Blogs

  1. Writing For SEO

    [Blog] Writing For SEO: SEO and Content Marketing Presentation

    I thought I’d share a recent presentation on SEO and Content Marketing.

    I hope you find it interesting.

    SEO & Content Marketing – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

    Have you read these?

    Posted 30 August 2014, 6:24 pm

  2. Entrepreneurial Geekiness

    [Blog] Entrepreneurial Geekiness: Slides for High Performance Python tutorial at EuroSciPy2014 + Book signing!

    Yesterday I taught an excerpt of my 2 day High Performance Python tutorial as a 1.5 hour hands-on lesson at EuroSciPy 2014 in Cambridge with 70 students:

    IMG_20140828_155857

    We covered profiling (down to line-by-line CPU & memory usage), Cython (pure-py and OpenMP with numpy), Pythran, PyPy and Numba. This is an abridged set of slides from my 2 day tutorial, take a look at those details for the upcoming courses (including an intro to data science) we’re running in October.

    I also got to do a book-signing for our High Performance Python book (co-authored with Micha Gorelick), O’Reilly sent us 20 galley copies to give away. The finished printed book will be available via O’Reilly and Amazon in the next few weeks.

    Book signing at EuroSciPy 2014

    If you want to hear about our future courses then join our low-volume training announce list. I have a short (no-signup) survey about training needs for Pythonistas in data science, please fill that in to help me figure out what we should be teaching.

    I also have a further survey on how companies are using (or not using!) data science, I’ll be using the results of this when I keynote at PyConIreland in October, your input will be very useful.

    Here are the slides (License: CC By NonCommercial), there’s also source on github:


    Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.

    Posted 30 August 2014, 12:06 pm

  3. Favicon NixonMcInnes

    [Blog] NixonMcInnes: Weekly improv drop in classes at NixonMcInnes – every Friday lunchtime.

    Thanks to Poster Boy on Flickr

    It’s clear that in the 21st century, businesses and individuals need to be present, flexible, responsive, confident and aligned to a core purpose more than they ever have.

    These are some of the guiding principles of improvised comedy – being in the moment, listening, responding quickly and with clarity, working in teams and producing something beautiful – all with a single goal of creating something together, in the moment.

    These are skills that can be learned through improv workshops and these are skills I will be sharing here at NixonMcInnes every Friday lunchtime at midday. This, as well as an opportunity to come together, laugh (a lot) and share knowledge.

    Anyone is welcome to join us and over the coming weeks and months, some of the themes we will be looking at are:

    • Agreement
    • Listening
    • Commitment
    • Team work
    • Creativity
    • Saying Yes
    • Resilience
    I will also theme workshops if there are requests for specific skills to be worked on.

    The format will be a fun, immersive improvisation workshop – taking key improv theatre, comedy and stagecraft tactics and drawing out applications that can be applied to groups and organisations in the world around us. I also hope that people will find them personally fulfilling and provide a creative release!

    We’d love it if you can join us – just let us know via twitter or drop Matt an email on matt.matheson@nixonmcinnes.co.uk so we have an idea of numbers.

    There is no fee, we just ask you to come with an open mind and an open heart :)

    So come down, drop in and find out why improvisation is one of the most important skills we’ll need in the world around us now and in the future.

    Contributor has not supplied alternative text for this image

    Posted 29 August 2014, 3:32 pm

  4. Favicon Wired Sussex Digital Media News

    [Blog] Wired Sussex Digital Media News: Brightwave and The Student Room team up to host Brighton Digital Festival open studio event

    Brightwave and The Student Room team up to show how a next generation individual loves to learn/collaborate/share experiences online - and that this is no different for students than for today's workforce. Taking place during the 2014 Creative, Digital ...

    Posted 29 August 2014, 1:00 am

  5. Entrepreneurial Geekiness

    [Blog] Entrepreneurial Geekiness: High Performance Python Training at EuroSciPy this afternoon

    I’m training on High Performance Python this afternoon at EuroSciPy, my github source is here (as a shortlink: http://bit.ly/euroscipy2014hpc). There are prerequisites for the course.

    This training is actually a tiny part of what I’ll teach on my 2 day High Performance Python course in London in October (along with a Data Science course). If you’re at EuroSciPy, please say Hi :-)


    Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.

