Thursday, April 10, 2008

Continued Elsewhere

Squeeze box has now moved to where it will reside for the foreseeable future.

I also write for Palatinate, the Durham University Newspaper.

My personal homepage can be found at

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

I'm Pulling Out Of Here To Win...

This is to be my final proper post on Squeeze-box. As a new years resolution I've decided to blog more regularly and to do that I need a fresh start.

I've enjoyed this foray into personally blogging over the last 3 years but it's time for a change. I don't really have anything interesting personally to fill this blog with and there are millions of sites out there filled with great stuff from the web and tech comment.

In the next few weeks I will be starting two new sites on photography and music. Links will be posted as they become available.

I'll sign off with this...

I'm pulling out of here to win - Bruce Springsteen


Monday, December 24, 2007

Pink vs. ZZ Top

Who'd have guessed this would work?

Merry Christmas!


Monday, December 10, 2007

Covering the Boss

I just walked in the Kitchen to hear a few notes of Born To Run which, as you can imagine, was a most pleasant surprise, especially from Radio 1. I thought they may have come to their senses and decided to play decent music.

Alas within a second I realised hell had not, in fact, frozen over. It was a cover version by a modern band. I suggest you listen and see what you think for yourself.

Born To Run (Cover)

Now listen to the interview before the performance.

Interview before performance

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Classic Digg Comment
And on the 7th day God created Google to do the rest of the work for him.

Tried Firefox 3 Beta 1 and decided it was too unstable after two crashes in a very short time. The other problem is the plugins aren't working yet. Without the plugins I would rather use Opera.

ZonTubeβ is a really useful site for trying albums. It links amazon and youtube with a really simple ajax interface allowing you to try every song.

I heard the lead single of Joseph winner Lee Mead's album this morning on the news. I didn't watch the show and I really don't like manufactured pop but this song has an unusual appeal. I don't think I like it but it has a really odd pop style. Will have to think about my opinion of it.

Funny flag seen at a Rock Concert.

Bought a Rice Cooker today. Looking forward to giving it a try tonight.

The dots
in gmail addresses make no difference. You can put them anywhere in the address. (except of course)

Fox News : "Marching Americans towards Nationalistic Fascism one manufactured story at a time" - Random Digg Comment


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Missing HMRC Data

It appears that the Inland Revenue have misplaced two CD's containing the Name, Address, Family Details, Bank Details and NI number of 25million people, about half the UK.

Not the greatest hour for the Treasury.

Around the same time this data went missing, 15,000 more details went missing in the same way from another department.

The data lost was unencrypted, produced as part of the standard process used in transferring data to other departments and external companies (e.g. pension providers).

I'm reliably informed that the same practices have been going on since the late 1980's without anyone flagging up the problem.

It seems astounding that only now problems have arisen as a result. Personally I expect it has happened before but it was kept quiet (probably not the department hiding it from the public but rather a low level worker hiding it from his boss!).

I can't honestly believe that a large computer firm designed a system that allowed all the database to be dumped onto a CD in an unencrypted format. If a backup is needed then surely a basic level of security could be implemented. The system cost £2.8bn! Someone should have spotted this as a potential problem.

Nick Assinder, the BBC political correspondent, has written a good column covering the potential political damage from the whole affair which pretty sums up my thinking on the matter - So long as the CD's stay lost it will just be a big cock-up. If there is criminal involvement (which I doubt), then heads will roll.

George Osborne, the Shadow Chancellor, made a reasonable effort to criticise the government for the mistake but he seems to be missing the point:
Why does HMRC still use CDs for data transmission in this day and age?
If the data were encrypted then the transfer medium wouldn't make any difference. You could use floppy discs without a problem. Using electronic transmission without encryption would be no more effective.

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Naughty, Naughty Mr. Miliband!

Naughty, Naughty Mr. Miliband! You really should not be sitting on that patients bed.

I just spotted this story on the Shields Gazette RSS Feed and I couldn't resist commenting on the picture.

We are constantly warned by the ward matrons that we are NEVER to sit on patients beds for infection control reasons. Matrons are normally pretty scary (though nice) people so even the most egotistical consultants don't mess with them.

I suppose being sat somewhere else wouldn't look as good in the photo.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Guitars vs. Women

Spotted this brilliant list on a random blog:

  • Guitars don’t get pregnant.
  • You can play your guitar any time of the month.
  • Guitars don’t have parents.
  • Guitars don’t whine… unless you want them to.
  • You can share your guitar with your friends.
  • Guitars don’t care how many other guitars you’ve played
  • Guitars don’t care how many other guitars you have.
  • Guitars don’t care if you look at other guitars.
  • Guitars don’t care if you buy guitar magazines.
  • You’ll never hear, “Surprise, you are going to proud father of a new guitar!” unless you go out to buy one yourself.
  • If your guitar is flat you can fix it.
  • Your guitar doesn’t care if you never listen to it.
  • Your guitar won’t care if you leave up the toilet seat.
  • You don’t have to be jealous of the guy who works on your guitar.
  • If you say bad things to your guitar, you don’t have to apologize before you play it again.
  • You can play your guitar as long as you want and it won’t get sore.
  • You can stop playing your guitar as soon as you want and it won’t get frustrated.
  • Your parents won’t remain in touch with your old guitar after you dump it.
  • Guitars don’t get headaches.
  • Guitars don’t insult you if you’re a bad player.
  • Your guitar never wants a night out with the other guitars.
  • Guitars don’t care if you’re late.
  • You don’t have to take a shower before you play your guitar.
  • If your guitar doesn’t look good you can refinish it or get new parts.
  • You can play your guitar the first time you meet it, without having to take it to dinner, see a movie, or meet its mother.
  • The only protection you have to wear when playing your guitar is a decent thumb pick.
  • When in mixed company, you can talk about what a great time you had the last time you played your guitar.