I was at a memorial service today for a great local mentor who was so important to me as my early career developed. His granddaughter Tessa read this poem by Henry Wordsworth Longfellow. I can’t remember hearing it before and I was so impressed by her reading and by Longfellow’s sentiment. Much better than the simplistic carpe diem.
The browsers that I use regularly, particularly Google Chrome and Firefox have been becoming more and more noisy about web pages that use the http protocol. This is the long established but insecure protocol that sends pages from server to client unencrypted. The more more modern and in some ways more secure https is preferred. So it became time to upgrade my website and its WordPress blog to enable https.
The first step was easy – my host was able to automatically generate an SSL certificate which is installed on the web server and which allows communications to be signed and transmitted securely encrypted. That was done with a click of a button. Thanks WebSiteSource.
Next, as I worked through this HowTo, was a recommendation to install a plugin called ReallySimple SSL. Sounded good to me but for some reason I started hitting a reasonably well know WordPress problem. I started getting blank screens in the admin area of my WordPress blog. Fortunately there were a few guides, including this one, which helped work out which Theme or Plugin was responsible. A bit of FTP work, following the youtube instruction was all that was necessary.
Now Really Simple SSL is playing nicely with all the other elements of my site and I have a lovely little green padlock in Firefox.
As an adult who was never taught to type at school I have decided that enough is enough! It’s time to type properly. I gave been trying out a bunch of speed typing websites and here are my favourites.
EdClub has TypingClub with hundreds of pages of instruction. I rate it as my current fav. Now on lesson 140 I’m starting to feel that I’m making progress but it still hurts to go backwards before picking up speed.
Somehow I managed to lose the Akismet plugin from my very inactive WordPress blog and within hours the spam comments started mounting up. After a week I had 175 waiting for moderation and the email traffic into my moderator account was ridiculous. Thanks to my new friends at wpbeginner.com I hope my peace has been restored.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”
Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797)
In a small step towards recognising the legitimately personal nature of metadata the Australian Privacy Commissioner has ordered telco Telstra to hand over personal metadata to journalist Ben Grubb after a two year dispute. The story is covered by ABC here.
The ruling appears to represent a different point of view to that espoused by the Abbott government which has argued that mandatory data retention laws did not retain personal information because metadata was analogous to no more than the address on an envelope (Abbott’s analogy in August 2014.) Clearly information that records where I was, when and who I contacted is a lot more personal that that. Also clearly, if the AFP posted an officer at my front gate to check what envelopes come into my letter box, I’d be worried.
The issue is briefly covered by Lateline reporter Margot O’Neil in a video here.
I’ve logged off, rebooted and restarted this blog to focus on my current interests of privacy, security, information management, surveillance and the role of government, all with an Australian focus. I will try to focus you attention and mine on developments occurring at home and around the globe.