Thursday, November 30, 2006

I love life....

In a bizarre twist, the Furry woman I was speaking about earlier had a bit of a mishap at Ashford International this evening. I was about halfway up the escalators, talking to Patsy, when I heard a scream and gasps from behind me....spinning round I saw said Animal Slaughterer on her arse, head downwards, with all passengers between us staring at her, not seeing the 'hair caught in escalators, rolling head-over-heels, splitting skull' potential of the situation.
As I leapt goat-like down the 10 or so stairs between us, casting phone and two bags to the mercy of the Great God Otis (Lord for elevators, escalators and moving walkways), I must admit a thought occured to me; why is it only ME that moves in situations like this. 
Shouting 'give me your hand' in a manner more likely to be delivered by Sylvester Stallone in 'Big Hill Kill Death Camp Trip' or somesuch, she managed to thrust a mitt with the BIGGEST sapphire I've ever seen on it into my manly paw, and I hauled her to her feet.
By this time we were at the top of the Moving Staircase of Doom, and my primary concern was now the contents of my laptop bag, Blackberry and clothes bag which were spreading themselves across the sharpened teeth of the escalator stairs like hot butter on a Nuns butt.
I'm going to cut a long story short here, and leave you with the vision of of a portly IT consultant desperately trying to collect his detritus in an 80's saturday morning kids show style, when the last thing I see is the Louis SpitOn-shod foot of the Hamster-Murdering Sloane-Slag treading on a music CD that has yet to be rescued, and goose-stepping off to whatever cocktail bar has her name on the happy hour board.
Apart from that, its been quite a good week so far, I have high hopes for the M25 tomorrow evening.

Life in the Eurostar Business Car

Just 3 observations today....
1. The phrase "...suddenly she has a baby leaching off her" can only be delivered successfully by a Mother
2. Based on conversations overheard, Women are from Venus, Men are from Dixons.
3. Paul O'Grady is a gentleman, but his companion, and an number of other 'chic clique' here appear to think that wearing fur is cool. Wrong. Its as cool as gassing a minority, or screwing your auntie: it simply doesn't have a place in modern society.
***disclosure*** I have owned a ski-hat made of rabbit fur for many years.
***moral dilema*** now I HAVE a fur hat, should I burn it in disgust or would that be more of an utter waste of the animals life?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

You couldn't make it up..

Spotted in todays Telegraph (its a newspaper, news, on paper....) "Of cows and men: or, how science let the genie out of the test tube" and article on the horrific (their words) plans to combine human and bovine genes.  Written by Simon Heffer.
Is it just me that see's this stuff?

Monday, November 06, 2006

THIS is what YouTube is for...

I've loved Wall of Voodoo since I was a wee Skate-rat, and this video, even though its 5+ mins long is inspired. Thanks to TheLittleDevil for taking the time and love to put it together. I do love Canadicons...

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

More Euro-crap business-oriented word-footling.

"I've been around long enough to know....." - I need to show I'm superior to you.


"in my view..." - according to a memo I saw on someones desk/blackberry


"I wrote to the CTO..." - I thought I might write to someone, I mean it's bloody outrageous isn't it...etc


"they have to meet their obligations..." - we have the little pr**ks over a barrel


"I suspect their people are mostly blockers" - ooops, this isn't going to be as east as we were told
"the client-partner is a f**ker..." - see above


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Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Dublin effect

I have never yet visited Dublin but its on my list (after skiing, ANYWHERE!) and I have been informed by people I would expect to know these sorts of things, that it is an incredibly vibrant and successful business centre. Many attribute this to their early adoption of the euro or to favourable incentives (tax mainly), but I'm wondering if it more deep-rooted than that. For example, why, in a  city like Paris that has openly announced its intentions to be universally wireless enabled by the end of next year, can I ONLY GET A CONNECTION IN IRISH BARS DAMMIT?!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Flurry of activity...

