One of the scripts in my bag of tools to check whether a site is still up and running is content-check.pl. This little script compares the hash of a web page against a previously created reference hash. If the content of the web page has modified, this script will detect it and send an email.
You have to be very careful which page you check because even the slightest difference in the HTML source will be detected.
The user guide of the HTC Hero explains that Windows users can do tethering through the (Windows-only) HTC Sync software. I assumed that tethering on Ubuntu would be impossible without rooting the phone - just like any other Android device - but I was wrong.
It turns out that USB tethering on Ubuntu is even easier than on Windows