Book Review: Mirrorshades The Cyberpunk Anthology

Collection of book covers features people wearing mirrored sunglasses.

This is a tough little compilation to review. It's a collection of mid-1980s stories all grouped around the loose theme of "Cyberpunk". What is Cyberpunk? Well, I'm not quite sure. And neither is the book. Some of the stories are high-tech tales of people fighting the system and sticking it to the man! Others are... […]

Continue reading →

The IAB loves tracking users. But it hates users tracking them.

Logo of the IAB tech lab.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is a standards development group for the advertising industry. Their members love tracking users. They want to know where you are, who you're with, what you're buying, and what you think. All so they can convince you to spend slightly more on toothpaste. Or change your political opinions. Either way, […]

Continue reading →

HOWTO: Fix Calibre's broken window borders in Flatpak / Wayland

Screenshot of Calibre. The windows have no borders, making it hard to see where one starts and another one ends.

If you have a large collection of eBooks, you probably use Calibre - it's simply the best bit of cross-platform software for managing your library. It runs rock-solid on Linux. But a recent upgrade gave me a problem. I started the app and the windows were missing their borders and my mouse cursor was too […]

Continue reading →

Book Review: Her Majesty's Royal Coven - Juno Dawson

A garish pink book cover.

This is a delightfully silly magical romp. Without getting too deep into the spoilers, it is the anti-Potter of books. Middle-aged, feminist, modern witches - drinking wine and kicking arse. And they're all out of wine. I don't think it adds much new to the genre - bitchy witches bullying their peers hasn't changed since […]

Continue reading →

Book Review: Empireland - How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain by Sathnam Sanghera

Book cover. A British bulldog sits atop a statue's column.

After reading Shashi Tharoor's Inglorious Empire I was keen to read more about my country's history. It's weird that studying history in the UK consists of the Tudors, Shakespeare, the Industrial Revolution, and the World Wars. Nothing about how modern Britain came to exist, our empire, its global and local consequences, or the path it […]

Continue reading →

Book Review: More Zeros and Ones - Digital Technology, Maintenance and Equity in Aotearoa New Zealand by Anna Pendergrast & Kelly Pendergrast

Book cover.

This is a sequel to Shouting Zeros and Ones - Digital Technology, Ethics and Policy in New Zealand and follows a familiar pattern. It's a series of essays looking at digital issues from a uniquely NZ perspective. There is a fair bit of Te reo Māori (Māori language) in the book. It's great that the […]

Continue reading →

Book Review: There Is Nothing for You Here - Fiona Hill

Book cover featuring an American flag.

This is a profoundly depressing but utterly necessary read. It charts Fiona Hill's journey from the moribund educational opportunities provided in a dying coal city in England, all the way to her testimony in the Trump impeachment hearings. It is part biography and part political manifesto. Both parts work well together, but requires a degree […]

Continue reading →

Book Review: The Really Good Idea Test - Julia Shalet

Book cover.

My mate Julia has written a book! And, as per the title, it is really good. This is a book about helping you discover if that idea you've had - for a product, feature, book, business, whatever - is likely to catch on. It does this through the lens of understanding users. The Really Good […]

Continue reading →

Restaurant Review: Rani Vilas Restaurant Batu Caves

Photo of Liz tucking into a big pile of colourful food served on a banana leaf.

If you've visiting Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, I have two tips for you. Firstly, get there as early as possible in order to avoid the heat and other tourists. Secondly, after climbing a mountain of stairs, marvelling at the wonders therein, and being stared at by hundreds of monkeys - you're going to be […]

Continue reading →

Book Review: Pink Floyd and The Dark Side of the Moon - Martin Popoff

Book cover showing a rainbow emanating from a triangle.

This thorough examination of Pink Floyd's epic album is a lushly illustrated coffee-table book. Breezily written and good for dipping in and out of. It gives as a brief history of Pink Floyd and then dives in to every nook and cranny about the making of DSotM. It's chock full of some great archive photos […]

Continue reading →