Run, and Hide

Someone, via a SQL injection, infected this blog with an iframe linking http://googlerank.info/counter on every one of the pages. The location was at the very bottom of the post, and thanks to a tip from a visitor this was discovered last Sunday. Additionally, an iframe was located in the link to A List Apart. These were all removed on Sunday as the investigation began. The fool that placed the code even placed it on drafts and protected pages, which is a clear sign of a SQL injection by a script (kiddy).

The logs are being checked, passwords changed, and software updated. Additionally, a nice CSS entry will now highlight any iframes on this page for anyone that isn’t using IE6 (IE7 should work). If you see a big red box with dashed black border on this site, let me know, as that is an iframe and should not be there. The kiddy will be caught and I’ll make sure his life is ruined.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

Forget MATLAB

Yep, forget it, use GNU Octave instead. For calculus 3, rather linear algebra and differential equations, there is a lab which requires the use of MATLAB to do things that can get ugly. One particular use is for Gaussian elimination for finding values of several variables that solve a set of equations.

Occasionally, a write up is required for certain parts of the problems completed in lab. Checking work previously done in lab when doing the write-up is always reassuring. Going back to the computer lab is not convenient, and the 200USD that it costs for a student license of MATLAB can go to better use. That’s where GNU Octave comes in; it’s GNU’s MATLAB replacement that accepts nearly all of MATLAB’s commands. For Gaussian elimination, Octave sure beats writing a PHP script to do it (which I did on Monday).

On a side note, getting Aptana to work on Gentoo is fairly painless, though its installation doesn’t comply with the Gentoo philosophy. Maybe when it comes out of beta I’ll help get it into portage. I’ve also written a simple bash script for loading Aptana, which will be available in the tools section on this site once I figure out exactly where Aptana’s files should go to be consistent with Gentoo’s installation methods. Since at the U of M they don’t automatically load the modules necessary to run MATLAB at login, and the matlab command doesn’t do it automatically I’ve written a simple bash script that should take care of this. It’s available for download in the tools section.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]