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News

15 Jul 2020 : Waste data dump #
I've just put another waste data dump up. There's been a bit of an uptick, with my average up to 211g/day from 157g/day last fortnight. That's still okay though (below my target). Plastic and returnables seem to be the issue, probably because it's been so hot and I've been enjoying some cool beverages. At least I managed not to buy anything in a glass bottle.
4 Jul 2020 : Waste data dump #
It's been a pretty good fortnight as far as my waste output is concerned. Plastic and general waste are up slightly, but that's counterbalanced with no metal or glass used this fortnight at all, bringing my daily average to 157g/day over the last two weeks. I'm happy with that.
20 Jun 2020 : Waste data dump #
My latest waste data dump just has been uploaded. My daily average over the last fortnight was 162g per day, which is a generally decent result for me. My goal is less than 300g, and during lockdown I've been closer to 150g, but a month ago it looked like things were creeping up. I'm much happier with 162g. That sets my 2020 average to date at 199g per day, compared to 304g in 2019. Breaking it down, my plastic output was rather high this fortnight. This is a bit of a cycle, because I buy many products in plastic containers (cosmetics; foods; cleaning products) which often last more than a fortnight. Returnables is also up because in the hot weather I'm buying more drinks. This was counterbalanced by less card and paper although I'm not really sure why to be honest.
7 Jun 2020 : Waste data dump #
I've uploaded another fortnight of waste data, up on my waste data page. The last two weeks haven't been so great again, with my daily average of 258g/day. That's below my target, and below the previous fortnight, but still well above my output level from a month ago, which was closer to 150g/day. The change has been driven by a few exceptional items in the card and compost categories making it into the bin; I need to make sure exceptional doesn't become routine.
1 Jun 2020 : Deploying authentication in the wild: Towards greater ecological validity in security usability studies #
Finally it looks like the last of the Pico papers, written with my co-authors Seb Aebischer, Claudio Dettoni, Graeme Jenkinson, Kat Krol, Toshiyuki Masui and Frank Stajano, and which has been working its way through the review process for many months, will finally be published. The paper is called "Deploying authentication in the wild: Towards greater ecological validity in security usability studies" and it describes the results — and challenges — of our usability trials of the Pico password replacement app. The details are now on my publications page and there's also a preprint.
24 May 2020 : Waste data dump #
This week was not a great waste output week. My average was 289g/day, only just below my 300g target. Mostly that's the product of me taking some time out with Joanna, meaning bottles of drink and a single-use escape room game with lots of packaging.
16 May 2020 : Waste data dump #
A slightly concerning uptick in my waste output for this fortnight. My daily average was 178g, when for the last couple of months I've been running at under 150g per day. Most of tha extra was caused by a couple of exceptional glass items (honestly, a peanut butter jar and an aftershave bottle is all it takes), but that still counts. My 2020 average is now at 192g/day, below my 300g target, so I'm still doing okay.
2 May 2020 : Waste data dump #
Another fortnight very similar to the last one, and that's positive news. My daily waste output averaged 146g per day, satisfactorily below my 300g per day target. Last week I expressed my surprise at how similar my output has been over the weeks since I started working from home and this fortnight shows the same trend. A trend of consistency.
25 Apr 2020 : Reducing my carbon footprint #
I'm trying to reduce my environmental impact, but it's hard. In an attempt to make progress I've decided to try measurement and goal setting, and next year I'll probably have to extend this to public self-shaming. You can read about my carbon footprint situation (spoiler: it's not good) on my blog.
 
