Review - The Beatles: Get Back


Beatles on the rooftop. Four different camera angles shown simultaneously.

There are two problems with this Peter Jackson documentary. The first is that it is far too long - are casual fans really going to sit through 9 hours of a band bickering? The second problem is that it is far too short! Beatles obsessives (like me) could happily drink in a hundred hours of…

Continue reading →

Book Review: IBM and the Holocaust


Book cover featuring an early computer.

Published to extraordinary praise, this provocative international bestseller details the story of IBM's strategic alliance with Nazi Germany. IBM and the Holocaust provides a chilling investigation into corporate complicity, and the atrocities witnessed raise startling questions that throw IBM's wartime ethics into serious doubt. Edwin Black's monumental research exposes how IBM and its subsidiaries helped…

Continue reading →

Theatre Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane


Poster for the play.

Ocean is... breathtaking. As is foreshadowed in the first few minutes, it is like a stage version of The Dark Crystal. An explosion of supernatural weirdness, eerie music, and baffling puppetry. It's also full of subtle magic. I mean that literally. Props appear in the blink of an eye, characters change without you noticing, the…

Continue reading →

APMG Linux Proctoring - Certified In The Art of Hacking Exam


Vertical questions, but horizontal buttons.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I was unsure how I was going to complete a security exam due to ProctorU not supporting Linux. I'm delighted to say that the examiners - APMG - were understanding about my plight. They were aware of ProctorU's limitations and had a workaround. They had me install…

Continue reading →

Download 1080p streams from iPlayer


Screenshot of VLC reporting that the video is 1080p.

Way back in 2010, Paul Battley was blogging about device discrimination on the Internet. The new iPlayer service was using TLS certificates to ensure that only specific devices were able to stream media from the BBC's servers. That's a situation which continues over a decade later. If you watch iPlayer on your laptop, you're stuck…

Continue reading →

Book Review: Future of Another Timeline - Annalee Newitz


Book cover featuring a clock wrapped in petals.

A story of time travel, murder, and unlikely allies separated by centuries, battling for a world in which anyone can change the future. 1992: Beth, a teenage riot grrl, witnesses a murder and realizes something is deeply wrong with her life--maybe it's her best friend, maybe it's her dad, or maybe it's the strange woman…

Continue reading →

And now it's… Springtime For Crypto


Still from the movie "The Producers".

You've heard of the AI Winter, right? The period where funding for AI dried up due to products failing to meet their hype. I think we're now in Springtime For Crypto1 - named after the musical "Springtime for Hitler" from movie The Producers - where scams abound. You should take a couple of hours to…

Continue reading →

Book Review: Disability and the Tudors - All the King's Fools by Phillipa Vincent Connolly


Book cover featuring King Henry the 8th.

Throughout history, how society treated it’s disabled and infirm can tell us a great deal about the period. Challenged with any impairment, disease or frailty was often a matter of life and death before the advent of modern medicine, so how did a society support the disabled amongst them? For centuries, disabled people and their…

Continue reading →

LG killed its 360 camera after only 4 years - here's how to get it back


Screenshot of an Android device with lots of debug options.

Four years ago, I reviewed the LG-R105 360 Camera. It's a pretty nifty bit of hardware. Sadly, LG have decided that they don't want to support it any more. They already got your money, so fuck you for expecting any further updates. Here's their message: We express a sincere gratitude for your patronage to LG…

Continue reading →

Quick Image Montages


85 Book Covers.

(Mostly notes to myself.) If you have a lot of images in a directory, and want to quickly make an image montage, here's how to do it on Linux using ImageMagick. First up, this command finds all JPG file, then resizes them so they fit in a maximum box of 256x256, then sets the quality…

Continue reading →