minutiae

Following my explusion from Facebook and James' lead I've finished what I started when I initiated integrating my blog posts from other websites, and inspired by The "Kohlhofer One File Method" I am now pulling my FriendFeed aggregated .net life trail into a minutiae section on this site, and mingled with the main feed.

It makes me happy how easily this slides into the structure for this site which I built in 2000... an hours work tweaking the input from FriendFeed and away we go!

published 2008.11.08 updated 2017.06.26

So long facebook...

It appears my Facebook account has been disabled. I am now persona non grata in their books. Not sure what I did - perhaps what I didn't do as I hardly use it. The last thing I did was to change my relationship status to 'engaged'... perhaps their misuse robot got jealous or something!?!

If you are inclined to send me stuff via Facebook, I won't get it. I'm not ignorning you, I'm just locked out. A man wrongly accused of a crime given no chance to defend his innocence. Innocent until proven guilty, not so in the digital world, where each application owner is a law unto themselve - something I am generally not opposed to, rather self regulation than governmental regulation.

I've sent a mail to them in hope of an explaination, but I'm not going to be putting much energy into persuing it, as by their actions they've just reassured me of what is wrong with monopolistic, closed, networks and why I should continue to live life on the edge. Hurrah!

Update:
It appears James has also been banned at the same time. I wonder if we both did something equally bad...

Economics: Cut out the Middle Man

Thought for the day: Given that it seems likely that any money I pay in tax this year is going to be given straight to the banks, why don't we cut out the middle man, save a lot of people a lot of pain, and just let us keep the money in our own bank accounts, rather than letting our government play the inverse-Robin-Hood game. Ah. If Only.
published 2008.10.27 updated 2017.06.26

Google block email from Apple?

I just tried to re-register to download the iPhone SDK, and after 5 attempts to get the registration email to my normal email address - handled by google apps - and nothing, i tried a different email address and , voila, it was there within seconds. Co-incidence or conspiracy?

published 2008.10.07 updated 2017.06.26

Opinions are the mind's way of making dung,

they are what is left after we have stopped thinking.

design: typochondriacs, 1997

design: typochondriacs, 1997

Words: Alison Leeper, 1997

Words: Alison Leeper, 1997

Something said elsewhere reminded me of this postcard my mum sent me in 1997. I've had it by my desk ever since, and is an adage I remind myself of often, one of my tenets in life. It was even my .sig for a while.

Opinions are the mind's way of making dung, they are what is left after we have stopped thinking.

I wondered who had originally said it, and so did a search: no references. Anyone? perhaps it was just the typographers - Typochondriacs, whoever they are/were - thoughts. It seems this card is perhaps long forgotten, so I thought I'd post it and save it. And the nice message from my mum - 'another obscure bit of designer typography for you'....

See also:

Opinions are like assholes; everyone has one and most are full of shit.

Don't trust MediaTemple.net with your information

Krop Creative Tech Jobs: Their marketing department should be using this to find new roles.

I've just received a marketing email from MediaTemple. To my mobile phone. Twice. The email address for my phone is private, because I use it for paging me server warnings.

What's so bad about this? Well - I asked them to remove that email from their list , twice before, when they did the same thing. And was assured it had been. It's a pager address, which was put into their account manager to allow for notification of urgent issues ONLY. The last time I got SPAMmed at 3am, and got out of bed expecting a server to be down. This was when I had an account with them. I terminated SHOWstudio's account with MediaTemple last year due to their extortionate costs and decreasing quality of service. At the time I requested my account details be deleted from their databases, especially marketing databases.

OK, so this stuff happens all the time. However the service the provide is one of trust. It's not that they are selling newspapers, or Viagra, but I entrusted them with servers that contain thousands and thousands of peoples contact details ... might have even considered passing credit card details through a server hosted with them. And this is how they repay me? By not honoring opt-out requests and re-introducing old data back into their marketing databases!

Their opt out email address even bounced - not a good advert for an apparently savy tech company (though I have heard many complaints about them loosing email) :

Hi. This is the qmail-send program at dao.hosteverything.net. I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses. This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out. marketing.email.optout@mediatemple.net: User and password not set, continuing without authentication. 64.207.129.38 does not like recipient. Remote host said: 550 5.1.1 marketing.email.optout@mediatemple.net: Recipient address rejected: User unknown in local recipient table Giving up on 64.207.129.38.

And via a different mail server too:

Hi. This is the qmail-send program at tcs1.showstudio.com. I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message to the following addresses. This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out. marketing.email.optout@mediatemple.net: 64.207.129.38 does not like recipient. Remote host said: 550 5.1.1 marketing.email.optout@mediatemple.net: Recipient address rejected: User unknown in local recipient table Giving up on 64.207.129.38.

The implication, to me is, basically: you can't trust this: http://www.mediatemple.net/company/legal/privacy.php
And therefore, you can't trust them with your details. MediaTemplate have some clever branding going on, but underneath my experience proves they aren't all that they say.

My worry is this: if they are unscrupulous enough to mine their administration databases for email accounts they can send unsolicited marketing emails to then where will it end? Would they use all the email addresses that are passed through their primary mail servers? Would they start greping backups stored on their servers (or even your hosted box) for email lists? Probably not. But I don't even want those questions raised in my mind about a server which is located on the other side of the world from me.

My other big concern: if an ISP acts like this then what chance have we of them acting against other people sending unsolicited email from their network?

My advice? If you have your servers hosted with MediaTemple then move them to The Planet... their service has been excellent, they are helpful and responsive, trustworthy and they don't send SPAM. And they are considerably cheaper. Win-win if you ask me.

Now I've heard them all...

... posteverything's server is down, and why?

At 18:50 this evening, our old Maidenhead datacentre was struck by lightning.

