Category: Web news

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Thanks for a great 2016!

By Steve Riley   December 22, 2016  
As we start to pull the shutters down on 2016 we'd like to say a very big THANKS! (And if you can't be at least a little bit cheesy at this time of year, when can you?)Thanks to our clients, partners, suppliers, associates, and the army of geeks, designers, writers, managers and all the other multi-talented portfolio of skills and services that make up a modern, connected world. If you look back to where we started almost 15 years ago, some of what's possible now would be dismissed as pure alchemy and dreams. The 'blue sky' is increasingly routine.It's been a busy 2016 here at Reverse Delta and 2017 is already shaping up to a flying start, with several new sites revving up to go live. We're all busy, you're all busy. Sometimes we forget what we're here for, so we just wanted a moment to thank all the amazing people we've worked with in recent years.Ours is a techy business and it's easy to see everyday working life as a series of problems and headaches. But heck, if it were easy someone else would probably be doing it just as well, or better, or cheaper!It's worth a moment however, to focus on solutions. When we deliver a site we know it's going to work well and that goes from the basic right through to the full custom. What that means in turn is that our clients look better and deliver a better service to their own clients. And (here's the cheese again) in a lot of cases it can lead to truly life-changing transformations. In recruitment, our software has processed millions of job alerts, hundreds of thousands of job applications and countless job changes in the past year alone. It's big stuff when you think of it like that. It's nice to play a part. Here's to the next 15 years! 
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Two thirds of you have out of date browsers

By Steve Riley   February 24, 2016  
According to the latest figures from Microsoft a staggering 2/3 of all computers are running out of date browsers.That means you're not getting the latest security patches and you're at risk of not seeing the layout exactly the way the designer intended.Purely self-interestedly, it would also make our job at Reverse Delta massively easier if we knew everyone had up-to-date browsers! We spend a lot of time dealing with the quirks of all the different browsers and making sure everything is backward compatible (if half of that problem just disappeared, we could all take longer lunches and keep more of our hair!).Naturally Microsoft would like you to install their latest browser (which admittedly is very good) but do yourself a favour and make sure you're using the latest version of your browser of choice. Useful resources: Mozilla FirefoxInternet ExplorerApple SafariGoogle Chrome Graphic courtesy of Microsoft - https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/security/pc-security/updates.aspx  
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Why recruitment is all about the mobile

By Dave Haygarth   May 21, 2015  
The world is heading mobile and the recruitment industry is probably travelling faster in that direction than many others.Our stats show that close to 50% of website visitors are using mobile devices (iPhones, iPad, Android smartphones, etc) to browse recruitment websites, and the trend is upward.We recently analysed around 100,000 emails generated from recruitment sites (job alerts, 'positions you may be interested in', etc) and saw that those figures were even higher. As an interesting aside job hunters seem to be increasingly wedded to their Apple devices, with IOS taking the lion's share of operating system use.Think about it for a moment: job hunters need to be discreet and responsive — they're bound to be avoiding corporate networks. But it looks like they're increasingly reliant on mobile devices outside of work too.The lesson for us all is: ignore these users at your peril. Make sure your website is mobile friendly. Think about the devices your users are reading emails on. Design accordingly. 

New Chrome browser (version 32) causing many users much pain!

By Dave Haygarth   January 23, 2014  
So Google has now taken it upon itself to adopt the Microsoft software release method. You know the one I mean... "We don't care what the customer wants or needs, you get what we want you to get..." Why?  Well it seems that in the version 32 release of the Chrome Browser that happened last week, Google has decided to make some rather unilateral decision about how your browser should operate and look. Firstly, have you noticed that the scroll bars are different.  Thinner, not the same as other applications on your system?  Well that's because Google feels that we should be in line with their Chrome OS look and feel.  That'll be the reason the up and down "stepper" arrows in the scrollbar have also disapeared.  Don't fit into the new 50% thinner, sleek design.  Not great wth mouse control or have accesibiltiy problems?   Tough. Many people have taken to the Google Product Groups to "congratulate" Google on this move and : http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/chrome/KCvRExwNxdE%5B1-25-true%5DSo is all the fuss just about a little bit of the UI change?  Unfortunately not. Seems Google has broken Chrome in other ways too, mostly stemming from the scroll changes. The most alarming problem for public users is the 'known issue' of the inability to highlight the lower most option of a dropdown list. You can select it still, but it isn't highlighted to show you're selecting the right one.  Sure you have the pointer in the right location? Just click and Hope! http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/chrome/xiJuwZWXcj4 Oh and if you're dropdown is a large one, it won't scroll either using the scroll bar, only with the mouse wheel (if you have one). The cursed "Microsoft blue screen of death" also now has it's Google equivalent: the "Page(s) unresponsive" popup.  A much more frequent visitor these days, affecting users in their day to day browsing.  Gmail users who do this will suffer greatly as will developers using Developer tools.   (http://frankcode.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/chrome-32-broke-the-internet/) So after all this has been said, can't we simply turn off these Updates? Well unless you like hacking around in the Windows Registry (NOT recommended) or you are able to set some permissions in the Group Policies Console to stop this happening, then the short answer is NO.Our advice is to use a different browser while Google sorts out this mess.  Don't email your poor IT support people  and expect them to resolve this, you'll find that they are also struggling with this mess themselves, just like you!

