Book Review: Sundiver - David Brin

by @edent | # # | 1 comment
A multicoloured doughnut spaceship approaches the sun.

In all the universe, no species has ever reached for the stars without the guidance of a patron — except perhaps mankind. Did some mysterious race begin the uplift of humanity aeons ago? And if so, why did they abandon us? Under the caverns of Mercury, Expedition Sundiver prepares for the most momentous voyage in…

Continue reading →

Book Review: The Happiness Revolution

by @edent | # #
Book cover.

Maybe I'm an old grump. But this book did not make me happy. It starts off bad - then gets worse. We begin with a series of incorrect assumptions. Apparently, there's no antonym for Doomsday (Errr, how about "Rapture"?) and apparently no one ever investigates why a hospital is performing well (ummm... Yes they do!)…

Continue reading →

What do you call open source software that just works?

by @edent | # # # | 6 comments | Read ~132 times.
Binary code displayed on a screen.

The fashion industry has the concept of "prêt-à-porter" - ready to wear. You pick a thing off the rack and off you go. No tailoring needed. Similarly, the food industry has "prêt-à-manger" - ready to eat. No telling l'artiste du pain how much mayo you want, just grab a boxed sandwich and start munching. What's…

Continue reading →

You can't print this blog post

by @edent | # # # | 41 comments | Read ~833 times.
A hand-held pink cube with paper coming out of it.

Update! It's fair to say no one liked this idea - so I've reverted it. Thanks for all the feedback 🙂 Do you ever see those daft email footers which say "Please consider the environment before printing this email." Like, who the fuck is still printing out their emails? Anyway, a few years ago I…

Continue reading →

Movie Review: Thunder Force

by @edent | #
Movie poster featuring two older women in skintight superhero costumes.

I'm still unsure where this fits in the MCU... After the complete lack of chemistry between McCarthy and Bateman in Identity Thief, it seems inexplicable that they've been paired together in yet another movie. Just like Identity Thief, Thunder Force is two good ideas for separate movies squished into one bad film. It suffers from…

Continue reading →

How do you link Verifiable Credentials to a human?

by @edent | 18 comments | Read ~194 times.

Verifiable Credentials are a brilliant standard to help... well... Verify Credentials. How do you know that someone has an MBA from Harvard? It's pretty easy to fake a degree certificate, or to change your name to George W. Bush, or simply lie. The same is true with any attestation - it's often hard to contact…

Continue reading →

Movie Review: The Mitchells 🆚 The Machines

by @edent | # #
Movie poster witha madcap animated family in a car.

One of my favourite movie moments is in the 1998 movie Antz - when one of the ants turns to camera and says: It's the workers who control the means of production! Even though we're not in the age of the Hollywood Blacklist, it's still rare to see overt - and literal - Marxism on…

Continue reading →

Book Review: "Index, A History of the" by Dennis Duncan

by @edent | # # | 2 comments | Read ~128 times.
Monks reading books, and pointing at an index.

Most of us give little thought to the back of the book - it's just where you go to look things up. But here, hiding in plain sight, is an unlikely realm of ambition and obsession, sparring and politicking, pleasure and play. Here we might find Butchers, to be avoided, or Cows that sh-te Fire,…

Continue reading →

What was the best era for British comedy and why?

by @edent | # | 1 comment

(This was written in response to a Reddit question. Lots of people seemed to like my answer, so I thought I'd re-blog it. I think the asker was expecting answers like "1980s - Young Ones, Red Dwarf, etc" - but I decided to answer it in a slightly different way.) When you were about 14.…

Continue reading →

Mobile data is getting too cheap to meter - free bandwidth is here

by @edent | # # # | 2 comments | Read ~218 times.
List of price plans. Free for 250MB, £1 for 500MB, £6 for a GB.

A few months ago, I wrote about how data is so cheap it is being given away. Mobile network Three were offering £10 data SIMs which came with 200MB of zero-cost data. Recently, I've found another free provider of data, with an intriguing price-plan. RWG Mobile are a Welsh MVNO who use EE as their…

Continue reading →