Game Review: Red Matter VR for Oculus


A cosmonaut with a burning red eye.

This is the first paid-for game that I've played on the Oculus Quest 2. I've mostly stuck to demos - because I get bored easily. Or free games - because I'm a cheapskate. But Meta gave me £30 in credit for helping people fix their broken Quests. So I bought this much hyped puzzle game.…

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Book Review: The Galaxy, and the Ground Within - Becky Chambers


Book cover with a starscape.

When a freak technological failure halts traffic to and from the planet Gora, three strangers are thrown together unexpectedly, with seemingly nothing to do but wait. Under the care of Ouloo, an enterprising alien, and Tupo, her occasionally helpful child, the trio are compelled to confront where they've been, where they might go, and what…

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You can't make secure payments in the Metaverse


VR screenshot. the Oculus is complaining that the authentication mechanism of my credit card is too strong and cannot be used. It suggests using PayPal.

Another in an occasional series bemoaning the shitty user experience of Zuck's Metaverse. I have an Oculus Quest 2 and wanted to pay money for an in-app purchase. This seems like a normal thing to do. There's no way to add a credit card while your head is strapped to an overheating Android device. So…

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Have I reached the Douglas Adams Inflection point (or is modern tech just a bit rubbish)?


A tiny TARDIS made of Lego.

The all-knowing sage Douglas Adams had this to say about technology: Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably…

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Some new HTTP verbs


Photo of an orange cat chewing on the wires coming out of the back of a computer.

Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol is, by some measure, the most popular way for computers to talk to each other on the Internet1. Generally speaking2, clients (like browsers) talk to servers using a set number of HTTP "verbs". This tells the server what sort of thing the client is trying to do. The two most popular3 verbs…

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Running a Shortest Splitline Algorithm on the UK - and other mapping adventures


South Western tip of England split into three.

How do you fairly split a country into electoral subdivisions? This is a difficult problem. Whatever you choose, you'll piss off someone. A politician will be annoyed that their loyal voters are no longer in their district. And voters will be annoyed that they're now lumped in with people from the wrong side of the…

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What's the cheapest domain you can register for 10 years?


Screenshot showing £12.80 for 10 years.

I'm concerned about the longevity of the domains I register. I want my domains to be available for as long as possible. But it seems that every year prices rise - and the discount often provided for a new domain rarely continues into subsequent years. So I recently started renewing them for as long as…

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Would you go to the Job Centre or DMV in the Metaverse?


A VR headset.

I'm just getting started with the Oculus Quest 2 from Facebook Meta. It is amazing. OK, that's a lie. It's a pretty good tech demo of what one vision of the future could look like. But it is making a little bit of my brain itch. What Government services1 could / should be run in…

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Meta Quest 2 - Refurb Exchange Experience - how to fix "Unable to Connect to Your Headset"


Unable to Connect to Your Headset We can't connect to your headset. Please try the troubleshooting steps below: - Make sure that your headset is powered on, Bluetooth is on and your phone is next to your headset. - Check that the headset screen is lit up. If it isn't, make sure that your headset is fully charged or connected to power and that your headset is powered on. - Try turning Bluetooth off and on again.

Skip to instructions I bought a Meta Quest 2 second hand from a child who was bored of it. The Quest was in excellent condition but, after a few days use, it became clear that the physical volume up key was broken. There are lots of tips and trips for fixing this. One of which…

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"Writing an app is like coding for LaserDisc"


Photo of the stage at Update 2011. Some people sit on sofas.

11 years ago to the day, I was at a tech conference. It was 3 year after the iPhone had launched its app SDK. Those of us who had been in the mobile game a while had already spent years developing apps for Symbian, BlackBerry, Windows CE, and at least a dozen other OSes which…

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