Today, after just nine months, I decided to abandon my use of Newsgator for reading feeds, in favour of using Bloglines. It’s saved me a great deal of time already – Bloglines’ aggregated feed pages make it so very much quicker to browse through what’s new, rather than having to click through a gazillion* new Outlook messages. The app just behaves intuitively, enabling me to get the job done, absorb what’s important to me, take clippings for later follow-up, and get on with something else. Very easy, no messing, and free to boot. Excellent.
Now, I appreciate that this blog has several distinct audiences, so some of you are probably wondering what took me so long (hi Jez!), whilst others are wondering what the heck I’m talking about (hi Mum!). To the former group, I hang my head and confess that whilst Outlook is mighty fine for email communication via Exchange Server, it isn’t well suited to the daily reading of dozens of RSS feeds (even with the benefit of search folders). To the latter, you could do worse than check out this BBC News page which explains the benefits of RSS and how to get started consuming them.
*Jocelyn assures me that this is a real word. In California, at least..
I really should make more of an effort to pay attention to the things my wife says to me.
Such as earlier this week, when she said “we’re down to the last toilet roll”.
Crikey, it’s Friday already and I still haven’t told you good people what Joce and I got up to last weekend. It involved further hurtling around this sceptred isle in our trusty Ford Focus (which has racked up 53,000 miles in 24 months) to attend Ross and Jo’s wedding down in (aptly) Ross-on-Wye. The scenery in the Wye Valley was gorgeous, the weather was splendid, and we stayed in the brilliantly-named Symonds Yat.
As weddings go, it was a real belter. Nice ceremony, good meal, plenty of drinks, funny speeches, and a cracking DJ who had us all on the dancefloor for hours (even doing the conga, ’80s stylee). But what really made it special were the people – rarely have I encountered such a genuinely friendly and easy-going crowd of people at a wedding, and from a variety of different nationalities (Italian, French, American, British..) and races. It really rekindled my faith in humankind, after the terrible events that had occurred two days previously in London. The curious thing was, this feeling of friendliness seemed to continue the following day – as we mooched around the city of Gloucester early on Sunday morning, strangers smiled and even greeted us as we passed by – no, really. I suspect that this was partially an outward sign of the stoic British response to the terrorist outrages – a stubborn determination not to let a minority spread their hatred and divide our society…
Oh dear. I just got this email from the folks at Spread Firefox:
On Tuesday, July 12, the Mozilla Foundation discovered that the server hosting Spread Firefox, our community marketing site, had been accessed on Sunday, July 10 by unknown remote attackers who exploited a security vulnerability in the software running the site. This exploit was limited to SpreadFirefox.com and did not affect other mozilla.org web sites or Mozilla software.
We don’t have any evidence that the attackers obtained personal information about site users, and we believe they accessed the machine to use it to send spam. However, it is possible that the attackers acquired information site users provided to the site.
As a Spread Firefox user, you have provided us with a username and password. You may also have provided us with other information, including a real name, a URL, an email address, IM names, a street address, a birthday, and private messages to other users.
We recommend that you change your Spread Firefox password and the password of any accounts where you use the same password as your Spread Firefox account. To change your Spread Firefox password, go to SpreadFirefox.com, log in with your current password, select “My Account” from the sidebar, select “Edit Account” from the sidebar, then enter your new password into the Password fields and press the “Save user information” button at the bottom of the page.
The Mozilla Foundation deeply regrets this incident and is taking steps to prevent it from happening again. We have applied the necessary security fixes to the software running the site, have reviewed our security plan to determine why we didn’t previously apply those fixes in this case, and have modified that plan to ensure we do so in the future.
The Mozilla Foundation
Petrol forecourt prices have reached £1 per litre – though admittedly only in the Western Isles, so far: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4685213.stm .
102.8 pence on Benbecula! For my in-laws benefit, that’s $6.82 a US gallon.
MCPMag has details of major changes to the MS certfication programmes. The new qualifications are composed of a credential (e.g. “Microsoft Certified Professional Developer”) along with one or more particular skill-identifying certifications (e.g. “Web Developer”, “Enterpise Application Developer”). Looks sensible. There are upgrade paths for existing MCADs and MCSDs to take account of the forthcoming 2005 versions of .NET and SQL Server.
There’s an interesting article on the BBC about a speaker at the TED conference in Oxford advising delegates that the time has come to unplug and slow down. While I agree up to a point, I think the trick is to budget one’s time wisely – making sure to set aside defined periods for family, friends, and relaxation, for example. Surely the fast pace of modern life only becomes a problem if you let it consume you? Email can be a great productivity tool, as long as you don’t become subservient to it and remember to take a step back and get on with some real work occasionally.
Everything in moderation…