Update: BBC Radio 4 FM stream

One of the most visited posts on this site is my list of the direct stream URLs for BBC Radio services. Since it was posted, the BBC have revamped their streaming infrastructure, and most internet radio services can only access the Long Wave version of Radio 4. This is hugely annoying, as it includes guff like The Daily Service.

Thanks to the BBC HTML 5 Beta, we seem to have a working .m3u8 for Radio 4 FM. For your delectation (terms & conditions apply, the value of your internet radio device may go down as well as up: BBC Radio 4 FM .m3u8

Posted in tech | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Camille’s new website is launched

One of my favourite people has just launched a website for her psychodynamic psychotherapy practice in West London: www.camilledestempel.com.

Posted in friends | Comments Off on Camille’s new website is launched

Pinterest and using the X-Frame-Options header for security

Nancy was having some trouble getting her application to create Pinterest Rich Pins working. The validator tool (and tech support) were not very helpful. The error just said:

We were unable to retrieve any data from your URL.

Pinterest Validator tool failure

I tried verifying that there was no intra-AWS connectivity issues (Pinterest’s tool lives in AWS, but so does Nancy’s site),¬† but I could see in the Apache logs that Pinterest was getting an HTTP-200 OK response.

It then dawned on me that I had – in a fit of security consciousness – turned on click-jacking protection on all my self-hosted domains.

The only problem being, Pinterest uses an IFRAME to validate that your Rich Pins are correctly marked up with Schema.org tags. By using X-FRAME-OPTIONS: SAMEORIGIN, I was blocking the tool from framing the page, and thus validating the content.

Sure enough, turning the click-jacking protection off fixes it.

So, if you are seeing the error “We were unable to retrieve any data from your URL” with the Pinterest Rich Pins Validator, you may want to check your site to see if you’re using¬† X-FRAME-OPTIONS using SecurityHeaders.io’s handy tool.

Posted in tech | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Problems with external webcam and Mac OS X Mavericks & Yosemite

My main computer is a Mac Mini, so it doesn’t have a built-in iSight camera like Apple’s laptops and iMacs.

Since my beloved Firewire iSight camera died, I’ve been using a Microsoft LifeCam HD – recommended by many for use with Macs.

With both OS X Mavericks and Yosemite I’ve noticed that the auto-exposure is completely off in all applications – Apple’s own apps like Facetime and Photo Booth, as well as Microsoft’s Skype. As USB webcams are plug-and-play in OS X, there is no interface for adjusting settings, which is mighty annoying.

Here is what video performance is like on the LifeCam, compared to my MacBook’s built-in cam.

massively over-exposed - and no way to adjust it

massively over-exposed – and no way to adjust it

well balanced video, no need to tweak

well-balanced video, no need to tweak

Googling around, I found a post by Dominic Szablewski that addressed this exact issue. His free little app fixed the auto-exposure problem, although I’m not sure the fix will stick. Huzzah!

Posted in tech | Comments Off on Problems with external webcam and Mac OS X Mavericks & Yosemite