How many marriages have been saved by GPS?

by @edent | # # | 5 comments | Read ~257 times.
Long list of GPS satellites.

I have a distinct and unpleasant memory of my parents not-arguing-in-front-of-the-children. It was the early 1990s and my parents had decided to take us on a road trip across America. My dad’s experience of driving the sleepy high-streets of the UK suburbs had not prepared him for the terror of the Los Angeles freeway at…

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Review: Aftershokz Titanium Bone Conducting Headphones

by @edent | # # # | 7 comments | Read ~145 times.
Set of black headphones.

Welcome to the world of endless conference calls! My last pair of headphones broke after a few months of constant use, so I decided to treat myself to a new, sturdier pair. These Aftershokz are SEVENTY QUID! Which is about £40 more than I usual spend on a pair of cans. But these use magic…

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A Visitation of Long Gone Cats

by @edent | # # | 2 comments | Read ~106 times.
A perky looking black cat.

All dogs go to heaven, that’s just science. But cats are contrary buggers and hang around long after their nine lives are up. My cat, Busby, was the scourge of squirrels. The menace of mice. The dispatcher of rats. Legend tells of the day a dozen foxes ran screaming from the bushes, being chased by…

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Book Review: Privacy is Power – Carissa Véliz

by @edent | # # # # | 1 comment | Read ~113 times.
Book Cover.

Without your permission, or even your awareness, tech companies are harvesting your location, your likes, your habits, your relationships, your fears, your medical issues, and sharing it amongst themselves, as well as with governments and a multitude of data vultures. They’re not just selling your data. They’re selling the power to influence you and decide…

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Review: G9070 Robot Vacuum

by @edent | # # # | 4 comments | Read ~160 times.
A round robot.

It has been over five years since I added WiFi to a Roomba. Technology has come a long way since then. I’ve just bought a WiFi enabled mopping robot for under £150. This is the snappily named Muzili G9070. It is a rebranded Tuya model – more on that later – which is available under…

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Movie Review: An American Werewolf in London

by @edent | # #
Movie poster.

I'm trying to build up my tolerance of scary movies. The Shining was pretty good – but not too scary. Now @summerbeth is making me watch An American Werewolf in London. — Terence Eden (@edent) October 30, 2020 I have a theory about certain movies. Take, for example, “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace“. It is…

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Movie Review: Zodiac

by @edent | #
Zodiac Poster.

In the late 1960s/early 1970s, a San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac Killer, an unidentified individual who terrorizes Northern California with a killing spree. This is a rather plodding police procedural. There are a few directorial flourishes, but lacklustre compared to David Fincher’s previous work. After the first…

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Open Data – but not *too* open

by @edent | # # # | 2 comments | Read ~189 times.
If this address is correct and relates to your enquiry, please confirm that you are entitled to view the gas supply details.

I’m an advocate for open data – both in my professional role and in a personal capacity. One of the hard things is succinctly explaining that “open data” means “non-personally identifiable data at a sufficient granularity to be useful without proving a risk to any individual’s (or group’s) reasonable expectations of privacy while still being…

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Using Soundex to find Duplicate Database Entries

by @edent | # # #
Benches on a website. One is called "Bertie" the other "Bert".

Our community website – OpenBenches – has over seventeen thousand crowd-sourced entries. The nature of user-generated content is that there are bound to be duplicates. Especially around popular walking routes. Here’s how I culled around 200 duplicates using the awesome power of SOUNDEX! Soundex is a clever algorithm for reducing a string of characters into…

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If HTML5 Were British

by @edent | # # # | 6 comments | Read ~322 times.
The HTML5 Logo.

If you’ve been around programming circles long enough, you’ll probably have read the seminal “If PHP Were British“. If not, go read it now. I’ll wait. I love the idea of a non-American programming language. I’m aware that there are some, but I’m unaware of any which are in British English. Except, perhaps, BBC Basic.…

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