22 Apr 2020 : libcontrac Contract Tracing Library #
After discussing the Google and Apple Covid 19 Contact Tracking API on my blog, I've now put together a library, released under the GPLv2, that implements the cryptographic specification of the protocol. See the libcontrac page (really just a holding page right now) and the API documentation for more info.
18 Apr 2020 : Making websites privacy-respecting #
Are you a webmaster who also cares about privacy? Then you're a rare specimen indeed. Here are my 6 easy steps for how to make a privacy-respecting website.
18 Apr 2020 : Waste data dump #
Another fortnight's worth of waste data has been added to my waste page. It's been another week working, eating, sleeping, doing everything at home, but I've managed to keep my waste output to an acceptable level despite that. My average daily output was 148g, slightly up on the 133g average a fortnight ago, but still well below, in fact around half of, my 300g daily target. What's also interesting is that over the last 6 weeks while I've been stuck at home, my waste output has been far more consistent than it was before. I'm not sure of the reason for that.
18 Apr 2020 : Indexes (indices?) are now a thing #
This is more of a technical detail, but it changes the site slightly, so I'm calling it `news`. I've added the ability to add indexes to posts on the site. So far, the only place I've enabled it is on the new blog index and the Sailfish OS page. You can see relevant posts, but now only the title is shown and you have to click-through to get the full story. It's a small change, but I think it makes the Sailfish OS page more usable and prevents the downloads getting pushed so far down the page they get lost.
11 Apr 2020 : How the privacy-preserving contact tracing actually works #
This privacy-preserving contact tracing specification Google and Apple released yesterday is particularly interesting to me, given it seems quite easy to understand and could be relatively straightforward to implement. However, while the companies provided a high-level overview alongside the technical specs, there's nothing that seems to capture the middle-ground between them. Here's my attempt to explain how the system works underneath, but in an easy-to-digest 10 minute read.
10 Apr 2020 : The "privacy-safe contact tracing" specification #
Apple and Google have just announced a joint protocol to support contact tracing using BLE. I'm interested in whether it really achieves the privacy they claim, and also whether it could be implemented on Sailfish OS, or other alternative operating systems. Have a read of my blog post on the topic to see my initial thoughts based on the specs provided.
7 Apr 2020 : Whoami? #
Over the years I've kept the about me page up-to-date by adding to it and amending it as needed. As a result, it's gradually turned into a list of places I've lived and worked. I didn't like it very much. So to remedy this I've completely re-written it to try to capture who I am, rather than what I've done. There are also new photos, since the last ones maybe weren't an accurate reflection of my aging features any more!
5 Apr 2020 : URLs simplified #
The backend for this site has always been designed to simplify the way pages are referenced and it's always been my desire to have the site URLs presented in this same simplified form. This has been my plan for over a decade (which is over 25 in computer years). Now that this site is being served by apache and I have access to mod_rewrite, I'm finally able to make it happen. So, starting now, URLs that used to look like this https://www.flypig.co.uk/?page=blog&list=blog&list_num=5 will now look like this https://www.flypig.co.uk/blog. That's undoubtedly a big improvement. The old URLs all still work fine, so inward links are unaffected, but there may be other wrinkles I'll need to iron out over time. I have to say, it's pretty thrilling for me to finally have this work as intended after so much time.
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4 Apr 2020 : Waste data dump #
I was expecting a terrible result for this fortnight's waste output, given my increased coffee, snack and food consumption working from home. And my compost really has gone up a lot again (even more of those coffee granuals), but happily a reduction in paper waste makes up for it. My daily average this fortnight was 133g/day, slightly down on last week, which I'm pretty proud of.
21 Mar 2020 : Waste data dump #
More waste data on the waste page. The new data covers a fortnight, which is a good sign (a longer gap usually means less waste). More than a week of that I spent working from home, which I'd expect to cause an increase in waste output. That's partly true: my compost output is higher because I've been throwing away more used coffee granules! But a decrease in glass (to zero!) has compensated and my overall output of 139g/day is well below my 300g/day target. It might be hard to keep this up if I'm spending more time at home. Time will tell.
17 Mar 2020 : The site has moved from IIS to LAMP #
Today the site finished its 80-day journey travelling from IIS to Linux. Hopefully there won't be too many visible changes to the site, apart from the fact that everything is now TLS-secured. There's a sort blog post about the move on my blog.
8 Mar 2020 : Waste data dump #
Last weekend I was in Helsinki and this last week has seen unusual events at work keeping me away from home, so my waste output is low again. So low that I skipped a week of going to the bins. Overall, my daily average for the last fortnight has been 146g per day, less than half my 300g target, which is great. That's pretty similar to the week before, but with an increase in glass balanced out by a decrease in compostables. That's not a comparable switch, but probably a one-off given that I finally polished off the last bottle intended for Christmas consumption! That sets my daily average so far for 2020 at 233g of waste per day.
