After seeing the HTC Flyer over the weekend I am now dying to get my hands on one. After a recent search to see what other tablets were available at this price range or for even less I stumbled upon this:

HTC Flyer (32GB 3G and WiFi) for £479.99

HTC Flyer (32GB 3G and WiFi) for £479.99

Yes… You have read it right. The 3G/WiFi version of the HTC Flyer for the price of the WiFi HTC Flyer. To me this looks like a mistake for the very reason just mentioned (they have got it mixed up with the price of the WiFi Flyer). However it is not just that. They clearly State that it has a 32GB capacity which is ONLY available for the 3G version and my other theory that this was the US version (without a pen) was proved wrong by the description.

Obviously I had no choice but to buy one of these at that bargain price and you can do the same, providing they don’t change anything! I will keep you updated with the status of my order and obviously when it arrives I will do a FULL unboxing and review!

UPDATE: The description on the best buy page has now been modified for the WiFi, 16GB version. However, the tablet I ordered has arrived and it is indeed the 32GB, 3G version. Hope you all took my advice and ordered when you could in order to save £120 on the HTC Flyer. I suppose I owe a big thank-you to Best Buy for sending what the desription said and honouring their part of the transaction.

HTC Flyer on Best Buy (16GB WiFi) for £479.99

HTC Flyer on Best Buy after it had been corrected


Screenshot of Rob Twizz's twitter profile showing over 123,000 followers.

The mysterious Robert Twizz profile

Last night chaos erupted on twitter when hundreds of thousands of people started seeing tweets in their time line from a mysterious Rob Twizz. Most people’s initial reaction (including mine after my sister told me about the strange tweets popping up in her time line) was that their accounts had been hacked to start following him, or RTwizz had found an exploit to get people to follow him without permission (similar to a bug twitter had a few years ago) however after some research I found this to be quite different.

Robert Twizz

Robert Twizz

Apparently this Robert Twizz is a “Rapper with a sense of humour”. He already had a moderate on-line presence before this event with YouTube videos and a group of fans following him on his ‘old’ and supposedly hacked twitter account. Apparently for this wannabe rapper, his 2,000 followers on his old profile just wasn’t enough and he needed to do something big to get more followers and he had been planning this for a very long time.

Screenshot of Robert Twizz's old twitter account with just over 2000 followers

@rtwizz's Twitter profile

Despite not being as interesting or as ingenious as finding an exploit to make users follow him or being able to hack into peoples account directly and change make them follow him, what Robert Twizz did was more deceptive, cunning and to be totally honest; simple. Robert Twizz (or a friend of his if you are to take his tweets in defence as truth) had an account under the name of Justin Lee Collins which he created 2 years ago and left dormant for people to start following, in the thought that it was the official Justin Lee Collins. After accumulating 130,000 followers under the name of someone else the account was then totally re-branded to the identity of RTwizz in every way possible. The user name and name on the account were change, the profile picture and background picture, the bio and anything else that could link this account with its previous identity was removed and then last night Robert Twizz sent his first tweet.

Rob Twizz's First Tweet - "S/O to ALL my followers! if im not following you let me know so I can follow back! How is everyones day ?"

Rob Twizz's First Tweet

If you look over all of Rob’s tweets he is trying to come across as genuine in an attempt to keep the followers that he has ‘obtained’ and in some cases is close to begging people not to unfollow however it is these tweets on his feed that allowed me to uncover everything about what Rob was up to. The first clue was thanks to a response which lead me to a tweet sent to him from @CarlyBunny.

First Clue: "@tidygraphic Saw a tweet saying @officialrtwizz was actually the Justin Lee Collins account - he hacked or used the name 2 get followers."

My first clue!

Not only did this tweet make me realise that these people were probably following this user before (as he was not showing in any of the affected users recent follows) but also gave me a name to work with. Despite having this, I was still uncertain on whether on not this was a fake account just re-branded or a famous person’s account hacked or if it was something all together different. What really confirmed that it was not a twitter exploit of some sort was his later tweets to other people accusing him of hacking.

The response to the first clue from Robert Twizz: "@CarlyBunny @tidygraphic no i didnt this account was built and than givin to me"

The response to the first clue from Robert Twizz

Screen shot showing some of the lists that @officialrtwizz was listed in.

Screen shot showing some of the lists that @officialrtwizz was listed in - click to view full size.

