Introduction to the Metaverse

You’ve likely heard the term “metaverse” many times over the past few years, and outside the realm of science fiction novels, it has tended to refer to some kind of computer-generated world. There’s often little distinction between a “metaverse” and a relatively interactive virtual reality world.

There are a huge number of people who think this simply a marketing term, and Facebook’s recent rebranding of its holding company to “Meta” has only reinforced this view. However, I think this view is wrong, and I hope to explain why.

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It's tough being an Azure fan

Azure has never been the #1 cloud provider - that spot continues to belong to AWS, which is the category leader. However, in most people’s minds, it has been a pretty reasonable #2, and while not necessarily vastly differentiated from AWS there are enough things to write home about.

However, even as a user and somewhat of a fan of the Azure technology, it is proving increasing difficult to recommend.

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The Trials of Contact Tracing

The UK NHSX “contact tracing” app is being deployed today, in one small place, to test whether or not this approach might help get us out of lockdown. Unfortunately, the launch is beset with published argument one way and the other about whether or not this app is technically good, meets privacy expectations, or simply whether it will work.

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A No Drama Action Plan for Covid 19

It’s all over the news, and this is Yet Another Hot Take. Don’t completely despair: I’m not going to tell you what the virus is, or cover why you should (or shouldn’t) be worried. What I am going to tell you is that your business should be prepared. Even if you have a decent business continuity plan in place, there are reasons to review it now.

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Debugging generic errors: yarn could not resolve host registry.yarnpkg.com

I rarely blog about purely technical errors, but this specific message from yarn is something I’ve seen a number of people struggling with. I’m going to explain a bit more about why it comes about, and how I solved it in my situation. This will not work for everyone, but it may give you a hint.

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The 'No Code' Delusion

Increasingly popular in the last couple of years, I think 2020 is going to be the year of “no code”: the movement that say you can write business logic and even entire applications without having the training of a software developer. I empathise with people doing this, and I think some of the “no code” tools are great. But I also thing it’s wrong at heart.

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On Becoming a CTO in 2020

A good friend recently wrote to me to ask what it takes to become a CTO in this day and age. Unfortunately, he DM’d me over Twitter: try as I might, there was nothing of note I could squeeze into that format (usual adage of “if I’d had the time, it would have been briefer”). So, I wrote this largely for him, but I think it’s generally useful.

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Making sense of information security certification

I regularly get asked by businesses - often start-ups - how to approach information security. This has become an increasingly frequent question for those looking for some kind of formal recognition, usually certification. Everyone knows that these will take time and cost money. At the end of the day, is it worth it?

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Is SMS a secure second factor?

Jack Dorsey, famous for co-founding Twitter, is in the news currently as his Twitter account was hijacked. Most stories have been pains to point out that Twitter wasn’t directly attacked: instead, they went for his mobile phone. This raises the question: if you use your phone for authentication, how secure is it?

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Libra: a usable digital currency?

The Libra Association de-cloaked today. With Facebook amongst the initial backers, this is being seen – fairly or not – as the Facebook cryptocurrency. The reputation of the system, and potentially the take-up, may end up being harmed by that alliance. However, I’m slightly more interested in another question: is it likely to be any good as a digital currency?

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