When is it better to ask permission than forgiveness?

by @edent | # # # # | 4 comments | Read ~207 times.

When I was a child, I prayed to God to send me a bicycle. The Priest told me God doesn't work like that; so I stole a bicycle and prayed for forgiveness. Emo Philips (probably) There's a noble tradition in hackerdom of finding creative ways around obstacles. My personal favourite expression of this desire to… Continue reading →

What's The Real Cost of a SmartPhone?

by @edent | # # # # | 3 comments | Read ~328 times.

There's been a little bit of confusion in the blogosphere recently about the true cost of smartphones. Ewan Spence points out that the iPhone actually costs $2,000. An instant response by Bill Palmer points out that Nokia's Windows 8 smartphones cost $2,500. The US and European markets are radically different in how they operate and… Continue reading →

Predicting The Next Social Network

by @edent | # # # | 2 comments | Read ~123 times.

We're in a fairly mature phase of social networks now. Broadly speaking, most social networks separate out into a few main groups. Eyes - e.g. services like Flickr for pictures and YouTube for moving pictures. Ears - e.g. AudioBoo for voices and SoundCloud for songs. Feet - e.g. FourSquare for where I am now and… Continue reading →

Email Is The New Snail Mail

by @edent | # # # # # | Read ~119 times.

For the last few years, I've been trying to opt out of having any postal mail sent to me. Wherever a company offers online billing - I sign up in a flash. My insurance company are now bored of me saying "rather than posting the policy - can you email it to me instead?" I've… Continue reading →

Lessons From CodeClub

by @edent | # # # # # # | 4 comments | Read ~354 times.

Last night, I ran my second Code Club at Woking Library - teaching kids how to program using Scratch. We're following CodeClub's syllabus which has loads of kid friendly lessons. The first lesson was a great success. It was held before the Christmas break - so I was eager to make sure that interest hadn't… Continue reading →

It's Pronounced "Reading"

by @edent | # # # # | 8 comments | Read ~497 times.

English is a funny old language. That my mother tongue doesn't bother with internal consistency doesn't bother me much - except when it comes to Text-To-Speech. Using Google Maps to provide route guidance in the UK is a challenging affair. Driving through Reading, the computerised voice continually mispronounced is as "Reading". Err... that is to… Continue reading →

Crowd-Sourced Tracking of Unmarked Police Cars

by @edent | # # # | 3 comments | Read ~991 times.

As I was driving to work today, I noticed I was being tailgated. The driver seemed distracted by some electronic gizmo and wasn't paying much attention to his surroundings. I started to take a note of the car's numberplate when all of a sudden the front grill exploded with flashing blue lights, a siren started… Continue reading →

Why QR Codes Are Perfect For The Internet of Things

by @edent | # # # # # # # | 2 comments | Read ~3,912 times.

My first QR code post of 2013! I'm a long term fan of QR codes. I know some people don't like the idea of augmenting reality with specific tags for computer vision - but I do. Some people prefer RFID/NFC. Others still prefer dedicated augmented video apps. As I've written many times before, QR codes… Continue reading →

Sex Ratios in Delhi

by @edent | # | 1 comment | Read ~1,204 times.

There are no words to adequately describe the horrific rape and murder of Jyoti Singh Pandey. I remember, several years ago reading a short piece of speculative fiction which postulated that China would go to war over access to women. Generations of female infanticide would leave the country with a severe gender imbalance. Hoards of… Continue reading →

A Stock Exchange For Digital Media

by @edent | # # # # # | 5 comments | Read ~223 times.

The Internet is "the world's most efficient copying machine" -- Cory Doctorow. This is a long and rambling blog post which asks two questions: Given that we can only read one book at a time - can we set up a "Kindle Stock Exchange" for our unused media? If so, what effect would this have… Continue reading →