If you were a ‘fan’ of my old website, which unfortunately went the way of the Dodo after a curious mishap involving a vicar, several guns and a penguin named Larry*, you’ll know that I’m somewhat prone to unleashing bouts of creativity upon the interwebs. I’ve had a few such interludes in the past few months, which I’d thought I’d share, because I’m feeling unusually self-indulgent.
For a while now, I’ve tried, on and off, to use the Pomodoro productivity technique while at work (bursts of 25 minute activity, interspersed with varying length breaks). But I have to admit I never really found it worked that well for me, as 25 minutes never felt like enough time to get stuck into something. While looking about for alternatives, I stumbled upon the 52-17 method, which, as you might expect, is 52 minutes of activity, followed by 17 minutes of rest/doing something else. I tried it and found it much more to my liking, but was annoyed when I couldn’t find a decent timer. So I made one. http://52-17.com
I’m a fairly laid-back chap, but one issue of modern western life that really irks me is when I want to watch a film, I have to go to each app on my clumsy old PS3 in turn to search Netflix, Now TV and Amazon Prime to see if it’s available. So I made Moviespot to do the searching for me! It’s also turned out to be a good way to discover films I didn’t know, or had forgotten about. If you’re not British, though, don’t get too excited, it only works for the UK market. http://moviespot.co.uk
Rather worryingly, I received an email a short while ago informing me that a service I use had been hacked and, allegedly, my username and password for said site had been published on the interwebs. I can’t say I ever found said list, but it did get me thinking about the ludicrous situation we seem to have got ourselves into in the world, where we are forced to used completely unrememberable p@55word5, which, it turns out, are just as easy to hack as passwords with just normal letters in. Turns out that if you want a less hackable password, adding a few pound and dollar signs doesn’t help at all, as usually they are still 6-10 letters long and can be brute-forced in no time. Instead, what you want is a loooong password (20 characters or more) that is easy to remember. It takes a lot longer to brute-force these as the number of possible permutations, even with just upper and lower case letters, rises exponentially with the length of the password**. So, enter my latest tour-de-force in noodling: http://longpassword.com
I hope you find some, or all, of these sites as useful as I do.
* OK, I admit, I accidentally deleted the database and couldn’t be bother to restore it.
** A 10 character password, with upper and lower case letters, plus numbers and common symbols, has approx. 2×1018 permutations, a 20 character password with just upper and lower case letters has approx. 4×1033 permutations.