Archive for category Internet & Computers

Windows Store Apps: Add a Privacy Policy link to Settings Charm (C# & JavaScript)

In my (little) spare time recently, I’ve been playing around with developing Windows 8 Store apps. I submitted my very first app to the Store this week and unfortunately the app failed the certification process.

The reason for failure was simple… I requested Internet Connection permissions in the app and therefore, based on the Windows Store App certification requirements, I should have included a Privacy Policy link within the app. In fact, I needed to include the Privacy Policy link from the Settings Charm.

Of course, having never done this before I had no idea how to do this. After much searching, I finally figured out how to do this.

So if your app has failed in your quest to be certified, here’s the simple steps required to get a Privacy Policy link included in the Settings Charm for your Windows Store app….

C# Solution

1. Add the following name spaces
using Windows.UI.ApplicationSettings;
using Windows.UI.Popups;

2. Add the event handler to your app initialisation
SettingsPane.GetForCurrentView().CommandsRequested += SettingCharmManager_CommandsRequested;

3. Then add the following methods…
public SettingCharmManager()
{

SettingsPane.GetForCurrentView().CommandsRequested += SettingCharmManager_CommandsRequested;
}
private void SettingCharmManager_CommandsRequested(SettingsPane sender, SettingsPaneCommandsRequestedEventArgs args)
{
args.Request.ApplicationCommands.Add(new SettingsCommand(“privacypolicy”, “Privacy Policy”, PrivacyPolicyLink));
}

private async void PrivacyPolicyLink(IUICommand command)
{
Uri uri = new Uri(“<enter the full URL to your Privacy Policy here>”);
await Launcher.LaunchUriAsync(uri);
}

JavaScript Solution

var settingsPane = Windows.UI.ApplicationSettings.SettingsPane.getForCurrentView();
function commandsRequested(eventArgs) {
    var applicationCommands = eventArgs.request.applicationCommands;
    var privacyCommand = new Windows.UI.ApplicationSettings.SettingsCommand('privacy', 'Privacy Policy', function() {
        window.open('<enter your Privacy Policy URL here');
    });
    applicationCommands.append(privacyCommand);
}
settingsPane.addEventListener("commandsrequested", commandsRequested);

 

Assuming your Privacy Policy link is valid, you should not fail for this reason on your next app submission! :)

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UPC Broadband WiFi Router susceptible to a simple brute force attack

Many Internet users in Ireland are well aware of the Eircom wireless router hack that showed just how easy it would be for someone to compromise the poor security design of some Wifi routers. In Eircom’s case, they were providing all their Broadband customers with routers that could be compromised and accessed by hackers, simply by using the digits of the routers default SSID. Hackers figured out that by using the digits set up by default when you turned on your Eircom wifi router, you could generate the routers password within seconds by compromising the poorly thought out security algorithm.

Now it seems, UPC broadband is the latest Irish broadband provider that could fall foul to potential hackers. It seems our ISPs, in an attempt I can only assume, to make the set up and install of their routers a simple task for their less tech savvy customers – does nothing but create holes for hackers to exploit.

Recently an Irish IT company, discovered that UPC’s broadband routers are susceptible to a brute force attack based on the algorithmn used to generate the passwords that they stick to the back of all their routers.

The hack is definitely not as easy to exploit as the one Eircom introduced, but it’s still very attainable to any serious hacker or even a hobbyist who just wants to leech their neighbours broadband connection.

Check out the article from PlanIT Computing on how UPC’s routers can be exploited and what you can do to prevent an attack on you.

http://www.planitcomputing.ie/blog/?p=325

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10 million UK consumers have used mobile commerce, problems? Of course!

iPhone & Intel Mobile Device

Image by Frank Gruber via Flickr

When a survey commisioned by Tealef, showed that 10 million UK consumers have used mobile commerce to order products or services through their mobile device I was impressed. I maybe should have been shocked that up 83% of those surveryed had a problem when using their mobile device to order, but I wasn’t.

Even with the speed of adoption of people using mobile devices to purchase items online, many of the platforms or websites simply don’t take into account the usability issues when using a phone to shop. A lot of the larger retailers who have mobile websites have done a good job at presenting the information in an easy to use format, but fall down when it comes to paying or logging into a website.

One pet hate of mine for a lot of mobile websites or apps is the inability to recover a forgotten password. In most cases, the forgot password option isn’t available on the mobile version of the website. This is clearly a security issue in that you could pick up someones for, log on to any site, run the forgot password tool and have the password emailed directly to the phone and volia, you’re in and have the password to probably everything the poor person uses for his life secrets!

But we all know there are simple ways around this. But it seems to be easier for most to ignore this or build in a mechanism for it. That may well be because they’re not sure if mobile is the way of the future. They’re going through a stage of “let’s suck it and see” before putting too much effort into changing how things work.

The problem with that approach is that we are left with a lot of consumers who will end up becoming dillusioned with the whole concept of mobile commerce. If it becomes too labourious to order something through a mobile device, wouldn’t you just prefer to go back to using your PC to order instead?

