Archive for December, 2004

This sound pretty cool

December 31st, 2004 No comments

This sounds like quite a good idea. It’s a bit heavy on the technical, and doesn’t really labour the point very well, but once you get it, it’s quite simple

Imagine being able to gather a collection of RSS resources (i.e. news feeds, blog feeds, etc), and to be able to filter out items automatically and to produce a new RSS feed based on that.

Now imagine being able to “chain” these filters together. Where one may take news feeds from news sites around the world and merge them for relevant (e.g.) Technical information; a second filter could then attempt to match these stories to a Slashdot news feed which has been merged with a news feed from The Register. And so on.

This site goes a little bit further and attempts to generate the initial RSS feed gathering information from a multitude of sources – e.g. files on a network, with news feeds and marketing statistics – and then pushing these off to external “filters” (or content manipulators), such as or who may adjust the content to direct interested parties to correct pages or definitions. However, the site again goes one step further and discusses the idea of sending the information to another content manipulator straight from another. E.g. if I want to send information to both and for them to manipulate, instead of sending the data to, then receiving the data back and then sending it to; I would craft my request (with <via>) information to go from the originator (i.e. me), to amazon, then amazon would read the <via> information and pass this to, who would then send it to it’s next information (i.e. back to me).

All sounds pretty complex, but in reality it wouldn’t be that difficult to perform – the difficult lies in getting the system useful enough that people would want to generate standards for it.

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Linux Squeezed onto another Consumer Product…

December 31st, 2004 No comments

I like Linux, alot, but every now and then a brilliant new piece of consumer equipment is released (and proves very popular) and somebody has to go and try to squeeze Linux on to it.

Usually they succeed (e.g. iPaqLinux), but it you install it then you’re definitely invalidating any kind of warranty that you had.

In this instance, it’s now the iPod that has been victim to the hackers. However, this project seems a little different to the others that I have seen.

Not only do they have a decent website (for once), trivial I know, but the real killer thing I like about this project is summed up in these few words Our bootloader allows for you to choose between either iPodLinux or Apple’s firmware each time you turn on your iPod.Genius! They have realised, unlike many other projects, that you may only want to tinker with Linux every now and then, and they have let you turn it off! Bravo!

When I eventually get my iPod, I’m still not going to install it though…

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The Poor Sod….

December 30th, 2004 No comments

I dare somebody to paint this Burberry!

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Ice Skating

December 30th, 2004 No comments

I’ve just come back from a day out in Guildford where I’ve been bowling, swimming and ice skating with a few of my friends

Whilst going around the ice rink, I had the pleasure of a 14 year old girl pinching my arse (I’m 22 – and definitely not into that kind of thing) and then trying to deny that she did it by not looking at me

Still, we had the most fun playing “knock the chav over”. It’s a simple game, but quite rewarding.

Basically, you get little goits, who can skate much better than myself, who tear around the ice getting in everyone’s way. Occassionally one of these will get in your way, or carve you up. At this point, you take the opportunity to “make them fall over”.

I hit the score board first, when a hood-rat managed to skate sideways in front of me as he wasn’t looking where he was going. I grabbed him, so that I didn’t fall over (it was a big collision). He went over, I didn’t. Score one for me.

At the end of the day, myself, Trevor and Rachelle, all had one take-down each, and our friend James had a healthy score of 2 (although he claims it was only one). Tom, unfortunately, failed to score – better luck next time.

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Blog Spam

December 29th, 2004 No comments

Fortunately, as yet, I’m yet to succumb to Blog Spam – where spammers use your blog to get their message across

Because I have developed my own blog, I’ve left room for some Spam filtering options when posting comments or trackbacks. As yet I have yet to implement these features.

Fortunately, I stumbled across this page which gives Moveable Type users information on how to avoid spam, and also links to this page which lists a load of black listed URLs. I can now start to implement a bit of a Bayesian filter for sorting out spam.


This page lists some other things that I could do – e.g. blocking spammers using a .htaccess file
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Oh dear.

December 29th, 2004 No comments

In my recent rant about Nokia phones, I listed some problems with the Series 60. I neglected to mention that there is a small collection of viri for the platform now which spread via Bluetooth.

This report on The Register this morning has now got me worried about this virus, so I’m going to be turning the Bluetooth on my phone off unless I need it on, as I’m not interested in having an expensive, virus spreading, paperweight.

If you have a Symbian powered phone, PLEASE turn the Bluetooth off. It’ll cost you less in the long run!

I realised the other day that although turning off Bluetooth is easy to do, it is hard to live with. I now have to deliberately turn on Bluetooth when I want my handsfree set to connect to it and have to remember to turn it off again when I no longer need the handsfree set connected – something I never had to think about before. Guess I’ll just have to get used to it
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December 28th, 2004 No comments

At work, I develop part of an application called “iCABS”. I’ve just discovered that “ICABS” (notice the difference in the capitalisation of the “i”) is the abbreviated name of the “Irish Council Against Blood Sports” – obviously my managers didn’t realise that when they named the application!

Actually, it’s quite funny, we often joke about what “iCABS” stands for, with the best suggestion being “It’s Crap And Badly Specified”. Guess I have a new suggestion!

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Blog Now Even More Complete

December 28th, 2004 No comments

Because I write all my own blog software, I get to work on it at my pace, it also means that if I miss out a feature it’s because of my own stupid fault and then have to go and research about it!

And that is exactly what has happened!

I’ve always known that for a full implementation of trackbacks, a trackback link should be able to display an RSS formatted list of trackbacks that have been received by that post. Except I never got around to implementing it.

So I’ve now implemented that. But, whilst researching that topic, I discovered that I really should be including auto-discovery tags in my pages for people to identify where the trackback links are on my blog, which has taken some substantial research to work out what is going on with RDF tags. But it’s at least done now!

Also, Kudos go to this site, where the poster (John Gruber) argues, quite successfully, against Trackbacks. I agree with all his points — but I’ve implemented them anyway 😉 Also, the page design is just gorgeous.

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Still Trawling the Internet

December 28th, 2004 No comments

Looking at trackback mechanisms on other people’s blogs, but never mind about that.

I came across this little wonder! Pretend to be either a SitCom character, or a dictator, and it will guess who you are by asking you yes no questions!


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Some Other Stuff…

December 28th, 2004 No comments

… That I found on my way around the internet today looking for PHP compilation stuff.

This site has a very complete site about how to compile Apache and PHP from source, which appears to be very useful.

It’s also got a little note in it about how to use Eclipse to write and debug PHP code, which I’m quite interested in. I’ll be investigating that!

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