Jammed Finger, Hacked Sites, And A New Twitter Client

How’s that for a non-sequitor page title?

The first part relates to a softball injury I suffered last night, the second is some info about a recent hack in the wild that affected a friend’s sites, and the last refers to a new Twitter client that I think goes one better than most of the current crop.

Jammed Finger

If you don’t know how much of a baseball fanatic I am, you haven’t been reading here very long. I love baseball and all things related. From March though October I play 3rd base one night each week for a pretty good softball team.

Last night in the closing inning of the game the first hitter for the other team hit foul popup midway between the plate and 3rd. I’m generally good at charging and sliding in under the ball to make the catch. This time the ball didn’t stay in the air too long and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get there in time.

I ended up making more of a dive than a slide and somehow got my glove under the ball at the exact moment it was about to touch the dirt. I rolled over my wrist, managed to hold onto the ball, and held it up for the ump to see. If I do say so myself it was a very nice catch, probably one of the best I’ve ever made. It was the kind of catch that would make the top 10 plays of the day, week, and even find it’s way into all those shows at the end of the year. Yeah, it was that good.

Unfortunately in making the play I jammed a finger on my glove hand pretty bad (Don’t worry mom, I’m ok). I iced it last night, but I woke up to a finger twice its normal size, feeling like 10 times its normal size. Ouch. Typing is not my friend today.

Why am I telling you all this? Well it was a really nice catch and I don’t mind bragging a little bit. I also hit well last night and we won the game. But mostly I’m letting people know if they don’t get an email from me the next few days it’s because typing isn’t that easy at the moment. I figured one blog post was better than a number of emails. You don’t realize how much you rely on a single finger until you can’t use it for a time.

Hacked Sites

Hopefully none of you will have to deal with this, but a friend of mine recently had her sites hacked by something being referred to as gumblar.cn or martuz.cn. The hack infects your computer and grabs FTP credentials to then inject itself all over your site or sites.

Your website will then be serving a javascript file to infect others. The virus also alters Google search results to send you to the hacker’s affiliate sites I believe.

We think my friend caught the virus during a brief time when her machine was without anti-virus protection. She’s had three sites infected and subsequently blocked by Google for having malicious code. We think a 4th site might become infected and we’re keeping an eye on.

The best sources of information I’ve found about the gumblar and martuz comes from the unmaskparasites website

The hack leaves code in a lot of files across your site. It creates an image.php and gifimage.php file in every images folder, leaves some encoded javascript at the bottom of .js files and just before the tag on .html and .php files. In some cases it’s also leaving a block php code at the very top of files. We only found the php code at the top of index.php files on one of the three sites.

You really need to go through every file on your server looking for this thing. This thing gets into tmp folders and anywhere else it can.

The hacker also changes some folder permissions in order to leave himself a back door to get in again after you change your login info. It’s a nasty little thing. Hopefully you won’t have to deal with this, but if you do check the two links above for instructions on how to clean your site.

New Twitter Client

How about some good news now?

A couple nights ago I read (on Read Write Web?) about a new Twitter desktop client. I know, I know, yet another Twitter desktop client. This one is called Mixero and goes beyond some of the other current favorites like TweetDeck.

Mixero offers groups and filtering and searching, but I think it goes one better in the organization and the functionality currently available in other clients.

One thing I really like is its ability to stay our of the way when you aren’t actively tweeting, while still be there to the side when you want a quick update. While I like TweetDeck it takes up too much screen real estate for me.

Another nice feature is that you can mouseover shortened urls to see where they really go before clicking. You can also preview pics and videos in the client.

Instead of trying to list all the features here, I’ll suggest you visit the site and watch the video. It’s in the upper right.

You won’t currently find a download link, though. Fill out the contact form and ask for an invite to help beta test if you want to give it a spin.

I haven’t had a chance to tweet much (that finger thing) but I did begin setting up groups and channels last night. My one complaint would be that Mixero has a Vista look that’s out of place on my MacBook. A minor complaint, yet one I hope can be corrected in some way. I have a hunch Mixero is going to be the client I use for awhile as it solves a few problems I’ve had with other clients.

Enjoy the end of the week and the weekend. Hopefully the on again off again icing I’m doing will reduce the swelling in my finger (Don’t worry mom, I really am ok) and I’ll be back to 100% typing speed in a couple of days.

Download a free sample from my book, Design Fundamentals.

11 comments

  1. Too bad there isn’t video of the catch. You could create your own highlight reel. The finger does sound painful though. I’ll understand if I don’t hear from you for the next few days. Ouch!

    The new Twitter client sounds interesting. Please let us know how you like it. I wouldn’t mind using something new, but I’m not sure I want to beta test.

    • Without the video it can be the stuff of legend. Now the story can grow to the point where my finger came off in my glove and I taped it up so I could hit a home run in my next at bat before going to the hospital.

  2. Wow, thats quite an unusual and scary virus there. Thanks for the info.

    Jammed finger, huh? Sounds like it could be painful. But at least you made the injury memorable. Rather then getting hurt and having nothing to show.

    It sorta gives you street credibility.

    • Th virus was a pain. We’re still not sure how her computer got infected, but we seem to have fixed things. Still keep checking on the sites.

      My finger did hurt for a few days. Oddly it finally stopped hurting after I played the next game. Still can’t make a fist, but otherwise doing fine. I probably won’t be 100% for a month or two.

  3. Sorry to hear about the jammed finger, that can really be a pain. Also I’m guessing that it’ll put a damper on your play for the next few weeks as well. I was never one to suffer softball injuries well (had my share) and definitely couldn’t stand sitting games out because of them.

    I stumbled across a similar (if abbreviated) site hack on one of my clients’ sites last year. The effect wasn’t nearly as ubiquitous as you describe, but it got me searching closely just the same. Very frustrating to have that sort of thing happen.

    • It’s just a little pain. I played through it. As soon as I was able to get my hand around a bat and grip it tightly I knew I’d play again. Oddly I had one of my better games last week, bad finger and all.

      I don’t like sitting out. A few years back I tore my calf in the first inning of a game. I played the rest of the game at short, but paid for it the next day when I couldn’t walk for a few weeks.

      I think this virus is relatively new. It started appearing in Mach and this is the second or maybe third version of it. Maybe it did have it’s origins in what you saw last year.

  4. Wow interesting post but i think the only way to have it heal completely is to rest it, but that won’t happen yet since you’re active. To protect your finger, tape it up when you’re playing. I think a split would hinder your play.

    • I thought of taping it last week, but I didn’t have any tape. I wouldn’t be able to play if it was taped to another finger or if I wore a splint so that was out.

      Our season goes till mid July and then after a week off we play the fall season. There is a week off 4th of July week too. Otherwise I’ll be playing every week through October.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

css.php