The one thing I’ve learned over the years, although I’m only just starting to realise exactly how much an effect it has on me, is that you should try to surround yourself with smart people. They keep you busy, entertained, challenged, constantly improving and every now and again drop a nugget of pure gold into your lap; completely free of charge. This weeks blinder was from Harry and has given me the arse-kicking I needed.

Walking around the back-streets near Oxford Street at night you often see strange things but I saw one this week that gave me a chuckle. The first car pulls up to the traffic lights, it’s a shiny maroon Jaguar XK8 with a white-guy decked out in gold sitting at the wheel. His head is bobbing up and down and you can feel the base of Zed Bias “Neighbourhood”, a garage track that used to be very popular as a between song filler, from across the street. Read on →

If you ever want to collect a cross-section of the more common Windows email viruses then I’ve got a tip for you. Post a job advert on a couple of the bigger jobsites (Jobserve, Monster etc.) and then wait a day for the agents to start submitting CVs. Reply to them saying no thanks so you get added to their local address books and then watch as every variant of Bagel, Klez and all the other little bits of shite come flooding in to your inbox. Read on →

Firstly let’s define Phishing, “The act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft.” While most phishing attacks are done over the web consider how they could be tailored to abuse email and local address books. Lets consider a scenario, a non-technical (and busy) receptionist or assistant (Alice) sends a number of email’s from her pet executive to certain people outside the company. Read on →

You’ve probably seen it all over the news but Radianz has been bought! For those that don’t know of it, the Radianz network is an extranet of financial institutions, it provides a fully redundant infrastructure (if you want to join you are required to have dual lines connecting you; each line has to be from a different approved supplier). It’s used for accessing financial applications where the unpredictable nature of the Internet makes it undesirable but the commodity status of it’s applications and protocols make it the best alternative. Read on →

There is an interesting post by Aslak Hellesoy over at CodeHaus regarding simple ruby annotations. While I’ve not really paid much attention to annotations in Java (beyond Ted Newards occasional post on the subject) the simplicity of this unofficial ruby implementation is making me want to dig out my Pickaxe second edition and delve in again… Now if I only had a reason to use annotations ;)

A while ago I wrote a post on the very excellent Yellow Face Technique (unixdaemon post), a slick bit of browser-based UI that made it easier to track changes on the page. The nice (and patient!) people over at i am jack’s design were kind enough to send me a link answering my challenge for usable code. And it seems to work fine! Go and have a look at the Read on →

Writing this review was a little awkward. The book covers a topic I needed to know about while not having a huge amount of interest in learning, however it is an excellent book if you actually need to know about FogBugz so I felt it was worth a review. The book is end user focused and could be thought of as a “Missing Manual” for FogBugz. If you need a book to give an overview of what the product can do and introduce you to the basic and a number of the intermediate features then this is as good as it gets. Read on →

Author: Mike Gunderloy ISBN: 159059486X Publisher: Apress Despite the name, FogBugz isn’t just used for tracking bugs. The product covers all the essentials such as streamlined bug submission (if it’s not easy people won’t do it), accepting and replying to email submissions and dividing your workload into different projects and releases (with the aid of a nifty autosorter). Over time FogBugz has grown to include discussion groups, tracking of tasks via RSS and email on the technical side, and due dates and escalation reports on the management front. Read on →

This is seriously off-topic considering the sites usual content so if you’re looking for tech then stop right about… here. If you’d like to see me publicly debug myself then carry right on! At some point over the last few years I seem to have made a couple of bad choices. Firstly I’ve become risk adverse; and not just in the good “the production system is sacrosanct” way. In everything from “lets just go to the conference and see how it goes”, through “I’ll download it and have a play without reading a whole book on it first” up to not telling certain people how I really feel and missing the chance I’ve stopped just doing things. Read on →