JonBlog
Thoughts on website ideas, PHP and other tech topics, plus going car-free
Categories: Security | Add a Comment
Security issues at OYB

I recently got in touch with On Your Bike, a cycle shop with stores in Birmingham and London, to alert them to a number of security issues in their website. I’d raised the matter with a very friendly chap at the shop, and he advised me to send an email to the manager. This I […]

Categories: Technical | Add a Comment
Ubuntu host and guest, both in workspaces mode

Introduction Last year I tried running Fedora on a MacBook Pro (Intel i5 processor) to see how much pain was involved in switching to Linux completely. I was also interested to see whether using virtual machines for day-to-day tasks was feasible, via Oracle’s VirtualBox. In the end I didn’t make the switch: an idle guest […]

Categories: Life | Add a Comment

There is a rule of street fundraising that surely has parallels in the physical sciences. You find a charity mugger, pop them in an excessively luminous T-shirt to match their personality, and stand them in a sea of shoppers on a Saturday high-street. Powered by some alien intuition lurking in the moving throng, the “chugger” […]

Categories: Tech misc | Add a Comment

Just recently, I came across a list of my NY resolutions from a year or two ago, and it was fun to see how many I’d accomplished (around half, not bad). So, this year I’ll make a couple of techie predictions, and add on some geek resolutions too. Here’s what I’d like to see in […]

Categories: PHP | Add a Comment

I’ve been writing a PHP course for beginners over for the past couple of weeks, and think it is now good enough to share. It’s a work in progress, but what I have at present is useful already, and I plan to add to it. I’d previously looked around the existing resources on the web, […]

Categories: Mac, Technical | Add a Comment

Today I tried to install texlive on Snow Leopard via Macports, in order to make use of pdflatex with pandoc. However I received this error: Python interpreter is too old This would exit Macports with an error, suggesting that a bug should be raised. It appeared to be looking for Python 2.6 specifically, which is […]

Categories: E-bikes | 8 Comments

Back in November last year I replaced my aging Juicy Bike with an Ave XH-3, and after some 1,600 miles of bedding in, I’m now reviewing it. I’ve added some hi-res pictures for potential buyers, or anyone wanting a closer look. Having now e-commuted daily for the last two and a half years, I write […]

Categories: E-bikes | Add a Comment
Left side view

Here are some pictures of my current electric bike, an Ave XH-3, after about five months of heavy usage. My recent review is here.

Categories: Life | Add a Comment

A number of years ago I signed up for a Paypal account. I’m not sure why I did this, since in most cases Paypal can be used as a card merchant without specifically having a web account with them. Anyway, I recently started receiving monthly marketing messages from Paypal, somewhat disguised as identity fraud emails: […]

Categories: Life | 9 Comments

Sadly I’m in a position to write quite a lot of posts like these. Having seen spam to unique email addresses for Amazon and Play.com, on 5th March I received one from a email used to register with groupon.co.uk, which I created in August 2011. Others have spotted this too: says one, “getting several e-mails […]

Categories: Life | 2 Comments
Leaflet front

The attached leaflet was received to a Birmingham address, and I thought it valuable to post it for the benefit of the search engines. Without doubt, it is the wordiest and most convoluted charitable proposition I’ve ever seen, and I am pretty sure it’s a fraud. It mentions that it is a company as well […]

Categories: Technical, XML | Add a Comment

Way back in March, I found that Inkscape contains some security vulnerabilities related to its processing of XML entities at the start of an SVG document. I’ve persisted privately since discovery to get a fix from Inkscape core developers, alongside the Ubuntu Security Team, to no avail. Following the generally accepted tenets of responsible reporting, […]

Categories: Technical | 3 Comments

For readers who are unfamiliar with it, StackExchange is a group of discussion boards whose novel approach of peer voting and meritocratic moderation has revitalised the forum as a source of interactive help on the internet. Having learnt how the community works (at StackOverflow, for programming questions) I’ve a few thoughts on how I think […]

Categories: Life | Add a Comment

As per my previous experience with Play and Amazon, where an email address definitively used exclusively for those services has fallen into the hands of spammers, now it is the turn of Last.fm, the music aggregator/radio service. I’m posting these so anyone searching for the websites within can be warned not to use them. Here […]

Categories: Life | Add a Comment

With regard to the modern customer service function in the developed world, I have a theory. I witness a peculiarity that, whilst the capability of a company to deliver excellent service is directly proportional to its size, its willingness to deliver the same is largely inversely proportional. That is to say that, the larger an […]