Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Perseptive Pixels moves apace

Folling an earlier post about the multi-touch screen technology (long before Apple's iTouch and iPhone were released or even speculated-about), Microsoft have jumped on the band-wagon....

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Halloween for the lazy

One of my secret-admiration sites has tooled-up for Halloween (as has every other bugger in the world it seems) and I thought I would post a couple of docs for you to play with.
You simply download the PDF, print and cut-out....voila! Lazy-blokes Halloween costume!


The Canon 3D Papercraft site was a real shocker when I discovered it; half of me was marveling at the brilliance and the other half shocked at the audacity of the ink-cartridge suppliers. I soon got over my cynicism when I saw the plans for the scale model A320 aircraft! Just click on the picture to download the template.


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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Lapsed blogging

Hi all. I realise that I have been lax, lazy even, of late, but I think I'm going to allocate some time each week to keeping this up to date. I think this enforced regime is required, partly because John is heading home and I'm worried this is the only way we'll keep in touch, and partly because my focus has been on work-related crap for the last few months. I don't really like the fact that I can't balance a heavy workload with anything else (family, friends, whatever) but I'm coming to accept that I can't be creative, or even communicative, when I dive into projects on the scale that I'm currently involved with. I think that acknowledging this fact is half the battle to beating it, isn't it?

I realise that I've said 'Fact' too often, and that I appear to have lost 50% of my vocabulary, but by setting aside 10 minutes per week to keep this current, I'm taking a step in the right direction, right?

I'm not going to go into the shit I've given Franc, or the time I haven't spent with the kids, I'm just going to promise now that I will TRY to talk once a week on a subject that will amuse, or inform, the few folk that still read this.

As a start, I'm going to implore you to try Desktop Tower Defence as a stress reliever. Should you be asked to leave your name for the highscore table, then please feel free to use the table Group name TEAMDESKTOP so we can play (rehabilitate?) together.

More soon, I promise...Ben

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

As if we didn't stand out enough...

Welcome to the Computer Choppers Pimpin' of a Macbook Pro. Alright, this is
only a Digg-find, but wow!
http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2007/10/bling-gold-plat.html

Monday, August 20, 2007

I'm not usually like this...

John was telling me off the other day because I've been lax of late (blog-wise) and so in an effort to kickstart my Juices once more, I'm making a purile entry. I know, its a disappointment to my many(ish) fans that I have to simply post about a YouTube entry, but actually, I think this justifies it. Apple Adverts is vaguely amusing, informative and amateurish in equal measure. It wasn't picked because its the next Star Wars Kid, or because its as clever as the MadTV's iRack, but simply because I wish I'd come up with the idea, and because this will be the first of a series of posts, made daily, for a month.

Prepare for Boredom!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Security stepped-up now stable empty!


Security stepped-up now stable empty!

4am or so at Gatwick airport and a couple of days after someone sets light to themselves and drives into a wall...sure enough we step up security to ensure that nobody tries to smuggle dynamite onto a plane disguised as toothpaste.

Monday, June 25, 2007

se your Connections

Having a apres work pint today, I got into a conversation with John about utilising network connections for the greater good (ie: own own) and how online facilities such as Linkedin and Facebook (in my view, a middle-aged MySpace) are the natural extension of the kind of networking that we all do daily. Or not.
Now I'm a dabbler in Linkedin, and to feel the benefit you really need to spend time and effort in schmoozing, tailoring your CV etc. I've spent time on neither, and to be honest, apart from word-of-mouth tales and Marketing spin, I've heard no stunning tales of success. John takes it one stage further and maintains that he enjoys a certain an anonymity with regards his career furtherance. Ironic bearing in mind he was bemoaning my lack of activity on the Blog front and has had a spurt of posting lately (he's a great writer and is completely wasted trying to convince Corporate Europe that online services from a certain Info-aggregator are worth buying into).
I have promised that I'll send him an invite to Linkedin so he can start widening his horizons and possibly garner some interest from someone who is looking for the right mix of Frustrated-Muso meets Cautious-Aggressive Business promoter cum online evangelist. Which brings me to the point of my post....can anyone remind me of my Linkedin login? I thought it was the same as my Plazer/Flickr/Last.fm/twitter/myspace/facebook login, but apparently not....

Friday, June 08, 2007

Oh, if only...

Gust spotted a well-to-do couple in the Tesco express...lady: I'd better get a bottle of wine
Man: have we not not got any for the weekend then?
Lady: no, I'll get a bottle

I wish!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Ray Ozzie: Wiring the Web

This article caught my imagination today, but first, some background. For those who don't know, Ray Ozzie is Microsoft's Chief Software Architect, a role he took over (inherited?) from Bill Gates, so he kinda knows his stuff. His appointment was heralded in many quarters as a major shift within MS, away from the bad old 90's 'keep it close to your chest' reputation that they undoubtably deserved, toward an open, collaborative, inclusive stance. This may have been part of a damn clever and insidious marketing plan, which saw MS embracing the kind of attitudes that are beginning to be espoused by their software products. Lets face it, who is going to believe that applications advertised as enabling collaboration are best designed, sold and supported by a company that has more secrets than the CIA? On the other hand, Evolutionists would have it that development is best acheived through sharing - from passing-down particularly strong DNA lines to splitting the spoils of early mans hunting expeditions thus enabling other members of the family/tribe to protect and nurture.