And that clearly appears to be what’s happening according to this study. A massive 29% of people surveryed abandon the transaction to complete later on their PC! 16% would more likely prefer to use their PC in future and more worryingly, 13% are likely to abandon the transaction altogether and try somewhere else.

I know personally these statistics are not something that are strange to me. As recently as last Saturday I went to put a bet on the Grand National and decided to try out the Paddy Power website. As someone who doesn’t bet very often, in fact once a year, I had completely forgotten the username and password associated with my Paddy Power account that I had used, well last year! Since there was no option to retrieve my password on the mobile device, I had to take out the laptop and retrieve my information from the main website.

In hindsight, maybe I shouldn’t have bothered at all because I certainly didn’t win! :)

I really can’t blame retailers for getting things wrong on this front – it’s a brand new medium that hasn’t been fully tested. We can only use our experience on how people interact with a browser on a laptop and try to second guess what people will want on a mobile device. We need much testing to really see what makes people tick on a mobile device.

There is one key point in all of this, a lot of people using a mobile device to access the Internet or online stores have probably never even used the Internet or shopped online. This is a brand new experience for them and we should all take this into account when developing our mobile websites and apps.

 

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Backend Layout (Grid View) Feature of the New Typo3 4.5 LTS

For anyone who has ever used Typo3 as a CMS, they would be well aware of the limitations associated with the layout of a page (backend layout) in the administration area.

Without hacking or using third party extensions such as TemplaVoila, it was pretty difficult to get anything more than the Left, Normal, Right & Border columns to add content elements to your website. For someone familiar with Typo3, it wasn’t a major problem, but as soon as you put the administration system in front of someone who was about to use it for the first time, it created nothing but confusion.

With the release of Typo3 4.5, Typo3 developers now have the ability to make a more user friendly admin page for content editors through their new core feature Grid View (Backend Layout).

With ease, we can now give the Typo3 user a more user friendly and intuitive admin page just by creating a few simple backend layout views that only helps people make a better association with the websites design.

I found it very hard to find any decent information online about how to implement the Backend Layout feature, so I’ve decided to put together this little tutorial on how you can get started.

Step 1 : Create Backend Layout
The first thing you need to do is create a system folder to store your backend layout templates.

Once you’ve created the new system folder, choose List (on LHS) > the System Folder > Click the “Create Record” button at the top of the RHS page. Then from there, you should choose “Backend Layout”.

On the next screen that loads, enter your Title (used to easily identify the layout) and click the Grid Wizard icon (pencil and notepad) beside the Config field. It is also a good idea to associate a simple graphical icon to help you identify the layout visually.

 

The Grid Wizard allows you to design a layout, in our simple example we use a Top Left, Top Right and Bottom style layout.

 

One thing to note here is that you MUST enter a Name and Column number for each column of the layout grid. If you don’t do this, you will get a “not assigned” error in the admin page.

The Grid View wizard creates the config code required to make it all work!

E.g.

backend_layout {
colCount = 2
rowCount = 2
rows {
1 {
columns {
1 {
name = TopLeft
colPos = 1
}
2 {
name = TopRight
colPos = 2
}
}
}
2 {
columns {
1 {
name = Bottom
colspan = 2
colPos = 3
}
}
}
}
}

Once you are happy with your layout, you can now begin to apply the layout to the backend page.

 

Step 2 : Apply Layout to Backend Page
This step is very simple, all you need to do is access the page properties of the page you would like the Backend Layout applied to. Choose the “Options” tab and at the bottom of this page, you should see the icons (if you’ve applied one to the layout) of the layout options you have available. If not, you can simply choose your layout from the drop down menu.

 

Step 3 : Apply to Front End Template
Nothing hugely changes much from a front end perspective. We all have our own ways of doing this I’m sure. But here’s a simple example of what we would do:

Layout.html File

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN”>

<html>
<head>
<title>Untitled</title>
</head>

<body>

<!– ###DOCUMENT_BODY### –>
<div id=”topLeft”>
<!– ###TOPLEFT### –>
TOPLEFT of page
<!– ###TOPLEFT### –>
</div>
<div id=”topRight”>
<!– ###TOPRIGHT### –>
TOPRIGHT of page
<!– ###TOPRIGHT### –>
</div>

<div id=”bottom”>
<!– ###BOTTOM### –>
BOTTOM of page
<!– ###BOTTOM### –>
</div>

<!– ###DOCUMENT_BODY### –>

</body>
</html>

 

TypoScript Set Up
page = PAGE
page.typeNum = 0

page.10 = TEMPLATE
page.10.template = FILE
page.10.template.file = fileadmin/layout.html

page.10 {
workOnSubpart = DOCUMENT_BODY
subparts.TOPLEFT< styles.content.get
subparts.TOPLEFT.select.where = colPos = 1

subparts.TOPRIGHT< styles.content.get
subparts.TOPRIGHT.select.where = colPos = 2

subparts.BOTTOM < styles.content.get
subparts.BOTTOM.select.where = colPos = 3

}

One final thing to do is make sure that you have included the CSS Styled Content in your statics!

That should be enough to get you started with this great new feature! Enjoy!!

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