Review: ACS ACR1251T-E2 USB Token NFC Reader II


USB thumb drive plugged into a computer.

Recap - I want to build an NFC reader expansion card for the FrameWork laptop. So I've bought a couple of components. This is the ACR1251T-E2 - it's a USB pen-drive sized NFC reader with a side-out USB-A plug. Costs about £40. There's a recessed green LED which flashes to let you know that it […]

Continue reading →

Review: ACM1252U-Z2 NFC Reader Board


View of a circuit board with a lit green LED.

Recap - I want to build an NFC reader expansion card for the FrameWork laptop. So I've bought a couple of components. This is the ACM1252U-Z2 and Oh! It is a dinky little component! The only sign that it is working is a flashing green LED. There's no buzzer on the board. It really is […]

Continue reading →

Theatre Review: Instructions for a Teenage Armageddon


Poster featuring lots of Polaroid photos of a teenager.

There are lots of one-man plays. There are a decent number of one-woman shows. Where are the one-girl stories? This is Rosie Day's attempt to fix that imbalance. The plot isn't particularly original (it is hard being a teenage girl!!!) but the way the story unfolds is magical. It is witty, irreverent, and cringey in […]

Continue reading →

Theatre Review: Murder Trial Tonight II - Aldwych Theatre


Promotional poster. The words "Murder Trial Tonight" appear superimposed over an efit of a male suspect.

Overwrought melodrama in London's most uncomfortable theatre. This show has been done countless times before. You, the audience, watch extracts from a murder trial. At the end, you vote on whether she done it or not. It feels more suited to a Channel 5 show which asks punters to text their verdict in to a […]

Continue reading →

Review: Ross Noble's Jibber Jabber Jamboree


The bewildered face of Ross Noble staring out of a jungle.

"This is a show which rewards punctuality!" Thus spake Ross - they only comedian I know of who can successfully heckle his own audience, chastise himself for doing so, go on a twenty-minute segue about cancer-sniffing dogs, and then return (more-or-less) to where he started. It is exhausting to watch him prance around the stage, […]

Continue reading →

Review: Bill Bailey - Thoughtifier at the O2


Photo of Bill Baily, a bearded gentleman of indeterminate age. Arrows point to his face.

Bill's back! Fresh from winning some dance show on linear-TV and ready to... well, do the same thing as he's been doing for years. Rambling tales, dozens of instruments, innovative tech, and a charming whimsy - undercut with, perhaps, a little more darkness than usual. It is a classic, if unsurprising gig. There's an odd […]

Continue reading →

Gig Review: The Leo Green Orchestra perform The Rolling Stones at the London Palladium


Poster for the gig.

For the first time in its illustrious 114 year history, the historic London Palladium will host a monthly orchestral residency beginning in February 2024, which will see iconic artists’ music celebrated. This was an entertaining, but curious, gig. It isn't a tribute act - no sequinned sound-alikes strutting the stage here - it's a a […]

Continue reading →

Review: An NFC reader/writer with USB-C - ACR1252U-MF


Box with a drawing of the NFC reader.

I needed to read and write NFC cards on Linux. I only buy USB-C peripherals now, so I found the brilliantly named "ACR1252U-MF" which appears to be the only USB-C reader on the market. Total cost was about £35 on eBay. It's a cheap and light plastic box with a short USB cord. When you […]

Continue reading →

Giving the finger to MFA - a review of the Z1 Encrypter Ring from Cybernetic


A plain black ring. What secrets does it contain within?

I have mixed feelings about Multi-Factor Authentication. I get why it is necessary to rely on something which isn't a password but - let's be honest here - it is a pain juggling between SMS, TOTP apps, proprietary apps, and magic links. I'm also not a fan of PassKeys1. It feels weird to me that […]

Continue reading →

Dark Season - Russell T Davies' new show starring Kate Winslet


DVD cover featuring various baddies and Kate Winslet.

A dark and shadowy figure is using laptops to terrorise a school and convert its pupils into mindless automata. Only one person can stop this dastardly scheme - Kate Winslet! Who, for some reason, plays a 15 year old. Because she is 15. Because this is 1991 and Russell T Davies has written one of […]

Continue reading →