In all of his responses he mentions that someone else “built” the twitter account. The way it was phrased was subtle but most certainly suggests that the account was created through deception. Now armed with the method and a possible name for the previous identity of this account I had to find some convincing evidence that this account was previously owned by Justin Lee Collins or was under his name. To do this I thought of something that identifies a twitter account that not only would be impossible for Rob to remove but would actually be something that he would want to keep: the places that the account was listed.

Surely enough this lead to confirmation. The lists were typical of all the sorts of things that Justin Lee Collins would be listed in: “celebs”, “comedians”, “famous”, “tv” and my personal favourite, a list for all the Justin’s of the world, “@justingould/justins“.

After speaking with many people who this has affected they have all confirmed that they may have followed a fake Justin Lee Collins account or even a real Justin Lee Collins account that was hacked. To clear up the arguments I was having on twitter as to whether or not this was the real account of Justin Lee Collins hacked or a fake one built with the intention of re-branding in this way I had a bit more investigation to do. I did a search on the net for the official account of Justin Lee Collins and soon stumbled upon a website confirming that there was a fake twitter account set up in Justin Lee Collins’ name.

An account of Justin Lee Collins, Confirmed fake by Justins agent. (16/02/09)

A fake account on an interesting date!

Unfortunately the site didn’t mention the user name of this account or give a link to it but what it did give was some dates. The post shown above was published on the 4th of February 2009 with the confirmation from Justin’s Agent on the 16th. Looking at these dates I notice something. Earlier in my investigations I was interested to see when the account was set up to see if that would give any clues. As soon as I saw the date on this article I instantly realised!

@officialrtwizz joined twitter on January 27, 2009

@officialrtwizz joined twitter on January 27, 2009

If this wasn’t confirmation enough then I don’t know what is. In the fast moving world of twitter and the internet, if a mildly convincing fake twitter account was set up for a relatively famous person, it would not have taken long from the date of creation to the date when the fake was uncovered and confirmed. The dates here line up perfectly and with the other facts (especially that all affected users seem to know who Justin Lee Collins is and think they may have followed him some time in the past) there is no arguing that Rob Twizz (or someone he knew) set up the account in 2009 with this outcome in mind.

In conclusion, whether you are now following @officialrtwizz or not we need to show Mr. Twizz that deception is not the way to get followers – you need to do it the hard way like everyone else. Please block and report that account for spam. When enough people have done this, the account will flag up for twitter as suspicious activity and will then hopefully get deleted as in my opinion this is just as bad as spamming these people, who don’t want to read his tweets or even be following him! Oh and if you really don’t like R. Twizz’s audacity, feel free to block his old account too: @rtwizz!

UPDATE: He has now named himself @newforyou321 and once again attempted to delete all identifying features of his account, including tweets and profile picture and name! Think he is waiting for the heat to die down to make ANOTHER attempt! Will this guy ever give up?

UPDATE: He changed to @MatthewKader for a bit and now he is @Shallowking! I don’t quite know what he is up to? Is this another fake identity he is taking to try and boost his following again? Does he not realise that as tweeting as Matthew Kline Kader he is still going to loose followers that wanted to follow Justin Lee Collins? Has it now been sold on to someone else?


Cake with candles on-top representing "100"

Celebrating my 100th Post!

Without even realising I have passed my 100th post here on my blog! Most of that came over the last year where my blogging really increased in terms of volume however 100 posts is actually quite small for a blog and this is due to my limited time constraints. I have really started to enjoy blogging which is something I wasn’t sure would catch on for me! I remember my very first attempts at blogging years ago on my MySpace Blog but I just couldn’t think what to blog about! I now have the problem I have too much to blog about and not enough time to write and put together the blogs!

I think the major reason for my interest in blogging since I got this blog is the fact it is my own brand/identity with my own domain and even my own short-urls! It is also thanks to WordPress which make blogging such an easy and enjoyable experience while also bringing out the web developer in me with plugins that I have started designing.

I would just like to thank all my readers over the years and to let you know that in 2011 I hope to REALLY start blogging on a regular basis with hopefully interesting and up to date content! Happy Reading!


