Mobiles, Shakespeare, Politics, Usability, Security.

Brexit Lies

Vote Leave Campaing Flyer-

At this point, I think it is a certainty that the UK will vote to leave the EU. The people who are anti-EU are passionate about their cause - every single one of them will be out to vote. For the rest of us, the EU doesn't occupy our every waking thought, we're happy to benefit from it but if the weather is rainy,… Read more »

Easy APIs Without Authentication

A pet cat typing on a computer keyboard

This is a curated list of APIs which do not require usernames, passwords, access tokens, signing, accept-headers, or anything more complicated than sticking a URL in a browser. (This is an update to my post from two years ago.) When I introduce people to the concept of using RESTful APIs, they immediately get how powerful it is to retrieve information from the Internet and… Read more »

Singing to my light bulbs

Terence Eden singing to his light bulbs-

Because I'm an idiot, I've decided that what my life needs is voice activated lightbulbs. But voice control is so 2015. Let's make these bulbs react to SINGING! Here's a demo - fair warning, my vocal prowess is "limited". OK, here's how to do this. I recently got a bunch of Lfix bulbs as part of a bug bounty. There's a full API for… Read more »

Who is @GCHQ's "barneyrooster"?


The British intelligence service GCHQ has been on Twitter since January 2016 - however they only sent their first tweet today. Hello, world. — GCHQ (@GCHQ) May 16, 2016 As I never tire of saying, Bitly is a terrible at keeping your data private. Simply add a + on to the URL and you can see some really interesting stats about the link… Read more »

Disclosed - Lifx Security Issue

Lifx Bug Bounty - 6 brand new bulbs

I love my Lifx Bulbs. They're a quick and easy way to retrofit Internet connected goodies into a smart-home. One of the best things about them is their open API. Sure, you can use IFTTT if you want something easy - but us 1337 hax0rs want an API and Lifx provides it. The API is pretty secure - good use of OAuth and tokens… Read more »

The Ubuntu Tablet - A Review of the Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition

Task Switching Which One-

I've been trying to find the perfect Linux laptop. I need something small, light, powerful, and with an ergonomic keyboard. Hmmm... Perhaps I don't need a laptop. I could use a tablet and my new Bluetooth keyboard... Enter BQ's Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition. It promises the Ubuntu experience in a convenient tablet package. I wanted to love this tablet. But it is so unbelievably… Read more »

The Great British Shake Off

This weekend, I spotted that a chap I know was running a Shakespeare themed GameJam - a sort of informal collection/competition arranged around a theme. The Shakespeare #BardJam ends midnight BST tonight, & works-in-progress are welcome. #interactivefiction #textgame — Gary (@ggnewed) April 30, 2016 Given my previous experience developing Interactive Fiction, I figured I'd spend my Saturday building a simple game. So, here… Read more »

Generating Random Chiptunes on Linux

I like to listen to music while I work. I find - especially in an open plan office - that it is an essential aid to concentration. That said, I find music with lyrics particularly problematic as my brain prefers to concentrate on the words rather than the task in hand. On long flights, I often use a white noise generator to drown out… Read more »

Displaying WordPress Posts' JetPack Statistics Using stats_get_csv()

Here's a quick way to display how many times a WordPress post has been read. For this, you will need: A blog running WordPress. The JetPack plugin installed. The ability to edit your themes. Here's the snippet of code I'm using to add "This post has been read 12,345 times". I'll explain how it works in a bit more detail.

Let's start from… Read more »

The best damn Bluetooth Keyboard in the world!

Goldtouch keyboard, in front of laptop-

I love my keyboards. I mean, I have an unhealthy obsession with them. I spend a lot of time typing and the cramped keyboards which come with most laptops and MacBooks just don't cut it for me. Their poor ergonomics leave my wrists in pain. For years I was a devotee of the Microsoft 4000 Keyboard. It's a big old beast - and that's… Read more »