Unbubble Derefer-Service

Unbubble utilizes a derefer service to remove the referrer field from HTTP headers. This ensures the search query and referring domain is removed and not sent to any external website. The dereferrer is actually an unplanned byproduct of our safe and neutral search engine Unbubble.eu.

You may use our derefer service for own purposes e.g. to obfuscate the origin of links in forums or your own blog. To conceal your links just prepend “http://derefer.unbubble.eu?u=” to any URL.

I’ve been looking for a free derefer service for a project I’m working on and found this. I’ve not used Unbubble before, but their derefer service looks better than all the others I found — I’m not sure why, but the alternatives looked dodgy/untrustworthy.

I suppose I could always create my own service, it would only take 5 minutes, but then I would have to maintain it, and I’d rather not. I’ll give the Unbubble service a try first and if it proves to be unreliable, I’ll reconsider building my own.

Also, I did think that DuckDuckGo might have a derefer service, but I couldn’t find one, which is a shame as I think one would compliment their existing services.

Stupid Geek Tricks: Create a Shortcut to Quickly Edit Your Hosts File

My quick and easy solution to this problem is so simple that it barely deserves a full article, but we’re going to cover it anyway—basically, you just create a shortcut to edit the file in Notepad, and set the properties to always start as Administrator. The final step is to create that shortcut in the Start Menu, so it will be easily accessible with the start menu search engine.

Nifty tip. I’m constantly editing my system’s hosts file on OS X and Linux, which is trivial once you set-up a Bash alias, but I can’t do that on Windows, yet, so this tip came in handy.

How does one become “Full-Stack”?

I hear it thrown around so much now days. No one wants to hire someone who doesn’t throw around this magic word. But what does it really mean? (I know what it means) How can a person honestly say they are a full stack developer? What skills do they have to have? Where can they learn this?

An interesting question posted to reddit. I consider myself to be a full-stack developer (though I’m not sure anyone else does) and from my point of view, I think the most important skill/quality to have is the desire to learn how things work.

I started out (about 20 years ago) wanting to know how web pages worked, this led me to learn about how FTP servers work, which led me to learn about how Linux works, which led me to learn about how HTTP servers worked, which led me to learn about how Perl works, which led me to learn about how PHP works, which led me to learn about how MySQL works… etc… etc…

This journey (which I’m still on) made me a full-stack developer, although I didn’t set out with that intention, it just happened along the way as a happy consequence.

Anyhow, if I were in a position to give to anyone advice, I’d remind them to enjoy what they do, have some patience (it’s not going to happen overnight) and to never stop learning. Follow those 3 tips and you’ll be full-stack in no time.

Bideo.js

A JS library that makes it super easy to add fullscreen background videos.

I can’t think that I’ve ever used a video for a fullscreen background, but if I ever do, I might give this a try. On second thoughts, I’d probably use tubular and offload the bandwidth to YouTube.

Microsoft accused of Windows 10 upgrade ‘nasty trick’

Microsoft has faced criticism for changing the pop-up box encouraging Windows users to upgrade to Windows 10.

Clicking the red cross on the right hand corner of the pop-up box now activates the upgrade instead of closing the box.

And this has caused confusion as typically clicking a red cross closes a pop-up notification.

Has it ever. At work, we’ve received a number of calls from users who have fallen foul of this and have had their systems upgraded. The users have all been remote workers, which has compounded the issue as providing support has been tricky. Our support team are now in the process of blacklisting the update. Users on our internal network have been unaffected as the update was already blacklisted on our Windows Server Update Services.

I know Microsoft are eager to upgrade as many users as possible, but this really is a “nasty trick”, and what’s more, it’s a terrible user experience and a real PITA for our support team. Bad Microsoft.