    Posted 28 August 2014, 10:38 am

  6. Favicon NixonMcInnes

    [Blog] NixonMcInnes: Key themes from NM strategy roundtable

    Our latest roundtable event* convened a group of attendees from the Chief Strategy Officer Summit where Jenni presented on rebuilding our companies by coming together.

    Find more details and notes from the event here.

     

    *Join us for our next roundtable event!

    NixonMcInnes roundtables are designed to connect peers from different organisations so they can share insights and learn from each other. To apply for your place at future events contact louise.ash@nixonmcinnes.co.uk.

    Contributor has not supplied alternative text for this image

    Posted 28 August 2014, 9:53 am

  7. Favicon Richard Mitchelson illustrator, animator, tea drinker...

    [Blog] Richard Mitchelson illustrator, animator, tea drinker...: The Homeward Round


    A year ago I started running.

    With a young family the amount of time I had to cycle vast distances suddenly disappeared and I was also entered into a half marathon so thought some sort of running would be a good idea. I was able to get a lot of lung busting exercise out of not a lot of time which was a real bonus. With such stunning hills and views on my doorstep I soon found I loved the early morning run out onto the South Downs, the freedom of just grabbing a pair of shoes and exploring the local trails and nooks and crannies of my local area was [still is] really addictive.

    I love to document my runs with a photo or two. My thought were that if I think this is breath taking some one else might... and they did. So much so that I decided to take the plunge and invite a group of friends from the real and digital world [all with a passion for running and the outdoors] on a guided 13 mile ish run around and over each of the hills I can see from my bedroom window. The Homeward Round was born.

    It's not a race, it's free, no one ever get's left behind. We are a group of friends who run to enjoy the journey not how fast or brutally we smash it... [that's for other days]

    I also used the chance to come up with some sort of logo and branding. All the photos are taken by me out on the trails or hills of Sussex. The logo was something I wanted to be as simple as possible, the square being home, and the dotted line the route we would take around it. That's it. I'm really pleased with it and peoples response has been fantastic.

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    The first Homeward Round went really well, have a read of Becca Langton's write up here. The second one is currently in the works, with the hope some new faces will pop along as we hit Stanmer Park and other Sussex woodland. I'm saying October... But watch this space for the actual date.

    Contributor has not supplied alternative text for this imageContributor has not supplied alternative text for this image

    Posted 27 August 2014, 3:22 pm

  8. Favicon Richard Mitchelson illustrator, animator, tea drinker...

    [Blog] Richard Mitchelson illustrator, animator, tea drinker...: The Homeward Round


    A year ago I started running.

    With a young family the amount of time I had to cycle vast distances suddenly disappeared and I was also entered into a half marathon so thought some sort of running would be a good idea. I was able to get a lot of lung busting exercise out of not a lot of time which was a real bonus. With such stunning hills and views on my doorstep I soon found I loved the early morning run out onto the South Downs, the freedom of just grabbing a pair of shoes and exploring the local trails and nooks and crannies of my local area was [still is] really addictive.

    I love to document my runs with a photo or two. My thought were that if I think this is breath taking some one else might... and they did. So much so that I decided to take the plunge and invite a group of friends from the real and digital world [all with a passion for running and the outdoors] on a guided 13 mile ish run around and over each of the hills I can see from my bedroom window. The Homeward Round was born.

    It's not a race, it's free, no one ever get's left behind. We are a group of friends who run to enjoy the journey not how fast or brutally we smash it... [that's for other days]

    I also used the chance to come up with some sort of logo and branding. All the photos are taken by me out on the trails or hills of Sussex. The logo was something I wanted to be as simple as possible, the square being home, and the dotted line the route we would take around it. That's it. I'm really pleased with it and peoples response has been fantastic.

    Contributor has not supplied alternative text for this image

    Contributor has not supplied alternative text for this image

    Contributor has not supplied alternative text for this image

    Contributor has not supplied alternative text for this image


    The first Homeward Round went really well, have a read of Becca Langton's write up here. The second one is currently in the works, with the hope some new faces will pop along as we hit Stanmer Park and other Sussex woodland. I'm saying October... But watch this space for the actual date.

