Tuesday, October 31, 2006

All Hallows

Captain (and Mrs) Depper made it over for pumpkin soup and apple bobbing this evening. A few candles, a selection of childhood sweeties, an open fire and a mash-up of cheesy spooky tunes made for a surprisingly convivial evening.

A noticeable 'time-stamp' like Halloween got me thinking. I can't believe the weather is so mild. Leaves are only just thinking about dropping and flowers are still in (2nd) bloom. We'd normally be moving Andromeda to Winter moorings tomorrow (on the 1st of November) and the weather would be battering it down and the river would be in full flood and I'd be babbing myself chugging past Thrumpton Weir.

We've so shafted this planet. Every year the seasons seem to shift again, which is more and more noticeable as the years pass by. Get ready for the big wave. I'm glad we live so far above sea level.

Anyway, "Happy Halloween, ladies".
Enjoy your Sabbat all you blessed wanna-bes. A toast to Samhain and the dead.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Choice Viewing

Back on the media this evening. It still hurts, but reading is better. Crammed a load of X-Factor in while the going was good. Squinting helps.

Watched the first 4 episodes of Season 3 Lost. Totally addicted all over again. Now Sky have bought it there's no chance of getting it on C4 again so I gotta get my drugs where I can. No point in waiting :-)

Bought a new telly (sweet for the cash) on a recommendation of one of the blokes at Evolution.

Oh, and I see EepyBird have a full video of Experiment 214 available (below). That trailer has had me licking my lips for a while :-)

Worth the burning pink conjunctiva. Total heroes :-)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Forbidden Entry & Singing Duck

I had a really cool evening last night, and a damn good day (apart from the 2 hours sat on the A6) and I'm not allowed to blog it for fear of a severe fonging.

All will become apparent in the future but, let's just say,
Lucky Jack Flynn rides supreme (qualified on Grizzly (Boo-Yar Ph@tboy!) and coulda done better but the big man took his ball home).

For your delectation, and in lew of a decent entry, here's Gus Visser & His Singing Duck.

Bit better tonight, but I'm off before I start crying puss.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Pretty Things

I'm back, but my eyes still hurt. Short posts only. Lucky the testing has been postponed as I had to come home early anyway. Looking at light hurts like snakebite in the face.

Here's some nicer lights from the folks at Graffiti Research Labs. A serene bit of graffiti art with some LED Throwies.

If you watched those 2, finish it off with a bit of NightWriter ;-)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

7 Minutes

I've got conjunctivitis and the quack says I'm not to use computers (especially computers with 2 screens) for "3 or 4 days". So much for GameCity.

I jest you not, 7 minutes (exactly) and my eyes start burning. Reading comics is the same. My life will be seriously dull for the next few days. Doubt I can do work tomorrow and it's a testing day. Annoying.

Eyes hurt now. Gotta go. See you when it's not so bad.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Don't Forget

This coming weekend, GameCity, in HoodTown...

...and fifteen shops and cafes across Nottingham will be acting as a 'heritage tour of arcade game history' and will each be home to a different arcade classic.

Confirmed so far are:
  • Virgin - Wheeler Gate
  • HMV - Victoria Centre
  • Lee Rosy’s Tea Room - Broad Street
  • Exchange Arcade - Old Market Square
  • Limbo - Heathcoat Street
  • Prohibition - High Pavement
  • Social - Hockley
  • Broadway - Broad Street
  • Wild Clothing - Heathcoate St
  • Topman - Victoria Centre
  • John Lewis - Victoria Centre
  • G-Star - Victoria Street

If there's a 'Return of the Jedi', that high score is mine.

...and, while we're remembering things...

Go on, make yourself useful on the 14th of November. Help celebrate usability around the globe, on World Usability Day.

Stick some posters up. Get people talking. Get 'em asking about Web Standards. Improve practices. Recruit an army of Welsh longbow men and take Paris. Establish a New World Order.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Shine on Google

Nice one. In their wisdom, Google's entire corporate campus in Mountain View is going to be a 1.6 megawatt photovoltaic installation. A bit 'James Bond' villain of them, but worthy.

This is going to need almost 200,000 square feet of photovoltaic arrays on top of the Googleplex and in the carpark (a cool dual-use that generates electricity as well as shading the cars parked in the sun all day so they don't need as much air con, and therefor less fuel).

Whether this was prompted by Arnies pro-solar power legislation or not, it'll be one of the largest corporate solar installations in the world and is expected to save (at todays rates) around $400,000 in annual energy costs. This means it'll pay for itself in only 7 and a half years.

