Wedding anniversary

You know when you first start going out with someone (well, when you were a kid anyway) you’d mark various anniversaries: first week/month etc. Then maybe you’d progress to first year, first year of living together and the like. There was always a little voice in the back of your head saying “yeah, it’s lovely, but it isn’t really a real anniversary is it?”

Well this is the real deal, first wedding anniversary. First anniversary of being married to the best girl in the world in fact.

In fact, seen as we are in Boston and five hours behind at the moment it has almost been and gone, but nevertheless we are just about to head out to celebrate with dinner at L’Espalier, a swanky restaurant that, notwithstanding the fact that The Michelin Guide don’t cover Boston yet, seems to have won a good deal of plaudits and is the #1 Boston restaurant on (including a glowing review from my work colleague Suzanne!)

Calling Wyoming, anybody there??

Looking my visitor data collected by Google Analytics I notice that the only US state I’ve not been visited from is Wyoming:

Map of US

Looking at a 2003 survey it doesn’t appear that Wyoming is particularly behind in computer/internet usage compared to other states, however, Wikipedia tells me it is the least populated state.

I want to fill in the almost square space in my map, so if you know anybody in Wyoming, point them this way!

Next to last

The three online banking facilities I have access to (one UK, two Irish which is another post in itself…) all require me to have a passcode of variable length which they use as a form of wish-it-was-two-factor authentication. They each have a different approach to how to enter it: one asks me to select three numbers at random from drop down boxes with the other numbers represented by ‘*’, whilst the other two just ask me to enter three of the numbers by keyboard into three provided entry fields. Obviously the numbers requested differ on each login attempt.

What they are trying to guard against is the ability for key loggers or other such malicious software being able to read the numbers entered. Hence the drop down box approach to encourage use of the mouse rather than keyboard, the mouse being harder to track.

The subject of this post leads to an interesting technique used by the UK bank. Instead of asking for numbers 1, 3 and 6; or 2, 4, and 5 it asks for first, third and last; or second, fourth and next to last. The help for said bank actually states that “next to last” is an attempt to help mask the length of the passcode. The thing is ever since they introduced this it has been very noticeable that “next to last” seems to get asked for a lot. The question though: is this because it is actually being asked for more than the other numbers because the code behind the site knows that this is a special case number and that influences the “randomness” or is it simply because it stands out more and I just think it pops up more often?


Why don’t some people watch where they are going and make an effort to get out of the way?

Why do some people need to park right outside the entrance door to our apartment block when there are free parking spaces 10 yards away?

Why do people see the need to go the wrong way down a 1-way aisle outside the shopping centre just to get to a car parking spot 20 yards closer to the shops?

Why when the fire alarm goes off at 2am and indicates that a heat sensor in the underground car park is registering 62C am I the only person out of about a dozen who thinks it is sensible to perform a visual check rather than just turning off the alarm and going back to bed? At least the other eleven actually got out of bed I suppose.

Why do people who serve me always seem to need me to say things twice?

Why does the minimum possible standard seem to be the one that is delivered?

And finally…

Why have these things started to get to me all of a sudden?

Blog updated

I’ve just updated this blog to WordPress 2.3.1, which was as painless as it always is. I took the opportunity to freshen up the plugins I use as well. There shouldn’t be any noticeable difference, however I have picked up the latest version of the excellent Share This plugin. You will see the share this icon under each post and this is the easiest way to publish any of my entries to Facebook, delicious, digg, stumbleupon or numerous other places.

Vulcan XH558 flies!

There are some times when checking the news in the odd 5 minutes at work brings me great delight, and this is one.

It is fantastic to see the Avro Vulcan take to the skies again, after years of hard work, setbacks, lottery funding and more setbacks. Brings back memories of seeing it fly at Mildenhall airshow in the early nineties.

Can’t wait to see it in the flesh if it can make any airshow appearances.

Enabling link splicing

I’ve just enabled splicing of my bookmarks into the feed for this site. For those that subscribe to the feed (via Feedburner which hopefully every feed link on this site should go through) will get a single daily digest of any bookmarks I make. I’ve done this partly to make more use of than I currently do. I’ll aim to add a small personal comment to each item I bookmark to help people work out if they will find it worthwhile following any links. Another reason for doing this is that I’ve found quite a few links this way from Andy, Roo and other’s feeds.