I know, I'm posting like a loony today, but there's just so much going ON!  Lastest 'shiney light' in Bens world is PandoraFM which mashes Last.fm and Pandora into a simply fantastic (in a Heath Robinson Stylee) app.  Probably best appreciated if you know what Last.fm and Pandora are to start with.... :-)

IndianFrise

IndianFrise Is Malcolm and June Frise's dialogue on their travels around india...take a peek.

Hostile take-over

I have arrived at a startling realisation this morning, and that is the sure and unshakeable knowledge that the most dangerous, aggressive threat to the well-being of a jet-setting business person (like what I is) lies not in the complex cross-border fiscal regulations, nor in the interminable challenges posed by cultural and linguistic differences.

Non.  The greatest thorn in the side (or to be accurate, all down the front) of the  international business traveller is the Cooked Tomato (cherry variety).

I will not dwell too long on the full details of this mornings attack, suffice to say that I have proof-positive that not only are the little buggers bullet-proof armour-coated skins stuffed with ordinance held at mind-boggling pressures, and capable of striking as far away as the table ACROSS the gangway, but these munitions are also equipped with sophisticated napkin-avoidance systems that the fabled Stealth Bomber can only aspire-to.

My only retaliation, you will be pleased to know, was to retire to the Eurostar's Salle de bain with a replacement shirt, apologising to the nice stockbroker (yeah, and monkeys might fly out of my butt) opposite, and  muttering curses on the little red f**kers and all who grow them.

By the way, the Exploding Tomato picture at the top is courtesy of Andrew Davidhazy of Rochester University (see, they don't just Rob Cars down there!)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Coming to a Browser near you...Karmic Spam

How can Microsoft hope to compete with the likes of this startling stroke of genius discovered at the frankly astonishing WhatWouldJesusDownload. They are quite simply up against a power supposedly even greater than they: Umbuntu. But not just any old (seemingly never-ending) version of the coolest Linux since Penquins were invented. Oh no, this is Ubuntu Christian Edition.

So lets get the serious bit out of the way. This is a shining example of the kind of varigation that benefits an Open Source approach in ways MS and hundreds of other more traditional models can only dream of. Blahblahblahblah.

More importantly, it is a micro-market revolution, a revalation for many I suspect. The Apple Mac market for software has (nearly) always been more limited than for the PC's, and for obvious reasons. There's more PC's of course.

So why is this the first Operating System for Christians? And stop giggling, they do versions of windows in Portuguese after all. And actually, they do versions in English, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish and Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese). Did you know that the combined numbers of the speakers of these languages, is less than the number of Christians in the world. (roughly 2.05 billion -vs- 2.1 billion, in case you're wondering).

Now of course, some God Botherers need French language versions, so I'm not surprised it got developed ahead of Microsoft's own Christian Edition, but still I think there's an awful big market there for relatively little effort. In case you were wondering, Portuguese speakers (170 million) outstrip French speakers over 2:1, but at about 160 million in the US alone, the market I'm heading for is, the overweight.

Yes, yes, I'm firmly inside the demographic. And so are the majority of my friends I suspect, but the point is, Microsoft has identified the needs of a language above and beyond the need of a faith, and whilst I am absolutely not religious, I wonder if this is in line with their collaborative, community, sharing, inclusive marketing angle.

Two things, I need an angle on the 'OS for a larger generation', and my plans for world domination via the web have begun with KarmicSpam, a site spawned in drunken conversation with Barr-Watson, and destined to become the next target for aggressive bun-fights between Yahoo and Google (please!)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Something for Nothing

Christmas is coming up and one of the easiest ways to knock lots of ducks down with few stones, is the perenial Useful/Interesting/Dust-collecting book. So I decided to take advantage of one of the numerous offers of 'Join now, get 15 free'. However, I thought I'd have a bit of a scout around and see if I could find any Referral Sites that could make the deal even sweeter, and of course, I could.

To begin with, there are sites such as

Now despite the websites for many of these looking a lot like those god-awful Oxfam shops you see set up in the Shopunits Time Forgot, they have a fantastic niche. These organisations negotiate commissions for putting business the way of the online retailers and pass a little of that back in the form of cash-backs and donations to charities. So if you are spending money online, going straight to Amazon is nothing short of a criminal waste : You can get discounts and help a worthy cause using one of these portals.

