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Posts From The Past

Tiscali Service? – Yeah, and Satiric Vesicles to you as well!

To the very few, Tiscali may be a pleasant little village in Italy – to most of us, it’s a Telecomms company that couldn’t organize it’s way out of a paper bag.
They are the biggest shower of shit that I have ever had the misfortune to deal with.

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Where’s My Potato?

Where's My Potato? Have you got it?

Where’s My Potato? Have you got it?

Perhaps it's under here?

Perhaps it’s under here?

Ah Ha! Got it!

Ah Ha! Got it!

Mmm! Desiree and Vinyl Hamburger. Delicious!

Mmm! Desiree and Vinyl Hamburger. Delicious!


Complicated rubber toy, cost 4.35 Euros – lasting interest – nil.

Desiree Potato accidently dropped on floor – endless fun when squeezed hard against floor with paw, as shoots across tiles at great speed.

Beef bones: free in enormous quantities from Intermarche – smelly but of great enjoyment and satisfaction.

First posted on:

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Statistics For October.

Another encouraging month on both and First of all the search engine results: A search for ‘connectable’ revealed in 6th place out of 1.96 million on Google, and in 1st place out of 1.36 million on Microsoft’s Bing still fails to rank connectable in the top 30 hits – I don’t know why, and I don’t much care!
My story: ‘The Revenge Of The Red Pirate’ on the Shortbread website is thrown up at 10th place out of 32.5 million on Google using the filter ‘Red Pirate’. Whilst my latest novelette ‘Sister Mildred’ is placed at 22nd out of 1.24 million on Google using the filter ‘Sister Mildred’.’s statistics engine records a total of 86,902 hits in October for This puts October into 2nd place behind September. Once again the PIC USB projects proved to be the most popular.

On there were a total of 20,641 hits in October – also putting October in 2nd place this year to May’s 1st. Most popular subjects were the ‘Songs For Broken Voices’ (SFBV) and the short stories.

Serious exhaustion has precluded me from doing a lot of what I had intended last month, but I am, albeit slowly, catching up on unfinished/undocumented projects, and these will be included/updated on the websites as they become ready.

JWB 02 November 2009

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Your Story Has Touched My Heart – Now F**k Off & Annoy Someone Else!

Faith Robert recently emailed me with this cry from the heart from the Ivory Coast in West Africa. My first instincts are to help Faith, but I suspect she’s being economical with the truth, and is actually a smelly, unshaven little shite, sitting in amongst a pile of Twix wrappers and empty Coke cans somewhere in Antwerp.

Sorry Faith, but not this time.
From that ‘Godly Person’ JWBD4

Abidjan Cote D’ivoire
West Africa.
Dearest One,

I am the first daughter of an ex military/ex president been an opposition party
to the present Government of COTE D`IVOIRE. On the 19th septumber 2002 my
father/mother including every members of our family was murdered by the unknown
REBELS during the time they attack our house by shooting and looting, even this
is one of the things that contributed to the present crisis in our country

God so kind I was not in town when the incident occurred, the plans of the
REBELS is to kill every members of our family so that no one will rise up to
revenge as time goes on. I am in our country without any one knowing although I
am on hiding so that the unknown REBELS will not get to me and kill me like
killed all the members of our family. Why I still stay back in our country is
transfer the $18.5mUSD which my late father deposited in the custody of AFRICAN
JOINT SECURITY ASSISTANCE COMPANY, he deposited the fund as a family treasure
containing AFRICAN ART WORK FOR EXPORT for security reasons, as security
does not operate as bank where some one can deposit his/her money openly.

Before the death of my father he gave me the covering documents of the fund
deposited in the security company, as I am his first daughter and he so much
loved me that was why he made me the beneficiary of the two iron trunk boxes
containing the $18.5mUSD. Right now I wish to transfer this fund to you so that
you will assist me to invest the money into any viable sector in your country,
also you will help me to join you in your country for me to start up a new life
with you there immediately the fund gets to you. since I am no longer safe as
far as Africa is concern at the moment, I wanted to transfer the fund before
leaving the country because this fund is my last hope and the only hope I have

Before I even pick you to assist me I have prayed and slept over it asking God
to provide for me a Godly minded person that will assist me in this
I will give you more details of the transaction in my next mail. for nsecurity
reasons try to reply me at my private Emai

Awaiting to here from you.
Thanks and God bless you.
From Faith Robert

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Statistics for September et al is surfing a wave of popularity currently. Total hits for the month at 12:00 midnight on the 30th Sep were 160,249. This puts September in the busiest month since the site was launched. Total hits for the year so far were 729,147. Again, I’m pleased with the site’s moderate popularity, as interest in my PIC articles continues to attract new visitors. fared roughly the same as last month, number of hits being 17,647, putting September as the second busiest month sinch launch.