22 Feb 2020 : Waste data dump #
More waste data is up on my waste page. I averaged 159g per day this week, pretty similar to the week before (more compost balanced by less paper). This is good by my historical standards and still well below my 300g target. I've been trying quite hard, so it's nice it seems to be working, now I just have to keep this up!
17 Feb 2020 : Shower Gel or Soap: which is best? #
Apparently humans do their best thinking in the shower. When I'm in the shower I wonder mostly about whether I should be using soap or shower gel. The good news is, there's a clear answer. Check out my blog post on the topic to find out.
15 Feb 2020 : Waste data dump #
The fortnight before last was exceptional, but I didn't do too badly this week either. My latest waste data stats show my daily output to be 149g over the last week. That's still well below my 300g target. The reason for the increase from last week was mainly due to newspapers.
9 Feb 2020 : Waste data dump #
It seems this was a super-successful week for my waste budget. In fact, I skipped my trip to the bins last weekend because they weren't full enough to make it worthwhile. So my average over the last fortnight was 87g a day, well below my 300g target. That brings my average for this year down to 200g per day. Not every week is going to be like this, but it does show that with a bit of planning and individul will it's possible to bring the amount of waste we produce down. In particular, I'm avoiding tins and glass and doing my best not to throw out any out-of-date food. It's strange to think that just by creating myself arbitrary goals it's altered my willingness to eat older food. I'm so easily to manipulate, I can even do it to myself.
25 Jan 2020 : Waste data dump #
Another waste data dump. Overall output was 1563g (averaging 224g per day), which is up on last week, but still well below my 300g aim.
19 Jan 2020 : The journey from ASP to PHP #
Read about my experiences converting this site from ASP to PHP on my blog.
18 Jan 2020 : Waste data dump #
Another week of waste, but my strategy of avoiding glass and tins seems to have paid off. My general waste was about average and my composted waste was more than I'd have preffered, but total waste output was very nearly half of my average from last year. If I can keep this up my new year's resolution will be in the bag.
11 Jan 2020 : Waste data dump #
After the new year started badly, I've managed to be much more restrained this week with my waste output. I'm trying my best to cut out tins and glass jars entirely, which at least I managed this week.
11 Jan 2020 : If my washing machine were a car, how fast would it travel? #
Want to know the answer? Check my latest blog post.
6 Jan 2020 : New Year's Resolutions #
My slighly late New Year's Resolutions.
6 Jan 2020 : Twitter Quine #
Quines, programs that print themselves out, are fascinating. Yesterday after a sleepless night I woke up with the urge to create a Twtitter Quine, the same as a quine except rather than print itself out, it posts itself to Twitter. The only real difference is the 280 character constraint. So my sleepless night was followed by an intense day of whittling characters away to get it to fit. See the results on the new QuineTwt page.
4 Jan 2020 : Waste data dump #
Yet another waste data dump, still bloated by Christmas leftovers, mostly glass bottles and a cabbage concoction that went off and started turning into a new life form. I had to compost it. My New Year's Resolution to reduce my waste output isn't working out well so far, but I blame that on 2019.
1 Jan 2020 : Waste data dump #
More waste data on the waste page. It's another high one, but mostly because it's for two people rather than one. My cyrrent average waste output over the last four months has been 326g per day, which breaks down as 44g paper, 6g card, 90g glass, 8g metal, 6g returnables, 75g compost, 34g plastic and 62g general waste (+1g rounding error).. One of my new year's resolutions is to reduce this to under 300g average per day in 2020. Honestly, I'm not sure whether this is a lot or not compared to the general population, but it's good to have goals.
26 Dec 2019 : Waste data dump #
A Christmas waste data dump this week, with the new details on my waste page. This week included both Christmas and Joanna visiting, resulting in a big increase in waste across the board (wrapping paper, boxes, bottles!).
24 Dec 2019 : Merry Christmas #
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone who passes by here.
21 Dec 2019 : Waste data dump #
My latest waste measurements are up on my waste page. It's been nearly three weeks since my last data dump, primarily because I was in the UK for a week, but even taking that into account my waste usage has been really low. As a result I only just had to take out the bins. The timing is serendipidous, given that using my previous graphing method my waste output would have looked higher than normal on the graph. My new, more representative, histocurve makes the lower quantity of waste over the last few weeks clearly visible. With Chirstmas excess, and Joanna staying in my flat over the next two weeks, I don't expect it'll be staying this low next week.
18 Dec 2019 : Snow #
If I were still in the UK, snow might be considered premature. But I'm in Finland now, and snow is very much a thing at this time of year. So that's more than enough justification for me to roll out the annual snowy decorations on this site.
15 Dec 2019 : Curvy waste #
After blogging at some length about how to draw histograms with curves instead of bars, I've finally got around to updating my waste page with a histocurve rather than the very poor line graph representation I had before.
3 Dec 2019 : Graphs of Waste, Part 4 #
