August 22, 2014 // dns | internet | technology | emojii domains | generation y

Update: Unfortunately, and as expected, this domain has now been cancelled as that charcter is not supported by the registry. You can see a copy of it here: http://xn--74h.richardallen.co.uk/ Being a generation Y cohort, over my life I have witnessed some amazing human feats: The www

HTML5 Device Orientation API

August 06, 2014 // html5 | technology | code | deviceorientation

HTML5 is pretty damn awesome, containing loads of neat features. One of which is the Device Orientation API. Most phones, tablets and even some laptops now contain accelerometers, gyroscopes and other hardware used to capture orientation, acceleration & motion of the device. Using the power of HTML5, modern browsers can

TFL Tube colours CSS

July 31, 2014 // technology | tfl | tube colours | tfl web colours | tfl css | tube css

TFL are really picky about the colours used to represent the London Underground, and it's a pain in the arse trying to find the true hex colour codes as the ones on their website are "web safe" for old browsers, and not actually their true colours. Below is a css

Parliament's Changed

July 22, 2014 // Politics | parliament | wikipedia changes | house of parliament wiki changes

Introducing a new mini-project: Parliament's Changed, a script that tweets out to @parliamentswiki any time an anonymous change is made to Wikipedia from an IP address that the Houses of Parliament use. This is the first version, and although the tweeting is working, there is a lot more in the

Friday Tune

July 18, 2014 // friday tune | tune | music | friday songs

Intorducing a new mashup, Friday Tune. A collection of songs, every Friday as selected by a few people at work. Was built as mashup to play around with some css and js features....check it out, or follow the twitter account @friday_tune

g/TLD's and domain length

July 16, 2014 // dns | technology | tlds | IDN

With the addition of new g/TLDs to the root DNS servers, an easy way to keep on top of these for any validation you have have is here; http://data.iana.org/TLD/tlds-alpha-by-domain.txt The below will supply the list minus the first line of comment: In relation

Local Council Websites

June 08, 2014 // Politics | Local Council websites | council websites

Couldn't find a list of all the local English Counil websites, as ever with public data - it's always a pain to get hold of, so below is a scrape of them from direct.gov's site. Local Council Websites - Google Sheets !function(a){var b="embedly-platform",c="script";if

Political Party Websites

April 28, 2014 // political party | Politics | political party websites

I couldn't find a list of the UK political party websites anywhere, and after an FOI request to the Electoral Commission I only recieved around 50 back so decided to collate them all myself. You can view the data here; Political Party Domains V3 - Google Sheets (function(a){var

Heartbleed bug - A simple explanation

April 14, 2014 // technology | heartbeat | heartbleed bug | hacking

Over the past few days you may have heard, or read, about the so called 'Heartbleed bug' which has punched a massive whole in the heart of the internet and left around two-thirds of the world's websites open to attack by hackers. But like most of my friends, I doubt

Global youth wellbeing index

April 10, 2014 // Global Youth | Wellbeing | teenagers | UK | Center for Strategic and International Studies | International Youth Foundation

In some ways, the UK doesn't appear to be a great place for the youth of today with the on-going demonisation of teenagers in the media. We are told day in day out exams are getting easier, youth unemployment is at it's highest. That teenagers are rebellious, drug addicted, sex

South Sudanese soliders wearing UNICEF donated bags

February 05, 2014 // South Sudan | UNICEF

Image source; Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images A sad image, Soldiers tabbing in two columns kitted out with bags donated by UNICEF which were aimed for children. A UNICEF spokesperson, Sarah Crowe, told Agence France-Presse "A large amount of UNICEF supplies — along with humanitarian supplies from other organizations as

Neuroscience; The brain and the mind.

January 21, 2014 // brain and mind | lseevents | neuroimaging | neuroscience

Last night I attended a fantastic event at the LSE; The Ethics of the Cognitive Sciences: What the brain can tell us about the mind. Speaking at the event was Professor Ray Dolan, Dr Peter Hacker and Professor Nikolas Rose and chaired by Dr Tali Sharot with the crux of

'World Internet outage' yesterday?

