Use your computer’s spare time to help #cure #diseases. @rosettaathome

February 13, 2017 Leave a comment


If  you leave your office PC on all night, whether to tun nightly tests, or long tasks, then there is something more useful you can do with your computer’s time, that can really give back to society.

By installing Rosetta@home ( – your computer can be used to run virtual experiments on proteins that could one day lead to a cure to a disease.

It doesn’t  lock up your computer, your computer is still usable, and you can pause it whenever you want. It just means that your PC can do something truly useful during the night, when it would normally just be consuming electricity.

But what is the experiment?, I’m not a biologist, so I can just say in layman’s terms. – Our bodies have DNA in every cell. DNA is nature’s way of encoding millions of different types of Proteins. These are chemicals that do everything the body needs, literally.

Proteins are encoded in blocks called “Amino acids”, which are chained together, then curl up into complex 3D shapes. It is the shape of these chemicals that define the function of the Protein, and thus, what it does, and more importantly, if it can be modified to do something else – perhaps preventing a virus entering a cell, or recognising a cancer.

These complex shapes are often not experimentally view-able in the real world, if the protein cannot be made in enough quantity to be seen under under NMR or X-Rays – so it’s up to computers to take these long chains of amino acids, and fold them virtually, to a point where the shape is stable, and of least energy. It’s like having a thousand elastic bands tied together, and seeing what shape it would fall into when it fell.

So, It’s great work, and if your computer needs to be left on, then this is a great way to use it’s spare capacity for the betterment of society. Of course, if it doesn’t need to be left on, then turn it off, and stop contributing to global warming ! 🙂


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Create your own #AudioBooks with C#

February 10, 2017 Leave a comment


Say you’ve got a book in text format; for example a book from, and you’d like to convert it to mp3, so you can listen to the book – read by a machine, of course.

Here’s the code in C#

WebClient wc = new WebClient();
var strUrl = “{{Wherever your ebook text is}}”;
var strText = wc.DownloadString(strUrl);
var strPath = Path.GetDirectoryName(System.Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().Location);
using (SpeechSynthesizer reader = new SpeechSynthesizer())
reader.Volume = 100;
reader.Rate = 0; //medium
MemoryStream ms = new MemoryStream();
reader.SetOutputToWaveStream(ms);//do speaking
ConvertWavStreamToMp3File(ref ms, strPath + @”\54135.mp3″);

You need to install the Nuget package: Install-Package NAudio.Lame for the mp3 functionality. ConvertWavStreamToMp3File is defined as:

public static void ConvertWavStreamToMp3File(ref MemoryStream ms, string savetofilename)
//rewind to beginning of stream
ms.Seek(0, SeekOrigin.Begin);

using (var retMs = new MemoryStream())
using (var rdr = new WaveFileReader(ms))
using (var wtr = new LameMP3FileWriter(savetofilename, rdr.WaveFormat, LAMEPreset.VBR_90))

To give an idea of filesizes, I used an input file of 33,790 words, which resulted in a WAV file on 705MB, and Mp3 file of 63 MB.

Which you can hear here:

Of course, if you prefer to read a Gutenberg book onscreen, then you can use our app:

This can further be converted to a FLV using FFMPEG ;

ffmpeg -i audio-book.jpg -i 54135.mp3 final.flv

Which takes about 2 minutes, an generates a 73 MB FLV file.

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#Webcam on your #Wrist- monitor your house at a glance.

February 10, 2017 Leave a comment


App Download link:

Got a webcam or IP cam at home, and you’d like to check up on your pets / kids or just to check that everything is OK? This new update to our Mobile Webcam App – gives you the ability to check out your webcam from your wrist.

It’s a first version, so the image stream is slow, but it’s a practical application of WatchOS, paired with an existing app.

A quick WatchOS tip; you can’t use the following code to download an image on a real device, even through it works on the simulator:

NSData * imageData = [[NSData alloc]
initWithContentsOfURL: [NSURL URLWithString: self.strUrl ]];
[self.imgOutput setImage:[UIImage imageWithData: imageData]];

Instead, you have to use asynchronous code as follows;

NSURL *url = [NSURL URLWithString:
NSURLSessionDownloadTask *downloadPhotoTask = [[NSURLSession sharedSession]
downloadTaskWithURL:url completionHandler:^(NSURL *location, NSURLResponse *response, NSError *error) {
UIImage *downloadedImage = [UIImage imageWithData:
[NSData dataWithContentsOfURL:location]];
[self.imgOutput setImage:downloadedImage ];
[downloadPhotoTask resume];

Hope this helps! 🙂

Categories: Uncategorized

#Startcom #SSL certs no longer valid in Chrome 58 & Firefox

February 9, 2017 Leave a comment


StartCom was a popular SSL cert issuer before the days of LetsEncrypt, as it was one of the few providers that offered SSL certs for free, and thus was very popular. However, after failing to play ball with Mozilla, and were using the obsolete Hashing cypher SHA-1.

This means, if you have an SSL cert issued by StartCom, then you better get a new cert quickly. I personally recommend LetsEncrypt, since it’s free, but others are available. – Otherwise Google Chrome, and Firefox will say your website is insecure.

Mozilla’s official word is:

Mozilla has discovered that a Certificate Authority (CA) called WoSign has had a number of technical and management failures. Most seriously, we discovered they were backdating SSL certificates in order to get around the deadline that CAs stop issuing SHA-1 SSL certificates by January 1, 2016. Additionally, Mozilla discovered that WoSign had acquired full ownership of another CA called StartCom and failed to disclose this, as required by Mozilla policy. The representatives of WoSign and StartCom denied and continued to deny both of these allegations until sufficient data was collected to demonstrate that both allegations were correct. The levels of deception demonstrated by representatives of the combined company have led to Mozilla’s decision to distrust future certificates chaining up to the currently-included WoSign and StartCom root certificates.

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#Sentry #JS #Error reporting @getsentry

February 9, 2017 1 comment


Ever had an idea, and thought, I wonder does this already exist. You do a quick search on Google, and you find someone has done it really well. That’s what I found with

I’ve always been plagued with clients or customers saying vague things like, “this form doesn’t work”, when the fact was, that they put a hyphen in the mobile phone input box – which seems normal to them, but you didn’t think of it. It’s those type of “non-reproducible”  errors that cause most heartache, because you can’t see them, but the client can.

With two lines of code (yes, honestly, 2), can capture these errors and report them on a screen that even highlights the exact line of code where the error happened. Even better than the console window.

Looks a great bit of kit!


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#Subtitles app now available on Apple #WatchOS

February 8, 2017 Leave a comment


Download link:

My second apple watch app is now available on the App store; this app allows you to read the subtitles to foreign movies on your watch, so you don’t disturb other people who are watching the film. It’s ideal if English isn’t your first language, and watching a film in English is difficult to follow. – However, you don’t want the glare of a phone to disturb other viewers.



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First Apple #Watch #App now live

February 7, 2017 Leave a comment


Now Live on the app store:

Yes, our first app with an Watch App extension. It lets you track the value of Bitcoin against USD at a glance. Whilst the main app on the iPhone lets you earn free bitcoin as you go. – Check out the website 

It took about a month to develop – on and off, of course. With some hiccups along the way;

and, some early successes –

I had said to myself that I’d get this done by the end of January, and I almost made it. Still happy. The next watchOS app should be out later this week.

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