I made a game: Speed Warp

Screen Shot 2013-09-29 at 16.50.42I made a game: Speed Warp. It’s heavily influenced by Candy Box, and contains one or two minor references.

If you haven’t played this type of game before and you’re confused – just wait. Things get more interesting as the game goes on. The fun is in the discovery…

Raspberry Pi Radios

An ongoing project has been using my Raspberry Pi as a radio. I have it connected to some speakers in the kitchen, and have it serving the radio controls via HTTP.

I’ve made two version so far, one for playing streaming radio services and another for playing Google Music.

I’ve used bootstrap to set up the UI so that they’re usable from mobiles. There are also simple endpoints for playing stuff, I’ve used Tasker to set up shortcuts on my home-screen, and buttons on my Pebble that ping the appropriate url to instantly play/stop music.

Replacement Dilbert RSS Feeds – with images

Dilbert.com recently nerfed their RSS feeds forcing you to click through to the site to view the comic. I’ve made a script that you can use to generate a feed like their old one with images inline. It’s available on github: Dilbert RSS Replacement

London Youth Choir

I have recently been working on designs for the newly-formed London Youth Choir. This includes the logo and a simple website.

The brief for the logo was to create something playful, bold and adaptable that used the London skyline as a theme.

Sites should publish their password hashes

There’s a big problem with all sites that store a password to perform authentication – you have no idea what security measures are being taken to protect the stored passwords. How do you know how your password is ‘secure’ once it’s at the other end? How can you know? Sites should publish their password hashes continued »

Hangman Overkill

Following up on my previous post about optimal hangman strategy, I’ve run some more experiments, fixed up and tested my script, with some interesting results.

First of all, I tested the script in a game of hangman against every single word in a 70k word dictionary. I played with 10 lives before losing, which is probably on the conservative side, 12 seems like a common figure. The script lost on 469 words, of which 99 were 3 letters long. There were 20 words 7 letters long, all of which ended in ‘ing’. There were no words of 8 letters or longer.

Hangman Overkill continued »

Playing Hangman Optimally with pyngman

A post on DataGenetics did the rounds last week, applying the might of statistical analysis to the game Hangman to try and guess what an optimal strategy might be. Many techniques were leveled at the problem, from basic analysis of letter frequencies to conditional probability, all in order to try and generate the best sequence you should call the letters.

Having read it I was slightly perplexed, it seemed like massive overkill for something that can be calculated fairly simply, so I created pyngman, a python script that generates optimal next guesses for Hangman. Input the state of the game and the letters you’ve called and it will tell you what letter to call next.

You supply the information as a state, such as ..e.., where .’s are unknown letters, followed by a list of letters you’ve tried:

$ pyngman -state ..e.. est
> Your best next guess is: a

It does this by using a dictionary (you must supply the dictionary, so the results will change depending on what you supply!), and looking at all possible words that could be the solution, and working out the letter with the highest probability of being present. So far I have been unable to find a word which causes the program to lose a game of hangman!

Grab pyngman from github and have a go yourself

Playing Hangman Optimally with pyngman continued »

Why isn’t Airport Security Open?

I’m going to take two security stories from the last week, one of which I think illustrates how to do it well, and another which illustrates how to do it badly. They come from very different areas under the vast umbrella of ‘security’. One is very much physical, and the other very much not. These days however, the two are inseparably linked. Why isn’t Airport Security Open? continued »

New Site: Queens’ College Choir

Queens' College Choir

APN Settings for Android O2 UK

I recently set up my phone to O2, and had trouble finding the correct settings. They are as follows: APN Settings for Android O2 UK continued »