January 14, 2014 // dns | internet | outage

So, yesterday something very odd happened that went pretty much without report. It appears that there was a 'world outage' which impacted pretty much half of the worlds internet users. With people only being able to visit a few sites, yet wouldn't get any response from other sites they tried

Four Fours

November 20, 2013 // four fours | maths puzzle

Four fours is a maths puzzle to find the simplest mathematical expression for every integer from 0 onwards. The rules are simple; You can only use the operators; +, -, x, (brackets) , x² square and ! factorial You can only use the number four Each expression must have four fours Anyway, having

Don't blame Google for Child abuse images; look towards the IWF

June 08, 2013 // Bing | blocking | child abuse | google | IWF

You can't seem to pass a day without either the media, a politician or someone-other commenting and looking for a scapegoat to blame the bad things that happen in this world; more often than not it's towards the internet and ISP's such as BT, Sky and TalkTalk or Google, Bing

Turkish game-show host breaks media blackout

June 07, 2013 // Ali ?hsan Varol | game show | protests | Turkey

The media in Turkey is showing a somewhat large amount of caution in relation to reporting the current protests going on in Turkey - which were started by the excessive use of force from the Turkish police whilst trying to move activists who were protesting over the re-development plans for

European Commission and Net-Neutrality

June 05, 2013 // EU commission | Net-Neutrality

Yesterday the Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, gave a speech titled "The EU, safeguarding the open internet for all" setting out her vision for net-neutrality. In her speech she stated; "Openness and liberty are values I am determined to defend everywhere... The Arab

Google Trends screensaver

June 03, 2013 // data | google trends | screensaver | visualisation

Google trends is a pretty cool tool to see what people are searching for around the world, but they now have a pretty cool visualisation that can be set by regions. You can see it in action here. It's pretty awesome, and looks great as a screen saver! You can

Daily Mail Vs. Porn

May 29, 2013 // Daily Mail | Porn

Not that I am applying any mathematical theory to this, but with stories like this; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2137807/Obsessed-internet-child-porn-addict-amassed-250-000-images-12-years-age-15.html and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1380257/Is-YOUR-child-watching-porn-The-effects-graphic-sex-images-young-minds.html Appearing next to pictures of half clad women and constant stories about woman and sex on

Early Day Motion 773

January 14, 2013 // early day motion 773 | edm772 | FOI | NHS | private companies NHS

Although I'm a fan of private companies providing services to the NHS, caution must be made to ensure robust rules and frameworks are in place. One thing that has alarmed me recently is the omission of subjecting private providers to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, in-fact the current legislation allows

Dig command line tool

January 10, 2013 // dig | dig command | dns

Yesterday I was in a meeting discussing DNS and showed a colleague the "dig" - domain information groper - command. It's a fantastic little tool for querying DNS name servers. For standard use all you need to do is open a terminal and type This will respond with; You probably

Apple loses tablet copyright appeal against Samsung

October 18, 2012 //

Fantastic news from the High Court today.   Apple lost its appeal in the UK high court today to overturn the outcome of a previous court case in which it was ruled Samsung did not copy apple.   The good news is that Apple will now have to run adverts

Project Umubano - Video

October 15, 2012 // education | project umubano | sierra leone | umubano

So, back in July I went to Sierra Leone for Project Umubano - The Conservative Party's social action project. It was great fun, and at some point i'll get round to writing up about it but in the meantime here is a video; Umubano Health and Education Project in Sierra-leone

Project Umubano - Photos

October 15, 2012 //

And here are some photos from Umubano;   Facebook (function(a){var b="embedly-platform",c="script";if(!a.getElementById(b)){var d=a.createElement(c);d.id=b;d.async=true;d.src=("https:"===document.location.protocol?"https":"http")+"://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/platform.js";var e=document.getElementsByTagName(c

Pulling Social Share figures

August 10, 2012 // api | Count | facebook | Share | twitter

Below is a quick reference on pulling stats for the amount of times a given url has been shared on the following sites. Facebook The counts include the number of shares, likes and comments on a shared link - note that the total count of the "like" button displayed on


August 06, 2012 // #porntrial | law | legal

Here we go again, yet another slippery slope into the abyss of ill-thought out legislation that was promised, by the then Labour Government, to never be used on nice, normal law abiding citizens.... This time the legislation in question is the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, and in particular

RIM for sale?

