30 December 2005
29 December 2005
45 CDs = 512 MB iPod Shuffle
65 CDs = 1 GB iPod Shuffle
85 CDs = 2 GB iPod Nano
110 CDs = 4 GB Nano
130 CDs = 30 GB iPod
175 CDs = 60 GB iPod
These are the swaps available from a new service in the US - details here. I like it. There is no answer to the first commenter who asks if the service takes AOL CDs.
28 December 2005
Yahoo, accelerating its bid to dominate the social space, will announce that it is buying the actual societies of 32 cash-strapped governments. Citizens will be allowed to link their existing names to their Yahoo accounts.
"Buy someone a specific song through an online music store the way you might buy someone a CD?"
And how, "down the road, when there are no more CDs and all music is bought online, [do you] pass your life's music collection onto someone else when you die (the way you can pass on LPs and CDs today)?"
Of course, you know the answer already - you can't. EMI, Sony et al working on a solution? I'd posit not.
27 December 2005
BTW, check out the nails on the guy on Yahoo's photo - ugh.
1. Google will buy into satellites.
2. Downloading music will continue to boom, both legal and illegal, but illegal will be on the upswing again. Music companies will continue to diversivy - there may be a leaked memo or two indicating that, near the top, they realise the game is up.
3. The internet and your mobile still won't mix owing to high charges for the combination - business use will grow but individual consumers will be nonplussed.
4. TV on your mobile will grow but very slowly - the hopes of the giant telecomms for a big uptake for the world cup will be dashed.
5. Riya will finally launch ... to mixed reviews.
6. Your granny will work out how to use a mobile.
7. None of the big tech companies will stand up against China's human rights abuses - plus ca change...
8. Interest in blogging will peak.
9. A small search startup will badly dent confidence in Google's core business.
10. Mrs Lemon's will remain a niche interest.
23 December 2005
Nine police officers disguised themselves as Victorian carol singers to carry out a drugs raid.
The Dorset Police officers were dressed in cloaks and
top hats and were carrying lanterns when they arrived at their intended
target in Weymouth.
Apparently they made a number of arrests. As I have always said, when it comes to Victorian carol singers, shoot first and ask questions later.
.... amendment, which is attached to a bill on intellectual
property rights, [which] states that ``authors cannot forbid the
reproduction of works that are made on any format from an online
communications service when they are intended to be used
privately'' and not for commercial use.
22 December 2005
While I am here, may you learn something from me: never post when you have had more than one glass of Lachryma Christi.
21 December 2005
20 December 2005
Sadly it has turned a bit panty and I am sometimes getting error messages (error #3 Object:object if you are listening guys). Still, it is a beta release so bugs are expected I guess. Watch this space - when it works (so far most of the time), it is beautiful.
19 December 2005
There's something about working for a large company that often alienates one from the concept of "Free Will". Starting a corporate blog just highlights the fact.
[NOTE TO SELF:] Some people thrive in "Slave Mode". Whatever. Nobody cares.
Hi Patrick, I'm looking for a companion for a cookery school. I've joined this site (cookery school). Where else could I contact other people who may like to join a cookery school?
18 December 2005
18th December 2005 Currently bookmarked blogs. The list changes frequently but there are some on there that have had a long shelf-life. Not included but regularly used is Boing Boing.
BTW, this is for N&L who have a tom making their own cats' lives miserable - Cats International - your cat problems answered.
Now, where is the Resolve?
17 December 2005
Sunday evening and it's still not fixed - maybe it is a weekend thing? Here's hoping. Site Surf will be removed and reinstalled tomorrow if the problem persists.
16 December 2005
15 December 2005
The government came under renewed pressure in the Commons today amid "widespread public disquiet" about allegations that the US is using UK airports to transfer prisoners to be tortured abroad.
As members of the all-party parliamentary group on extraordinary rendition put a series of detailed questions to the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, Liberal Democrat and Tory MPs launched fresh challenges on the issue.
