Designing for non-rectangular browser windows

A smartphone in the shape of a triangle.

How I miss the days when phone manufacturers were innovative. Nowadays everything is just a boring black rectangle. How to end a frontend developer's career — Tawanda Nyahuye👨‍💻 (@towernter) May 6, 2022 I imagine that this (concept) device would probably just put the browser only on one row / column. Probably sensible, but utterly…

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Disposable Phone Numbers

A flip phone.

Here's another idea which I tried to launch, back when I worked for a phone company. Disposable phone numbers. The pitch was simple. "As a woman on a dating site, I don't want to give my phone number out to strange blokes in case they don't like it when I eventually reject them." The idea…

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Magnetic chargers are the future

5 magnetic USB cables.

Apparently, Apple plans to make a port-less iPhone which only uses wireless charging. This is something I predicted 7 years ago! Qi - the wireless charging standard - is excellent. Put your phone down on a mat, or in a cradle, and it starts charging. Lovely! But there's a problem. You can't pick up your…

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"Opening a secure connection. Yes or No?"

Here's an idea that can't possibly work. People used to pay-per-minute for telephone calls. Some numbers were "zero-rated". That is, if you called them you wouldn't be charged. At first1 it was calls to the emergency services which were free. Businesses and other organisations realised that it was good customer service to provide a free-to-call…

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Best Bulk Data PAYG SIMs in the UK

The Doctor on the phone.

I want to buy a big chunk of data and use it until it runs out. I'm not interested in a contract. I don't want a bundle of phone calls, SMS, or ringtones. Just give me DATA that lasts for as long as possible. Here's the best data deals that I could find. Stick them…

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How much money I've spent on mobile calls / text / data in the last year

The Doctor holding Ryan's phone.

A couple of months into the pandemic, I realised that I was vastly overpaying for my mobile usage. I was paying £10/month for unlimited calls, texts, and 8GB data. That's a pretty reasonable price, but I was sat at home all day on WiFi - so I had no need for data. I don't send…

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Why spam calls come from similar numbers to your phone number

Can of Spam. From

In the last few months, I've received dozens of spam calls which appear to come from a similar phone number to mine. If my number is 07700 900 123 I get calls from 07700 900 124 or 07700 900 456 Here's my working theory on why spammers do this. Americans. In the UK, there's a…

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Mobile data is getting too cheap to meter - free bandwidth is here

List of price plans. Free for 250MB, £1 for 500MB, £6 for a GB.

A few months ago, I wrote about how data is so cheap it is being given away. Mobile network Three were offering £10 data SIMs which came with 200MB of zero-cost data. Recently, I've found another free provider of data, with an intriguing price-plan. RWG Mobile are a Welsh MVNO who use EE as their…

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My solution to spam calls

The Amazon Polly config screen.

Like most of you, I'm inundated with spam calls. So I have a new solution. When an unknown number calls me, they get routed to this audio file. This was created with Amazon Polly which is free for casual use. I was pretty impressed with the voice quality. Although there are limits to how well…

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Using SipGate to set up a BANANAPHONE!

A developer console.

Like many of you, I'm inundated with spam calls. I've suffered endless car accidents, my National Insurance Number has been suspended multiple times, and my broadband will be cut off imminently. Wouldn't be nice to screen out all the fraudsters? So I've set up a Bananaphone. When people ring me, they get 30 seconds of…

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