However, I still have several uncompleted projects, both on the websites, and off, with, it would seem, little time to complete these, as I’ve spread myself too thinly as usual. The other factor is time lost to illness. Efforts this week in my loft, had a knock-on effect for the following two days, leaving me at best exhausted, and at times feeling bloody awful.

Despite appearing far in to the future, I also have the prospect of two knee operations, at least one which is scheduled before Christmas, and I have to attend something called Pre-assess on the 12 October at my local hospital, where they are going to poke and prod me sufficiently enough to ascertain if I’m fit enough! This includes tests on my heart, blood etc.

JWB 1 October 2009

BTW For all you red-blooded programmers, check out my Software To Die For – October, the lovely Miss Helen Brown – just what you need to take your mind off those functor templates you were struggling with!

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And Ballcocks to you, as well!

Just finished an unplanned sojourn in my filthy loft, replacing a float-valve. Why is it, when plumbers have the whole roof space at their disposal, do they cram all the waterworks paraphenalia into one, totally inaccessible corner?

When I arrived home, a few weeks ago now, from my Grand Tour, I noticed that the mat in front of the washbasin was looking scruffier than I had remembered. Feeling a little ashamed, I replaced it with a clean one and thought no more of it. It was nearly two weeks later, whilst sitting on the ‘throne’, that I happened to look up and notice that a large part of the bathroom ceiling is badly water damaged, and as a result highly discoloured. It says something about the dark mood I was in after my short break, that I must have been walking around the house with my eyes cast down, like a vulture on Voltarol (see post: Pass The Voltarol Dear…) and never even noticed it. Since then, I’ve had to limit the cold feed to the tanks upstairs by using the cold water stopcock in the kitchen. This morning I bit the bullet and spent £6.63 (don’t – it’s too close for comfort!) on a new ball-valve and extra 1/2inch stopcock.
I’ve interposed the new stopcock in the cold feed in the bathroom – so that the toilet can be used in the event of further shutdowns in the loft. I then spent one of the most painful, cramping, filthy, sweaty hours for a long, long time fitting the new float-valve. Well it’s done, and everything appears OK now.

Who said tradesmen were expensive? If I was doing it for a living, I’d want at least £100 per hour + free bath afterwards.


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Pigeon is ‘faster than broadband’

An IT company in Durban, South Africa has discovered that a carrier pigeon can carry data faster than broadband
An IT company in Durban, South Africa has discovered that a carrier pigeon can carry data faster than broadband.
Staff at Unlimited IT pitted an 11-month-old bird bearing with a 4GB memory stick against the ADSL service from the country’s biggest web provider, Telkom.
Winston the pigeon took two hours to carry the data 60 miles, the same time it took the ADSL line to send just 4% of the data.  
The race was conceived when an employee at Unlimited IT complained about the speed of data transmission on ADSL, joking it would be faster by carrier pigeon.
Winston’s task was to carry the memory stick from Unlimited IT’s call centre in the town of Howick to the firm’s office in Durban. Strict rules were in place to ensure the bird did not have an unfair advantage, including “no cats allowed” and “birdseed must not have any performance-enhancing seeds within”.
The pigeon took one hour and eight minutes to fly between the offices, and the data took another hour to upload on to their system. ADSL transmission of the same data size was about 4% complete in the same time.
“We renown ourselves on being innovative, so we decided to test that statement,” Unlimited’s Kevin Rolfe told the Beeld newspaper. “Winston is over the moon,” he added. “He is happy to be back at the office and is now just chilling with his friends.”
Telkom has distanced itself from the stunt, saying it was not responsible for the firm’s slow internet speeds.
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Beware of Predators

Once upon a time I heard Gil Grissom say: “There are those amongst us who, if they knew how many predators are waiting outside for them, they would never leave the house.”

Yeah, I know it’s only a formulaic US crime drama, but it is remarkably apposite of the situation that faces the humble blogger.

No, I’m not talking about the threatened visits by HM government heavies because of my low opinion of this Government, but by the fact that even using a well-tried and tested Blog system like WordPress can cause serious damage to your health. I periodically check my Blog database entries for ’suspicious’ or unusual entries, and given the recent news wrt WordPress being hacked, did so yesterday. I’m glad that I did. I’d recently OK’ed another couple of ’subscribers’ to the Blog and at the time thought nothing of it – ahem, won’t make that mistake again. The entries against their user name looked OK, but when I looked at the user meta-data, there were malicious attributes assigned to two ‘ghost’ users – both with administrators privileges, and a whole lot of executable php inside some of the table entries. My heart sank – what else had been hacked?
Apparently the hack makes use of a flaw in log-in code and squirts shit into the database for later use – all of this presumably being done by a ‘bot using Google direction. So began the long job of checking both the database and the WP files for signs of tampering, and finally applying an upgrade plus some changes to the database to strengthen security.

