Fox in a Box…

Saw a fox running across the road the other night and it reminded me of a conversation with my Swindon neighbour Dave (both perfectly sober btw).

The gist was that we should start a company called Fox in a Box which would advertise their humane fox catching service. It went something like this; flood an area with leaflets offering to drop off a humane fox trap in any garden for a fixed fee, details of how any captured fox would be treated were clearly described and, of course, the fixed fee was pretty reasonable and would only be charged if and when the trap caught a fox. Basically the animal would be transported to safe place and then released, unharmed, to rebuild its life in the new location.

The USP was that the next leafleting exercise would cover that self same “new location” , meaning the whole scam could be repeated forever (well pretty much)…..

Critical WordPress Update

From WordPress:

Version 3.0.4 of WordPress, available immediately through the update page in your dashboard or for download here, is a very important update to apply to your sites as soon as possible because it fixes a core security bug in our HTML sanitation library, called KSES. I would rate this release as “critical.”

I realize an update during the holidays is no fun, but this one is worth putting down the eggnog for. In the spirit of the holidays, consider helping your friends as well.

Sounds serious to me so I’ve updated this site, and a few others. Please do yours now!


Some years ago I bought a couple of JVC car stereos during a visit to Tottenham Court Road. These were pretty remarkable at the time as they included MP3 CD players as well as the normal AM/FM radio facilities and, of course, the ability to play normal CDs.

Both sets are still working well but the other day I decided to move mine from the car into an ’05 plate Citröen Relay van. When I first connected it in to the Toyota I needed and ISO adapter as the wiring arrangement on the JVC complied with the then new ISO standard and of course the old Carina didn’t – simple enough and it cost about £5.

When I took a look into the wiring on the Citröen though, I found that although all the connectors would fit the JVC without the adapter, our French cousins had decided to stray from the standard wiring and again I need to buy another adapter this time with a couple of additional “flying” leads to ensure a permanent supply to the stereo. In fact the changes are so subtle that even the car stereo specialist seemed confused by the arrangement and was/is far from sure that the part I finally agreed to order was the right one for the job. More later methinks……….

Spam Solution?

Looking back on this blog a recurring theme has been email spam and my attempts to clear my inbox of this plague.

This blog uses built in WordPress tools to ensure that I don’t see any spam posted in the comments but keeping control of my mail client’s filters isn’t quite so easy – I should say wasn’t quite so easy!

All my registered domains have spam filtering on their mail servers but increasingly this doesn’t always catch the latest rubbish, that still makes its way through to my desktop and, in my case, Outlook. The inbuilt Microsoft filter isn’t that bright and for some years now I have relied on a little add-in called SpamBayes which is an Open Source solution to the problem using Baysian filters to “score” each message and filter it accordingly. All fine and dandy then? Well no, not really. Unfortunately updates to SpamBayes have been few and far between over the last 2 or 3 years and the project seems to have stalled. This means that recent updates to Windows and Outlook have started causing proiblems with it.

I have noticed that Outlook often doesn’t fully quit when I shut it down. That means that when I restart it, I actually get two copies, 1 hidden from the previous session and 1 for the latest startup, this causes resource problems by the end of each day as I have seen 5 or 6 Outlook sessions running in Task Manager. There are various add-ons to cure this but so far I haven’t found one without its own problems.

Enter SpamFighter! I came across this when I decided to ditch SpamBayes for something more up-to-date and have been using it for the last few weeks. It works a treat and doesn’t interfere with Outlook at all, so I decided to lash out the £17 for a years subscription to the system. After a very simple download/install, I now have aclean inbox again.

SpamFighter works as an add-in to Outlook, Outlook Express or Thunderbird and for the main part operates as a basic spam filter, putting all bad mail into its own folder and marking it. The clever bit is that it is user supported and anything it misses which makes its way through to the inbox can simply be marked by me as spam and that action is relayed to several million other SpamFighter users who systems will also mark that message in the same way. Of course they do the same for my inbox! In addition to the “community” rules I can also add my own white or blacklist for senders and the software uses those rules to override the community ones if needbe.

There’s a free, fully functional, 30 day trial available at the website. Download SPAMfighter today.