June 2013 archive

more irony

This is lovely. On a whim I have just checked the DNS for the Guardian. I got the following results: MX records: guardian.co.uk mail exchanger = 30 guardian.co.uk.s200b1.psmtp.com. guardian.co.uk mail exchanger = 40 guardian.co.uk.s200b2.psmtp.com. guardian.co.uk mail exchanger = 10 guardian.co.uk.s200a1.psmtp.com. guardian.co.uk mail exchanger = 20 guardian.co.uk.s200a2.psmtp.com. So – all four MX records point to SMTP …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/24/more-irony/

ironic advert

There is a wonderful advert in today’s Guardian. Most of page 6 is taken up with a Microsoft advert saying: “Aston Martin is now on Office 365 – your complete office in the cloud.” Right. An advert for a cloud based office suite from a major US software supplier. Tough sell. Especially in the Guardian.

Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/24/ironic-advert/

facebook login searches

About 18 months ago I posted a note objecting to facebook’s apparent new policy of insisting that its users hand over a mobile phone number in order to continue using its “service”. In that post I included a png image which I labelled “facebook-login.png”. Oddly enough I note that over the past two weeks my …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/24/facebook-login-searches/

please sign here

This post has nothing whatsoever to do with the usual topics I cover here, but this is my blog so hey I can write what I like. My family has a proud tradition of working in the UK public sector. Despite multiple machinery of government changes by administrations of both major political colours thoughout my …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/17/please-sign-here/

trivial traffic bump

I normally get around 1000 to 1300 hits a day (or 32,000 to 40,000 per month) on trivia. Not a huge hit rate, but consistent and on a slight upward trend over the past year. Today I have seen over double that – most of it this morning. Between 05.30 and 07.00 local time my …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/17/trivial-traffic-bump/

prism opt-out

In all the noise on the ‘net about the alleged NSA PRISM program, this new site offers an amusing, but nonetheless useful, list of free alternatives to proprietary software. In part the site sort of misses the point about PRISM, but it is still good to see someone taking the time to point out that …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/16/prism-opt-out/

Edward Snowden

The revelations of the past week or so have been interesting to me more for what they haven’t said, than what they have. There are a few points arising from Snowden’s story which puzzle me and which don’t seem to have been addressed by the mainstream media – at least not the ones I read. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/15/edward-snowden/

microsoft windows is conspicuous by its absence

At DigitalOcean – or so says Netcraft in its latest write up on their astonishingly fast rise over the last six months. Apparently, in December 2012, DigitalOcean had just over 100 web-facing computers whilst in June 2013, Netcraft found more than 7,000. That is some growth. But I’m not surprised. I make no apology for …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/13/microsoft-windows-is-conspicuous-by-its-absence/

blimey that was quick

The cable tester I ordered at around 17.00 yesterday arrived in this morning’s post. And jolly good it is too for such a ridiculously cheap item. As expected, the instructions are amusing but pretty clear for all that. It is easy to use and feels fairly robust, despite the price. Now the results. I am …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/12/blimey-that-was-quick/

Emails from PayPal will always address you by your first and last name

Except when they don’t. I have just received a wonderful email from paypal headed “Tim Harrison, your monthly activity is now ready to view online.” Way to go guys. That really inspires confidence.

Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/11/emails-from-paypal-will-always-address-you-by-your-first-and-last-name/

blimey that is cheap

David’s comment to my post about my gigabit ethernet upgrade prompted me to look for a cheap LAN tester so that I could check continuity through the RJ45 coupler that had caused me difficulty. It would also be handy to be able to check the box full of old patch cables that I seem to …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/11/blimey-that-is-cheap/

PRISM – we had it first

I can exclusively reveal that the UK government had a PRISM database long before those upstarts in the USA. In the late 1970s I worked in the Statistics Division of what was then the UK Civil Service Department. We used a database of Civil Service personnel called PRISM (Personnel Record Information System for Management). I …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/10/prism-we-had-it-first/

slow gigabit ethernet

I have been making some changes to my domestic network of late which I will write about later. However, one of the main changes has been an upgrade from 10/100 switches to gigabit – mainly to improve throughput between my central filestore and desktop machines. For cosmetic reasons (and to keep my wife happy) I …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/10/slow-gigabit-ethernet/

Iain Banks

I first met Frank (the protagonist and narrator in “The Wasp Factory”) in about May or June 1990. I had taken my bike (then an FJ1200) in to the dealer for a routine service and tyre change and had wandered in to a local newsagent to pick up a magazine or two to read whilst …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2013/06/10/iain-banks/