Software Every Computer Should Have

1. Browsers and extensions

  • Firefox – Currently The Best Browser Out There
  • Chrome – A close second
  • Adblock Plus – Blocks Ads
  • ProxTube – Circumvent Blocked Youtube videos.
  • Speed Dial – Allows fast access to your most visited websites.
  • NoScript – Add-on (for Firefox) which allows JavaScript, Java, Flash and other plugins to be executed only by trusted sites.
  • TinEye browser plugin – Reverse search an image.

Continue reading

Tech Support and the Infinite Typing Monkey Theorem

“Hey Harry, I think this one has got something – To be or not to be, that is the gazorninplat.” – An Infinite Number of Monkeys, Bob Newhart

If you love classic humor, you’ve probably heard this routine by Bob Newhart who imagined the daily routine of human supervisors in charge of an infinite number of monkeys, who according to the celebrated theorem, if given enough time would write all the greats literary works of all time.

Unfortunately, these typing monkeys seem to have found new jobs, mostly with technical support teams at some of America’s top Web Providers. We deal with a number of hosting services and had a bit of a problem of late: a default 404 page that distributes malware.

Our provider, which we shall not name at this point, has many servers one of which hosts over 90K websites. Within this server, is a directory no client can access, it is the /error/ directory, and it is here that a custom 404 page with an iframe that calls up a page from the infamous SearchMagnified site.

document.write('<iframe style="width: 100%; height: 
100%; border: 0;" src="http://******.com/?dn=' 
+ location.hostname + '&pid=******"></iframe>');

Continue reading

Anatomy of a TypeFace

We don’t just do Website Forensics for our clients, we often have to work with print. It’s therefore quite important for us to know the basic lingo: apertures, arms, ascenders, ligatures, loops, tails … TypePedia is a shared encyclopedia of typefaces that will provide all the necessary knowledge. The site also has a collaborative effort where users can contribute to a forum or add to the knowledge base.

Information Architects

Among the amazing data visualizing tools out there, the maps featured by Information Architects have become a favorite among the industry.

Based in Japan, Information Architects’ website produces over 3.4 billion page views per year and their Trend Map has won one of the biggest design prizes out there: it hangs on the wall of practically every big tech office in the world. Interested in your own custom maps? Check out http://webtrendmap.com/

On a lighter note: the top ten Internet rules and laws

  1. Godwin’s Law – Comparing something to Hitler or the Nazis is inevitable in any online discussion.
  2. Poe’s Law – Without a blatant display of humour, it is impossible to make a parody of fundamentalism that someone won’t take as real.
  3. Rule 34 – If it exists there IS porn of it.
  4. Skitt’s Law – Any post correcting an error in another post will contain at least one error itself. Also the likelihood of an error in a post is directly proportional to the embarrassment it will cause the poster.
  5. Cohen’s Law – Whoever resorts to the argument “whoever resorts to the argument that… has automatically lost the debate” has automatically lost the debate.
  6. Pommer’s Law – A person’s mind can be changed by reading information on the internet. The nature of this change will be: From having no opinion to having a wrong opinion.
  7. The Law of Exclamation – The more exclamation points used in an email (or other posting), the more likely it is a complete lie. This is also true for excessive capital letters.
  8. Scopie’s Law – In any discussion involving science or medicine, citing Whale.to as a credible source loses you the argument immediately …and gets you laughed out of the room.
  9. Danth’s Law – If you have to insist that you’ve won an Internet argument, you’ve probably lost badly.
  10. Grey’s Law – Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice

Did we hear ENCORE?

  1. Shaker’s Law – Those who announce their imminent departure from an Internet discussion forum almost never actually leave.
  2. Timecube Law – The longer the page, the more insane the author.
  3. Skarka’s Law – No matter how vile or indefensible something is, someone will post something positive or in defense of it.