Ah, the internet. It's so wacky isn't it?
I don't know about you, but I use the same password for every website. I know, I know. I shouldn't. It's bad and wrong. One person could steal your password and get it in to all your accounts.
But we all know the rules of passwords. We should have individual ones for each site. We shouldn't write them down. We should include a mixture of uppercase and lowercase and numbers. But I don't. I use the same password for every single website.
Continue reading and comment on 'Changing all my web passwords'
Corporate blogging alert! Corporate blogging alert!
Comment on 'Blogging the launch of LOVEFiLM on the Kindle Fire'
Duplication in the Twittersphere when it comes to railways and social media
No spam filter is flawless and occasionally something gets through. Most of the time I bin them without comment, but this one caught my eye and inevitably I had to read it.
I’ve never counted up the spam vs proper comment ratio for my site but it’s easily going to be a couple of hundred spam comments for every genuine one, especially as I’ve never had huge numbers of comments here for whatever reason.
Who wants to watch programmes on their computer when you’ve got a nice big television set instead?
Yesterday I sat at home reading through the results of Twitter searches for #collierswood and ‘Colliers Wood’ trying to the gauge reaction from the highly organised looting of our nearby shopping centres. Amongst the many tweets of reaction and photos were statements that it was all kicking off again. They’d struck the Tandem Centre again; people were fleeing Sainsburys in panic; hoodies were hanging round the tube station carrying golf clubs. Staples at South Wimbledon was on fire. Police sirens were going off everywhere as they couldn’t cope.
I wandered over to the fastticket machines, put my card in and lo, my tickets printed out several hundred miles away from where they were supposed to.
The Oystercard website - exposing the underbelly of your technology is not necessarily what’s best for your users
I’ve learned that the Oystercard website is quite bad for tracking all this stuff - a fact that amazes me.
Sorry Bing, but I’m after a famous pub in Cumbria where grizzled mountain walkers all congregate telling tales of Bow Fell and Crinkle Crags, and not a dungeon in the Australian town of Ghyll…
Looking back at Fancy a Brew over the years is a bit like taking a time machine and exploring the past. So pop on those old fashioned clothes and prepare to head back to 1997…
I have a very good spam filter installed on this blog, plus I pre-moderate all comments before they go on the site. But every now and then the filter goes wrong and sends to me a comment for approval that shouldn’t. And some of them are amazingly wonderful to read. They are almost zen-like. I think they’re wasted on my spam folder.
Moment of the week last week was when I was shown an email to The F-Word Towers pointing out that if you search for “man” or “men” on the site then nothing happens. There are no results.
Martin Belam’s written before about the trend of adverts to tell you to search for “something” rather than give a web address to remember. It’s happening more and more, however normally the ads give you just a bit more to go on that this advert that was plastered around Dublin on a recent visit there.
Now that it’s all set up correctly and raring to go, I thought I’d better do a quick plug. For, after a gap of about ten years, Catherine has her own website again.
As I mentioned the other day, we’ve just had our bathroom done. It was, I must confess, something we’d put off for some time. That and the kitchen too. Both really needed doing when we moved in back in 2004, however we didn’t have the money at the time and over the months and years we just got too used to the way everything was. Eventually I put my foot down and decided that we just had to get at least one - and preferably both - done. I decided on the bathroom as technically it should be a simpler project (well one where there was less for us to decide�)
I recently spotted the addition of an option in the BBC iPlayer which asks you if you like the recommendations it shows on the programme page. It’s currently an iPlayer Labs thing so isn’t normally available.
I decided to trawl through the URLs of 17 online banks - a mixture of big and smaller names - to see what URLs they were using for their secure services, and how they varied from the standard domain names…
So that was Yammer then. In the space of about four hours I’d joined, used and deleted my account - probably the fastest I’ve ever tired of a social media service.
Who would have thought that an angry, ranting post about GE Money, would result in so much feedback? And not all of a good kind…
Oh dear, no, not another bloomin’ blog post about Google Chrome? I mean! Come on! How many does the internet really need????
Today I tried Google Chrome. And it felt wrong.
By chance I noticed the an interesting case of BBC related database overload. And it’s in the form of recipe databases. Boy, is there a lot…
Roughly 50% of all the spam for bods.me.uk consists of phising attempts for NatWest customers, repeated over and over and over again.
