Archive for October, 2009

PayPay security key

October 27th, 2009

Earlier in the year I waffled of at BarCampLeeds about multi factor authentication and tried to persuade everyone to get a PayPal security key.

I learned at Charity Hack that PayPal were discontinuing the security key. I don’t know the full story, but it has been suggested that it could be because of cost.

The security key has essentially been replaced by SMS in the UK. So now you can register your mobile number, and when you try and log in as normal PayPay will send you an SMS message with a one time password to enter. Although not 100% secure or reliable this does overcome the authentication security concerns affecting most PayPal users. Because of this I strongly recommend you use it if it is practical for you to do so.

Now the good news. You can still purchase a PayPay security key for £3 from the US PayPay site, and it is the amazing credit card sized hardware key pictured above. This key can also be used on ebay and other VIP web sites. There are no excuses, even if you only log in once a year you should please get one now.

Manager Tools Effective Manager and Effective Communications Conferences, London

October 20th, 2009

I have been a Manager Tools podcast listener for quite some time and have found it most useful in my business career. It is a product of the American businessmen Mark Horstman and Mike Auzenne. They have taken there military experience and applied it to modern day business practices with amazing effect. The podcast is a great learning resource if you are new to management or wanting to improve your skills by learning from others. You can find out more and download the podcast at

The reason why I mention this is that mark and Mike are holding two one day conferences in London next January. The first day is the Effective Manager conference, and the second is the Effective Communications conference held the following day.

Currently I can not justify spending this kind of money on a one day conference so will not be attending, but if you can justify spending the money I do recommend looking at spending it on this.

Hardware Hack Day in Newcastle?

October 6th, 2009

At last night’s Dorkbot Newcastle the idea of organising a hardware focused Hack Day before the second European Maker Faire in Newcastle was floated.

A “hack day” is when like minded people get to together to create things. This would create interesting things to demonstrate at the Maker Faire, bring people together and introduce others to our local tech community, and help support anyone stuck on an element of there home brew projects.

This will not be a massive event with lots of the razzmatazz of larger Hack Days, but should still be a fun event focused on producing interesting things.

It could be a one or two day event, or perhaps even spread over several evenings. It could also be a weekend event, or potentiality in the days before the Maker Faire. It all depends on what people and when we can squeeze it in.

So…. What are your thoughts? Are you interested in attending? When is good for you? Please let me know your thoughts.