Blog

Apple release micro USB charging adapter

http://store.apple.com/uk/product/MD099ZM/A


Possibly to come in line with the EU ruling on the standardisation of chargers for mobile phones?


Edit : 11-10-07 13:44 A bit more info on the new charger, courtesy of The Guardian - http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2011/oct/07/iphone-4s-micro-usb-adapter It seems it is precisely the EU ruling that has made this appear.

It also seems that because of the standardisation we might not get our iPhone or any other phone for that matter shipping with an actual charger any more.

Read more →

Server side encryption comes to S3

Amazon finally add in encryption for data stored using their S3 service

From the AWS newsletter -

“Dear Amazon S3 Customer,

Today we’re excited to announce a new encryption feature, Amazon S3 Server Side Encryption (SSE). Amazon S3 SSE provides you the ability to encrypt data stored at rest in Amazon S3. With Amazon S3 SSE, you can encrypt data on upload simply by adding an additional request header when writing the object to Amazon S3. Decryption happens automatically when data is retrieved.

Amazon S3 Server Side Encryption employs strong multi-factor encryption. Each object is encrypted with a unique key. As an additional safeguard, this key is itself encrypted with a regularly rotated master key. Amazon S3 Server Side Encryption uses one of the strongest block ciphers available – 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES-256) – to encrypt your data. For customers seeking to comply with certain regulations such as PCI and HIPAA, Amazon S3 Server Side Encryption may be used as part of an overall strategy to encrypt sensitive data for regulatory or compliance reasons.

You can start using Amazon S3 Server Side Encryption today using the AWS Management Console or the Amazon S3 API.

To use Amazon S3 SSE from the AWS Management Console:

  1. Under the Amazon S3 tab, use the upload dialog to add files to be uploaded.
  2. In the “Set Details” section of the upload dialog, set the “Use Server Side Encryption” checkbox property.
  3. Start Upload. The files will be encrypted and stored in Amazon S3.

If you prefer to manage your own encryption keys, you can also make use of the client libraries for encryption provided by Amazon. To learn more, visit the Amazon S3 Encryption client page.

We are happy to offer Amazon S3 Server Side Encryption at no additional charge for Amazon S3 customers. For more information on encrypting your data using Amazon S3 Server Side Encryption, please see the Using Server Side Encryption topic in the Amazon S3 Developer Guide.

Sincerely,

The Amazon S3 Team”

Nice, I’ve been waiting on this for a while now.

More info - http://docs.amazonwebservices.com/AmazonS3/latest/dev/index.html?UsingEncryption.html

Read more →

Relative PHP include path

Objective

Using relative paths with PHP include function.

The Problem

Using a development and production server with different configurations. Is forcing me to update my paths every time. And, by default, PHP will not support relative paths for includes like (X)HTML does.

The Solution

Well after foraging around on the internet, I found many ways to achieve this. Most of them were over complicated. Requiring you to write scripts to detect the level of the page that needed to include a file and appending ‘./’ or ‘../’ etc to the include path, others included creating a class with the servers address and then prepend that to the include path.

Why I didn’t like it - extra mark-up! I hate having to create extra and unnecessary mark-up in my code, I aim to have my code as clear and as clean as I can.

So I took a time out to review what I was trying to achieve, and after about 2 minutes I remembered the predefined variable $_SERVER. By teaming this up with DOCUMENT_ROOT you will get - $_SERVER[‘DOCUMENT_ROOT’]. You can then use this to output the document root directory under which the current script is executing, as defined in the server’s configuration file. Right here you have a nifty little bit of portable code.

You have to make sure that when teaming it up with a path you use ‘.’ to combine the variable with the path. Like so - $_SERVER[‘DOCUMENT_ROOT’].’/includes/includeme.php’

Conclusion

So now instead of having paths like (‘/home/user/www/includes/includeme.php’) I can now use ($_SERVER[‘DOCUMENT_ROOT’].’/includes/includeme.php’) and it will work seamlessly on my development server and production server. Nice!

Footnote**

**

I am sure that this will come in handy in other instances, so remember not to overlook the basics. Sometimes we over complicate things, when they needn’t be.

Read more →

Great use of simple techniques

I came across some images that were taken at the Ski Jumping World Cup, there are a big collection of images of the event can be found on The Big Picture.

But there were a couple in the collection that caught my eye, the first being the image below taken by Kai Pfaffenbach for Reuters, he implements a different perspective than you would normally use for a view down the run. It is truly awesome.

(REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach)

The second was an image taken by Robert Michael for AFP/Getty Images. He is utilising the use of fill in flash. I have been working on my flash work recently and this really puts it to great use. Lighting a subject that would have otherwise been plunged into darkness. The flare from the sun adds great depth to the image too.

(ROBERT MICHAEL/AFP/Getty Images)

For the rest of the collection visit the page on The Big Picture – http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/01/ski_jumping_world_cup.html

Read more →

Twitter attacked by phishing scam

Twitter has announced that it is the victim of a phishing scam. The scam is attempting to steal peoples username and passwords by sending them a DirectMessage with a link to a fake site. The scam seems to be of similar calibre to the attack that was recently seen on Facebook accounts, with ‘funny video of you’ or similar in the message. Read more on the official twitter blog – http://blog.twitter.com/2009/01/gone-phishing.html

Read more →

My favourite picture of the moment.

One Handed Card Shuffle One Handed Card Shuffle by Michael McKelvaney

Taken at an event that I was covering a couple of weeks ago. The magician was ‘warming up’ his deck before doing his tricks, so I thought that I would grab a few shots. I used on camera flash set to manual providing 3 flashes over the 1/3sec exposure to capture the movement of the cards. This is my favourite shot that I have taken in a while, I’ve just had a 12”x18” print made of it and cannot wait to frame it and get it on the wall!

Read more →

Do us all a favour and die!

I know this is nothing new, but I just felt like showing my hatred for one of the worst browsers in the world.

Lets be honest, we all hate IE6. Most of us developers hate it with a passion. It wastes our time, and forces us to imply css hacks, and sometimes additional markup. But on the flip side, it has certainly forced me to learn some extensive CSS that otherwise I may not have done.

There are many sites that show their hate for IE6 – http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=die+ie6 – and some interesting arguments on whether IE6 should be ditched on SitePoint

But by far my most favourite is  – http://dearie6.com/ – you can leave it a nice message by following @dearie6 on twitter. [](http://www.sitepoint.com/blogs/2008/08/25/is-it-time-to-ditch-ie6/)

Read more →

Next design has to be divine

There is a great post about the_ divine proportion_ in web design by Smashing Magazine. It is a concept of using the divine proportion and the golden ratio as first published by Michael Maestlin in 1597.

Read more →

webbynode - Cloud Computing for Developers

There is a new rapid development hosting solution available called webbynode. It is currently in Beta, but promises to be pretty big and very useful for us developers out there.

Read more →