At question time yesterday Tony Blair said it would be "completely absurd" to investigate every US government plane which flew into the country.
Which is nice. It wouldn't be "completely absurd" to look for non-existent WMD for months on end though. He really has got to go what with the torture- goodbye Tone - we have had enough of you.
14 December 2005
(BTW, have not been back to that music locker thingammy in a while - will update you if I try it again or leave a comment if you have some experience of it).
(Parenthases - do you think I have a problem?).
13 December 2005
Quelle surprise (for South West Train employees, that is French for “what a surprise”. It is generally used in an ironic way. If you have trouble with the word “ironic”, speak to your timetable composers). Since stopping giving the rebates on ticket prices owing to their exceptional performance over the last five years (if your definition of the term “exceptional” means hitting targets about 90% of the time – try telling that to a manufacturer of brake units for cars, let's say, or traffic lights, boilers, aeroplane engines...), guess what has happened to the trains on the SWT network? Of course, that’s right, they have improved their efficiency…..
Actually, no. Since they stopped it has, of course, all gone to hell. It must be great working for a company where no one gives a flying shite about anything but when they can knock off and go home, although I suspect in the long run employees might, just occasionally, feel a nagging sense of guilt and that this probably accounts for their inability to empathise with their passengers (sorry, “customers”, though of course “custom” implies choice and there is none of that from where I’m standing which is normally on a cold and very overcrowded platform listening to some tosh about moving further down so as to create more space by the bagel bar).
12 December 2005
12th December 2005 I could have sworn the Standard said that London was going to be covered in filthy smoke from the Hertfordshire fire this evening....
11 December 2005
BTW, if you are struggling to see the video when you get there because your connection is too slow, now really is the time to upgrade your connection - developments over the coming months are likely to further enhance what is already a wonderful medium. Go here for information about broadband providers. Go on - honestly - now is the time!
Big xmas food supplement and David Tennant (who?) in the magazine... I rest my case.
10 December 2005
Clear? OK, as you were - off you pop in your never-ending search for diversion.I'll be along in a minute myself.
9 December 2005
8 December 2005
As well as looking into owner information, the GAO [Government Accountability Board] also investigated the procedures for correcting fake data.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) has the role of overseeing the net's domains and recently attempted to tighten up the policing of owner data.
However, the GAO found of the 45 reports on dodgy domain data that it submitted to Icann, 33 were unchanged after 30 days.
Makes you wonder if ICANN want the Chinese and Iranians to take over the web as they have indicated they are inclined to so do. Dear non-existent please save us from that eventuality.
7 December 2005
Aren't men amazing? Earlier this month - at the same urinal - another man was multitasking in an even more inventive manner. If you're in the middle of eating, look away now. He was urinating with one hand and brushing his teeth with the other. A colleague came in and the pair had a very long conversation about advertisement ratios before the colleague observed: "So. Brushing your teeth at the urinal?"
"Yep. I find it saves time."
"Not an issue."
6 December 2005
From a business perspective, we need to stop whining about readers moving online. If that’s what they want to do, then go with them, damnit! The biggest challenge is to train advertisers that online is more valuable than print because more people are there..... I believe we will, sooner than we know, start seeing print as an added cost burden maintained primarily becuase advertisers value it more than readers.
Do go - it is visionary stuff.
December 1: The British Guardian reports that over 300 CIA flights have landed at European airports and that CIA planes visited Germany and Britain over 200 times, if chartered flights are included. According to the NY Times, there were 94 flights in Germany, 76 in Britain, 33 in Ireland, 16 in Portugal, 15 in Spain and Czechoslovakia each and two chartered flights that made stopovers in France. French officials say they had no knowledge of the clandestine flights.
With them or against them?
If you fancy a bit of waterboarding, a bit of rendition, don't worry - your government probably already suppinely supports it. No wonder so many Muslims appear to hate the West and the hypocrisy found here.