Last weekend, I decided to tempirarily change phone to a BlackBerry (since my HTC Touch Pro’s space bar was broken) which I had mannaged to get for free as it was supposedly broken. Apparently it would not charge and it was also missing a trackball. Well the charging issue was easy enough to fix as it was not a problem for me and the trackball I was able to fix by spending £1.99 on eBay – admitedly, I bought a purple trackball over a white one, as it was cheaper and not only was the phone missing a trackball but a plastic ring that goes round it.
Once I had the BlackBerry all up and running, I wacked my SIM card in and started using it – to my releif the web browser worked and – thought I wouldn’t have to give in to giving RIM £5 per month to get BIS.
Obviously a person like me who is an avid tweeter would need to download twitter as their first app. After doing this, I then realised using BlackBerry App World to download all my other stuff would be easier so I downloaded that.
After downloading an array of other apps I then tried to set them up. I started with twitter and facebook. Neither of which worked – both stating connection errors. I then tried some other and most gave connection error with the odd exception!
I spent absolutly hours baffled by the anomily that resulted in some apps (including Blackberry App World).
It was only later when I tried to set-up my gmail that I realised. To add an email account on a blackberry you must integrate it and it was when I tried to do this that I realised how RIM have made it almost imposible to use your BlackBerry to the most of its capability without paying £5 per month.
To use email on a BlackBerry, you must first purchase £5 to get BIS enabled. This is fair enough in the corperate scenario where they are trying to access email through a BES as it is like purchasing a user CAL for your server, but when you just want to add your free webmail account you should be able to do this through standardised and open protocols like on most other phones. For someone who has been using Microsoft Push Email for years, this was an outrage!
I personally need access to my emails on the go and if I was going to use this blackberry as my temporary phone, I would need to get BIS! After 3 phone calls and eventually getting through to the T-Mobile retentions deppartment and mannaged to haggle 350 minutes in return for BIS – which was much better than the origional offer of downgrading from 600 to 350 minutes, Unlimited to 300 texts and the loss of my standard ‘always-connected’ internet.
It didn’t take long for the BIS to become active and after it was, what do you know? Oh…. All the apps that I downloaded that could not access the internet and were all ‘coincidentially’ made by Research in Motion started to work! Convinient how you pay them £5 per month and suddenly all standard services that you’d be able to use on any other phone using normal ‘always-connected’ internet start to work!
In my opinion, this is totally outrageous. You are basically paying £5 per month for the privilage of owning a BlackBerry and do you know what the worst bit is? The majority of BlackBerry owners don’t even realise they are paying this premium.
The amount of people who own a BlackBerry because of the BBM feature, really are very naïve. They all say how with a BlackBerry they get BBM which allows unlimted chat to their friends but it only works if your friends have BlackBerries. For the £5 they are paying for that privilige they could be getting more minutes and unlimites text which they could use to anyone on any network; not just BlackBerry owners!
For those who then have the argument that BBM gives more funtionaily than text messaging, then unlimited internet would allow you to use social networking, instant messaging and push email. All of which would provide an experience that surpasses the features of BlackBerry Messenger.
In my opinion BIS only makes sense for companies that have BES!


As of version 0.3.0 there have been some changes to the syntax of the Flatr Shortcode Widget so I have rewritten this guide accordingly! There are still the 3 methods that there were before for inserting the widget however for this guide, I have simplified it down to two!

Simple

The simple method (as the name suggests) is the easiest way to add a widget to your blog posts and pages! It will use all the default settings and all you have to do is insert the code!

[flattr /]

When you use this simple widget, here is how your widget will be configured:

  • The button type will be set to large
  • The User ID will be set to the author’s flattr id (if it is set and enabled in the settings), failing that it will be set to the default flattr ID set on the settings page or through the official Flattr plugin.
  • The title will be set to the Page/Post title
  • The description will be set to the Page/Post excerpt
  • The category will be set to text
  • The language will be set to English
  • Tags will not be set
  • The url will be set to the Page/Post’s permalink
  • The thing will not be hidden from listings on flattr.com

Advanced

You can also customise this code so that you can manually set the variables when calling the shortcode.

[flattr uid='{uid}' btn='{btn}' tle='{tle}' dsc='{dsc}' cat='{cat}' lng='{lng}' tag='{tag}' url='{url}' hide='{hide}' anc={anc} setanc={setanc} qty={qty} /]

All variables are optional (defaults will be used if left blank). If, for example, you wanted the default url you could exclude all “url=’{uid}’ ” and the default would be used. Leaving a variable empty will also result in the default being used but it is probably best practise to remove variables you are not going to be using.

