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Showing posts from 2018

Resistance is futile. Brexit end game.

How will Brexit play out?

Theresa May has just survived her leadership challenge.  The meaningful vote on her deal has been kicked into the long grass and is now scheduled for early next year (2019).

I've been thinking about what the possible eventualities could be.   And I must as a Remainer I'm pleased with what my crystal ball is telling me.

As a "hard-remainer" I'm actually tempted not even to bother pushing for a #peoplesvote.  I'll tell you why:  Living in Spain and Andorra for the last 13 years I can tell you the Euro and Schengen are the two BEST parts of the EU that you can appreciate on a daily or weekly basis.

The ability to travel across borders without any passport control, and then being able to spend the money that is already in your pocket without visiting any bureaux de change and losing a % in the process is wonderful.

As a programmer I like logical flows, so I've knocked up a little flow chart to see what will happen depending on if th…

Website Change Detection Monitoring

I woke up this morning to receive something I have been expecting for some time.

The "death knell" of changedetection.com

I've made a video walkthrough of the site in case someone wants to duplicate it's functionality.   Please plan on making it ad-supported - in most cases private users like me will not stand for a paid for product - certainly not one that costs as much as I pay for groceries for the family on any particular day!


There were a couple of pages (from the top navigation), that I missed on the demo.

The Webmasters link

This must have been useful for self-generating marketing for changedetection.com over the years.

Webmaster's were able to get some generated HTML code to paste into their site.



The Directory Link

This page gives some indication of the scope and capacity of ChangeDetection.com

Today it is monitoring over 2 million pages.  I was monitoring 50 pages (but am probably quite a heavy user).   If we guesstimate average 5 pages per user:  Maybe …

Would Churchill have supported Brexit?

There has been a terrific amount of drivel written about Britain needing to engender some wartime spirit and defeat the enemy during Brexit.

There has been some good commentary in the press for example this extensive research in E-International Relations by Alistair Steward.

There is also, of course some complete horlicks floating around mainly in the Brexiteer press and the comments sections.


This comment by Euan Scott: First sentence correct, second sentence complete make believe.


Here another comment from the Telegraph newspaper on this article.

Here Simon Coulter uses the same technique as the first comment - write some genuine text then make up some "analysis".

Churchill may have shifted his opinion over the years, as many do, but after the war he became more in favour of a United States of Europe and all that that entails.

At the first Congress of Europe Churchill said:

..."Mutual aid in the economic field, and 'joint military defence', must both 'inev…

How to deploy a standalone .net forms website as an application

The Story (for coders only)…
I need an application to manage background services on a website I run.
These services are still in debug/development mode so I create them as Windows Forms applications rather than true “windows services”.
This works well as I can breakdown the tasks and build single applications to do e.g. clean up tasks or schedule Tweets with them. 
Each application has a thread, and if one is misbehaving it doesn’t take down the whole system.  I can Debug/Step through applications in Visual Studio and see where they going wrong, then restart them easily enough.
So I currently have an “Orchestrator” application that controls all these background service apps.
Current System
The server is set to autologin using sysinternals autologon.  Then I add a scheduled task to fire up this Orchestrator application.
The Orchestrator then queries the server to see the runstate of each application in it’s list. If one is not running it will fire up the background service.  I can e…

How to change Organisation Owner to different account in VSO

Visual Studio Online (now know as AzureDumpO or something too) is free for 5 users.  It get's expensive the moment you start to pay.

You can create a new VSO account with an email address from the project you making, and then add yourself into the project.  You've "lost" a seat however with the email address from the project.

"Organization admin cannot be downgraded to stakeholder license" is what you get if you try to downgrade that account to Stakeholder.

You can get round it by going into VSO as the user who owns the account (user@projectsite.com)

Click Users.. Security.. Project Collection Administrators.. Members..

Then add yourself in there.



Once you've done this logout and login as yourself.

Then hit the clog, and Settings.. Adding yourself as the Organisation Owner.


You can now downgrade the user@projectsite.com to stakeholder.

