Posting Audio to Twitter

by @edent | # # #
The Twitter logo.

You can't post raw audio to Twitter directly. It sucks. Sure, you can post links to audio, but it's not quite the same. Here's a couple of Linux one-liners which will turn audio into simple video suitable for uploading to social media. Waves This converts audio to a waveform: ffmpeg -i input.mp3 -filter_complex "[0:a]showwaves=s=640x480:mode=line,format=yuv420p[v]" -map…

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Book Review: The Entrepreneurial State

by @edent | # # # | 3 comments
Book cover with a lion on it.

This book debunks the myth of the State as a large bureaucratic organization that can at best facilitate the creative innovation which happens in the dynamic private sector. It argues that in the history of modern capitalism the State has not only fixed market failures but also shaped and created markets, actively investing in new technologies and sectors that private investors only later find the courage to move into.

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In the future, will computers be faster or slower?

by @edent | # | Read ~173 times.
A tiny pixelated person runs away from a crude model of a car.

Here's a great set of questions to ask at your next corporate strategy away day. I know you know the answers to these questions - but I promise that the people in charge of your organisation will have some illuminating answers. Thinking about the next five years... will computers be faster or slower? will the…

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How often would you like to get paid?

by @edent | # # # | 6 comments | Read ~143 times.
A tiny lego Storm Trooper eats a chocolate coin.

In the UK, most professional jobs pay monthly. In the USA, it seems most professional jobs get paid every two weeks. This usually comes as a great shock when someone from one side of the pond finds out how poorly employment conditions are on the other side. Naturally, everyone believes their own way of doing…

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Strategies for linking to obsolete websites

by @edent | # # # | 7 comments
Plugin offering to fix a broken link by replacing it with an archive link.

I've been blogging for a long time. Over the years, I've linked to tens of thousands of websites. Inevitably, some of those sites have gone. Even when sites still exist, webmasters seem to have forgotten that Cool URls Don't Change. I use the WordPress Broken Link Checker plugin. It periodically monitors the links on my…

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Your webcam cover is messing up your screen brightness

by @edent | # # # | 4 comments | Read ~188 times.
A laptop with the webcam covered - a green LED is visible.

Here's something I didn't know - but should have, because it's obvious... Your screen's auto-brightness depends on your webcam. If, like me, you have a privacy cover - this happens: The MacBook I'm using doesn't have any lux sensors that I can see - most phones have a separate sensor which means the camera isn't…

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Bug report: 4K iPlayer on the Amazon Fire Stick

by @edent | # # # # # | 2 comments
BBC video with debug information on it.

Technology never works right. And video technology never works right even harder. The Amazon 4K Fire Stick is a pretty cool bit of kit. It's an Android device which can push 4K HDR video with surround sound to your TV. But, like any technology, it's buggy. Here's the bug report I've tried to send to…

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How we organise and store thousands of UGC photos

by @edent | #
A tiny micro sd card.

Our community project - OpenBenches is going really well. At the time of writing, we have 33,211 photos, taking up over 100GB. Cameras and phones all have different ways of naming the photos they save. Some files are named with a datestamp - 2019-12-25_01.jpg. Others are sequential - photo_0001.jpg. Or they might have a system…

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Toshiba / Vestel Engineering Menu - 4725

by @edent | # #
A blue screen full of debug information.

Here's a quick guide to hacking investigating your TV's engineering menu. This works on all Vestel TVs - including modern Toshiba screens. I've also written about Telnet control of Toshiba Smart TVs. If you manage to break your TV using this forbidden knowledge, please don't come crying to me for help. Turn on your TV.…

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Bouncing all my music down to Opus

by @edent | # # # | 4 comments
Headphone box.

As much as technology marches forward, there are two truths I need to accept. File transfer speeds are always going to be slower that I can be bothered to wait My ears aren't going to get any better at hearing For years, I ripped all of my music as FLAC. I collected ridiculously high-resolution audio…

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