Just when I start to think they are a bunch of plonkers, they go and do something like this...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

No News is bad News

Sunday afternoon. Watched a movie, Big Morris came over and we talked rubbish, the usual.

Then I'm sat here thinking 'interactivity' and 'news delivery' and I start-a-musing. Is it just me, or has Google News gone really crap? Their definition of 'news sites' seems to now include a gaggle of 'uncanny bobbo' and 'odd' Web sites that could best be classified as the online scrapings of their category. Why? Well, they've gone and tried including blogs, but only some blogs. The crap ones. Ones you'll never have heard of, and most of the ones you have heard of are just plain bad with weak weekend content or sites that exist only to draw in those AdWords clickers (you lucky 2% you) and scraped from the big boys. When I'm doing a news search, I want news site - not blogs, not left-wing conspiracy sites, or right-wing religious crackpots. News. Give me information, not shite.

To dig a deeper hole, Google's news search does Jack-all to make it's results even close to relevent. It looks promising when you do a search for a piece of 3 hour old news and
Google News returns a few hundred entries, but when 95% of those results are the same repackaged stories from Associated or Reuters, then clicking around looking for interesting news is largely a waste of time. You're better off finding a dozen or so good news providers that do unique work and going to them instead. This is why I have RSS and my own agrigator in Sage/Firefox.

The web is the news delivery system of the future. I used to work in online news delivery and, as a service, we can react quickly . As an industry we understand that those on top now will become the readers trusted information delivery service of the future.
Google is doing nothing to help (the reader or the industry) so why bother using it when we have the power of choice.

Nice evening in, in front of the fire/telly with Jema, not watching Torchwood ;-(

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Can't be Arsed

I pressure washed the back yard for 5 hours today and sod all else exciting happened. I'm now knackered, wet, and still sore from being run over. I just can't be arsed with writing anything original.

You'll have to make do with these Celebrity Chef Slow Motion Assassination Videos instead, which have very nice yolk action.

Friday, October 20, 2006

One For All

Northern Ballet are doing The Three Musketeers at the moment and, with this being a more accessible kinda thing and not all stick thin Russian birds taking it far too seriously, Jema offered to take me.

Rarely one to shy from a new experience we went to the show at the
Nottingham Theatre Royal (one of my favourite local venues) this evening. I've got to admit to being initially sceptical.

It was great. Chivalry, as it should be with Dumas, is at the fore. The Musketeers themselves were the very embodiment of the appropriate stereotypes and, while it's a bit rushed to start, it soon gets into the buckling and swashing, the outlandish masked eccentricities of the French court masques, and all that to-and-fro intrigue.

The fencing scenes are pretty well choreographed (believably exciting and funny) and the chaps dutifully butcher their way, with undeniable comic finesse, through drove upon drove of the Cardinals Guard. The sets are, as one would expect, gob smacking; English frigates sail out of port and musketeers ride on life-size replica galloping horses. The innate humour, almost a parody I though from my Richard Lester favourite, was clever and unforced.

As for ballet as a medium. Well, yeah, okay. If I'm going to the theatre I'd usually rather have an opera but hey, I was on the wifes dollar and I'm not complaining. It was jolly good fun.

Check out the tour dates if you get a chance, it's way better than panto ;-)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Zeldman on Web 2.0

Nice article on Zeldman, the Web 2.0 Thinking Game...

Web 1.0: Joshua Davis on the cover of Art News.
Web 2.0: 37signals on the cover of Forbes.

Web 1.0: Users create the content (Slashdot).
Web 2.0: Users create the content (Flickr).

Web 1.0: Crap sites on Geocities.
Web 2.0: Crap sites on MySpace.

Web 1.0: Writing.
Web 2.0: Rating.

Web 1.0: Karma Points.
Web 2.0: Diggs.

Web 1.0: Cool Site of the Day.
Web 2.0: Technorati.com.

Web 1.0: Tags.
Web 2.0: “Tags.”

Web 1.0: Bookmarking.
Web 2.0: Bookmark sharing.

Web 1.0: Pointless Flash widgets.
Web 2.0: Pointless “Ajax” widgets.

The guy's got a point...

New IE

I see the new IE is out today. I hear it's a bag of knackers. Lot of people swearing around the office. Apparently, Yahoo! and Google toolbars vanish for a start (cheers Bill, don't burden us with the responsibility of choice or anything will ya'). It's got all the corners rounded off so we can't cut ourselves. Rumours of security issues abound.

Personally, I'll wait 'till they iron some bugs and stick with my Firefox (but I guess I'll need a copy for testing and, in true Microsoft stylee, it'll be a 'critical update' anyway). Whatever happend to free will?

