Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why is a pre-order not just an order?

Well we've finally just about got there! Some nine months or so after Paul and I first discussed doing a new Iris Wildthyme short story collection, I spoke to the printer this afternoon and sent our lovingly created print ready pdf and Mark Michalowski's brilliant setting of June Hudson's fabulous cover art into their capable hands. All things being well, I should have the finished book in my hands, ready to post out at some point during May!

Which is where you all come in!

If no-one buys the book, this will all have been a bit of a waste of time, so please do nip along to and pre-order a copy for the bargain price of £10.99 plus postage for 234 fantastic, fun-filled pages!

Just click on the Panda to order...he says he doesn't mind, he likes to do his bit!

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Phorm Blocking

If you have any interest in computers and that, then you probably have heard about the current furore with the EU intending to sue the UK for allowing ISPs to provide access to user data to PHORM, a company which basically records your personal on-line history without asking (potentially including webmail and other extremely private areas) and then uses it to target you with un-requested ads.

If you are a customer of one of BT or Virgin Media (Carphone Warehouse’s Talk Talk is also involved but apparently provides an opt-out) then you should be particularly concerned as they are the companies that are involved with PHORM (formerly alleged spyware company 121Media) and selling your browsing history to a company that is, imo, only a small step up from spammers. (Trend and Kapersky seemingly intend to block PHORM's cookie as adware, which tells you all you need to know really).

This post here has some good tips on anti-Phorm proofing your PC. I recommend you take them. And to be safest of all, follow the advice of Ross Anderson, professor of security engineering at Cambridge University, who recently said: "if you care about your privacy, do not use BT, Virgin or Talk-Talk as your internet provider."

I use Virgin currently, but if I can't block Phorm then I won't be using them for much longer.

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