(While we are on the subject, I have an "angry from Surrey" scheme that I wish the BBC and others would implement but which they never will. Namely, that all persons on news and current affairs programmes, be they presenters or interviewees, should have their interviews prefaced by information about their annual salary / earnings / share dealings. Thus when Sir Digby bloody Jones comes on and bangs on about how bureaucracy is holding back British industry we would be able to ascertain just how much he has suffered because employees don't want to return to Victorian working practices).
Composers and songwriters are arguing in the UK copyright tribunal that they should receive 7p to 9p from every track downloaded from the internet, instead of the current 5p. The demand, issued by the Music Alliance, which works on behalf of composers, is being made to counter steps by the record companies' association, the British Phonographic Industry, to cut their earnings to 2p per download. They want the record companies to disclose the amount of money made from downloads, arguing that their pay rise could be recovered from record company profits rather than customers.
So the record companies don't actually disclose how much they make from downloads? Marvellous. And they are saying that downloading is destroying their industry. Please, do get over to allofmp3.com as soon as you can and help with the mercy killing.
5 December 2005
Andrea Bone, who was convicted of culpable homicide for not stopping her boyfriend from killing her 13-month-old daughter Carla-Nicole in 2002, has had her conviction quashed. The appeal judges accepted that Bone was too intimated by her violent boyfriend to intervene.
Source: BBC Online
(1) Would a man ever get away with this?
(2) I imagine Carla-Nicole wouldn't much care for the argument that her mother was "too intimidated" to intervene.
(3) Did Andrea go to the police immediately afterwards?
I don't know - this doesn't seem right.
As many as 1 in 10 preschool children may be suffering from anxiety, depression or other mental illnesses, according to child psychiatrist Professor Adrian Angold.
A modern child's life is filled with unnecessary monitoring and mollycoddling from over-protective parents, says writer John O'Farrell, who presents Backlash: Paranoid Parents.
Source: BBC Online
4 December 2005
3 December 2005
2 December 2005
The idea is you choose a starter track you like (in my case Walk Into the Sun by Dirty Vegas, though I had to start again as this proved a bit of a false lemming) and similar songs are served up to you thereafter 'pon which you pronounce judgement, gradually freeing wheat from chaff and giving the programme an idea of what to play once it starts choosing music for you. All clear? No? Well head thee off to the site for a go yourselves you lazy b****rs.
There have been other attempts at this but the ones I've tried haven't been wildly successful so here's hoping.
Update: Some hours later and it is still doing its job - keeping me ears happy and serving up a mixture of the tried and the novel. Favourite tracks you can store on a separate page. Keep this up and they might wean me off allofmp3.com.
1 December 2005
30 November 2005
Update: Downloaded the free version but can't really see the point - seems to have zero storage capacity - can that be right? I have emailed the site and will post an answer here when I get one, though I am warned this may take from 3 to 5 days. With zero storage online, what is the point of a free option? Something about "sideloading"?
To quote from the FAQ:
The Basic MP3tunes Locker [i.e. the free version]includes webloading, sideloading, MP3tunes Oboe Software Suite, and streaming inside iTunes on the Internet at a medium quality bit-rate (56k).
[So if you don't use iTunes you get another means of playing your music through Oboe, you get "sideloading" and you get "webloading" - is that right?]
So what are "sideloading" and "webloading"?
Webloading allows you to input a URL of a song location from another site to your MP3tunes locker. The file will be saved and you can then stream it from your locker.
Sideloading is done via our Sideload Partners websites. These websites provide a link next to a free mp3 available for download so you can easily load the track with just a click to your MP3tunes Locker.
So webloading means you can stream from your locker without returning to the original site - reasonably handy I guess, though hardly worth jumping for joy about. And sideloading seems to be a way of saving a download online rather than to your computer - woopee dee.
