While the instructions below can help remove the lines of code inserted into your php pages, it doesn’t necessarily remove the *exploit* that allowed such an incursion in the first place. What I’ve learned after the code re-appeared in the past 24 hours on ~7 blogs hosted (for reference, I’m on dreamhost):
1. Delete all unused, old themes. The “blue kino” theme looks like a possible culprit, but just get rid of whatever you aren’t using, and upgrade the one you are.
2. Update all plug-ins you are using, and delete the ones you are not.
3. Make sure WordPress itself is up-to-date.
4. Look for odd files that don’t fit. If you’ve been hacked, contact your host–they can run scripts to help you track these down. For example, on one site there was:
5. Consider a database dump and re-install (I believe @wayne_graham might be planning a blog post to outline a clear process for this).
Note: I’m hopeful these steps will work, but I’m also expecting to be surprised by a fresh round of cleaning (and full re-installations) tomorrow. So, caveat emptor.
I’ve found the the Sucuri.net blog (http://blog.sucuri.net/) an incredibly valuable resource when wordherder blogs have been hit with various hacks. Recently, George’s workbook.wordherders.net was hacked, and I was able to use the same script that Sucuri provided in a May 2010 posting to clean up the files.
The hack puts one line of php code in each of your php files. It begins with the following script:
<?php /**/ eval(base64_decode("aWY....
Cleaning the site requires extraction of that php code from all pages in all directories for your WP installation. The Sucuri solution uses SED to accomplish this. If you want to make sure this is the hack that impacted you, you can check by either downloading one of your php files by ftp or SSH in to read one. A very, very long line of php code should begin with that you see above.
Here is an old Sucuri post from May 2010 where I downloaded the original fix (which I used to clean a hack in 2010):
The link to the file they provided is broken, so here’s the copy that I have (again, all credit to the original Sucuri post):
Follow the directions from the May 2010 post under the section “via web” — this same script worked in cleaning up the recent attack from last week on http://workbook.wordherders.net/ (and also worked just now on my own site, which I had to clean before posting this). Remember that you have to change the file name so to wordpress-fix.php
Be patient…it can take a few seconds to run. It will give you a notice when it is done. Then go and check some of your php files to make sure it worked.
Another possible solution: in the comments feed from this Feb 2012 Sucuri post (http://blog.sucuri.net/2012/02/malware-campaign-from-rr-nu.html), Walker de Alencar provides this link to his github script rrnuVaccine:
Good luck all!
This brief paper was offered as my contribution to the Close Playing: Literary Methods and Video Game Studies roundtable at MLA 2012 in Seattle. I very much appreciate the dynamic audience (a full house is a wonderful thing for the final session of a 4-day conference) and a terrific group of colleagues to present alongside: Mark Sample (GMU),Edmond Chang (Univ. of Washington), Steven E. Jones (Loyola Univ., Chicago),Anastasia Salter (Univ. of Baltimore), Timothy Welsh (Loyola Univ., New Orleans), and Zach Whalen (Univ. of Mary Washington). The format involved 6 six-minute papers, which allowed for nearly an hour of active discussion. Many thanks to Mark Sample for keeping us on task.
[It should not need to be said, but: opinions expressed are those of Jason Rhody and do not necessarily reflect official positions of the National Endowment for the Humanities on gaming, narrative, or any other topic.]
These remarks stem from a much longer book-length project called “Game Fiction,” in which I offer an approach to moving past what I considered a discourse about games and narrative stymied by absolutes rather than models. Despite the fact that some computer games are clearly a site of narrative production and consumption, the relationship between narrative, on the one hand, and games, on the other, has remained somewhat uneasy, if not contentious, within the critical literature for both game studies & narrative theory.
As a path forward, I’ve proposed a rubric under the term “game fiction,” which I identify as a category of game that draws upon and uses narrative strategies to create, maintain, and lead the user (player) through a fictional environment in order to actualize a narrative and ludic goal.
I offer four principle properties of game fiction–they must be ergodic, competitive, progressive, and hold a goal of actualization (in combined narrative and game terms).
I don’t have time to fully detail each of these qualities, but it is important to note that these qualities are NOT absolutes; they serve as an analogue scale so that we can approach the issue with appropriate levels of nuance.
What drew me to this project was the fact that we still lacked an adequate vocabulary to address narrative in games. I’m less interested in questions of “are they or aren’t they,” and much more interested in questions of When are they narratives, and How are they narratives? These are questions of genre, and as we all know, the border-cases are often the most interesting cases of all.
So I’m less interested in how Tetris is not Prince of Persia, but more how StarCraft is different from StarCraft (the multiplayer map is on the left, and the single-player map is on the right… note the differences in symmetry).
