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Alastair Revell is the Managing Consultant of Revell Research Systems, a Management and Technology Consulting Practice based at Exeter in the United Kingdom.
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The material published in this web log is for general purposes only. It does not constitute nor is it intended to represent professional advice. You should always seek specific professional advice in relation to particular issues. The information in this web log is provided "as is" with no warranties and confers no rights. The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions.

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Review Entries for Day Saturday, April 07, 2007
I understand from Tom Hollander's Blog that Microsoft's Pattern & Practices team have just released Enterprise Library 3.0.
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Saturday, April 07, 2007 12:56:42 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Comments [0] .NET | Coding | Trackback

Review Entries for Day Thursday, April 05, 2007

Just a quick announcement that Revell Research Systems has just launched a new web site to promote the undergraduate prize that it established at the University of Plymouth last year.

The prize is awarded annually to the best final-year student on the BSc(Hons) Computing programme, which is delivered by the university's School of Computing, Communications and Electronics.

The new web site is at


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Thursday, April 05, 2007 11:27:53 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Wednesday, March 28, 2007
I read recently that laptops are becoming more popular than ever and, based on sales, are likely to overtake the humble desktop in the nearing future in terms of units shipped. Other than the fact the laptops tend to be much more expensive to run, I am increasingly concerned about how they really are often the "security backdoor" into the corporate network.
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Wednesday, March 28, 2007 6:56:07 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Comments [0] General | Security | Trackback

Review Entries for Day Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I was surprised that for the first time in ages Microsoft won't be issuing any critical security patches as part of their monthly "Second Tuesday" patching cycle (although I understand some non-security upgrades may be offered through Microsoft Update, etc).

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007 9:14:01 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Monday, February 26, 2007

I've just read Daniel Robinson's article "Flash needs a content kill switch" in today's issue (26th February 2007) of IT Week in which he expresses his opinion that many web designers over use Flash content. He is particularly upset by its use by advertisers and notes that it presents serious usability issues.

I fully support his opinion. I strongly believe that web sites should be mainly constructed using HTML rather than Adobe Flash content. I generally only consider Flash content to be acceptable where it is being used to enhance existing content. This might be by providing a product demonstration, fly-through or some other interactive presentation in addition to HTML accessible content about the same topic.

I would also concede that sometimes a small amount of Flash content can enhance the visual aspect of a page, but the page should certainly be capable of display without the Flash plug-in being loaded (ie: the content is optional) and should not be an essential part of the message.

I very rarely wait for Flash-only sites to load. However, if a generally non-Flash web site sufficiently fires my enthusiasm about something I am interested in, I will wait to see its interactive Flash demonstration - but I like to be given the option so that I know what I am letting myself in for.

My lack of enthusiasm does not appear to be unique. I have come across many people who have cursed Flash content - most recently Daniel Robinson.

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Monday, February 26, 2007 4:31:28 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I would just like to warn business people in the United Kingdom who might have recently completed a Self-Assessment Tax Return of a particularly ingenious (if not nasty) phishing scam.

Technically, it is not much as far as phishing scams go, but its timing and content might just lull some people into acting on it.

The email advises the recipient that HM Revenue and Customs have just completed their calculation of the recipient's tax return and notifies them that they have actually overpaid some tax.

The deadline for the submission of self-assessment tax returns is the 31st January, so such an email is at least plausible in February - and who would not be pleased to receive a tax rebate?

The email lures the victim to a repayment page, which asks for their account details, and I suspect that this is where their nightmares would really start if they did provide their details...

The actual email contains absolutely no information relating to the recipient, which should ring the alarm bells of those receiving them.

My comments on another (technically much nastier) phishing scam earlier this month about looking out for and including "shared interactions" in your emails apply here, so if you think you might have been lured, then you should read that blog entry too.

You have been warned!!

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007 4:53:22 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Wednesday, February 07, 2007
There is a particularly nasty phishing scam in circulation, which has been reported on by Tom Young of Computing (6th February 2007). Apparently, the scam involves an email with a (fraudulent) link to an "as yet" un-named British bank. Most such links in this sort of scam email actually point to an address that is different to that of the bank's real web site. It may be very similar to the real thing, but nonetheless, it is different.
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Wednesday, February 07, 2007 3:34:53 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
Comments [0] Security | Trackback

Review Entries for Day Saturday, January 27, 2007

It never quite ceases to amaze me that Moore's Law continues to hold.

Moore's Law (which was first articulated in 1965 by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore) is based on an empirical observation that the number of transistors on a chip can be doubled every 24 months.

It has not been broken since 1965 and seems set to continue because Intel has just announced that it will start production this year of 45nm transistor technology, which means that Moore's Law will continue to hold for the foreseeable future.

There has been a lot of speculation in recent years that we are reaching the limits of how densely transistors can be placed on a chip due to their ever shrinking size, which is now close to the size of an individual atom, although Moore himself doesn't think this will be an issue for another decade or two.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007 12:17:30 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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