Archive

Archive for February, 2010

Protect your site from image hotlinking

February 25th, 2010

What is image hotlinking?

In layman terms I’d put it that an image that is stored on one server is linked and displayed on another website.

This affects the original image owner as loading of the image will take up the bandwidth, so if a very popular site or forum hotlinks to a site that has bandwidth quota, it might actually kill it. Literally.

Image hotlinking can be traced from the webservers log, or if the one who did it emailed the owner, just like what happened to LiewCF here.

I actually have noticed some image hotlinking and kept it in my mind to attend to it soon.

So when time came for me to perform some maintenance on this blog, I decided to address this issue.

Found two blogspot users:

1) http://gnagababu.blogspot.com/2009/12/vodafone-htc-tatto-launched.html

2) http://tech-flood.blogspot.com/2009/11/vodafone-htc-tatto-launched.html

I have replaced the images to show NO IMAGE HOTLINKING and my site’s url http://marvinlee.net

Do you notice that the two blogposts are actually the same? It’s obvious to me he is one lazy blogger who copied content and post them with duplicates.

Anyway, how do you resolve the problem of image hotlinking on your site?

I used the script below:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://(.+\.)?myspace\.com/ [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://(.+\.)?blogspot\.com/ [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://(.+\.)?livejournal\.com/ [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://.*$
RewriteRule \.(jpe?g|gif|bmp|png)$ /media/nohotlinks.gif [L]

It’s modified from the original script over here:
http://docs.joomla.org/How_do_you_block_direct_hot_linking_to_image_files_using_.htaccess%3F

Some other references:

http://www.yourhtmlsource.com/sitemanagement/bandwidththeft.html

http://www.blogstorm.co.uk/htaccess-mod_rewrite-ultimate-guide/

Do you have any funny or annoying image hotlinking stories to share? 🙂

blogging, Cheatsheet, Internet, Open Source

It’s easier to be a famous singer through internet

February 23rd, 2010

I’m pretty sure everybody knows about Susan Boyle, who turned from a nobody to a huge somebody, after appearing in the TV programme Britain’s Got Talent on 11 April 2009 and shot to fame.



Her performance led to great international media and of course the Internet and YouTube response.

In fact, any budding singers or ambitioned singers should look into spreading their gigs on the Internet, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, blog etc on top of existing performances in concerts, cafes etc.

It doesn’t matter where you’re from even if you only perform at home, the internet is a cheap and valuable way to fame.

Search for “Janice and Sonia”, by the time you typed ‘Jani’, the suggestion would have appeared.



Janice and Sonia are Australian twins and according to their Facebook fan page, it was stated they are still unsigned. I have no doubt they will be easily picked up as signed singers if they wanted to.

And then there’s this cute girl with her self recorded singing video spreading in Facebook, which turns out to be one Yu Kiu, Ava (Bianca) from Hong Kong.



She is a new singer in 2009 who launched a Sabah shot album back in Hong Kong.

And then back to local front, we have Malaysian singer-songwriter Zee Avi who had her debut album produced by a US record company, and hit the charts at #130 US Billboard Hot 200 Chart and #2 US Billboard Top Heatseekers Chart, and sold 6,000 copies in the United States in its first 2 weeks of release(as of June 9, 2009) according to Wikipedia.



How did she pulled that off?
Avi posted a video of her first song on YouTube in September 2007.

Now you think that’s easy? Don’t get too excited first.
It does look to me that most of the success stories are women in the first place, looks nice and sings well.

Many can try, but I’m not sure if they’ll succeed.



We’ll see their video views on YouTube. 🙂

Gossips, Internet, Music , , , , , , ,

Ibis Hotel are 3 stars hotel with value for money

February 19th, 2010

During my trip to Thailand, I had the chance to visit Phuket and Bangkok.
By chance, I made the reservation to stay in Ibis Hotel. I had never tried Ibis Hotel before and it was a coincidence too that I selected the same brand of hotel for both places.

The rate was affordable, probably because I booked and paid online, via Agoda.

Ibis Patong, Phuket

Ibis Patong is only 5 minutes walk to the Patong beach!

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It is a 3 star hotel, and the room is quite small, but Ibis Patong hotel made a very good first impression to me.

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At least for the same size, it looked and felt more comfortable than the First World Hotel, if you happened to visit Genting Highlands before.

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Two complimentary glass-bottled drinking water are provided for every single day of your stay.

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Space is limited, but somehow I did not feel any discomfort but in fact amazed by its design to optimize the usage of space. 🙂

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The bathroom is also small but all basic necessities are available.

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The small shower area, shaped triangular or trapezium or whatever….

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This room in Ibis Patong had a view of the swimming pool.

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Lobby entrance.

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Their staff are friendly and room is clean with very new air conditioners (probably as the hotel is new).

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For a room of less than USD 60, this is really a steal, at least for me, especially where things are slightly more expensive in Phuket.

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There’s a spacious lobby, a bar and a nice restaurant for breakfast too.
If you booked for tour, they tour company will normally come to pick you up from your hotel or leave a message to the receptionist to remind you of your pickup time.

Ibis Nana, Bangkok

Ibis Nana in Bangkok is only a 10 minutes walk to Nana BTS station.

I like Ibis Hotel’s way of strategically locating their hotel within walking distance to places like beaches and skytrain.

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Although the outlook of this hotel is slightly different with Ibis Patong in Phuket, but the rooms design and everything are the same!

It looks like Ibis take importance of their brand and standards for their hotels.

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In the room there are also fact sheets and message to be environmental friendly, such as if you like to have your towels to be changed, leave them on the floor. (Those still hanging will not be changed).

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You might want to read this green press kit if you’re interested to know more about Ibis Hotel’s commitment to the environment.

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Even their buffet breakfast are the same! Ok, maybe just 90 percent similar.
By the way, Ibis Nana’s television has 81 channels, all unique!

Ibis Hotel has 800 hotels in 40 countries around the world, and are generally close to city centres, airports or rail stations, offering budget rates.

It seems to me that they are growing rapidly in Asia Pacific too, currently with hotels at

  • Australia
  • China
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Hong Kong
  • New Zealand
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Singapore

I know that the first thing I’ll do the very next time when searching for hotels will be the rate and location of Ibis Hotel.

The rate provided by Agoda was very competitive, maybe due to the lower commission that they charge the hotels.

agoda_ibis

Even a check with Air Asia‘s site couldn’t match the price offered by Agoda, although this may change in the future.

airasia_ibis

Have you been to any of the Ibis Hotel around the globe? Or what is your preferred choice of hotel during your travel?

Good To Know, Review, Travel , , , , , , , , ,