Tag Archives: Tech

Eventum Extension for MediaWiki

I couldn’t find a MediaWiki extension for Eventum when I needed one, so this evening I knocked one up.

It’s fairly basic, very unoptimised, and probably far from perfect, but it works for me, and someone might use it as the basis for something better. It uses PHPs MySQL library to open a connection to a database and execute a query, the results are then avilable to MediaWiki (but perhaps sadly don’t become part of the version controlled content).

To use it in a page add <eventum bug="123"/> where 123 is the number of the bug you'd like to query.

Output is formatted through an eventum template which you'll have to create, the parameters of that template from 1-5 are, in this basic example, summary, created date, closed date, status title, and status color. e.g. {{eventum|An example summary|1st Nov 2008|2nd Nov 2009|Closed|#00FF00}}

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Towards the Perfect Gadget

Imagine a scene in the not-too distant future… after a frenzied period of leaks, rumours, claims and counter-claims, interspersed with no-comments, denials, and increasingly reliable and suggestive evidence emerging from component and sub-assembly manufacturers, Apple Inc announce the imminent release of The Perfect Gadget.

The mainstream press attend press conferences and briefings where Apple proclaim that their Perfect Gadget does everything up to, and maybe even including, ordering sliced bread from the online grocer at the precise thickness that it knows you will prefer (a fact derived from a semantic analyses of how you use said gadget).

Socially driven news sites will go utterly berserk.

So how long must we wait until Apple actually makes this announcement? Perhaps we’re only five or ten years away from The Perfect Gadget 1.0. Continue reading

Worst Offenders for WordPress 2.5 – Pre-Alpha

I’m in the process of rewriting the Worst Offenders plugin for the soon-to-be-released WordPress 2.5. Before I make a tested and polished version of the code globally available, I’d be interested to hear from anyone who’d like to alpha test it.

As before Worst Offenders works cooperatively with other anti-spam plugins: its primary purpose is identifying and deleting the comments that are 100% definitely spam (sent by the very worst offenders) so that any “false positives” (sent by real genuine humans) can be rescued from the spam bin! Continue reading


I couldn’t help but marvel at the efficiency of our local station café recently, as I watched the staff pipeline their customer orders. The busy morning rush was so great that they’d streamlined the operations; one person greeted customers, took orders from several of us at once, and processed the payments. This freed the second member of staff to focus on juggling the coffee and tea machines: getting the maximum throughput from the two staff, and the machines. Continue reading

Commuter Alarm Clock

On a recent train journey I overheard a conversation about someone who’d enjoyed the first class wine so much on a recent intercity journey that they had difficulty staying awake so as not to miss their destination. Staying awake is a problem for many commuters and for those whose destination is not the terminating station, it can be both costly and time consuming. An alarm clock is the obvious tool of choice, to solve the problem, but they’re not convenient to carry. Helpfully some phones include alarm clock applications, but aside from the fact that they can ring a bell at a predefined time, they’re not very useful because what’s important is getting off at the right station, not at a specific time. Continue reading

Media Player Guitar Tab Plugin

This is one of those “maybe it exists but I can’t find it” ideas. Something that I’d find very useful would be media player plugin that could use the ID tag from mp3′s (etc) to nip off to the WWW and find the relevant guitar tab so playing along is thus a very easy process. The idea could be taken further for different instruments, of couse, but it’s generally something similar to the usual “buy this album” button which is purely commercial. So, what’s out there, anyone know? If it doesn’t exist someone please write it!

Viva Voce

In Britain, the process of finishing a PhD involves the submission of a written thesis, followed by an oral examination called a viva voce (the literal Latin translation is “live voice”). The “viva”, as it’s commonly known, is an in-depth discussion into all aspects of the thesis which typically lasts between 90 and 180 minutes. It is conducted by a specially convened examination board, with both internal and external examiners, who typically have have four weeks to digest the thesis beforehand. In the viva, the PhD candidate must defend their thesis: if the defence is successful, the candidate is awarded the degree Continue reading

The Sun|Netscape Alliance Corporate Anthem

Back in the last century after Netscape merged with AOL, a 3-year deal was struck between AOL and Sun Microsystems such that the Professional Services groups from Sun and Netscape would work together on projects that benefited both companies. The Netscape server software became (to all intents and purposes) jointly owned and developed, and Sun paid AOL a large retainer for each year of the deal regardless of how much software it actually sold. Our small and specialised consultancy group got a lot bigger overnight. The joint venture was initially called “The Sun|Netscape Alliance”, though after a couple of tongue-twisting months a less orally demanding brand name of iPlanet was announced. Continue reading

Gifts for Geeks

What are the best alternative presents for a geek?

The typical geek has carefully selected and purchased their gadgets of choice, has a computer that’s tuned to perfection and needs no software purchased (because their entire suite is open-source) – so aside from comedy tee shirts with clever slogans that can only be understood by other geeks, buying for geeks is difficult, especially if you’re not a geek, because you can’t even understand if the tee is funny or not. Continue reading

Browser Forensics

I just read the most wonderful news article ever: it’s about Web Browsers, and Forensic Science. It’s wonderful for two reasons: it gets the whole “telling a story” thing wrong by totally misinterpreting the status quo and being technically confused, then it gives an example that is so under-inspired that I had to come up with my own story for how it could be used (and I really enjoyed that bit). Continue reading