May 30, 2012 // blackberry playbook | facebook | for sale | markets | RIM | Zuckerber

So, after doing my weekly geeky check of share prices on a few big companies, I noticed that RIM's share price dropped below the $10 mark yesterday after a "surprise" announcement from Thorsten Henis, the CEO and President of RIM. In his announcement he mentions an expected loss, but more

Google Big Tent

May 22, 2012 // censorship | copyright | digital economy | google | google big tent | media | social media

So, tomorrow I'm off to Google's Big Tent event at The Grove and it looks set to be a great day, just take a look at the agenda at the bottom of the page. From a work perspective, I'm looking forward to the morning sessions as both touch on projects

Speed Reading Test

May 22, 2012 // books | interactive | reading | speed test | staples

Staples have a nice little interactive speed read tester on their website at the moment. It's a simple piece of text you have to read timed, followed by some questions to check you actually read it! I came in at 600 words per minute, which is 140% above the national

London Tube Colours

May 21, 2012 // hex codes | london tube | tfl | tube | web colours

TFL are really picky about the colours used to represent the London Underground, and it's a pain in the arse trying to find the true hex colour codes as the ones of their website are "web safe" for old browsers, and not actually their true colours. Below is a table

UK Political Party Web Colours

May 11, 2012 // colours | political party | web colours

Update: I have created a css template that can be used which contains the colours of all UK Gov departments, Executives and main political parties...you can find it here After spending about half an hour trying to find a site that detailed all of the main UK political party

2012 Councillor elections, was it really that bad?

May 10, 2012 // 2012 elections | Councillors

A bit delayed in posting this, but better late than never. "A boost for labour" proclaimed the Guardian, "British voters give Cameron a thrashing" rattled the Sunday Morning Herald and the BBC's political correspondent bellowed that the results secured the future of Red Ed as the Labour party leader, but

FTSE100 Datafeed

April 23, 2012 // bootcamp | data | ftse | html5 | mashup

So, I'm still re-designing this site offline, but in the meantime here is a new mashup to playaround with; ftse.richardallen.co.uk Enjoy!

It has been a while!

April 03, 2012 //

So, it has been a long time since I last wrote a blog post. I'm going to start blogging again, about the same old crap; Geeky technology stuff, politics and current affairs. Before I start though, I am going to have a bit of a redesign of my website! Keep

Free iPhone/iPad CashMachine HTML5 App

September 24, 2011 // app | Cash Machine | html5 | ipad | iphone

  It's been a while since I have blogged, mainly because I have been ridiculously busy. I thought I would start re-blogging with something useful to start. A free HTML5 cash machine app with over 60k ATMs! This site, or app, locates where you are with the normal "blue location

The "Overwhelming Support" of balloted union members...

June 22, 2011 // ballots | data | strikes | trade unions

It's time for a change in the Strike Laws in this country. Simple, no arguments, it is pathetic and infuriating, costly and political. This time round, I am in specific, talking about the teacher strikes coming up on the 30th June. I don't really want to go into the depths

I hate paying to use a cash machine..

June 21, 2011 // api | cash machines | development | map | mashups | technology

....so I decided to look around for a list of the locations of all of the cash machines in the UK, it would appear this is harder than I thought it would be! But I have managed to come across a list of all non bank owned cash machines, including

Speechless, truly speechless....