The final part of my Graphs of Waste series is now up on my blog. It looks at some of the potentialy pitfalls of using the histocurves developed through the first three parts. If you read the series, I hope you enjoyed it, and... well done!
30 Nov 2019 : Waste data #
Staying on a pretty even keel this week with my waste output. Just lightly up on last week (more card, for some reason) but still below average.
26 Nov 2019 : Graphs of Waste, Part 3 #
The third part in my series on histograms is now available on my blog, entitled "A Continuously Differentiable Histogram Approach". In it we take a look at now to create a curved histogram (a histocurve!) to replace the column and line based approaches from parts 1 and 2.
24 Nov 2019 : Waste data #
New waste data is up on my waste page. It seems to have been a pretty average week this week, in spite of me having to throw away a heavy dose of my unpleasant Turkish Delight ("Turkish Disgust"?). Slightly below average with paper down (due to the postal strike in Finland). General waste is down and plastic is up, but mostly because I'm getting better at sorting them: combined they're about average. Don't forget if this is somehow interesting to you, you might find the series on drawing these waste graphs interesting. Part 1 and part 2 are up on my blog.
19 Nov 2019 : Sailfish Backup and Restore from Xperia XA2 to Xperia 10 #
If you're thinking of upgrading your Sailfish OS phone to one of the nice new Xperia 10 devices, chances are you'll want to copy your data from your old phone to your new one. Having just been through the exprience, I've posted some notes on what I had to do on my blog. The might be useful or interesting to some people, including future me.
19 Nov 2019 : Graphs of Waste, Part 2 #
Part 2 of my series on embellishing histograms is now up on my blog. This post discusses a "continuous histogram" visualisation. It discusses how can you take data that accumulates over time that might usually be presented in a histogram, but instead render it using a continuous line without misrepresenting the data.
16 Nov 2019 : Waste data #
I've added another week's worth of data about my waste and recycling to the waste page. I made the mistake of trying to make Turkish Delight again this week (sadly still without any decent results). So, lots of grapefruit skins weighing down the compost. More concerning is that my general waste — the most damaging category — is up on last week by a big margin. It sounds terrible, but most of that was because I've been suffering from a bad cold and went through several packs of tissues (in Finland they come in packs, not boxes). Nobody benefitted from that! If you're taking an interest in my waste output, you might also be interested in my series of posts about the waste graphs I'm using. Part 1 is on my blog.
12 Nov 2019 : Graphs of Waste, Part 1 #
Over the next four weeks I'll be posting a series of articles on my blog about how I'm improving the graph on my waste page. The current graph is bad and needs fixing, and in the articles I plan to describe how. The first part entitled "Choose Your Graph Wisely" is now up on my blog.
10 Nov 2019 : Waste data #
I've added this week's waste measurements to the waste page. This week I tried to make Turkish Delight, which involved squeezing five big ol' grapefruit. The massive increase in compostable waste is down to the leftover grapefruit skins. Unfortunately the Turkish Delight turned out terribly. I'm now eating it as jam instead.
5 Nov 2019 : Bonfire night #
It's bonfire night in the UK (to celebrate the failure of the Gunpower Plot to blow up the House of Lords in 1605) and since I'm missing all the pyrotechnic fun (Finland has other stuff to celebrate) I've added some fireworks to the background of the site instead. Thanks go to Martijn Steinrucken (aka BigWings) for making his great shader available under a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 licence.
3 Nov 2019 : Waste data dump #
I've added more data to my waste and recycling tracking page. It was a lean fortnight, but mostly because I was away in the UK for half of the time. Even taking this into account though, my waste output is down across the board with the exception of a small increase (a tin-can's worth) in metal. Let's see what happens in future weeks as winter draws in for a clearer picture though.
31 Oct 2019 : Halloween #
For Halloween, I've added some... eyes... in the background. Probably watching you. Stay safe out there on this darkest of nights.
And in case you missed it on the night, head over to ShaderToy to see the shader and have a play around with the code.
19 Oct 2019 : More waste, more data #
Today I added more waste data to my recycling and waste graph. The overview is that glass is up for some reason, whilst compost is down. That's good because I've been making a special effort not to waste food this week. I dumped a bunch of newspapers that have been stacking up, which masks the fact my paper reduction plan seems to be working: I received no junk mail at all this week!
13 Oct 2019 : Waste and recycling data #
Another week, another round of rubbish weighed. I'm pleased it went down a bit this week from 2.5kg to 1.8kg total, mostly due to a big reduction in compostables being thrown away this week. Weighing my rubbish has highlighted how much of it comes from junk mail, so yesterday I added a note to my door that reads "Ei mainoksia kiitos" ("No ads please"). Let's see if that reduces my paper waste in future.
5 Oct 2019 : Waste and recycling data #
I've weighted my waste and the new numbers have been added to my waste tracking page. This week compost and card are up, while glass is down. My average is still around the 2.5kg level.
28 Sep 2019 : Waste and recycling data #
I've decided to start collecting data on how much waste I produce each week. Might help me reduce it over time. Check out my new waste info page for the full details.
 
