Fix Outlook – On the first page of Google results please

Wednesday 24th June, 2009

This morning I was introduced to the wonderful (thanks @philhawksworth) and thought I should throw it my tiny speck of pagerank support. The short version is that Microsoft are planning on keeping on using Word for HTML rendering in Outlook 2010… which is quite broken (justification on request, I wouldn’t know where to start).

Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could get enough links pointing to that it appears on the first page of results for a Google search for “Outlook”.

As a side-point… has PageRank replaced the whole signature/petition thing? Has Twitter replaced PageRank? I love change.


This is me not claiming my Facebook URL

Tuesday 16th June, 2009

Rather than spending 5 minutes claiming my personal Facebook URL I’m going to spend 5 minutes writing a blog post. During that 5 minutes time, a statistically unlikely 165,000 people may have registered theirs.

Reasons in favour of registering a Facebook URL:

  • Vanity
  • Umm… vanity

Reasons against registering:

  • 5 minutes of life wasted (dubious benefit since I spent them doing this)
  • One step closer to Facebook being a closed monolithic identity provider
  • Obstinance

The nays have it.

Internet Explorer fails to render ' in XHTML

Friday 5th June, 2009

XHTML is a subset of XML. All XML rules should apply. Why then, in 2009, does Internet Explorer still fail to unescape the ' entity as XML dictates? Come on. It’s not complicated.

If it’s backwards compatability the IE team are worried about then surely the burden of compatability lies with page authors who wish to switch to XHTML from HTML.

MySpace security FAIL

Friday 29th May, 2009

MySpace store users original passwords in clear-text, and return them by email on request. Enough said really. FAIL.

For reference purposes, there are better ways to do this:

One step better: don’t return the original password (potentially revealing additional information to an attacker), just create a generated one or a one-off link that allows a new one to be created by the user.

Two steps better: don’t store the original password at all, store a one-way hash instead, that way even an attacker who compromises the DB can’t see it (assuming you do it right).

Wolfram Alpha – poor user experience

Saturday 25th April, 2009

I have an apology to make. The title of this post leaves room for you to infer that I’ve actually used Wolfram Alpha… I haven’t.

What I *have* done (along with many others I’m sure) is signed up for access to their closed preview. Did I get access? Not yet. All I have so far is a series of  unfulfilled promises.

Either this was an honest oversubscription which they’ve handled badly, or it was a deliberate trick to create hype and aquire a mailing list.

Regardless of which is closer to the mark, I refer Stephen Wolfram and Hector Zenil to Seth Godin.

I suspect that in 18 months time Wolfram will be languishing in the Hall of Forgotten Hype alongside the equally world-changing Project Ginger.

Developing with methodologies

Wednesday 18th March, 2009

I have a new rule of thumb:

If you can call it a methodology then it’s probably wrong.

Mozilla requires you to log into to install experimental add-ons

Friday 6th February, 2009

From Mozilla: “The add-on site requires that users log in to install experimental add-ons as a reminder that you are about to undertake a risk step.”

…and providing your personal data to a third party is another risk step. Irony is not dead it seems.

Anyone wishing to try out this add-on without creating yet another login and password can install it from Sitepoint’s own site.