How to Hypnotise an Artificial Intelligence

Last week I attended a talk by Dr Irina Higgins from Artificial Intelligence company DeepMind. It was a fascinating look at how their AI works, and how it is trained. If you've ever played a video game online, it is likely you've been training an Artificial Intelligence agent without realising it.Ethical? — Terence Eden ⏻ […] Read More

Visualising Twitter Conversations in 2D Space

Update! The source-code for this app can be found at Many years ago, I created a threaded conversation viewer for fledgling social network It was a unique way to flow through a conversation without having to be constrained by the linear vertical scroll of the typical web browser. died - and I […] Read More

Converting filenames to Title Case in Linux

A cute penguin - the official mascot of Linux

Here's a simple bash one-liner to convert mixed-case filenames into Title Case: rename 's/(\S+)/\u\L$1/g' * This forces the file extension to lower-case as well. Use rename -n to test the command without changing anything on the filesystem. (Adapted from this PerlMonks FAQ.) Background I have a bunch of inconsistently named files like: HERE COMES THE […] Read More

Charity Fundraising Using VR

Close-up of a BoboVR headset

Walking back from work yesterday, I noticed an unusual set of chuggers - those faux-cheerful folk who try to stop you in the street asking for money. They were fundraising for Unicef. Rather than handing out flyers they were carrying high-tech VR headsets! Using the headset, I was able to take a virtual tour of […] Read More

Can I own my identity on the Internet?


The ultra secure messaging app, Signal, requires a mobile phone number in order to sign up to it. This, as my friend Tom Morris, points out, is madness. People don't own mobile phone numbers. They are rented from mobile operators. Yes, you may be able to move "your" number between a limited set of providers […] Read More

Self-inflicted Denial of Service on GitHub (Disclosed)

I've found an interesting, but low severity, way for a malicious user to selectively deny access to specific GitHub issues and Pull Requests. This doesn't affect the whole site - just targeted pages. It doesn't require elevated permissions, nor any special skills. This is just GitHub punching itself in the face. Here's how it works. […] Read More

The Robot Had A Nose

A robot with a human face

C-3P0 doesn't have a schnoz. The degloved terminator has a bleak hole where his snout should be. Both the Jetson's Rosie and Futurama's Bender are arhinotic. The robot sat in front of me was different. The RoboThespian is an imposing chunk of metal. LEDs blink as servomotors whine. The exposed wiring twists as the arms […] Read More

Mistakes in molecular gastronomy

A food syringe over a bowl of soy sauce

It is a little masochistic to dwell on one's mistakes. I doubt anyone thinks that I am perfect (not even my mother!) - but I think talking about our mistake serves a useful purpose. It's healthy for us to discuss our failings, and hopefully helps people from following in our footsteps. After last week's success […] Read More