The Blog

We had a hardware problem early this morning and again this afternoon around 4 to 5pm that meant that the Ecademy site was running very slowly. We're temporarily sorted this out and are currently investigating the cause to prevent it happening again.

Although this coincided with the new functions and changes going live, it was not actually related.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused. [from: JB Ecademy]

Key websites
- Twitterfeed Entries in an RSS feed copied to a Twitter account
- Twitter4Skype Twitter account updates copied to a Skype chat
- OpenID This page has a list of OpenID providers where you can get an OpenID
- RSS for your Ecademy status
- RSS for your Ecademy contact's status

Preparation. Get yourself an OpenID.

1. Copy your Ecademy status updates to your Twitter account
- Go to Twitterfeed.
- Log in with an OpenID
- Create a feed entry using your Ecademy status RSS
- Send it to your main Twitter account.
Every update on Ecademy also updates your Twitter

2. Copy your Ecademy Contact's status to a Twitter friend
- Create a dummy Twitter account (eg JBFeeds)
- Add this dummy account as a friend on your main Twitter account
- Go to Twitterfeed.
- Log in with an OpenID
- Create a feed entry using your Ecademy Contact's status RSS
- Send it to your dummy Twitter account. Prefix each tweet with: EC

Now you can see all your Twitter and Ecademy Friend's updates in one place.

3. Display your Ecademy Status on your Facebook profile
- Go to your Facebook profile.
- Add the Facebook Feeds RSS application
- Add the RSS for your Ecademy status as a feed

Your Ecademy status is now on your Facebook profile.

4. Add feeds from Facebook, Jaiku, Plazes, Ecademy to a Twitter Friend
- Follow on from 2. Seek out the RSS for all the other Status feeds for other services like Facebook, Jaiku, Plazes and add entries in Twitterfeed for them routed to your dummy Twitter user created in 2.
- Add a two letter prefix for each one like FB, EC, JK, PL

Now all your friend's on all your services can update their status and you'll see them all in one place.

5. Route all your Twitter updates to a Skype chat.
- Go here for a tutorial about Twitter to Skype.
1. Add twitter4skype as a contact.
2. Type the following as a single chat message to twitter4skype:

/account (alt+return)
yourtwitteraccountname (alt+return)
yourtwitteraccountpassword (alt+return)
3. The system should return: twitter4skype Registration complete!

All the status updates you've gathered together in 4. appear in this Skype chat. Set Notifications to off for this chat so it doesn't popup every 5 minutes. [from: JB Ecademy]

Here's a challenge.

You're in Thailand.

You have your UK passport.

You have a UK bank account with internet banking and money in the account . You don't have your cheque book with you.

You can get to an Internet cafe.

The ATM has just swallowed your Bank card.

How do you get cash in your hand? [from: JB Ecademy]

I'm going to try to Skypecast the London Event tonight with Don Tapscott for people who cannot attend.

At around 7:30pm (UK time), go to this web address and follow the instructions. You will need your Skype ID and Password. [from: JB Ecademy]

This is a little tricky so pay attention!

Go and get yourself the following:-
- A Twitter Account
- A Facebook account
- An OpenID
- The URL for the RSS from your Ecademy status. This will be something like
Where 9999 is your Ecademy #ID number.

1) Sign in to Twitterfeed with your OpenID.

2) Create an entry in Twitterfeed for your Ecademy Status RSS. Route it to your Twitter account.

3) Add the Twitter application to your Facebook profile.

4) Click on the button at the top of the Twitter application setup where it says "Want Twitter to update your Facebook status? Click here!"

Now when you update your Ecademy status, it will flow though to Twitter and then on to Facebook automatically. [from: JB Ecademy]

Some of you may have noticed that the Skype icons on Ecademy have changed and a lot of them now show a gray question mark. We made a change to the way Skype presence was displayed and these icons are now served direct by Skype's servers. This means that display of whether you're online should be more or less instant rather than delayed by an hour or not at all.

If you want your presence and status to be displayed, then you need to enable it in Skype. Within the Skype program the switch can be found in Tools, Options, Privacy, Privacy settings, and then check the box "Allow my status to be shown on the web". If you can't see the checkbox, click on "Advanced". The default is off, so if your Skype icon shows the gray question mark. you need to change it. [from: JB Ecademy]

There's a virus email doing the rounds that appears to be a message from Ecademy support. It's a Virus or Trojan. At least one copy that we've seen appears to have come from an ADSL broadband line in Chile. The headers are forged and made to look as though it's from a fake Yahoo email address with a fake Yahoo message ID.