To use edit the shortcode you should change the parameter values (indicated with curly brackets surrounding them). The parameters are:

  • btn – This is the type of button you would like to display. To get the compact button use ‘compact’ otherwise the default (large) button is displayed.
  • uid – This is your personal user id. If not defined, it The User ID will be set to the author’s flattr id (if it is set and enabled in the settings), failing that it will be set to the default flattr ID set on the settings page or through the official Flattr plugin, otherwise the widget will fail and return an error!
  • tle – This is the title of the thing you want to submit. This is typically the title of your blog entry or software name. If undefined the title of your Post/Page will be used.
  • dsc – This is the full excerpt of the content. Some blog text or information about your song you’ve written or so forth. If undefined excerpt title of your Post/Page will be used.
  • cat – This is the flattr category the content belongs to. You can choose between the following: text, images, video, audio, software, rest. If undefined text will be used.
  • lng – Language of the submitted thing. List of available languages. If undefined Enlgish (en_GB) will be used.
  • tag – This is the tags of the thing, to help people finding your content easier on the Flattr website. If you want to use multiple tags, separate using a normal comma (,) sign. If undefined no tags will be used.
  • url – This is the URL of the thing, if this is not always the same on your site. Maybe you have multiple domains with the same content. This is to lock the content to always be recognized as the same content for Flattr. If undefined the permalink of your Post/Page will be used. If you have an anchor that you want to append, it would be best practice to append it using the ‘anc’ parameter.
  • hide – Use this to hide the thing from listings on flattr.com. The value ‘true’ or ‘t’ will hide the thing. If undefined the the thing will be shown on listings on flattr.com.
  • anc – Appends an anchor to the url (saves you having to write the whole URL just to add an anchor). If a unique anchor is used on each widget it allows for multiple widget on the same URL. This must be unique otherwise 2 widgets with the same ‘url’ and ‘anc’ they will be the for the same flattr. Default is blank.
  • setanc – This value is ignored if no anchor is set, if it is set then it will add a code to the top of the widget so that the defined anchor redirects to the widget’s location. This means that when people follow the link from flattr.com, they will be taken to the location of the widget on the page. This is good if you want to have multiple flattrs for different sections and you put the flattr widget at the top of each section. Set to ‘1’ to set to true, ‘0’ to set to false. Set to false if you want to manually input the anchor code (if for example you wanted it elsewhere rather than at the point of the widget or you just wanted the backlink from flattr.com to go to your page as normal)
  • qty – Allows for you to have as many Flattr widgets as you want. Whatever number you set the value to will be the ammount of unique flattr widgets that will be created. Uses anchors to make them unique and is compatible with the ‘anc’ variable – it may cause problems if an anchor is set in the ‘url’ variable. Default is ‘1’.


Contents
    • New Features
      • Flattr Shortcode Syntax Modified
      • Flattr Shortcode Widget Settings
    • Change Log
    • Bugs
    • Features
    • Download

Sorry for the dellay in posting an accompanying blog post to the recent update of the Flattr Shortcode Widget! I must say I am very excited about this new build as it is the start of a lot of great new features that will be coming soon so watch this space!

Click here to go to the download page.

New Features

Flattr Shortcode Syntax Modified

This is not a new feature but is certainly something any existing users should be aware of! The syntax for the shortcode has changed! It is only a minor change and the widget is still backwards compatible but I do plan to eventually remove backwards compatibility all together so it would be best to update to the new syntax. The new syntax stops a lot of common bugs that was happening and makes it all a lot clearer. To find out more about the new syntax view the new syntax information.

Flattr Shortcode Widget Settings

There is now a Flattr Shortcode Settings Page which can be found under the settings tab of your WordPress administration. From this page you can edit/set the default UID for the blog. Currently this is still linked to the official flattr widgets setting however this will soon become independent! The main advantage of this new feature is that you can now set a default flattr UID to be used even if you do not have the official Flattr Widget.

On this page you also have the option to enable/disable author specific UIDs. Having this feature enabled adds a new option to the profile page for a user’s flattr ID. When users who have set their flattr ID make a post their UID will automatically be used for shortcodes they use within their posts! This makes it great for use on multi-author sites!

