Google Messed up! Double CN Tower in Streetview

Ha! Google didn’t edit all the shots it has of the CN Tower (Still the worlds largest standing tower for a few months!) in it’s newly released Streetview Canada.

If you go to Google maps to try out Streetview and type in 52 Manitoba Drive, Toronto, Ontario and spin around to the right a few times you’ll see this:

Double CN Tower - Google Streetview
Double CN Tower - Google Streetview

I just heard about this on this evenings CTV news and I had to go searching for it myself. It’s a pretty cool picture, but I’d imagine that Google will fix this pretty soon!

When I first went to Google maps I just typed in CN Tower, Toronto and it put me at the base of the tower on Bremner Blvd, Toronto, Ontario … Of course I couldn’t find the double tower that way … but after traveling North on Bremner Blvd in street view I found this picture (after tilting upward of course):

Top half of CN Tower is off kilter - Google Streetview
Top half of CN Tower is off kilter - Google Streetview

When I zoomed out it looks like you might be able to get to this address by typing in 200 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, Ontario (at Lower Simcoe St.).

Actually, I gave it a try and I got an even cooler shot! Take a peek!

CN tower top offset in Google Streetview
CN tower top offset in Google Streetview

Are you able to access Google Streetview for your area of the world yet? If so you might want to waste a little bit of time looking around your city or town and see if you can find any odd views like I’ve posted here. My guess is that taller structures will be more likely to be messed up.

Let me know if you find anything interesting!

BTW Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians!





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Worm attacking WordPress – Update your WordPress blog now!

Yesterday I learned that a worm has been attacking a number of WordPress blogs. If your blog hasn’t been attacked yet the easiest way to prevent an attack is to update your WordPress installation to the latest version – 2.84.

The worm seems to be attacking older installations, infecting posts with spam and malware that gets downloaded when readers visit them.

The WordPress Blog states that this worm does not affect the current version of the blog publishing software, which is 2.8.4, but the company is strongly recommending that users running older versions upgrade immediately.

The worm registers a user and leverages a security flaw in older versions to execute code through the permalink structure. It them makes itself an administrator and uses JavaScript to hide itself when blog readers visit a page. Meanwhile it has inserted spam and malware into older posts.

The worm fails to properly clean up after itself once it has infected a page, according to WordPress, and users may notice that their links are broken – a telltale sign that the worm has visited.

Four things you should do to protect your blog and it’s data from hackers and worms:

  1. WordPress is pretty good about watching out for security holes and making patches for them – hence the regular updates to their blogging software. For this reason, it’s wise to update your WordPress installation shortly after a new version comes out.
  2. It’s also wise to make sure that all of your plugins are up to date as well as they can have security holes as well.
  3. Another way to protect your blog is to not use the standard “admin” login. Create your own unique Admin login and change your password regularly. keep in mind that creating a complicated password with both capital and small letters as well as numbers will be harder to hack.
  4. Another safe practice is to backup your blog regularly. Backing up your blog is really quite easy to do, even if you’re a novice WordPress user. Just install the WordPress Database Backup plugin and you’ll be able to back up your blogs files and tables anytime you want and you can even schedule hourly, twice daily, daily or once weekly backups. Scheduled backups are e-mailed to you so you always have a fairly current copy of your sites files on your computer.

My husband and I have seventeen blogs between us, so I spent several hours yesterday updating plugins and updating the blogs to version 2.84. At least updating is really easy now with WordPress’ one click update. There’s no excuse not to update now – even if you do have a lot of blogs like my husband and I! Luckily our blogs weren’t too far behind and as far as I can tell haven’t been hit by this malicious worm.

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Do you work hard to promote your blog?

I’ve been blogging now for 3.5 years, but I’ve had websites since 1995. Over all the years that I’ve been a webmaster I’ve learned how important it is to promote your site.

Now back in 1995 when I started my first website it was a heck of a lot easier to promote your site. There was less competition and since my website was in a very specific niche I was able to join (and fully participate) in forums specific to the topic, which of course, was a great way to inform people about my site.

Every time I start a new site I also make sure that I get it listed in Google, Yahoo, MSN and basically all of the best web directories that I can submit my site to for free. I’ve never paid for site submissions. I just don’t feel it’s worth it. However getting your site listed in a general directory or even better one that’s specific to your sites niche is still important and worth spending some time doing.

Over the last couple of years I’ve read that Google doesn’t give as much credit for directory listings as it once did – but hey, a link is a link, right? Plus if people are actually visiting a website directory to find sites that discuss specific topics it’s another way to get a few new visitors.

When it comes to blogs one of the best ways to promote your site is to visit other blogs and leave comments on their posts. If you leave a decent comment that adds to the conversation not only will the blog owner be more likely to visit your site, but so will some of their readers.

I used to be really good about commenting on other blogs. Over the last year or so I’ve fallen behind on commenting on my favorite sites and posts. I still visit my favorite bloggers and the blogs of those who leave comments but I just don’t seem to have the time anymore to concentrate on visiting sites and leaving comments. I guess I have too many sites to maintain and of course my health problems get in the way too.

