Password security in 2014

Dear online vendors,

Seriously? It’s 2014. If you expect me to have a maximum character limit for my password, or to only be able to choose from a set of 4 symbols, or worse yet, require nothing more than letters and numbers in my password, then you can forget about getting my custom. There’s no excuse for these silly password rules any more, and it’s costing you customers. Well, it’s at least costing you my custom. Maybe others feel the same…

Automatically track all of your shipments with Delivery Status (from Junecloud)

Using this workflow, you can automatically track all of your deliveries without ever having to touch an email, using the excellent Delivery Status app from Junecloud

One of my absolute favourite iOS apps is Delivery Status. I’ve had it for years and it just gets better and better. It’s great for keeping track of all of the shipments heading your way, especially when you do much of your shopping online, like me.

A list of deliveries in JuneCloud's Delivery Status

I’ve been following the development of their add-tracking-by-email function for a while. The idea is that when you receive an email with tracking information, you can forward it to track@junecloud.com, it’ll recognise that it’s from your particular account and automatically add it to your list of deliveries. Pretty snazzy.

Until a while ago, there was a slight snag that drove my efficiency-driven mind mad. I wanted to be able to forward those emails automatically using a GMail filter. However, as you know, GMail requires you to verify accounts that you’re forwarding mail to. As such, there was no way to add track@junecloud.com as a forwarding address.

Recently however, they set up an autoresponder which automatically recognised these verification emails from Google and returned them to you with the verification code (and a kind request to not forward them all of your mail). So now that I was able to add track@junecloud.com as a forwarding address, I set up a filter to take all mail that arrives with either shipped, shipping or shipment in the subject, and archive it, label it, mark it as read and forward it to track@junecloud.com.

Creating a filter in GMail to handle shipment notifications

 

Now every time I receive a shipment notification, the email never even touches my inbox, but it notifies Junecloud and automatically pushes the shipment information to both my iPhone and Mac dashboard widget. Less email clutter, and important tasks happening automatically in the background. Oh how I love productivity like this!

Living in a post-NSA-revelations world

I’m not a criminal, but I am concerned about how the NSA has betrayed our trust and systematically collects data to build profiles on us, so I took action to protect myself and my family a little better.

The ongoing revelations of the NSA’s secret program of spying activities has been a mainstay of the news this year, since Edward Snowden’s first revelation about PRISM back in May. Since then, he has been labeled a traitor by the USA and forced to hole up in Russia to avoid extradition. Personally, I think his revelations were in the best interest of Americans and the people around the world.

Ever since the PATRIOT Act was hurriedly signed into law on the heels of emotionally-charged politicians and citizens, I’ve been mildly concerned about how much freedom the US had given its government to monitor the activity of their citizens, in the name of fighting “terror”.

Now, understand that in 2001, I was still in the UK (I didn’t move to the States until 2006), a country with perhaps one of the largest networks of CCTV, which the US seem so against. I was never too concerned about the manner in which your movements could be recalled if the need arose, because it was generally only used to help solve crimes, and they only recalled the data they needed to solve an isolated incident. Continue reading “Living in a post-NSA-revelations world”

Thug Kitchen – my new favourite food blog

Thug Kitchen is a very honest look at some awesome recipes, why they rock so hard and why you ever thought that was veganism was for pansies.

Most food blogs are very much the same: just putting up your nice recipes that you just mastered and sharing them with the world. Thug Kitchen is nothing like that. Which is why I love it so much.

You only need about three seconds on the site to see what makes it so different, so I’m going to give you those three seconds to check it out now, before I spill the beans. Check out Thug Kitchen.

3…2…1…

Thug Kitchen is a vegan food blog, that doesn’t pull any punches. The site’s tagline just about sums it up: “Eat like you give a fuck”. Continue reading “Thug Kitchen – my new favourite food blog”

Need a free Google Apps account?

Even though Google Apps no longer officially offers free Google Apps accounts, you can still get a free Google Apps account for a single user.

Using this little trick, even though Google Apps no longer officially offers free Google Apps accounts, you can still get a free Google Apps account for a single user. So if you got yourself a personalised domain and you just want to use it with a single email address, then this is perfect.