Supporting the (digital) climate strike

Next Friday (September 20th), millions of people will join young climate strikers in a Global Climate Strike on the streets and demand an end to the age of fossil fuels. Tumblr, Atlassian, Kickstarter, WordPress, BoingBoing, Imgur, BitTorrent, are among the many companies to support the Global Climate Strike, along with over 1,000 websites joining the Digital Climate Strike, in response to the… Read more “Supporting the (digital) climate strike”

Volunteering at a refugee camp as a technologist (part 1)

Crawling along a snowy road in early January in my cheap rental car, I was heading towards a small town in northern Greece. There was heavy snow falling, not a house in sight, no mobile signal and only the fading tail-light of a 4×4 in the distance. It was slowly dawning on me that following Google Map’s alternative route after… Read more “Volunteering at a refugee camp as a technologist (part 1)”

Getting started with #techforgood – what I’ve found so far

I first started exploring ways to do more good with technology last summer having left my role as CTO at FundApps. At the time, I found it hard to know where to start, especially when it came to finding concrete actions I could take. I’ve learnt a lot since then, so wanted to share some of the amazing organisations out… Read more “Getting started with #techforgood – what I’ve found so far”

Reducing memory consumption for dynamic tabular data

At FundApps we had a semi-dynamic data schema, which could be defined by our regulatory team in accordance with the market data required to enforce regulations. Imagine a table of stock holdings like the below, with potentially millions of rows, and possibly a few hundred column headers. The data was sparse, but with much overlap in data according to the… Read more “Reducing memory consumption for dynamic tabular data”

Have you taken the Founders Pledge?

In the midst of growing FundApps, I gave far less time to charity than I’d have liked. Despite the generous volunteering policy we established, at a personal level my charity amounted to a few small donations, a little micro-finance, and some occasional volunteering. I countered this feeling of ‘I should do more’ with a vague notion. That is, if against… Read more “Have you taken the Founders Pledge?”

Replacing maternity & paternity with parental leave

A friend of mine recently went to his head of HR to arrange shared parental leave. They had no clue how the process worked, asked him how he was going to cover the work, and warned that it might not be possible. My friend had to calmly point out that this was in fact their problem, not his – and… Read more “Replacing maternity & paternity with parental leave”

Restoring an old bkf backup file on macOS or Windows 10 (/8/7)

I recently realised I had a load of old projects and data sitting in a lovely 100GB bkf file – generated by the ntbackup program that used to ship with Windows XP and Windows 2008 – but no way to access them. Microsoft released a restore-only version for 2008 R2 / Windows 7, but there was no version of ntbackup… Read more “Restoring an old bkf backup file on macOS or Windows 10 (/8/7)”

Retro-fitting remote working

I wrote my last post about remote working on my way to Gran Canara almost 4 years ago. It was the first time I had attempted to work remotely from the team based in London, and the reality was – remote working was really hard! We aren’t a “remote-first” company, and I knew working with the team when they weren’t… Read more “Retro-fitting remote working”

Simple catch-all AWS budgets

We got caught out recently by significantly high usage of AWS CloudWatch, and realised we’d been spending $1000/month more than expected. After tracking down the cause (one of the team had turned on detailed instance monitoring) – I wanted to ensure we had a bit more of a heads up next time. We had budgets set for all the major… Read more “Simple catch-all AWS budgets”

BeyondCorp proxy possibilities on AWS, Google Cloud, Azure

It appears there’s now another tool in the arsenal for those looking at implementing BeyondCorp style security model, with the arrival of OIDC authentication support in AWS’s application load balancer. It adds to a growing list of possiblities, at least for HTTP-based services. Who needs VPN anyway? The options I’m aware of now include: Bitly’s oAuth2 proxy – a simple… Read more “BeyondCorp proxy possibilities on AWS, Google Cloud, Azure”

Not ready to #DeleteFacebook? Here’s some baby steps…

I admit it. I still haven’t taken the plunge to #DeleteFacebook. I can’t remember the last time I posted anything on it, but friends still invite me to events and send me messages via Messenger. Likewise, I haven’t brought myself to using VPN as standard, or Tor for that matter! That said, here’s some things you might like to try,… Read more “Not ready to #DeleteFacebook? Here’s some baby steps…”

Exploding cows in Minecraft…

Last weekend I was at Womad festival, helping kids fire exploding cows from catapults in Minecraft. Not my usual line of work as CTO, or typical festival experience for that matter! I was volunteering with Devoxx4Kids who organise events worldwide where children can develop computer games, program robots and also have an introduction to electronics. CERN had invited Devoxx4Kids to… Read more “Exploding cows in Minecraft…”