Saturday, December 18, 2004

Calling Legal Eagles

Spotted this post on one of the Russian MP3 download sites. In short, MFeldman writes "You can legally acquire music from anyone who has a legitimate right to distribute it. You can buy from iTunes, because it was licensed by RIAA, you can buy it from Canada, if it is licensed by CRIA, you can buy it from Russia, if it was licensed by ROMS. Now the key difference is that RIAA and CRIA need to obtain licenses from songwriters and artists. ROMS owns rights to intellectual property automatically. "

Now firstly, is this correct? And is it applicable to the UK as well as the good ol' US of America? Because if it is, both and state that they are licensed in Russia to distribute MP3's.

Can anyone shed some 'Official' light on this?

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Knock-on effect

The less notice you give someone to do something, the less time they can spend doing other things (so they are available to do the things you want them to do, presumably because they do them best/quickest/cheapest).

So how are they doing the other things they, and you, need doing? They're either giving the work to other people to do, or they aren't doing them.

If they are giving them to someone else to do, then that someone else costs money.

So just giving them more notice, will save you money.

If they aren't doing them, then you are operating inefficiently, and inefficiency costs money.

So just giving them more notice, will save you money.

Is it me, or is there a pattern here......

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Things are good

Ah, stuff is good....for once, no griping. There are niggles but Christmas is coming and generally, things are looking cool...
1) the Bathroom floor is down and looks <70'sScoolKidMode>BRILLO
2) is looking good, and the add-ons are gonna Kick Butt
3) Abigail has her school Christmas Play tomorrow, (WaHay!) but I have Injections for our New Years trip to Tunisia (Boo!)

Just thought I'd share....!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Pssst! Wanna score some SPOD?

I was searching for any info I could get on the Apple OSX 'Spinning Pinwheel Of Death', as caused by Microsoft's Entourage (not content with making PC users do their de-bugging for them...they have to spoil it for Mac users as well) so I naturally Googled it and within a couple of clicks was offered some Top-Quality SPOD's on ebay!

Friday, November 26, 2004


Frasch spotted this (during a techie interchange on how rubbish Windows XP is at searching for and through files). It basically shows just how useful the new Google Desktop is at finding, indexing and reading on-line email such as Yahoo! regardless of who owns the mail account!

Online wiki-mail anyone?!

Addendum :- Frasch also sent a couple of links, here and here, both found using Goole, which is kinda comforting!

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Behind the Bush

I'm always a little off the boil, but a smashing little screensaver (Global Conciousness) brought one of Bush's more 'off-target' concepts to my attention. It seems the best way to keep the price of Gasoline down is to lift the environmental requirements that are binding the hands of the poor Oil Refiners....

Is it just me?

Friday, November 19, 2004

Bill Gates is popular...

I'm afraid I am in full 'serves you right' mode. Apparently, Bill gates gets in excess of 4 million (4,000,000) email messages per day, most of which are 'spam'. My compnay needs to spend over £10,000 per year on filtering spam. I have to justify this expenditure by outlining how much of my bandwidth and server-time would be used-up filtering this ourselves, or how many man-days would be used by staff erasing their own.

Humour me here people, how many of you have actually bought anything as a result of un-solicited emails? Not many I'll bet, and if this is the case, who is actually earning money from 'spam'? Thats right, the companies offering spamming services.

.....this message is endorsed by Twats with no brains or qualifications, who against all odds find themselves in the position of 'Marketing Manager'.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Spot the Difference...

Spot the Difference
Originally uploaded by benhollingsworth.

Speaking to my Brother-in-law recently (he's a Policeman, but you wouldn't know it by looking at him!)he was telling me about the alarming increase in ATM fraud, and the extraordinary lengths some gangs are going to. The lower picture purports to show a card-reader sprayed and glued to the front of a standard ATM. This is by no means the only model of fraud-device, so be on the look-out EVERY time you use an ATM

I am awaiting some more pics of the equipment used by these gangs, feel free to submit your own if you come across any. It is a shame I (and you) have to spend time and effort keeping track of these developments; the Banks do not seem to be at all concerned, judging by the lack of publicity they are generating to make the public aware of the problem.

Thanks to Isabel Santos for submitting the first pictures...

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

What can this mean?

This is just one of a whole host of rubbish emails I get hourly, but what can they mean? What are these people trying to say to us? What purpose can they *possibly* serve?

Subject: Use caution in taking Utlram if you have a head injury crackpot

Cum enim non satagerem discere quae dicebat, sed tantum quemadmodum

encounters harvesters lingers Other guitarist depreciate
nourished name mounted UKinfluenced alternately hating clarify
bodes hailed Strelows products grabbing
monkey associated riotous voluptas alter hung
borrow wards Dual cupolas post scale wordy
forsitan fallar. sunt enim et istae plangendae tenebrae, in quibus me

solidify making lifetime downpull Sinfonia flaunt consciousness
partner Precede Arrow recognize registered parenthesis wave
gave circular pervasive marshal mustard
misericordia tua reddam tibi vota mea, ecce ego quam fidenter dico in

Educated youthful nonmembers rapore industry importance housed
hillside Nobody earlier Radio bomb command hardware
Bs hardware flourishes Iron living obscure
my attends merge depended stationary determine ladle

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Commercial blogging

I had an interesting conversation today with my brother-in-law who has been trying to sell his MGB car appears that most of the garages local to him that have websites see not maintaining them, don't monitor them, and in some cases don't even know what is on them! It doesn't take a genius to figure out that that these small operators have simply been paying someone to create them a site (four pages for £50, what a bargain!) simply so they have one, ragsedless of how they are used or maintained.

