WordPress is used by more than 72 Million websites. In fact, WordPress is used by over 16.7% of Alexa Internet‘s “top 1 million” websites and as of August 2011 manages 22% of all new websites. 48 of the World’s top 100 blogs use WordPress. And WordPress is more than a simple blog engine, it’s developed to become one of the most simple to use Content Management Systems available today. This is largely thanks to its rich plugin architecture and community support. Did you know that there are more than 23,000 WordPress plugins – and counting?!
This great infographic by yoast.com illustrates the popularity of WordPress.
Here’s a quick overview of 8 plugins that I find most useful…
http://jetpack.me/ - Jetpack supercharges your self-hosted WordPress site with the awesome cloud power of WordPress.com.
A Norfolk traffic jam that at its peak, stretched over 10 miles during rush hour, prompted the local radio station and press to headline the queue over planned features on women bishops. Teachers and pupils were late for lessons, emergency service vehicles were caught up and businesses claimed financial impacts. The cause..? A traffic census.
I was stuck in this jam as well – for a good 40 minutes. At its height the traffic sensor data suggested an estimated hour plus delay. So I had plenty of time to reflect upon the reasons behind the hold-up.
I fully understand the need for such censuses; origin and destination information is essential for councils to help plan travel and transport improvements – something of great benefit to us all.
So I got thinking… Are there alternatives to closing one carriageway of a major trunk road, during rush hour, in order to pull over a sample of commuters for questions such as:
- Where have you come from?
- Where are you heading?
- How many passengers do you have?
- How often to you make this journey?
And I think that there are…
1) Many of us have technology in our cars that report congestion ahead. Some satnavs use this live data to automatically reroute us. Motorway displays use this information to warn us. How does it work? The vast majority of us now carry mobile phones. These devices broadcast a unique IMIE number – the International Mobile Station Equipment Identity. Mobile phone operators capture and map these broadcasts and this data can be purchased. There are no data protection implications, as the purchaser cannot link the IMIE to an individual – Personal Information.
So, this answers the first two questions – where are you coming from and going to?
2) Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) is a familiar technology used across the road network to spot tax disc dodgers and enforce London congestion charges.
With your number plate linked to your address, councils can contact you to request that you respond to the questions that they need answers to – they might even offer a prize-draw to respondents to increase the poll?
3) CCTV is the third tool in the armoury that might be the future of traffic census… This technology is advanced and affordable and can easily answer the question of how many people are transported on the typical car journey.
All of these technologies are mobile and can be used, without traffic disruption, over longer periods than a typical traffic census.
None of these technologies will impact upon traffic movement, nor run the risk of commuters avoiding census spots and thus the point of the survey, due to congestion.
Okay. So this post isn’t really relevant to the purpose of this blog-site. However and tenuously methinks, it does relate to technology advances. I recently purchased a BMW Mini Cooper Clubman – it’s main function to commute me to and from work commitments. It is equipped with run-flat tyres. These are commonly fitted to BMWs and all Minis. Given that the former are very typically used by high mileage driving executives, I felt that I had to post. Run-flats are touted as having the following benefits:
- It is dangerous to stop on any road to change a tyre, especially on a motorway or at night.
- There is no need to have to wait for a breakdown service to arrive.
- Safety and security of the driver and passenger(s) is maintained.
- Alloy wheels are difficult to detach from steel hubs.
- On most cars the spare is under the contents of the boot, and uses boot space.
- It can be tricky to line up the wheel bolt holes with the hub screw holes and match the thread.
- The dirty punctured tyre needs to be removed and stored in the boot.
- Another puncture before the punctured tyre is mended means one is stranded.
Yup. These are all very good reasons. However, first consider having no spare combined with the popular breakdown services not in the business of carrying replacements, the fact that these types of tyres cannot be roadside mended, plus the business hours of most garages and tyre fitters. Then consider the fact that standard manufacturer guidelines recommend travelling on a ‘flat’ run-flat at between 30-50MPH for no more than 50 miles. I don’t know about you, but most of my business miles are well over 50 miles from home and don’t necessarily fit in with typical business opening hours. And if you’re driving habits aren’t comparable, what about those occasional long distance drives when on holiday, perhaps even abroad? In situations like this when running on-flat, with your milage and maximum speed limited, you are immediately the victim of the tyre prices for the nearest available fitter – and that’s if there is one available!
In a relatively short spell of time experiencing these technologically advanced run-flat tyres I:
- Have almost missed an early morning ferry back from Brittany, France. There were no nearby garages supplying replacements open on route before 7am so I limped back to the ferry terminal on frequent inflation stops;
- Was late for a work meeting as the AA don’t mend, or replace, tyres at the roadside – and I was 90 miles from home. In fact, I had to argue my rescue on the basis that the car was never supplied with a spare, or puncture gunk. Luckily, on this occasion, I was recovered within business hours and managed to get a replacement tyre – albeit at more than 25% over the average price!
