Blogocide: A Year on the Micro Tweets

18-Jun-2018


Time permitting, I would love to scratch my writing itch, and blog about all the geeky topics that interest me. But time seems to be in short supply lately, so I've resorted to doing what everyone else does - linking to articles written by people who have more time than me, are better informed, more insightful, with superior writing styles (the swines!). Sharing my opinion by proxy, as it were, by sharing the opinions of others.

Actually, I already started the process this time last year, by resurrecting my Twitter account. Like most decent folk, I dislike Twitter, but there's no denying it does a fine job of providing a platform for micro-blogging and link-sharing. It also integrates nicely with 3rd-party tools like Buffer (which I'm using to schedule my micro-posts), so why fight it...

Now, the last thing I want to do is tie up my data/content in a walled garden, destined for the digital scrapheap when the service eventually (and inevitably) shuts down. So I'll collate my updates into regular "season in review" blog posts which I'll publish to my website. God forbid I should lose all those precious links to cat videos and photos of my lunch (I don't post links to cat videos. Or photos of my lunch).

So without further ado, here's the past year in tweets:


Software development

Rest assured I have never willingly coded to U2...
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/06/13/u2_taylor_swift_code_devs/

The .NET Core/Full/Standard thing gets a little confusing. As usual, Scott does a great job of simplifying matters:
https://www.hanselman.com/blog/HowToReferenceANETCoreLibraryInWinFormsOrNETStandardExplained.aspx

Stories like this (about the likely liquidation of Jawbone) help explain why I built my own fitness tracking app:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-40530310

Either cheer yourself up or make yourself terribly depressed with Stack Overflow's new salary calculator:
https://stackoverflow.com/jobs/salary

I've not used this library yet, but background job scheduling is indeed a pain in Android. Keen to give it a spin:
https://github.com/evernote/android-job

A couple of years old, but an amusing rant against the irrational love given to distributed version control systems:
https://bitquabit.com/post/unorthodocs-abandon-your-dvcs-and-return-to-sanity/

I've built (and continue to build) my fair share of console apps, and with them countless attempts at the perfect command line progress bar. So I'm keen to give these a try: github.com/Mpdreamz/shellprogressbar and github.com/mayuki/Kurukuru (via Scott Hanselman).

Interesting trip down memory lane for us .NET Framework geeks who have been in the trenches since v1:
https://www.dotnetrocks.com/?show=1500
(.NET Rocks! podcast)

It's been a few years since I posted a link to Dan McKinley's article on technical debt, but it holds up well, and nails my thoughts on adopting new technology for its own sake:
http://mcfunley.com/choose-boring-technology

I'm embarrassed by how funny I found some of these software-testing jokes...
http://www.sempf.net/post/On-Testing1


Techy and geeky

Cory Doctorow on the fallacy of banning (or weakening) cryptography in the wake of recent terror attacks:
http://boingboing.net/2017/06/04/theresa-may-king-canute.html

Encryption common sense from the continent (but will Brexit scupper things for the UK?)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology/4032654

Sensible advice as always from Troy Hunt - Passwords Evolved: Authentication Guidance for the Modern Era:
https://www.troyhunt.com/passwords-evolved-authentication-guidance-for-the-modern-era

23-Aug-2017: Disappointed that CrashPlan are getting out of the consumer market - been a happy customer for years. Back to the backup drawing board...

I loved my old Psion Revo soooo much. I really hope that Plant Computing / Gemini do a good job with the reboot:
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/09/11/gemini_psion_alike_pre_production_prototype_handson

Turn 2D faces into 3D models using a convolutional neural network - fun, and does a surprisingly good job!
http://www.cs.nott.ac.uk/~psxasj/3dme/

The ephemeral nature of digital data storage formats - one of my pet subjects, nicely summed up in this recent xkcd comic:
https://xkcd.com/1909/

Bit depressing, but "digital legacy" is something we should give more thought to these days - at least for valuable assets, like family photos, etc. (If ever get resurrected it'll probably be because someone needs the wifi password...)
https://lifehacker.com/you-need-to-deal-with-your-digital-legacy-right-now-1820407514

I spend a lot of time thinking about online security, building secure digital tools and promoting best practice, so recent news of British MPs sharing passwords has been really disheartening. Cavalier attitudes and brazen ignorance from those who really should know better.

"I accidentally robbed the wrong bank last time I was in Beirut" - not sure how many pinches of salt to take this with, but a thoroughly entertaining half hour!
https://darknetdiaries.com/episode/6/
(Darknet Diaries podcast)

Choose your words carefully - you only have so many left...
http://keysleft.com/

A simple idea, nicely implemented, and very funny: "Re:scam", a bot that auto-responds to email scammers, leading them on a wild goose chase in order to waste their time:
https://www.rescam.org


Work and business

A little broad, but still useful info on getting employees to care about cybersecurity:
http://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-make-your-employees-care-about-cybersecurity-10-tips/

Not that I'm cynical about online advertising or anything, but...
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/09/06/facebook_claims_more_users_than_exist/

Friday, 13-Oct-2017: At the day job: major deployment of a large project today, the culmination of 5 months of work - good job I'm not superstitious...