June 06, 2011 // fail | featured | homepost

My hope of some people in society is rapidly diminishing, especially when it comes down to this fella, a Mr Andy Kadir-Buxton. I mean this stuff is just unbelievable, stupidity to a new level. A quote of some of his best bits; "With the Kadir-Buxton Method, a patient standing on

Once I'm a Cataphile...

May 09, 2011 // catacombs | homepost | paris | travel | underground

Cataphile; Parisian underground urban explorer, whom wonders endlessly and illegally through the miles and miles (or Kilometers as those pesky french call them) of tunnels, crypts and rooms under Paris. Once, for one night, I was one of these, and ever since that night I have an inexplicable need, an

If Carlsberg did Coffee...

April 28, 2011 // coffee | homepost | london

It would probably taste the exact same as coffee from The Monmouth Coffee Company in London. For those who don't know me, Coffee is my opium...I love it! These days its hard to find good coffee, with chains such as Starbucks, Costa and Cafe Nero hogging places everywhere you

Slash the Debt!

April 19, 2011 // austerity | bail out | Debt | deficit | featured | Government | mashup | Politics | ukuncut

Apologies for the lack of posts over the past few weeks, I have been very busy with work! Anyway, I have something new for you to play about with! http://slashthedebt.richardallen.co.uk A website where you can read suggestions, and suggest your own, on ways to cut the

Good Old Tucker..

April 13, 2011 // featured | in the loop | the thick of it | tucker

It has been a while since I have written a post! What have I been up too!? Well, two things actually but I am only going to tell you about one of them now! For those who don't know, I am a huge fan of a BBC program called The

Rally Against Debt

April 01, 2011 // austerity | Debt | deficit | Government | Politics | protest | ukuncut

The 26th March was the first, of many more i'm sure, protests by rock hurling students, over inflated trade union members and energetic unemployed layabouts retaliating and making their distress heard about the coalition budget cuts. The stupid, ignorant and selfish came out to play. Well, now is a chance


March 29, 2011 // Debt | deficit | homepage | uuncut

..Sorry Cut. I actually received a bit of stick about my post yesterday around the protests. The main stick coming from people complaining that I didn't mention the good causes that UKUnCut are doing, well after a bit of research I have decided to write something about UKUnCut. I shall

3g Signal Map beta

March 28, 2011 // 3g | homepost | map | mashup | signal | twitter

So, a while ago a friend asked me to make a map/twitter mashup so he could tweet his location and the 3g signal strength he was receiving. After a few weeks of mucking around and realising I don't really have the time at the moment to fully build what

Argh, Bloody protests

March 28, 2011 // austerity | Debt | Ed Milliband | Government | march | Politics | protest | ukuncut

I can't help it, you knew this was coming. Its the week after the march...I have to say something! Before I start though, I want to make it clear that I do fully support the right of protest, just maybe not ignorant protests. On Saturday the "voices of the

Oh Dear Portugal

March 24, 2011 // austerity | bail out | EU | Portugal

Oh dear, looks like Portugal is going to have to accept a bailout from the EU. For those who don't know, last night the Portuguese MP's rejected austerity measures put forward by the current Government, you can read more here. What does this mean? Well it means the likelihood of

Nuclear Balls

March 22, 2011 // balls | homepost | Japan | Nuclear | Power Plant

....and no before you think it, this isn't a post about my Nuclear, or lack of, balls. It's about the awful situation over in Japan and in specific the Fukushima Nuclear plant. In-fact, this is actually a small rant, backed up with facts of course, to politely ask the anti-Nuclear

Development Speak nonsense

March 21, 2011 // development | homepost | speak

So, after the past few months I have heard many phrases said in development/management meetings, I thought I would just write them down so others can understand their meanings; When I say… I actually mean….. The schedule is aggressive Shit, doubt we can do that We will makeup the

That's an impressive...

March 21, 2011 //

Vagina! I was rather shocked, possibly a tad impressed, whilst reading an article earlier this morning on nymag.com (link at the bottom of the post). A 27 year old women was arrested on suspicion of burglary, after a routine search offices found the following in her vagina; 54 bags