In taking this turn toward genre, I’d like to identify two key changes where game fictions stand out from other fictional genres & how we might rethink this shift and understand the changing face of narrative in a world increasingly governed by computational function. I further believe these issues are both part of the root cause for the narratology/ludology debate and further reflect the value of studying games from a literary perspective.
First, there is fundamental shift in the narrative communication situation, as articulated by Seymour Chatman.
When we introduce a consistent feedback loop that involves player input, it creates a new dynamic of power and requires altered models of production and consumption, transmission and exchange.
Second, the black box that represents the narrative text in Chatman’s model becomes, with a game fiction, quite literally a black box of computational operations, which are often hidden or obscured to create the puzzles and challenges that are foundational to gaming.
So there is a need to explore what Matt Kirschenbaum calls the formal materialities of software, a call reflected also in the rise of software studies and platform studies.
To better understand how plotted events are embedded within a game fiction, we must move beneath the interface to explore relationships of narrative setting to database, for example, and of the quest to the query.
StarCraft, a real-time strategy game with both single and multi-player modes, serves as a particularly useful example of how the single player works as a game fiction while the multiplayer does not. While both single and multiplayer versions are ergodic and competitive, only the single-player maps tend to be progressive with actualizable moments embedded in the game.
Single-player matches in StarCraft have clearly articulated, deeply encoded requirements for staged progression– Mission Six of the Terran campaign (with triggers and pre-planned events annotated here on the screen) is a useful example. The properties of data, their placement and use in the game can tell us a great deal about how narrative functions in game fictions. Despite modern methods for encoding games, game fictions still function like early data models, which were 1) primarily hierarchical, 2) stressed parent-child or networked relationships between data sets, and 3) were, above all, navigational. Hierarchical and simple network databases often required user knowledge of the data design because navigation and query occurred via predefined relationships. Navigation, query, and data were tightly intertwined. These principles hold true for game fictions, which tend to be highly navigational and spatial. The stronger the tie between an objective and a location, the stronger the tendency towards progression and actualization.
You can use map modification tools like StarEdit to show how the design is staged. A designer would embed data structures within the fictional setting, and then the designer would imbue the data object (here, a battleship) with conditions and actions –precisely the way one programs triggers within typical (non-game) database structure.
The difference between common conditions and actions in multi-player maps versus single-player maps is particularly telling. The default StarCraft multiplayer maps uniformly rely on three sets of common conditions/actions, whereas the singleplayer maps often invite hundreds of variables (in this case, the player must bring the Jim Raynor character to a particular location) .
The manner in which players engage with data in a representational questing environment still recalls the fundamental concepts of data manipulation language (DML), most colloquially known as ‘the query.’ Commands such as SELECT, UPDATE, DELETE, or INSERT can be mapped to quest objectives such as find, deliver, slay, recover, and so on (in this case on the right, Update Location 0 with a character type). Data is staged to enable plot, and the quest functions as a query.
If the rise of the novel as a form of prose fiction in the 18th century reflected a growing “tendency for individual experience to replace collective tradition,” as Ian Watt argues (14), then comparatively the rise of game fiction could be seen to reflect a tendency towards collective tradition under the guise of individual experience.
The following slides and notes guided my presentation for the #alt-ac: The Future of ‘Alternative Academic’ Careers roundtable at the 2012 MLA convention in Seattle. I was grateful to be invited by the MLA Office of Programs, and pleased to join Bethany Nowviskie (UVA), Donald Brinkman (Microsoft Research), Neil Fraistat (UMD), Robert Gibbs (Univ. of Toronto), Charles Henry (CLIR), and Elliott Shore (Bryn Mawr) for the discussion. The bulk of the roundtable was organized toward discussion, but we each took about six minutes to discuss alt-ac from our individual perspective.
This panel followed another alt-ac roundtable session which immediately preceded it. Both were written up by William Pannapacker in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
I say it elsewhere, but it is worth repeating: opinions expressed are those of Jason Rhody and do not necessarily reflect official positions of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Thank you to Bethany and the MLA for organizing this session. Concerns about employment for humanities graduates are not new, even for organizations like the NEH.
There was even some alt-ac in 1983, as you can see in this grant made to Noel Stowe with the title “Historians and the Private Sector:: A Graduate Program Preparing Historians for Business Careers” (discovered by Brett Bobley when making some changes to how we categorize our grants).
Fast-forward approximately three decades, and we can point to discussions of employment and professionalization in a slightly different context: digital humanities centers.
In 2010, Tanya Clement and Doug Reside (then both of UMD) hosted the NEH-funded workshop “Off the Tracks—Laying New Lines for Digital Humanities Scholars.” The workshop outcomes are discussed in full in their report (and I suspect that Neil Fraistat will offer some thoughts here as well), but it’s worth noting that alongside the crisis of humanities employment that we also see a shift in the academic ecosystem that supports and works alongside faculty in today’s colleges and universities.
