• Boaty McBoatface and barriers to involvement

    my take: you want opinions, but you also want committed opinions. Your poll/survey/vote will erect (or fail to erect) barriers to participation, and those barriers represent a measure of commitment. No barriers = lots of votes, but high risk of Boaty McBoatface. High barriers = few votes, but from those who care.

    Nat Torkington’s very astute take on Boaty McBoatface.

  • SSL Only

    Thanks to a lovely bit of integration work by Bytemark that automatically integrates Let’s Encrypt with any servers that are running their Symbiosis system (like this one), this site is now SSL only, along with another 7 domains I look after.

    And all it took was about 10 minutes on the command line, and a cup of tea.

    If you want a system that is easy to manage, but gets out of your way when you want to tinker, Bytemark are fantastic.

  • David Bowie RIP

    Today, listen to “Hunky Dory” and “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”

    Tonight, watch “Labyrinth” and “The Man Who Fell To Earth”.

  • Top albums and films of 2015

    Continuing the semi-regular (i.e. not at all regular) list of my favourite films and albums from this year.


    (It’s been a fantastic year for music, and it’s been tricky to narrow this down to ten, so I didn’t)

    In no particular order:


    Again in no particular order:

    • The Force Awakens
    • Ex Machina
    • Whiplash
    • Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
    • Me And Earl And The Dying Girl
    • The Martian
    • Sicario
    • Inside Out
    • Mad Max: Fury Road
    • Superbob
  • Hello Pluto

    10 years ago, I and 434,737 other people, filled out a form on the NASA website, submitting our names for inclusion on a CD that would be attached to the New Horizons probe for launch on January 19, 2006. Sent off to the outer Solar System to study Pluto.

    Today, 9 years later, at 12:03:50 UTC, those 434,738 names streaked past Pluto at over 36,000 miles per hour.

    Congratulations to everyone on the New Horizons team, and Hello Pluto!

    Pluto by LORRI and Ralph, 13 July 2015.jpg

  • Christopher Lee RIP

    We don’t always get the kind of work we want, but we always have a choice of whether to do it with good grace or not.

    Christopher Lee


  • Being more human at work

    If the process insists that humans act more like machines/robots/spreadsheets than real human beings, challenge that process.

    Leisa Reichelt

  • On performance

    There needs to be a cultural change in how we approach building for the web. Yes, some of the tools we choose are part of the problem, but the bigger problem is that performance still isn’t being recognised as the most important factor in how people feel about websites (and by extension, the web). This isn’t just a developer issue. It’s a design issue. It’s a UX issue. It’s a business issue. Performance is everybody’s collective responsibility.

    Jeremy Keith

  • Time

    Today, on the 13th May 2015, I stood at the top of Elizabeth Tower, next to Big Ben as it struck 3pm.

    Hey look kids, there's Big Ben, and there's Parliament…

    Sometimes our memory can be fuzzy about where we were, or what we were doing, at a particular moment in history, but I will always know exactly where I was at 3pm on the 13th May 2015.

    That’s a moment in time that hadn’t happened before, and won’t happen again, and it’s mine.

  • Building APIs

    One of the quickest ways to kill your API is to define the API in your code, instead of coding to its definition

    Mike Stowe

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