Review: Sonoff Pow - WiFi power switch and monitoring

by @edent | # # # # | 2 comments | Read ~4,804 times.

The good folks at Sonoff have sent me a bunch of kit to review. See my previous review of the S20 WiFi plug. This is the Sonoff Pow - a WiFi enabled in-line power switch. Set Up Wiring up the Pow is relatively easy. The cover to the terminal block is secured with a simple […]

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únicode is hard

by @edent | # # | 15 comments | Read ~28,985 times.

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 […]

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Review: Sonoff S20 WiFi Plug

by @edent | # # # # | 3 comments | Read ~5,403 times.
A schematic 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 […]

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Long Exposures - Creating Average Frames From Movies

by @edent | # # # # | 3 comments | Read ~7,087 times.

I read a Guardian article about an artist who set up an analogue camera in front of their TV, set it to long exposure, and set a movie playing. The result was a rather wonderful collection of images. You can see more of Jason Shulman's works Is there a way to automate this process? Yes! […]

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Fixing Broken Zip Files from Bandcamp - File name too long

by @edent | # # # | Read ~200 times.

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" > […]

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A Turing Test For Self-Driving Cars

by @edent | # # # | Read ~294 times.

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. […]

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The Twitter Logo As SVG Circles

by @edent | # # | Read ~760 times.

Five years ago, Twitter updated its logo and demonstrated that it could be made entirely of circles. Interestingly, the official Twitter logo doesn't use circles directly. So, here is an SVG I've made which is only circles: Or, without the edges, and no transparency: And the raw code: <svg height="100" viewBox="0 0 100 100" width="100" […]

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A Vegetarian in Beijing

by @edent | # # # # | 2 comments | Read ~451 times.

I was incredibly fortunate that my new employer sent me to a conference in China recently. I can't discuss what I did out there - but I can report on all the delicious food I ate! (NB - I paid for all meals myself!) Being veggie in Beijing was relatively easy. I had a stock […]

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Amazon Alexa and Solar Panels

by @edent | # # # # # | 5 comments | Read ~11,317 times.

I can now query my solar panels via my Alexa Amazon Dot Echo thingie (why so many names?). I flatter myself as a reasonably competent techie and programmer, but fuck me AWS Lambdas and Alexa skills are a right pile of shite! Sorry if that sounds a bit harsh, but they're a pain in the […]

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Internet Connected Lightswitches - Redux!

by @edent | # # # # # | 4 comments | Read ~1,351 times.

Regular readers will remember that I have had a disastrous experience with WiFi light switches. I've had pretty good results with LIFX bulbs - but I really wanted something which can control my lights' switches. Enter the new WisQo smart lightswitches. The company claims that they'll work with the UK's "unique" wiring designs. They've kindly […]

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