It’s a shame because commenting on other blogs is a great way to build a community, get new visitors and of course get back links to your site. I really have to figure out a way to make more time to visit and comment on the posts I enjoy.

What do you do to promote your website or blog? Do you do the basics that I’ve suggested above? Have you ever paid to be listed in a directory or elsewhere?

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I fixed my WordPress 2.8 Visual editor problem – sorta

Seriously … I’ve wasted a lot of time trying to figure out how to fix the problem I’ve been having with the new WordPress 2.8 on 7 of my blogs! As I said in my last post the visual editor wasn’t working, and since I tend to post pictures in many of my posts (and always on my photoblog) that was a BIG problem!

I spent so much time searching on the web and reading posts and the WordPress.org forum trying to figure out a fix for this problem that I think it caused a delay in my posting new posts on my blogs over the last few days. I was seriously determined to fix my blogs.

So do you want to know how I fixed my blogs visual editor problem? I discovered that during the automatic upgrade WordPress didn’t upload some of the necessary files in the wp_includes/js/tinymce folder! I found the answer to my quest in the WordPress.org forums near the bottom of this page.

My WordPress install on all of my Feverishthoughts.com blogs were missing the following files in the wp_includes/js/tinymce folder:

wp-tinymce.js
wp-tinymce.js.gz
wp-tinymce.php

I downloaded a fresh copy of WordPress 2.8, unzipped the files, and then used my FTP program to navigate to the wp_includes/js/tinymce for each of the affected blogs.

I then deleted the FILES – (not folders) in the tinymce folder and uploaded the tinymce files from my copy of WordPress 2.8. This got rid of old files that were no longer being used by this WP upgrade and added the three extremely necessary new files (listed above).

I actually did this for all of my blogs (17) in order to get rid of the old files that are no longer being used.

Once I was done adding the files that weren’t included in the automatic upgrade I cleared my browsers cache, and restarted my browser. Once I logged back into my WordPress sites I found that the Visual editor almost always loads. When it doesn’t I just do a CTRL- refresh (for a hard refresh) and it loads.

So now I can once again upload or add photos to my blog posts, alter their size if necessary and add tags to my posts! Yeah!

I think the reason why I ran into this problem was that I had upgraded from 2.33 to 2.62 using the WordPress Upgrade plugin (this was many many months ago) and then when 2.7 came out I used the plug to do the upgrade and finally used the WP automatic upgrade to update my Feverishthoughts blogs to 2.8. Neither the plugin or the built in automatic upgrade seem to delete old files and in the case of the 2.8 upgrade it missed a few very important files!

All the rest of my blogs worked fine. I had updated them using Fantastico in my C-panel.

So the moral of the story … maybe wait about a month before upgrading your WordPress installation when a new version comes out as this will give them some time to discover and hopefully fix the bugs. And two – if you are having a problem with your WP installation, back everything up and then read the instructions on how to do a proper manual install. That will probably fix the most major problems.

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Anyone having problems with Hostgator lately?

I’m having hosting problems again. If you’re a regular visitor to this site you’ve probably noticed that at times my blog (and all the other blogs I write) load really slow and sometimes you’ll see error messages scattered throughout the page as well.

I’ve also had problems with my Wp-posts databases crashing and needing repair too. Plus I often can’t edit old posts and get error messages when I try. Nor can I always post when I want to because of server slowness or errors. I’m just about at my wits end.

This started happening near the end of March. I think the reason my sites are having trouble is because HostGator upgraded their MySql to PHP 5.1 and it’s causing all the errors and slow load times.

Anyone else on HostGator experiencing problems in the last month or so? I’m sure there’s a few, as I’ve noticed some of the blogs I visit regularly loading really really slowly lately when they didn’t have problems in the past.

If they don’t fix the problem soon ie go back to a trouble free version of PHP I may be forced to look for a new host. I hate that idea! I’ve loved Hostgator since I started with them in 2007 after a terrible experience with Lunarpages.

Any suggestions? I have over 20 websites and blogs now with more on the way so I need a very good shared hosting package from a company that doesn’t overcrowded/oversell their servers or else move up to VPS hosting.

Speaking of Lunarpages … I finally transferred some of my old domains from their service in April. I didn’t have a hosting account with them any longer, but when I left I let them continue to handle my domains registration … bad move as this meant I had to deal with support several times each year begging them to renew my domains. Believe me, their support people need support and sales training in a big way! Anyway … my domains are now with GoDaddy … but get this … Lunarpages sent me a renewal notice today for one of my domains that they no longer control! So I’m still stuck dealing with their support trying to tell them that I really don’t have anything to do with them anymore! Arghhhh! Frustrating! They’d better not try to bill me!

So again, if you have any good hosting suggestions I’d love to hear about it, plus if you have any hosting horror stories feel free to pass that on too. LOL

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