SEO Malware - Magzimus ThemeIf you Google my name at the moment, you’ll find some interesting results – and if you’ve hit this page as a result of looking for ‘webcam sex,’ you’re going to be disappointed.

I recently installed a new theme on the site – Magzimus – which I pulled from a site promising free WordPress themes. It’s pretty, it has a neat JavaScript slider, and it was a simple install.  What’s not to like?

Well, the fact that searching for my blog on various search engines now shows an affiliation with popular ‘adult entertainment’ site LiveJasmin, for a start.

It seems that the ‘free’ theme has an interesting business model: a hidden bit of PHP code in the admin.php file that checks to see if traffic is coming from a search engine crawler, and if so adding a hidden span at the bottom of the page containing affiliate links to the aforementioned webcam site – and a variety of keywords that are likely to get me significantly different traffic to normal.

I’ve excised the code, and am now waiting for Google et al to update my listing and remove the spurious keywords.

Next time you snag a WordPress theme from somewhere, do what I failed to do: check the code to see exactly what it’s doing to your site.

Amazon Kindle 3G

Amazon Kindle 3GI’ve written an – in my not-so-humble opinion – interesting post on the cost of e-books for the recently-released Amazon Kindle and other eReader devices, which I’ve published over on my Freelance Site.

This week culminates in the launch of Amazon’s latest Kindle eReader,which means that thousands of gadget fanciers and avid readers alike will be getting their hands on a pretty special piece of kit – only to find that the surprisingly cheap price belies an expensive habit: electronic books can cost.

You should read it. It’s good. Honest.

I’ve been fighting my new WordPress theme this morning in order to get the darn thing to validate as XHTML 1.0 Transitional – I didn’t aim for Strict as I use the “target=_new” functionality in a lot of existing links which would need to be updated. After fixing a bunch of problems around the place, I finally tracked the last few down to the Twitter widget you can see to the right.
It appears that Twitter’s default coding for the HTML-based widget is a trifle skwiffy. The code offered to me by the site is:

<div id=”twitter_div”&rt;
<h2 class=”sidebar-title”&rt;Twitter Updates</h2&rt;
<a id=”twitter-link” style=”display: block; text-align: right;” href=””&rt;follow me on Twitter</a&rt;


which refuses to validate, showing five errors mostly related to things being in the wrong order. A quick hack-job gave me the following:
Read More →

Just a quick update to reassure people that I’m not dead, and to test some new software I’ve put on my ‘phone. With the ability to update the site from anywhere, I’ll really have no excuse not to do so more often!

You may have noticed that this website has taken on a new look.  There’s a reason for this.

In the past I’ve used strange, esoteric software to create my websites – the last one was made using something called GreyMatter.  While this works OK, it’s not as flexible and powerful as some of the more mainstream options out there.

Accordingly, I’ve switched to WordPress, an open-source package that’s rather more popular than the stuff I normally use.  It’s nice and powerful, but does mean that the custom theme I was using before has had to go bye-bye.  Thankfully, I was able to import the old content OK, although it could do with some tidying.

As time goes on, I’ll be customising the site further to accomodate my needs along with adding some additional software thanks to the new raft of MySQL databases I’ve got courtesy of moving to a decent webhost.