Book Review - Terry Pratchett's Discworld Imaginarium

by @edent | # #
Terry Pratchett wearing a top hat.

Paul Kidby has collected the very best of his Discworld illustrations in this definitive volume, including 40 pieces never before seen, 30 pieces that have only appeared in foreign editions, limited editions and BCA editions, and 17 book cover illustrations that have never been seen without cover text. If Pratchett's pen gave his characters life, Paul Kidby's brush allowed them to live it, and nowhere is that better illustrated than in this magnificent book.

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Boring Is Beautiful

by @edent | # # # | Read ~151 times.

I have a lot of smarthome gadgets - but my favourite is the Tado° Thermostat. I think it might be the most boring gadget I've ever used - and that's why I love it! We spend far too much time staring at our screens. We obsessively tend to our digital gardens and rarely spend the…

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Notes from GovCamp 2020

by @edent | # # # #
Giant post it notes stuck to a wall.

I've been to a fair few GovCamps - the (mostly) annual gathering of Civil Servants who want to explore new ways of working. For a flavour of what they're like, see scripti electronici passim: GovCamp 2012 (Video of my talk) GovCamp 2015 Tweets only GovCamp 2016 GovCamp 2018 GovCamp 2019 It was great to see…

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What's the fastest legal use of the Internet?

by @edent | # | 3 comments | Read ~124 times.

I rediscovered an curious Tweet from 2012: Interesting that Arqiva point out that fastest legal use of Internet probably only requires 2.5MBPs. Reliability key #commsreview — adam kinsley (@adamkinsley) July 4, 2012 That was a reasonable - if incorrect - assumption at the start of the decade. Streaming TV was in its infancy, and it…

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Joining the board of OpenUK

by @edent | # # # | 2 comments | Read ~123 times.
Cartoon of the OpenUK vision.

As you know, I'm a supporter of open technology. I write open source, I work on open standards, I care about open data. So I am delighted to have joined the board of OpenUK. Our purpose? To develop and sustain UK leadership in Open technology. I want to make the UK the best place to…

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What Happens at #GovCamp Stays at GovCamp?

by @edent | # # # # | 3 comments | Read ~105 times.
A dictaphone.

How do you archive a conference? A decade ago, I blogged about how to archive a BarCamp - I don't think anyone took up my suggestions. I tried to put it into practice, but in this post about 2009's BarCampBrighton4, half the links have rotted away, cool media-hosting startups have gone bust and eaten the…

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The commons we've enclosed

by @edent | # # # | 5 comments | Read ~189 times.
Unix is user-friendly — it's just choosy about who its friends are.

I, unironically, love Reddit. But it's just USENET with a better UI, and a few moderation improvements. Most days I use DropBox. But it's just FTP, but a bit easier to use and automate. I waste a lot of time on Slack. When I explain it to old-school nerds, I say it's IRC - but…

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Why API responses should be signed

by @edent | # # | 36 comments | Read ~3,944 times.
Doctor Who holding a glowing key

I'm going to start this discussion with the why and then move on to the how. Let's begin with a couple of user stories. As the recipient of some data, I want to verify that it hasn't been tampered with. and As the recipient of some data, I want to verify who originally published it.…

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When do symbols stop being political?

by @edent | # # | 4 comments
Statue of Millicent Fawcett, the suffragette.

I am a civil servant in the UK - this is my personal blog. As part of my job, I have to follow the Civil Service Code which, among other things, says I'm not allowed to be political at work. Political Impartiality You must: serve the government ... no matter what your own political beliefs…

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Digital Scarcity is a Con

by @edent | # # | 2 comments | Read ~112 times.

In the early days of the web, I used to go hunting for Beatles Bootlegs. I scoured forums, emailed dodgy geezers, and swapped poorly encoded RealAudio™ files on USENET. The Beatles had recently released their Anthology series, and us nerds were desperate to hear more unreleased goodies. Sure, there were rarities and out-takes, but we…

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