Oct 31 2008

IIA Net Visionary Awards Winners

Category: InternetTeknovis @ 14:37

The winners of the IIA Net Visionary Awards were announced last night at a black tie event in Dublin. Some of the nominations, and indeed the eventual winners, are very interesting. Congratulations to all involved, and in particular to Blacknight for picking up two awards!

The first winner that caught my attention was Pixie. I heard of them before, but I never actually visited their website. It seems to be very user friendly, and I happily browsed through random photos for a while. I think that they are in a very competitive market, especially if they want to have a global audience rather than an Irish audience.

The other winner that caught my attention was lichens.ie. Yes, this really is an entire website about lichen! The website is well designed, and it is interesting to look at, even if you are not a biologist! I really like the magnifying glass cursor that appears over the photos on the top of each page.

Of course, I am not saying that the other sites are not worthy of a look either!

There are several other similar types of awards during the year in Ireland, such as the Irish Web Awards and the Irish Blog Awards. I think that both of these are the brain children of Damien Mulley. I am not familiar enough with them to know the differences!

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Oct 30 2008

WordPress Categories and Link Categories

Category: SoftwareTeknovis @ 23:38

I have just noticed that one of my WordPress “Link Categories” has simultaneously become a post “Category”. So if I edit it on one of these two pages the change immediately appears on the other!

Strange! I do not understand why this is occuring!


Oct 30 2008

Searching for Blue Jumpers in Irish

Category: InternetTeknovis @ 23:19

There is currently an explosion of websites appearing online with information and details about blue jumpers in Irish (“geansai gorm”). Some examples include:

If you would like me to add your website to the above list then let me know. However, I do not think that Google has indexed Teknovis yet :o

So what is the cause of this sudden explosion? It is a SEO competition that was launched by Damien Mulley last Tuesday. The full details are described in his blog post titled “Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the greatest SEO of them all?“.

Good luck to all who enter!

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Oct 29 2008

The End of the Internet

Category: Humour,InternetTeknovis @ 19:47

After many years of surfing the Internet, I finally reached the end of it today!

You can too, simply by visiting www.ro.ro.

Oct 28 2008

Running Windows Programs as another User

Category: WindowsTeknovis @ 17:44

I like Microsoft Windows, and in particular, I love Windows 2000 and Windows XP. They are the perfect desktop operating systems for my needs. I think that the other main operating systems are great (and maybe even better than Windows in many respects), but I just do not like them so much.

Like all good users of multi-user operating systems, I use a normal account for my daily activities. I occasionally use the administrator account when I require elevated privileges. If the task is small, then I normally use the runas command from a Command Prompt.

Today I came across a description of launching applications with elevated privileges from within Windows Explorer. The process consists of pressing the SHIFT button before right clicking on an application! An extra “Run as…” option then appears in the context menu. I think that this is a small, but brilliant, time saver!

For more complete details see the Microsoft Knowledge Base Article.

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Oct 26 2008

WordPress Links in a Page

Category: SoftwareTeknovis @ 18:50

My blog has been online for one week now, and I am still making small changes to its design. Today I added my links page. Although it is rather sparse at the moment, I want to ensure that all of the links within it are links that I really read!

The process of adding this links page turned out to be far more complicated than I was expecting! I also learned a lot about how WordPress works along the way!

I initially decided that I wanted to keep all my links in a single dedicated page, rather than having them on every page. The simple solution would have been to hardcode this page, and maintain it manually.

However, WordPress has a built-in feature for managing links, so I thought that it would make more sense to use that.

I started by looking at Powerblogroll, because I thought that this would enable me to paste a line of code into my page, and everything else would work smoothly. It does not :(

So I discovered that I needed to create a links template, and then use this to create my links page. I think that the online WordPress documentation is very good, and I discovered that the wp_list_bookmarks() function was the one that I needed. The documentation describes its usage. Lastly, I updated my theme to style the new code.

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Oct 25 2008

IT Graduate Recruitment in Ireland

Category: Third LevelTeknovis @ 16:04

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of meeting recruiters from several of the leading IT companies in Ireland. The informal message that I got from them all was that:

  • There are currently as many graduate opportunities as there were last year, and in some cases there are significantly more.
  • Starting salaries are roughly between 27,000€ and 33,000€ per annum. (Naturally there are other benefits associated with each job!)
  • The applicants are making more of an effort in their applications compared to previous years. I am speculating that this is due to applicants being aware of the current economy downturn.
  • The average calibre of applicants is decreasing. I am speculating that this is a symptom of the general reluctance of Irish students to pursue technical subjects.

So overall, it appears that there are plenty of opportunities in the IT sector for high-calibre graduates. This is consistent with both my experiences, and my colleagues experiences, of employment opportunities for experienced IT professionals.


Oct 23 2008

YouTube in WordPress

Category: SoftwareTeknovis @ 23:03

I have just included a YouTube video in my previous post. I really thought that this would have been a simple task in WordPress, but I was quite disappointed!

The first hurdle was actually figuring out how to paste the HTML code that YouTube supply. This was not too difficult – I just had to switch to the HTML view in WordPress.

The second hurdle appeared when I tried to validate my post. I had not realised it, but the <embed> tag is not supported in XHTML! So I modified the YouTube code as described here.

I really do not understand why YouTube are using this deprecated tag!

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Oct 23 2008

3D Desktop by BumpTop

Category: SoftwareTeknovis @ 22:38

I came across this very interesting 3D desktop demonstration today by a company called BumpTop. You can also watch one of BumpTop’s creators demonstrate BumpTop at TED 2007. (Indeed, the TED website contains many interesting videos!)

Although I really like the look of BumpTop, and I imagine that it is even more impressive in reality, I am not sure how useful it is for organising files. I am saying this from the perspective of somebody who is ultra organised! My computer desktop only ever contains three application shortcuts, and I am really good at using file structures! Even my real desk must be clear before I leave it!

I was thinking about applications for BumpTop on tablet PCs and PDAs, but again I cannot see any benefit to me.

I think the application of BumpTop that would most appeal to me is inside the application! For example, I enjoy digital photography, and many times I will have lots of images from a single shoot simultaneously. These photos will all be stored in the same directory because I use a directory per shoot. However, when I am editing them I often create temporary shoot-specific groupings.

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Oct 22 2008

Sniffing Wired Keyboards

Category: SecurityTeknovis @ 22:50

Researchers in the Security and Cryptography Laboratory (LASEC) in the Swiss University Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have developed four side channel attacks that are capable of detecting keystrokes remotely. Their attacks are based on measuring electromagnetic radiation, and they successfully attacked 11 different wired keyboards over distances up to 20 meters. The initial details of their research are available online (including two video demonstrations), and further details are contained in a paper that is currently under peer review. I am sure it will be an interesting read!

These types of side channel attacks are always very interesting, because they can often totally circumvent traditional cryptographic techniques such as application level encryption and decryption.

I wonder are there other interesting applications for these attacks. For example, the researchers mention the possible application of their research to the keyboards used in automatic teller machines.

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