Martin Belam has recently been experimenting with Twitter, and has blogged about his month long experience of using it.
As I mentioned recently, the BBC’s Doctor Who website recently redesigned and moved their XML feed, without putting a redirect or message in the old feed to point people to the new one.
Launched in 1999 as freebeeb.net, and later renamed beeb.net, BBC Worldwide’s ISP slowly and quietly kept chugging along. By 2001 it had entered profitability with 140,000 users. And it’s been around ever since. But this year will be its last - on the 30 June 2008, Beeb will close down and be no more.
One of the reasons I quite like Plus.net as an ISP is that they’re pretty open and honest with you. For example, for those of us on a capped broadband package, they provide a simple online tool that tells you how much you’ve used in a month. Very simple but you’d be amazed at how many ISPs don’t do this.
One of the wonders of having XML feeds is that you can keep up to date with what’s going on quite nicely from one place instead of having to go through hundreds of different bookmarks, remembering what you’ve seen and what you’ve not. And it’s something more and more sites are now realising that they should provide, and which will bring them traffic.
For some time, I’ve been wondering why Movable Type has been, well frankly, so slow on my home PC. And specifically my Linux PC. It’s been an insane situation where trying to add one entry could take five minutes.
Blogs for me are a great way for the BBC to communicate with the people who use, and pay for, its services and it’s great that they’ve been a success. Indeed, probably too much of a success if the continuing comment problems are anything to go by. The problems in trying to put up a single comment are, frankly, terrible. Timeouts… Server problems… You’re not even sure if your comment has even got through to the server backend half the time.
This will hopefully be the last post on the whole comment spam thing - for now anyway. Today I actually (and accidentally) tracked down the reason why spam comments were going live on this site.
Ah, I thought. A false positive. A rather crap comment true, but one which presumably was in response to the whole comment spam issue.
Well you’re a right bunch of miserable people. Not one email to keep me company whilst the comments were down! Tsk! What do you think you’re playing at? Call yourself blog readers… Anyway, they’re back up now following some intensive hunting to find the cause of spam comments somehow making it on the site, despite all comments being pre-moderated.
An observant person might notice that comments on this blog are currently turned off. There’s a very good reason for this - today I logged into Movable Type and found that over the last few days, 44 spam comments had somehow gone live on the site.
I confess to being mildly concerned when I logged into Movable Type just now and found a great big whopping piece of comment spam had somehow managed to get itself onto an article yesterday.
The problem is all in the file names Blogger and Movable Type publish out to.
When it comes to hosting, I’m a bit clueless (having never needed any) I thought I’d open the door to suggestions.
Every now and then my email accounts suffer what I suspect many people who own domains do these days - log on to your email and find a couple of thousand emails saying ‘Message can’t be delivered’ or that kind of ilk.
“Web icon set to be discontinued” screamed the headline from the pages of BBC News’s website.
Anyone reading the BBC Internet Blog will have noticed a flurry of posts celebrating the 10th aniversary of bbc.co.uk. All the reminiscing has, to be honest, got me reminising about my old memories of working on the BBC website
Lots of people have blogged about it - with comments ranging from celebrating about the lack of the bbc.co.uk logo, and celebrating that lovely retro clock. So here’s my bit.
Here’s one for you. Have a think about how many people you know who do not have an internet connection in their house.
Also known as “Andrew can’t think of anything to write about, so he cops out and just scours the search logs to see if there’s anything funny in there”.
Ever since the BBC’s iPlayer’s TV programme download service launched in beta format a few months ago, its use of digital rights management has been a hot topic across various parts of the internet for all sorts of reasons.
One of the things I try to do on this website when reviewing or commenting on anything, is to give an accurate reflection of an experience at the time I saw it. I don’t believe in being nasty, or badly reviewing anything unnecessarily. And yes, I’ve said a few bad things about certain places before now. Anyone who ever had the chore of reading my comments on Freeserve or GE Money will know that.
Last night when I was told that one of the best places for European railway timetables online is to pop off to Germany - in the online sense anyway.
If there’s a greater test of website usability, it’s trying to find out information from a site that’s in a language you don’t speak.
Hello. I’m currently typing this downstairs, far away from my main computer.
