Strategies for linking to obsolete websites

by @edent | # # # | 7 comments
Plugin offering to fix a broken link by replacing it with an archive link.

I've been blogging for a long time. Over the years, I've linked to tens of thousands of websites. Inevitably, some of those sites have gone. Even when sites still exist, webmasters seem to have forgotten that Cool URls Don't Change. I use the WordPress Broken Link Checker plugin. It periodically monitors the links on my…

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Your webcam cover is messing up your screen brightness

by @edent | # # # | 4 comments | Read ~226 times.
A laptop with the webcam covered - a green LED is visible.

Here's something I didn't know - but should have, because it's obvious... Your screen's auto-brightness depends on your webcam. If, like me, you have a privacy cover - this happens: The MacBook I'm using doesn't have any lux sensors that I can see - most phones have a separate sensor which means the camera isn't…

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Bug report: 4K iPlayer on the Amazon Fire Stick

by @edent | # # # # # | 2 comments | Read ~114 times.
BBC video with debug information on it.

Technology never works right. And video technology never works right even harder. The Amazon 4K Fire Stick is a pretty cool bit of kit. It's an Android device which can push 4K HDR video with surround sound to your TV. But, like any technology, it's buggy. Here's the bug report I've tried to send to…

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How we organise and store thousands of UGC photos

by @edent | #
A tiny micro sd card.

Our community project - OpenBenches is going really well. At the time of writing, we have 33,211 photos, taking up over 100GB. Cameras and phones all have different ways of naming the photos they save. Some files are named with a datestamp - 2019-12-25_01.jpg. Others are sequential - photo_0001.jpg. Or they might have a system…

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Toshiba / Vestel Engineering Menu - 4725

by @edent | # # | Read ~146 times.
A blue screen full of debug information.

Here's a quick guide to hacking investigating your TV's engineering menu. This works on all Vestel TVs - including modern Toshiba screens. I've also written about Telnet control of Toshiba Smart TVs. If you manage to break your TV using this forbidden knowledge, please don't come crying to me for help. Turn on your TV.…

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Bouncing all my music down to Opus

by @edent | # # # | 4 comments | Read ~109 times.
Headphone box.

As much as technology marches forward, there are two truths I need to accept. File transfer speeds are always going to be slower that I can be bothered to wait My ears aren't going to get any better at hearing For years, I ripped all of my music as FLAC. I collected ridiculously high-resolution audio…

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HOWTO: Regenerate Gravatars in WordPress

by @edent | # # | 1 comment
The Logo for WordPress

A troublesome plugin recently corrupted some of the avatars on my blog's comments. This is a quick HOWTO for regenerating them. Gravatars are based on the MD5 hash of a user's email. For some reason, the plugin had overwritten the avatar field with the text http://identicon This MySQL query finds all the comment IDs which…

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Book Review - Terry Pratchett's Discworld Imaginarium

by @edent | # # | 1 comment
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 ~186 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 | # # # # | Read ~108 times.
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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