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Blank Slates

This New Year, I wish you more blank slates. May you have more blank white pages sitting in front you with your favorite pen nearby and at the ready. May you have blank screens in your code editor with your absolutely favorite color syntax highlighting. May your garage work table be empty save for a single large piece of reclaimed redwood and a saw. – The Builder’s High


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Is that email important
Best email footer ever? From Protest:

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Disclaimer:

IMPORTANT – In the time it took you to read this email, you could have been out the door and on your way to the slopes or the beach. The good news is, it’s not too late. Slowly shut your computer off. Act like you head toward the restroom. Then make a break for the door. If you don’t look back, the obstacles will never stand a chance. See you out there.

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NDC London 2016

Once again in January I headed to the Excel centre in London to attend NDC. NDC (the conference formally known as Norweign Developers Conference) has been my conference of choice for the last few years, I feel it provides a great mix of technical and soft skills sessions, great networking and the best conference food going.

The conference organisers go to the fantastic effort of recording every presentation and making these freely available on Vimeo. So below is my list of attended sessions and the links to the recordings, I’ll try to update these as the videos come up. In my list below are a few sessions I missed in person but heard good things about or spotted on the talk rating board (yes, there is a board in the vendor hall showing the best rated talks).

Excel Centre

Excel in the morning light of the first day

Wednesday

Keynote: Javascript, The Cloud, and the Rise of the New Virtual Machine – Scott Hanselman  Video Outline
IoT and Cortana Analytics – a winning combination – Chris Hewitt Outline
Pragmatic development at Stack Overflow – Marco Cecconi Outline
A system is not a tree – Kevlin Henney Outline
How to deal with culture divide – Internal Advocacy with Distributed Teams – Laura Czajkowski Outline

Shall I Compare Thee to a Line of Code – Lauren Scott Outline
Analyzing GitHub commits with R – Barbara Fusinska Outline
Autonomy, Connection and Excellence: The Building Blocks of a Knowledge Work Culture – Michael “Doc” Norton Outline
Ship it! How to do what not to do – Ed Blackburn Outline
Introduction to IdentityServer – Brock Allen Video Outline
Learn. Reflect. Repeat – Melinda Seckington Outline
Acceptance Testing for Continuous Delivery- Dave Farley Outline

Thursday

Test Automation without a headache: Five key patterns – Gojko Adzic  Video Outline
50 Shades of AppSec – Troy Hunt Video Outline
Testing with No Harm – Enrico Campidoglio Video Outline
Don’t Make Me Feel Stupid – A. User – Liam Westley Outline
The Quest for the Next Evolution of Infrastructure Management – Paul Stack Outline
Cryptography in .NET – Stephen Haunts Outline
.NET Rocks Live (containers and microservices) Video Outline

Friday

What’s next? How we use feedback to decide what to build – David Simner Outline
5 Anti-Patterns in designing APIs – Ali Kheyrollahi Outline
Business Mapping: turning the lights on – Dan North Outline
No excuse user research – Lily Dart Outline
Beyond Features – Dan North Outline
IoT: Gold Rush or Wild West – Niall Cooling Outline
Making Hacking Child’s Play – Troy Hunt Video Outline
Everything i know about computers, I learned from the movies – Mark Rendl Video Outline

 

While looking for the videos for this post I saw that the session videos from ProgramUtvikling Security Day have also started making an appearance on their channel so I’ll be making my way through those also.

Snoopers Charter

Yesterday saw a second defeat for the snoopers charter this time as a late set of amendments to a counter-terrorism bill. There is more detail from the EFF here and the Open Rights Group here. Yesterday’s session served as a reminder that why due process and debate is needed; while we saw points from lords with little understand of what they were trying to legislate such as Lord King we also saw solid counter argument for balance from others such as Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho.

While watching the back and forth on twitter during the debate the John Perry Barlow Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace crossed my mind. While the language is a little dated it’s still very relevant to the issues being discussed.

One of my Christmas presents this year was the Lego kit of the DeLorean from Back to the Future (obviously because 2015 is when Marty McFly arrives in Back to the Future II). Last year when I built the Millennium Falcon I really regretted not getting a timelaspe of the build process. This year with a little preparation I did and it came out rather well.

The kit was great fun to build the manual that comes with it has a number of nice little facts, such as the time drive on the model is set for 28/01/1958 the date the LEGO brick was patented.

 

 

Happy New Year.

Its been a nice restful Christmas and I’ve had some time to go through and sort out lots of my photos from the last year. Since I started taking a lot more photographs I’ve been categorising them by year then into sub-folders of when and what we were doing, so for 2014 that was about twenty folders. This barely scratches the surface of the photos I take because most are actually taken with my phone. It goes everywhere with me, so from quick little things that make me laugh, to views when I wish I had a full camera, there’s probably a shot on my phone. All of those images are automatically backed up to Google Plus’ Photo service, which is great as my photographs are on all my devices and it does a nice job of auto correcting some of the limitations of a camera phone. However one thing that is seriously lacking is the ability to get those photographs back out directly from the photo service.

Google offers a TakeOut facility to let you retrieve any of the data Google holds on you. Go to google.com/settings/takeout from there you can de-select everything and pick only photos and press next to create a series of archives. I have two problems with the TakeOut download first it creates a directory for each day of uploads, so potentially that 365 subdirectories for the year. Secondly every uploaded file can be auto-edited potentially several times and each edit is included in the download. Ideally what I wanted was a single directory with just the photographs I’ve taken, PowerShell makes this kind of operation incredibly simple. A quick script later and we are down from 4 Gb to 2.5 Gb and all in one directory.  I’ve uploaded the script to do this to a Gist here.

 

Waverley Abbey

Waverley Abbey in the setting sun