Monthly Archives: June 2014
OK, WTF has happened to WordPress? Why does it suddenly think my blog is in Turkish? Not of course the contents, but all the template stuff, and – far worse – the settings and preferences that should (I guess, though I never actually tried it) enable me to switch to my choice of language.
Confirmed it’s not my browser playing sillybuggers by accessing it from three different browsers on three different computers. Chrome offers to translate this page, but that’s not going to help with a bunch of clientside-scripted menus!
OK, try another tack. ssh in to a remote machine on another continent and check the blog with lynx. Aha, it’s now in English! Hmm, could that difference be because I’m not logged in? Try to log in, but fail because Lynx rejects WordPress’s SSL certificate and refuses to talk to it.
OK, what happens if I fire up a spare browser that’s never logged in from a local desktop? It’s in English. And when I log in with Safari, it’s still in English. This is getting silly!
Resolution: when I reload this composition page in Chrome, it’s reverted to English. Someone or something was playing sillybuggers but got fixed. Was WordPress hacked? Did some sysop at WordPress screw up?
Or could it even have been some sysop at my ISP running a supposedly-transparent proxy that messed with browser preferences? That’s the most worrisome: I got email from them recently inviting me to “protect” myself, and I suspect they’re implementing some Endarkenment. A glitch in something more sinister? My next test would’ve been to route my (turkish-infected) desktop browser through another network, but the return to English pre-empted that.
I don’t know when whatever caused the Turkish first appeared, only when I first saw it – which was a little before 09:00 UTC. Anyone else see Turkish wordpress in recent hours? Or even – if you’re a Virgin broadband user – other sites unexpectedly in Turkish?
[geek note: I could also have tested for a rogue browser preferences setting by visiting a multilingual site like Apache server docs that display in Turkish if your browser asks for it. But that would’ve left open the possibility of misdiagnosing a glitch associated with an ISP-run database having different routing/rules for different sites].
 Iceweasel, Firefox and Chrome, in that order.
The new workspace
Since buying the treadmill desk I’ve been enjoying some benefits. I’m just as fat as ever, and the back is neither better nor worse, but I’m getting a lot less neck and shoulder pain.
I’ve also bought a 27″ monitor and desk-mounting arm to go with it. I think 27″ was a mistake: 24″ with the same (1080p) resolution would’ve served me better. Either way, I now have the luxury of sufficient width for three working windows at full height and without overlap, which is very nice. And the sound surprised me by being rather better than the old monitor, though of course neither was bought with sound quality in mind.
The monitor works fine with both laptops. As a matter of convenience I’m using it with the macbook. Here I can use a wired internet connection where it’s needed, and wireless from the ultrabook when I’m elsewhere in the house (or away). This is a real shame, because it loses me the benefit of the macbook’s own screen, whose display quality is far and away the best of any I have.
As for the treadmill, I felt tired very quickly for the first day or two but rapidly grew accustomed to it. On a working day now its computer clocks up double-digit distance (measured in Km) at speeds usually between 3 and 4 km/h (all speeds feel faster on the treadmill than in normal life, probably because the stride is much more constrained and one needs to keep the body much more static to use the ‘puter). The fastest I’ve sustained was 5km/h, though that worked up too much of a sweat for anything more demanding than browsing the ‘net. Of course, I still always alternate working at the treadmill with other places, though alas the ultrabook’s screen is far from adequate to take advantage of the summer weather and work outdoors.
A sacrifice on the altar
I had to spend a lot of time in Brighton over the autumn, winter and spring. Just a few minutes walk from George Street in Hove, a satellite-town-centre shopping street. George Street has long been pedestrianised during shopping hours, making it a pleasant place to go for one’s shopping, or for a refreshment at one of its many pubs or cafés. The only fly in the ointment was that on Sundays it was open to cars, turning it from a pleasant place to a stressful no-go area.
This winter was different. I went there several times during regular weekday shopping hours, only to find it infested by cars. After a little while I learned to treat it as a no-go area at all times. A sad loss: there’s no comparable shopping street for some distance. I don’t know why such a street has been sacrificed. The local council is run by the Green Party: perhaps they’re as false to their roots as all the rest, but even so this seems extraordinary.
Today’s news: our towns are yet again to be sacrificed on the altar of the Great God motorcar. This time it’s parking, and no matter how much commonsense and/or the law want to save an area for people, councils are to be deprived of the practical means to enforce anything. Of course the propagandists wheeled out several motorists with legitimate-sounding horror stories of having been fined unreasonably, yet none of those were caught by the enforcement systems they’re banning!
The thugs’ best friend has struck another blow against humanity, and no doubt driven another nail into the coffin of many a town centre.