I'm from the camp that firmly believes in spreading it about unless it's my Pint (get your own, scrounger) and so I was pleased to see that one of the concepts that visited Ray in his bath recently was immediately passed to a Concept Development Team (wouldn't we all love to have THAT kind of resource for every bright idea we've had!) and has started to emerge under the banner of 'Live Clipboard', a standard for the interchange of content (at its most simplistic). Whilst not quite an epiphany as there are precedents such as Yahoo Pipes, it does bode well for the future of sharing and Mashups, not least of all because of the weight of Microsoft. It is progressive however, in that MS are releasing their work under a Creative Commons license, which means it is open to development and enhancement in the same way as Linux has been, based primarily upon a framework of rules and an overwhelming desire to see developments achieve high up-take.

The down-side of this attitude is also blatantly obvious on exactly the same page, in the form of nearly 900 'Trackbacks'. These are provided as a directory or index of blogs, articles and pieces discussing or commenting upon the original article. In the case of Rays latest brain-child, most of them selling Viagra, pushing gambling sites and tempting you with images of many kinds of mammal in various states of undress.

Oh, its wonderful to be open, but the earliest and most prolific adoptors are BOUND to be commercially driven and less targeted than your average American Ally Support squadron.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

A strange night in

I decided to have a night in the hotel tonight rather than exploring Brussels, and ended up listening to the Indonesian Ambassador to Belgium sing "what a wonderful world"......
I think I'll stay in more often!

For those with a bent toward the World Musical, the band playing is Wayanbalawan and if you get a chance, ANY chance, you have to see these guys play!

**UPDATE** I have a copy of Balawan's album "gloBALIsm" signed by the man himself, and the Indonesian Ambassador...eBay anyone?!

Never mind the weather, the beer is fine


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

CGI Madness

I haven't started to hunt around to find out who did this (or why) but its pretty damned good all the same....

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*UPDATE* Frasch has found the source, here is more musical madness!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Pictures of Brighton

I got an email today informing me that as the longest-serving member of the Flickr Brighton Group, I was now an administrator. It was less of a surprise to discover that Pete (an man I am known to follow in a slavish, lap-dog manner, unlike his own dog who just hates anyone including his owner), was the other administrator.

Now it's unlike me to get carried-away with fame and power, so in keeping, I have decided to make it my life-mission to increase the membership of this illustrious group to 1000 souls, strong and true.

Now in fact, I ain't that fussy, so regardless of Strength or Honesty, I ask you to blog, email and cajole friends, relatives and complete strangers into posting a picture of Brighton, and joining the Group.

It will in no way benefit anyone but Pete and I, and God (it's a little known fact that Joseph, step-father to the Little Baby Jesus lived next to Oasis, 24-hour massage and Hotel-buy-the-hour during his formative years). But surely that's enough; to know that you have made a little man feel very big (Me I mean, Pete) as he dashes headlong toward his 40's.

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Air-cooled fun

Everyone knows someone that goes through a fetish about Air-Cooled motors; it might just be a Beetle because it was a cheap first car, or day dreams about surfing and camping in a V-Dub Bus. Waste some MORE of your life here.....

Monday, April 16, 2007

In a Complicated world....

In a complicated world, we sometimes forget about the simple, straight-forward pleasures and satisfactions that pour oil on the troubled waters or our turbulent (SHUT UP WITH THE F**KING CLICHÉ, TOSSER!)....anyway.

I am surrounded by Gadgets and toys, gizmos and Stuff, so its great to realise that after spending hours in the Kitchen, and hundreds of pounds in exotic ingredients like hand-rolled maraschino sugarlumps, I still have the power to turn half a dozen old Hot Cross Buns into a perfectly average Bread-Pudding.

It even tastes like Hot Cross Buns.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Monday, February 19, 2007

Bruised and battered

Curiously, I was talking to Pete about this very subject just last week....migraine headaches. Last night, I felt washed-out and just a little out-of-sync with reality, like my tracking was out (for those who remember Video Tape Recorders). This morning, I had nasty, but not unbearable pains behind my right eye, and as I had to drive 80 miles along the M25, I decided to pop some pills and lay down for an hour or so.

I woke up about an hour ago. I still feel like I'm watching a TV show rather than acting in a play (actually, thats not right, I feel like I'm acting in a play rather than going through life) but I have no pain....and the only thing I can imagine this is, is a migraine.


