The Sun+

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Another UK national newspaper TheSun has decided to put up a paywall to read their online content which was kind of expected really.

I’m not a Sun reader but the idea of using a paywall to block people consuming all of your site content baffles me a little especially when their site is so slow and laiden with ads.

After fiddling around, it seems as though they haven’t done a very good job at implementing their paywall and could quite possibly be violating Google’s Advice on Content Cloaking and possibly other search engines policies; that is because the site detects your brosers Useragent and then serves content depending on your browser, in this case, they serve the entire articles to any browser with the UA string mimicking the googlebot where as any other standard UA is served the locked out content.
A little research into how you’re suggested to operate paywalls and still have good SEO is with the use of First Click Free (FCF) which allows users that have clicked your content from a search result to have access to the full article but not others; which is NOT implemented in The Suns site.
Finally to top this off they don’t set in the HTTP headers that the UserAgent will very the content either.
I wonder if Google will notice and penalise such a large brand name for SEO tactics that are heavily discouraged.

So in essence, to read The Suns content for free as though you have subscribed (bypass) all you need to do is change your useragent to the same as the GoogleBot.


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I’m currently working on a website for my local Scout group and I decided to use the excellent Bootstrap framework.

My issue was that bootstrap didn’t conform to the Scout branding guidelines. So I decided to extend the classes myself to bring the style of the site into the guidelines.

Once I got started I realised that others might find it useful; so I developed it into a separate style-sheet, wrote it in LESS to compile with Bootstrap nicely extend the classes.

So here it is!

Scoutstrap: A bootstrap extension to develop on-brand websites for the Scout Association.

It’s my first proper use of GitHub, GitHub Pages and LESS so any issues, then add it as an issue and I’ll get around to fixing/sorting them. This is aimed at Bootstrap Version 2.3.2 and not the recent Bootstrap 3.0 which I aim to develop for in the near future.


Remove password protection from Office 2010 Documents

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I was given a word 2010 docx document the other day to edit, only the issue was that it had protection added to stop people from editing it which I needed to remove.

I spent an hour searching for a document password cracker / remover with no luck until I happened across a post on spiceworks which gave a easy working solution to remove the password from the word 2010 file.

So here’s the solution, for future reference:

  1. make a copy of the original file
  2. right-click and rename the extension to zip
  3. extract the files
  4. open the extracted folder and look for word\settings.xml
  5. right-click and edit
  6. find a string with “w:documentprotection”, it’ll be after the “w:proofstate” group
  7. cut/delete the “w:documentprotection” area of the xml file and save
  8. drag your new settings.xml from the extracted folder to the zip folder
  9. rename the zip folder’s extension with the edited .xml file back to docx

LittleBobaFooFoo ~ Spiceworks Forum

this 100% worked to remove edit protection from word 2010 docx but it should work with any office 2010 file and as they share similar file structures, it should work with office 2007 too.

Stop targeting devices!

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Responsive Web Design is here to stay, it is now regarded as the way to develop sites and contain the same core content across devices through the same site.

In many cases and I have done this myself, Responsive Web Design has been explained and sold as a set of views one for mobile, one for tablet and one for computer but this is not actually the case and it shouldn’t be explained like this at all as it gives the wrong impression of what the technology does.

This type of web development shouldn’t be to target specific device types or even specific devices i.e. different views for iPad and nexus 7 or mobile and desktop but rather to give accessibility and similar experiences to all resolutions.

The key here is that is requires a change in mentality for the designers and developers as we’re not working to a specific device set or even towards a set view at set resolutions but rather a layout that flows and changes as necessary with graceful degradation when viewed on strange resolutions.

We also need to consider working in pixels has become kinda irrelevant due to high DPI (retina) grade screens where a single pixel is only half or even a quarter of a pixel on standard screens.

Overall designers and developers need to start using terms such as small screen and large screens instead of mobile vs desktop along with considering a small screen physically might be classed as a large screen pixel wise.

How to install iftop on CentOS

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I’m keeping this short and sweet…

iftop isn’t in the CentOS repo by default which is a shame, luckily there is an rpm on repoforge available; just run this little bash command/script to install the correct version depending on arch or display saying it’s unavailable.

if uname -a | grep -q "64"; then rpm -ivh; elif uname -a | grep -q "86"; then rpm -ivh; else echo Not available for your arch.; fi

This should work on Fedora and Red Hat too.