I hate to be a party pooper and one shouldn't knock something that is free, but basically the only decent option seems to be the paid for one...I will post more here soon about this as I love the concept and hope the execution is better than it sounds. I'm tempted by the pay option but have been burnt before by online services (such as Wippit music downloads - Elvis and Frank Sinatra anyone?).
Update#2: Seems some scepticism is in fact merited - over at Lifehacker the poor press is building up...
Update#3: If you are going to "sideload" or whateverTF they call it, be prepared to wait. And wait. Have just tried to load something into the locker but given up as the wait was too long. So farewell, then, mp3locker - may you come back in another form (anything but beta).
Update #4: Working a bit better today - well, just working I suppose. Anyway, the little arrow next to tunes you can slip a link into your locker for is useful - a bit slow at first, but that may have been my getting used to it.
Update: Yes I know, privacy and all that. Of course she isn't going to want any publicity. Nonetheless, however, be that as it may, notwithstanding, regardless and whatever you may say, I still contend that without the face the story isn't up to much. What we need is a before and after. And no, that isn't an invitation to the paparazzi, more a comment on human inquisitiveness (is that a word?).
And now, to take things as far from the title as possible (sorry if you are here for real p0rn, try googling "latex," "spanking" or "trouser monkey"), I have to announce the sad demise of the aforementioned pedometer. Five quid was clearly only enough trouser weight to garner a machine that would last six weeks. Still, I'll have a look at the figures soon and give you the averages (steps, mileage, weekend vs weekday, work vs time off and so on and so forth - admit it - you can't wait). Giddeeup lad!
The requested URL /products/download.html was not found on this server.
Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.
Apache/2.0.52 (Red Hat) Server at www.mozilla.com Port....
Presumably 1.5 is a success then.....
29 November 2005
A while ago at Erdigg Hall. Did I show you this already? Apologies if so but I have altered the contrast since to do the flower justice. And a quick q: why can't there be this level of detail in all the pictures I take?
The thing is, with the current shower in power, the OMP will, ere long, be obligatory. All in the name of "safety" and "you're with us or against us" of course, just as there are no bins at stations any more, flying is a chore, this website is monitored and stored, and there are 2.1 million CCTV cameras in London.
27 November 2005
Now, as you were.
25 November 2005
24 November 2005
Really. Trousers. They are the bane of my life. Some of the well know problems include length (too short normally), strangely decreasing waist size, shallow pockets and too tight a thigh area (I'm talking men's trousers here btw - no clue what goes on for mes dames). Some of the lesser known problems involve them being too hot, having too short a zip (go figure) and stain resistance treatments (which not only make them look cheap but add to the aforementioned heat problem - interestingly, as far as I am concerned, there is no such thing as a pair of trousers that are too cold). What is needed for the perfect pair is as follows:
1. Correct waist size (obviously) - tending towards the generous is the best.
2. Correct length (tending towards the too lengthy is the rule here).
3. Deep and plentiful pockets.
4. Loose around the nethers and thighs.
5. Toe end shape is fashion-dependent - i.e. a slight flare fine at the right time, ditto straights.
6. Correct temperature - cool is best.
7. Dark in colour is good, light less so (they tend to highlight any sequelae to the heat problem).
8. Natural fibres of course.
Now, you'd think that it wouldn't be that hard to meet these requirements but believe me, a lifetime of looking hasn't provided me with anything like a stable supply. Generally I end up wearing about two pairs for months on end, interspersing them with other less successful purchases that after a short time head off to the charity shop with a cry of "don't darken my trouser draw again!" So if either reader has any suggestions viz Trouser Heaven they'd be very welcome.
22 November 2005
Surely these prisoners should now either face a trial or be set free? Holding them forever is, of course, only going to increase the terrorist threat the world faces, not decrease it. But then Bush thinks he needs to look strong I guess. It isn't working though George, is it?