    Contributor has not supplied alternative text for this imageContributor has not supplied alternative text for this image

    Posted 27 August 2014, 3:22 pm

  9. Favicon news - mike griggs - creativebloke

    [Blog] news - mike griggs - creativebloke: Want to know what my favourite tools for CG and VFX project tracking are?

    Well that is handy then isn't it as Creativbloq has my article on this very subject!

    Posted 27 August 2014, 3:18 pm

  10. Favicon Richard Mitchelson illustrator, animator, tea drinker...

    [Blog] Richard Mitchelson illustrator, animator, tea drinker...: The Homeward Round 2...

    Contributor has not supplied alternative text for this image

    The day before the clocks go back, we wave a very fond fair well to our summer with a run with friends through the changing leaves, forest and woods near my house. Come and kick piles of leaves with me out on the trail. For more info click here


    Posted 27 August 2014, 11:20 am

  11. Favicon Richard Mitchelson illustrator, animator, tea drinker...

    [Blog] Richard Mitchelson illustrator, animator, tea drinker...: The Homeward Round 2...

    Contributor has not supplied alternative text for this image

    The day before the clocks go back, we wave a very fond fair well to our summer with a run with friends through the changing leaves, forest and woods near my house. Come and kick piles of leaves with me out on the trail. For more info click here


    Posted 27 August 2014, 11:20 am

  12. Entrepreneurial Geekiness

    [Blog] Entrepreneurial Geekiness: Why are technical companies not using data science?

    Here’s a quick question. How come more technical companies aren’t making use of data science? By “technical” I mean any company with data and the smarts to spot that it has value, by “data science” I mean any technical means to exploit this data for financial gain (e.g. visualisation to guide decisions, machine learning, prediction).

    I’m guessing that it comes down to an economic question – either it isn’t as valuable as some other activity (making mobile apps? improving UX on the website? paid marketing? expanding sales to new territories?) or it is perceived as being valuable but cannot be exploited (maybe due to lack of skills and training or data problems).

    I’m thinking about this for my upcoming keynote at PyConIreland, would you please give me some feedback in the survey below (no sign-up required)?

    To be clear – this is an anonymous survey, I’ll have no idea who gives the answers.

    Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

     

    If the above is interesting then note that we’ve got a data science training list where we make occasional announcements about our upcoming training and we have two upcoming training courses. We also discuss these topics at our PyDataLondon meetups. I also have a slightly longer survey (it’ll take you 2 minutes, no sign-up required), I’ll be discussing these results at the next PyDataLondon so please share your thoughts.


    Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. Historically Ian ran Mor Consulting. He also founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.

    Posted 26 August 2014, 9:35 pm

  13. Writing For SEO

    [Blog] Writing For SEO: Quick Tip: Is your 301 Redirection Plugin Still Working?

    Having found a lot of 404 page not found errors reported by Google Webmaster Tools on a client’s WordPress website, I started working on some 301 redirects – there were so many 404s that they were a serious concern. Google may have been seeing the site as giving a very bad user experience, or just being bad quality.

    301 redirection, in case you’re not sure, takes a visitor to a page of your choice instead of a generic 404 error page. You should choose a page with content that is close to the content the visitor was expecting on the page that no longer exists.

    Great. The site already had the Simple 301 Redirects plugin in place, so I went and added some ten or so redirects to it.

    Thankfully I made sure the redirects were working

    I tested my new redirects.

    They weren’t working.

    I tested the old redirects, too.

    They weren’t working, either.

    Time to check the plugin

    Simple 301 Redirects had been updated in December last year and was claimed to be compatible up to WP 3.8. I’ve seen worse.

    I swapped Simple 301 Redirects for the Redirection plugin I use on this site and Boom! The redirects work.

    So I have something else to look out for on WordPress sites!

    Have you checked your 301 redirects are still working?

    Thanks to Jaap Joris for making his image available via Creative Commons.

    Have you read these?

