Technology

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How-to Stop Skype starting automatically

Ever since Microsoft took over Skype, it installs automatically with Internet Explorer, starts itself at boot time and is impossible to stop from the Skype client as there is no longer an option in the settings to do so. Nor does it sit in your Start Up Programmes folder. In fact, alongside the in-stream advertising and the … Continue reading

How-to: Generate Good Passwords Part II

For those of you on the front-line dealing with user accounts and password resets in large organisations, we return to the thorny issue of passwords. We will soon be implementing a tougher security standard for encrypting passwords within the our events database. It should occur invisibly behind the scenes and I won’t bore you with … Continue reading

How-to: Use Dashes and Hyphens on the web

A note for the  punctuationally-challenged. There’s a brilliant article on A List Apart: The Trouble With EM ’n EN (and Other Shady Characters) by Peter K Sheerin from way back in October, 2001, now sadly marked “This article, while brilliant for its time, is now obsolete.” However the topic doesn’t go away and we’re still … Continue reading

How-to: Make a drop-down list in Excel

If you’re wanting data validation in spreadsheet forms and template documents, a drop-down list remains the most common way to achieve it. Skipping over the question why am I covering a Microsoft product when there’s a perfectly good LibreOffice alternative, let me just say; ‘because someone asked me.’

News

How self-publishing on LinkedIn can elevate your professional profile (Mashable) What did a web bot buy on the darknet? (BBC) Stephen Hawking appeared via hologram at the Sydney Opera House (Mashable) Why Amazon’s Dash Button Will Blow Up in Our Faces (Tech Update) 3 tips for making small talk suck less (Mashable) Full article Wimbledon … Continue reading

Review: Codes that Changed the World (BBC R4)

Aleks Krotoski explores the history of programming languages. The history of computing is dominated by the hardware; the race for speed and power has overshadowed how we’ve devised ways to instruct these machines to do useful tasks. All this week on BBC Radio 4, Aleks Krotoski tells the story of the languages that have been … Continue reading

Opinion: Goodbye Google Plus

It’s true: Google is breaking it’s heavily embedded but failed social networking product Google Plus into separate products – Streams and Photos, new head of Social Bradley Horowitz announced on Google+ earlier this month. It was telling that Horowitz didn’t specifically mention Google Plus, which pretty well signals the end of Google’s foray. Google Plus … Continue reading

News: Numbers Prove Nobody Uses Google Plus

As we all thought, nobody uses Google Plus. The unwanted and unloved social network foisted on us by the advertising machine masquerading as a search engine has been revealed as Tumbleweed Central. Of course, ‘nobody’ is a relative term. Google made Plus accounts a mandatory add-on to all it’s Google sign-ons from Gmail to YouTube … Continue reading

How-to: Understand Website ‘Identity Information’

…or more precisely, when a reputable website such as WordPress.com displays a warning triangle and the message: “this site does not supply identity information.” You may notice the warning triangle in the address bar on sites which use the HTTPS, SSL and TLS protocol and certificates, and get the message when you scroll over it. … Continue reading

How-to: Understand GSM and CDMA (phones) II

Last time, we started looking at the various phone standards, trying to avoide ending up in acronym hell. We got as far as GSM, CDMA, Edo, HSPA+ and roaming. This time we move on to 4G, LTE and into the future. While GSM and CDMA work using radio waves in a ‘traditional’ fashion; 4G works … Continue reading

How-to: Change your Firefox Update Channel

Firefox on the work desktop was not playing nice; realising it looked funny, I did a version check and discovered it was stuck on 24.0 ESR. Normally Firefox updates automatically. To kick off the update process, go to Tools, About and the version checker usually appears below the version number. As Mozilla has a number … Continue reading

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