Anyroad, there's always the pre-release Firefox 2 to be playing with.

Oh, speaking of which, this years 'Best Use of a URL Award' so far goes to www.ie7.com. Go on, give it a click :-)


I nearly didn't make it in to work this morning. I think I hit that car a little harder than I thought.

I ache really badly today, all across my shoulders and neck and down my right leg. I got a few obvious bumps and grazes but this is like the day after having done a mental weights session. It hurts to lift my arms and it's making me feel old.

Eveytime I have a bump I forget you feel like shit the day after.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Déjà Vu. I got knocked off my bike again today. Winter must be here.

Pulled straight out on me. Crunched the rear derailer and (I think) bent the forks and maybe the frame. As I passed her over at Samways the rear wheel fell off. At least the person stopped this time.

I'm feeling a bit battered this evening. Better armour up again.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Wheelchair Guy

Probably the single most bizarre damn image I've ever taken. Took it on my old 7650 camera phone and just found it while I was shuffling files around.

This is Ixilum, a luminaria, which me, Liz, and Jema visited in Nottingham a while back. It's like an ubber bouncy castle with natural light illuminating the insides, coming through the coloured PVC material.

I don't know who the guy in the wheelchair was. He'd been abandoned in a corridor by his family cos he couldn't fit in the smaller rooms. Perhaps he lives there and is also inflatable? I just don't know.

Hot Fuzz?

I thought it would be more '70s'...

...still looks funny though. But not Sean/Spaced funny.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Poison Apple

According to a hastily posted notice on Apple’s technical support site, 1% of Video iPods shipped after September 12 had an extra little something on their hard drives. Meet the virus with the catchy name of “RavMonE.exe” that spreads via removable media (watch those Flash drives kiddies).

Apple says: “As you might imagine, we are upset at Windows for not being more hardy against such viruses, and even more upset with ourselves for not catching it… So far we have seen less than 25 reports concerning this problem…. and all Video iPods now shipping are virus free.”

Ironicly, Mac users can breathe easy as “RavMonE.exe” only affects computers running Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

Now, I'm not a rumour monger or conspiracy theorist, but if I was some bloke working for a big multi-national and I really wanted to have some shits and giggles with some firm who had ripped off a load of ideas that we'd already stolen off someone else then this would
so be the way to go about it.

I love my iPod, but I'm buying a Zen next time.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

It's Amazing...

...what they sell on Ebay.

Follow this link, then look in the 'sponsored links' (right hand side).

Friday, October 13, 2006

Eskimo Disco 7-11

Secretly, I have always known that Pingu rules. Not enough Robbie for me, but you can't have everything.

Nice tribute to OK Go. Watch out for the emo penguins, blink and you'll miss 'em.

In The Hot Seat

If you fancy a grin, log on to Headline History on Thursday evening (the 19th) at 6pm where yours truely will be playing Albert Johnathan Clements, the butler at Chatsworth House during Victorias reign.

charade is known as 'hot-seat-chat', a relativly new feature where the kids get to interview a historical figure live, that won us another AOP award in London last night (that's 3 years running now).

You can go there now and ask a question in advance if you like. The strangest one I've had so far has been; "Do you bum the hall boy"?

Kids. Ya gotta love 'em.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Should I Stay?

Apparently, some Americans do understand British politics. Go figure.

Nice video mash-up. Ahhh, the power of the internet to comment in a way the press never could...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Grind House Trailer

Robert Rodríguez, Quentin Tarantino, and looks like George A Romero flick? Oh go on then...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The 2 Kings

Google has bought YouTube for US$1.65 billion, and here are a very happy Chad Hurley and Steve Chen telling the world about it.

The deal, the first to value one of the new crop of user-participation websites at more than $1 billion, combines two of the most popular internet brands:
Google, synonymous with Web search and rapid innovation, and YouTube, the Silicon Valley upstart that spearheaded the video-sharing craze. As Chad says, "The 2 kings" :-)

I'd be happy too if I was in my twenties and suddenly found myself a multi millionaire. Good on em'. Decent chaps.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Giant Slides

If you go to Tate Modern you can now have a crack at 5 'giant slides' that go from the 5th floor of the gallery in the Turbine Hall.

These buggers are more than 182ft long and Carsten Holler (the 'artist') says this is a "playground for the body and the brain". He also says that slides can help combat mental health problems. Yeah mate, okay, whatever gets you a grant.

I'm off for a go next time I'm in the smoke, before Health and Safety shuts it down. Pity the rest of Tate Modern is full of pointless pretentious cock.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Pro Flickrin' Myself

I've been adding shed loads to my Flickr account and not doing my blog. I paid for 2 years and every damn thing. Go take a look, if you can be arsed.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


This is so not fair. BBC3, great, we can't get BBC3.

