Personalisation is Asymmetric Psychological Warfare

by @edent | # # # | 6 comments | Read ~10,599 times.

Another privacy nightmare. An airline wants its cabin crew to know your birthday and favourite drinks order, to better personalise its service to you. My first instinct is to recoil in horror. It sounds like every dystopian sci-fi epic. But why do I feel this way? Partly it is the lack of genuine personality behind… Continue reading →

KYLI - because it is superior to JSON

by @edent | # # # | 1 comment | Read ~1,093 times.

This is a (silly) attempt to fix some of the shortcomings of JSON. Hence it is named after the goddess of music. It uses C0 Control Characters Here is an example: ␜ ␁ This is a KYLI document ␂ ␝ GroupName ␞ data ␟ value ␛ Comments are supported too! They can be multilined easily.… Continue reading →

Which Twitter User Receives The Most Citations on Wikipedia?

by @edent | # # # | 3 comments | Read ~284 times.

I few days ago, I was somewhat surprised to find that one of my Tweets had been used as a citation in Wikipedia! I began to wonder - how often are Tweets used in citations? It's possible to search for your own Tweets using this (somewhat obscure) link: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3ALinkSearch&target=twitter.com%2Fedent Just edit the end of it… Continue reading →

A Complete List of Every UK Government Domain Name

by @edent | # # # | 5 comments | Read ~737 times.

Would you like to know every domain name the UK Government had registered? Of course you would! There could be all sorts of interesting tit-bits hidden in there (ProtectAndSurvive.gov.uk? EbolaOutbreak2017.nhs.uk? MinistryOfTruth.police.uk?) Rather than relying on Freedom of Information requests, or Open Data, we can go straight to the source of domain names - the DNS!… Continue reading →

Big Data As A Lethal Weapon

by @edent | # # # # # | 1 comment | Read ~232 times.

Yesterday I attended an OII talk on the Ethical Treatment of Data in New Digital Landscapes. Amy O'Donnell from Oxfam lead a discussion about how the charity is seeking to improve the way that Aid Agencies deal with the data they collect. Oxfam collects data for many different reasons - sometimes it is incidental (for… Continue reading →

Shakespeare's Honor

by @edent | # # #

As part of the Shakespeare Hackday I attended a few weeks ago, we discussed some interesting analysis which can be done on the text. Certain forms of analysis are hampered due to the archaic and inconsistent spelling. I wondered if that could be mined for anything interesting. For example, in modern UK English we use… Continue reading →

Exporting TwitPic Images - Python

by @edent | # # # # | 4 comments | Read ~1,320 times.

As part of my quest to ensure I have a reasonable backup of all my social media data, I've been investigating ho easy it is to export photos from TwitPic. I've been using TwitPic since 2008 and have uploaded 1,200 images there. There's no official export function for TwitPic. The services which used to exist… Continue reading →

Opt Out of Klout - Now!

by @edent | # # # # # | 20 comments | Read ~22,963 times.

Sites like Klout and Kred are perfect examples of social media frippery. A vaguely plausible "score" that you can use to justify your "investment" in tweeting all day long. When they're used as a silly little badge, or an informal competition with friends, they're a (mostly) harmless way of gamification. Of continual annoyance is the… Continue reading →

OpenTech 2013

by @edent | # # # # # | 5 comments | Read ~281 times.

Another year - another OpenTech! See blog posts from 2010 and 2011. It feels like every year the event gets bigger and better. It's still the same crowd of politically aware techies, and it still costs a ridiculously cheap fiver to come along, and the talks were of an abnormally high quality. Here are my… Continue reading →

Surrey Police and the Case of The Misleading Pie Charts

by @edent | # # # # # # | Read ~854 times.

Surrey County Council have sent every household in the county a booklet explaining how our council tax is being spent. Within it is a highly political comment from Kevin Hurley, the newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner. He presents a pie chart showing how the police force spend its money. Take a look at it… Continue reading →