Questions to ask before launching a crypto-payments feature

by @edent | # # # # # # | 5 comments | Read ~218 times.
A tiny lego Storm Trooper eats a chocolate coin.

Messaging app Signal is launching a payment service in the UK. This will allow users to send each other money cryptocurrency. Many people have written about why this is a daft idea. But they’ve mostly talked about why cryptocoins corrupt everything they touch. I want to talk about why this is a shitty idea from…

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Movie Review: Coded Bias

by @edent | # # #
Moview poster with a synthetic white face.

This is an excellent and illuminating documentary of the state of algorithmic bias. If you’ve read recent books like Algorithms of Oppression and Race After Technology – you probably won’t find anything new. But it is nice seeing academics in their natural habitats. It really helps to personalise the problems by placing them in social…

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Game Review: Thomas Was Alone

by @edent | #

I’m about a billion years late to this review. But that’s OK, sometimes it is nice to wait until all the bugs have been squashed and all the walkthroughs written up. TWA is a lovely little puzzler. Move blocks around until they fit in the right holes. It is the sort of game which could…

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Book Review: The Gameshouse – The Serpent, The Thief and The Master by Claire North

by @edent | # #
Book cover.

Everyone has heard of the Gameshouse. But few know all its secrets. It is the place where fortunes can be made and lost though chess, backgammon – every game under the sun. But those whom fortune favours may be invited to compete in the higher league where the games played are of politics and nations,…

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Code Palindromes

by @edent | # #
Binary code displayed on a screen.

An idle thought on a long weekend. Is it possible to create an executable binary which is a palindrome? It’s trivial to create a palindromic program in, say, Python: print(“hello”) # )”olleh”(tnirp Save that as test.py and then run cat test.py | rev | python3 and it’ll work. But that’s boring! You could do the…

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Book Review: What White People Can Do Next – From Allyship to Coalition by Emma Dabiri

by @edent | # # # # | 1 comment
Book cover with pretty flowers on it.

When it comes to racial justice, how do we transform demonstrations of support into real and meaningful change? With intellectual rigour and razor-sharp wit, Emma Dabiri cuts through the haze of online discourse to offer clear advice. This was a refreshing and necessary book to read. Refreshing because so much of the discourse on race…

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Book Review: Always On – Hope and Fear in the Social Smartphone Era by Rory Cellan-Jones

by @edent | # # # | 1 comment
Book cover.

We live at a time when billions have access to unbelievably powerful technology. The most extraordinary tool that has been invented in the last century, the smartphone, is forcing radical changes in the way we live and work – and unlike previous technologies it is in the hands of just about everyone. Coupled with the…

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Book Review: Good Data by Sam Gilbert

by @edent | # # # # | 3 comments | Read ~114 times.
Book cover of overlapping circles.

This is a Bad Book. It is probably the most profoundly disturbing book I’ve read about the misuse of personal data. Not because it exposes the horrors of algorithmic harassment and discrimination, but because it joyfully revels in them. The book’s central thesis is that slurping up personal data, without explicit permission, and using that…

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Book Review: Monstrous Design – Kat Dunn (Battalion of the Dead series Book 2)

by @edent | # # #
Book cover.

1794, London: Camille and Al are desperately hunting Olympe’s kidnapper. From the glamorous excesses of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens to the city’s seedy underbelly, they are caught in a dangerous game of lies and deceit. And a terrible new enemy lies in wait with designs more monstrous than they could ever imagine… Can Camille play…

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Which generates more electricity – East- or West-facing solar panels?

by @edent | # | 2 comments
Graph showing the difference between east and west panels.

We’ve had our solar panels for exactly a year. Our roof has an East/West aspect – and we have 250kW of panels on each side. Here’s a typical graph showing how each side performs during the day. East facing solar panels 🆚 West facing solar panels. London, UK. pic.twitter.com/JBcd5KPGyJ — Edent's Solar Panels (@Edent_Solar) March…

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