Postel’s Law also applies to human communication

by @edent | # # # # | 2 comments

Early Internet pioneer, Jon Postel, beautifully captured the “Robustness Principle” for networked communications. “Be strict in what you send, and generous in what you receive.” That is, any computer sending data to another, should stick closely to the specification for that communication channel. Any computer receiving data, should expect that the sender isn’t following the…

Continue reading →

No software licence will save you from hyperbolic doubt

by @edent | # # | 2 comments

Imagine that you’re a spotty 16 year-old. You’ve just discovered philosophy. You will almost certainly have a conversation like this… Dude… DUDE! What if… What if, like, we’re all just brains in a jar and, like, a machine is projecting reality around us…? Whoa…! I bet you’ve had that conversation with someone. Probably after you…

Continue reading →

I hate subscriptions

by @edent | # | 5 comments | Read ~213 times.

Look – I get why your app or service wants me to pay a subscription. Recurring revenue is useful for a business. Your ARPU KPI is OMG to your VC. And, no doubt, there’s research showing how people are more likely to eat a kitten than cancel a subscription. But I hate it. I resent…

Continue reading →

You’ve got to show up to make a difference

by @edent | # | 2 comments | Read ~110 times.

Eleven years ago, the BBC announced plans to encrypt all of its free-to-air digital TV channels. The technology world was aghast! I saw thousands of Tweets from hundreds of people, angry blog posts, mailing lists erupting with fury. There may even have been a petition. The regulator, Ofcom, announced an enquiry and solicited for feedback.…

Continue reading →

Dark Mode and Transparent Images

by @edent | # # # # | 3 comments
A Hhrd to read image. The text is black, but so is most of the background. Bits have a white background.

Dark Mode is the new cool. Apps which automatically switch to an eye-friendly palette when lighting conditions are poor. Nifty! Most of the time, it’s as simple as making the text a lightish colour, and the background a darkish colour. But all that fails when you use transparencies in images. Here’s a quick example. Using…

Continue reading →

Building a physical <blink> tag!

by @edent | # # # # | 26 comments | Read ~1,382 times.

This is the latest of my many terrible lockdown-induced ideas. I’m saving money on commuting. So I’m spending it on tech-crap I really don’t need. I bought a new laptop sticker. Anyway, enough waffle, here’s the end result: This uses 2-frame lenticular printing. History No browser supports the <blink> element any more. It used to…

Continue reading →

Semantic Dates in Wagtail Blog Posts

by @edent | # # #
The HTML5 Logo.

(Written because I couldn’t find an easy guide online.) Here’s the code (formatted for readability): <time datetime=”{{page.first_published_at|date:”c”}}”> {{page.first_published_at|date:”j F Y”}} </time> You can also use last_published_at if it is a page which has been updated. WHY?!??! Semantics. HTML5 contains the <time> element. The contents of it show up as normal running text, but the metadata…

Continue reading →

Book Review – Teaching Medicine and Medical Ethics Using Popular Culture

by @edent | # # # # #
Surgeons standing over a body.

This book demonstrates how popular culture can be successfully incorporated into medical and health science curriculums, capitalising on the opportunity fictional media presents to humanise case studies. Studies show that the vast majority of medical and nursing students watch popular medical television dramas and comedies such as Grey’s Anatomy, ER, House M.D. and Scrubs. This…

Continue reading →

Building an “On This Day” site for your Twitter Account

by @edent | # # #
Several columns of Tweets. Each one from a previous year.

I wanted to see what I was Tweeting on this exact day last year. And all the years before. So I built a website! It’s a disgusting hack, and I’m truly sorry for unleashing it on you. Using the API You can’t. The Twitter search API only goes back 7 days. This whole idea would…

Continue reading →