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Little design changes

I’ve made a couple of changes to the site’s layout, of which I hope you will approve.

Most noticeably, I’ve tidied up my handwriting a bit – if only it was so easy in real life! It is still very much my hand, but I’ve straightened out the baseline and reduced some of the letter spacings to more closely reflect actual handwriting. There are a couple of other tiny changes, too – it’s an addictive business, tweaking a font!

Also, I’ve stopped DailyBoothing. I’m not self-obsessed enough to take a photo of myself everyday as it turns out… Though notice that I am egotistical enough to keep a static photo in the corner up there… And to have a site of thousands of pages all devoted to me, of course…

As always, your comments on the above, plus the multitudes of other tweaks around the site, are most welcome!

This 1,416th post was filed under: Diary Style Notes, Site Updates, , , .

My Life-changing Experiment (aka ‘The Joy of Sox’)

Three years ago, everyone’s favourite Guardian columnist Tim Dowling wrote a G2 article listing low-cost ways to transform your human existence, in Even £50 can change your life.

His lowest budget suggestion was buying socks:

£50 [is] enough to be able to throw out your entire sock collection and buy a new set from Tesco. No more holes or mismatched pairs. Just fresh, clean socks every morning from now on.

Doesn’t that sound appealing?

Around the same time, another of my Guardian favourites, Anna Pickard, was blogging about the frustrations of socks, and perhaps because of the sheer volume of sock-orietated content that permeated my brain around then, the idea of having a whole new collection of socks has been lodged firmly in my mind ever since.

Now, back to 2010. Having recently accepted a dream job in Public Health, and having just about finished my job in General Practice, I was in the mood to treat myself this weekend. But this being credit-crunch Britain, and the job I’ve just finished being un-banded, the celebration was hardly going to be grandiose.

But – given Tim’s advice – why not make it life-changing nonetheless?

So off all my socks went to Oxfam (well, nearly all of them, I kept my favourite ones). And, clutching Clubcard vouchers, Partnership Card vouchers, and a Debenhams voucher from Kantar, off I went to the shops, and procured myself three fine sets of shiny new life-changing socks for nothing.

This does mean that I’ve swapped a whole drawer of socks for just about fourteen pairs, but it cost me nothing, and who needs more than two weeks’ worth of socks anyway?

I can officially declare that it is entirely liberating to have a whole collection of comfortable, hole-free, well matched pairs of brand new socks. That initial sense of mild disappointment and frustration each morning that “all my nice socks are in the wash” has been eliminated.

And my feet have never felt happier.

A Happy Foot

A Happy Foot - It's not mine, it's just illustrative. Courtesy of evelynishere (used under licence).

By-the-by, it turns out, that the Guardian‘s position on this has changed. Michael ‘Smugface’ White doesn’t do new socks. Instead

I still wear my own children’s discarded socks and, if they were a particularly good black pair, occasionally even darn them.

Just think of his poor feet.

Is this really, as he claims, an environmental micro-choice which remains with him from his time spent growing up in the aftermath of the Second World War? Or is it just a pitiable sign of a being a tight, grumpy old bastard? It’s hard to say for sure, but I know which explanation I favour.

Knowing what’s under his highly polished shoes, will we ever be able to take his pompous self-righteous TV political commentary seriously again? Here’s hoping no-one will.

This 1,415th post was filed under: Miscellaneous, , , , , , , , , .

Quick work… Theatre Royal website fixed!

Less than four hours after I exclusively reported the Theatre Royal’s web oopsie, they’ve fixed it. A new email has gone out with a new, unique temporary password for each user.

Loophole closed, and an sjhoward.co.uk win!

This 1,414th post was filed under: Technology, , , .

Shocking web security fail by Theatre Royal Newcastle

Theatre Royal, Newcastle upon Tyne

Theatre Royal, Newcastle upon Tyne

The Theatre Royal in Newcastle (the Northern Home of the Royal Shakespeare Company) has a new website today, developed by Firechaser.

I don’t know about chasing a fire, but they may need to extinguish a virtual one soon.

The Theatre has emailed me to say that my details have been moved over to the new site, and I should login with my email address and the temporary password of “theatreroyal”.

Yes, logging in with my email address and that pisspoor non-unique standardised password will give you access to all of my personal data – including my phone number, address, and theatrical interests – plus the opportunity to change my password and lock me out of my own account. Or at least it would, if I hadn’t changed my password.

That is a clear and obvious breach of the Data Protection Act’s security requirements – plus, it’s frankly astounding that anyone thought it would be okay. Let’s hope they wise-up soon.

Photo by Stephen Douglas, used under licence

This 1,413th post was filed under: Technology, , , .


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