I’m personally interested in this as an ‘alt-ac’er’ myself, and particularly invested in theorizing how we might go about reframing how we think about ‘service’ in and alongside the academy, and, further, how this relates to the rise of the public humanities (a trend we’ve seen a great deal of through the various grants funded in recent history). I’m also particularly keen to discuss how reframing service allows us to uncover these hidden networks of collaboration (with librarians and archivists for example) so often obscured by the myth of the solitary scholar.
I would be happy to talk more about these more theoretical issues during the Q&A, but due to limited time I would like to give a bit more attention to practical advice in looking for work in government service, or…
Given this somewhat tongue-in-cheek title, this might be an appropriate time to remind you that this presentation is a reflection of my own opinion, and does not reflect the opinion or position of the NEH. Disclaimers are one of the things I’ve had to get used to working in government service – and so this serves both as a disclaimer, and also my own caution that alt-ac comes with tradeoffs. I think it’s exciting that these kinds of positions are getting increased attention, and that scholarly societies like MLA and the AHA are working to make them more available, attractive, and rewarding. But I’m also wary of being overly Pollyanna. These are jobs, and no matter how much you love your job, all jobs come with certain challenges and restrictions (again, I’d be happy to talk more about that later).
So, here are a few tips as you consider alt-ac employment. I hope you find them useful whether you are a current graduate student, currently seeking employment, or an advisor how might help students look for these kinds of jobs in the future.
Search for government jobs at http://www.usajobs.gov/. You can search by keyword, but also try searching by agency (NEA, NEH, NSF, IMLS, Smithsonian, NHPRC, NARA, LOC). Explore working for the government while still in school (http://www.studentjobs.gov/) or consider opportunities such as the Presidential Management Fellows program (https://www.pmf.opm.gov/).
What were KSAs? The acronym stands for Knowledge, Skills and Abilities, which were essay statements that were frequently required along with a resume when applying for government jobs. KSAs are no longer officially used, per se, because of changes in hiring practices during the Obama adminstration. However, many Human Resources offices – which is usually the first group that evaluates all incoming applications up until they draw up a short list for the ‘selecting official’ – have been using KSAs for decades, and that just doesn’t go away (as you can see under “how you will be evaluated” in the slide below). Instead, KSAs are often reintroduced (though not by name) through a questionnaire often required during the application process. Be sure to check the advertisement for a sample questionnaire so you can prepare your answers early.
What follows is the abstract for my dissertation, Game Fiction, defended in November 2010.
“Game Fiction” provides a framework for understanding the relationship between narrative and computer games and is defined as a genre of game that draws upon and uses narrative strategies to create, maintain, and lead a user through a fictional environment. Competitive, ergodic, progressive (and often episodic), game fictions’ primary goal must include the actualization of predetermined events. Building on existing game and new media scholarship and drawing from theories of narrative, cinema, and literature, my project details the formal materiality that undergirds game fiction and shapes its themes. In doing so, I challenge the critiques of narrativism levied at those scholars who see a relationship between computer games and narrative forms, while also detailing the ways that computational media alter and reform narratological preconceptions. My study proposes a methodology for discussing game fiction through a series of ‘close playings,’ and while not intended to be chronological or comprehensive, provides a model for understanding narrative and genre in this growing field.
Chapter one, “Defining Game Fiction,” locates video games within the larger context of computer-mediated narrative design, and interrogates the power structure of reader to author, consumer to producer, and media object to its user. I articulate a framework for approaching computer games that acknowledges a debt to previous print, cinematic, and ludological forms, while taking into account computer games’ unique ergodic and computational status. Chapter two, “Paper Prototypes,” examines the principles of game fiction in three analogue forms: the choice book, the board game, and the tabletop role-playing game. My third chapter, “Playing the Interface,” theorizes the act of narrative communication within the ludic, multimodal context of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Chapter four, “Data, Set,” posits the game quest as analogous to the database query in Adventure and StarCraft. Much like data exists in a database, requiring only the proper query for access, narrative exists in game fiction, shaped by quests through fictional settings. Chapter five, “The Game Loop,” argues that the grammar of user input within the game loop shapes the player’s relationship to the character and, in MediEvil, the subsequent themes of redemption.
I started the blog many years ago as a research and thinking space, and though I’ve used it very little publicly over the past few years, a great deal of the early writing and interaction here eventually made it in some form into my recently finished dissertation, “Game Fiction” (more about which soon).
I’m sure the look of the place will change here and there, and I’m not promising frequent updates, but I do suspect Misc will see a bit more activity than, say, during the past 2 years.
Note: those interested in the earlier MoveableType version of this blog may find the archive here: http://misc.wordherders.net/mt/
It has recently been argued that the generation of large data sets is the new science. I agree only insofar as the data sets are used to ask and answer unique questions about life.
