DVD Review: The Invisible Enemy

by @edent | , , | 1 comment

DVD cover.

This is such an unfairly maligned Doctor Who story. It is chock-full of brilliant high-concept Sci-Fi ideas. Even the spelling on the stencilled doors and windows rewards the careful viewer with little insights into the far future. This is heavily "inspired" by Fantastic Voyage - and I think that's great; Doctor Who has always ripped…

Opting Out of TurnItIn

by @edent | , , | 4 comments | Read ~421 times.

Screenshot of TurnItIn displaying a list of my blog posts.

The web service TurnItIn is a "plagiarism detector". Lots of universities use it to assess whether their students are copy-n-pasting content which they haven't written. I'm not a big fan of it. First, I'll explain how to opt-out your websites. Then I'll explain why I don't like the service. Block Their Robot TurnItIn scans the…

Magnetic chargers are the future

by @edent | , | 4 comments | Read ~167 times.

5 magnetic USB cables.

Apparently, Apple plans to make a port-less iPhone which only uses wireless charging. This is something I predicted 7 years ago! Qi - the wireless charging standard - is excellent. Put your phone down on a mat, or in a cradle, and it starts charging. Lovely! But there's a problem. You can't pick up your…

Movie Review: Free Guy

by @edent | ,

Movie poster.

It always amuses me how rarely American actors are allowed to act. Ryan Reynolds stars as Ryan Reynolds - with the exact same delivery and intonation as all his other rôles. The same semi-improvised witty asides. The same fourth-wall breaking memes. Hey, look, it works for him and audiences seem to love it. I just…

Turning an eInk screen into a monochrome art gallery

by @edent | , , , , , | 6 comments | Read ~5,191 times.

Previously on Terence Eden's Blog: I turned an old eReader into an Information Screen. This time, I'm taking a different Nook, and turning it into a magic gallery. Here's what it looks like in action: Upcycled an old eReader into an art frame.Displays a new black & white piece of art from Flickr every few…

Book Review: A Teaspoon and an Open Mind - The Science of Doctor Who by Michael White

by @edent | , ,

A book cover featuring a teaspoon.

How do you build a Tardis? What are the secrets of teleportation? Could Cybermen take over the world? Is telepathy possible - even for an alien? Will extra-terrestrials one day visit planet earth on their travels through the galaxy? Can a robotic dog catch a cold ...? Take a journey with the Time Lords as…

x-no-data-charges

by @edent | , | 4 comments | Read ~176 times.

"Opening a secure connection. Yes or No?"

Here's an idea that can't possibly work. People used to pay-per-minute for telephone calls. Some numbers were "zero-rated". That is, if you called them you wouldn't be charged. At first1 it was calls to the emergency services which were free. Businesses and other organisations realised that it was good customer service to provide a free-to-call…

Book Review: New Moons For Sam, Becoming Kiwi – Life of a New Zealand Diplomat by Peter Hamilton

by @edent | , ,

Book cover showing a moon rising over the sea.

In 1961, a boy from Somerset embarked with his family on a six-week voyage to New Zealand. He left behind an English village where generations of his family had lived, to make a new home in a remote country that was still closely tied to the one he'd left. Despite challenges adapting as new immigrants,…

Book Review: All That Remains - A Life in Death by Sue Black

by @edent |

Book cover featuring a skeleton.

Sue Black confronts death every day. As a Professor of Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology, she focuses on mortal remains in her lab, at burial sites, at scenes of violence, murder and criminal dismemberment, and when investigating mass fatalities due to war, accident or natural disaster. In All That Remains she reveals the many faces of…

How do you store numbers with leading zeros?

by @edent | , | 12 comments | Read ~262 times.

Binary code displayed on a screen.

I am very interested in your opinion on this. Imagine that you work at a company which sells widgets. Each widget has a unique serial number. The number is a fixed length, and can contain leading zeros. That is, the following are all valid identifiers: 00001 01010 12345 What data type would you use to…