“Zero-Day” exploit affects IE users

By Dave Haygarth   September 19, 2013  
Anyone who is using Internet Explorer (especially IE8 and IE9) needs to be aware of a "zero day" exploit that is "in the wild" and affecting users, downloading malicious code to their machines automatically.The episode has prompted the first Microsoft emergency fix-it patch for many months.Along with the patch, there are also several pieces of advice or settings that users should user as a matter of course to protect themselves against the rising tide of hackers and exploits.  These include things like not using a user account on your PC with Administrator rights for day-to-day activities and ensuring that you have an up to date virus scanner installed.There are many articles on the subject out there, including http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24142934.

WordPress – get yourself updated!

By Dave Haygarth   September 13, 2013  
An important update to the popular WordPress platform was released yesterday, and webmasters were urged to update immediately. It's not unprecedented for Wordpress to strongly word releases like that, but this fix addresses a number of important security issues and vulnerabilities.  WordPress.org’s official announcement says that this release helpsBlock unsafe PHP unserialization that could occur in limited situations and setups, which can lead to remote code execution. Reported by Tom Van Goethem. Prevent a user with an Author role, using a specially crafted request, from being able to create a post “written by” another user. Reported by Anakorn Kyavatanakij. Fix insufficient input validation that could result in redirecting or leading a user to another website. Reported by Dave Cummo, a Northrup Grumman subcontractor for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and PreventionWe immediately updated all our clients on the Wordpress Security Updates package, and strongly urge anyone else running a Wordpress site to update immediately.

WordPress continues to be a popular target for hackers

By Dave Haygarth   April 16, 2013  
Let me get this straight.... I love Wordpress. I really think it's the best all-round CMS, and so does the world, it seems.  Statistics show it to power anything between 15 and 25% of the world's websites and that's not going away. But with that popularity, there comes a small problem... that any vulnerability becomes an easy target for hackers.  The latest attempts at exploitation reported by the BBC today  are worrying.  I feel some of the larger BotNet attacks on the world's websites will soon be dwarfed by some really huge - off-the-scale ones... so hackers will exploit any vulnerabilities in popular software - and Wordpress is certainly popular. But perhaps the most worrying thing about this is it's fundamentally down to crackable passwords.  By repeatedly hammering the user name 'admin' and thousands upon thousands of password combinations, a bot will eventually crack its way in.  By using the standard username 'admin', you may well be putting not only your site, but thousands of others at risk.  Change it!

Cookie Compliance and Implied Consent

By Dave Bancroft   September 4, 2012  
More sites are starting to add functionality in order to become compliant with the "Cookie Law" that is now in effect.  Early solutions that sought "Explicit Consent" (as per compliance with original ICO guidelines) are now being overtaken by "Implied Consent" solutions, due to an 11th hour change by the ICO in the guidelines, (download) . They say "Implied consent is certainly a valid form of consent but those who seek to rely on it should not see it as an easy way out or use the term as a euphemism for “doing nothing......it would still be necessary to follow the steps set out in the Information Commissioner’s existing guidance. ...For implied consent to work there has to be some action taken by the consenting individual from which their consent can be inferred. This might for example be visiting a website, moving from one page to another or clicking on a particular button. The key point, however, is that when taking this action the individual has to have a reasonable understanding that by doing so they are agreeing to cookies being set." With this in mind, we now have developed an alternate to our "explicit consent" solutions, to cater for clients who want an "implied consent" solutions. Fingers crossed that the ICO don't have any more changes of interpretation in the pipeline.

Windows XP – still leading the way, globally

By Dave Bancroft   August 3, 2012  
Gloabally, stats for Internet users show that Windows XP, still leads the way on users PCs some 11 years after the OS was launched, primarily due to massive use still in territories like China and India. Windows 7 is very close behind and is expected to overtake in the near future. In the UK the position is much different with Windows 7 having the lions share of the market - 49.2 % with XP second on 18.1%.

Lost internet connections a reality for some 300,000 people

By Dave Haygarth   July 9, 2012  
Today, the FBI will shut down a number of Internet servers which may cause  300,000 people to lose their ability to connect to the internet. The servers in question are DNS servers which act like an address book for the internet, telling computers where to find the sites that users are looking for. These servers where being controlled by a criminal gang and misdirecting internet connections, netting the cyber-criminals money for doing so. This was achieved using "malware"(malicious programmes) downloaded by unsuspecting users, changing the internet settings to use the rogue DNS servers, rather than normal DNS servers. The rogue servers were seized by the FBI and altered to run 'correctly' so that people could have time to repair the damage to their PCs before the servers were dis-connected, as this malware is still on peoples machines, and still trying to use the Rogue servers.  The date for this disconnection is today. More details on the story and links for a tool to check if you are infected is here.            

Employers asking candidates for Social Media passwords during recruitment process

By Dave Haygarth   May 22, 2012  
It seems that employers in the US are being rather invasive with regards to vetting candidates during recruitment and interview processes. We all know that prospective employers will potentially look at candidates facebook pages or twitter accounts to attempt to get a better insight to their prospective employees. However, recently stories indicate that there is now an increasing number of companies who actually want to have the passwords for candidate social media accounts so they can login and "have a look round" at information not normally available on public profiles. This is being done through direct questions on an application form or during the interview process, with some interviewers asking the candidates to login to their accounts there and then.  Other methods involve employers asking the candidates to "friend" a member of the the HR team so that they can see the information normally reserved for people considered as a friend. Is this invasion of privacy or legitimate screening of a candidate?  Probably both depending on the circumstances and position being applied for. One thing for sure is that people are bound to have very strong views on this topic and this debate will surely be another 'battle' over privacy on the internet. You can read the full story here.