Goads and dark patterns

A goad is a traditional farming tool: a long stick with a pointed end for managing behaviour in animals, and encouraging them to move in a particular direction, by means of painful prodding. This could be used of a range of animals, from cattle to elephants. Most animals, wanting to avoid pain, will move. A stubborn animal might refuse to move, for as long as it can endure the pain. It might even kick the goad, causing even more pain.

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Command-line downloads from sites which require login

…also known as “Solving the Working from Home bandwidth problem”. A common task I perform as part of my job is to download large files from websites onto a server. Often my aim is to download such files directly onto the Linux servers residing in the datacentre, and most of the time this is straight-forward: open an ssh connection to the server, and pass the url to the wget command. The file is promptly downloaded directly to the server at several Gigabits per second.

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My favourite video games

This is not an list of the “best”, most popular and most technically brilliant games ever, although many of them are. This is a non-exhaustive list of games I have enjoyed playing over the years, and provided the most satisfying return on my time, with a nostalgic edge.

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