This might explain why I'm getting so many calls from recruiters lately - "Technology firms in south Wales face skilled staff battle":
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-41996757

Related to the day job: win a free children's book at the Another Read Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/AnotherReadCom

Does your organisation store or use personal user data? Make sure you're clued up on GDPR before the May deadline:
https://www.eugdpr.org

Lately I've been thinking about how best to capture and codify the development culture of my team. I've made some progress, but still have a long ways to go. I hold up thoughtbot's "playbook" as a high-water mark for this sort of thing:
https://thoughtbot.com/playbook

Are *you* responsible for managing any internet-facing servers? Have you considered how your log files will be affected by GDPR? (Been spending waaay too much time thinking about GDPR recently...)
https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-andersdotter-intarea-update-to-rfc6302-00

25-May-2018: Spending most of today deleting GDPR emails...

Following on from my previous post on how to capture and codify development culture, here are some thoughts from Michael Hyatt on changing culture at the organisational level:
https://michaelhyatt.com/changing-organizational-culture


Arty and cutesy

Drooling over this beautiful library porn from photographer Thibaud Poirier
https://www.behance.net/gallery/53448447/Libraries

A Neural Network Generates Surprisingly Elegant Images of Dinosaurs Composed of Plants
http://sploid.gizmodo.com/a-neural-network-turned-a-book-of-flowers-into-shocking-1796221045

These Star Wars stamps are quite wonderful (pity I haven't had to send a letter in decades...)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/41157816/special-star-wars-stamps-will-be-released-in-october-to-mark-the-last-jedi

Been following Rob Turpin's work for some time now - pleased that he's started selling prints, heartily recommended.
https://thisnorthernboy.blog

A bit niche, but quite beautiful: Bowling alleys of Southern Germany
http://www.robert-goetzfried.com/bowling-alleys.html

Utterly charming - Short Trip, by Alexander Perrin
https://alexanderperrin.com.au/paper/shorttrip/

Very clever visual renderings of electronic brands, from A-Z:
https://www.behance.net/gallery/57705665/36days-Electronics

This appeals to me on so many levels - Omoshiro Block: A Memo Pad That Excavates Objects as it Gets Used:
http://www.spoon-tamago.com/2018/01/12/omoshiro-block/

Tickle your nostalgia taste-buds with these wonderful historic photos of old Cardiff Bay:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ben_salter/sets/72157600049669187/with/447474557/

I absolutely love these miniature post-apocalyptic dioramas by Brooklyn-based artists Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber:
http://www.lorinix.net/empire/


Blogging and personal

13-Jun-2017: Apple's announcement that iOS 11 will kill support for iPad4 got me wondering - am I the only person still making good use of their iPad1!?

Resurrecting the blog: Despatches from the Coalface/Codeface:
http://www.mrceri.co.uk/blog/viewpost.aspx?id=1361

Thoughts on the Facebook / Cambridge Analytica scandal:
http://www.mrceri.co.uk/blog/viewpost.aspx?id=1362

I was thoroughly obsessed with Fantasy Fighting books when I was a kid (and for the most part I didn't cheat!). It's wonderful to hear they're making a comeback:
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/apr/04/fighting-fantasy-game-books-charlie-higson-interview

Despatches from the Codeface: Don't rely on identity column IDs in SQL Server:
http://www.mrceri.co.uk/blog/viewpost.aspx?id=1363


Random

I, too, have struggled to "get to grips" with man-hugs; more of a knowing half-salute kind of chap myself:
https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/07/why-i-cant-embrace-the-man-hug/

The Rock ’n’ Roll Casualty Who Became a War Hero:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/02/magazine/evermans-war.html

Yeah, this pretty much sums it up (it's a bit old, but you won't have time to read it anyway):
https://www.economist.com/news/christmas-specials/21636612-time-poverty-problem-partly-perception-and-partly-distribution-why

Most of my friends n' family have been subjected to my ill-formed idea of cars having LCD panels to send messages to other drivers - well they've only gone and built it! I hope they get less mockery and derision than I do whenever I suggest this idea :-)
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/503429569/carwink-making-the-road-a-more-connected-place

At the day job, strategies for warming up our chilly office are frequent topics of conversation - it seems these French architects have nailed my "personal desk greenhouse" idea :-)
http://www.pottgiesser.fr/christian_pottgiesser_architecturespossibles/pons_+_huot.html

Suitably mind-bending content as the Stuff To Blow Your Mind podcast discusses the nuts n' bolts of Boltzmann Brains: https://www.stufftoblowyourmind.com/podcasts/boltzmann-brains.htm