Not you should go back into the Project Collection Administrators and add the account back in there (it will tell you …

5 point plan for Microsoft Success

I'm a lifelong Microsoft user: From early beginnings with GWBasic..  thenVB3&4 at university, classic ASP, did an NT4 MCSE and most recently VB.net MVC..

IE was a disaster, so was Windows Mobile & now Windows Phone.
I lost Office when the damn ribbon appeared.

Visual Studio/Visual Studio Online/VB.net MVC are what keep me in the MS World.  (I also have Ubuntu installations...)

Here are 5 points that if implemented would make life a lot simpler again; and probably make Microsoft even more money:

1) Dump the "Store" and let .exes run directly on WP10

Like you can on Windows Desktop.  Sure there might be the odd virus or other problem.  But it's no different from the Desktop OS.

2) Put the bloody toolbars back on Office. In fact put the toolbars and buttons and everything else back where was on Windows XP, for me "intuitive" means "guess" & "digging about".   I'm happy to have everything in menu that I can scroll through an…

European version of Mount Rushmore

Andorra is getting good a creating unique events and locations to attract visitors.  We have the Caldea Spa, the summer time free Cirque du Soleil show, and most recently the art/structure of the rock of Quer viewpoint.

I still think that Andorra should specialise in something; like the Swiss are synonymous with clocks, watches and banking... but that's the subject of a different blog post.

As an additional "attractor" we should commission an artist to carve out a face into a mountain in the same way that Mount Rushmore was.  This would be the "European version" of this famous work of art.


There are lots of locations suitable, but there is one particular rock face that I walk by very often on my way home. It is overlooking the village of Erts.


This is a large, must be 20/30 metres high face - that to my untrained eye, does look suitable.  You can't really get the full effect from my photo - try Google Maps to see it better.

But who should feature on the ro…

Vb.net CMS

I've just acquired the domain name vbnetcms.com

Which is timely because I'm about to start writing one.

I've got several sites that need basic CMS functionality.

If you want to be kept informed then leave a comment below and tick the "notify me" checkbox.

What site you want to put the CMS onto? What flavour of VB.net you use? Anything interesting!

How much is a website visitor worth?

Good Question.
Over on http://www.bedandbreakfasts.co.uk we get about 6K visitors a day, and revenues approximately 1,000 GBP: Giving a value to each visitor at GBP 0.1667 – visitors on this site have a high commercial value because they are looking for Bed and Breakfast, and likely have their credit-cards out, and ready for action.  Lower values are likely on “information only” sites that rely on adsense and other click-based revenue.  http://mdtravelhealth.com used to get about 30K visitors a month and make 100 USD.  This gives a per/user value of 0.0033 – many multiples lower than the high-value site.  If you want to look for your site’s value: I’d reckon it’s somewhere between these two – depending on why the visitor came to your site.

Private Eye Lookalike

Been thinking about taking out a subscription again recently to Private Eye, however it will have to wait.  In the meantime I noticed a look-a-like worthy of the http://www.private-eye.co.uk/lookalikes pageSigridNeil Hippy

8437001210633

I'm a Brit. so I love fish & chips. I've lived in Iberia for 12 years. so I love seafood. I misspent my youth in pubs. so I love crisps.

so I had really high hopes for this el called 'fish & chips' fish snack.

....sadly it is revolting.  if you can imagine the fish Top cat used to get out of the bins... well it's that taste. barf...



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scientificliterature.org and how to identify scam medical journal publication sites

My wife has a friend who, together with her husband, are hard working medical professionals here in Spain.

She often writes articles for conferences and makes speeches concerning medical research.

Sadly, people like her and her husband are the target of unscrupulous scammers who use social-engineering to entice them to help them "publish" their articles and then surprise them with previously-hidden fees.

To have published papers is considered a virtue in the academic world; the medical profession is no different.  So when a prestigious looking website contacts you and asks you to write a paper, doctors will naturally want to participate.

You need to be careful!  I've written this blog post to highlight this particular company "Scientific Literature LLC"  Who are clearly scammers of the highest order.

Here are some quick and easy tips to help you determine if the website is a scam or not.

Study the site carefully Most sites will look very professional, this is …