At the request of the Fire Service and Southern Electric, we powered-down all (approximately 200) servers in the building.

We are currently awaiting approval from the Fire Service and Southern Electric before powering-on these servers. We have been informed that this should be in approximately one and a half hours.

Well, hopefully it won't strike twice.

published 2006.09.25 updated 2017.06.26

Please Help.

My Godson's uncle is to be deported as part of the Charles Clarke 1000.

Ernesto Leal

Here is an outline from his sister (also attached as PDF).

At 8.00am on Monday 1st of May 2006 my brother – Ernesto Leal (41) was arrested and taken from outside his home and held at Bishopsgate Police Station with a deportation order, he was later sent to Belmarsh Detention Centre.

Collette Bowens (my brother’s long term partner) was met by up to 30 police officers who had been in their home all night. Their home has been ransacked, his personal computer has been interfered with, personal papers and files (including his passport) have been removed and there was evidence of the back door to their home being forced open. On asking the Police Officer why they were there and how had they got in they were told that they had entered through the back door which had been left open, which it hadn’t.

Just over two years ago my brother was sentenced to 3 ½ years for GBH with intent. He served, on the judges advice 18 months where he served the majority of his sentence in an open prison, Ernesto was later released and electronically tagged for 4 months and reported weekly as part of his probation which was relaxed to once a month after 4 weeks.

My brother has no previous criminal record or convictions and this was his first offence.

The detention form states that he
• Is likely to abscond
• his release is not considered conducive to the public good

The deportation form states
• he will be deported to Jamaica

Had my brother been a threat to the general public he would not have been held in an open prison or have had early release or have been electronically tagged. If he was to abscond, there would be no where to go as his home is in London and no reason has been given to why he would be deported to Jamaica given that we are of Chilean origin.

My whole family arrived in the UK in 1977 when my brother was 13 yrs old as political refugees fleeing Pinochet, we were given sanctuary in the UK and have been given ‘indefinate leave to remain’. We have no immediate family left in Chile and he has very limited Spanish, we all consider out first language to be English.

Ernesto has spent his formative years in Scotland when my family was adopted by the Scottish National Union of Mineworkers and settled in Cowdenbeath, Fife. Myself and my brothers have gone through the education system here and have worked and started families in this country, he later moved to London.

I am appealing for questions to be made to The Home Office as to why my brother has been detained and to stop his deportation.

There is no question of his status in this country, he has been punished and has served his sentenced and should not be discriminated further, he has not committed any further offences and is therefore no cause for public concern, in addition to this several mistakes have been made by both the Home Office and The Metropolitan Police Force who carried out my brother’s arrest.

1. There was no Home Office case worker present so my family have been unable to petition for an appeal.
2. The Home Office detention officer did not have an up to date report from the probation services.
3. The arresting officers advised my brother’s partner that he was being arrested because he had not given his whereabouts. This was not the case as he had been tagged and reported to his probation officer once a week for the full time he was required to do so.
4. His status is not in question as he had previously provided, through lawyers, his passport with a Home Office stamp clearly stating that he has ‘indefinate leave to remain’.
5. He has been unnecessarily sent to a detention centre merely because there was no Home Office caseworker present.
6. My family was advised that his deportation to Jamaica could be a typo which is indicative of the mistakes made on my brothers case.

This process would have been facilitated had there been a Home Office Case worker been present during and throughout the arrest, we had all the documentation present at the Police Station and were not able to present our case and achieve a speedy solution and either have my brother out on bail or that his case be heard outside the detention centre.

Could you please email Diane Abbot MP, Ernesto Leal’s local MP at and ask her to ask questions to the Home Office regarding our concerns.

Ask why he has been arrested and why he is being deported?

Diane Abbot MP – 0207 219 3000 or 07947 598 225
Diane Abbot pa – Carol Glenn 0207 219 4426 or 07947 598 225
Diane Abbot press enquiries – Camilla Drejer 0207 219 4426

Or call :-

The Home Office Immigration and Nationality Directorate
UK Immigration Service
Criminal Casework Team
14th Floor, Lunar House
Croydon
CR9 2BY

Tel: 0208 196 0942
Fax: 0208 196 0930

Clearly stating it is regarding Ernesto Leal reference L306526

published 2006.05.02 updated 2017.06.26

Please...

Batch video compression software don't crop the filenames of the 100 files I've asked you to compress and append them with your own naming scheme without giving me the option to override it.

I hate software which tries to be clever for stupid people, but can't be stupid for clever people. I know they are different files, just change the file extension. That's all I want. Hell, it's all I need.

Now I have to rename 100 files which have had the major identifying part of the filename over written, and that I can't identify the contents of because they are compressed in a video codec that doesn't have a native player.

Nice Question

Mai Pham asks: I was just wondering what are some of the things you do as a digital media technologist?

My response, which is trying to be concise but also explain the breadth of things I do:

Digital Media Technologist literally means that I am a technical specialist in digital media. I do many things, but mostly the are orientated around digital media:

* I design & build Web sites.

* I design & program Content Management Systems, Media Management Systems, Media Delivery Systems and E-commerce systems.

* I understand, use, manage, and sometimes develop digital media, in it's many forms: text, images, video, sound and at it's lowest level data.

* I move digital media around and understand how it is published in many places, from the Web to Radio and Television, to Mobile Phones, CD and DVD, and how it is used, consumed and remixed by people.

* I advise people on the best use of technology in the creative industries, primarily Music, Art and Fashion, as well as other places.

* I try to explain digital media and technology in a way that isn't scary to people who already work in one of those mediums.

* I train and tutor people.

* I have an active part in the development of various company strategies at a technical, and business, level.

published 2005.02.26 updated 2014.11.03
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