Dealing with the spammer aftermath

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Just in case you’ve come here today investigating where the spam email you received this morning came from, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Spammers used my “inphotos.org” domain name to send hundreds, if not thousands of spam messages and my poor server is receiving the brunt of dealing with the failed return messages from all over the world.

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I configured Postfix to accept up to 400 concurrent connections and they’ve been maxed out for the past several days.

$ ps auxw|grep -c smtp
401

That also means that if you sent me email over the last 2 days and I haven’t replied, send it again later. Your mail server may have timed out contacting my server. It should keep trying for 4 hours, but after that it will probably send you back an email saying the email was undeliverable. There’s not much I can do right now except ride out the storm and hope it finishes soon.

Update! The bounced emails are still flooding in. I changed the MX record for this domain and temporarily closed Postfix to outside connections so if you want to contact me, do so at donncha @ ocaoimh.ie instead, thanks!

O’Learys Camera World make me angry

OLearys Camera World Hmm. I’m seething! I’m angry! I’m pissed off! Yesterday I explained why I “reserve all rights” on my photographs. I want control over how and where they are used. I don’t want a photo of my 7 month old son to appear in an inappropriate context. There are other restrictions on usage. When I photograph people, I never get signed model release forms so those images cannot be used for commercial or marketing use. Also, as some of my images are on sale as fine art limited edition prints in a gallery in Kinsale they have a monetary value.

So, it was with some shock that I looked around O’Learys Camera World while waiting to have my lens looked at and I saw two of my images in an electronic photo frame. The two images are Clouds Move At Night and West Cork Landscape. There was also an image of St Finbarrs Cathedral which has been photographed to death and could be by anyone, and 2 images of a large manor-house I didn’t recognise.

When I pointed out the images were mine and copyrighted, that they were downloaded from my photoblog or Flickr I was told they didn’t know how the images were on the device, that they were on it when they got the frame. It seems strange to me that a wholesale distributor of photo frames who probably distributes to many parts of the country and other countries would just happen to put pictures of Cork on their frames. If they do, I need to find out who that distributor is and work out a royalty scheme. If not, how long have my images been used to sell a €99 photo frame in a prominent city centre photography shop?

I can’t remember if I received an apology, I probably did, but they turned off the frame and took out the memory card and promised to wipe it clean. Do those photo frames come with memory cards?

After that, the purpose of my visit was to have my Sigma 10-20mm lens fixed. The M/AF switch fell out, and I noticed a crack in the plastic casing near the base. It has to be sent to Sigma’s HQ in Bandon and I’ll hear from them in a few days. There was also a €50 non-refundable deposit, which will be deducted from the cost of repair.

The whole experience leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

How much is your camera worth?

On Saturday I took my Canon 20D into a camera shop here in Cork and asked how much they’d give for it as a trade in against a Canon 40D.

After a few minutes I found out the disappointing answer. €300. Depreciation is a bitch isn’t it? The Canon 40D body is €1200 here. I need to start saving.

In other camera news, the M/AF switch on my wide angle Sigma lens fell off! I noticed it gone this afternoon and can’t find the switch anywhere. Hopefully it won’t be too expensive to replace.

Beat my WordPress cache

If I may be so bold as to break from the regular programming of photography stuff here, you may know I’m also a WordPress.com developer and heading up development of WordPress MU. Yes, I wear lots of hats.

Yesterday I released a new WordPress plugin called, WP Super Cache. It’s pretty super as it’s name implies and should protect WordPress sites from large spikes in traffic. I need your help to test that out.

You may be familiar with a site called Digg.com, if you have an account there, please digg my plugin. It’s only going to take another couple of diggs to get it on to the front page of the site, but it has to get there within the next few hours. If it does, that will quite possibly cause a huge spike in traffic to that post, and with any luck the server my blog is on won’t keel over and die. Don’t worry, inphotos.org is on a different machine. :)

Update – it’s one the front page of digg.com! Thanks everyone who voted for it! Apparently this is a light digging though, and my server barely notices the extra requests.

Ooops, someone noticed the Technorati rank

Justin added this site to his Technorati list of Irish blogs and was a little shocked at what he saw. Damien noticed too :)

Actually, I don’t get many hits from blogs despite the inflated numbers on that list. It seems nobody is curious to know who that “Donncha” chap is. In the latest release of WordPress, all those links were replaced by links to the Codex and other WordPress related sites.

GIMP 2.4 is out

The new release of GIMP 2.4 is finally out! Sven announced it on the Gimp User mailing list this morning. It seems like forever since 2.2 was released but he has promised that 2.6 won’t be as long in the making.

The roadmap for GIMP 2.6 will be discussed over the next weeks on the gimp-developer mailing-list. We can only tell you so much now: It is going to rock and it shouldn’t take as long to get it done as it took to finish GIMP 2.4. If you want to join the effort, your help is much appreciated.

GIMP.org is fairly slow now but the release notes have the low down on changes since 2.2. Some of the biggest user visible changes include red eye removal, healing tool and a better alignment tool. Plugins and scripts now live in the same place, the “Filters” menu. I’m using the rc3 release in Ubuntu Linux 7.10 and it’s been rock solid for the past few days. I’m sure Ubuntu will update their .deb package in the next few days.

After you update, get the GIMP Lomo plugin I posted yesterday. It’s 2.4 ready! :)