WordPress say that ‘the violation goes deep into the database’ (or words to that effect, hardly a technical description) and at one point advises a complete cleanout – those that don’t take a backup every time they update their blog will lose any work done since their last backup. I’m not so sure. After scanning the DB and files, I’m fairly sure that I’ve cleaned up at least most of the dirt – so I’m waiting to see what happens.

One final comment here. WordPress are keen for everyone to upgrade each time a new version is ready. There are at least 2 problems with this from my point of view: First, they insist on embedding their adverts into the PHP, so I have to hack this every time I upgrade, and Secondly: How do we know we aren’t uploading an even more hackable version than the last?

WRT the first point. ANY TEXT that is displayed on my Blog I want TO BE ABLE TO CHANGE WITHOUT HACKING SOURCE CODE! WordPress – Are you listening? This is the sort of thing that school-leavers do and should be stamped on.

Now back to my opening line. It’s bad enough for me when this sort of thing happens, when I believed I was using a reliable Blog system – I’m reasonably happy about digging around in the DB to find all the shit these hacker arseholes have left – but what about the ‘ordinary’ blogger? Your average internet journalist just dosn’t have the technical ability to fix these flaws. If the self-acclaimed 5-minute install leaves a flaky setup – WordPress are responsible, not the poor user. WP are simply leaving the door open for the low-life bottom-feeding shit-faces to do their worst. It won’t take very much more of this before WP falls into disrepute, as have so many others in the past.

JWBD4 5th Sep. 2009

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Statistics (and blah) for August

Activity has been brisk on with total hits of 74,891 and total files downloaded 62,544. Max hits per day was 6,106 and an average daily hit rate of 2415. Despite these encouraging figures, August was in 4th place this year. The world-wide search on Google for ‘connectable’ revealed that this has slipped to 6th place in 832,000, whilst on Yahoo a search for ‘connectable’ maintained 1st place in 1.3 million. By far the most popular page on the site is the PIC USB development stuff.

Activity on remained moderate, with hits for August at 17,335, making August 2nd only to May. Strong interest has been shown in the number of downloads of my Dysphagia article, and several of the stories remain popular – especially those marked as sexually explicit! Already this month I’ve added a new story regarding a Bus Ride To Balham - nothing sexy, but hopefully still entertaining.

I’ve belatedly updated the ‘Software To Die For’ on to include this months choice Jenny Young. This beautiful young lady already brightens up what has been a dull, dark start to September.

Also added to and are Google ‘Translate’ widgets. This follows my discovery that numerous pages are translated by foreign guests, and I hope this makes things a little easier for them.

No further work has been done on, so my opus on development of embedded applications remains firmly in my head! Too much to see, too much to do and too little time – familar?

JWBD4 4th September 2009

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An act too hard to follow?

Despite howls of outrage from the US, and pressure by a supine British Government, Scotland – a small nation of just 5 million souls showed the world this week that despite the alleged murder of so many innocents over Lockerbie, showing compassion for the imminent death of the main suspect, would override any dubious satisfaction obtained by further adding to this man’s suffering by letting him rot in a jail in Scotland.

Posturing by politicians, including O’Bama, is disgraceful. Everyone knows that the terrible incident over Lockerbie was just one of the acts of terrorism carried out on behalf of the government of Libya – aka Gaddafi. Even if this man is guilty, and there are many that doubt this, he is simply a pawn. It suited the British Governments and the US at the time to go after the foot-soldiers rather than the General – literally. It suits them now to go on making noises about this man – rather than the Libyan government, because they are engaged in deals with this countries dictator for it’s oil, and they don’t want to ‘rock the boat’. Welcome to real politique.

They are playing the same game in Afghanistan – the installation of a warlord and murderer – Hamed Karzai, as an American puppet is vital in the strategy to keep control of vital oil pipelines in Afgahnistan. Meantime, Gordon Brown insists that keeping troops there is vital for the protection of the British people – when we are all aware that the terrorists committing atrocities in our cities are disillusioned young Pakistani men from HERE IN BRITAIN.

Both this country and the US need to regain the respect of the rest of the world. Recent revelations of atrocities carried out by Americans and British soldiers in Iraq, and the torture carried out by the US, condoned secretly by a spineless British Government, have done nothing but harm to both our countries, and rendered us incapable of the criticism of anyone else carrying out such atrocities against humanity. The Scots have shown mercy and compassion – two qualities that sadly are lacking by the reactionary US and British governments alike. The path ahead has been shown to them – but will they follow?


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