Thing learned for the day

I'm sure this is well known already, but it was a new one on me.

I have a web form that has a tabular layout of fields. But at the end of each row is a field that mustn't ever get focus (for reasons that are to boring to go into), so I have an onFocus Javascript event in those fields that immediately blurs the focus if the user tries to get into it. All fine and dandy until you try and tab your way around the table, when you reach the end of each row, we end up with no field having focus.

The thing I learned (was told by an exasperated web designer) is that you can set the "tabindex" of a field to -1. If you do this then it is effectively excluded from the tab order of the form as you use the keyboard to navigate around.

Cue much punching of the sky as we knock another bug off the list for the application I'm working on at the moment. It's the little victories that count!

New online presence aggregation service

Julian was kind enough to pass on a beta invite for chi.mp this morning. Basically, it's a website that will aggregate your entire online presence into one site, so all of my Blog postings, photos, tweets etc can now be found at mattwhite.mp and, if you really have no life at all, then you can subscribe to an RSS feed of them all together at this link.

A great service I think, that is easy to set up, looks nice. As with a lot of these internet startups, I have no idea how they plan to make money so it may not be around for long. But for the moment, it's the best place to follow my online activity in one place.

I haven't yet got any invites to pass along, but if you want one, just comment on here with your email address and I'll pass them along as I receive them.

Barclays Pinsentry madness

Because I run a small business I have multiple bank accounts with Barclays, one of the "big four" banks here in the UK. As banks go they aren't too bad (although that is like saying that as diseases go Malaria isn't too bad, don't think I actually like these guys). So at the weekend a package arrived containing my new Pinsentry card reader that I have to use to get into online banking. In the past I needed to know two user IDs, some personal information and a password to log into each of my accounts. Now, in addition to that I have to put my bank card into this card reader, enter the PIN for the card and then type another 8 digit number to log in. It's classic dual factor authentication, and it's absolutely crazy.

Frankly the old system was more than secure enough. All that the new system will achieve is to make me log in to the site less frequently as it is such a palaver. I genuinely can't think of a reason why they have gone this far with the security, if someone is foolish enough to give out their personal details, two secret (and hard to guess) user IDs and their password then frankly they deserve what they get.

Setting aside the absurdness of the over-security, when I tried to log in yesterday (taxes to pay, thanks Gordon) I couldn't actually get in at all any more. The reason which was discovered after nearly an hour on the phone was that my personal bank card has now been tied to my business account. So to log in to my business bank account I have to partially use business details and partially personal details. Their response when I asked how it was going to be fixed... "Well you have both sets of details so you can just live with it"! This from a company which last year made over seven billion punds profit. That's more than fourteen billion dollars. And the worst thing is that moving banks is not really an option, they are all as bad as each other.