I’ve written an article over on RouterTech about how to setup your own home VPN server. It’s something I’ve mentioned to a few people lately that I use so I figured it was time to share exactly how it’s done. Questions and comments are of course always welcome over on the RouterTech forums.
Today I had my FTTC broadband upgrade installed from XILO and here are the latest statistics from reputable testing sites
I certainly couldn’t be happier with the improvement!
So, out of the office this evening, working a little late, eager to get home, up to the car with the key fob…. nothing happens. Sometimes I need to get a little closer before it works, so I do so, still nothing.
Realising that the batteries must be dead I get this sinking feeling until I remember that I can still get in with the key! In it goes, door comes open, the alarm goes off. Not to worry I think, the alarm will surely stop once I put the key in as a chip in the key also disables the engine immobiliser. No such luck.
Indeed I was now sitting in the car, engine running, ready to go, with no way of switching the alarm off. While it would pause briefly it would soon start up again, irrespective of movements of the car or my person.
Given that my spare fob is at home I realise that there is only one thing for it, I’ll have to drive across town with the alarm going off and no indicators (they’re flashed hazard style when the alarm is sounding).
After having a good laugh about the matter with the office security staff I set off, alarm blaring, down the dual carriageway. As it turns out this is not such a bad idea. Despite indicators being orange and a car alarm sounding nothing like a police siren, I enjoy fellow motorists scuttling out of my way the entire way home. Really quite remarkable.
As a result I’m back in record time and am able to quickly nip inside and quell the noise with the spare fob from an upstairs window before the neighbours emerge to ask if I’m trying to steal my own car.
In a strange way, it’s little things like this that really make life great!
I recently received an invite to add my Calendar project to fundry and given that the site is clearly an innovative idea and is run by folks who have worked on some great projects elsewhere, I decided to give it a go.
Essentially, it’s a site that allows you to request a new feature in a particular project and pledge a certain amount to fund it. Once the developer of a project deems the pledged amount is worth them developing the feature, they can do so, then mark the item as delivered. Once enough users who pledged have accepted the feature then the funds are released to the developer.
I thought this would be a good idea for Calendar as while it will always be free and I will always keep developing new features as I see fit, it would be nice to allow the community to twist development in their favour through donations. This is not of course belittling the many who make donations independently of new features delivered to them!
Anyhow, if you want a new feature for Calendar and don’t see it in the pipeline based on forum discussions, why not pledge an amount on fundry to have it developed.
I’ve previously resisted the temptation to publicise high profile users of my calendar plugin but now that a website that has helped myself and many of my friends raise money for charity throughout their student years and beyond has adopted it, I feel compelled to start publishing the select few.
Not that I’m a fan of the backing track but I do think that this Simpsons opening was rather cool. Let me know what you think!
I’ve been reading in the news recently about the range of comment and the sides that are being taken with respect to the chancellor’s decision to reduce the limit of housing benefit offered to claimants and feel it’s high time I said my piece.
First let me be clear on my stance; I wholeheartedly support the cut in benefit levels in this area, indeed I would like to see the level dropped even further. This view may well anger many but I will make clear my reasons.
My philosophy on benefit has always been that it should only be available to those that really need it. That’s not something to be read into, it’s actual need. To illustrate, someone who is genuinely homeless should be provided with benefit such that they can pay rent on a house. Not an expensive house, not even an average house, just a house. Because, after all, without the benefit they wouldn’t have a house at all.
With that in mind, imagine my disgust to read that individuals with no income are being provided with housing that 90% plus of the population would never be able to afford, even when in employment.
I have many friends who have good jobs in the city and are forced to house share with colleagues and friends miles away from their place of work as they can’t afford even a one bedroom flat near their office. Why then is someone who has no income allowed to use these people’s tax money (tax that it could be argued contributes to them not being able to afford a city centre flat) to rent a house that these individuals wouldn’t be able to afford even if they were promoted several levels above their current pay grade.
There are naysayers who would have you believe that such a benefit cutting policy is akin to ethnic cleansing but based on income levels. To them I reply with this simple statement. Benefits are there to support people who can’t support themselves, not to elevate said individuals to the same level as those who can.
If it is more cost effective for the citizen to claim benefit than to work then the country will quite simply fall apart round our ears. We simply must live in a society where the incentive is to work rather than to sponge off the state. Failure to effect change both in law and monetary policy that reflects this will ultimately be our undoing.
I’ve quickly pushed out a new development release of Calendar to address some style issues. I’ve not added this as a proper release as there are some more issues I want to fix before I take that step. None the less, success has been reported with this version in the forums. You can download it here.
To get the benefit of the fixed styles, tick the reset styles box on the calendar options page after installing. If you’ve made style changes you’ll want to save the contents of the CSS box before doing this!
This evening I had a hunt through my last.fm stats pages and found some nifty hidden features for subscribers which I have made use of in order to share some pretty cool information with you all
The following is a music clock that shows my hourly listening habits throughout the past year, aggregated. Do I really get up that early some mornings!?
Then we have the artist photo collage, the size of each photo corresponding to how frequently I’ve listened to that particular artist. Really rather cool I must say. Do you recognise them all?
Last but most certainly not least, a huge (and I mean huge) downloadable PDF chart of my last year’s listening, highlighted in colours and shades to show trends and listening frequency. Really quite an eye opener!
Now I know why I spend £3 per month in a last.fm subscription! Well, there are plenty of other good reasons, but this stuff is just awesome.
I’m notoriously bad at replying to my personal e-mail. Oddly enough this is mainly due to having a BlackBerry. I read the e-mail on the phone, think “oh, I must reply to that when I get home”, and then forget about it because it’s been marked as read.
Having realised that my inbox is now well over a thousand messages, many of which probably still need looking at, I’ve decided to take action. I’ve begun to trawl through the list, archiving things that don’t need anything doing and marking as unread anything which does. I should then be able to slowly but surely clear down the backlog by reading and replying to each one.
Lets hope I’m able to stay on top of things properly from now on!