15 Sep 2019 : Sailfish app updates - Scintillon and GetiPlay #
Not just one but two new versions of my Sailfish apps are now available for download. GetiPlay has been updated to version 0.9 and now uses the latest ffmpeg and AtomicParsley utilities under the hood, which will hopefully lead to better audio and video rendering. There's also now an i486 version available for the first time. Scintillon has also seen an update to version 0.3. This latest version has Italian translations provided by the brilliant Francesco Vaccaro of Jolla-IT fame. Thanks Francesco!

 

13 Sep 2019 : Life changes #
Long overdue, I've now updated the About page to include my current role at Jolla and to box off my role at Cambridge Authentication.
10 Sep 2019 : GetiPlay 0.8-1 released #

Version 0.8-1 of GetiPlay is now available, refreshed with the latest version 3.22 of the amazing get_iplayer and updated perl modules. After some recent glitches, this will now work again with the iPlayer catch-up service for downloading BBC TV and radio programmes to your Sailfish OS device (probably UK-only I'm afraid). Install the binary to your phone from OpenRepos, or get the source from GitHub.

 

25 Aug 2019 : Scintillon gets 中文简体 (Chinese) translations #
I'm thrilled to announce that Scintillon, my Philips Hue app for Sailfish OS, now has Simplified Chinese translations included, thanks to the amazing efforts of Rui Kon! The app is up on OpenRepos and the Jolla Store, but it may take a couple of days for the changes to make their way through the Jolla Store validation process. 
 
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19 Aug 2019 : Scintillon - Philips Hue app for Sailfish - release #
Oooh. Is that a new app release? Yes it is! Scintillon is a smart home app for Sailfish OS that allows you to control your Philips Hue lights. It's early days, with free bugs and missing features, so still very much a beta release. But I'm using it every day to control the lights in my flat, so it might be useful for some other Sailfish OS user out there too. Get all the details are on the Scintillon page, binary from OpenRepos and source from GitHub.  
 
17 Aug 2019 : Querying the cost of sharing code between iOS and Android #
I wrote a blog post! Does that count as news? It does round here. Dropbox recently dropped their strategy of sharing C++ code across mobile platforms and Eyal Guthmann wrote an article about it. It didn't convince me, so my post is a response about why using C/C++ to share code across mobile platforms is unreasonable if you do it right.
10 Jun 2019 : All the taste without the tracking #
Even though I've used Disqus for the comments on this site for aaaages now, it's always been a bit of a sore point. Not only does it slow down page loads, but even more seriously it allows Disqus to track users visiting my site, and I abhor tracking. So thanks to Michał Szczepaniak for spurring me into action, I've finally come up with a solution I can live with. Instead of loading the Disqus code automatically, you now have to hit a button at the bottom of the page to load the comments (take a look at this post for an example). Until you do that, Disqus can't track you, and page loading will be super fast. When I get time I'll do a proper comparison of the benefits and post it to my blog.
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2 Jun 2019 : Pedalo... delayed Sailfish OS addition #
Back last year when I released Pedalo, a privacy-preserving app for measuring your relative cycling performance for Sailfish OS, I somehow forgot to add the download info. I've now added it to the Pedalo page.
24 Mar 2019 : GetiPlay 0.7-1 released #
I've just rleleased the latest version of GetiPlay (v0.7-1), an unofficial iPlayer app for Sailfish OS that lets you download and watch BBC TV and radio programmes. More details on the GetiPlay page, install the binary from OpenRepos, or get the MIT-licensed source code from github.
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22 Mar 2019 : What does the latest petition tell us about changing attitudes to Brexit? #
With the latest petition trying to revoke article 50 and block Brexit, I've crunched the numbers again to find out how the mood is changing in different parts of the UK. Check out my regrexitmap to see which parts of the UK are movig more towards remain, and which are moving more towards Brexit. And if you're surprised by the result, you should also check out the map I generated in May 2016 using data from a similar petition which attracted over 4 million signatures three years ago. The astonishing thing is that compared to back then, very little... very very little has changed.
 
