Previous and Next Month Links in Archives

It has just taken me around an hour to try and insert some previous and next month navigation links to the blog monthly archives. It seems that WordPress doesn’t have any real native support for this time of navigation which is odd.

Anyway the code below is my very hacky version of how to do it. I placed this in my theme’s archive.php file

<?php //twentyeleven_content_nav( 'nav-above' ); ?>
<nav id="nav-above" style="display:inline">
$archive_year = get_the_time('Y');
$archive_month = get_the_time('m');
$archive_month = $archive_month - 1;
if ($archive_month == 0) {
$archive_month = 12;
$archive_month_next = $archive_month + 2;
$archive_year_next = $archive_year;
if ($archive_month_next &gt 12) {
$archive_month_next %= 12;
echo '<a href="' . get_month_link( $archive_year, $archive_month) . '">Previous Month</a>';
if ($archive_year_next.sprintf('%02d', $archive_month_next) < = date('Y', strtotime("now")).date('m', strtotime("now"))) {
echo '<a href="' . get_month_link( $archive_year_next, $archive_month_next) . '" style="float:right">Next Month</a>';
} ?>

A Day in Melbourne

On Easter Monday I went to Melbourne for the day to see some kiwi friends who were visiting from NZ for Easter.

With no firm plans for the day we ended up nearly identically repeating the first trip I made to Melbourne in 2009 (which come to think of it is six years ago – time really does fly).

After meeting my friends at Fed Square we walked along the Yarra through to Docklands and then caught a tram back into the city, getting lost in the shopping malls until we found lunch.

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Site Meter Rewriting Links on WordPress Sites

This afternoon I discovered that a number of relative links on this site were being redirected through

At first I thought that this site may have been compromised. It hasn’t. After a quick Google search it turns out that the Site Meter tracking code has been changed and now silently rewrites links.

Fortunately for me I haven’t noticed any of these links inserting or redirecting people to ad sites, but there are stories online that suggest these actions may have happened.

The way in which this script has changed is really inappropriate and annoying. The offending script has now been removed from this site.

Thoughts on Bali 9 Killings

Yesterday Indonesia murdered two Australian citizens convicted of drug smuggling.

The two Australians have been in prison for over 10 years and by all accounts were completely rehabilitated. The killings are unjust and show complete arrogance on behalf of the Indonesian government to the social norms regarding crime and punishment.

Almost ten years ago I blogged on how inhumane the Indonesian execution process is and over the last four months we have seen it in all its torturous glory. The process over the past few months has been even more horrible than first described.

The Indonesians have ignored all international pressure to stop the executions, this is their sovereign right to do so. However, they have also made deliberate choices to offend the Australian and international community. The President and the government have deployed army commandos and fighter jets to transport the prisoners, they have deployed naval frigates to patrol the small island on which the executions took place, and police chiefs have taken smiling photos with the masked condemned men.The worst of this was the announcement of the date of executions on ANZAC day.

In response to the killings Australia has withdrawn its ambassador to Indonesia. While this is a very strong action in political terms in real action it seems like so little. The damage left behind by the Indonesian government is more than two dead bodies, there are geopolitical wounds that will take a long time to heal.

iTunes not saving credit card details

For over a year now each time I buy music from the iTunes store I am informed that “Your account has been accessed from a new computer or device”. I am then asked to renter my credit card information.

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The first time this happened I thought that it was possible that my account had been compromised so I got iTunes to deactivate all my computers. But then this message came back again and again and again. I next wondered if it was happening when I was switching between computers and downloading music on two different systems. But no this wasn’t the case either.

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I have finally figured it out. iTunes is not allowed to store the CVC2 or CVV2 code from your credit card (the 3 numbers on the back of the card). In fact no provider is allowed to store the three number code. But some credit card providers require this code for purchases (such as my bank). Because of this each time you purchase something on iTunes you are asked to reenter this code.

