Here’s a rather neat online tool which you can use to measure the strength of your passwords, which is directly related to how long the password is, and what character set you’ve used (a to z, or symbols, etc).
Give it a password… or rather something that is like your passwords, but not your actual password (!), and see how many guesses on average it would take for a hacker to brute force (i.e. keep guessing until they find it). I think you’ll probably want to choose a stronger password?!
Some password choosing hints:
- Assume any name or word that can be found in a dictionary is insecure, regardless of length. It’s *very* insecure. Password crackers come with built-in dictionaries.
- It needs to be memorable, so you don’t have to write it down. If you must write it down, write it on a physical piece of paper, and put it in a safe well away from the computer. Not in a text file on the computer itself!
- Length is more important than the use of strange characters – it’s better to use a long phrase of simply a-z than a short phrase with $!# in it. You can make the phrase memorable – a sentence perhaps, e.g. ‘whenigrowupiwanttobeanastronaut’. Putting numbers and symbols in such a password is nice, but not strictly necessary when a password is so long.
- Consider using a quality password safe application to keep website passwords secure and under the protection of a strong master password – for example
The Rectangle Red team expands again, with our new starter Andy Laird joining us.
Andy brings considerable experience with over ten years experience in Microsoft development technologies, including .NET, together with an excellent knowledge of web technology and databases, a track record of developing innovative systems to tight deadlines, and has both an excellent customer focus and a can-do attitude.
We’re very pleased to have Andy on board; welcome to the team!
We’re expanding and looking to hire a junior and a senior application developer!
You’ll need experience and skill with Microsoft technologies (.NET in particular), relational database systems (e.g. SQL Server or MySQL), and to be a dab hand with the latest web technologies (HTML5, CSS3, JQuery, etc).
We offer all you would expect – a competitve salary, opportunty to learn the latest technologies, and a very pleasant working environment – we’re in the middle of Stony Stratford High Street.
A QR code is a (usually black and white) square graphic, like the one on this page. Typically, it holds a description of a web address, so that if you point a smartphone at it, it can decode the web address from the pattern, and jump straight to that web page. Try it with the one on this page!
You can make one yourself for your own web address – just follow these steps.
Go to the Google URL shortener, here: http://www.goo.gl
Enter the address you want a QR code for, and press ‘Shorten URL’
This will make you a URL like this, http://goo.gl/SJTP9 which if you click on, will take you to your website. Copy that, and paste it into your web browser’s address bar. Before you press ‘Go’ to load the URL, put “.qr” on the end, like this: http://goo.gl/SJTP9.qr
Load that address, then one with .qr on the end, in your web browser.
That will take you to a page containing your QR graphic. Right click on the image to save it to your PC, and from there you can use it on your website or promotional material.
Done! Now try it out. On some phones, a QR reader is built in; on iPhones, “QR Reader” is a simple and free QR code reader that you can get from the AppStore; on Android, try “QR Droid”, another free app.
I’ve been doing a few custom tweaks for the Stony Means Business website with Andrew from Meticulous Design this week; Andrew is the graphic guru behind the site’s look and feel, and I’ve been getting the online event registration module working properly.
We’ve used the WordPress Event Registration plug in which I’ve modified slightly to make it work as we wish; WordPress is a powerful tool for getting 95% of what you want, but that extra 5% can require a bit of work in our experience.
If use WordPress to power your site, you may find this is a rather neat little solution to the problem of keeping your social network streams ticking over. Install the SNAP plugin into your wordpress website / blog, configure, and your new posts on WordPress will get automatically published for you.
I was at a particularly interesting talk yesterday at http://www.stonymeansbusiness.co.uk where Tracy Spence of WSI Internet Marketing talked about the latest thoughts and trends in using social media to grow your business.
A blog, such as this, is a good start, but it starts to become powerful once we give readers the ability to easily share information they find useful to their friends.
So, we need a simple WordPress plugin that adds Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter icons to each post or page. The only problem is that the vast majority of them are overkill, and plaster share garish buttons all over every screen. Not good.
Until we found the Hupso Share Buttons for Twitter, Facebook & Google+ plugin; simple share buttons, and nothing more. The share button is still a little garish (bright blue!) but a swift rework with a good graphics editor such as Gimp will easily restore it to a neutral grey like you see below.
We’ve just finished a long overdue update of the website’s appearance, and we’d like to thank our friends at Landmark Mayo Communications who worked on the graphic design for us.
For the technically curious as to how it’s done, it’s a custom WordPress template that we’ve written ourselves, using custom web fonts from fonts.com. If you’d like to know more about the nitty gritty, send us a message and we’re happy to share a few tricks and tips.
Rectangle Red is always looking for talented junior and senior technical staff to join its expanding business, so if you are fed up with the commute to London, want your voice to be heard or just fancy working in a charming little market town, why not sent us your CV?
We are looking for people with the following skills:
Demonstrable skill with Microsoft Visual Studio, VB.net, Access, VBA or a similar technology to produce Windows and/or web based applications is essential. For the senior roles, we would expect you to have a few years experience behind you.
Experience of developing for at least one of SQL Server, MySQL or something similar, being comfortable writing relatively simple SQL queries by hand, is essential. For the senior roles, again we would expect you to have being doing this for at least a year or two.
Experience programming using the APIs for business applications such as Goldmine or Sage is a bonus, but by no means essential.
Experience with using and writing shell scripts for Linux based systems is desirable, but again not essential.
An ability to learn quickly and not be put off by systems or technologies not encountered before is essential.
All candidates are expected to be professional in appearance and attitude, and to be thorough and careful in their work.
Excellent written and oral communication skills are essential, as is a patient and clear telephone manner.
A positive can-do attitude is essential.
A full driving licence is essential (although the job does not involve much travel) as is a valid work permit where necessary.
We pay a competitive salary (related to experience!), and offer the chance to escape the commuting rat race and work for a company where you will directly contribute to our success. Interested? Send us your CV at email@example.com or use the email form on the main Jobs Vacancies page. Even if we don’t have anything for you right now, we will contact you again when we do – we expect to be hiring actively again later this year.