Secondly, there are Personal Gift incentive sites. Now there has been lots of noise over these, mainly because of confusion over the blurred-edges between rip-off services (much loved by Ringtone companies), Pyramid or Multi-Level Marketing schemes and 'refer-and-earn' sites. It is difficult to see the wood for the trees, or it would be if it wasn't for the Internet, but a quick Google showed up the goodies and the baddies pretty darned quick.

As an example, the Office of Free Trade closed down Mobiles4free under the 'unfair lotteries' provision as it was clear that the further down the list you were, the less likely it was you would actually end-up with their promoted item. Some others however appear to have been in business for a considerable length of time (Years, not months) and you can find what appear to be genuinely happy recipients of iPods and the like.

I have taken the plunge with freeipods.com using an email address I can easily track spam with, and committed my details in the hope that I can prove it worthwhile. The deal is I subscribe to a trial service (in this case, with World books, 6 titles for silly money and only 4 more books in the course of a year) and get 5 others to signup to one of their offers using the unique link they provide (so they can attribute new members to my account).

So, all I have to do now is to get 5 people to join in, either because they want to take part in the experiment, or they just want to help me get my daughter an iPod! And just to muddy the waters a little, the first 5 people who sign-up using my referral link will get a Free £10 Note from me! I get an iPod for £50, we get to prove or disprove the theory that you don't get nothing for nothing.

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Modest Mouse get a new Axeman

This is old (August) news, but NME.COM reports that Smiths star Johnny Marr is joining Modest Mouse permenantly. I first encountered Modest Mouse in New York with Pete a couple of years ago and Marr has long been a hero (along with Graham Coxon), I would beseech you two spend 10 minutes of your life familiarising ourself with their genius seperately, and I can't wait for the new album...

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

And the tirade continues.....

So apart from the city being lovely to look at, I have yet to find a decent hotel (and those who know me, know I love a nice hotel) and yet to find consistant "Whiffy".
I did manage to stumble across the bunch who are Making Paris Wireless (see 'I tried, mon Dieu I tried) Ozoneparis.net and they are hitting the right lines I think; creating a Community for access with value-add stuff like email accounts etc....except their connection speed sucks! Like a Dyson!

And DON'T get me started on Hotels...they are expensive (not in a good way) and hard to find (also, not in a good way.) I'm convinced that if you want to make a million in a short space of time, open a hotel in Paris.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Addendum to my last...

'When September ends'....now THAT'S how to do a ballad!

Missive from the battle-front....

Here I am at the Concorde II, waiting to see Greenish Day (guess who THEY are ought-backing on!) and I'm here babysitting 4 x 12ush year olds.  I guess I should be glad that they are all jumpng like loonies and not shagging in the corner (or trying) like I was at their age.  In the 80's you would DIE if your dad or mum would yet to come to the local church-hall disco, but counter to popular media preconceptions, I really don't believe that our kids  are more exposed to elements likely to cause harm than we were. 
I know they aren't drinking Martini, or smoking 10 Embassy, or setting light to pillar boxes like SOME people I could mention...and I know they are all going to get home (because I'm driving).
I also know that this place is probably 30% parents (subtly hanging back at the bar and bitching about the cost of merchandising) and that despite all the 'covert' grown up presence, they're  are having a hell of a time.

I've got so sign off now, there is a huge pink rabbit on stage getting 200 Goths dancing to YMCA....man, I think someone slipped something in my coke!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Hijack democracy

Hijacking the democratic process is not new, or even hard. This study doesn't show any new techniques or any fantastic Mission Impossible stuff at all...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I tried, mon Dieu I tried!

Now as many of you now, I'm a committed Europhile. I have to be, I work for Dutch people, I know the Euro coins by feel when buried in my pockets (yes, thats what I'm doing, not just rummaging) and I'm spending lots of time on a train rushing through Kent (the most foreign of all UK counties) into France, so where do I find myself sitting on a balmy evening in Paris? Cafe L'oiseau Bleu perhaps? le douche d'or? Non, I'm at the Cambridge Tavern.

