Blog for hpHosts, and whatever else I feel like writing about ....

Saturday, 14 November 2015

hpHosts: Updated 14th November 2015

The hpHOSTS Hosts file has been updated. There is now a total of 336,509 listed hostsnames.

If you are NOT using the installer, please read the included Readme.txt file for installation instructions. Enjoy! :)
  1. Latest Updated: 14/11/2015
  2. Last Verified: 14/11/2015
Download hpHosts now!


Thursday, 12 November 2015

McDonalds: Visit their restaurants, use their car park do you? Be prepared for a FINE

And yes, it is a fine, regardless of the weasel words they use.

Little hint:

1. A parking CHARGE comes and is paid for, either before you park or before you leave
2. A fine is levied after the fact

Why am I writing this here? Well short story shorter, I went there on the way to the social club to play pool (I love pool and snooker, playing and watching) to grab a Late, on October 20th. Around 2 weeks or so later, the fuckwits at Civil Enforcement Ltd (aka Creative Car Parks Ltd), sent me a PCN (Parking Charge Notice) for £60 if paid within 14 days, or £100 if paid within 28 days.

Needless to say, I did two things. First and foremost, asked for evidentiary photographs from Civil Enforcement Ltd (yep, still no response), and second, put a complaint in to McDonalds themselves (I visit fairly frequently). I know for a fact I was not there for the 3 odd hours they claim (I was at the social club, with witnesses). The first reply I got from McDonalds simply asked for details, but gave me hope.

The PCN I received (personal details redacted of course):

The letter I received from McDonalds made me instantly decide I am never going to visit another of their restaurants again (will mean one hell of a headache from my son (he loves McDonalds), but after this, I do not care). It simply advised I contact the company that issued the fine (sorry, "Charge" (IT IS A FINE DAMMIT!)).

To put simply, why am I writing about this here? Let me count the ways;

1. I did my work experience with McDonalds (different restaurant, same company) from the age of 14, and took a full time job when I left (it involved cleaning - I LOVE CLEANING!)
2. I was parked for at most, 20 minutes
3. McDonalds are simply asking for details, then claiming they are not responsible and pointing me to the company that issued the fine (OI McDonalds, YOU CONTRACTED THEM)
4. I visited one of 3 of their restaurants 3-4 times+ per week, and this is how they treat their customers?

Allow me to put it this way.

You are allowed 90 minutes free parking (yep, I'd happily pay if it were required instead), and visit (drive-through or otherwise), then popping back later, whether your kids decide they needs the toilet, you've forgotten something, they've screwed up (none of which was the case here) etc etc etc - you're risking a fine.

Further, the wankhole of a company that issued the fine you'll note, specified a road and postcode YOU CAN NEVER PARK ON, leading to the assumption it is the hotel to blame, when it clearly isn't (I went to the hotel, they made it clear it was McDonalds to blame (not the first time it has happened apparently)).

FYI, a PCN should ALWAYS include;

1. Details of where you were parked
2. Photographic evidence

Needless to say, I am boycotting McDonalds, and shall be fighting this.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Including the hpHosts ad/tracking servers list in your programs?

I've seen quite a bit of chatter recently regarding which URL it should be when including the ad and tracking servers list in things such as AdAway, uBlock etc. Thought I'd pop a note here. The correct URL is;

There was an issue previously where ad_servers.asp would redirect to a rather strangely formatted URL when redirecting to this file, which is why I'd not recommend it (aside from anything else, it's likely the sites entire codebase is to be re-written in the near future, which will also see the end of the use of ASP (various reasons for this, most notably, lack of native DNS support etc), where the .txt files will not be changing.

If you're using the individual classification files, you'll also notice you no longer need to include the hphosts-partial file, as the individual classification files are updated every single time a site is added/updated/removed.

If you've got any questions, feel free to email me, or drop by the forums.