Monthly Archives: April 2007

Online Fraud

Online security and the way that card fraud is dealt with is an important issue for me, since my primary income comes by taking card transactions online and over the phone.I’d naively like to think that the banks and police work together to track down card fraud and stamp it out so that customers feel safe participating in ‘customer not present’ transactions.

Occasionally I get a chargeback letter from the merchant services department of my bankers telling me that someone has used fraudulent card details on my site and as such the money is recovered from my business bank account and returned to the genuine card holder.I’m assuming that this is the same with all Internet companies, and whilst I’m absolutely fine with the principle I’ve just discovered quite how little is done behind the scenes in order to discourage card fraud in the future.

The catalyst for my rant Read the rest

Windows Gallery

After talking about Vista so much just recently I got thinking about new gadgets that I could download and integrate into the Windows sidebar when I came across the Windows Live Gallery website ( particular website which has been set up by Microsoft contains literally hundreds of small pieces of software that can be used alongside a Vista installation, along with software compatible with previous versions of Windows through the Windows Live service.

The Windows Sidebar is one of the new developments built into Windows Vista - it sits on the right hand side of your screen and contains ‘gadgets’ which can be best described as mini applications.Out of the box Vista contains eleven gadgets, Calendar, Clock, Contacts, CPU Meter, Currency conversion, RSS Feed Headlines, Notes, Picture Puzzle, Slide Show, Stocks, and Weather.Fortunately the community is free to develop further gadgets and this is the main interest of Read the rest

OpenOffice 2.2

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been driven slowly mad by Microsoft Office 2007 and its new “easier to use” interface which I just can’t get my head around.The problem is that I’ve always been used to using keyboard short cuts and knowing exactly where to look for a particular function within a given menu or sub menu.I can go for hours on end without even thinking about touching the mouse and now Microsoft have completely changed everything around and whilst it looks very pretty it is seriously slowing me down!

Don’t get my wrong, all in all Office 2007 is a lovely new piece ofsoftware, but it’s because of these teething problems that my mind started wondering back to several years ago when I first used a piece of open source software going by the name of OpenOffice and decided to give it another go.

Now up to Read the rest

Windows Vista Part II

Last week I talked to you about Microsoft’s new Operating System ‘Windows Vista’ and discussed the functionality updates that have been introduced and how they could possibly benefit you.Those that missed my original article can check out to download a copy.

As half the measure of a good Operating System is determined by its applications I think we now need to focus on this particular aspect of Vista.I promised last week that we would look in to the bundled applications and as I see it the below points highlight the most significant developments in this particular area of Vista:

Windows Sidebar – This is a transparent panel anchored to the side of the screen which allows the user to place small applets (known as Desktop Gadgets) which are designed for a specific purpose such as displaying your instant messaging contacts or the day view from your calendar.You aren’t confined Read the rest