And why am I forced to practise my halting language skills at a Faux Irish Pub a mere spit from l'arc de Triumphe? Because its the only place for miles (apart from Hotels) that have a WiFi internet connection. OK, so not everywhere is as forward thinking or 2.4Ghz-saturated as sunny Brighton, but the Mayor of Paris has recently proffered his vision of a Paris with 100% blanket WiFi coverage. Yup, he's going head to head with the likes of San Fransisco, New york and Milton Keynes in announcing his ambitions to become fully-wired (wireless) by the end of next year.

Well, roll-on the day I say, because after struggling for 20 minutes with a strange-looking box demanding I 'Mot de Passe' despite the off-hand shrugs from bar staff, I managed to gain access to their (admittedly free) WiFi connection by guessing the password ('cambridge' in case you're ever passing).

And they pronounce it 'Whiffy' over here, so try not to laugh when they say it to you the first time, it gets you crap service for the remainder of your stay, I KNOW!

Useful link : Wi-FiHotSpotList.com

Friday, September 08, 2006

Business-class tags...

Note to self : practice using the following keywords when riding business-class...

India
Piece of it
Supply chain
Defensive stance
Leverage (F**KING ARSES!)
Big in Brazil/Middle-East/'States (delete as approriate)
Expansion
Knob-rottingly up my own bum (I invented that one.)

I'm trying to learn a bit of french already, how the hell am I going to learn Bollocks at the same time?

Oh yeah...and as for twats that look like they are straight from Gerald Scarf cartoons telling all and sundry in the loudest voice possible to be quiet when they are on the phone.......hand me the 12-gauge.

MyHeritage.com

I stumbled over LeoL30's Flickr stuff this week, and amongst it was a link to MyHeritage.com....a fantastic little toy!

The idea is you submit a picture, and it does some Facial Recognition VooDoo on Yo Ass, and hey presto....famous folk you look like.

I processed one shot where I was serious, and I came out as Alan Rickman, one with my usual boysih grin (some would say Sarcastic smirk) which became Robert Redford.

Of course, I always suspected I was related to some class acts....

MyHeritage.com
Originally uploaded by benhollingsworth.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My first Googlewhack!

Today was a magnificent day...I discovered my first GoogleWhack whilst searching for contact details for a friend. I just tippity-tapped away as you do, expecting the answer to appear in the first 3 entries or to have been a figment of my imagination (because lets face it, if it isn't on the first page, it MUST be something I'm doing wrong) when a single, lonely, solitary and utterly superfluous entry appeaared. Try it....giovaruscio address

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Light years ahead

I have recently started playing Sierra's Homeworld 2 RTS (Real Time Strategy) game and for a while, I couldn't figure why I was so taken with it...I loathe Chess (no patience) and Backgammon (no luck) so why did I suddenly start enjoying a strategy game? Then the penny dropped. Pat, one of my oldest buddies and I used to share a fascination with all things spacey; the comic 2000AD was a weekly must, as was dashing home (anybody's) to watch Blakes 7, and we both had a copy of a magnificent book that illustrated, explained and documented a vast array of space Cruisers, Fighters, Battleships and weaponry.
It had blueprints, deck plans, specifications, you name it, but the most striking thing were the majestic colour prints that adorned every other page. I only remember one spaceship by name; the Partisan, but magnificent doesn't go partway to describing the impact those illustrations had on my little brain. And the same attention to (imaginary) detail has gone into making this game. I would be exagerating if I if I said your life would be incomplete without it, but I assure you, it will be MORE complete with it.
I hope Pat can remember the name of the book, or better still, know where his copy of it is. But if he can't, I can immerse myself in the wonders of a world thousands of years in the future, a world I am sure will exist, and I was supposed to be born into.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Groovy Photo help...