I used to have them fairly regularly when I was in my teens/twenties, but they were HUGELY painful, protracted affairs with much wailing and gnashing of teeth (and plenty of sickness too). In fact, to this day, it is probably the only thing I am really, genuinely afraid of. But at the moment, I feel like I used to feel for a couple of days after having one. I have to go to Paris tomorrow, and I am aware that I am rambling (not really a symptom, I know!) but I feel like stuff is sped-up and my brain is on fast forward.....I can't close my eyes now, I'm not tired, but I know that sleep is exactly what I need.....


Ahh yes, the point (!) It's not news as such, but Pete hadn't heard about it so I had a look myself...there appears to be a strong link between a small heart defect and migraines.

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Watch history being made.

Seadragon is the name given to a project that is probably going to make history. It is one of two components in the utterly marvelous and intriguing Photosynth and more specifically, it is a brand new(ish) method of web-based navigation. The video may be a little dry and very, VERY techie, but if you can get through even a bit of the jargon, you'll see a demonstration of something very special indeed.

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Retro is the new New Wave

If you STILL haven't given-in and bought a Mac, you now have something to crow about...PC World announced they are not replacing current stocks of floppy disks, so yet another invaluable media goes the way of the 5¼" and paper-tape. There are of course, enthusiasts keeping some of these memories alive and retro is still cool in places; you always have the option of swapping-out the redundant drive and inserting a genuine Tape Cassette deck complete with software to rip the audio to MP3! Of course, most floppies fitting in a 3 ½" bay, but with a little help from a hacksaw....

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Friday, January 26, 2007

People watching

Eyeballing peoples reading habits on planes is a fascination pastime, and I can report some interesting observations, made under scientific conditions.
A woman (somewhere between 18 and 28, it's getting harder to tell the older I get) reading a 'ladies' magazine such as Cosmo, Hell-o or Good God spends half as long reading an article entitled 'SEX, how to get what you want' as she does looking at an article on frocks. Probably more surprising bearing in mind the stereotypes we are fed, the 'Sex' article got twice the eyeball-time as that of the piece on 'How to get your ideal man'.

I don't know, you ladies may be getting it wrong....we want to be Woo'd after all...

ITs Burns night again....

IT's Burns night because both Gordon (my network bitch) and I are invited to the Scottish festivities this year, and I have high hopes of it being every bit as fun as the last one, even WITH the woolly skirts!

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

You gotta love 'em

As an avid, if somewhat 'John-come-lately' Mac user, I am still big enough to admit when Microsoft are getting something right. First, I was introduced to local.live.com which appeared to be MS's take on Google Earth. Except I could see my house (in Brighton) from a height of 30 yards, whereas on my version of Google Earth, I am a mere blotch at anything over 6000 feet. AND you can view in a kinda Isometricish planar view. AND from up to four direction. Pretty slick, but original? Probably not. labs.live.comon the other hand is something quite different. Its sort of Flickr, sort of browser, sort of Google Images, sort of thing. And despite the rather cutsie MS style that insists on championing the Ethos of Live Labs, the Photosynth project looks and more importantly, FEELS like something genuinely original and full of development potential.
I'd like to think about this a little deeper, so I'll stop posting for now, but I expect I'll pick-up again tomorrow.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Latest plan....

Its like Independance Day in London, and I have murdered vicars and cast old ladies to the dogs in order to secure a seat on what could possibly be the last train out of town, heading to Brighton. 
To liken the scenes in Euston station to those during the Blitz would be a cliche, and entirely inaccurate; if we had just stood in groups looking at display boards during the war, hoping that the row of 'canceled' signs were group hallucinations, we'd all be eating Weinerschlom and the trains would be on time.....
I bailed when I realised the Grolsch was getting warm (a sure sign its been a good afternoon at The Brittania) and I wasn't going up to Rugby in preparation for a Talk I've been asked to deliver. 4 stops on an empty Tube Train and step Bond-style onto a departing train without breaking step or sweat.....Sweet!

Wait....it gets better....the Char-Lady has just wheeled her trolley up to my executive bunk laden with Gin and Salad...hooray!

John was on a train this morning that was hit by a falling tree (that'll show him, coming back here and taking all the high-paid jobs that didn't exist before he convinced some poor Pom that they really badly needed him!) So he spent 2 hours waiting for guys with chainsaws to remove the rail-abberation (why the hell do they PLANT trees alongside railtracks?!) and is facing a midnight return home as someone in his office wants to talk about fullstops in marketing plans at 5.30 tonight... (awww...shame!)

So...the latest plan involves me catching a Virgin train to Glasgow at silly-o-clock tomorrow and flinging myself from the train somewhere around Rugby....wish me luck!

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Local boy made good

You all have no idea how proud Anna and I are of the urchin here-pictured. Russell (for 'tis he) DRAGGED me for a beer at the Castle Inn tonight, to break the great news that he has been made Division Director of Anglian Windows.
Its not the distance he has come, its the fact that we have seldom met someone that deserves it more. Well done Chap!

01012007045.jpg
Originally uploaded by Russ Perryment.