How I got my username on (nearly) every site

by @edent | # # | 4 comments | Read ~6,900 times.
An error message on Flickr's edit name screen.

I go by "edent" on most websites. It's short, relates to my real name, and is usually unique. I quite often sign up to things just to snag the name. But there have been a couple of sites where someone else has got there first and started using "my" name. I don't own the trademark,… Continue reading →

Tell the audience what you want them to do

by @edent | # # # # # | 1 comment | Read ~202 times.
24 tweets from people - including photos of the slide.

I do lots of public speaking as part of my job. I'd like to share one of my tips for giving engaging and impactful talks. Two caveats: This is a sort-of work post. In that, I'll be discussing something I did for my employer - but they haven't asked me to write this, nor have… Continue reading →

Sending 1.2 Million Tweets

by @edent | # # | 1 comment | Read ~6,854 times.
A beautiful blue sky with scattered clouds. Text reads 2586 Watts - 68% battery.

Back in 2014, I set up a rather silly Twitter account - @OxfordSolarLive. The premise was simple. A camera took a photo of the sky above my house. It took a reading from my solar panels to see how much electricity they were generating. It superimposed the reading on the photo. Then posted it on… Continue reading →

Quirks and Limitations of Emoji Flags

by @edent | # # # | Read ~232 times.
A screenshot of a list of country flags

This blog post contains emoji which your system may not be able to display. You may see broken text, weird symbols, or other buggy rendering. The Transgender Flag is a draft candidate for Emoji 13.0 under the name Blue, Pink, and White Flag. A number of platforms include an image for this emoji, but do… Continue reading →

Episode 27 - Hannah Cameron's makerspace adventures

by @edent | # #
A woman with 3D printed cubes as earrings.

Hannah works for Eagle Labs, where she 3D prints things and builds IoT lamps. https://shkspr.mobi/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/hancam14.mp3Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:41 — 1.3MB)Subscribe: Android Google Podcasts RSS

NHS Hack Day

by @edent | # # # # | Read ~145 times.
NHS Hack Day Logo. For geeks who love the NHS.

It has been about 6 months since I started my new job at NHSX - I've loved getting stuck in to the Health Service culture. But there was one thing I was missing... a decent hack day! I was delighted to get a ticket to NHS Hack Day. This is a quick post about the… Continue reading →

Alexa Skills - get custom slot names using Flask-Ask

by @edent | # # # # #
Alexa Skills Page.

Amazon encourages developers to use Flask-Ask - the handy Python library for working with Alexa. Sadly, the project has been abandoned. They no longer take pull requests, you can't raise bugs against it, and the documentation is incomplete. So this is how I solved an annoying problem - how to get the name of a… Continue reading →

The worst morale boosting gesture I've experienced

by @edent | # # | 19 comments | Read ~34,648 times.
The Vodafone logo with the text "The future is exciting. Ready?"

I promise you this story is true. Many years ago, when I was very young and you were even younger... Work was not going well. Our recently launched product was a flop. Rumours of job cuts were swirling. Things were tense. I was sat in work, headphones on, trying to drown out the sound of… Continue reading →

Episode 26 - Dan Pope's trntxt.uk

by @edent | # #
A white train on a blue background.

Do you want an ultra-minimalist, open source, train times website? If so, Dan Pope, has created trntxt.uk just for you! https://shkspr.mobi/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Dan-Pope-TrainTxt.mp3Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:25 — 1.1MB)Subscribe: Android Google Podcasts RSS

Introducing the new HTML element - welcome <clippy>!

by @edent | # # # # | 13 comments | Read ~45,806 times.

Hello! It looks like you're writing a blog post - would you like help with that? chuckles Me and my colleagues at Microsoft have decided that the world needs more Clippy - the adorable animated paperclip. To help with that, we're bringing a new feature to Edge 6.0. Web Developers can now use <clippy> to… Continue reading →