    Posted 26 August 2014, 4:28 pm

  14. Favicon SiteVisibility

    [Blog] SiteVisibility: The Power of Cartoons – Stu Heinecke – Podcast Episode #259

    cartoonlink 300x42 The Power of Cartoons – Stu Heinecke – Podcast Episode #259In this week’s Internet Marketing Podcast Andy talks to the professional cartoonist Stu Heinecke about the power of cartoons in marketing. Stu notes that there have been various studies carried out into what people remember after they’ve read something in print or on screen, and cartoons are always found to be the most memorable. He discusses the benefits of using humour to convey marketing messages and gives some tips on how to use it effectively in your campaigns. He then chats about the advantages of using contact campaigns for reaching out to particular people and how cartoons are a proven resource for improving email marketing.

    Click here for a free trial of CartoonLink.

    stuheinecke@gmail.com

     

    Post from Apple Pie & Custard blog by SiteVisibility - An SEO Agency

    The Power of Cartoons – Stu Heinecke – Podcast Episode #259

    Contributor has not supplied alternative text for this image Contributor has not supplied alternative text for this image Contributor has not supplied alternative text for this image
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    Posted 26 August 2014, 11:01 am

  15. 90 Percent of Everything - by Harry Brignull

    [Blog] 90 Percent of Everything - by Harry Brignull: Some Dark Patterns now illegal in UK – interview with Heather Burns

    In this article I interview Heather Burns, author of The Web Designer’s Guide to the Consumer Rights Directive.

    So, which dark patterns are now illegal in the UK?
    The EU’s new consumer rights law bans certain dark patterns related to e-commerce across Europe. The “sneak into basket” pattern is now illegal. Full stop, end of story. You cannot create a situation where additional items and services are added by default. No more having to manually remove insurance from your basket when purchasing plane tickets.

    Hidden costs are now illegal, whether that’s an undeclared subscription, extra shipping charges, or extra items. While the costs are still permissible, failing to advise the customer about them or explain what they are is not. Everything has to be brought out in the open, explained, and clarified before checkout. Even if you are not able to declare a specific additional cost in advance – say, supplemental shipping charges to remote areas – you still have to declare that these charges exist and will be applied to the order.

    As a part of that, retailer fees and surcharges must be brought out into the open and explained. Retailers can no longer charge “processing fees” in excess of what it actually costs them. Remember when a certain airline used to offer £2 return flights which carried a £45 credit card processing fee? Now, we all knew damn well that the flight was £45 and the processing fee was £2, but there was nothing we could do about it. With the new law they cannot try to swap the figures or surprise you with a £45 “processing fee” at checkout.

    Forced continuity, when imposed on the user as a form of bait-and-switch, has been banned. Just the other day a web designer mentioned to me that he had only just discovered he had been charged for four years of annual membership dues in a “theme club”, having bought what he thought was a one-off theme. Since he lives in Europe, he may be able to claim all of this money back. All he needs to do is prove that the website did not inform him that the purchase included a membership with recurring payments.

    What UK laws have changed?

    This law updated and replaced the 1997 consumer rights law, which was laughably outdated. It’s pretty amazing to think that until June this year, digital products and downloads had no reference in trading laws, which meant that consumers had no protection.

    The new law essentially had three goals. The first was to update those ridiculously old e-commerce laws. It’s a damning indictment of all the UK governments and parties who have held power since 1997 that it took the EU to force us to bring our trading laws out of the Teletext era.

    The second goal was to harmonise consumer trading laws across all of Europe so that people can do more cross-border shopping. Pour exemple, I love French pop music. If I decide to spoil myself with a bumper order from Paris, I can now do so knowing that I am buying under the same conditions and protections as if I’d gone to my local Fopp.

    The third goal, and the one you’re concerned with, was to outlaw e-commerce’s worst Dark Patterns. There’s clearly been a lot of good public input into this law. We’re really not used to seeing web laws that deal with real specifics rather than theoretical concepts.

    Are some Dark Patterns still legal?

    The directive only dealt with Dark Patterns concerning e-commerce. Dark Patterns concerning other issues like privacy, information disclosure, sharing and advertising are not affected. We also have yet to see what new Dark Patterns will be invented in response to the Directive!

    How come some e-commerce sites are still using the sneak into basket dark pattern? Are they breaking the law?

    The law has not been well publicised. Lack of knowledge, of course, is no excuse. In my book I talked about “trading trolls” – people who would surf the web specifically looking for noncompliant sites so that they can place an order, get the stuff, report the site for noncompliance, get their money back, and keep the stuff. After all, if the site is breaking the law, they have no recourse there. I would, of course, never encourage anyone to do that.
    *coughs loudly, and winks*

    Let’s get specific – is Sportsdirect.com now breaking the law?

