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I have this tiny app on an Ec2 micro instance. It uses the Twitter API, via the Twitter4J Java client library, to record the number of followers for a given list of Twitter handles. I’ve cronned it to run once a day, so for each of the Twitter accounts I’m interested in, for example my bots, I have a CSV file that tracks the number of followers over time. Simple, crude, and good enough.

A friend asked me if I would do the same for his Twitter account. “No problem”, I said, because, you know, I’m generous like that. Add it to the list, CSV file magically appears the next day, and Bob’s yer uncle. Every once in a while I would email him an up-to-date copy of that file, that analytical masterpiece, that source of valuable “Business Information”, and he’d plot it as a graph in Excel, or whatever it is he does with it.

Keegan's wisdom

This arrangement was fine for a couple of weeks, but it soon became clear it would be better for both of us if he had direct access to his data so we could do away with this bothersome emailing business altogether. So, how to do that? Call me skittish, but I’m not mad keen on granting SSH access to any old Tom, Dick or Harry, personal friend or no. And in any case, I’m sure he’d find SCP a little bit of a faff. How about good old HTTP?

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Last week I registered my first ever company in the UK – hurrah and huzzah! (That’s not the company name, just the sound of me celebrating). The hardest and most time-consuming part of this operation was coming up with a name. I wanted the root of my company name to fulfil the following deceptively tricky requirements:

  1. It must be unregistered at Companies House in any variation – not only should there be no “XYZ Ltd”, but also no “XYZ Accounting”, “XYZ Blinds”, etc.
  2. The .com domain name must be available
  3. It should be short – ideally one word, so nothing like “Blue Sky Software Consulting”
  4. It should sound good to my ears (I’m going to have to live with it for a while, after all)

Initially I did the same thing most people probably do and tried to rely on my own unprompted creativity. “How hard can it be?”, I thought. “Come to me, company naming muse, I have cakes and PlayStation…”.

Muse reading Louvre CA2220

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