Free printable cardboard lens hoods are a simple, but excellent example of lateral-use of the Internet. Most people would be trying to conjure up ways of flogging these, but Paul Mutton has the model exactly right: build it and they will come, load-up with Google Ads and stand-back. I have no idea how much Paul earns from this site, and if the (fiscal) ends justify the means, but I just find it poetic in its distillation of Web 2.0 (or something).

Paul, if you are listening, get in touch and give me some background for an update please!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Overheard...

...at Schipol airport, via Tannoy.... "will Shaun Ryder, travelling from Manchester to Madrid, please go to the KLM help desk...".  If anyone needs help, apart from travelling from Manchester to Madrid via Holland, its Mr Ryder!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Anniversary...

I've just realised that I am almost at the anniversary of the inception of (this incarnation of) my Blog.

How wonderful then is the news that I am so much more well adjusted than I was two years ago: better grounded, more mellow, less angry.

HAH! It happened to me AGAIN today, another example of call-centres following a procedure designed to drag you screaming sarcastic remarks down the phoneline that connects you directly with dissatisfaction and an early coronary.

But being a more mature person, I won't bother you with the details, (unless I see you in person in the next few days whilst I'm cooling-off... go on ask me about it, I dare you), suffice to say that Lloyds TSB customer relations are SHITE and that I hope every one of their so-called systems develoment commitees members dies in abject povert.  Preferrably with  disgusting knob-rot rashes.

See how grown-up I am?

Tech piggy-backin'

I have (more than once) raved about the marvellous Wired magazine, and whilst they often pickup on tech and sites that have been doing the rounds for a good while, (and more often, start hammering-on about sites that have only just come to their attention like they were there before inception) they can be relied upon to apply these internet nuggets to reality in a way that often casts a new, sober light.  This month's was another point-in-case, with one small exception....iTunes playlists.
"he's rambling again Mother" I hear a number of you bellow, but wait, it all makes sense eventually, just bear with me.

In a series of articles following a (tenuous) thread on the personaliation of content, through music, radio, TV and all points including medicine, they preach the gospel according to YOU.  Side themes including mass-workforce and clothing do not detract from the fact that we are more open, indeed more exposed, to choice, experimentation and self expression (which individually sounds like the rantings of a mad-man but combined can move mountains and change the names of perfectly good chocolate confections from Marathon to Snickers).  So what does all this freedom and leaverage buy us?

Well travel, access to knowledge and ultimately, the option to NOT have to listen to whatever rubbish is being pushed down our throats.  We don't have to listen to Crap FM if we don't want to.  And if my best thinking is done at the Bijhorst in Rotterdam, so be it.  However, if said hotel doesn't have broadband access due to moon rays  or Comic flares (are there any other kind?) then I can't show you where I am currently sitting in the world courtesy of Plazes.com (courtesy of Pete, courtesy of Joi), or compose this entry on anything other than my (undisputed king of the smartphone) Crackbeery 7100v.  I can't even listen to Pandora, I'm limited to the mp3's left hiding in the corner of my hard-drive thanks to bloody iTunes.

Because whatever Wired or anyone else thinks about the individuals choice, I am still stuck in a hotel tapping out my innermost thoughts imperfectly, frustratingly, whilst listening on tiny Apple speakers to my daughters Tap Dance practise music.  Because of iTunes. 

Oh no, its the Chatanooga Choo Choo again...right, best get on with my Shuffle-Ball-Change.....and a ONE two three four....

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

There is nothing like a football match...

...to show up the true colours of a nation.  Now as anyone who is familiar with the genus 'homo englandus' knows, we are a fickle nationality, much given to whinging and whining, never illustrated better than when we are, or look like we might be, losing. 

On the other hand, John, an Australian buddy, was in full effect from the starting blocks at the RSC (that's Australian for Returned Servicemans Club I'm reliably informed, much like our own Foreign Legion clubs, and certainly NOT just a damn good excuse for blokes to get pissed club) during their first match of the World Cup, He and  his compardres were fully prepared for a major-league beer session, regardless of the outcome.  As it happened, their preparations were not in vain when in the last 16 seconds they scored 23 goals (or something, I'm not convinced the actual score is important, or by many attendees, in fact known). By contrast, I was amused to observe that the singing and chanting during our last (it must be said, outstanding) match against the Swedes, was at its zenith when we were on the back-foot.

