Bug with Google Pay and Amex


Screenshot of the Android Pay app - the American Express phone number is formatted incorrectly.

It is impossible to contact large companies to report a bug in their software. So I'm reduced to writing snarky blog posts about it in the vague hope that a Social Media Manager will see the issue and raise it with the appropriate team. Welcome to 2017! Google Pay now supports American Express cards in […] Read More

Using YouTube to Transcode Videos to DASH on the Command Line


The YouTube Logo

This is part of my redecentralisation efforts to liberate my videos from YouTube. MPEG-DASH is a simple method of streaming videos which doesn't require any specialised server software. You convert a high resolution video into a series of smaller resolution videos. You chop each of the videos up into several chunks. As the video plays, […] Read More

Alexa - what bin day is it?


Row of recycling bins - photo by Dave Goodman

Bin day is the most magical time of the week! Children of all ages cry "Which bins is it?! Oh! Which bins?" Is today recycling day? Or green waste day? Or humble landfill day? Should my food caddy go out? Gosh! Who can keep track? I mean, obviously I could look at my calendar. Or […] Read More

UK Flood Forecast on Amazon Alexa


A skill submission form

You can now get the UK's flood forecast as part of your Flash Briefing on Amazon's Alexa. I've tried previously to create an interactive Alexa skill - it did not go well. This time, I thought I'd create an easier skill - a Flash Briefing. You ask Alexa for your daily news report and it […] Read More

Previewing Circular Avatars


The same photo - but with a red circular guideline superimposed

Play with the demo I was lucky enough to go to Number 10 Downing Street for a meeting a few weeks ago. A perfect opportunity for a photo of me by that famous door. Being the vain man that I am, I wanted to set it as my avatar photo. But Twitter and other social […] Read More

Review Nextion HMI Touchscreen with GPIO


A screen with some wires

I don't think the people who sent me this touchscreen are going to be very happy with this review. But that's the peril of asking bloggers to assess your kit, isn't it? The good folks at Sonoff have sent me a review unit of their "7.0" Nextion Enhanced HMI Capacitive Touch Display with Enclosure". A […] Read More

2FA using a postcard!


Nextdoor 2FA postcard

Upon joining the hyper-local social network "Nextdoor" - users are asked to verify their postal address. One option they offer is to have them send you a card in the post. So, I signed up, entered my address, and waited. A few days later, this popped through my letterbox. A few random thoughts... ✅ This […] Read More