Comparing regrexit after three years
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6 Jan 2019 : Undeck the halls #
It's ephiphany, so the Christmas decorations have come down. No more snow on this page, even though here in Tampere we've been having snow storms and everything exposed to the sky is covered in a thick layer of the suff.
24 Dec 2018 : Merry Christmas! #
I knew there were some snowflakes somewhere! After a bit of digging around in the site code, I found how to activate them. Enjoy, and have a great Christmas!
2 Dec 2018 : Big moves, little changes #
I've not had a chance to properly update this site since I moved to Tampere and started working for Jolla. Eventually I'll get around to updating my About page with the proper info, and maybe writing a blog post about the experience of moving. In the meantime, I've at least updated the homepage.
11 Sep 2018 : Meeting Agriculture PhD students from Africa and Cybersecurity academics from the UK #
One of the wonderful things about academia is that you you get to meet such varied individuals from diverse backgrounds and disciplines. It was a real privilege to present at two very different events over the last week. On Friday I spoke to the latest cohort of the Cybersecurity Academic Startups Accelerator Programme. I spoke about scoping their MVPs (and especially, what not to do), and was impressed by their ideas and enthusiasm. They're doing great work, and it's needed now more than ever. Then yesterday I spoke to seventeen of the top PhD researchers working in Agriculture Research from across Africa. I know nothing about agriculture research, but was really happy to evangelise about how to create publication-quality graphs from data using automated tools. Even with my limited understanding of their research it was clear that the work these students are doing is really important, for example understanding the consequences of harvesting techniques on crops, and using longitudinal data to increase crop yeilds. I've added the slides for my talks to my presentations page.
 
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6 Aug 2018 : TapirMail source on GitHub: lightweight email for RISC OS #
Prompted by the very motivational RISC OS advocate Steffen Huber, I've started putting my old RISC OS source code up on GitHub. Steffen contacted me hoping to make some changes to TapirMail, the self-contained POP3 mail client I used to sell commercially. I wouldn't have expected anyone to still be interested in it, so thank you Steffen for proving me wrong!

Looking over the source code, I see I started coding it in 2003, with the last version released in 2013, so it's a decade-worth of on-and-off coding. I didn't use any version control for it back then, so the details of how it developed will be forever lost. I also coded differently back then. It was probably the first large C application I'd written from scratch, and my transition from using the BASIC interpreter shows: the main application is coded as a single 21,000-line source file! The full source is now available on GitHub released under an MIT licence, allowing you to judge my younger self. Expect more code-dumps of my old RISC OS software to follow in the future.
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31 Jul 2018 : Pedalo 0.2-1 sails into harbour #
The latest version of Pedalo, version 0.2-1, has passed through the harbour validation and checks, and is now available for download from the Jolla store. If you're on Sailfish OS, and like to pedalo (or cycle), then grab yourself a free copy and get cycling.
27 Jul 2018 : MATTS source now online #
Thanks to promting from Prof, Asim at the National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, Pakistan, I finally got around to putting the MATTS source code up online (it took seven years, which is a record even for me). Take a look at the MATTS page for more info. Thanks Asim!
19 Jul 2018 : Pedalo #
If you're a ardent pedalo user, and your mobile phone OS of choice is Sailfish, you should definitely check this new page on the site.
18 Jul 2018 : Pedalo approved! #
My Pedalo app was just approved for release in the Jolla App Store. Exciting times!
Pedalo is now approved!
 
