User Safety at Product Hunt


Product Hunt email announcing a new follower

I want to stop someone from following me on social media. In this case, it's not a stalker or harasser - just someone who's presence I don't need in my life. This could be worse - they could be a lot more malicious and I could be in a more vulnerable position. I am positively […] Read More

únicode is hard


Receipts with a missing pound sign

In the last couple of months, I've been seeing the ú symbol on British receipts. Why? 1963 - ASCII In the beginning* was ASCII. A standard way for computers to exchange text. ASCII was originally designed with 7 bits - that means 128 possible symbols. That ought to be enough for everyone, right? Wrong! ASCII […] Read More

Review: Sonoff S20 WiFi Plug


A schematic diagram of a smart plug

The good folks at Sonoff have sent me a bunch of kit to review. First up, the S20 WiFi Plug - an easy way to retrofit IoT smarts to your existing appliances. This fills the same niche as the Belkin WeMo but with one crucial difference - it's about half the price. Direct from Sonoff […] Read More

Fixing Broken Zip Files from Bandcamp - File name too long


Amy Pond, from the TV show Doctor Who, is strapped into a chair. She is saying "OK, kid, This is where where it gets complicated"

I recently downloaded an album from Bandcamp. On trying to extract the zip file using Ubuntu, I got the error "File name too long." This is a known problem with Bandcamp. If you have a problem with long filenames in zip files, here's how to fix it. Quick Solution unzip -p -c whatever.zip "filename.ogg" > […] Read More

A Turing Test For Self-Driving Cars


The robotic taxi driver from the film Total Recall

Imagine that you are sat, blindfolded, in the back of a taxi. How could you tell if you were being driven by a human or an autonomous vehicle? If you've not read Alan Turing's The Imitation Game, I can highly recommend it. The paper is short, well written, and contains a whole world of ideas. […] Read More