I phoned their number a few minutes ago to see if I could find out what was happening. I was annoyed but remained, I like to think, polite. Points arising:
1. The operator took my name and address and then said she couldn't update me because her system was down.
2. Despite her system being down she somehow knew that the engineers in "[my] area" (Surrey? London? England? Western Europe?) were delayed owing to an "exceptionally high level of calls" (read: we overbook routinely as it saves us having to pay engineers to sit around doing nothing - customer scum can go swing).
3. I asked why it wasn't possible for someone to ring to say the engineer was either (a) running late or (b) not going to come. She said that she was sorry no one had done this and that it was probably due to the large number of calls they had received (suggestion to British Gas: go look up tautology). I have an alternative suggestion: could it be that you neither want to ring because of the expense nor care to bother because customers are scum and are your last priority?
4. I asked to speak to her supervisor. She said that this wasn't possible until after 1300hrs when the engineer would actually be late (NB: as I type this it is 1258hrs and you'll be astonished to learn the engineer still isn't here).
Right, time to post. 1300hrs on the nose and, good heavens, the engineer isn't here. Anyone take any money at 10,000,000 to 1 that the engineer will appear this afternoon? I thought not.
21 November 2005
Update: Cease and desist notice passed on to site by record company and links gone - anyone wanting a copy can email me and I will send (copy of the track that is, not the C and D notice).
20 November 2005
Stayed here last night and would strongly recommend it - very good food and good value. Also, a "pub" pub, not just a restaurant that happens to look like a pub - while the food was superb, there was also a pub atmosphere with people drinking at the bar and so forth. Then today a short walk in the Sussex Kush - sunny, no wind, sheep and laughter, in particular at the thought of "Duvet Days", with A. and I saying that we would have taken our yearly allocation (we were imagining two days) by Jan. 3rd....
17 November 2005
Here's the drill: Walk to station - not too bad, some static, but you get the gist of what people are saying. Platform - static mostly until you move to a spot with better reception ten minutes walk from where your train comes in. Train - nada but noise. Turn from radio to music and sigh. Fiddle with phone - wonder for the fiftieth time why Sony won't allow you to delete the crap they put on it (music, pictures, games - some will go, some won't. Why they think anyone would want to listen to "Sunshine" for more than a nanosecond is difficult to fathom, and surely none but the dumbest would use the pictures...). Settle down and stare out window (non-opening of course - the dumbest rule the roost here too).
15 November 2005
"The rest of the world doesn't want to see US hegemony here, in large part just for symbolic reasons," says Jonathan Zittrain, Chair in Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford University.
"So there's one set of countries, anchored by Iran, Cuba and China, that would like to see some process by which governments of the world have a much larger hand in controlling the shape of the internet."
Check out the list of countries who’d like control – fun eh? You can imagine what sort of internet they would create.
There is more here about the fact that Tunisia, where the summit is taking place, is hardly the most suitable country in the world for such an event given its own history of censors
13 November 2005
10 November 2005
9 November 2005
Chinese police have warned that Islamic militants could be planning an attack on luxury hotels in Beijing in the coming week, the US embassy has said.
The authorities pledged to investigate the threat and take appropriate action, the embassy said in a statement.
The warning comes 10 days before US President George Bush visits Beijing.
China is often accused of exaggerating the threat of Islamic militancy to justify its crackdown on groups such as its Uighur minority.
Now, that sort of thing would never happen in the UK would it? I mean, today's question to Emperor Blair about whether there was evidence of a single case of a terrorist who would have been convicted on evidence found after ninety days in custody and his failure to answer it - nothing there indicative of exaggeration of the terrorist threat being a problem in the UK. No no no. Tone is right, lock 'em up, don't bother with any of that time-consuming trial nonsense. It is the freedom of the state to lock up innocent people that we need laws to defend. How I bet Tone wishes he lived in the good ol' USofA where, of course, you don't even need to test the principle in law, just cart off your suspects (including minors) to Cuba where you can do what you like with them.
8 November 2005
No matter where they come from, all French citizens are identical in their Frenchness.
