How To Write A Cover Letter For A Job


A golden envelope.

I've just finished reviewing a few dozen CVs and Covering Letters. Almost all of them were awful! Candidates - I beg you - make this easy for me! I have been given a fixed set of scoring criteria and you've given me a 2,000 word essay on your life, loves, and hopes for the future.…

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Review: Meta Quest 2 - first impressions


A VR headset.

The Meta Quest 2 is almost amazing. It is a tantalising glimpse of a future which isn't quite here yet. I dislike Facebook's Meta's vision of the Metaverse - but the tech is undoubtedly fun when it works. I remember using VR way back in the 1990s. When on holiday, games arcades often had a…

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Book Review: Binti - Nnedi Okorafor


Three book covers featuring a young African woman painting her face with clay.

Binti is an absolute treat. I've not read much Afro-Futurism, but what I have has been truly excellent and entertaining. What is it like to try to honour your ancestors while feeling the call for adventure? It's a topic which has been explored ad infinitum but rarely with such passion. Why do old men fear…

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Responsible Disclosure: XSS in Macmillan's Website


Screenshot of the Macmillan website. The search box has some HTML in it - the page now looks like it says "Please enter your credit card details" with a big submit button.

Another day, another unfiltered reflection of user-supplied content! You know how this goes by now. You type into a search box <em>test and the whole page suddenly turns italic. Luckily, the Macmillan Publishers' website filtered out any <script> elements it encountered. But that still leaves the attacker with the ability to draw SVGs over the…

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The point of a dashboard isn't to use a dashboard


Colourful graphs and charts. Image by Yvette W from Pixabay.

Every so often, an employer asks me to help make a dashboard. Usually, this causes technologists to roll their eyes. They have a vision of a CEO grandly staring at a giant projection screen, watching the pretty graphs go up and down, and making real-time decisions about Serious Business. Ugh! What a waste of time!…

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Book Review: Animal, Vegetable, Criminal - Mary Roach


Book cover featuring a grizzly bear in front of a police line up.

The book starts by referencing one of my favourite book - The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals. That book looks at the history of criminal trials of animals and gets in to the philosophy about whether a flock of geese can be considered liable for the damage they cause. It is a deeply…

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Book Review: The Historian - Elizabeth Kostova


A blood-stained book cover.

This is a massive tome. Or do I mean tomb…? What if you discovered that your widower-father was not a mild-mannered historian but, instead… A VAMPIRE HUNTER! The caper takes us all over Europe - a veritable travelogue of bustling capitals and dusty backwaters. It holds itself ever-so seriously - occasionally dropping into the meta-narrative…

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Game Review: Stray (PS4)


Box art showing a ginger cat.

The philosopher Thomas Nagel wrote "What Is It Like to Be a Bat?" and attempted to show that we can never really understand another living creature's consciousness. I had hoped that Stray would answer the question "What is it like to be a cat?" But it doesn't. Frankly, it doesn't even try. It feels like…

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DNS Esoterica: BIMI - SVG in DNS TXT WTF?!


Screenshot of an email.

You've been on the Internet a long time, right? Of course you know what BIMI is. All the cool kids do. But, for those of you who aren't hip to the jive of the Infobahn... BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification) is a new standard that can curb the issue of online impersonators. ... BIMI…

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Theatre Review: & Juliet


Poster for & Juliet. A Black woman with short hair stands in front of a neon heart pierced with an arrow.

About five minutes into the show I already had tears of laughter streaming down my face. I didn't stop laughing and squealing with delight until the curtain call. The plot - unusual for a jukebox musical - is relatively well thought through. What if Juliet didn't die at the end of Romeo + Juliet? What…

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