It’s bad enough turning on your computer after three days only to find some f***er has used your domain name as the from address whilst spamming the bergeebus out of half the known world. But then you find that several hundred of those email addresses the b***ards have used are no longer in operation, so you get several hundred “message not delivered” emails.
Generally the things people search for, can’t be found, so here’s Bods making up for that.
After ten years, a website ends, and another starts.
Can you tell me why I used to be on 4meg connection and am now on 1meg?
This morning I received an email from mycokemusic.com telling me the service will be shutting down at the end of July. Can’t say I’m guttered.
There I was looking through some of the entries submitted to the BBC’s homepage redesign competition thinking that many of them shared a common theme - customisation along the lines of the old myBBC which I worked on back in 2000 when I first started working for Auntie (three month contract… still there six and a half years later…. hmmm). And lo, whilst I was at a barbeque in the pooring rain, there was Martin doing a post on the reboot:bbc.co.uk blog talking about exactly the same thing.
I confess I’m a little late with this, owing to me just not being in the mood to blog much recently, but The F-Word turned five recently.
I don’t normally repost comments I make on sites, in my own blog but in this case, I’ll make an exception. Below is the offending entry, and below that, my comment. Just in case it doesn’t survive on the site in question.
And a big hello to the God of Blogs, who apparently has been reading this here site, or so I was told today.
Thanks to the script/person who hacked a webform on planetbods.org this evening and started using it to send out junk email to goodness knows who. Enjoy rotting in hell once you and your moronic kind have finally killed off the internet once and for all.
Oh thank goodness for that. I have internet access again. I wasn’t quite sure how I could live without checking my emails for a few hours!
The Guardian’s Emily Bell seems to suggest that that the iMP is the bold new world for the BBC, and that the BBC backed service could be opened up to ‘host’ services from Channel 4 and ITV. The suggestion is a sort of TV programme version of Google News - do a search and find legal-to-download programmes.
Because I don’t have my browser set to full screen. And I don’t want my browser to be set at full screen.
Got a letter through from Nominet today. Domain’s about to expire - are you sure? Well yeah, actually I am. But there’s an invoice for if I want to renew it - in case my registrant has made a mistake.
My ISP has just upgraded me to a nice 2mb broadband connection instead of the old, painfully tediously slow 1mb broadband connection for free. Which is nice.
I seem to be on the list for attempts to con me out of cash using ebay and Paypal. I get a substantial amount of them per day, whilst Catherine (oddly) gets none.
We are Promoting a Dishwasher. An immortal phrase from a spam email I receieved the other day. Didn’t say what the job was that the dishwasher had been given, but I’m sure it was the best candidate.
One of the finest BBC websites around. One of the quirkiest, one of the most popular, one of the most imaginative, one of the most distinctive parts of the BBC’s online output. In fact one of the best pieces of online non-news editorial content the BBC has produced. And the BBC’s Cult website is closing.
Most of my emails are spam sadly. I get far too much of it, but nestling inside the mortgage offers, people presuming I need some pills to get it up, messages from someone called Julie about her webcam, and a barrage of emails about all the email addresses I’ve supposedly added to my ebay account, came this one about buying my domain name.
It must have been 1998 when I first used HTML pre-processor Hitop, and now seven years later, I’m beginning to say goodbye.
Was it really 2001 that I spent months working away on the new, amazing BBCi web search?
I know, I know. I’m behind the times. But the announcement that Yahoo were opening up APIs to its search engine got me thinking that I could finally replace the Atomz search on this site, with something that doesn’t force me to have crummy ads on it.
One thing has to be said - the internet can be a very powerful tool for finding information. But you’ve got to exploit the medium - make the most of it. The BBC until recently has been a bit, well… traditional in its approach, but times are changing especially with the arrival of two more websites from the organisation dealing with complaints.
On the day that we found out about the first UK blogger to be sacked by his employer (well that we know about anyway) it’s fittingly appropiate that the hot topic on part of the BBC’s internal message boards was guidelines for BBC staff who blog about work stuff.
Couple of months ago, I finally went broadband through Plus.net. Consigning the old 56k modem to the never regions of my redundant computer equipment box was a happy moment.
No. I don’t want an imitation Rolex.
Sometimes people search this site for the oddest of things - things which I should have blogged about… but didn’t.