29 Jun 2018 : GetiPlay v0.6-1 released #
Another exciting GetiPlay update. This new version has improved aesthetics, the ability to directly download a programme using the PID or URL from the BBC website, configurable skip/replay buttons in the media player. It also fixes the issues experienced on Jolla One and Jolla C devices refreshing with multiple connections by allowing the number to be limited to one or two (in which case, there don't seem to be any more failures generated). Get it from the - usual - places.
20 Jun 2018 : GetiPlay v0.5-2 released #
A few more updates to GetiPlay, including a bundle of bugfixes; getting it working across multiple devices (Jolla One, Jolla C, Xperia X); using different graphics resolutions for different devices; persistent tab selection across executions. Plus, did I mention bugfixes? As always, get it from the - usual - places.
13 Jun 2018 : Another GetiPlay release: 0.4-2 #
This is a bug-fix release, to add in dependencies that should have been there from the outset. This ensures the app will install and run on more devices. Get it from the - usual - places.
12 Jun 2018 : GetiPlay 0.4-1 released #
The latest version of GetiPlay is now available. This version has built-in media players for video and audio, including the exciting and innovative '10 seconds back' button. Get it from GitHub, OpenRepos, or this site.
10 Jun 2018 : GetiPlay 0.3-3 released #
This is basically a bug-fix release. Earlier versions had dependency problems, preventing them working on a clean Sailfish OS phone. This version, hopefully, gets all that stuff right, so it should install working out-of-the-box. Thanks to Robin Weston for working with me to get it sorted.
Get it from GitHub, OpenRepos, or this site.
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6 Jun 2018 : GetiPlay v0.3-1 released #
Another GetiPlay release, check the blog post for the details.
16 May 2018 : GetiPlay update v0.2-6 #
The latest GetiPlay for Sailfish OS phones is now up on OpenRepos. This update has the latest get-iplayer (v3.14, which is always one of the most exciting version numbers to hit!) and I'm hoping will get the perl dependencies right (after literally years of trying). The code is on github.
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9 May 2018 : Moving on #
Since I'm no longer an RA at the Computer Lab, I've updated my info to better reflect reality. No fake news here. I'm still in Cambridge, just not doing the same thing.
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16 Apr 2018 : Publications spring clean #
There's no doubt we're well into spring now, so time for some cleaning. I'ved added three more publications. Two still in press, but the third available for download on Seamless Authentication with Pico. I'd say more about it, but I think it's probably obvious from the title. If not, it's only a one-pager.
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12 Feb 2018 : Counting trees in Python #
My weekend's activity was writing a Countdown numbers game solver, with code on GitHub.
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7 Jan 2018 : Undeck the halls #
There were Christmas snowflakes on the site, and there was even some real snow in the meantime, but now Epiphany has passed and the decoractions have come down. The site now has Inigo Quilez's beautiful bokeh effect as its shader-generated animated background again.
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8 Dec 2017 : Christmas deco's #
See the beautiful GPU-generated random snowflakes drifting down the page? Credit goes to steverock for creating this glorious shader, released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Thank you Steve and Merry Christmas all!
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27 Nov 2017 : Cambridge Authentication at the Cybersecurity Academic Startup Initiative Showcase #
We had a really good time at the Cybersec Academic Startups Initiative showcase day at Level 39. Here's what happened (I don't remember them playing the music through the whole day. I think they must have added it afterwards):
 
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1 Nov 2017 : Four jobs at the Pico factory! #
We're advertising for no less than four positions on the Pico project. They're all developer roles, quite short term, but doing exciting authentication dev work. As we're currently spinning out Pico as a company, now called Cambridge Authentication and part of the latest CyLon cohort, there may be the chance to join the start up at the end of the post too. Details are up on the Pico Website.
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18 Jul 2017 : Pico's progress #
I'm chuffed that HutZero have written a blog post about how Pico has been progressing since we attanded the HutZero week-long cybersec start-up bootcamp last year.
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20 May 2017 : Saturday Style Switch #
Kat and Seb's disparaging remarks about the previous style on this site finally got to me (I know you love the eighties vibe really, guys). The new theme on the site is called Bokeh, in homage to the beautiful and clever shader written by Krzysztof Narkowicz, who kindly allowed me to use an amended version for the background.