Bigger Faster Better
By Craig Venter | Posted November 20, 2008
(and yes, it has been over a year since the last post.)
Lovely fan-created video for Grandaddy’s “Jed’s Other Poem (Beautiful Ground),” found via if:book.
the if:book post details the video better than I can at the moment, except to say that Grandaddy kept me going through several late nights during graduate school, and that this is wonderful example of constrained writing/animation (see the creator’s statement below).
Just came across something lovely. Video for “Jed’s Other Poem (Beautiful Ground)” by the now disbanded Grandaddy from their great album The Sophtware Slump (2000). Jed is a character who weaves in and out of the album, a forlorn humanoid robot made of junk parts who eventually dies, leaving behind a few mournful poems.
Creator Stewart Smith: “I programmed this entirely in Applesoft BASIC on a vintage 1979 Apple ][+ with 48K of RAM — a computer so old it has no hard drive, mouse up/down arrow keys, and only types in capitals. First open-source music video, code available on website. Cinematography by Jeff Bernier.” A nice detail of the story is that this was originally a fan vid but was eventually adopted as the “official” video for the song.
If you find yourself in London on the 21st… [via JISC's blog]
Developing International Collaboration for Digitisation: the JISC – National Endowment for Humanities perspective
In celebration of their transatlantic digitisation collaboration grants, JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) and the NEH (National Endowment for Humanities) are hosting an evening panel session looking at issues related to international digitisation. The evening will draw on the experiences of projects in the area and will also involve discussion to inform future directions.
Hosted by King’s College London. Monday 21st January, 5.30pm – 6.45pm (Room 2B08, Strand Campus)
Chaired by Sarah Porter, Head of Development, JISC, with presentations and commentary from:
- Bruce Cole, Chairman, National Endowment for Humanities
- Malcolm Read, Executive Secretary, JISC
- Paul Ell, Director, The Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis, Queen’s University Belfast
- Robert K. Englund, Professor of Assyriology at the University of California and Director of the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative
The event is open to all. The evening will be followed by a wine reception for all attendees.
JISC and the NEH are grateful to the Centre for Computing in the Humanities at King’s College London for hosting the event.
Reading Digital Literature: American-German Conference
Roberto Simanowski and the Department of German Studies,
Exhibition in List Art Center, opening: Oct 4, 8 PM
Conference Opening: Oct 5, 4:30 PM
Sessions: Oct. 5, 5:00-6:30 and Oct. 6, 9:30 AM – 6:30 PM
Performances of Digital Literature: Oct. 5, 7:00-8:00 PM and Oct 6,
Sessions and Performances in Smith-Buonanno 106
* Katherine Hayles: The Literary as Distributed Cognition in
Strickland and Jaramillo’s slippingglimpse
* Rita Raley: List(en)ing Post
* Jörgen Schäfer: Looking Behind the Facade: Playing and Performing
an Interactive Drama
* Fotis Jannidis: Understanding S.T.A.L.K.E.R. or the hermeneutics of
popular digital art
* Peter Gendolla: The Art of Poetry Machines
* Chris Funkhouser: Kissing the steak: The Poetry of Text Generators
* Thomas Swiss: Reading “Wrong”: Flash Work by Motomichi Nakamura,
Nils Muhlenbruch, and Yoshi Sodeoka
* Karin Wenz: The Demon Machine or 79 Ways to Face a Demon
* George P. Landow: Symbolic (but unreadable) Texts in Digital Culture
* Mark Tribe: Reading Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries: An
Ornithology of Digital Art
A curtain of tiny screens with live quotations from Internet chat;
stories generated by computer programs; narratives generated by their
readers; words that disappear or reveal themselves depending on their
readers position, texts that peels off the wall and require the
‘reader’ to push it back. How shall we read such moving letters? How
do we catch their meanings? How might they make us feel? The
conference brings together ten specialists from the USA and Germany
to search for answers through in-depth analyses.
I’m not one to advertise my birthday, but if you were an early-shopping type, you can never go wrong with these rockin’ Space Invaders (set of 4 rocks glasses). I’m just saying…
We have been terrible about uploading pictures, so thank goodness for Natalie, Claire’s new godmother, who posted to Flickr several pictures of Claire’s baptism this past weekend. In this photo, Father Bill (who married us and baptized Evie) holds a wet-headed Claire, while Natalie (godmother, far right), Angelo (godfather, far left) and “GG-Mom” (Lisa’s grandmother and Evie’s godmother) look on…
It seems that most of my posts these days have to do with trying to fix MT… and this is a quick note to say, I’m still trying to fix the Wordherder comments, and I’m very grateful for the help that George has been providing.
Hopefully we’ll get stuff sorted out soon. I’ll keep everyone posted.
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