September 18, 2007 - HighTechDad

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Well, today is official “talk like a pirate” day. So put that patch over your eye, grab your peg-leg, get the parrot and go bury your treasure! Speaking of treasures, if you click through my posts to the individual ones, you will see a piratized version of them (for some reason, my home page does not “translate”).

Reference is here.

“Avast belay, yo ho, heave to,
A-pirating we go
And if we’re parted by a shot
We’re sure to meet below!”
“Yo ho, yo ho, the pirate life,
The flag o’skull and bones
A merry hour, a hempen rope,
And hey for Davy Jones.”


For all of you new iPhone and iTouch users out there, this blog has been updated with a new theme (yes ANOTHER theme) that is specifically optimized for viewing on an iPhone or iTouch. Those people who are viewing through a computer browser will continue to see my black/red theme but readers who have one of those great new Apple gadgets will see a completely new look and feel!

What do you have to do to see the new theme from an iPhone? Nothing but browse to this site using it. My WordPress automatically detects the “user agent” of your browser and switches themes “automagically.”

I cannot take any credit for any of the coding here…all of the work is done by a plugin and theme created by Content.Robot. You can see more information about the theme/plugin here. 
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As I was working on the update to my blog theme, I found a security hole that I think has existed for a long time in WordPress. While not incredibly devastating, nor directly tied to “code” within WordPress, it is a hole that is very easy to fix. The concern is more with KNOWING the types of plugins that a particular site has, and then knowing if those plugins have security holes that can be exploited. A quick Google search reveals all sorts of things.

So, first to see if you are vulerable, try going to http://yourblogURLhere/wp-admin/plugins/ and if you see a directory listing of your plugins, you are NOT protected. (If you don’t see a listing, you might have a different path or have protected things already in some other way.) Depending on your server setup, most users can normally only view plugins. However, I would think there may be cases were things could be deleted or modified, but I haven’t heard of such. Just the fact that someone knows what plugins you have is concern enough for me.

To fix, that is easy; just cut, paste, edit and save the following code in a file called “index.htm” and put this file into your plugin directory:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN” “”>
<html xmlns=””>
<meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=UTF-8″ />
<title>Get out of my plugin folder!</title>
<meta http-equiv=”Refresh” content=”0;URL=http://blogURLhere” />
Get out of my plugin folder!

This page will simply redirect users to your main blog URL (be sure you change that text above). This is the LIGHTEST security ever and there are other things you can do to further protect your /wp-admin/* directory.

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I have just recently applied a new theme to my blog, trying to keep many of the color schemes from before but also trying to help readability. However, it is still a work in progress as I test out many new plugins and style changes. I ask that if there are any readers out there of my writing, that you post a comment to this message with any issues that you see or suggestions too.

One thing that I have noticed that is odd is the “open navigation” sometimes doesn’t work. It seems to work fine on Safari and IE but not always with Firefox (mac and pc). I’m thinking it may have to do with some of my Firefox plugins so it would be great to find out your experience, your likes or dislikes and your questions and suggestions.

I will be adding some banner ads and other potential revenue-generating items (not that I make ANY money from this) but if you ever find my tips or suggestions or articles interesting, please click on a banner ad if you see one.

There are some nifty features of this theme, like sidebars really being top and bottom bars. I hope you like it! Drop me a note if you do!