Although I know some people (naming no names1) will be unhappy with the high-contrast white background, I hope in general you like it. You can always switch to any of the previous styles if you don't like it, of course.

1 Seb.
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3 May 2017 : Pico in the Wild: Replacing Passwords, One Site at a Time #
I've posted a short synopsis of the Pico team's time in Paris at EuroS&P and EuroUSEC up on the Computer Lab's Light Blue Touchpaper blog. That's my first post to the blog, although not the first Pico post.
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30 Apr 2017 : Pico in the Wild: Replacing Passwords, One Site at a Time #
Another preprint, this time the EuroUSEC 2017 paper Seb, Claudio, Graeme, Kat, Frank and I published in collaboration with Toshiyuki Masui of Keio University. In the paper you'll found the results from our user trial of Pico on the Gyazo website, where real users tried out real Pico and we evaluated their use of and reactions to it. You can find the paper on my publications page. I've just arrived back from Paris where Kat presented the work at the workshop on usable security. There were some great papers, most of which involved user studies of one form or another. We heard lots of interesting insights into how users approach security and respond to different interfaces designed to support security.
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11 Apr 2017 : Explicit delegation using configurable cookies #
A preprint of my paper published with Graeme Jenkinson and Frank Stajano, discussing how configurable Web cookies can be used for account delegation, is now up on my publications page. The paper should appear in a Springer LNCS volume in due course.
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8 Mar 2017 : Come develop code with us on the Pico project #
At Pico we're looking for an exceptional programmer, ideally with iOS/macOS experience, to help us rid the world of passwords. If you're interested to join an amazing team at the University of Cambridge, check out the details on the job site. Closing date is 18th April.
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4 Mar 2017 : Departing StartCom 1st Feb, arriving Let's Encrypt 4th March #
My thirty day journey moving from StartCom to Let's Encrypt is finally over. My home server at www.flypig.org.uk is now secured using a Let's-Encrypt-signed certificate, and from what I can tell, it seems to be working great. StartCom may or may not have served me well (free certificate signing: good; issuing backdated SHA-1 certs: bad), but allowing webmasters access to signed certs for TLS at minimal cost is really important in my view. It's by far the best way to improve security on the Web right now. I'm glad Let's Encrypt has picked up the mantle (and given me a free certificate!).
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1 Feb 2017 : My certificates have been revoked! #
I discovered yesterday that Mozilla have revoked the StartCom root certificate in Firefox. How did I discover this? After an update to Firefox 51 I find my own www.flypig.org.uk website now fails to load, giving a certificate error instead. Admittedly StartCom's service is free, but it would have been nice to be warned by someone.
So while I've enjoyed StartCom's service for many years, it looks like I'll be moving to Let's Encrypt. Which would be fine if I hadn't put certificate pinning on my site, which will prevents the new cert from being accepted for 30 days. I guess that's what happens if you try to be too cocky with security on a budget!
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9 Dec 2016 : Cracking PwdHash #
The paper Graham Rymer and I wrote for Passwords 2016 on Cracking PwdHash is now available on my publications page. Check out the blog post about it for a bit more details.
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8 Dec 2016 : Deck the Halls! #
Christmas is in 17 days, which is only just slightly beyond tomorrow. The temperature today is 10 degrees C, so snow is imminent. Time for Christmas decorations to go up and snow to fall down on the site. Tidings of the season to everyone!
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20 Nov 2016 : Certificate ROL 1 #
The TLS cert on my home server was approaching expiration, and in previous years I've been caught out (on one occasion I was left generating certificates on Christmas day!), so I decided to do it early this year. It's got a lot more complex with certificate pinning. I can't just generate a new certificate and use it, but must now maintain multiple simultaneously shifting them all one to the left each year. It needs much more careful planning, given I'm more than capable of forgetting everything from one year to the next. Still, I'm happy to say it's now all done for another few years, and with an A+ rating from SSL Labs no less.
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16 Oct 2016 : Fixing snap apps with relocatable DATADIRS #
Playing around with the new snap packaging format, I came up against this DATADIR issue. Of all the many ways to get around it, here's the approach I took for functy.