Technology

WordPress Security: Some useful tools

Look to the right of the page and you’ll see the effect that becoming a new dad has had on my free time. Couple that with needing to do a load of work on the house, and my capacity for looking after this website has become near zero. The problem is that administrative overhead didn’t go away – comments still needed to be moderated, and the number of failed login attempts was starting to become a worry. So one lunchtime at work I decided to look at some WordPress security tools. Ultimately I came up with two plugins and a…
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SEO, and why it’s stupid

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Its sole purpose for existing is to push content to the top of Google and the like. Some feel SEO to be a grubby industry, while others have built a living out of it. Some practitioners treat SEO as a religion that must be obeyed. This website makes use of an automated SEO tool to help ensure articles are of a high quality. The picture below shows what the tool displays at the start of the article writing process. The biggest criticism of SEO though is that it prioritises well promoted crap at the…
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Apple… It’s Happened

When the first iPhone came along, it was a pretty revolutionary device. Nothing else was quite like it. Since then, every release of the iPhone has been accompanied by a crowd of drooling fans, eager to give Apple their money for the latest shiny toy. Something interesting is beginning to happen though. People are getting wise to the fact that the new iPhone isn’t that much better than the last one. By Apple’s standards, the 5c was a bit of a disappointment, and Android is growing its market share like an unstoppable juggernaut. With the release of the iPhone 6,…
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Why you should REALLY test your app

Until recently I used the arriva M-Ticketing app on my phone. This handy little application would let you buy tickets on your movile and then you could simply show the bus driver the phone screen when getting on the bus. In exchange you would save 10% over the cost of buying the same 4-weekly ticket on the bus in paper form. Sounds good, doesn’t it! This is what technology should be doing. Making our lives easier and driving down the cost of doing business? Perhaps it’s telling then that I have gone back to using a paper ticket, kept in…
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Why I feel sorry for Julian Assange

I don’t for one second believe that Julian Assange is whiter than white, and if there was an offence of looking ‘shifty’, then send him down because he’s as guilty as hell. So why is he sitting as a political refugee in the Ecuadorian embassy? Some journalists are suggesting its because he’s trying to escape the equivalent of rape charges in Sweeden while George Galloway has tried to “help” by suggesting that what he’s accused of is not really rape. So is Assange a rapist? I don’t know, and nobody seems to have all the facts, or is willing to…
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Why there’s no such thing as a cheap website

I’ll make it clear from the start, this isn’t a sales pitch, I am not taking on third party work. What I do get asked to do from time to time however is to give advice to somebody wanting a website. This is what I tell them. In short, there’s no such thing as a cheap website. I often hear the phrase “my [Insert relative or friend here] is doing it for £40.” This is where I have to try and remain tactful and not start laughing at them while calling them stupid. More often than not the person doing…
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HowTo: Comment out lines in a .htaccess file

The .htaccess file allows for directory-level configuration on Unix based web servers. You may use the .htaccess file on a website for authorisation and authentication, or for URL rewriting (changing mywebsite.com/fruit/bananas to mywebsite.com/fruit.php?fruit=bananas.) This feature allows the mechanics of your website to be hidden from the user and allows search engines to index your content more efficiently. As with most configuration files, it becomes necessary to comment out lines and add comments to assist with maintaining the file. To do this you need to add a hash (#) symbol at the start of each line. Simples!

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I hate Lexmark… About as much as this cat!

I have never had a good relationship with Lexmark printers since the 3000 series from the late 90’s. Sadly they seem to have remembered this and are now determined to frustrate me on a daily basis. Today I needed to print a label onto a C5 envelope, so I tell it to pick the envelope up from the manual paper feeder, I position the envelope and hit the print button for it to say “Insert media in paper loader” !!!!!!!! There’s a bloody envelope here, pick the bloody thing up and print on it! No wait, “Error: Guide rails not…
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Why you shouldn’t expect privacy on the internet

If you stood in the doorway of your house, shouting how you murdered someone, while a TV news crew was standing next door; you would likely have a hard job of arguing you had a right to privacy, although I no doubt there are some lawyers that would try. Likewise, when you go virtually anywhere in the country, you’ll be recorded on CCTV at least once. So my question is, why should it be any difference on the internet? Let’s start with Google, the almost undisputed king of search and advertising, a handy little combination which contributed towards their multi-billion…
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