Never use a URL shortening service - even if you own it

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Screenshot showing a 404 error on the Guardian's website.

The Guardian launched its online adventures back in 1999. At some point, they started using the name "Guardian Unlimited". Hey, the dot com boom made us all do crazy things! As part of that branding, they proudly used the domain Over time, the branding faded and became a URL shortening service. Tiny URls […]

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Notes on Digital Surveillance

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Earlier this year, I attended a lecture given by Alan Rusbridger - the outgoing editor of The Guardian - entitled "The World After Snowden." Held at Oxford University, and attended by journalists, technologists, and former spies - it was an exceptionally interesting talk and provoked a lively debate over dinner. In light of the publication […]

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Don't Use To Advertise Your PGP Key

By on   2 comments 650 words, read ~2,848 times.

I had dinner with the outgoing editor of The Guardian the other night. Clever chap, sure he'll go far in life. The Guardian is very hot on security. Many of their writers have PGP keys which they publicly advertise. In theory, that's great (complaints about PGP notwithstanding) - but the reality shows just how tricky […]

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"The success of smartphones comes at a price" errr, what?

By on   7 comments 450 words, read ~232 times.

I usually admire The Guardian's technology coverage (not least because they occasionally feature me!) but their latest article - The success of smartphones comes at a price - is ridiculously bad. It posits three arguments. More people are using smartphones to access the Internet than ever before. Smartphones are heavily locked down. Mobile Operators are […]

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Mobile Badvertising: Tesco, Nokia, Guardian

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Three failures and one giant lost opportunity Failure 1 - Targeting This version of the Tesco shopping app is only available on Nokia phones. Nothing wrong with that - Nokia are still the biggest phone seller on the planet. So why allow the advert to be shown to Android users? It will annoy users, reduce […]

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Mobile Badvertising: Samsung Galaxy S

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In this Mobile Badvertising series, I regularly pick on the Guardian.  I don't have anything against them - they're my favourite mobile news resource.  It's such a shame that the advertising they have on the site is atrocious. Samsung Galaxy S The Galaxy S is Samsung's latest Android handset.  There are so many Android phones […]

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Mobile Badvertising - Guardian, Barclay's, Apple Redux

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Once again my wrath is targeted at The Guardian, Barclays and Apple. Three massive companies - each one of whom could have stopped this advertising disaster. Mistake #1 Take a look at this rather charming advert on the Guardian's mobile site. The more astute among you will recognise the problem. I'm being advertised an iPhone […]

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Mobile Newspapers

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When I was a student, I had a brilliant idea.  Why not have a stand at every train station where you could sync your Palm Pilot with the latest news? Insert a pound in the slot, press the button for The Times, aim your handheld's IrDA at the blinking light and ZAP! All the latest […]

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The Guardian - A Review

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One of the things I love about Private Eye is the columns I don't read.  Corners of the magazine dedicated to the gossip of the classical music world, the perils of modern architecture, positively incomprehensible reports about big business buying into football.  I care for none of these subjects, but I'm immensely relieved that they […]

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Mobile News Sites - The Times

By on   1 comment 700 words

I read most of my news through my mobile - if your website isn't mobile friendly, I won't be bothered to read it.  I've greatly enjoyed the BBC's Mobile News service and Guardian Mobile - but now there's a new player - The Times has a mobile site.   This is a quick review of what […]

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