infected with some malicious software?

Well, the solution is easy. Turn off JavaScript before you visit No ads, no prompts to disable your ad blocker! Just read away…

I acknowledge that some websites depend on ads for revenue, but sites like is the real reason ad blockers exist. It only takes a couple bad apples (like forbes) to ruin it for the sites who depend on legitimate ads.

Should we blindly trust, or maybe be suspicious?

14 January 2020
NSA Finds Major Security Flaw in Windows 10, Free Fix Issued

Microsoft said it has not seen any evidence that hackers have used the technique.

That sure was nice of the NSA. I mean, when was the last time the NSA cared so much about individual security?  To the best of my recollection, the last time was — NEVER!

Microsoft promptly fixed the issue…. a WELL PUBLICIZED issue.

I have three questions, just for thought…
1) Do you trust the NSA?
2) Do you trust Microsoft?
3) Is it possible there was no flaw, but the NSA was having trouble clandestinely accessing certain parts of Windows 10 machines and needed a system modification from Microsoft to give them such access, thus the urgent “fix”?

I am making NO accusations here, just asking a question no one seems to be asking.

Remember the saying “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” It is very possible that there really was a flaw in Windows 10 (there are, after all, LOTS of flaws in Windows 10), and the NSA was indeed being nice and Microsoft indeed fixed an unused but potentially  serious security problem.

However, considering the reputations of both the NSA and Microsoft, there needs to be room for suspicion.

67 TLD’s generating predominately spam

Here are listed 67 TLD’s (top level domains) which have provided me pure spam.  I have never gotten a single legitimate email from any of them. This doesn’t mean there aren’t legitimate users of any of these, but it DOES indicate, to me at least, that those legitimate users are few and far between.  As a result, these are all blocked outright. This hasn’t eliminated spam, but sure as **** taken a HUGE bite out of the mess (80%+).