Author: Tom Royal

What the Robot Reporter learned from 10,000 news tweets

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fuckwittery / geek / journalism / Uncategorized

In January 2015 I put together a simple twitterbot called Robot Reporter. The idea was to see if I could keep track of breaking news by monitoring Twitter for the journalists who use it as a way to find images of newsworthy events. It works a little like this. Something happens, and a user photographs it: Fire at Resorts World Casino / Aqueduct! @ABC7NY — J.Barnes (@JBar387) May 15, 2016 A journalist spots that tweet, and […]

The NewZealand Arcade Machine Story

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fuckwittery / geek / how to / Uncategorized

When I was a kid, I used to go for swimming lessons in the local leisure centre. In the lobby there were three machines: one that vended miscellaneous swimming items (cheap goggles, earplugs, etc), one that sold various less-than-healthy snacks, and one arcade game machine playing a game called The NewZealand Story. I never played it (pocket money was precious), but I must have spent ages watching the game play itself in demo mode. If […]

Kitten Block: Now for iOS

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cats / fuckwittery / geek / kitten block

Since I published the Chrome version, the most common request I’ve received from Kitten Block users is a version for iOS. But given that Safari on iPhone and iPad devices doesn’t support desktop-style add-ons, this has never been possible – until now. With iOS 9, and subject to some limitations, noted below, Apple has made it possible to install content blockers into iOS for the first time. And so I’m pleased to announce that Kitten […]

The best iOS game you’re not playing: 太鼓の達人

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fuckwittery / Japanese

If you’ve ever been in a Japanese video game arcade, there’s one machine you can’t miss: Taiko no Tatsujin (太鼓の達人), AKA the one with the two huge drums (photo above by Amy Jane Gustafson). It’s a hugely fun game, not least because it’s so simple: there are only really four things you need to learn: 1) Red blob (ドン) means “hit the drum” 2) Blue blob (カッ) means “hit the rim of the drum” 3) […]

Can you travel to Gatwick Airport using Oyster or Contactless?

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No, you can’t. If you try to visit this London airport using Transport for London’s Oyster or Contactless payments, you’ll find a line of ticket inspectors waiting to fine you – and everyone else who makes the same mistake – £20. Plus you’ll get charged a maximum fare on Oyster or Contactless for not ending your journey. And that’s despite the Gatwick website saying that both have been valid since 2014. So, watch out. It’s a […]