Goodbye DumbQuotes

I’ve decided to stop using my DumbQuotes library on my site. I found that there were too many issues. Primarily with raw HTML and code-blocks. The straight-quotes in these sections all needed escaping so my library didn’t mangle anything. So I am now manually typing in curly-quotes using the appropriate keyboard shortcut. This is much simpler to maintain and keeps my markdown clean.

I have also slightly redesigned my site. I was using Skolar and Myriad Pro but found this a little clichéd. I am now using Prenton for titles and Livory for my body text. I’m liking the look so far. For readability I’ve also increased the font-size slightly.

How should non-profits spend money

Dan Pallotta gives an excellent TED talk about the differences in how the non-profit and for-profit sectors spend money. In summary, he suggests that our current attitude that charities must spend as little on overhead as possible is actually limiting the amount of good they can do. Who cares about the overhead, what matters is how much money actually gets spent on doing good. In order to grow that number then money will have to be spent. This shouldn’t be stigmatised like it currenly is.

HTTPS certificates with StartSSL, a guide by konklone

I have no idea where Eric Mill got his pseudnym of konklone from but this is a great article he's written about using StartSSL certificates to secure your website.

The great thing about StartSSL is that their certificates are free. My previous SSL certificates I've used have cost money, albeit only in the region of about £10/year. Free is still free.

As far as I can tell StartSSL will let you have as many free (domain/email validated) certificates. I have two registered so far.

I can highly recomend StartSSL to anyone thinking of getting an SSL certificate.

One Second on the Internet

It just baffles my mind on how sites like Facebook and Google deal with that much data. Its truly astonishing.

Oh Noes, iPad Sales Struggling!

Not really, Apple still sold 14.6 million iPads! That’s a lot of iPads. Apple also sold a record Q2 high of 31.2 million iPhones.

There is still the issue of Samsung’s supposed dominance of the market. They sell a much wider variety of products than Apple. Of course thry’ll ultimately sell more devices.

Porn Finds a Way

David Cameron has decided the Government needs to do something to protect the innocence of children. How horribly miss-guided he is. There are two main problems that I can see. The first is an ideological problem, the second a logistical one.

##Why? The main issue to be dealt with is child pornography. This is less of a filtering issue. In terms of online consumption it’s mostly adults who can jut turn any filter off. The current strategy of taking any servers found containing CP offline is an effective strategy that we should continue and expand upon.

Then we get legal porn. Filmed with consenting adults acting out various fantasies or fetishes. This is now to be censored by default.

##How? Quite, how?

IndieWeb and Short URLs

Here I shall use the terms URI and URL interchangeably to mean the same thing. I appreciate there are subtle differences.

The IndieWeb is a fantastic idea. The web itself is inherently open. No one owns it, no one directly controls it. However, if you aren’t careful what services you use on the web then it can effectively end up that way. We all use the web in a primarily social way these days, social networks if you will. The big three players on the social web are Facebook, Twitter, and Google with their Google+ service. They want you to spend as much of your time as possible on their services in order to maximise their advertising revenues.

This doesn’t play nicely with the inherently open and interoperable foundations of the web. Foundations without which these big players wouldn’t exist.

And thus the IndieWeb is born. A desire to own your social identity and share however little or much of that social presence with these big players you want. Which I think is absolutely right. Just have a look at what people are saying about Medium.

But what of URL shortening services?

Some people seem to think that having your very own short URL helps in this cause. Which I suppose it does, but I think only to a small degree. Why do we even need to shorten web addresses? The only situation I think it would be necessary is posting/syndicating to Twitter. Any other service has ample character space to post the full URL, or is sensible and uses annotations. On Twitter however, any link, regardless of how short it is, gets wrapped up in their service.

I therefore don’t currently see any compelling reason to run your own URL shortening service other than simply because you can.

*[URL]: Universal Resource Link *[URI]: Universal Resouce Identifier

The “Failed” State

A thorough examination of yet another way that the U.S. attempts to justify its foreign policy. Namely by claiming a sovereign state is failing and needs saving.

Luckily, we can pinpoint exactly where it all began – right down to the words on the page. The failed state was invented in late 1992 by Gerald Helman and Steven Ratner, two US state department employees, in an article in – you guessed it – Foreign Policy, suggestively entitled Saving failed states. With the end of the cold war, they argued, “a disturbing new phenomenon is emerging: the failed nation state, utterly incapable of sustaining itself as a member of the international community”. And with that, the beast was born.

Hoefler & Frere-Jones release their webfont service

This looks like an awesome service. The only issue I have is the cost. Its $99+ for the subscription and then you have to license the fonts you want to use.

The service does however make others look like amateurs.

My name is Jonny Barnes, and is my site. I’m from Manchester, UK .

I am active to varying degrees on several silos:

My usual online nickname is normally jonnybarnes for other services. I also syndicate my content to the IndieWeb friendly site Here’s a profile pic. I also have a PGP key, with fingerprint. You can email me at jonny at my domain, or message me on XMPP.