Archive for the ‘Net: General’ category

Tech: Google Cookie Opt-Out Plugin or Customising The Cookie

March 11th, 2009

It appears that Google offers an Advertising Cookie Opt-Out Plugin which not only sets the DoubleClick opt-out cookie (DoubleClick is now owned by Google don’tcha know?), but also ensures this cookie is set to persist even if you empty your browser cookies (Internet Explorer and Firefox only). However, not only can you get this cookie set (along with setting opt-out cookies for all the other major advertising networks), you can also set your own advertising interests so Google can serve more appropriate adverts to you (so no more, or certain less, “weight loss/improve your manhood” adverts).

Net: Is my mediciation safe or is Wikipedia not safe?

March 10th, 2009

Ok, after reading one inflammatory article today (Kate Craig-Wood’s Register edited “UK IT should ‘fire men first'” article), it’s time for my own – which I’m entitling “Is my mediciation safe or is Wikipedia not safe?” “Wikipedia: Is it safe?”

This blog entry has been inspired by the Wikipedia entry for some medication I am currently taking. It’s been prescribed to me by a UK registered GP (General Practice Doctor) on an NHS (National Health Service) prescription and was dispensed by Superdrug (the 2nd largest health and beauty and pharmacy chain in the UK – 2nd only to Boots) to treat a bacterial otitis externa (ear canal infection). As you can guess then, the medicine is widely stocked, approved by the UK’s health board and is known by general doctors.

However, the Wikipedia article for the drug Ciprofloxacin states:

…[it is an] agent used to treat severe and life threatening bacterial infections….The licensed uses for ciprofloxacin in the United States are quite limited as ciprofloxacin is to be considered a drug of last resort when all other antibiotics have failed.

(Emphasis mine)

And that’s just from the summary!

Wow: what a dangerous drug my Doctor has prescribed me: I must be at death’s door (which explains why he told me not to go into work for a week: I may keel over and die at my desk!).
» Read more: Net: Is my mediciation safe or is Wikipedia not safe?

Japan Bike Storage

March 10th, 2009

As you may be aware, I quite like things from Japan and it’ll come as no great suprise then that I follow Danny Choo (@dannychoo) and Neil Duckett (@Neil_Duckett) quite a bit (as they are major Gaijin bloggers in Japan) and it was therefore with fun I found Danny’s post about Bike Storage In Japan.

It’s quite fasincating to watch the machine accept the bike, store it and then spit it out afterwards: and with the Mayor Of London (@MayorOfLondon) looking at introducing hire bikes around London, then this could be the perfect idea. Have one of these Japanese Bike Parks near every major London tube/train station (maybe between Euston and Kings Cross St Pancras, Victoria, London Bridge, Liverpool Street, Paddington and Waterloo) with each unit having around 20-40 bikes available for hire (the rest of the bike park can be used for “public use”). Swipe an Oyster card (or other “token”) at the machine to hire a bike, and return it (bikes are RFID’d tagged for extra security) at any bike park to finish hiring it.

Of course, there is the slight problem with the “oh noes, terrorists could use it in x/y/z manner” doom-sayers, but determined terrorists will always find a way so in the words of a certain organisation “so don’t worry and just enjoy your life.”.

Thoughts?

Net: Shortest Valid Domain Names

January 22nd, 2009

For the system I’m building, I’m putting in a check for valid domain names (technically URI/URLs) and one of the checks is for the length of the domain name. So what is the shortest domain name around?

Well, I suspect in the uk it’s the British library at bl.uk [5 characters] and in the .com range I suspect it’s Paypal’s x.com [6 characters], but an article on Valleywag has just altered me to the fact that Google has one of the shortest Chinese domain names g.cn [4 characters] and Ulster Television has u.tv, but even those are beaten by both the Western Samoa top level domain name has a website making ws [2 characters] and the Vatican’s va [2 characters] – making them the shortest domain name I’m aware of.

Why have some of them got full stops at the end of the links ( such as http://ws. and http://va. ): it’s to stop your browser trying to “fix the links” and change them to http://ws.com and http://va.com which are different sites.

The answer to the question of “how short can a domain name be” is currently 2 characters (unless a top level domain is started with less than 2). A full web based URI/URL has a minimum length of 9 (4 for the protocol ‘http’, 3 for the protocol separation ‘://’ and then 2 for the domain/host name). Of course, you could also use the FTP protocol which brings it down to 8 or be pedantic and insist the shortest web orientated URL is http://va.:80/ at 14 characters.

See also top level domains with websites.

Paypal, ClickAndBuy, Google Checkout, NoChex and Worldpay Fees

December 31st, 2008

Here’s more a reminder to myself and all figures are based off “base rates” currently provided by the various Payment gateways. Check the figures yourself before using them as they may have changed. I can’t accept any liability for how you use this information.

Paypal charge a fixed fee of £0.20 and 3.4% of each transaction. To figure out the gross figure from the net, use the formula: (net+0.20)/(1-(3.4/100)).

Click and Buy charge a fixed fee of £0.35 and 1.9% of each transaction.

Google Checkout charges a fixed fee of £0.15 and 1.5% of each transaction.

NoChex’s Seller Account charges a fixed fee of £0.20 and 2.9% of each transaction.

Worldpay IMA charges a fixed fee of £0.15 and 3.35% of each transaction (along with a £15 monthly fee and £75 setup fee) [note this is for their current “New Business Deal”, normally they charge £30 per month with a £200 setup fee and £4.50% on credit/charge cards and a flat £0.50 on UK Debit Cards: along with £0.06 per transaction for Fraud Detection]

SecureTrading charges 3.29% on each transaction (subject to a minimum fee of £15 per month with a further £15 per month service fee and a one-off setup fee of £300)

» Read more: Paypal, ClickAndBuy, Google Checkout, NoChex and Worldpay Fees

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