Sunday, April 13, 2014

Heartbleed - don't panic. Just follow this checklist...

There isn't much that I can add to the current hype about Heartbleed - the recently-discovered flaw in OpenSSL which puts a tons of online resources at risk.

What I did find online however, was this incredibly useful infographic, courtesy of
It provides a brief summary of where the problem areas are, and where you should be thinking of changing your passwords:

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Whatever happened to the COOL Kinder toys?

This is probably going to sound like one of those "When I was your age..." type stories, but for those of you who know what I am on about, it will make sense :)
Kinder Surprise eggs were a huge part of my childhood - they were a treat to be enjoyed on 2 fronts - the awesome tasting chocolate egg, and of course the great toy inside the egg.

kinder surprise
kinder surprise (Photo credit: black.zack00)
I still don't know why we don't see the original chocolate eggs in the shops here in Johannesburg - instead we now get Kinder Joy, which quite frankly is no match for the original Kinder Surprise - you don't get the chocolate egg, and I have to say that the toys nowadays are pretty lame to boot.

Although mine are all probably packed away or donated to a worthy cause by now, I can still remember a selection of some of the nifty gadgets I used to get in Kinder eggs as a kid:

- friction-driven cars and trucks;
- tiny airplanes;
- cool mini action figurines; name but a few.
They were just cool toys, and as kids, we played with them and they lasted.
Today however, we get this:

Which is... what exactly?
Well according to the instructions, it is supposed to be a tracing toy of some type, with a vague Smurfs theme.
I even tried to humour them on this one, but I didn't get very far.
Maybe my patience levels just aren't up to scratch, or maybe my boredom levels went into meltdown with the prospect of such a mind-blowingly fun activity, when all I really wanted was a cool racing car or something along those lines. Must be the kid in me!

So in the unlikely event that anyone from Ferrero happens to read this - I would love to know why South Africa doesn't get Kinder Surprise eggs anymore, and why the toys inside the eggs are just not what they used to be?
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Autumn skies - a feast for the eyes... :)

Summer is slowly slipping away over here in the Southern Hemisphere, and each morning is starting to feel just a hint more chilly than the last.
As our Autumn approaches (that's "Fall" for our American audience :)), this is an awesome time to start snapping random photos of our changing environment.

Just loving our clouds at the moment...:

More to follow as I randomly snap away, day by day...
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Are your Adsense adverts not showing up in Chrome..? Here is an unlikely fix...

As you may have noticed if you have visited Nybbles and Bytes before, we have just undergone some major cosmetic alterations.
Now a key part of blogging is often the ability to monetize the blog, which essentially means finding a way for the blog to generate revenue.
Writing about stuff is great and all, but getting money for it 'aint half bad either.

One of the most well known ways to monetize a blog is via Google's Adsense, whereby you allow Google to place contextually relevant adverts on your blog, and they in turn pay you for views or clicks of the advert on your blog.
The higher your traffic, the more ad views and clicks. Simple.

Trouble is, if your ads aren't showing up correctly in people's browsers, then they aren't reaching their audience, so you may be losing a ton of potential views or clicks.
While busy with my latest template update, I noticed that my Adsense ads were there in Internet Explorer, but were mysteriously absent in Chrome...
Oddly, they were also absent when I viewed my blog on a colleague's PC.

So after much troubleshooting, hair tugging, Googling and HTML scanning (and my HTML skills are super basic at best...), I found myself venturing into the Extensions section of my Chrome settings, and nestling in there I found this little blighter:

Lo and bloody behold, disabling this critter sorted out the issue.
Now Avast Antivirus is, and has been my default go-to security solution for many years, but this little piece of weaponry is no longer required in my arsenal, thank you very much!

Hope this helps you out if you have experienced a similar problem...

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Get a Bluetooth hands-free kit dammit...

Driving and talking on a cellphone.
Not a great combo at the best of times - your mind is actively engaged in the content of the conversation, while still having to do all of the things that it needs to do in order to keep your car on the tar and off of the pavement, or worse...
I got my Bluetooth hands-free kit a few years ago when I got fined for chatting on my phone while driving.
Thankfully I got off lightly - a R 500 fine was all it took to convince me to go Bluetooth.

What got me thinking about this, is how often I see people driving with headphones on.
Sometimes its the in-ear ones, which are better than nothing I suppose - at least you can theoretically talk "hands-free", but you still have cables dangling down which really isn't ideal.

Worse though, is when I see drivers wearing the proper huge headphones - those crazy ones that are essentially miniature boom-boxes that fit over your head, which completely cover your ears and provide incredible sound insulation (for your listening pleasure, of course).

Circumaural headphones have large pads that su...
Circumaural headphones have large pads that surround the outer ear. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Apart from making the driver look odd, the problem here is the fact that these headphones are so well insulated in the name of sound quality, that they essentially put the driver into his or her own little audio bubble.
This means that if a theoretical 10 ton truck were bearing down on said driver, and its brakes were to fail, then said driver would likely not hear the truck blasting its horn for the driver to get the hell out of the way.
In fact, all that the driver would hear are the bangin' beats in his head, and the subsequent crunching of metal (and I don't mean heavy metal)... Ouch.

While pumping loud music from a car sound system also probably cuts into a driver's awareness of their surroundings, at least their ears are not closed off from the rest of the world completely.

Bluetooth kits can be expensive though, which brings me to my final rant for today:


This is another matter altogether, but one which I see almost daily in traffic.
Luxury vehicles today are almost certainly factory fitted with Bluetooth, yet it astounds me how many executive looking types dice around in their snazzy vehicles, blissfully unaware of how idiotic they look holding their phone to their face like a walkie-talkie...

What is it - laziness? Don't know how to pair a Bluetooth device?
Google it guys, we live in the age of information!

In the name of safety people, if you must talk while driving, then use Bluetooth.
Sure, scientists in 25 years may discover how many crazy ailments are caused by wireless technologies such as Bluetooth, but at least you will be that much safer now while driving :)
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