How I became Leonardo da Vinci on the Blockchain

by @edent | # # # # | 37 comments | Read ~21,843 times.

Yesterday at the CogX conference, I sat in a room listening to companies pitch their blockchain based startups. Because I hate myself. One in particular caught my attention. On the surface it seems to solve an important economic problem - art forgery and provenance. By putting your artwork on the "BitCoin Blockchain", Verisart will ✨hand… Continue reading →

How long should you continue a boycott?

by @edent | # # | 9 comments | Read ~293 times.

In 2005, Sony put malware on their music CDs and then illegally infected customers' machines. I've not purchased a Sony product since. Their new TVs look amazing, but I've decided I don't want to reward a company which behaved so despicably. Is that sensible? 13 years later and I'm still holding a grudge. Is that… Continue reading →

Knowledge Illusions

by @edent | # # # | 2 comments | Read ~282 times.
Screenshot of the Alexa app. She thinks Tim Roth played Doctor Who.

Optical Illusions trick your brain into seeing something that isn't there. Whether it is spirals which don't exist, movements which don't occur, or faces in curved lines - our optic centres are trivially easy to fool. Humans are not alone in this cognitive deficiency. Other animals are also conned into believing something which isn't true.… Continue reading →

Usability of Key Distribution in BlockChain Backed Electronic Voting

by @edent | # # # | Read ~515 times.
Photo of a polling station sight. Taken by "Descrier" with URL descrier.co.uk

I went to an event a few weeks ago where some leading BlockChain organisations were showing off the power of Distributed Ledgers and how they will transform society. Not one of them mentioned users. There was talk of investors, stakeholders, corporations, smart-contract-backed entities. But no users. No real people who have to interact with their… Continue reading →

Asymmetric Latency

by @edent | # # # | Read ~163 times.

I've just finished reading the most wonderful short story - Tower of Babylon by Ted Chiang. In it, he speculates on what would happen if The Tower of Babel were completed. For those unfamiliar with the legend, it tells of a people who tried to build a tower tall enough to reach the heavens. The… Continue reading →

Tech Review - Sabrent rotating USB Hub

by @edent | # # # | Read ~241 times.

As much as I love my MacBook, 2 USB ports just isn't enough! Between phone charging, memory sticks and a keyboard and mouse, I'm sick of swapping cables in and out of ports. I wanted a USB hub which didn't have a trailing wire (one more thing to get tangled or lost) and would fit… Continue reading →

Apartheid Boycotts

by @edent | # # # | 3 comments | Read ~158 times.

My father tells a story of when I was very young and helping him do the shopping in the local supermarket. As I started to lift apples into a bag, he told me to stop, "We don't buy fruit from South Africa," he explained. A woman near us in the aisle turned to him and… Continue reading →

I Still Don't Want To Be Part of Your Fucking Ecosystem

by @edent | # # # # | 30 comments | Read ~33,438 times.

One of the most popular blog posts I have written is called "I Don't Want To Be Part of Your Fucking Ecosystem". In it, I rant against service providers trying to lock their customers into a monoculture. Companies are always looking for the edge which will make them stand out - they think that restricting… Continue reading →

Review - Max Value 500Mbps 3 Port Home Plug Adapter (MV171660 NLHP-5003PORT)

by @edent | # # # # | Read ~1,467 times.

I've recently moved in to a new house. The WiFi from my lounge just about stretches to upstairs, but it's a fairly noisy radio environment as everyone on the street also has WiFi. The 5GHz range is clear as a whistle - but only a few of my devices support that frequency. So! It's time… Continue reading →

Prism and Plausible Deniability

by @edent | # # # # | 1 comment | Read ~108 times.

The leaders of several huge corporations have issued statements saying that their companies do not allow the US Government to illegally spy on their users. I'm sure they believe that. I'd even go so far as to say that I'm sure the entire board and top management genuinely have no knowledge of any malfeasance. Why… Continue reading →