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The problem remains that iTunes prompts for handling this situation are completely wrong. First you are asked to confirm your purchase, second you are asked to verify your billing information, third you are told that you have accessed iTunes from a new device – which is wrong. Finally you are emailed that your recent purchase was made from “a computer or device that had not previously been associated with that Apple ID” – again wrong.

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Clearly iTunes knows and is correctly not storing the CVC2/CVV2 code but its messages for handling this situation are not only wrong but completely misleading and worrying. The fact that it has been over a year and they haven’t fixed the problem – or even have any help on the problem is also alarming.

Deutscher Trip 2015 – Part Sixteen: Departure

After exactly two weeks on the ground in Europe it was time to fly back to Australia.

Over the previous two weeks I had seen so much. From skiing on the highest mountain in Germany, to exploring medieval castles, reformation churches, and war memorials. A plan that came together in less than a week allowed me to see every friend who is currently in Germany. I have also fallen more in love with a country whose rich history, vibrant culture and lovely people makes me want to keep going back for more.

Trip log

Trip log

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Deutscher Trip 2015 – Part Fifteen: Den Haag

The final city I visited in Europe was The Hague. My host and I arrived into the Centraal station quite late on a wet evening. We then quickly took our bags to my host’s apartment and headed out for dinner. After a few beers we called it a night in preparation for a big final day in Europe and a very long flight home.

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Deutscher Trip 2015 – Part Fourteen: Maastricht

After 12 days in Germany I had around 36 hours to get from Aachen to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol for my flight back to Sydney.

My original plan was head from Aachen to Eindhoven where I was to meet with another friend. But after some discussions with my friends in Aachen I changed those plans and headed to Maastricht instead.

Maastricht is around one hour by public bus from Aachen. The trip isn’t super exciting but the bus does pass through a number of small villages between Aachen and Maastricht. When I arrived in Maastricht I put my bags into storage and began my normal routine of randomly walking through the city.

As I walked from the train station to the main area of the city I stopped to buy some food from a bakery where I found it quite unusual to be speaking English as for the last few weeks I had at least been saying hello in German.

I ate my snack as I continued my usual routine of trying to get lost and stumble upon interesting things. However, I didn’t have much success at this in Maastricht so after an hour I admitted defeat and bought a map from the local tourist office.

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Deutscher Trip 2015 – Part Thirteen: Aachen

After spending a damp afternoon in Cologne it was time to head to my final destination in Germany.

I boarded a regional express train bound for Aachen at Cologne Hauptbahnhof with my local friend who was playing tour guide. Aachen is around an hour from Cologne and is in the extreme west of the country, very close to the borders of the Netherlands and Belgium.

After arriving in Aachen and dropping my bags at a hotel my friend gave me a quick tour around the city before both of us met up with another local friend for dinner. My friends were both particularly keen on showing me the naturally hot water in the centre of the town and complaining about the smell of sulfur near it. Of course coming from NZ the smell was pleasant and mild, but it did leave me wondering if there is little volcanic activity in Europe (and especially Germany) then why is there warm water here.

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Deutscher Trip 2015 – Part Twelve: Köln (Cologne)

Köln (Cologne) is my second favourite city in Germany (after Munich). The only problem is the two times I have visited there I have been rained on.

I first visited Cologne on a sneaky afternoon visit when I was attending a conference in Koblenz two years ago. This visit didn’t have much more planning as I was just staying the night while travelling between cities where my friends live.

I arrived in Cologne in the early evening after starting the day in Osnabrück and visiting Wuppertal along the way. After getting lost trying to find my hotel (I really am an expert in getting lost – I was literally standing on the wrong corner of the building and then walked straight past the main entrance), I checked in and then went to attend to my first goal for Cologne: buying my mother some 4711 Eau de Cologne on the Glockengasse.

I then decided to sort out dinner. Eating alone when travelling is not the best experience. I prefer to find some easy fast food, but given the rain lots of places had closed early. After walking around most of the tourist area of the city I settled for a bakery near my hotel.

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