Replacing IFTTT - Part 1: RSS & Tumblr


I've grown to loath IFTTT. What started out as a cool way to plug internet things together has being an opaque an uncommunicative company with no real interest in customer service. That's not surprising, I suppose, its paying customers are the companies who can't be bothered to develop a proper API and so just shove […] Read More

Some thoughts on Amazon's 2FA


A screen from Amazon showing how to use 2FA

Amazon now let you secure your account with Two-Factor-Authentication (2FA). This means you can log on with a one-time password which changes every minute. For some reason, Amazon call it Two-Step-Verification (2SV) - but it is exactly the same as all the other 2FA solutions. The Process There's no direct link to 2FA settings. So […] Read More

The Uncanny Valley of Consent - when advertising gets creepy


A spotify advertising poster which read - Dear 3,749 people who streamed "It's the end of the world as we know it" on the day of the Bexit vote... hang in there

Music streaming service Spotify has launched a new range of adverts which have gathered mixed reactions. On the surface, they seem like the usual bland corporate attempts at chumming down - trying to cynically pass off advertising as friendship. It's kinda funny, right? At least a funny way to display the privacy we're allowing companies […] Read More

Building an Internet Connected Fridge


A fridge door is slightly open. On top of the fridge is a small computer. Wires trail down to a button which is stuck to the door frame using blue-tack

The Internet Fridge is a standing joke among technologists. I was writing about them in 2002, and they still haven't appeared! So I'm going to show you how I built one. Stop giggling at the back! All I want is for my fridge to notify me if the door has been left over for more […] Read More

Review: Omega2 IoT Prototyping Board


The Omega2 plugged into a dock

I've been sent an Omega2 Plus from Onion.io - it is a $9 Linux computer with built in Wi-Fi, Made for IoT. The obvious comparison is with the Raspberry Pi - and the ultra-cheap Pi-Zero. The Omega2 has a few advantages. It has a (small) amount of built in memory - so even if you […] Read More

Review: Vegetarian Caviar Club


Red balls of veggie friendly caviar

Has it really been 6 years since I last had vegetarian caviar? That's far too long! Sadly, the manufacturers of that particular brand have disappeared - so I was overjoyed when I discovered the UK-based Vegetarian Caviar Club. There are four flavours available, and jars cost between £6 and £7 plus postage. Let's get one […] Read More

Virgin Wines Misleading Adverts


Welcome to another edition of "Middle Class Whinging!" The exciting blog where I chronicle disappointing experiences with admired brands. Virgin Wines loudly and repeatedly promise "next day delivery" on their wine cases. What they don't tell you is that this excludes orders made on Friday. And Saturday. And Sunday too. Basically, they only consider an […] Read More

Converting RAR to ZIP in Linux


A partially open zip on some denim clothing

As ever, mostly notes to myself. RAR is a silly and proprietary format. I prefer free software and I find that ZIP files are smaller and decompress faster. Not everyone agrees, and that's fine. Assuming you've downloaded a RAR file and want to convert it to ZIP, what's the easiest way? Install P7Zip sudo apt-get […] Read More

Would you fall for this phishing scam?


Fake sign in to Google website

Gmail is usually pretty good at stopping spam from reaching my inbox. When it slips up, it reminds me of just how terrifying the modern internet is. Early one morning, I received this email from someone I know (details redacted by me). It came from his email, it has his signature at the bottom. This […] Read More

Can you open someone else's mail?


A traditional British red post box

This is mostly written so I can copy-and-paste it on to forums where people keep getting this basic information wrong. If you've ever moved house, you'll know how annoying it is to receive mail for the previous occupants. When those letters have a big red BAILIFFS ARE COMING warning on them - it is especially […] Read More