Freeview isn't available in our area. The only phone line we can get is a BT phone line (that's living in the sticks for ya) and we can't strap a Sky dish on our gaff (not that I'd want to for esthetic reasons) cos the house has got a bloody preservation order on it. I hope there's a solution before 2012 when they cut the analogue off...

Looks like it's time to download BitTorrent again.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Pigs New Game

In case you didn't know, my good mate Pig has given up his life of late and has done sod all but work. Pig works for Evolution. Pig is Lead Designer on a game called Motorstorm. Motorstorm is the big release title for the PS3.

Lookin' pretty damn good my friend. Might even make up for having no mates left by Christmas :-)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Ultimate Halloween Toy

Are there any squeemish people or women who get freaked out by dead fluff around?

No? Are you sure?

I don't want you to make the same mistake I made. The wife thinks I'm a freak now.

Well, even more of a freak than usual anyway.

Totally and in all ways absolutly sure?

No freakers? Freaker free?

Okay then, you can

You were warned.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Web 2.0 Loveliness

I bloody love the internet.

I just spent, with their spanky uploader, a couple of hours faffing with my Flickr account. The Sunday Telegraph is running an article on Katie Fford and they wanted some pics of the boat, so I found myself trawling old images looking for stuff to mail them on Katies behalf. This put me in mind of Flickr.

It's been a while since I went and had a play with their interface, which is a discrace considering I'm supposed to be lecturing in
Interactivity at Derby Uni this year, and it's a thing of total beauty. I really must get arround to signing up for a full account and using it more. Dexter, and other mates, have some stunning stuff up on the site and it's a great avenue for thier art that, only 5 years ago, would likely have never been seen by such a diverse audience. I've been a bit too occupied with YouTube and the like of late, and not given Flickr the attention it deserves.

Just out of interest, here's my top 10 web 2.0 sites (or the ones I use the most) - Blogger (I guess), Last.FM (music goodness), YouTube (ya know, movies), eBay (which is 2.0 I guess), Wikipedia (my 1st info stop), Digg (news I give a shit about), del.icio.us, stumbleupon, BitTorrent (yeah, well, ya know), and Upcoming. Some I give more attention than others. Okay, a lot of the above I view through RSS (Sage, in Firefox) but I still check them constently for changes and it's that kind of info delivery I need from that kind of site.

Actually, Seth has a good list, by visitor, of what's hot and what's not in the world of web 2.0: HERE. Can you tell I'm starting to get lecture notes together ;-)

I bloody love the internet.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Commuter Rant

I could swing for someone right now.

Not only was it drizzling on the way home but I got a soddin' 4" concrete screw in my back tyre. Then some deaf dumb arse pedestrian steps off the pavement right into me and pushes me out into the middle of the road. Then, on the back roads, some berk in a people carrier pushes me into a hedge at 20mph cos he can't be bothered to slow down to let some other bloke past and I get another soddin' puncture! Did he stop? Did he shite.

Finally, I get home an hour late (having got into work an hour early so I could get home an hour early) to find my stupid dumb toothless feline gumming a mouse around the lounge.

I picked up a camera from BBC Derby today (they want me to do a 'where are they now' thing for the Video Nation stuff I did a few years ago on Andromeda) so I'm off for a rant!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Action Cats

Batteries and cat sold seperatly.

Cheers Pig :-)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Save Top Gear

Please go sign this petition...
Since Richard Hammond's crash on Wednesday 20th September, numerous politicians, action groups and random people in the street have called for Top Gear to be pulled off the air at last, stating that it sets a bad influence.

Jeremy Clarkson has written an article here.

In it he states that Hammond did get training, and that it looks like the main cause of the accident was a burst tyre (which, obviously, no one can prepare for) AND he says that Hammond knew the risks and still went for it.

We who sign this petition may be fans of Top Gear, might be fans of the Presenters, or might just think that this quality program is well worth a small portion of their TV License fee.

No matter who we are, we firmly believe that Top Gear should be kept on our screens and should be allowed to make more seasons of high quality, top speed enjoyment.
...as most of you know, cars don't exactly push my buttons. That said, I watch good quality entertaining TV whenever possible.

Okay, so the
petition will likely be ignored by the Beeb, or they have no intention of cancelling the show anyway and this is just Clarkson/internet hyperbol. It does, however, show the support of the masses to the presenters if nowt else. Just to be on the safe side, and in the words of a greater being: "When the avalanche begins it is too late for the pebbles to vote".