Should you consider run-flat tyres? If your journeys are very rarely more than to the local shops, or within a 25 mile radius of your home or trusted tyre fitter, then perhaps. Otherwise, it’s a definite snub!
Hitting the news today (Tuesday 6th November 2012) was a sobering article highlighting just how important it is to get identity management correct!
Over a three year period from March 2007, the Prudential UK managed to mix-up two of their customers’ pension accounts and pay substantial funds into the wrong account. The mistake, which has cost Prudential £50,000 in fines, boiled down to the two customers having the same forename, surname and data of birth.
For the full story check out http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20221648.
Reliable blog site http://app4phone.fr/ wrote an article on July 23rd stating with a degree of certainty that the new iPhone 5 could be on our shelves as early as September 21st 2012.
The information was allegedly leaked by a major Chinese Apple parts manufacturer who had been told to gear up for the September 21st full production date. One noted change, as well as the anticipated 4″ screen, is that the iPhone 5 will have a revised and smaller dock connector.
Possibly less certain beyond rumour is that Apple will release a 7″ mini iPad at the same time as the iPhone 5. The success of Google’s Nexus 7 has surprised the market and bucked the prediction of the late Apple founder, Steve Jobs, that a tablet measuring smaller than 10″ would be a seller. So the 7″ iPad could well be a market driven reality..?
Read more about it (and brush up on your French at the same time) by visiting http://app4phone.fr/article-53775/exclu-app4phone-date-de-sortie-et-informations-sur-liphone-5.
If your French isn’t so good and Google Translate doesn’t do it for you, then have a look at http://fwd.channel5.com/gadget-show/gadget-news/iphone-5-and-ipad-mini-prototypes-leaked.
I’ve just discovered the coolest of data sharing technologies! It’s called Chirp and it works like this… You can share notes, web links, or photos with 1 or many iPhone devices with the app installed. There’s no pairing of devices, or typing in email addresses. You could even send a picture, web link, or note over a PA system or YouTube. I’ve tested the latter and it works a treat – think of the marketing potential!
You simply must check-out http://chirp.io
Two thirds of people have accounts they no longer use but have not closed down, leaving them vulnerable, the research found. Every week we learn about new and major hacks leading to the comprising of our usernames and passwords.
In July 2012 we have already heard about the ‘loss’ of 450,000 Yahoo identities, over 1 Million Android forum IDs, 20% of all Microsoft account credentials – where they had been reused on other websites – and LinkedIn hacked twice in as many months.
It is all too easy to reuse the same ID – typically your email address together with your favourite password – when registering with different websites online. The problem – and the very real threat – is that it only takes one of these websites to fail in keeping that ID and password safe and suddenly your online information and access across many different websites is in jeopardy. What’s more, you may not even realise until you go to apply for a credit card, loan, mobile phone, or mortgage and are refused. Perhaps worse still, the debt collectors come knocking upon your door! Even if you do discover that a website you use has ben compromised, can you really remember all of the websites that you signed up to using the same ID and password so that you can sign-in and change your login credentials?
Standards-based Single Sign-on is one killer tool in your defence arsenal! The following 5 reasons pretty much cover the benefits of using the Single Sign-on technology Oauth for your social online world and Shibboleth if you are in the classroom.
Popular Oauth Identity Providers include Twitter, Facebook and Google. For more about the prevailing Shibboleth standard in education, simply search this website.
Now for those 5 reasons:
1) When you connect to a new website, application, or service provider using Oauth or Shibboleth, your username and password is not shared with, or stored in, that provider’s system. If it’s hacked, your ID and password stays safe.
2) It is good practice, alongside having a complex password, to change that password often. In the Shibboleth and Oauth Single Sign-on model, you can do this just once and in one place resulting in all of your other online presences relating to this change.
3) If you suspect that your password has been compromised, as with (2), you change it once and in one place. No need to try to remember what you’ve signed up for and how to get there!
4) A single username and password for everything leaves space in your memory for other things; like remembering to pick-up some milk, or the kids, on your way home from work. Oh and less reason to write it down too!
5) There are SO many great online resources out there asking you to sign up. Can you really trust the honesty and security of them all? With true Single Sign-on you can register with the peace of mind that they haven’t got hold of your username and password – often they shouldn’t even need to ‘know’ other personal details such as your name.
So there you have it. Single Sign-on together with a ‘strong’ and frequently changed password will keep thing more simple and more secure for your online adventures.