BBC releases blogging guidelines for employees

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has released a guideline for its employees who maintain weblogs or websites. The guidelines, which can be downloaded as a Word document here but I’ve also reprinted it below, are noteworthy in that the BBC accepts that employees who blog “discuss their BBC work in ways that benefit the BBC.”

Employee blogs, for the most part, benefit the organization they work for and companies would do well to embrace blogging as one way to communicate with the public they are serving.

The BBC went as far as stating in the guidelines: “You are allowed to update your personal blog from a BBC computer at work, under the BBC’s Acceptable Use Policy.”

I’ve never encountered problems at work with my blogging. I sought my editors’ permission before I started this blog and consult with them when I’m unsure of the propriety of a blog post. Blogging helps me work on my writing skills and Sun.Star benefits (I hope) from the improvement in my skills. I also get to experiment with scripts, programs and even firmware and get feedback from readers. What I learn from my experiments I write about in the special section that I edit and the weekly column that I write.

Continue reading →

Upgrading K750i firmware to the latest version: R1CA021

I just upgraded my Sony Ericsson K750i to the latest firmware version: R1CA021. The actual upgrade took less than 20 minutes but I spent more than half an hour downloading the Sony Ericsson Update Service because I was also downloading a ton of podcast episodes that time.

To know the firmware version of your Sony Ericsson phone, do this (for < push the joystick to the left, for > push the joystick to the right): >*< <*<* After doing that, click on Service Info and then click on Software Info.

If you’re still using R1N035 or R1NA005 or R1AA008, then by all means download the latest firmware-it fixes the irritating USB transfer bug. If you already have R1BC002, I’d hold off for a week or two.

Continue reading →

Anti-spam plugin Akismet updated

Akismet, the anti-spam plugin created by WordPress founding developer Matthew Mullenweg, has been updated to version 1.15. The new version now tells you, via a tooltip, on which blog article or page a suspected spam comment or trackback has been posted.

When your mouse cursor hovers over the View Post link in the Akismet moderation panel, a tool tip will appear with the title of the post.

Ive been waiting for the download link to be updated until early this morning. Hours after the blog article announcing the 1.15 update was posted, the download link still pointed to version 1.14.

Continue reading →

Mon.itor.us: an even more fantastic free web server monitor

A comment on my previous post on using Montastic and Site Uptime to monitor your web servers led me to mon.itor.us: a free web server monitor that I signed up to a few months back but quickly forgot because I encountered problems when I first used it.

I revisted my mon.itor.us account and boy is it turning out to be a great service. If you’re a website owner or a blogger running your blog in a web hosting account, you should use mon.itor.us to keep tabs of downtimes of your web servers. (click on photo to view larger image) mon.itor.us interface

In the few days since I re-activated my account, I found mon.itor.us better than Montastic and Site Uptimes free service combined. When I first used mon.itor.us, it was really slow and I wasnt getting any idea thats why I completely forgot about my beta account with the site. The site now loads faster and gives you a lot of data on the accessibility of the web servers you monitor.

Continue reading →

Manage your K750i songs using ITunes Agent

If you want to use iTunes to manage songs in your Sony Ericsson K750i, you can either use Mass Storage Synchronizer (which I wrote about earlier) or iTunes Agent. If you’re not technically adept, Mass Storage Synchronizer may be the software for you as it is simpler to set up than iTunes Agent.

Before using any of these two software to manage songs in your k750i, make sure you have the latest K750i firmware, currently R1BC002. Previous firmware have bugs that cause errors in file transfers to the memory stick via a USB cable. (Click on photos to enlarge) iTunes Agent

iTunes Agent requires .Net Framework 2.0 final in order to work. What iTunes Agent does is monitor music players attached to your computer, create an iTunes playlist for that device and then synchronize the music tracks with your mp3 player.

iTunes Agent detects the devices based on its directory structure. The Sony Ericsson Walkman Phone setting pre-configured in iTunes Agent did not work with the K750i when I tested it. The program displayed an error notice about the file path.

Continue reading →

Get a WordPress admin bar for your blog

If you use the hosted blog service at WordPress.com, you would be familiar with the admin toolbar that appears on top of your blog whenever you are logged into the service. The admin bar is a user-friendly tool that I’ve long wanted to deploy in my blog and WordPress sites I help manage.

What’s great about the admin bar is that this is only visible when your are logged into the blog. Regular users don’t see this bar. (Click on photos to view larger images)

It’s not available out-of-the-box if you install WordPress in your own web server but Easy Admin Access, a recently released WordPress plugin, allows you to put up a WordPress admin toolbar in your blogs. WordPress.com admin toolbar

The plugin, however, isn’t just a copy of the WordPress.com admin toolbar, it improves on it by providing even more links to functions you need to run and administer your blog. WordPress.com would do well to copy the plugin written by blogger Jonic Linley

Continue reading →

Fantastic free web server monitoring by Montastic

As a site owner or blogger, it is important to monitor the availability of your web servers. After all, what good is your content if readers cant access it because your web server is down?

For a long time, Ive been using Site Uptime to monitor my blog and the other sites I help manage. Although most of these sites are hosted with PlogHost, a couple still arent. I make it as sort of a condition to have sites hosted with PlogHost if someone asks me for help in putting out a website. I help run a few sites for free either because the site is owned by someone I know or I believe in their cause. (Note: The links above arent affiliate links, Im not sending you to the site because I get paid for it but because Ive never had problems with its services.)

Site Uptime, is a free website monitoring service that alerts you whenever your web server is down. Its free service checks your site every 30 minutes and alerts you when it is unavailable. For a long time, I was satisfied with its service, getting alerts once in a while when a server has problems. That was until I discovered Montastic.

Continue reading →

Site overlay available in Google Analytics

I did not spot this feature in Google Analytics before but you can check which areas of your site or blog are being clicked by readers by using the service’s Site Overlay feature. I never dug deeper into the statistics of Google Analytics before and most of the time I just view the executive summary (click here to view screenshot).

I don’t know when Google Analytics started offering this feature since its announcement does not have a date of publication but the screenshot linked above, which I took on March 19, already displays a link to Site Overlay.

Google Analytics Site OverlayAs I was viewing my stats the other day while adding a new site profile, I got curious on what Site Overlay was and clicked on it. The feature, it turned out, tracks which parts of your site your readers are clicking on (click on photo to view larger image).

I had been solely using Crazy Egg to monitor my blog’s interface elements and the data it gathered were the bases for my decision to use this theme and take out the clutter from my blog design. Knowing where your readers click is very helpful in making design decisions. It tells you which elements or menu items aren’t working.

Continue reading →

How to solve missing K750i USB drive problem in Windows XP

If you can’t find your Sony Ericsson K750i memory stick duo in your list of drives in Windows Explorer, chances are it has been assigned a drive letter that is already in use by one of your network drives.

I found this out the hard way Monday when my office PC (which is connected to a lot of network drives) was upgraded into Windows XP service pack 2. I connected my K750i into one of the USB ports and when the Found New Hardware wizard came up, I pointed it to the device’s drivers. After the drivers were installed, I still couldn’t find the K750i memory stick in my listing of network and local drives. I unplugged the device, tried a different USB port and It still wasn’t listed as one of my PC’s drives.

Continue reading →