I have long been an advocate of the Blog for commercial purposes, but it seems to me that the wonderous tools and facilities available to is 'social' bloggers see simply not being exploited by the small trader...if anyone has any good links for commercial blogging services, could they enlighten me?

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Musical ATM

Midnight Spagetti reported this first I believe, but I spotted the link on Joi's site......

Basically, an ATM rebooted itself on-campus, resulting in a vanilla XP install and a Muppet of Students (for this is their official Group Designation) with itchy fingers.

How Cool!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

John Peel 1939 - 2004

John Peel 1939 - 2004
Originally uploaded by benhollingsworth.
Nearly forty years influencing Young and Old alike, now taken *years* before he could finish his work.

Thank you John, for opening my eyes and ears, for never resorting to the 'You could never hear the words in my day' rubbish, and on behalf of Thousands of bands who never saw an LP with their name on it, but heard themselves nationwide.

My only regret is that my children will never travel through Puberty with you at their side.

xx Ben

Friday, October 01, 2004


Originally uploaded by deancowles.
Pete was good enough to draw my attention to this, for reasons of his (their) own!

Thursday, September 30, 2004

implausible denial

Why is email breaking-down? Why are Tech-Support departments getting busier and bigger in spite of ALL figures proving they should be shrinking (or at least having an easier life)? Because of silly, ill-conceived (but 'well-meaning') initiatives such as Vodafone's 'Guide to Content Control'.

I use the phrase 'well-meaning', although it's really the Legal and Marketing departments trying to convince you they have your best interests at heart. In the real world, we all know it's to avoid compensation actions and so they can appear caring and concerned. (incidentally, these departments, in virtually ANY organisation or company of any size, comprise two-thirds of Satans-own Unholy Trinity along with the Klix drink-vending machine, and are despised equally.)

Vodafone has taken on the role of Public Protector, and decided that they have the power to judge what is suitable and appropriate for ALL their subscribers. While Cable TV companies provide Parental Control in the form of security codes, and Film and Music distributors sunscribe to a 'review & information label' system, Vodafone, in their all-knowing wisdom have opted for a 'positive-approval' whitelist system, meaning you can't view what they haven't rated. Unless you contact them to request a blanket lifting of this system, (invariably to some spotty salesman in a mobile 'phone shop who looks at you like you are a serial porn-scrounger) you are denied access to sites such as Pete's Eats and numerous other completely innocent and informative sites.

As if you can view any decent filth on a bloody Nokia anyway! So restricted are we in the UK to available mobile-bandwidth (not due to technology, I hasten to add, but by the fact the Networks paid so much for the licences for 3G they can't afford to ditch the old technology yet) that Blogs and info-sites are just about the only thing you can browse with any speed anyway!

Apply Vodafone's ethos to email routing, spam filtering and a multitude of other 'imperitive' business functions online, and you end up with IT departments battling with un-arbitrated Whitelists, reverse-domain lookups and all manner of other hurdles, most of them doing as much blocking of legitimate traffic as unwanted (as if the users they support aren't enough of a trial....)

Monday, September 27, 2004

I'd like to point out....

I'd like to point out, to nobody in particular, that nobody will have read the previous post (that under the one you are currently not reading), so its content is NOT relevent.

Good Night.

Is there anybody Out There....

One of the problems everyblog faces, is that of exposure. We all have something to say (however purile) but we all, at some time or other, feel we are shouting into the abyss. so....mashin' up old skool and about the *Blog=Bomb*

You get 1 smart-bomb, from Blogger, or Atom, or Moveable Type, or whoever. The concept of a 'Joker' is far from new, but Technorati or whoever could REALLY make it count (yeah, yeah, it's open to abuse, but I deal with concepts; let the others deal with the detail already).

You decide that *this* subject really matters..more than any other, at ANY you play a *Blog=Bomb*. The full might of the Boyz-in-da-Blog are placed fair and square behind YOUR post, to ensure that once, just once, EVERYONE IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE knows your views. Head of the banners, Search-engine Supremo, these lads could make it happen.

You'd play the card careful, after all, you only get one, but mate, what a Joker. Sure, it'd be open to abuse, and sure, it needs a little work, but the concept of Mr Warhol's 15-minutes would apply on a scale even his demented, fucked-up psyche couldn't have comprehended...this time they'd HAVE to listen. Top of every list you've ever referred-to, if only for a day.....

