Archive for the 'Internet' Category

The Joys of a Strong Pound

April 23, 2007

One of the cool things about a single pound being worth more than $2 is that geeks like me can buy domain names on the cheap.

For example, the other week I got a .net domain for less than a fiver. Also, at GoDaddy at the moment, you can buy a .info domain for $0.99, which comes out after taxes and stuff at just over 60p! OK, so the .info domain is the spammers’ favourite, but it’s still worth doing at that price.

Stikipad

February 24, 2006

Stikipad, which I mentioned in my brief round up of wikis recently, has now made it’s free account have unlimited edits. Thank goodness sanity has prevailed – 5 edits would be nowhere near enough for someone to work out whether the service was worth paying for or not. A good example of a company listening to their users’ views.

Thanks to Matt at Stikipad for the email informing me about the change – I’ll be giving the service another try soon.

Google Page Creator

February 23, 2006

Google has released another new service: this time a web page editor and host. Not really a competitor to it’s own Blogger service, this system just produces flat sites, so really it should be seen as belonging to the same breed as Yahoo!’s GeoCities (is it still called that?)

Anyway, I have been having a play, and it’s actually quite good. For those who have no problems ethically with using Google, and who have few web skills but nevertheless want a small personal web page, I would genuinely recommend it.

What Google really need to do is integrate this in some way with the Personalised Portal – so that people can have their Google Page with RSS feeds displayed too.

Junk Email

February 18, 2006

So, I had a quick look last night at the bottom of my Gmail window – where it says how much space my emails are taking up. Was shocked that it was 25% of the 2695 MB available.

I thought this was pretty shocking – there’s no way I have that much email. Then I had a thought – for a long while a friend of mine had been forwarding those joke emails with huge attachments – up to 10 a day sometimes. After about a week of this I set up a filter to shove them all to ‘archive’, so my inbox didn’t get clogged up.

So, I searched for all these messages and deleted them all (now, that was a pain in the arse. Not least because I had to select them, delete them, then remove them from the trash; but because in search view, only 25 messages appear per screen, rather than the 100 per screen I have normally. That’s just idiotic.) And what was the result?

I am now down to 11% of my available space. More than half my quota was filled with these joke chain emails! I changed my filter from ‘straight to archive’ to ‘straight to trash’.

Email and Blogging

February 17, 2006

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that it is a good idea for a blogger to have his or her email address easily accessible. But what about when that email address isn’t one that a reader would want to use?

I clearly mark the email link under my photo on the right as being a Gmail address. Some people don’t like Gmail, for a variety of reasons. So, really, you should offer an alternative. I try to do this with my Email page.

So far, so good. But what about the people I email? Remember, one of the problems people have with Gmail is that it stores mails more-or-less indefinitely. So, if I email them from my Gmail account, they are being forced into having their reply stored for ever more on a Google server somewhere, being used for God knows what. Now, I personally don’t care what Google do with my emails, and I like the interface so much I want to stick with it. But what about those that do?

So, I have amended my Gmail signature to include a line saying “Don’t want to reply to Gmail? Try me@davebriggs.net instead!”

This way, if people want to reply, but don’t want to have their email sucked into Google’s information empire, they can do. Sorted.

de.icio.us daily post

February 14, 2006

I have been playing with the daily post setting on del.icio.us and tonight I’ll find out if it is going to work…

Basically, the daily post spits out a post to your blog containing all the sites I linked to on del.icio.us that day, at a set time. You can read up on how to configure it to work with WordPress on the support forum. The url to visit to create this for your own blog is http://del.icio.us/settings/yourdel.icio.ususername/daily.

So, check here after 22:00 GMT to see if mine has worked – it will save me a job creating link blog posts, anyway…

Wikis

February 13, 2006

I have needed a simple wiki solution for a little problem of mine, and I have found just what I was after.

I just needed a page or two that could be easily edited for the handful of people who are attending the Palimpsest Big Day Out in May – usually this stuff is handled on the forums, but this can be a nightmare when you are hunting through pages of messages. Installing a whole wiki on my webspace would be overkill, so I needed a hosted solution.

Steve Rubel yesterday pointed to StikiPad which I have a go, and it was ok, but the free version only allows for 5 revisions! Rubbish.

In the end I found PBwiki through Google. And it is perfect. Simple to set up, a simple method of user authentication, revision histories and everything else you might need. OK, so the free version has adverts and certain limitations about the number of pages you can have, but it is perfect for almost any simple wiki needs.

FeedDemon and del.icio.us

January 29, 2006

FeedDemon 2 has a cool little icon on each post you read to link to it in your del.icio.us archive. I’ve actually started to use this now for a few things. Here is the RSS feed, if you are interested.

It would be nice to have a ‘blog this’ icon too. Currently it’s either going through the menus or hitting ctrl-shift-b.

Stuff from MJR

January 26, 2006

Couple of interesting points from MJR:

Annoying blog comment misfeatures: letter images

Just tried to leave a comment on Sasquach wears a yellow hat at blogger.com – it has one of those annoying “type the letters from the distorted image” screens (which don’t work well [w3c]). Even when I switch images on, I can’t get the letters accepted. I don’t know if it’s a problem with the site or my eyes, but it’s really annoying.

Quite right! Though what is worse is blogger blogs that will only let you comment if you register with blogger. That really is just rubbish.

Google Problems: China; and World Economic Forum TV

25 Jan 2006: google is taking a lot of heat online for agreeing to Chinese government content requests. I won’t criticise the actual decision too much, because it’s typical corporation behaviour: follow the money, like the rest of the World Economic Forum. If you’re buying Chinese products just because they’re cheaper, you’re part of the reason they have the money and part of the reason that google is following them – corporations are seldom held accountable. If you don’t like that, maybe you should Boycott Made In China as well as google?

I think most people’s problem is that it is such hypocritical behaviour – MSN and Yahoo! have had this sort of thing in place with China for ages, and no one batted an eyelid – but perhaps many people – naively – expected better from Google. At least Bill Gates never pretended to be anything other than evil… And fine, it is typical corporation behaviour. But isn’t it nice that at least once people kick up a stink over it?

More censorship news…

January 25, 2006

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Iran blocks BBC Persian website

The Iranian authorities have started to block the BBC’s Persian language internet site, for the first time.

The BBC says the level of traffic to the site from within Iran has dropped sharply over the last three days.

No official explanation has been given. The BBC has expressed concern at the action, saying it deprives many Iranians of a trusted source of news.

The BBC said it would be approaching the Iranian government at an official level about re-instating access.

BBC Persian.com is the most popular of the BBC’s non-English language websites, receiving about 30 million page impressions a month – about half of which are from inside Iran.

BBC World Service radio broadcasts in English and Persian are being received by audiences in Iran as normal, as are the BBC’s international online news services in English.

When entering the BBC’s Persian site a sign comes up saying “access to this site denied”, says the BBC’s Frances Harrison in Tehran.

It is not clear if the filtering will be permanent, but many websites are routinely blocked in Iran, our correspondent says.

The BBC says readers from Iran have begun emailing them to ask for help with what are known as filter-buster sites, which enable access to banned sites.

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