Needless to say this is not from Ecademy, and is in no way connected with Ecademy servers, systems or people.

At first glance the message could be taken to be designed to be a malicious attack on Ecademy but I'm inclined to think that it's actually just an example of clever social engineering. It wouldn't surprise me if there are or will be very similar emails apparently about other social networks just as there are already about all the banks.

Ignore it. Don't open it. Delete it.

Julian Bond
Chief Technology Officer
Ecademy [from: JB Ecademy]

Over the last couple of days and again this evening we've had some problems with our database server.

It looks as though a request for an RSS feed was being made very frequently and this particular request was launching a database query that was inefficient and slow. The combination was overloading the database and leading to the site being extremely slow or unavailable.

This particular problem has now been dealt with and should not arise again.

Please accept our apologies for the outage.

Julian Bond
Chief Technology Officer
Ecademy [from: JB Ecademy]

A second virus email has appeared with text about Ecademy, Subject: "ECADEMY will close work in April 2008". It appears to be from . Again it has a Yahoo Message-ID although it hasn't been anywhere near Yahoo's servers. The email has an attachment which contains document.exe which may be a Trojan or Virus.

One copy we've seen was sent from a Korean home broadband PC using Outlook Express. This makes it look as though it's being sent by a botnet of infected PCs round the world.

Needless to say this is not from Ecademy, and is in no way connected with Ecademy servers, systems or people.

Ecademy never sends emails with attachments.

Ignore it. Don't open it. Delete it.

Julian Bond
Chief Technology Officer

ps. Here's the text of the email

Dear members, clients and guests of our portal,
Over the last few years our portal has helped you to organize your business, find new partners and increase sales.
However, all good things end. Many of you know that we have experienced legal problems over the last year. Our competitors from other social
networks are trying to take over our client base.
Our website has been hacked and our database was stolen. After that we were taken to court because of identity theft.
Unfortunately, legal expenses and unfavorable court verdict with following closure of our bank accounts will lead to closure of our website. All
paying members will receive refund starting from March 14th.
Please check attached file for legal information in regards to your account.

Best regards,
The Ecademy Team

Ecademy - The Social Network for Business People

Company Registration:7382702 VAT:718 0377 36
[from: JB Ecademy]

We've now got Yahoo OpenID fully working to log into Ecademy.

1. Go to My Settings, Manage OpenIDs

2. Type in "" into the "Add a new OpenID" field and hit "Sign In"

3. After a moment and perhaps an intermediate screen, you'll be presented with a Yahoo screen asking if you want to log in to Click on the "Let Me In" button.

4. You're returned to Ecademy and your Yahoo OpenID is associated with your Ecademy account.

Now when you need to log in to Ecademy, the process is very similar.

1. Go to the login screen at Ecademy. Scroll down to the "Login with OpenID"

2. Type in and click Sign in.

3. You're redirected to Yahoo asking if it's ok. Click "Let Me In"

4. You're back on the Ecademy home page and logged in. [from: JB Ecademy]

The site maintenance over the last weekend went smoothly and I hope you're enjoying the much increased speed of the Ecademy website. We have two problems as a result.

Some people have been receiving email from the site that is dated December 2007. It seems we had a large queue of email that had been held. When that was copied across, the new email server finally delivered it. If you receive email notifications, particularly about subscription problems, that you weren't expecting then check the date. If the Sent date is very old, then simply discard it.

The main Contacts Search seems to have got out of step and some searches are not returning the data they should. This is currently being dealt with and should improve over the next day or so.

Julian Bond
CTO Ecademy [from: JB Ecademy]

Apologies for the outage on the web site this morning. We had both web servers fail at about 10:50 and back up at about 11:25.

We're currently working on trying to diagnose exactly what happened and to prevent it happening again. [from: JB Ecademy]

We had an outage for about an hour this afternoon. This was caused by a small software problem on a critical server.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused. [from: JB Ecademy]

We're going to try to stream the London event tonight. The URL is here

Video streaming by Ustream

[from: JB Ecademy]

Tonight (Friday 20 Mar) at about 5:30pm GMT we will be taking search down for 10 minutes or so. The rest of the site will be unaffected.

