Category Archives: Technology


On getting very excited about buying cables

So, there it is, I managed one poorly-written but intriguingly structured post, wherein I covered a number of topics, I had the full and earnest intention of doing another (hopefully somewhat better) post the following Friday, and of course there was no post. None more posts happened. Now, there was a surprisingly good reason for that, which is that I got my fibre broadband, which was great, and then I had to connect it to my own Synology router (I believe in accessing my Internet primarily through my own hardware, and using the supplied modem/router as just a modem), a product that I recommend at this point, it has some fantastic features. This was fine in theory, and it had worked well with the Virgin Media cable modem, but… It didn’t quite work with the fibre broadband modem/router. It was odd and unreliable, and definitely not fast (it looked like a DNS problem). So I spent last Friday trying everything, and eventually reinstalled the Synology router completely, and it worked and everything was wonderful and fast, and it was late and I was tired and I didn’t write anything. It’s not an excuse (even if it looks a lot like […]

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This is interesting: – a free tool for distorting faces in photos so that they disrupt facial recognition algorithms, while remaining usable for humans. If you’re interested in the notion of the surveillance society or the technology relating to it, then this is definitely one to read.

Programming with JavaScript is what I do for a living, but you can never sit still. JavaScript as a language, the environment in which it operates, the context in which it is used, the ideas and techniques for using it, it never stops evolving. It’s important to keep up.

The next big hurdle is TypeScript, an evolution of JavaScript. I was sceptical at first (it compiles to JavaScript and isn’t used natively – without translation – in many contexts) but it seems to be gaining traction and I think it’s a good gamble to get into it. There’s no harm.

Let’s face it, I frequently get books on new languages and then don’t learn them, which is practically criminal for someone who does what I do for a living. Here’s hoping I’ll see this one through.

(I really, really wanted to learn C. And Objective-C, which I got a start on. I always wanted to learn Python, but… I don’t need it for anything. Go is a big deal for serverside development right now. And Swift. Scala… It seemed like a useful way to get into Java. Considering Rust now, didn’t get the book.)

A conclusion on having switched

This is a follow-on to: Nexus 5 and Android 4.4. In a nutshell, I’m switching back in the next few months. I like the Nexus 5, I like Android, but it’s just not as mature or polished as the iOS experience. There are too many little frustrations. The hardware aspect was definitely a factor in switching; the iPhone 5s, while a good phone, just couldn’t justify the price tag. It was very well-made and well-designed and fast and had a good camera, but was also relatively small. However, the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are a match, even though they cost twice as much as the Nexus 5 did. The camera on these new iPhones is a real draw for me. I’m still impressed with the iPhone 4s camera, and the iPhone 6 camera seems to be a big leap in quality (the camera on the iPhone 6 Plus has optical image stabilisation, which is quite something.). I mean, I love taking photos with my DSLR camera, but I would probably take more with my phone if I thought I was guaranteed of getting good results, which I’m not with my Nexus 5. By all accounts, they are very, […]

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Nexus 5 and Android 4.4

For anyone who interested in such things (and there are a few of you), here’s what I think of my Nexus 5, and why I switched from iPhone. Maybe it’ll help you in deciding, if you need to, or you’re curious. Note: I originally started this back at the end of April. Since then I’ve had time to adjust to the new next thing, the software has been updated, I’ve abused the hardware, Apple and Google unveiled their Next Big Things, new memes have been released and I’ve finally finished the damn review. Amendments to my lambasting follow at the end. tl;dr: I needed a new phone and it was time to try something new while maybe getting a bit more for my money. Oh, and I like Apple stuff, but not blindly. Honest. No justifications, get me to the hardware part! » No justifications, get me to the software part! » So, I’m The Apple Stuff guy who always wades in to defend some piece of Apple kit or to say how something Apple did is better than the way everyone else did it and sticking up for the ruthless billion dollar company as if they actually needed a cheerleader. People have […]

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The having of comments

It’s a tricky issue, having comments on your site; it seems straightforward but it’s actually not. For a start, you’re responsible for the comments on your site. If someone defames someone in the comments on your site, and you leave it there, you could get sued for that defamation as much as a paper publishing a defamatory article. That’s the most serious aspect, for me. After that, there’s the work of it. Managing the comments, the spam (not as much of an issue these days) and responding to the commenters. That last one can be rewarding, although it helps to have a thick skin; things can get nasty, and very personal. Then there’s the abuse from friends, too. I’ve always thought that this kind of thing from friends is more destructive than they realise; if your friend unveiled a new painting in a gallery, would you go to the opening and heckle them and throw things? I doubt it. So, I’ve been considering doing away with comments altogether, which has been something that several sites have been publicly discussing; there are those who never had comments on their sites, those who have recently removed the feature, and those who feel […]

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Using Twitter

I’ve started using Twitter very recently, and although it probably seems like the sort of thing I would have been all over years ago, I actually didn’t see what I would do with it. But now I do. Twitter is a rich source of instant information. Stay updated. Keep others updated. It’s a whole thing. I’m a big Facebook user (Maybe too much? Maybe it doesn’t matter?), although if the truth be told, I actually signed up by accident – back in the day, Facebook didn’t make the sign-up process terribly clear. Facebook used to be more about the networking of people, and the connections between them, then about the uploading of media, and more recently about the entering of information (and through comments and ‘liking’, the expression of opinion) by status updates, and now whole information pages on subjects. The more recent moves to encourage people to update their status in Facebook, to use their status to express opinions and broadcast information in real time have been a direct response to Twitter, which is all about broadcasting snippets of information in 140 characters or less. Twitter by comparison is a ‘one trick pony’, but it’s a hell of a […]

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