Not Shaking Hands Feels Weird

by @edent | | 4 comments | 350 words

Lots of bottles of hand sanitiser.

In British culture - the handshake is the default greeting. It's as ubiquitous as a hearty "good morning" or offering to buy people a round of drinks in the pub. To deliberately not shake hands is rude. It indicates that you are breaking normal social behaviour. Handshakes are political. Back in the 1990s, the Prime…

Doesn't everyone have unlimited data?

by @edent | , , , , | 4 comments | 200 words

A graph showing pre-pay usage is gradually declining.

One of the (many many many) things our team worked on this week finally went live: You can now access most NHS services from your mobile, with no data charges.In awe of the team who pulled this together very quickly. — Terence Eden (@edent) March 18, 2020 All the UK's major mobile networks have…

Programming Languages - look how far we've come!

by @edent | , | 250 words | Read ~118 times.

List of computers.

Back in the 1980s, when my family first got a micro-computer, there were only limited ways to program your machine. The Internet was basically non-existent for domestic users. You could buy thick computer manuals, swap cassettes with other enthusiasts, or build a light pen and point it at a flashing square on your TV (Really!)…

The Evolution of Reg

by @edent | , , | 450 words | Read ~291 times.

Scene from Monty Python's Life of Brian. The People's Front of Judea sit on the steps, arguing.

In today's edition of "All My Faves Are Problematic..." I was re-watching Life of Brian for the umpteenth time, when I suddenly felt uncomfortable. You can probably recite this scene from memory: REG: What's the point of fighting for his right to have babies when he can't have babies?! FRANCIS: It is symbolic of our…

Zoom's forced app is irresponsible

by @edent | , , , | 6 comments | 250 words | Read ~522 times.

Screenshot of the Zoom Website.

Due to COVID19, I'm using a wide range of video conferencing services. Those of us who have work-supplied laptops usually have locked-down hardware. No unauthorised apps can be installed. That's not a problem for Google Hangouts - it just works in any browser. No need to install plugins or apps. Voice and video just work.…

GDPR and common sense

by @edent | , , , | 3 comments | 400 words | Read ~134 times.

Some giant question marks standing in a field.

Every so often, I get a glimpse into the thought processes of someone who has a very different view of the world to me. I don't deal with people's personal information often. So I was surprised to receive an email with a multi-megabyte spreadsheet called "Pay and Bonuses 2020". The email contained this doozy of…

It will cost you £500 not to attend this conference

by @edent | , | 5 comments | 550 words | Read ~566 times.

Two pigs talking. "Isn't it great that we pay nothing for the barn?" The other says "Yeah and the food is free."

A few weeks ago, I was asked if I wanted a free ticket to a conference about the health industry. The line-up of speakers looked pretty interesting, so I said yes. I speak at a lot of conferences, and sometimes it's nice to go as a guest. Even though I'd agreed, the conference organiser started…

It's OK to lie to WiFi providers

by @edent | , , | 6 comments | 300 words | Read ~249 times.

Give social networks fake details, advises Whitehall web security official.

Another day, another data breach. The email addresses and travel details of about 10,000 people who used free wi-fi at UK railway stations have been exposed online. The database, found online by a security researcher, contained 146 million records, including personal contact details and dates of birth. It was not password protected. BBC News There's…

Week Notes - COVID19

by @edent | , , , | 2 comments | 500 words | Read ~290 times.

Teamwork makes the dream work. A shoal of fish have formed into the shape of a large shark.

What started as a fairly ordinary week, quickly transformed into something extraordinary. Large swathes of NHSX were suddenly told to de-prioritise their day-to-day work and focus on COVID19 response. I probably can't talk specifically on what I've been working on, but it has been one of the most intense working weeks of my life. As…

Everything you know about Twitter character counting is wrong

by @edent | , , | 700 words | Read ~279 times.

Japanese text pasted into the Twitter compose window. It is showing that there are too many characters.

How many characters can a Tweet contain? It used to be 140, back in the good old days. Now it's 280. Unless you're Japanese. Let me explain… I run OpenBenches - a site which collects memorial benches. When a user adds a bench, the inscription is automatically Tweeted. If the inscription is longer than 280…