But wait. Think of the come-down. You've spunked your one and only chance of changing world opinion on dissin' the President of the US, only to realise the bastard is only EVER going to be there for a couple of years anyway. Boy, do you feel stupid. You've expounded the virtues of a world without War, or Hate, or McDonalds or Shell Oil, but tomorrow....they've forgotten. And not just the people that were listening, but everyone.

They've ALL forgotten.

Is that better than them never having listened, or is it better to have Loved and Lost.......?

Friday, September 24, 2004

I luurve photos

I have Relations in Scotland (Family of my StepFather) and one of the hoards up there has jumped onto Flickr recently. Check his photos, because quite apart from having some stunning subjects to work with, he is a man of great talent in my books!

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Flashlight developments

Further to PBW's blog entry about Macromedia's Flashlite app, and their rather nonesensical attitude to earning money from the App. I was interested in the conversation here about the possibility of future developments, but if they intend to 'strangle their baby in the womb', the chances of augmented super-hero App.Powers are slim. They will simply end up handing the market to what sounds like an inferior platform.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

spam: Have YOU had your leaflet yet?

Those in the UK will be aware of our famed Emergency Instruction leaflet, but for those not familiar, or who get bored with its rather dry style, this link encapsulates the spirit in which it has been received by the public at large :-)

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

ooh ooh, me too

I know, I'm slow on the uptake, and I spend my life copying people, but I have been catching up on some 'poking around' in some of the sites I have been told about, and flickr is really easy and VERY slick.

And free.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Vitriol...have I uncovered something yucky?

I am becoming aware that I run the risk of turning this blog into a never-end tirade against the poor souls who have had the misfortune to intersect with my petty life. But then its my blog, so sod you, I like it that way.

The link above is an oldy but a goody. It is obviously written once for every large corporation that ever existed, but It sums my general feelings up quite accurately. One 'special-moment' is happening as we speak. The father of a very good friend of my son's recently passed away after a short illness. My son and his friend (lets call her Susie Smith) are ten years old, and as you can imagine, it has introduced them into a very sensitive area quite early in life (I think). Anyway, whilst attempting to reduce the number of cable channels they subscribe-to with NTL, Susie's mum has had numerous occasions to attempt to gain access to a human with a brain, via their DIRE support processes. So far, despite AT LEAST THREE attempts to get something sorted, they insist on calling Mrs Smith back, and when she or her daughter answers.....asking to talk to Mr Smith.

This is not careless.

Its heartless.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Big Brother is Watching you?

Spotted this on Joi Ito's blog and whilst it's funny to start, it is also a little spooky... Update : artical here...

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Summers here at last

Fantastic! Not noted for its fine weather, suddenly the entire attitude of the south of england metamorphosesesisis with humans smiling, dogs panting and at last, the roofs of the multitude of rag-top motors disappearing.

Amazing how a bit of sun and a gin & tonic with mates can change your outlook. Superficial yeah, but hey, I'm a shallow guy.....BJ in the beer-garden of the Open House, Brighton.

Internet Carve-up...

Re : ( Geolocation tech slices, dices Web )

Quick Synopsis:- The ‘Internet’ is becoming regionalised, but why?  Is it to ‘enhance the Internet experience’ or because of existing companies exercising (or trying to extend) their copyrights? You decide.  

Make sure you pop by if you want to see how some people are trying to rationalise an outmoded system and make it relevant today....BJ

Friday, July 16, 2004

Nice IM touch

Get a pen and paper, you'll need this address
and AOL Messenger or somesuch, if you want true mobile IM!

Intriqued? Well don't get too excited if you live outside the the good 'ol U S of America (just yet...)

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


I have just spent 59 minutes (approx) in the car, on the Mobile, trying to get settings for GPRS. That’s around 50 miles. Of those 50 miles, I spent about 1 mile talking to humans. None of whom were any help at all.

After 32 minutes of listening to the most repetitive Aural Pap specifically designed to distort mobile-phone speakers, a call management system directed me (after accurate responses to well defined queries) to someone who was probably cleaning the offices.

Who then cut me off. 24 minutes later, I was talking to the very same lady, who this time realised I may turn violent, so put me through to someone else who could not help me, very swiftly indeed.

Having discovered that I was completely beyond help (in a task that takes Vodafone around 35 seconds to achieve, I know, I've tried) I was silly enough to ask just how many people were staffing this particular hotbed of techno-Samaritans.

Although I could not elicit an answer, I was reliably informed that the call-waiting time was less than a minute, and there was no explanation for my lost hour, "..perhaps I could put you through to customer services..." she said.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Blogging blogging

of course the hardest thing about the actual process of Blogging, is getting off your arse and doing it. More often than not, I will spend (have spent) more time talking about how little time I had available to blog, than simply doing it. Subject matter is not, and will never be, a problem as I can talk the hind-legs off a donkey, but I get this nagging feeling that it really ought to be relevent, (or at least mildly engaging) too.

It is possible that none of my thoughts will be of interest to anyone apart from myself (and only then fleetingly) but I intend to try anyway, and should I strike a chord, touch a nerve or spark a thought in the coming posts, then I will have done something..............................umm...............................done something.