Halfway through the year

by @edent | #

We’re exactly halfway through 2020. Fuck. It feels like I’ve spent two-thousand-and-twenty days living through the year 2020. I know how lucky I am to be employed and to be shacked up with a loving spouse. I’m festooned with privilege, but it’s emotionally tough. Liz and I have spent the best part of four months…

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Happy Birthday @Summerbeth!

by @edent | # # # # # | Read ~133 times.
Liz drinking from a Viking horn.

I started dating Liz – my now wife – one cold January back at university. We were young and disgustingly in love. This was it – 💕true love💕! And then, right in our honeymoon phase, she left to Australia for the summer holidays. We both wailed and made overly dramatic speeches about how we’d stay…

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Postel’s Law also applies to human communication

by @edent | # # # # | 2 comments

Early Internet pioneer, Jon Postel, beautifully captured the “Robustness Principle” for networked communications. “Be strict in what you send, and generous in what you receive.” That is, any computer sending data to another, should stick closely to the specification for that communication channel. Any computer receiving data, should expect that the sender isn’t following the…

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When part of your job is *not* caring

by @edent | # # # | 7 comments | Read ~738 times.

Many years ago, when I worked at Vodafone, we had a senior network engineer give us a talk about keeping the network stable in the hours after the 7/7 bombings. He was completely dispassionate. He spoke about analysing network traffic, predicting demand spikes, routing around damage, physically securing sites, supporting the emergency services – and…

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Manual Of Me

by @edent | # #
Some crappy hand drawings.

At a recent Staff Away-Day, we were encouraged to write a “Manual of Me”. A quick summary of the general ways that you like to work. I don’t spend much time on introspection and I found it disturbingly personal. So here’s mine for you to enjoy! Excuse my crappy drawing and even crappier spelling. Here’s…

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Strategies for linking to obsolete websites

by @edent | # # # | 7 comments | Read ~105 times.
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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Joining the board of OpenUK

by @edent | # # # | 2 comments | Read ~136 times.
Cartoon of the OpenUK vision.

As you know, I’m a supporter of open technology. I write open source, I work on open standards, I care about open data. So I am delighted to have joined the board of OpenUK. Our purpose? To develop and sustain UK leadership in Open technology. I want to make the UK the best place to…

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My first visit to a hairdresser in a decade

by @edent | # # # | 5 comments | Read ~1,065 times.
A long haired man with two hairdressers. It's me. And I look bemused.

Way back in 1999, I moved to Canada for a year. Ottawa got down to -30℃ – so I grew my hair to prevent my ears snapping off in the cold. And then I kept growing it. Very occasionally I’d go to a barber for a trim, but I hated the experience. I’m not good…

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The 360 Selfie

by @edent | # # # # # | 3 comments
Us posing outside the Colosseum

I’ll admit it – I never really got the selfie. I was trapped in the mistake that they were a mere narcissistic folly. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The more I travel the world, the more I see a change in people’s behaviour around monuments. It used to be people jostling to get the…

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New Year’s Resolutions

by @edent | # #
A medieval drawing of a woman holding a sword. A bearded man's head is impaled on it.

Post-birthday haze, it’s time to set out my resolutions for the upcoming year. Get better at empathy I have a theoretical understanding that other people are humans, with their own complex lives and decisions. I’m not always good at putting that into practice. Groups of people and abstract personae, I feel like I have a…

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