Wednesday, 29 June 2016

On failure

Simon Brown
I have failed.
Failed to protect my family from Simon Brown of skignz Limited.
His one and only talent is his ability to be totally plausible when lying and I was too late in seeing it.
He has stolen my business, stolen my ideas, stolen my possessions ... but worst of all is what he gave me. He gave me the knowledge that I could not protect the most vulnerable member of my family from a man who is totally morally bankrupt. A man without honour.
I have failed.
Let this be a warning to anyone who deals with this man.
His lies will convince you, his affability charm you .. but he is hollow. No creativity, a fragile ego, a misogynist, a bully, a pretend man. A human simulacrum. Be wary.
I have failed.
My future has been ripped from me.
My widow will condemn my action as cowardly.
So be it.
I have failed.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Is Social Media Promoting Isolation Among Our Children?

My argument is, no. The opposite.


 The ancient humans that came out of Africa were used to living in close-knit communities where a neighbour was seldom more than a glance away. Tribal communities across the world show how children are within easy reach of each other; congregating continually to play, explore, learn and even sleep. Transport systems mean families no longer need to live together. Children are scattered over large distances. Many are completely isolated from their age group and more are limited to just a few local friends.

Social media brings children – especially teenagers – together. They may be physically separated by many miles but the ability for them to chat, exchange images and generally interact is helping them back to the 'normal' state of once again being social animals.

 Modern life, up to the end of the last millennium, deprived our children of so much social contact as to be incalculable. Social media is helping to redress the imbalance.

The advent of driverless cars will be the next huge upheaval of modern society. Safe, unchaperoned transport for everyone: the very old, the very young, and everyone in between - even animals and goods. Driverless cars are not just about freeing up a business person's time to do more while in transit. My daughter will be able to send her children off to see their friends, picking up others on the way, to a common, safe destination where they can get about the business of being children among children. And take them all safely back home.

 I have huge hopes that social media and other technologies will be able to mend some of the broken social structures of the past.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Evolving Universe

The Universe is heading towards its demise. Either by spreading so thin that the protons start to decay, or by collapsing in a huge crunch.

If nothing's done this will happen.


But maybe we can do something. And by we I mean intelligent life. 

And maybe this is precisely why we're here. To work it out. To work out how to survive beyond the normal lifespan of this Universe.

Am thinking though, we're going to have to work together on this.

So why not start now?

Just sayin'.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Delicious cookies on my sites

Since opening up the anagram solver ( ) and the URL Shortener ( ) I was reminded that my sites need to comply with the EU Laws on cookies.

The sites do not use cookies. But I had to pop up a dismissable box to explain that. Which required the use of a cookie.

This is my cookie policy for those sites:


Cookie policy

Some of the Google Adsense Ads you see and links to various social media sites use cookies to 'enhance your experience'.

This site does not require or use cookies apart from one, delicious, exception:
  • The pop-up box on the front page uses a cookie when you dismiss its message - telling you it uses cookies - in order to remember you dismissed it.

More info

By continuing to use this site you're agreeing to our use of cookies.


What do you think of my cookie policy?

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

A Poem: Winter's Children

Winter’s children

Don’t look left or right
  Drive fast keep your face ahead
    Ignore the nearly dead
      Under formaldehyde light.
Bent and staining days perfect white.
Please, give of your daily bread,
  Encourage with a kind word said.
Even staining life’s delight
  You’ll help yourself as well as those
    Who dwell in cold free from cover,
      Sad and cringing, afraid to sleep,
        Public in their humbling throes.
Winter’s not the kindest partner
  Jealous in her frozen keep.

Monday, 7 December 2015

URL Shortener

I've put my URL Shortener on line for you edification and delight.

It's here at

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Anagram solver

As a big fan of on line words games and apps like Scrabble, Word Chums and so on, I often find myself in need of a little help.

There are, of course, a gazillion anagram solvers on line but none really seemed to match my needs.

So I made one.

It took me about two hours to code and sixteen to come up with the title, "@garybak's word finder".

Sixteen hours well spent, I'm sure you'll agree.

It's made to load quickly on my iPhone 5 so I can cheat enhance my scoring ability quite rapidly.

It's here if you'd like to give it a go.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Asset and People tracking using BLE Mesh

Suggestion I sent to Ubudu .. hope they are some other Mesh Beacon provider takes notice

A suggestion for asset / people tracking:
1) Each mesh beacon can be given 1 or more UUIDs to look out for.
2) When an iBeacon with matching UUI is 'seen' your mesh beacon calls a URI via your USB gateway with parameters: Mesh Beacon's ID/major/minor, detected beaccon UUID/major/minor, time and  any txPower values.
3) The receiving server of the URI (like: could log these values then be interrogate any time.
Any programmer could interrogate logs like these for asset/people tracking.

If this was available right now we have an airport and large hospital who'd be interested in a POC set up, with more enquiries coming in all the time.

Hope this all makes sense.



Saturday, 6 June 2015

Snootiness & Program Optimisation

For Programmers

I was a member of stackOverflow for a while. It's a great resource appearing in many Google search results for my programming queries.

I stopped posting questions due to the pedants and insufferable bores who preferred to mock a question rather than keep quiet because they didn't know the answer.

In my book: there are no stupid questions and mocking a person's lack of knowledge devalues their own knowledge.

Recently I heard this (and I paraphrase and name-change)

Adam: what is ASCII 65?
Eve: You mean you don't know? (Turning to a colleague and rolling her eyes) He doesn't know what ASCII 65 is?! Ha! What a numpty.

Eve's mocking of Adam for not knowing ASCII 65 is an upper case 'A' devalued her knowledge of it. It lowered the value of her knowledge to the level of 'everyone on the planet should know that not just me with my IT qualifications'.
Silly Eve.

Anyway, while traversing stackOverflow I came across this as a solution:

byte Patch(byte delta, byte lo)
    int resultPixel = (2 * (delta - 127)) + lo;

    if (resultPixel > 255)
       resultPixel = 255;

    if (resultPixel < 0)
       resultPixel = 0;

    return (byte)resultPixel;

Missing out an 'else' will make force the system to perform the second test even though the first test is true. As this Patch() was to be called many thousands of times, this simple over-site will result in a considerable loss in performance.
It should have read:

byte Patch(byte delta, byte lo)
    int resultPixel = (2 * (delta - 127)) + lo;

    if (resultPixel > 255)
       resultPixel = 255;
   else if (resultPixel < 0)
       resultPixel = 0;

    return (byte)resultPixel;

Showing that there is a time and place for pedanticismistophiles.