Archive for the ‘Life: Work and Techy’ category

VistaPrint: Spammers

August 7th, 2013

I’ve just received a spam email from VistaPrint (I have been a customer of theirs before, but not under the email address they targeted, and will now never use them again) and, taking a leaf out of RevK’s book, I’m sending them a notification of breach of the The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 and giving them 14 days to make payment as below. I’ll let you know how it goes:

You have transmitted an unsolicited communication for the purpose of direct marketing by means of electronic mail to an individual subscriber contrary to section 22 of The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.
Under Nominet regulations (section 9.2) for domain names (you emailed, “registrants of domain names must be, and remain at all times, natural persons” – and as the paying individual for the domain name registration and the email service theron, I am the individual subscriber as per the above regulations.
This is not a Data Protection Act issue, or an issue with your “unsubscribe” link – the regulations have been breached by sending an email without having had a sale or negotiations with me and without my consent to the email being sent.

You now owe me damages as per section 30 of those regulations. If you promptly pay £15 in damages I will not pursue you for damages as per the regulations or report your breach to the ICO so that they can consider fining you.

I look forward to payment of £15 within 14 days or I will issue a county court claim against you without further notice.

Send payment to:
Sort code: xx-xx-xx
Account: xxxxxxxxx
Reference: 20130807-VISTAPRINT
In light of pre-action conduct directions under the civil procedure rules for action in the county court small claims track, and in consideration of the sums involved I invite “discussion and negotiation” as a means of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), via email. If I receive no reply within 14 days, or if this discussion and negotiation does not resolve the matter, I will proceed with a county court claim without further notice.

I may report this matter to the criminal enforcement authority for such breaches. They may take action and involve the CPS as well as issuing fines. If you choose to resolve this matter promptly with a payment I will refrain from doing so in this case.

I look forward to your prompt reply.

Richard Bairwell

Delivery-date: Wed, 07 Aug 2013 11:56:31 +0000
Received: from ([]:57391)
by xxxxx.xxxx.xxxx with esmtp (Exim 4.80.1)
(envelope-from )
id 1V72Lv-000168-9w
for; Wed, 07 Aug 2013 11:56:31 +0000
DomainKey-Signature: [snipped in blog post]
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2013 11:56:30 +0000
From: Proffesional Printing
Subject: You individual business cards + delivery included
Content-Language: en
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;

If you have trouble reading this email, click here for a web-based version

Get 250 Premium Business Cards + FREE holder + FREE delivery for just £9.99
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for just £9.99
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250 Premium Business Cards
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Prices for Business only. Prices ex. VAT (20%). Product upgrades and uploads are not included unless otherwise specified.
Not valid on previous purchases. See our website for further details.
We provide the highest quality, full-colour graphic design and printing at the lowest prices!
. .
Your information is protected by SSL 128bit encryption..
Please note that we cannot monitor any emails sent in reply to this message.
If you’d like to get in touch, please visit our website.
This e-mail has been sent to, respecting the legal rights regarding e-mail marketing and data protection laws in Europe. If you consider that this e-mail has been sent to you by mistake, please let us know as soon as possible.
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Android: Fixed: Google Play Store not working/crashing?

May 15th, 2013

For the last few days, I’ve been having a problem with my Samsung Galaxy S II mobile phone running Android 4.1.2 (JellyBean) in that the Google Play store (which is used to download/update apps) just kept crashing. Sometimes it’ll load and showing a “Loading” screen before turning black and closing, other times it’ll just flash a black screen. I also got the “ has stopped working” when restarting the phone.

I did try going into Settings->Application Manager and stopping the Play Store, clearing the cache, uninstalling the updates: all with the same results. What did fix it however, was going into Settings->Application Manager selecting “All” finding “Download Manager” (which was right at the bottom of the alphabetical list!) and selecting “Enable” (for some reason, it was disabled). Reopen the Google Play Store and all seems well.

I’ve got no idea why the “Download Manager” became disabled nor why the Android PlayStore uses it.

[Techy] localdomain settings in Linux Mint using DNSMasq

May 12th, 2013

If you are developing websites on Linux Mint, then you might want to set a DNS Wildcard so that anything on localdomain (*.localdomain) resolves to your machine (i.e. test.localdomain , anything.localdomain). So how can you do this?

First of all, you need to install dnsmasq “a lightweight, easy to configure DNS forwarder and DHCP server”, this can be simply done using:
sudo apt-get install dnsmasq

Now you just need to configure it. Create a file in /etc/dnsmasq.d/ using something like nano, pico, vi, emacs :

sudo nano -w /etc/dnsmasq.d/localdomain.conf

with the following settings:


This will tell DNSMasq to setup a wildcard for everything on “localdomain” to point to and to listen for DNS requests on Now just restart DNSmasq:
sudo service dnsmasq restart
and you are nearly done.

You now just need to change your DNS servers in network manager. On the Linux Mint task bar, right click on the network icon and select “Edit connections” and edit the connection you are using. Select “IPv4 Settings”. If you have “Automatic (DHCP)” selected, change it to “Automatic (DHCP Addresses only)”. Then add the DNS server and others of your choosing (such as the Google and ones). All should now be working!

Magento: Class Zend_log not found in GoMage Lightcheckout Help file

March 27th, 2013

Do you receive an error message such as:

Fatal error: Class 'Zend_Log' not found in /.../app/code/local/GoMage/Checkout/Block/Adminhtml/System/Config/Fieldset/Help.php on line 48

when running the GoMage Lightcheckout v3.1 plugin for Magento? If so, it’s a quick fix: just open up that file and remove the section:

protected function _getFieldsetCss()
$configCss = (string)$this->getGroup()->fieldset_css;
return 'config collapseable'.($configCss ? ' ' . $configCss : '');

and your Magento ecommerce shop should start working! (Basically, in a recent version of Magento CE – version or before – that method was set as “protected” in Mage_Adminhtml_Block_System_Config_Form_Fieldset and so the child class GoMage_Checkout_Block_Adminhtml_System_Config_Fieldset_Help was not able to redeclare it).

Magento: Associating customer accounts

March 22nd, 2013

If you run a Magento e-commerce store, you may occasionally find existing customers placing orders without being logged into their account. This isn’t a problem usually, unless the customer is one of those vary rare ones which actually logs into the customer frontend to track/check their order(s). If they weren’t logged in, they won’t see the ecommerce order.

So how do you fix this? Well, there is a Magneto module available to do this, but (as is increasingly common in the Magento world) it costs $99. Or there is my way which is free and requests two SQL statements:

UPDATE sales_flat_order, customer_entity
SET sales_flat_order.customer_id=customer_entity.entity_id

UPDATE sales_flat_order_grid,sales_flat_order
SET sales_flat_order_grid.customer_id=sales_flat_order.customer_id


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