Overnight our upstream Internet link is undergoing maintenance between 3am and 5am GMT Sat 21 Mar. This should not affect Ecademy but there may be short periods of outage during this time. [from: JB Ecademy]

500 Internal Server Error
500 Internal Server Error [from:]

The Burgman 400 is the white van of powered two wheelers. But that doesn't mean it can't be improved so here's some uncalled for advice.

- Before you do anything else fit a Malossi CVT kit. This alone would have chopped 2 seconds off the kart track time by getting rid of that too high geared feeling of lugging out of corners.
- There's a real shortage of tuning gear but a Leo Vinci 4Road silencer helps a little bit.
- Whip the forks out and go one grade higher on the fork oil. 10W seems about right. 15W is too high.
- Run the tyres a bit over inflated to get rid of some of the lack of precision and get rid of some of the white lining. 27-39 seems to work
- Replace the mirror stalks with some threaded rod or short bolts with the tops hacksawed off.
- Take a dremel to the screen and cut a nice big NACA duct low down. Cuts some of the helmet buffeting by bleeding air behind the screen
- You can never have enough storage space and you really don't want to take pillions so strap an old Rickman topbox on the pillion seat. Attach a bit of foam to the front as a backrest.
- For the summer some liberated estate agent sign will make easy leg guards and keep the wind off your knees. For the winter a Tucano Urbano lapcover is essential.
- Triumph Tiger handguards and heated grips
- EBC HH pads work well
- Hoop tyres work fine and last well
- Ride it like you stole it because nobody else will

Here's one I made earlier

This was taking it all a bit far

They can be ridden with gusto

You get prizes for the most ridiculous thing you've bungeed on the back. A turkey. A christmas tree. A bicycle. A micro scoot when commuting. I did say it was the white van of motorcycling. It's also taken us two up to Glastonbury with rucksacks, tent, sleeping bags, wellies and a couple of gallons of cider picked up on the way. It did wallow a bit though. And amazingly it beat a GSXR1000 between Elsenham and Thaxted.

And the best bit is that it's really hard to get people to try riding one, but they always come back with a big grin. The perfect urban assault commuter.

Did I mention it's cheap to run? Tyres are 11k-9k miles and < £40 each. Tank is 12.5L and I get 110m on the motorway at 90mph, 130m in town and 150m on A roads treating the throttle like a two position switch. With current petrol prices and the gauge deep in the red that's a tenner for 11.5L. Insurance is cheap. Oil change is 2.5L every 3500 miles. The valves are screw and locknut (sadly changed to shims on the K7).

Speedo seems to be dead on accurate. It will hold 93 on the flat, 100 downhill or with a bit of slipstreaming. Top speed is limited by the rev limiter (9300rpm) and drops as the rubber belt wears. When it starts to kick in at 92mph it's time to change the belt. Typically 15k to 20k miles. The last one I had ended up with an engine that had done 75K miles dispatching and was using oil. Oil consumption is minimal until at least 35k miles when sustained flat out riding tends to burn it up. Avoid anything before the K3 as the rear wheel design is suspect, they either stick to the splines or strip the splines. Stock exhausts destroy themselves in 10k miles of London roads as something comes loose inside. The stainless Leo Vince seems to last forever. Front bearings are typical crap Suzuki with minimal seals. Same with all the Suzuki alloy on wheels and engine. A winter's salt and no cleaning destroys the finish. Just try not to look at it or cover it in waxoyl.

I have to say I love this thing because it's so silly but also so effective. It's that sweet spot between a small scooter and the mini-Gold Wing of the Burger 650. Especially for 15 miles of A10 into London and then 15 miles of London traffic. Even for things like trips by plane, you can guarantee the time it takes to get to the airport round the M25. Luggage is bungied on the back, when you park up, all the bike gear goes under the seat. If you go to a race meeting with mates, you can get two helmets under the seat, 2 on the strap hooks and one in the top box.

You still need a GSXR750 in the garage as well though.

[Copied from the PB forum. Best Comment]
Fair play to you, looks like you're having maximum fun from two wheels.

Is the top box full of frogs?

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