Change Log

0.3.0

  • NEW: Flattr UID option for induvidual users allowing each user to have their own default Flattr UID
  • NEW: Options Page to set the default Flattr UID for the blog
  • UPDATE: Flattr Shortcode modified – new uid tag added

0.2.3

  • UPDATE: More tags added

0.2.2

  • BUG FIX: Feeds would try and render the javascript button.
  • NEW: RSS displays a Flattr this image in substitute of the js widget but this links to the flattr home page due to Flattr API restictions
  • BUG FIX: Default widget size is not reset to large after creating a compact widget if the Official Flattr Widget is not installed.
  • BUG FIX: Name change was not fully migrated

0.2.1

  • BUG FIX: Anchor now set when used with multi-flattr feature
  • BUG FIX: Anchors <a> tag is now closed properly
  • UPDATE: Additional flattrs made by multi-flattr are hidden from listing on flattr.com to stop spamming
  • BUG FIX: Further whitespace removal to all variables

0.2.0

  • NEW: Anchors added so that multiple flattrs can be used on the same URL
  • NEW: Your backlink from flattr can link straight back to the widget rather than just back to the page (uses anchors)
  • NEW: You can define how many flattr widgets you want to be generated and each work independantly (allows multiple flattrs)
  • NEW: You can use multiple flattrs and anchor features simultaniously
  • UPDATE: All true/flase values must now be set to ‘1’ (true) or ‘0’ (flase)
  • BUG FIX: Hide not always set to true
  • BUG FIX: Default language now works
  • UPDATE: Arrays now used instead of lots of independant variables
  • BUG FIX: Whitespace in variables that would cause the widget to fail is now removed

0.1.4

  • BUG FIX: Decription was not filled in if not manually set and was therefore required

0.1.3

  • BUG FIX: Problems with svn sync fixed
  • BUG FIX: Version numbers corrected

0.1.2

  • UPDATE: Widget name changed from “Flattr Widget” to “Flattr Shortcode Widget”

0.1.1

  • UPDATE: Major updates to readme.txt
  • NEW: Added to WordPress Plugin Directory
  • BUG FIX: Bug that interfered default size of widget for official plugin has been corrected

Bugs

Please report bugs in the comments

Known Bugs

  • None

Features

If there are any features you would like then please request them in the comments

Features in development

  • More development on the Settings pages to allow default setting for the shortcode widget to be set
  • Separation from the official widget
  • Graphical shortcode generator

Download

Click here to go to the download page.


For a long time now, I have been using the YOURLS WordPress plugin to post updates to my twitter feed when I create a blog post. Since I am the only person who posts on this blog I could quite safely set the Tweet message to “%T” by @flungo – %U but I now want to experiment and see if I can link this with the Twitter User plugin. The Twitter User plugin simply adds a field to the user’s profile for their twitter name so I now want to see if setting the Tweet message to “%T” by @%A{twitter} – %U will output a tweet automatically using my twitter username.

In the case of my blog this is not important as there is only one person who posts (me) but for other people who have blogs with more than one poster this could be useful.

UPDATE: It worked as can be seen here. I will make a full guide to setting this up and configuring it soon!


At the moment I am currently trying to improve the standard of this blog. As a result I am going through and consolidating. I am reducing the amount of categories I have, and will then have to go through every post, recategorising and also tagging. I also hope to make sure that all the pages are finished and that the site is easier to navigate.

For these changes to happen it will take some time and there may be periods of short downtime (but hopefully not) and the blog may become a bit unorganised (with regards to categories). Not everything can happen all at once and the improvements will slowly develop. You may also find that pages might not be finished and half written while work is being one to them.


I have now integrated Flattr and the Facebook Like Button into my blog. This will allow easier sharing of the things you read on my blog as well help towards the running of my blog! The new Like button appears the top and bottom of each blog post. If you have a flattr account and want to flattr me then you can flattr my blog by using the widget in the sidebar, or flattr my posts by using the button at the bottom of each.

Dont know what Flattr is? I will be posting another blog with info about Flattr as well as giving away 3 invites to Flattr! Watch this space and subscribe to my blog for updates when I post my blogs about it!

If you would be interested in getting flattr for comments where you can earn by commenting, then please leave a comment outlining your interest bellow and it will be considered!


I got a bit bored last week and decided to look into how to make extensions for Google Chrome. After about 30 seconds of looking I realised that the basics are ridiculously easy! This lead to me making the Google Chrome extension for this blog which allows you to quickly see the latest posts and access them.

Fabrizio Lungo's Blog Chrome Extension (Version 0.4)

The extension is by no means completed or anywhere near a finished product but it is a start! There will be a lot more functionality in the future as well as a better design.

You can download the BETA of the extension now from the Google Chrome extension gallery now. You must remember that it is in BETA so functionality is limited.

I will be posting a tutorial blog showing how to make a simple extension like this to really prove how easy it is!