JonBlog
Thoughts on website ideas, PHP and other tech topics, plus going car-free
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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” […]

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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: […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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I imagined when I started this blog that I’d be writing about, well, the bits of technology that I know something about. I’d have guessed I’d be scribbling on web development, useful titbits in PHP and confounding buglets in JavaScript, plus maybe a pet software project or two. But the thing about writing is that, […]

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Oh dear. Hot on the heels of the play.com data hiccup, I find myself on the receiving end of spam from an address I’ve only ever used at amazon.co.uk. To avoid the likelihood of a dictionary attack guessing a forwarding address, I often use the format <website-fqdn><yyyymmdd><code>@domain, which is approximately what I use at Amazon. […]

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I’ve used a small web hosting firm called Sonnet Hosting for about five years, primarily as an email provider. Whilst something like Hotmail might be more reliable, I prefer to pay a small monthly sum to get some control over how my email works. Firstly, I prefer to use email on my own domain names, […]

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I should start a new Googlebomb: useless. But first, I should explain. I purchased a £26 rail ticket from London Midland from Birmingham to London back in December, and found that I wasn’t able to go after all. So, I applied for a refund online, prior to the travel date, and received an email that […]