Now many will attribute this to a desire to encourage our brave lads at the front, to transfer some enthusiasm and 'grit' to the troops, but actually, it had more of the 'wallowing'  about it...more that we're actually enjoying being the underdog. 

Now thats fine, each to their own, but the most iritating thing was the little Welsh bloke standing behind me.  I have absolutely nothing against the Welsh, or the Shorts, but the presence of this wee chap just reinforced my view that the Welsh have been bred for generations with one aim in mind: to be objective, analytical, even-handed and thoroughly, infuriatingly RIGHT.  Every comment and quip this Son of the Valleys came out with was accurate, dispassionate, and utterly without regard for the 200 hairy-arsed English bums around him.  And yet magically, he survived two of the most emotive halves of football we've seen in many a year.

I suspect that the Bible has been translated incorrectly, and that it is in fact the Welsh that will inherit the Earth, and that the sooner we give ourselves over to the fact, the better off we will all be.

Some of the best polititians have been Welsh (Lloyd George springs to mind) and so have some of the best fornicators (again, Lloyd George is up there, if you pardon the pun).  The best singers (Tom Jones), the best firemen (Sean Jones) and the the best captains of Question Of Sport (Emlyn Hughes)...all Welsh.  Is there nothing this race can't turn their hands to?

Oh yeah....apart from football.

High on my list of over-engineering....

Hedonistica.com has tons of funny stuff, but rummaging through the archives I found this piece on creating a hi-tech lockpicking tool. Pointless and utterly tremendous.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Another good reason to lose weight

Richard has picked up his latest (and greatest) toy, a Rotorway Exec 162F, in lurid but apt colouring - apparently it's a little like flying a wasp! Fans of the series of TV programs "A **** is born" will recognise it as being the one built by Mark Evans and Pete Walker.

The only downside so far, is the damn thing can only take 15-stone per seat maximum, so I have a way to go before I can go for a buzz!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Weird things this week

...watching a Chinese martial-arts Western dubbed in German, in Holland. Ich riebe dich.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Reasons to get fit...No.57

NIke and Apple have done what Apple and Motorola couldn't....proper cross-over technology. A Phone that plays songs? Nah, keep it. An iPod that makes phonecalls? Better. But this is nothing short of Genius....Nike have built sensors into running shoes to feedback info to a Nano, and between the two companies, I suspect they have done enough to convice even the hardened Armchair Surfer (to whit...me) to take up a fitness regime. Where do I sign-up?

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Looking back

Synchronicity is a wonderous thing. Over the weekend, various event conspired with the result that we are now proud owners of a new car, and following an email from Leo (sorry, its the closest thing to a blog the lad has!) I was pondering just how far convertibles have come. For a start, the hood on my TVR never busted within 2 hours of picking up the damn thing, or EVER for that matter! But that aside, I'm very happy with it.

Back to Leo's email, there are some interesting game comparisons on Fosfor Gadgets, stuff that I'd completely forgotten about. I may start a 'Looking Back' section for recent(ish) tech comparisons.....any suggestions for kick-off?

Friday, April 28, 2006

Kill Bill's Browser

There are a couple of Anti-IE site popping up, but I particularly liked Kill Bill's Browser for its giggles, and Explorer Destroyer, which actually figures a way of earning you money if you convert IE users! You need an Adsense account, but still, if you have enough visitors and are deeply anti-IE its well worth playing with!

On the Dark Side™ however, The Inquirer reports that technically, here in the uk "...such actions are illegal, as they could be deemed an incitement to cause harm to a pillar of the community and therefore terrorist in nature."



Finally, you may have noticed that I HAVEN'T added the Explore Destroyer script to these pages....thats because I really couldn't give a rats-arse.

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Big Nerd...