It is a fine principle born of the ideals of the 1789 revolution. But it has practical drawbacks. For example, statistics based on ethnicity or religion are illegal in France; no one knows how many residents are of Arab or African origin, how they perform at school compared with white pupils, or what percentage are jobless or in prison. If analysing a problem is halfway to solving it, it is not a good start.
Apparently those in government, including the now infamous Sarkozy, Minister for the Interior, who had suggested before the riots that affirmative action was needed for certain groups, were shouted down as promoting “un-French” and “anti-republican” ideas. Nothing is straightforward is it? I’d have been all in favour of the illegality of collecting stats as it appears a wonderful idea in the abstract; however, in practice it does appear that maybe it isn’t such a good thing, not least because when things improve, if you are not already collecting data you cannot show this to be the case.
Anyway, if you needed further evidence that nothing is simple, take another story from the same paper about the goats that everyone is giving for Christmas / birthdays / weddings and so forth. Apparently this too is far from a simple, feel-good win/win scenario. Who they are going to, lack of vets, lack of large farms, jealousy …. Apparently you can’t just airlift a few flocks (herds you fool, herds!) to Uganda and let them loose. “Getting it right involves detailed, local, committed investment of time and resources and an almost masochistic appetite for a challenge.” It all makes one tired of being human sometimes - Sarkozy isn't a right wing fool, giving goats to poor people doesn't guarantee anything, and treating everyone the same isn't always a good thing. Ah well, back to the drawing board.
6 November 2005
Alternatively, there's Michel Houellebecq's view:
"As a teenager, Michel believed that suffering conferred dignity on a person. Now he had to admit that he had been wrong. What conferred dignity on people was television." (from Atomised).
4 November 2005
Well maybe not - a colleague at work was telling me today about a squirrel jumping all over her as she walked through a park near Kings Cross earlier this week. A young lad nearby told her that he had witnessed this behaviour on more than one occasion, telling her that he believed they ate crack they found stashed in nearby gardens. The beauty of the tale is that apparently the dealers, finding their supply deleated, then go out and shoot each other suspecting their mates of theft.....
3 November 2005
2 November 2005
1 November 2005
I'm told the countries I've visited constitute 14% of the world's total number so there is scope for plenty more travelling in the future. Years ago I vowed to do one country for every year of my life but I'm afraid a love affair with Italy has put paid to this recently and Vancouver Island may do for a few more countries next year (can it really be so expensive to stay at the Wikaninnish Inn?).
Anyway, the map is in lieu of the fact that I cannot write and I am trying to make up ground yet at the same time undermining my own self-esteem by suggesting that travel somehow makes one a more interesting individual. It doesn't of course - character, personality, spirit and courage do that and of those I am finding myself a little lacking at present.
31 October 2005
30 October 2005
1. Searching through your photos on your computer. So far, so good - you look for all the pictures you have of your mate Suzie or your dog Frank and you make up a nice little album.
2. You move off your computer onto the net and do the same search. Interesting. Maybe you come up with some doppelgangers for yourself or your friends / family / pooch. Maybe some of the material you find is compromising...
3. The State decides it wants to search for someone, Mr X. It looks for him not only on the web but also on all the surveillance footage it can get, first in stocks already shot, then live. Then you have one more piece in place for a system that can get to know your whereabouts at all times (mobile triangulation / TC recordings / internet usage / Oyster card / credit card / car insurance black boxes....).
riya looks innocent and looks like it was born of good intentions - and I personally would love to have a go - but the pieces of the Orwellian eye are coming together quite fast now. I happen to think that the advantages of the ongoing digitalisation of society are going to far outweigh the disadvantages, but that will remain true only if a rein is kept on governments, and only if freedom of information comes to signify more than than at present, particularly here in the UK where it is virtually empty of meaning. And here we are relatively lucky: much as I would already hate to be living in North Korea or China, for example, it isn't hard to imagine things getting much, much worse for their citizens in the near future.