ZOIS Blog

December 30, 2011

Interesting Job of the Week

Filed under: Jobcentre Plus Database Mirror — Tags: — Martin Sullivan @ 9:15 am

The final one of the year. I’m posting the result on the @JCPM_Feedback Twitter account, and it appears here too.

Martin’s interesting job of the week — Watch a foal being born outside Royston: http://zois.com/LEN48789.

This position will be to assist the broodmare manager at night during the foaling season additional evening sitting up may be available.

Twittering Jobcentres Discovered This Week

Filed under: Jobcentre Plus Database Mirror — Tags: — Martin Sullivan @ 9:01 am

The sort-of Friday Follow that I’ve started publishing here, of newly discovered Twittering Jobcentre Plus Offices continues.

This week we’ve newly noted @KirkbyJCP (Office KIR), @boltonjcp (BOL), @JCP_Peckham (QPC) and @chathamjcp (CTM).

A list of all the Twittering Jobcentre Offices noted so far, bar the ones that are blocking this effort (about five) is to be found on Twitter at @JCPM_Feedback/jcp/members.

December 23, 2011

Interesting Job of the Week

Filed under: Jobcentre Plus Database Mirror — Tags: — Martin Sullivan @ 3:40 pm

A bit later than usual, it’s been hectic here, with the power cut and usual chaotic run-up to the Festive season. But here’s the now weekly interesting job of the week. I’m posting the result on the @JCPM_Feedback Twitter account, and it appears here too.

Martin’s interesting job of the week — Be a Psychic in Hamilton http://zois.com/HAJ43376.

It has to be said that this is fairly regular posting, but this time it’s with extra exclamation marks. These “interesting job” vacancies really are posted on Jobseekers Direct, follow the links through and see for yourself.

This is a self employed vacancy. Psychics based in the Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Ayrshire for Scotland’s leading psychic telephone service. Telephone service is all about quality and ensuring our clients visiting Psychic have an accurate reading, where you will be mentored by Scotland Leading Psychic Medium William O’Connor. Working from home generating revenue through our automated telephone service.

Twittering Jobcentres Discovered This Week

Filed under: Jobcentre Plus Database Mirror — Tags: — Martin Sullivan @ 1:17 pm

The sort-of Friday Follow that I’ve started publishing here, of newly discovered Twittering Jobcentre Plus Offices continues.

This week we’ve newly noted @WoodGreenJCP (Office code WGH); @StHelensJCP (SNS); @Hounslow_JCP (HNS); @EBjobnews (ENF, EDM) and @MaryleboneJCP (STM).

Marylebone is curious, for at time of writing the account is Protected. Protected is Twitter speak for ‘private’ and you have to ask them to allow you to follow them.

Power Failure at ZOIS

Filed under: Omphalokepsis — Martin Sullivan @ 12:58 pm

We’ve had a power outage here at Stag House, practically on the stroke of midday. It wasn’t for too long, about 10-15 minutes, but it did knock everything over and the many ZOIS sites off-line. When power was restored, things did seem to recover, all-be-it a little slowly. I’ve been checking things and it all seems OK now, but do tell if you see different.

December 16, 2011

Twittering Jobcentres Discovered This Week

Filed under: Jobcentre Plus Database Mirror — Tags: — Martin Sullivan @ 4:00 pm

One of the side effects of the Twitter experiments is the splendid discoveries of the ad-hoc official Twittering Jobcentre Plus Offices. I like this grass-roots stuff, and since they’re hampered by Government IT, almost inevitably, I help where I can. I’ve also taken to curating a list of them, and this is what I’ve found this week: @Kentishtownjcp (Office code KTT), @HendonJCP (HND),  @stowmarketjcp (STU), @leistonjcp (LET), @felixstowejcp (FEE) and the enigmatic @LondonJCP.

December 15, 2011

Interesting Job of the Week

Filed under: Jobcentre Plus Database Mirror — Tags: — Martin Sullivan @ 6:58 pm

Here’s the now weekly interesting job of the week. I’m posting the result on the @JCPM_Feedback Twitter account, and it appears here too.

Martin’s interesting job of the week — Test Toys, in Warrington, rather than Lapland: http://zois.com/WAQ138608

to assist with testing toys for defects in a workshop based environment.

 

It’s a Wonderful Life

Filed under: Kirkgate Arts Centre — Martin Sullivan @ 4:07 pm

I help with the Cockermouth Film Club. I don’t usually comment about this here, but I was so moved this week.

