Ignore Compulsory Logins!

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier or hear about but you know those sites like The New York Times that force you to login but you gain no benefit by doing so? Well people have registered generic/generic or username/password so you can just tap that in and off you go.

I heard about this on slashdot or metafilter I can’t remember which.

This is the results of a quick survey I’ve done of some major websites to see how far this has gone. My suggestion is to register username/password as username and password if you ever have to register anywhere again (obviously excluding those sites which take credit card details or where registering brings an actual benefit).

Site generic/generic? username/password?
java.sun.com No Yes
newyorktimes.com Yes No
ibm.com No Yes

UK Online Activism

I was at Extreme Computing 2002 (Need to Know‘s 5th birthday party) the other day where stand.org.uk was launched. It seems that its already had (or helped with) a major success – the indefinite postponement of the RIP s22 Order that would have given access to traffic data to dozens of government departments. Their front page right now (June 19, 2002 story) has a very interesting piece on how its not so hard to influence your MP as you might think. Very heartening. If you’re American you can trundle off to eff.org who do similar good things for you guys (actually all over – they had a speaker at the ntk gig who was very good and I’ve sent them some money).

One2One WAP Settings

I’ve just spent about an hour trying to set up WAP on my Nokia 6210. I eventually found the right settings (no thanks to the One2One website) and I include them below for fellow searchers:

Homepage: http://wap.one2one.net
Connection type: continuous
Connection Security: Off
Bearer: Data
Dial-up number: +447953968999
IP address: 149.254.001.010
Authentication type: Normal
Data Call type: ISDN
Data call speed: 9600
Username: user
Password: wap
Port: 9201
Idle time out: 120

The Longest Memory by Fred D’Aguiar

I’ve had this book almost since it came out in hardback in 1994 soon after it had won the Whitbread First Novel award but never got around to reading it. I picked it off the shelf this morning and an hour and a half later I’d finished it.

It is a really beautiful, compelling book. The story concerns a 100-year-old slave on a Virginian plantation in the early 19th Century and his relationship with the plantation owmer, the overseer and his own dynasty of slaves. I won’t say any more as the plot is revealed cleverly and with real poise through the length of the novel.

D’Aguiar was originally a poet and that grasp of language serves him well throughout the novel. The characters might be accused of being archetypes but I think instead I would say that the book uses simplicity to great effect. Recommended.