Blog

Getting to know Google+ better and more blogging

Published on the 17th February, 2013

Google+ The experience of any social network is only as good as the activity of the people on it, right? Quite a few of my friends have joined Google+ and experimented with a couple of posts, but it doesn't really feel for me that it's taken off as a social graph tool. It works pretty well within the interest graph, though, and maybe that's because the API is currently read-only. There are a ton of tools that help you market on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook by managing accounts and automatical...

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The feedback process is still part of the whole customer experience

Published on the 18th November, 2012

It seems every interaction I have with a company these days is followed by a "how did we do?" survey. It's not like we step aside and forget the company when we're going through the questionnaire - it's still part of the experience. Imagine if this was true for high street shopping, and after every purchase, no matter how large or small, we were being chased out of the shop by someone begging for feedback. Metrics are valuable and many companies make big decisions based on what they know people...

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A new web design trend: Windows 8 'Metro' UI style

Published on the 4th November, 2012

It's strange how influential an operating system UI can be on web design. I remember back in 2006 everyone was using Apple's shiny table effect and it seems we may be about to see a wave of websites designed using Microsoft's Windows 8 'Metro' UI style. Do these large companies that make our most popular devices' operating systems set the trend, or are they one step ahead? The interesting thing this time round is that the Windows 8 style we see here is designed primarily for touch. The button...

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Where to find the spam controls (Forefront) in Office 365

Published on the 7th October, 2012

Things have been ticking over nicely since Microsoft updated its Exchange Online services to Office 365. The other day I needed to find the spam controls (Forefront) and they weren't where I was expecting them to be so I thought I'd post the details here in case anyone else is having trouble finding them. You'll need to be logged in as an Office 365 admin: Login to the Office 365 Portal Click 'Admin overview' on the left Click 'manage' under 'Exchange' Click 'mail control' on the left Click th...

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The use of version control systems outside of software development

Published on the 25th September, 2012

I've been a big fan of Clay Shirky since I read 'Here Comes Everybody', and he's recently been featured on TED talking about how the open source model of organising, or self organising, groups of hundreds of people can be an incredibly powerful way of producing software, not just technically but democratically. Specifically, he references Git, which unlike many other Version Control Systems (VCS), operates in a distributed way, that is there isn't one central place or repository - everyone who i...

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Getting the browser spell-checker to work with CKEditor in Drupal

Published on the 16th September, 2012

Most modern browsers, such as Firefox 15, Chrome 21 and Internet Explorer 9, have a nifty spell-checker built in to help us 'auto-correct' generation write, but when you install the CKEditor some of this functionality is hijacked by the default javascript used by the text editor. Fortunately, if you're using CKEditor for Drupal, it's a quick fix to get the browser default spell-checker working again. If you're not using Drupal you may still be able to apply the fix by noting the configuration se...

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CodeIgniter Math CAPTCHA library, with multi-language plain text questions

Published on the 9th September, 2012

I've just released a new Math CAPTCHA Library for CodeIgniter, which can use plain text English words for numbers and random question phrases. It's also supports multiple languages (as it uses the core language library) and both addition and multiplication. It's still in the early stages so it needs to be put through its paces, but hopefully the CodeIgniter community will find this a nice alternative to the regular image CAPTCHA or simple math CAPTCHA. The library comes with 5 English languag...

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How to get your Google+ profile picture to appear in search results

Published on the 12th July, 2012

You may have recently noticed that lots of Google search results now show profile pictures of authors alongside the result for the page. I think this adds a nice element of trust to the link, as you can see the person who wrote the page and you can be pretty sure the content comes from a person as opposed to a content aggregator or such like. As always, there’s no exact formula to controlling the search result information, but Google has published some advice for setting this up for your blog ...

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jQuery UI touch support for iPad and other tablets and smartphones

Published on the 8th July, 2012

The jQuery UI library doesn’t support touch features by default, so trying to use the slider or drag and drop on the iPad won’t work. Fortunately, all that’s required to get this working is a small hack - enter jQuery UI Touch Punch. Just include jQuery and the jQuery UI scripts on your page as per normal: <script src="http://code.jquery.com/jquery.min.js"></script> <script src="http://code.jquery.com/ui/1.8.17/jquery-ui.min.js"></script> Then include the jQue...

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Check and clear cache in CodeIgniter with this Output extension

Published on the 22nd April, 2012

I decided to write an extension to the CodeIgniter core Output library as it's great for working with cache but doesn't contain any mechanisms for clearing or managing the cache. Installation Download the extension (details below) and extract the MY_Output.php file to your application/core folder. The core output library is loaded automatically so the extension should load automatically too. If you have changed the extension prefix to something other than MY_ in your config.php file you will n...

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