For a small play project I needed the ability to pull down all the DVDs from a given persons Amazon wishlist. After a quick look on CPAN two main options presented themselves, first up we have WWW::Amazon::Wishlist. The module has an easy to use interface, doesn’t require an Amazon developer token (it’s a naughty screen-scraper) and doesn’t need any XML modules. Unfortunately while it has no problems getting books I couldn’t get it to download any of the DVDs from the wishlist so I moved on. Read on →

Yesterday was my last day at my now-previous employers, For the rest of this week I’m on emergency phone support only (which they’ll never have to use as things pretty much work). Next week I’m at the UKUUG conference in Swansea and then a couple of days after I get back I start my new job at one of Londons premier OpenSource and Perl companies. No, not the BBC. ;) I’ve been thinking about why I only stayed for a year at a company that has a hell of a lot of potential and some very top notch people and I’ve come up with a couple of ideas, how valid they are I guess I’ll work out over time. Read on →

I’m going to take a break from my session by session breakdown and point out some other resources instead. OpenTech Recordings OpenTech photos on Flickr. I even show up in some; but if you're lucky you won't see notice those ones ;) OpenTech tag. OpenTech Technorati search OpenTech coverage at Newsforge. I really enjoyed OpenTech and the organisers did an excellent job with the venue, speakers and keeping everything moving. Read on →

James Larsson’s talk was a short, media clip packed one in which he presented things you shouldn’t do with hardware. From playing music through a monitor (very cool visual effects) to a very sick mouse-trap made from a broken monitor to removing capacitors from a running system until it crashed the videos were amusing but worrying. This man must never even look at my laptops…

“Yahoo has gone from not as good as Google to a very interesting company” – Ben Hammersley. To most of us Jeremy Zawodny is Mr Yahoo, he’s the only face we see (and blog we read) from one of the bigger tech companies and while his blog is well worth reading it’s always good to hear someone with his background speak in person. The session covered a lot of small bits and pieces such as the need for a standard way to authenticate to webservices and APIs (without using the whole WS-* stack). Read on →

“What are you wearing?” “A kilt.” “No man, that’s a skirt…” “It’s a kilt. I’m telling you…” “Uhhh it’s pink, has flowers and shoulder straps.” “It’s a pretty kilt.” From: The third session of the day was introduced by Ben Hammersley in a kilt. Which he then pulled up as he ran up the stairs and gave the first three rows, and the speaker (who he obviously knew) a view of his arse; fortunately this was after the lunch break. Read on →

I’ll be honest, I had no intension of sitting through this session but after buying Perl Testing: A Developer’s Notebook and Perl Best Practices I was too late to even stand in the Media Hacking session so I went back to the big theatre and sat through what was possibly (in my opinion) the worst session of the day. Now I know Ted Nelson is a smart guy and he’s got some very interesting ideas and perspectives but as a speaker I didn’t like him. Read on →

On Saturday (July 23rd) I made my way across London to the NTK/UKUUG/BBC OpenTech event, carrying on the tradition of NOTCON and sponsored by the BBC it had an impressive list of speakers including Jeremy Zawodny (Yahoos best PR) and Ted Nelson. The crowd was a pretty varied one, along with the usual London Perl Mongers, London Linux users, Debian dudes and UKUUG people there were a lot of people that seemed to be more culture and media orientated. Read on →

I was lucky enough to go to the NTK/UKUUG/BBC OpenTech event on Saturday (July 23rd) and one of the sessions discussed whether we need a British digital rights group to help promote and campaign for our freedoms. While I wasn’t in the session (bad Dean!) I can’t not pledge money and consider myself a decent member of the community. In order to start the group off there’s a PledgeBank fund you can sign up for. Read on →

The right to improve and better yourself is, in my opinion, one of the most important things a person has. Whether you’re from a repressed minority that is unfairly denied opportunities, a broken home you never want to re-create or ‘just’ a poor family that never seems to get any breaks the hope that you can do better if you’re willing to work hard, persist and keep trying is something you can hold on to in the darker hours, days and, unfortunately sometimes, months. Read on →