> Letter to my MP on DRIP

July 14th, 2014

Sent via WriteToThem.com.

More Info

Dear Mr Hammond,

I am writing to express my concern about the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (DRIP).

I feel that forcing companies to store data on their customers is an unacceptable breach of the right to privacy, and not justified by the need to combat terrorism or other crime. I think a better balance could be struck by requiring agencies to get a court order to engage in such invasive surveillance.

I am also concerned about the elements of DRIP that amend the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), including the expansion of the definition of a communications service provider.

What emergency are we facing that requires parliament to move so quickly on this issue? The only emergency I can see is that UK government agencies are currently acting illegally.

These agencies should stop acting illegally, and laws should be drafted in the normal way to authorise proportionate surveillance.

I am particularly concerned that DRIP contains many similarities to legislation that has already been rejected by parliament.

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Andy Balaam

[Inspired by Leo McArdle, thanks.]

[Feel free to re-use in whole or in part.]

> What is node.js?

July 14th, 2014

Node.js is a way of writing your web applications wholly in JavaScript, which sounds like a terrible idea.

However, it is also an asynchronous programming environment that has been proven to scale really well, and it’s a collection of libraries many of which are excitingly small and well-encapsulated.

Here we just cover the basics of what it is:

Slides: What is node.js?

> A mini mocking framework

July 7th, 2014

Ever wondered how a mocking framework like JMock or GoogleMock works?

We’ll look at how to write a very basic example, and find out that Java is more flexible than you may have thought.

Slides: A mini mocking framework.

> Simple template programming

June 30th, 2014

C++ template meta-programming sounds harder than it is.

So long as you can fight through some horrific syntax and understand recursive functions, you can write any algorithm you like and have it run at compile time in your C++ programs.

Slides: Simple Template Programming

Andrei Alexandrescu’s amazing book on using template meta-programming for really useful, cool stuff is: Modern C++ Design.

> Five Quines video

June 25th, 2014

A quine is a program that prints out its own source code. I will describe five examples:

Slides: Five Quines

Arguably the greatest program ever written:


More info on quines: