Thursday, August 17, 2006

What this blog is going to be

I have decided that I need to choose what I want this blog to be otherwise its really pointless. At the moment it is a mix of things. Half of them can be done by talking to friends or reading other blogs/digg.

I am now going to make this an opinion based blog. The posts will be longer and basically more like an opinion column you may find in a newspaper. I will continue my posts containing many links to technology items but they will only be published once a week.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Windows Live Writer

This morning before work I was browsing the blogs over my special K and i stumbled upon the new windows product - Windows Live Writer. I figured I'd give it a try see what I though. So I downloaded it and installed it. It took quite a while to install >5min. I didn't have time to use it before work because of the slow install! Not a good start...

When I get home my firewall starts asking me if I want to allow Onfolio Server to access the net. Well I don't ever remember installing it. It isn't spyware so I have to assume its from WLW. Another bad point. I really don't like bundled tools. Not to mention its desperate attempts to get me to use Windows Live as a toolbar, homepage etc.

I finally give it a try and it works quite well. Looks pretty enough but at the end of the day I don't use IE. That makes it useless to me. I like the drag and drop features of performancing. So thats where this is being written from. WLW is leavnig my PC as I type.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

And Now For Something Not That Different...

Something DifferentHere goes with the first round of my Round Up Session. This is similar to those found on Wings on Some Wheels (Mangled) and on John Battelle's Searchblog. I hope to release this every Sunday.

Apple should take note of this video before releasing leopard.

This is a very amusing video of Darth Vader and Wife. Not so funny if it happened to you i'd imagine.

Coca Cola haven't lost their touch for innovative advertising.

Here is a brilliant selection of High Res photos from the 30-50's. The one of london is particularly good.

For the paranoid...a way to stop google logging your searches.

It seems the BBC is designing a digital radio adapter for the Ipod and other mp3 players. No release date or even any real details. It seems like a good idea but perhaps some specifics would be nice. Not sure why the beeb is doing this, its not really their job. Wasting my liscence fee!
A nice video about customer power.

Though this video uses a mod on GTA it still looks very impressive.

Not fair that the Czech get such good adverts!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Political Correctness and The Sun

Last night in the pub I was discussing the airport security issues with a friend of mine and I proposed that once airports return to normal they though search people of middle/far eastern origin more than they do with Caucasian
white people.

Of course, in the current political climate airlines would never search one
race more than another. Personally I think this amounts to negligence on the
part of the airlines. If men and women are discriminated on the basis of sex by
an insurance company why aren't white and brown (for want of a better term)
discriminated against by airlines. It amounts to the same thing, men are more likely
than women to claim on their insurance so their insurance costs more. Brown
people are more likely than white to blow up a plane so they should be

I think were the British people polled on this issue most people would be happy
for it to be introduced, this includes many people who fall into that category
as it would be for their safety as well. The only reason it won't happen is the
fault of the media.

The "Baa Baa Black Sheep" Problem

Most English people are under the impression that schools and nurserys can
no longer teach the nursery rhyme baa baa black sheep because its racist. There
is no law in place that bans the rhyme, nor has there been any legal precedent
that makes it a liability for schools to teach it. So the question is: Why
don't most nurserys teach it?

The answer in this case is because teachers think they are going to be sued or
attacked for teaching it. This fear is the fault of the media. I have read
reports in several tabloid newspapers/websites on the issue and it seems the
whole basis for the story is that a couple of nurserys in the oxford area
withdrew the rhyme. Presumably shortly after a parent heard of this they called
a newspaper. The newspapers made a big deal of this point.

Each paper basically made it clear that it is political correctness gone mad.
So it seems the only reason the papers published it was to show the public how
daft political correctness gets. In the process of making their point, they
have made matters worse. Most nurserys now seem to adopt this policy because
word spread from the articles but people missed out the part about the papers
just trying to make a point, they tell it like a new law passed down.

It seems to me that the best way for a newspaper to stop political correctness
having more of an effect is to either not report the matter. Tabloids unfortunately,
will never adopt this policy; for were they to remove anything that would
needlessly scared the British public, they would be little more than a topless
woman, some sports news and the Dear Deirdre Column.

Airport Searches

Returning to my original issue the "baa baa black sheep" problem can
be applied. Were the airports to enforce my proposed policy, there would not be
the uproar most of the public would expect. The newspapers would conduct polls
on the issue, and as is the case with most political correctness issues, the
real voice of the public would not be the one the newspapers cover. The words
of a few outspoken Muslim leaders would dominate the headlines instead.

White English people aren't
racist on the whole; we just don't want to be made to feel like we are being treat
like a minority in a land that is rightfully ours.

I think its time the Sun has a new campaign. Why don't they go after
political correctness and make it clear to the people their rights to freedom
of speech weren't taken away when we started allowing mass immigration.

Pimp that Snack

PimpMySnackHas there been a better idea for a website than this? I really doubt it.

On the wonderful Pimp That people basically make giant versions of normal snacks. The pictures below are a Custard Cream and a "Jaffa Quake"!

I may have to waste some time in the comming weeks creating my own pimp of a snack. Will be great fun!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Publishing from Ubuntu

Yes I am back on linux...again. I am pretty bored with windows at the moment, and since everything that I normally do on windows I can in theory do on linux I decided to give it another go.

So far all is going well. Despite flash crashing Firefox the last time i used linux its now inexplically working perfectly...which is a very good thing.

Other than that it is running like a dream, fast and crashless. It is currently downloading the massive 85MB in updates, but with broadband thats no problem.

I have started adding pictures to all my blog posts, because it makes them look prettier. This one is a classic. The Ubuntu logo in the centre of the image made from clever use of human anatomy. Genius!

Addictive Flash Game to Waste Some Time

Play this game at your peril. You will become addicted!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


The main cast of Eureka.I am now about to watch the 4th episode and I have to say I am really enjoying it. The show is entertaining. Its not really clever, nor really dumb, it's about inbetween. The science is kept light and accurate which is much better in my opinon than heavy and flawed.

I like that each episode is self containted. This is reversing a growing trend in american dramas. Look at all the big hitters at the moment: Lost, 24, The O.C., Desperate Housewives.

They are all never ending stories (Lost and 24 in particular). Sometimes when I watch TV I want to see and ending! Eureka supplies that. Hopefully it will get a second series but I don't hold out much hope for it. I suspect that even if I get my wish it will turn into a show similar to those listed above.

OS X Leopard

I really like the look of the new OS X features, however, they really make no difference to me. I have tried many versions of Linux over the years and I think its a wonderful idea. The whole structure of the OS is brilliant, really secure and stable. OSX is basically a linux engine with all the coolness of the mac added to it, plus a couple of features that haven't quite made the stable versions of the major linux distros.

This release is no difference really. Some nice eye candy, a new e-mail client and a new backup mechanism. These really aren't revolutionary features. All of them were avalible already if you didn't mind doing a bit of tinkering. Personally I think these should be considered minor features. Apple needs to add something that will add value to the product for the XP user to really feel the need to pay the extra for the switch. Once they do that, they will have my money.

Glastonbury 2007

Looks like next year might be the first year that I will be willing to spend the money on going to a festival. The current (expected) line up includes The Killers, Springsteen and Kylie. I would be quite happy to pay and brave the mud to see that selection. This is all according to

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Englan's Most Unluck Bloke

Daryl EylesThis man must be england's most unlucky man. You get cancer, you recover. Ah the joys of modern medicine. Then you take a shower after your treatment, and the water gives you Legionnaires' disease, which kills you!

RIP Mr. Eyles

Closed Source in Medicine

This post really interested me and I think it makes a very valid point about the flaws in using all database driven medical records. Open source is the only way to go but even then their has to be at least two redundant backups.

Medical Records should be treat with the same priority that google holds it's indexes, realistically more so.

New RSS Feeder - Netvibes

I'm now trying a new RSS feeder and so far it is really really cool. You can add lots of features to it like checking your e-mail and displaying digg or flickr photos.

The other big bonus is that its really fast and you can make it manually refresh rss data.

Here is a screenshot.

Google and MySpace

It appears that google is going to provide the ad's for MySpace from now on, costing them around $900m. Fox bought MySpace for only $560m. Why didn't google just buy it? This all makes little sense to me.

Anyway I'm waiting to watch the WWDC Keynote but it won't load for me. Doesn't sound like there is anything really special on it anyway.

Monday, August 07, 2006

I have added a applet to my squeeze-box site to show who my most listened to 5 artists were in the last week. It will be out slightly for the next few days as data is just starting to reach them. For the curious here is the Top 10 at the moment.


Guilty Songs

BBC NEWS | Have Your Say: What is your “guilty” song? ...

This is the most unanimous comments page I've ever read. Everyone agrees that
A. The list of "Guitly Pleasure" songs is way off (I mean Billy Joel and Baker Street)
B. Who are Q magazine to put themselves in a position to compile the list

When will the contemptuous magazines stop compiling these lists.

The Dentist

Just returned from the dentist and I can't feel a large part of my face. This is very strange and less fun than I imagined it would be. The biggest problem is that it is lunch time and I can't eat! Will have to try to survive.

In other news google is going to warn people about spyware sites. Not a bad idea from the big G.

Apple is also marketing their new OS as Vista 2.0

Sunday, August 06, 2006


From this point on all posts that appear on will appear on

Firefox is Back

Recently firefox has been grinding to a halt for me. As has the rest of my computer to be honest. But not any more!

My first problem was that somewhere in my firefox settings and many extensions was somthing slowing down firefox. I got rid of the old settings keeping the bookmarks, cookies and passwords and started up again. Things were a bit faster.

I then googled for speed tweaks and I found a site that showed how to install it on your RAM. That sounded like a good way to waste half and hour of a Sunday afternoon. So I followed it (and it was nice and simple) and now firefox is running of 32MB of my RAM leaving plenty left over for other things.

Its all looking good for now and I am enjoying being back upto speed.

How to Speed Up Firefox by Running It In RAM - WikiHow

Saturday, August 05, 2006

New BBC Website Layout

As was covered in Wings on Some Wheels a few weeks ago the BBC added a local news bar to their news site. I really like this feature. However they have continued to add more to it most of it not as good.

The main problem is the red bars they have put above certain sections. This makes what was once a bland and easy to read site look horribly cluttered. Hopefully this feature won't last.