Seagate have announced the Largest Production Hard Drive to date : 750Gb. Coming in SATA and PATA version apparently, they will have 16Mb Cache and 2.7 BiggaGigs of FlangeWidget. Lets face it, its a fat mutha. It will come in at under $0.80c per Gb, and a number of forums are already bitching about the 'why does my drive only format up to 698Gb..' questions that are bound to arise in the new future.


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Friday, April 21, 2006

Airports...

Outbound Security at airports is in place, I have decided, not to check for items that may pose a security risk like nail files and disposable lighters (which, incidentally you cannot take through Security, but can buy freely once air-side). It is to wind the public up SO much that potential air-rage candidates expose themselves by ranting on about the pointlessness of queuing at 5am to get to Malaga along with 100 other people, when there are only 6 security staff manning X-ray machines. 
Word for the day: panini. Definition: tepid half-baked roll with all remaining semblance of life crushed from its limp form.


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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

More Gizmo's

Another gadget from eagle-eyed Frasch, this time a programmable control surface that looks like it is pretty close to production. Although the video shows it controlling samples/sequences, I'm sure its just a hop-skip-jump to interfacing to Lighting, and all manner of other things....

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Guitar Hero

MJL and I have been taking the p**s out of the Guitar Hero controllers in Virgin over the last week, but after seeing a WiFi-modded example on Gizmodo, my curiosity was stirred. Oh, what a can of worms. YouTube has a bucket-load of examples of Steve Vai-alikes (just search for the tags 'Guitar Hero', but one of the coolest must be SArmstr0ng's split-screen Ace of Spades. OMG!

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Saturday, April 15, 2006

B3ta than life.....

The chaps that brought you 'Badger Badger' also run B3ta, the disgusting, bad-taste, evil, wicked and very funny nonsense pot-pourri.  They have made their newsletter into a TV pilot that stands DICK chance of being taken up in its current form (go ahead, prove me wrong someone, PLEASE!) but is most amusing! I particularly enjoyed the Japanese YMCA and Old Grey Squirrel Test.....  

Monday, March 13, 2006

Ben Oss

Davy is back on form with this lovely shot. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this man has talent....

Ben Oss
Originally uploaded by davyR.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A test of faith?

It will be interesting to see Google's reaction to Bjarke's wonderful little set of extensions that make use of Google's sweet Gmail service. Effectively turning the 2Gb of email storage into a folder driven 'net storage area. It doesn't really matter if the Gmail boffins have come up with this already, Google can either allow this utilisation to continue, or they can shut the door/introduce their own version, and look like Class A bastards!
Given Google's excellent reputation on integrity and public-interest (with the exception of their China Crisis, it will be interesting to see which way they will fall. Little login-notify applets are all well and good, but this is re-engineering at its best; not least for the lateral thinking it exhibits. Personally, I think there is a great deal of Kudos in the balance here.


Thanks to Frasch for bringing it to my attention

**Update**
Well it didn't take long for a reasonably plausible 'we came up with it first' story, did it?!

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Chuck Norris lost his virginity before his dad did.

Hero worship was NEVER more deserved as that aimed at the magnificent Chuck Norris. It is no exaggeration to say I nearly P**sed myself. His official site alone is enough to induce side-splitting symptoms.

No, Really. For example :


  • Chuck Norris can divide by zero.

  • When the Boogeyman goes to bed he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

  • Chuck Norris doesn`t need to swallow when eating food.

  • Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.


It isn't all humour however, as scientists in Washington have recently conceded that, if there were a nuclear war, all that would remain are cockroaches and Chuck Norris.


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Friday, March 03, 2006

Evil Electronics

The College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University have conducted a study on one of Pete's and my favourite gripes whilst flying :- the use of portable electronic equipment. Now I can't claim to have lots of Pilot-Officer chummies like Pete, but the one guy I DO know that flies a 'coptor uses his mobile phone whilst in the air, and Pete tells me that this is not unusual. So are smaller planes and helicopters safer because they are less reliant on auto-landing doo-dads and point-to-point flangewidgets?

I dunno, but I still want to gripe about being told to turn off the PSP during takeoff...