    Sportsdirect - sneak into basket dark pattern now illegal

    At the time of writing, sportsdirect.com sneaks a £1 magazine and mug into your basket with every purchase. As that is adding those items by default, thereby forcing the customer to manually remove them, it is noncompliant. They cannot argue that a magazine and a mug are companion pieces to the items being purchased. They are extra items, full stop. If the magazine is so essential they can simply include it in your shipping parcel like many retailers do. As for a mug, the process of removing one from your basket treats us like one.

    How about next.co.uk?

    Next.co.uk - dark pattern skates the line between legal and illegal

    Next is stretching the law to its limits. Technically this is legal because it meets the information provision requirements. As with anything, though, just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right. The Next Directory is not a paper catalogue, it’s a credit programme and a financial service. (I learned this when I signed up for the directory, never received a copy nor the invoice, and then received a late fee notice and a mark against me on my credit record for not paying for a stupid catalogue which I never received.) Financial services are exempt under the Directive, and so next.co.uk are deliberately being as ambiguous as possible because they can.

    And what about Ryanair?

    Ryanair's infamous insurance dark pattern

    It’s a fair bet to say that the company whose conduct led to this law being created in the first place is going to throw out quite a few examples of noncompliant conduct. In this example, they are still adding the additional payment by default, leaving the consumer to manually opt-out of it. That’s wrong.

    What’s going to happen to businesses who use these now-illegal Dark Patterns?

    Quite simply, businesses who don’t comply face a loss of revenue. If you make a purchase, whether that’s buying goods or a service, on a non-compliant web site, you have the right to recourse through your nearest Trading Standards office, in other words, your local Council. Unlike the cookie law, which is dealt with by one UK-wide bureaucracy which has bigger fish to fry, this law is dealt with on a local level.

    A failure to comply cancels the transaction. You can get your money back and keep the goods. If the sale was for a service or a digital download, the contract is cancelled and no further payments are due.

    So this isn’t a re-run of the cookie law farce we had a few years ago?

    Absolutely not. The cookie law was the wrong law, drafted at the wrong time, in the wrong way, for the wrong reasons. The Consumer Rights Directive couldn’t be more different. It was desperately needed, it’s common sense, and it reflects the way the web actually works.

    How does the Consumer Rights Directive affect US companies who are dealing with UK or EU consumers?

    The Directive applies to inter-EU sales only. A US company does not need to comply to sell in Europe. Although it would be awfully nice of them.

    And finally, tell us about your book!
    My book does what it says on the tin – The Web Designer’s Guide to the Consumer Rights Directive. It started out as a blog post, but 11,000 words later I realised it was a bit more than that!

    Writing the book was my attempt to bring sanity back to the web community. I’ve been researching and writing about the cookie law since 2012 and it’s taught me a lot about the gap between practice and theory. One of the many things I came to realise is that laws concerning the craft of web development are cooked up by offline politicians and then drafted by solicitors for solicitors. They throw an 80 page legalese .pdf onto a web site and say “there’s your lot, now comply.” They don’t think about who actually does the work, and because they are neither coders nor crafters, they very often literally have no idea what they are talking about.

    The web community needed someone to translate these laws into plain English, break them down into small chunks, and explain how to comply in terms of front-end and back-end implementations, not airy legal theory. And if aspects of the laws are ill-informed or disruptive, we have a responsibility as a community to speak out.

    [EDIT 27/08/14:] Use the coupon code ‘hackernews’ to get Heather’s eBook for just £6. That’s 50% off the list price! Buy now

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    Posted 26 August 2014, 10:51 am

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  1. File recovery after... 8 posts.

Last.fm artist chart

This is a chart of the most listened to artists in the BNM last.fm group. Chart for the week ending Sun, 10 Aug 2014.

  1. Arcade Fire
  2. Blondie
  3. DJ Fresh
  4. Skrillex
  5. James Blake
  6. Lynyrd Skynyrd
  7. Goldfrapp
  8. Pulp
  9. Four Tet
  10. David Bowie

Chart updated every Sunday.

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