Code Musings Opinion Personal Tech Web

BBC Homepage Beta Using jQuery

The BBC Beta Homepage is using jQuery, but unfortunately it’s ugly.

I should qualify that – I think it’s a good move to make the homepage more personalisable, but does it have to look so Web2.0?
Big text was a fad a year ago, but it’s too informal for an internationally recognised and respected news source, and it makes it look so childish – I dread to think what the new CBBC sites would look like!

I realise this is only a beta, and may well change considerably, but without a bit of a shrink I won’t be likely to use it as a homepage tab.

Rant Web

BT (‘British’ Tele-extortion) Woes

BT have me in a head-lock.

I get my phone and broadband service from them, and am charged, on average, £30 per month.
This is not overly excessive, but I wanted to reduce it somehow, since I’ve been made better offers by Virgin Media.

After digging through the website after looking at my online (paperfree) bill, I eventually find a number. (The usual 0800 800 150).
On calling this number I’m asked by the automated system whether I’m calling from the phone[line] I wish to talk about.
I am, and press ‘1’ to indicate as such. (The alternative is to enter the phone number.)
So why am I asked for that number every bleeding time I actually talk to a real human being?

I’m then asked for my account number for ID verification (though they are loathe to admit that’s why), oh, and my name and my address and postcode. (All of which are on the bill, so anyone who can intercept my bill can claim to be me.)

So, who do I speak with? Various people in India, that well-known British territory.
Is that why they can’t see my phone number, because they’re on some crappy-quality network 5000 miles away?

After explaining the reason for my call I’m told all the things I already know, the total cost of my last bill etc., and I have to suggest that we look into changing my broadband package. Oh no, that means I have to be put through to another department! Okay, fine, just get on with it.
“Welcome to BT. Your call may be recorded…” … “If you’re calling from the phone you wish to talk about…” Argh!

I give all my details again, and am eventually told that I might be better of upgrading my broadband package to avoid a repeat of “your recent email” notifying me that I went over my 8GB limit. That was about 6 months ago.

Can I just cancel my account? “Yes, but you’ll be charged the cancellation fee.”
Not actually a fee, just the whole bill (minus call charges) for the remainder of the contract, which is until August ’08.

Oh bugger.

Media Musings Reviews Tech

3 / Skype Marketing Technique

I was recently contacted by Matt of and offered the chance to trial a pair of 3 (the network) Skype
(the VoIP company) mobile phones ( for a month. (No obligation to do anything, other than the mention of returning them after a month.)

I thought it was an interesting marketing ploy – it seems very generous, but is probably not actually particularly expensive to such large companies.
I also thought it seemed a little risky – how many people will return the phones? How many people will actually generate any hype, and will it be positive?

The first link above will show that the scheme has been going for some time already and world-wide – highlighting one of the benefits of calls made using VoIP (i.e. via the internet).
You can also see that they’re being fair with the selection of linked blog articles – some have negative points about the phone.

I’m not going to review the phone itself since many others have done that already, unless enough people leave comments here.

Code Tech Tips Web

JavaScript Bug – Modulo of small numbers

It seems that there is a problem with the modulo function, ‘%’, in JavaScript.

For example: 10 % 0.1 should equate to zero but comes out as 0.09999999999999945 probably due to some internal floating-point rounding errors.

Easy solution (a hack really): Multiply both numbers by 1000 before using the modulo function.

Personal Web

Recursive Moved Itself

The highly observant amongst you may have noticed that I have moved this blog to my personal domain,
You should have been brought to this domain automatically, and I hope to fix the multitude of links online, but need the automatic move for those I can’t fix.
I’ve done this because I’m working to separate my freelance business,, from my personal stuff.

Eventually, the blog subdomain at jazzle will be replaced with a work related one.