Ben Tasker's Blog

Beware USB Quick Charge Ports

In order to power a couple of thermistor controlled cooling fans, I use a pair of USB to 3 pin Molex adapters.

I noticed the other day that one of the fans wasn't working, so I detached it from it's mounting plate and brought it and the adaptor out to check.

Access is a bit... tricky... so I couldn't really test the adaptor against the other fan (and didn't want to risk breaking it if something odd had gone wrong). The fans I use are about £5 each, and it's always worth having spares, so I ordered some replacements, which arrived today.

I plugged one of the new fans into the adaptor and tried to power it on. Nothing. So, I dealt with the access issues in order to plug the new fan into the other adaptor to check the fan worked - it did.

The last remaining check then, was to verify that the issue didn't lie with the USB port the adaptor was plugged into.

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Optimised Routing and Opportunistic Tor Enabled

In the past few days, I've enabled some new functionality on my delivery network, affecting (almost) every domain being served by it.

Those using a browser which supports these changes should see improved delivery performance, and enhanced privacy.

This post details the changes that have been made, and what they mean to you

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Protecting Identity and Copyright Online

At times, it really feels like the world is completely fucked. We've got a US president who somehow manages to be enough of an arse to fall out with Canadians flying off to meet a nuclear armed mad-man. We seem to be witnessing the increasing rise of a foaming mouthed racist alt-right, and have long since mourned the death of quality journalism in the media. Israeli defence forces are so focused on justifying murder of unarmed civillians that they now tweet about executing people for throwing a stone.

Yes, at times, it seems like the entire world is off to hell in a hand-cart.

Underneath it all, though, politics doesn't seem to be that different behind the scenes. Politician are still trying to implement many of the same stupid things that we've seen raised again and again throughout our lives. 

As fucked as the world may seem, it's important that it not act as a distraction from the issues we can do something about. Trump, for better or worse, is here to stay (at least until his KFC infested diet catches up with him).

But we can do something about fuckwits in Government once again suggesting that implementing the ability to control and track what everyone does online is in any way a positive. We also can do something about fuckwits from many Government's who think it's beneficial for humanity for them to take a bended knee before Copyright cartels and screw the lot of us in the process (otherwise known as Article 13 of the EU Copyright Directive).

This post isn't about the things that have become big, but about the things that will become massive infringements on our lives if allowed to pass unchallenged.

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Why I won't have an Amazon Echo

I was recently asked to explain in a bit more depth why I'm not willing to have an Amazon Echo (or, more specifically - Alexa), so I thought I'd write an answer down too.

Although the question was specifically about Alexa (being the best-known), the answer applies to alternatives like Google Home and Sonos One.

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Google, Cloudflare and GDPR - my quandry

Just like most of the internet, I've been working hard making sure my site and services are GDPR compliant. For the most part, on the technical front I already was, and it's mostly been a case of making sure the documentation is up to scratch.

However, in one area, I've had to revisit a  decision that I've gone over and over after the past few years - having ads on (some) of the sites, compared to the alternatives.

I decided I'd create this post for a couple of reasons - partially because I suspect others may be in a similar situation, and also to try and help lay it out so I can spot alternatives to those I've already considered.

 

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