Bowdfern Towers now has a shiny 1mb ADSL connection running into the house. Wahoo!
Whilst it’s great to have emails coming in via the email forms again, it’s reminded me just how much crap I get through…
Broken (and fixed) CSS, broken (and fixed) email forms and some PHP thrown in to boot! Yay!
It’s been almost a year since I switched on SpamAssassin for the first time. I was rather cautious - setting it up so all spam would go into one folder that I could review and then delete. Just in case anything slipped through.
At long last, version 3.0 of The F-Word has gone live. Given I first started work on redesigning Catherine’s site back in December 2002, you might understand that its launch is somewhat of a relief to me.
If you’re using Mozilla Firefox 0.9.x - and if you are, you’ll probably know it - you might be looking at a very plain webpage without any proper colours or styles on it.
Woe betide you ever have an opinion that happens to be similar to any management decision….
I’ve talked before about the weird things people search this site for but today I some odd ones in the Planet Bods search logs…
I was surprised to see the site hits go up 7000 last month, a large number of people hitting my post about my recent RSS changes, and a 1000 referrals from Mark Pilgrim’s Dive Into Mark site.
A rather good booklet dropped through my door today - explaining all about the forthcoming elections in London and for the European Parliament.
Well you can’t beat a sequel sometimes, so to follow up ‘Bods Tries To Use mycokemusic.com’, here is Bods ‘uses’ mycokemusic.com! And what an ‘experience’ it was…
How depressing. I connect the Windows XP laptop to the internet for the first time in 6 months and bamm. Sasser virus.
Given the PR disastor that surrounded the launch of Movable Type 3, it’s perhaps not surprising that there have been some ‘clarifications’ (or backtracking, depending on whose opinion you read) about the new licensing.
Following on from my Movable Type essay/rant [delete as appropiate], I’ve made an ever so slight change to the template of this site.
Well the announcement of version 3 of popular blogging software Movable Type has been greeted with a flurry of posts in the blogs across the land. Unfortunatly they’re rarely about the flurry of new features, but instead concentrating on one thing and one thing alone. The price.
Do you ever wonder if people actually use email to communicate in a way that they never would with any other form of communication? To say things that they probably shouldn’t? And that they wouldn’t by phone, or by text, by letter or in person?
So today the BBCi website became bbc.co.uk. An amazing transformation which I’m sure a few people haven’t even noticed.
Had an email via my website email form today. Rather odd one cos someone had obviously been searching through websites and spamming them through website contact forms.
Launches of new search engines seem to be ten to a penny these days. Yet the launch of one from Amazon is surely a bit more interesting to the world?
Incidentally, if details of what people searched for isn’t enough for you, you might be interested in what search term in search engines like Google, MSN and so on, people used to find this site.
One search on BodsCentral from last week had me puzzled. "Hillgate Place". And I had to wonder. Where is Hillgate Place? Maybe my other search results from last week will shed some light…
There’s a new full-stories feed for your pleasure. If you use an aggregator to view the site, feel free to give it a try.
I’ve been looking at the hierarchy for categories in this the site for some time and have been less than impressed with what I see.
It’s taken me a long time to realise, but I finally have. The meta keywords tag in HTML is now very pointless.
More ridiculous conditions websites like to ‘enforce’ agreement to.
A scouring of the Apache server logs reveals why people keep looking for train timetables…
A lot of people seem to have been wittering on about the death of the personal homepage. Having just compared stats for Planet Bods and this site, I’m glad to say that Planet Bods still beats this place on the hits stakes - it’s not dead yet!
For some time I’ve been cursing web users. Specifically those web users who want to contact Tyne Tees Television. For instead of going to the Tyne Tees website, they come to the totally unofficial Tyne Tees Logo Page as run by me.
Inspirational stuff from my other half.
It’s been 6 weeks or so since the last Anatomy of Search Results but they keep pouring in and confusing me. Except for the one from the very beginning of January which was just shag. That just scared me.
I’ve read a lot about myCokeMusic.com - yet another bandwagon jumping music download site - so I thought I’d try it out. And this being my blog, I’d better tell you how it went…
CSS hacks are on two levels - documented ‘features’ and undocumented browser bugs. And using the latter could be storing up a whole lodda trouble for the future.
