What the hell?! The annoying dots that have appeared in Visual Studio

I know this will have happened to someone else before me, but when I code I don’t look at the keyboard, fairly standard. Yesterday however I went to hit [ctrl] + S and instead hit something else entirely, and this happened.

view spaces screenshot Following this, I now had dots everywhere, it didn’t take me very long to notice that they seemed to represent the spaces and tabs I had used to indent my code, but for the foggiest I did not know what I did to trigger it or how to fix it.

Enter trolling through the Visual studio toolbars before eventually coming across the setting and disabling it. Edit > Advanced >View White Space (ctrl E, S). Ahh that would explain it.

Another day, another jQuery problem solved

I had a problem, in the page I was working on, I have several sections, only one gets displayed at a time and they all have the same field at the top of each section called “Label”, when the user moved through the sections, if they have provided a Label it should automatically be populated in the new section. jQuery to the rescue with .filter(). Which allowed me to find only the label elements where the value was not empty and then easily copy it to a new section.

Not rocket science but useful.

A Tragic Story of Mat Honan’s Digital Life being destroyed….

Seriously read this article, and I mean the whole article “How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking” and shudder as to how easily it could happen to you.

For those that do not know Mat Honan (@mat) he is a senior writer for the Wired.com magazine, and he recently had his digital life turned upside down, when someone, quite interestingly through linked Google, Amazon and iCloud accounts, destroyed his digital life.

First my Google account was taken over, then deleted. Next my Twitter account was compromised, and used as a platform to broadcast racist and homophobic messages. And worst of all, my AppleID account was broken into, and my hackers used it to remotely erase all of the data on my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook.

One of the people involved in the hack “Phobia” contacted him later to discuss the hack, what made this story more horrifying is when he explains how easy it was to do.

So how did he get this vital information? He began with the easy one. He got the billing address by doing a whois search on my personal web domain. If someone doesn’t have a domain, you can also look up his or her information on Spokeo, WhitePages, and PeopleSmart.

Getting a credit card number is tricker, but it also relies on taking advantage of a company’s back-end systems. Phobia says that a partner performed this part of the hack, but described the technique to us, which we were able to verify via our own tech support phone calls. It’s remarkably easy — so easy that Wired was able to duplicate the exploit twice in minutes.

First you call Amazon and tell them you are the account holder, and want to add a credit card number to the account. All you need is the name on the account, an associated e-mail address, and the billing address. Amazon then allows you to input a new credit card. (Wired used a bogus credit card number from a website that generates fake card numbers that conform with the industry’s published self-check algorithm.) Then you hang up.

Next you call back, and tell Amazon that you’ve lost access to your account. Upon providing a name, billing address, and the new credit card number you gave the company on the prior call, Amazon will allow you to add a new e-mail address to the account. From here, you go to the Amazon website, and send a password reset to the new e-mail account. This allows you to see all the credit cards on file for the account — not the complete numbers, just the last four digits. But, as we know, Apple only needs those last four digits.

And as he later correctly points out

If you have an AppleID, every time you call Pizza Hut, you’ve giving the 16-year-old on the other end of the line all he needs to take over your entire digital life.

The most tragic part is that he is kicking himself that he did not back up his data resulting in him permanently loosing the pictures of his daughter, maybe he, and everone else should have watched the master of commedy, John Cleese’s video Institute for Backup Trauma.

A silver lining to this story was the realization of my own vulnerability, and that I and I hope you too needed to take steps to rectify the problem.

Setting up display of external RSS feeds in wordpress posts

Following a tweet from @TheShellCase.

I looked into adding the RSS into a post to see how difficult it is.

See the demo below of the rss feed from theshellcase.co.uk
[parse_feed feed=”http://theshellcase.co.uk/feed” num=”3″ name=”TheShellCase”]

not that bad, the answer was to use the SimplePie RSS Reader and a little modification to the simple-pie-rss-reader/feed-reader.php script.

Still using the same post shortcode

Imagine a World, a better world. Where Games Workshop opened itself to the wonders of Digital Distribution

Imagine a World, for just a minute, a world where Games Workshop the company many of us has grown up knowing and loving from an early age fully embraced our brave new world of digital distribution. I have been following @thetalldesigner‘s blog, and in specific a particular article which takes the form of a wishlist, a realistic and achieveable wishlist which will usher in a new dawn for Games Workshop if they embraced the myriad of new technologies out there in our interconnected world. Check out the full article “What could Games Workshop produce if they fully embraced digital distribution of their rules?”.

This list is constantly being added to and improved upon and I would invite you to comment on his blog if there are any other features that have not been added. Below I have added a list of a few that I found particularly interesting.

Army Lists

  • PDF export of list for opponents use or tournaments
  • Share army list directly to your opponents via the system prior to the game

These would be great especially if you can link Games workshop accounts in a social fashion, you could have everyone from your local area and arrange games with vetted and legal lists.

  • Scenarios & extra missions Micro payments or subscriptions
  • Is this in stock at my local GW indicator
  • Access to older White Dwarf articles including scenarios, painting guides, battle reports etc. via a micro payment system. 50p an article. Monetises the huge back catalogue. Could also access the larger articles from older codexes.

To be honest, I’m surprised that Games Workshop hasn’t done this already. Apple has shown the value of mico-payments the $0.99 app. Considering the sheer number of articles that Games workshop have put out over the years, there could be a fortune in getting digital versions of just these articles, and the writers of White dwarf would be able to see exactly which parts of the magazine are the biggest attractions which will lead to better and better White Dwarfs.

My own addition would be an import/export functionality for third party software, they could even put the onus on the the third party software by defining a standard for import and export. Then third-party software would just need to add a new export option to convert their lists into GW Format (XML is ideal and not hard to do for this) and then you could make your army list in Army BuilderTM and then upload it to the site making it “official” before submitting it to the tournament page which could be set up by your local Games Workshop or gaming group.

Checkout the full article on Tetsugaku.

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