Speaking: McrFRED 35

It’s McrFRED next week, and it’s lightning talks. I will be practicing my talk about code reviews.

So, you do code reviews, and that’s great. But there’s always more that you can check during the review. More places you can check for any potential bugs or problems before deployment, before you find yourself with technical debt. Or worse: unforeseen downtime.

In this talk Clair will be going through the things that you should be checking to ensure confidence for developers, project owners and stakeholders. We’ll be looking at documentation, commit messages, and common code problems, with examples and tips along the way.

Speaking: PHP South Coast 2016

I’m really excited to be speaking at PHP South Coast this year.

It is their second conference, and for me has already become the highlight of the UK conference year. This year’s schedule is a fantastic one, and I’m proud to be part of it.

Early Bird tickets are still available.

Searching for emails by date/time in Google Mail

I’ve recently had need to search for emails received after a specific time: as in, “After 3pm on the 1st January 2016”, and not “After the 1st January 2016”.

Google’s documentation isn’t very helpful with this, and all I could find on Google’s help pages are unhelpful “nope” answers.

I disbelieved that this is something Google would neglect to allow for so long. Luckily, I was correct.

You can achieve this if you use the Epoch timestamp instead. For example, to get all emails sent/received since 3pm on the 1st January 2016 (in GMT), all I need to do is search for:

after:1451660400

Spoilers🔗

Katie Sherwin, for Nielsen Norman Group, nails it when it comes to TV spoilers on the HBO Now service:

Much to my dismay though, each time I click on the Game of Thrones thumbnail, it reveals a big image of the latest episode — complete with characters that I didn’t know were still alive, in contexts that give away the plot. I see who is together arm in arm, which villains are undeservedly still in power, and which heroes are alive and in jail.

I literally have to block the screen with my hands each time I go to watch an episode. A friend of mine uses the squint approach: half looking away in order to blur the revealing images and summary text, while he maneuvers the mouse to the correct season.

And she perfectly sums up the problem:

Satisfying multiple sets of user needs doesn’t mean designing for the lowest common denominator. It’s about empathy with the different use cases and making sure that the content for one audience, even if it’s a main audience, doesn’t ruin the experience for a different use case.

Absolutely. It’s the modern equivalent of looking away from seeing the football results.

Which reminds me: I’ve lost count the number of times BBC News have spoilt the F1 results for me beforethey air the extended highlights show…

Speaking: NWDUG

A little last minute, but I will be speaking at North West Drupal User Group tonight, doing my code review lightning talk: “There’s more to code review than you might think”.

It all starts from 7pm at MadLab, Manchester.

Slides

Enable Field Test mode on mobile phones🔗

When most people talk about cell phone signal strength, they talk about “bars” in reference to the signal strength bar indicator on the phone. While bars are an easy way to talk about signal strength, it turns out that it’s not a very accurate way.

This is something I try to turn on on my iPhone (scroll down to “Always show Decibels instead of Dots”) whenever I can, as I find dots very vague.

Speaking: Sheffield PHP

Sheffield PHP, 8th October

A repeat performance of the talk given at PHPNW in July, possibly with even more wittier jokes!

Slides

Here's To The Crazy Ones

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.

They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can quote them, Disagree with them, Glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do Is ignore them.

Because they change things. They push the human race forward.

And while some may see them as the crazy ones, We see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, Are the ones who do.

Some Ashley Maddison passwords cracked🔗

A fair number of passwords from the Ashley Maddison hack have now been cracked. Click through if you want to see the (NSFW) top 100 list, but you wont see many surprises.

ARS Technica:

As bad as it is that 11.7 million accounts were protected by weak passwords, there’s yet another number the underscores just how careless the Ashley Madison masses were: Only 4.6 million of the 11.7 million recovered passwords were unique.

If I did my maths correct, around 5% of all accounts (or 1 in 20) had passwords in that top 100 list.

Apple's Genius Bar just isn't working anymore

It wasn’t so long ago that when you had a problem with any of your Apple products, you could drop by your local Apple Store and a friendly fellow geek would sort you how: in the case of hardware, usually by confirming the issue and giving you a replacement there and then.

But Apple products are getting more popular, and the Stores are getting busier. Gone are the days where you could just pop in: you’ve needed to book an appointment for some time now. And gone are the days where you knew you were talking to a fellow Apple geek who could get you on your feet there and then. Now, it’s a pleasant surprise if you get this.

Those who listen to ATP will know, possibly to their own frustration, about the issue where part of the front-facing camera is shifting to give an appearance of a grey crescent moon. (And for those who hadn’t: I’m sorry, you can no longer un-see it). And earlier today, Casey sent a tweet reminder:

iPhone 6 users with the crescent moon: if you got yours launch day like me, your warranty runs out ~18 September. http://t.co/txx5zRqug6

So far, so good. There’s a clear defect with your phone and you have just over a week to get a fix or replacement under regular warranty.

But then I delved into the replies to this tweet. And the results were mixed, to say the least:

@alan0606:

@caseyliss Casey thanks to you pointing it out on ATP I booked genius appointment. Genius replaced mine with a brand new iPhone 6.

@brandoncozart:

@caseyliss took mine in a couple of weeks ago with this issue. fix took about 10 minutes.

@twistofmatt:

@caseyliss I was told as long as it wasn’t interfering with the function of the camera to live with it.

@legerlotz:

@caseyliss I was told that this was a “normal variance” and couldn’t get it fixed until it affected the photos taken by the FaceTime camera.

It would appear Apple Genius support is being inconsistant with this issue, with some owners being told it isn’t a problem.

Is it time Apple re-thought their after-sales support strategy?