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Category: General Thoughts

Those crazy spammers, they cheer me up

All your base are belong to usI love comment spammers. I hate what they do and that they are a waste of everyone’s time, but I love them because they make me laugh. You have to love someone who puts a smile on your face, right?

Comment spammers cheer me up. I’m talking about the people who post spam into the comments of blogs. This blog in particular gets a fair amount of spam comments a day. I rarely get a proper comment. Yes I would like to see more people commenting, but I’d rather have none than just allow the page to be filled with rubbish.

If you Like that, you won’t like getting fired

Like or not like on Facebook?How can clicking a Facebook Like button get you fired? When you like the Facebook page of your boss’s rival, that’s how. Deputy Sheriff Daniel Ray Carter of Hampton, Virginia, was fired from his job because he clicked Like on the page of Jim Adams, who was running for election to the post of sheriff against Carter’s incumbent boss BJ Roberts. After Roberts won the election and retained his job, he fired Carter. Carter sued on the grounds of his constitutional rights to free speech, but the judge in the case disagreed with him.

The federal judge said, “It is the Court’s conclusion that merely “liking” a Facebook page is insufficient to merit constitutional protection. In cases where courts have found that constitutional speech protections extended to Facebook posts, actual statements existed within the record.”

Google wows with Google Now for Android

Google NowGoogle is taking personalised search to the next level with the launch of its predictive information tool Google Now. Released in the next version of the Android operating system, Google Now automatically gives you information thatit assumes you might need when you might need it.

For example, if you have a meeting in your calendar and Google Now knows where that is, it might pop up a notification of the time you ought to leave to beat the traffic. If you are in a specific restaurant, you might get a pop up of the most popular menu items – based on your personal preferences.

Does your website take a break?

How can I help you?This week I stayed in a budget hotel with my family during the school holiday. On arrival at the hotel the reception desk was unattended. Standing in front of the desk, wearing the uniform of the hotel, was a lady who appeared to be waiting for someone. This lady stood there for five minutes, not acknowledging our presence in any way and we assumed she was perhaps just comfortable with the fact that the receptionist had stepped out for a moment and we would be served imminently.

EU cookie law will hurt those it should be helping

Busybody Bureaucrats ruiin the net with a stupid cookie lawEvery time you walk into a supermarket, there are any number of cameras filming your movements. You are not informed about these cameras – you are expected to know they are there; expected to accept their presence without knowing what will happen to the data they capture.

What if, each time you walk into the shop, you are confronted on entry by a lawyer who asks you to complete a waiver form allowing the shop to film you. Most likely, you would go to another shop. But what if every shop was doing the same thing?

Umbraco CMS is a joy for .NET users

Umbraco logoThere’s a reason that most websites run on Linux servers, and why so many run on PHP with MySQL server. That reason is price. MySQL is free, PHP is free, Linux is relatively free depending on which flavour you use.

The Microsoft platform has, for several years, been an expensive one but the Umbraco content management system (CMS) is a bit of a game changer. This CMS is an open source CMS based on Microsoft’s ASP.NET that even allows editing with Microsoft Word. With Umbraco, designers can create accessible and valid xhtml with their mark-up left intact.

The convergence of magazines and web

Vanity FairI worked in magazine publishing when the “world wide web” (as it was still being called) was becoming the new way to publish. At that time, magazine publishing companies, and some newspaper publishers, invested warily in the new medium because of the fear that the web would kill magazine sales and affect marketing.

Trade magazines that relied on industry advertising (especially those reliant on job ads) suddenly saw their paginations drop as the web offered a more cost effective and trackable way to reach customers.

Argos wants reviews, but does it really?

Argos reviewsIf you take the time to write what you think is an honest and well-reasoned review of a product you have paid good money for, you might understandably feel aggrieved when the company that invited you to write the review says it isn’t good enough to be published.

This happened to me recently on the Argos website after they emailed me to invite me to review a child’s bed I had bought. I wrote the review and then received an email a few days later to say, “Unfortunately we could not publish your review as it did not meet our guidelines.”

Anonymous launches attack on SOPA/PIP supporters

We Are Anonymous logoA day after the anti-SOPA/PIP internet blackout, hacking group Anonymous has launched an attack on companies and government bodies that support the Stop Anti Piracy Act and Protect IP bill.

Posting a series of updates on its Twitter account (@YourAnonNews), the group taunted the Justice Department, Universal Music, the Recording Industry Association of America and Motion Picture Association of America as all their websites crashed.