Why oh why oh why is it that when you are bored and want a diversion, there are never any emails, blog posts or new message board posts to read?
Sometimes it’s what people don’t say and what they don’t do which proves to be far more revealing that what they do say and what they do do.
The searches are getting wierder and wierder. What is a Bods to do, apart from shove them on a webpage!
Every week I get a sample of the searches made via the Bods Central search engine, sent to me in an email.
Some thoughts about my letter to Freeserve.
A copy of a letter sent to Freeserve today.
It was roundabout this time in 1996 that I started work on my first website.
The Guardian are doing a beta test for their new ‘digital editions’ If you’ve never heard of them, they’re taking print paradigms and trying to apply them to the web (shudder).
So… Does anyone know of an ISP who have a prepay package with no call charges that isn’t permanently engaged and inaccessible between 8 and 10pm?
People are linking to Pace. I hope they asked permission.
One of my last tasks as a Client Side Developer at the BBC has now snook online.
The one spam email subject I love recieving however is about… well spam.
Some people seem to think hyperlinking can be stopped by asking people not to link to you… Some people need to get their heads out of the clouds…
Paul Hammond recently blogged about the accurate measure of the quality of a site. Apparently links to content and traffic have nothing in relation to each other. So how do you measure success?
The theme switcher now works properly. Honest. Believe me. Please?
A new, and rather pointless theme chooser has been added to the site. Enjoy!
Today I struggled with some HTML. Does this set a worrying path to technical oblivion?
My subscription to Freeserve Anytime account was paid up until 7th October. I cancelled and got written confirmation that my account Anytime account would be deactivated on the 7th October. Today my account was deactivited. Today is the 2nd October.
A combination of Spam Assassin and Procmail means fewer virus generated emails and other unsolicited bulk mail hitting me. Ah, that feels better.
The amazing deductive abilities of a crappy internet service provider.
Fscking Swen viruses bombarding me with crappy useless emails… Grrr…
Apparently in HTML documents, you don’t actually have to have HTML, HEAD or BODY tags. Well you learn something new every day…
Freeserve. So competent, they can’t even cancel an account…
Trying to crack a nut with a sledgehammer doesn’t turn out too well normally. However people will try it and it will have repercussions. As web developers, perhaps we should be making sure there are some saftey precautions…
Ogg streaming came to Virgin, The Groove and Liquid in June which is fantastic news!
The Conservative Party are wonderful at sprouting utterly stupid comments…
So why am I not being inundated with virus emails? Does no one like me?
Wendy has a new MP3 player, and Paul and Andrew C can only communicate by the power of blog entries. And Mark Radcliffe has been to Ashton a few times. And does anyone actually read this rubbish?
Changing electricity supplier revealed some appalling bad corporate websites from the giants of the electric industry.
Cynthia Says is a web site accessibility validator, and this is some information on it.
New look Planet Bods out now - take a look and let me know what you think.
It’s time for a new direction - a new bandwagon to jump on. Who would have thought that Google would provide so well…
How a slight bug in a redesign affected one internet community.
You mean you expect emails that make sense to arrive from ISP support teams?
Send Freeserve my webmail password? No chance!
The latest instalment in the webmail battle.
Yet more on the now slightly infamous "Freeserve crap webmail" saga.
How do you markup a script in HTML? Well where there is a will, there is a way.
The latest stage in the continuing Freeserve battle of wits and wills, just to get a working webmail.
The continuing hate/hate triangle between Andrew Bowden, Freeserve’s webmail and Freeserve Webmail’s support team.
You’d think that using a webmail service would be relatively straightforward. Not with Freeserve it’s not.
myBBC was my first big web building project. Sadly it was turned off the other day. But it holds a fair few memories…
Funnily enough, London isn’t as organised as the Tube map would have you believe. Far from it infact as one website will let you know.
BodsCentral has had a minor redesign to make it more accessible. Find out some details of the changes.
100 emails in 3 days from a pesky virus means a trip to email filtering hell. Oh how I love computers…
If you’re a Mac IE5 user, this site looks a bit rough. Sorry, but it’s not my fault! Honest!
About the Bods Central accessibility and web standards policies.
The ‘best viewed in’ culture has taken to locking people with certain web browsers out of the site completely. Which is neither nice nor sensible.