Monthly Archives: April 2011


Don’t get me wrong, I like the feature of Thunderbird (and other email clients) that looks for keywords indicating you intended to attach a document, and warns you that you haven’t.

But I think it needs tweaking.

Thunderbird attachment warning

The attachment keyword “pdf” is clearly part of a quoted URL in this email. In these cases, I think there’s no need to give me the warning.

Yeah, if I were energetic enough, I’d report the bug and/or fix it myself.

(Oh, whatdayaknow, I just patched to the latest version of TBird, and it looks like someone fixed it. Still, a little more quality control wouldn’t hurt to ensure this type of bug wasn’t released into a “stable” version in the first place.)

Google Chrome targeted by Malware

Interesting piece by Ed Bott: Malware authors target Google Chrome (on Windows).

Sounds similar to these kinds of fake Windows anti-virus scans which you see around the place, and try to convince you to click and download an executable which will supposedly clean up your PC:

Fake anti-virus check in Google Chrome

This type of thing reinforces the fact that no browser/platform is safe from malware, and that it’s important not to regularly run your account with Admin privileges on your PC.

Personally I reckon it wouldn’t hurt to have a setting in Windows (and other operating systems) that prevents running executables from any directory where the current (non-Admin user) has write-permissions, eg only letting them run programs that have been installed by an Administrator.

Does any OS offer something like that at the moment?

How not to run a corporate web site

I’ve noticed that Transport For London do this irritating thing: they move (“archive”) their corporate media releases content each month.

So this:

— which has been quoted widely as the press release for the Royal Wedding Oyster Card, for instance on the popular Going Underground blog — gets moved to:

The old link returns a 404.

WHY? It just seems utterly pointless.

The other thing they do is fail to show, or even link to pictures on their media release pages, even in cases like this where the picture is of prime interest, as the story is “Mayor unveils design of the royal wedding Oyster card”. Instead they make you ring the TFL press office.

Perhaps they haven’t noted the rise of social media, where the messages you put out can be spread by bloggers, Tweeters, Facebookers — none of whom will have the time or motivation to ring your press office to get hold of a photo.

If you hide the official information too much, people will end up relying on the unofficial information out there. Less detail, less reliability, and you’ve got less control of the message you want to put out.

Seems an odd way of doing things in the 21st century.

(I only had this rant because I was looking for a picture of the special Royal Wedding Oyster Card.)

The office of the future (circa 1982)

From BBC’s “The Computer Programme”. The sound is loud and distorted, so turn your volume down before you click play.

I didn’t think the LEN function would work without parenthesis around the variable, but there you go.

Horde access keys

Beware of Horde’s IMP webmail client and its access/shortcut keys.

One that’s caught me is that if new email composition is set to be in a separate window, and access keys are on, then Alt-F4 (which in Windows is normally the equivalent of Close) is pressed, instead of saving the email to Drafts, or cancelling the email, it sends it.

I’m a common user of Alt-F4, which means several times I’ve thought I was cancelling the email, but instead it’s sent it.

Another is Alt-D for Delete (the current message). On many browsers this predates Ctrl-L to go to the address window, and while I know I should learn Ctrl-L, I still commonly press Alt-D. If Horde is configured to not even put the message into the Trash, carelessly pressing Alt-D will zap the message forever more, no trace left.

To prevent these happening again, I’ve now turned off Access keys: Options / Global options / Display Options / Should access keys be defined for most links?