Facebook isn't cool any more and users are leaving in droves. Ad revenue is down and shares are plummeting just at the point when Marky Mark Zuckerberg needs every penny he can scrape together to build "the metaverse"; a virtual world in which people can work, play, and live out a fantasy existence where Facebook remains implausibly relevant for anyone under 25.
I'm a pretty loyal Google user. Although I'm always ready to point out the more questionable aspects of their strategy to dominate the search engine space, I remain a big fan of a lot of their technology. I love my Chromebook and truly think web-based applications and a thin client-side OS are here to stay. I've always preferred cloud computing (or "client-server" as we used to call it) to thick client stuff. Computing should be cheap and accessible and Chromebooks, and free services from the likes of Google, go a long way to making that possible. It's possible to like the hammer but not the man holding it, if that makes any sense?
When the news broke that Google had lost its appeal against the 2017 ruling that deemed it had "self-preferenced" its own services in search results, breaking EU antitrust rules, I was fortunate enough to see this excellent post from Thomas Höppner (Partner at Hausfeld & Professor of Law at TH Wildau) appear in my LinkedIn feed.
When running on Windows, PHP's timezones don't always play nicely with the Windows implementation of daylight savings time (DST). The code below is an easy workaround to this; simple use
date("I") to work out if it is summer or not and combine this with date() and strtotime() to get the spot-on time including your GMT offset.
I've got a confession to make - I'm a log file addict. I love a good log file and I'll hold on to those bad boys for way longer than I should sometimes. Even I need to clear down the odd /logs directory every now and then though, and that's where this handy little piece of command-line-fu comes into play.
code-server is nothing short of amazing. A fully-fledged VSCode environment running in a browser means I can jump from one machine to another, including my beloved Pixelbook, with full access to my development environment and toolset. After months of subscribing to services like Codeanywhere, CodeTasty, replacing this with something under my control (and costing me not a red cent) is pretty cool.
Ever wondered exactly what the breakpoints are the Bootstrap 4 media queries? Well, wonder no more!
If you're looking at this site around the time this post was made, check the footer and you should see the name of the theme as "Extended Grid". If you do, you're looking at a new(ish) theme for WordPress that I just made!
What's are RSS feeds? Well, basically they are way for websites to easily share new content using XML. RSS feeds rock. RSS readers rock. I love them. Some search engines love them. They are far superior to social media as a way to consume news and stay up to date with your favourite sites, being far more portable, private, significantly lacking in toxicity, and devoid of interference in what you see beyond the editorial choices of the site you subscribe to. They are also my go-to technology for spreading, or syndicating content. The clues in the name, you see? But it's an unavoidable truth that most people don't use RSS anymore, and get their news from social media instead. If you want to build traffic to your website, you must push your content out on social media. However, posting and reposting your content to social can be very time-consuming. With each of the major social media channels attracting a different audience demographic, you need to share your content four or more different ways in four or more different places. Not much fun. Thankfully there are lots, and I do mean lots, of services out there that can automate and schedule your social media posting for you. One of the most popular is Buffer. Confession: I like Buffer. I really do. It supports the "big four" networks, it can queue and schedule posts, and has been integrated into a range of other apps (including my favourite RSS reader, Feedly). But, there is something I really don't like about Buffer and that's the limitations it places on free accounts. Unless you're on a paid account, you can only add three social media accounts. Three, out of the big four. A limit on how many posts you could make a month or a week would be fine, but taking out 25% of the audience makes a free account, in my opinion, makes the product crippleware, rather than "freemium" for anyone serious about social media. I guess that's what Buffer want, but I've never been keen on software that limits utility in this way. So, when I rebuilt my website recently I knew I wanted to automate, as much as possible, posting my content to social media. I also had the additional challenge that I don't want to post every piece of content to every channel (my LinkedIn in followers aren't especially interested in my cakes, as far as I know). I also wanted to do it without spending any money... Enter RSS, Zapier, and just a pinch of Buffer...
Want to perform a quick, temporary, colour change on a website? Maybe you want to see what you blog theme would look like with a different colourway but don't want to edit line after line of CSS?