[Picture: Movie Poster]

A proper excuse for a movie poster. Merry Christmas George

We showed “It’s a Wonderful Life“. Inside, and after I’d cashed-up, I enjoyed the film, in-spite of all its insipid cheesiness. George Baily is shown what it would be like without him. His town turns into Potterville, a town not unlike his own, but with considerably more and better nightlife and a curiously hot librarian. But everything comes good in the end and lots of friends new and old show up unexpectedly. A bit like our audience, which was about ten times bigger than we normally have. At the end the film was applauded; something that I’d never seen before. I felt moved to give a little thank-you speech. And everybody was happy.

Elsewhere, I’m attempting to get the original web-address for the Film Club back and up on the Internet. I’ve a small ‘brochure’ site ready to roll. I just need the Domain to point to one of the servers here, in Stag House. It’s proving harder than expected.

December 13, 2011

WordPress Update

Filed under: Omphalokepsis — Central Administration @ 10:07 am

Along with a zillion other sites, no doubt, we’ve just upgraded to the latest version of WordPress, the Content Management System that runs the technical guts of this Blog. If you spot anything untoward it’ll probably be my fault, so please let me know. Thanks, Martin.

Jobseekers Direct Link Expiry

Filed under: Jobcentre Plus Database Mirror — Tags: — Martin Sullivan @ 9:55 am

One of the things that I always seem to be explaining is the Jobseekers Direct web-site’s expiry mechanism and how it defeats linking to vacancy details and bookmarking. This is therefore a synthesis of several e-mails to several baffled would-be end-users of the Jobseekers Direct site.

[Picture: Movie Poster "Dead End"]

Expired links lead to Dead Ends

When one uses Jobseekers Direct your initial interaction, a search for example, is recorded and the pages returned are marked with a hidden session identity. When you do other things this session identity is transmitted to the server. This session information has a time-limit attached to it. When the time-limit expires you get a ‘Session expired’ message, or you’re simply dumped back to the front page. You can therefore link to a vacancy that you’ve found, send that link to friends, put it in a Tweet, or on a page of your own and bookmark it. But the session and the link will expire. The life of these links is therefore very limited. At the moment, it’s not much more than 30 minutes. At the end of that time your link or bookmark will be broken.

As you may have read elsewhere I’ve been scraping their site, initially to allow a raw data-stream. Later this was joined by a web-site, an alternative site with what I like to think has a better search and geography. I thought that at some stage the users of my site would like to see the original vacancy. It’s resulted in a rather cludgy hack that has gradually been refined into what I now refer to as the ‘Redirect Service’.

You use this ‘hack’ by composing a link using the vacancy reference prefaced by ‘http://zois.com’. A reference consists of a three-letter office code followed by a number; they can be separated by an optional slash (‘/’). If you add ‘o’ to this then we’ll try and get the original posting. Briefly, as an example:

The ‘original’ vacancy will no-longer be live by now, but you get the idea

Jobseekers Direct have now introduced a non-expiring ‘direct’ link of their own. It re-writes, under the covers, to a normal session-id larded effort, which in itself is un-bookmarkable. These links have the form:

http://jobseekers.direct.gov.uk/detailjob.aspx?j=<reference>&direct=1

The ZOIS hacks, described above, still work, but now use this mechanism rather than the preceding mini-scrape and cache system. They will continue to work as expected.

Confusingly, Jobseekers Direct only put these links under ‘share’ buttons on a results page. Trying to use the results page as a link itself will still not work.

Prior to the ‘official’ non-expiring link how did it work? I hear you ask. The ‘official’ Jobseekers Direct site expects you to search for a reference, rather than link to it. The Redirection Service basically did this for you under the covers, with caching. Caching, you should note, allowed this to work reasonably quickly with out taxing my servers too heavily. There’s a Technical Note: http://www.zois.co.uk/tn/tn-2010-02-17.html and more explanation, including what can go wrong: http://home.zois.co.uk/jsd_explain.html.

I had been promoting the Redirection Service on Twitter and some ‘official’ Jobcentre Plus offices have been using it to link to vacancies they’ve announced in their postings. They, just as others, would like to link to the vacancies displayed on Jobseekers Direct but, until recently, couldn’t do so directly. The irony is not lost on me. I’m sure its not lost on them, or indeed you. I’m certain that feedback on this almost certainly lead to the introduction of the ‘official’ link system.

Update

Since the advent of the ‘official’ link system, I’ve re-written this post in the past tense for the original scrape-and-cache system has been withdrawn and replaced by a simple Apache re-direct to the ‘official’ non-expiring link system, recently introduced by Jobseekers Direct themselves. The Redirect Service remains open to all, it and the link-shortening will continue to work.

Since the introduction of Universal Jobmatch, the Redirection Services have been completely withdrawn. We’re not to scrape the official site, and thus the Jobcentre Mirror service is slowly being withdrawn. Please read the closure statement. 2012-11-19

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