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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Just living a day at a time

It is a well-known fact that those originating from the Tribe of IT have pin-ups of Dilbert all over their cubical, but I'm afraid I must disappoint. I do however, get sent them by a whole assortment of friends and associates, and I do find them amusing.
This one is particularly apposite.


I hope the wonderful Scott Adams and United Media forgive the reproduction of the strip and don't sue me, that really WOULD finish the day off nicely!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

For my birthday, I would like....

eStarling LCD
ThinkGeek has bucket-loads of gizmo's, gadgets and goodies, some fresh, some downright stinky, but they have come up trumps this time. The eStarling LCD Photo Frame may look like yet another of those naff faux-wood affairs where the screen to too small, the surround too plastic and the price tag too Trump, but this one is different(ish) :-
    • ummm...actually, the screen is pretty small
    • hooray! It doesn't look hideous
    • Sorry, its still costs the same as a 19" monitor, despite being a mere 5.6" diagonal.

Have you noticed, when you get down to anything this small, the decimal point is all-important? Anyways, the clever bit is that it has a Wireless card built in, and its very own RSS-reading bit of code-stuff, meaning it can display tagged pics from your Flickr account....or more usefully for Grandparents....those of their adoring kids and offspring!
I'm off to see if I can find a DIY kit to convert a fat-ol' LCD monitor into the ideal christmas present...

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Songbirds...

The same group (roughly) of people responsible for Winamp, Y!Music etc are working on a new music player based on the Firefox browser. Features look exciting, its open-source, and its not available for the Mac yet dammit!

Songbirds...
Originally uploaded by benhollingsworth.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Hacked Off

This week, one of my Hosting accounts got hacked by a bunch from the group Turk-Hackers.CoM. According to certain sources, this bunch MAY be hacking Western, and specifically Danish websites as a protest to the recent Cartoon furore.


Now I realise it's happened a million times to a million people, but I can't help asking 'Why would someone bother to do this to me?' I don't host any controversial sites, in most matters of race and religion I am (I believe) moderate and my opinion considered, so why launch an all-out frontal attack on sites which include such agravating and debate-provoking subjects as :-



  • Animal Portraints, in charcoal, pencil and paints - remember your loved pets, rather than declaring Gerbil Jihad

  • Stardudes, the junior-school site of a bunch of 9 year olds pretending to be Jedi, sworn to cleanse the playgrounds of Brighton of religious minorities...ummm....like Jedi

  • Deadline Graphics, a graphic design and print agency which has stated it's sole purpose in life is to re-introduce Pental Pens and Letraset sheets into mainstream DTP

  • Destination Catering, a hienous organisation dedicated to expressing hatred through Flapjacks and brownies.


As you can see, there appears to be no rhyme or reason, apart from the fact that all of these sites and more were sitting on the same IP address. Now at the time of writing, the particular hosting company has not only washed their hands of the problem ("....there's nothing wrong with our service Sir, it must be a script vunerability, perhaps Sir should check his security...") but they are not allowing me access to any server logs so I can start to trace the cause. As I said, at this moment in time, I do not intend to start kicking up a fuss.....but watch this space, because Hackers are one thing, but I do not intend to PAY for the privilege of being shafted!!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

You wanna know what its like?

The Intel� IT Manager Game is a good waste of time....much like the job, it has been said (yes, I'm a little 'Jaded' at the moment.....).
This was spotted on digg.com, a site which was brought to my attention by Pete after his blog was taken-out by traffic from the aforementioned news site. All three are worth spending an afternoon on...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Sophie!

Sophie! This is what the Internet is for.....

Toys....

First spotted on CultofMac, this wee iPod and Guitar amp is smashing! Its a shame that Christmas is over already....Incidentally, spotted on the same site, was this rather critical entry over Mr Jobs and his fruit-based enterprise switching to Intel chips.



Yeah, Yeah, I know, EVERYBODY is talking about the new MacBook Pro, but as one who is fascinated by the inability of humankind to predict the future, (to the extent that old Science Fiction constitutes a considerable part of my library) I like to see us all trip over our words and expectations sometimes.