Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Radin's Winter

I first heard this song a few years ago when it was featured in an episode of Scrubs and I immediately fell in love with it. The lyric invokes a feeling of loss for me which, despite it being Christmas and I'm all excited and happy, loss still sits on my shoulder at the moment. I hope you like the song too. Some of you may remember I used the lyric back in September.

Bizarre Suicide

I came across this story recently but found that it has been floating around the net for a while now. Although it seems to be an urban legend, it is so good I thought I would reproduce it for you here.

At the 1994 annual awards dinner given by the American Association for Forensic Sciences, AAFS President Don Harper Mills astounded his audience in San Diego with the legal complications of a bizarre death. Here is the story...

On March 23 the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald Opus and concluded that he died from a gunshot wound of the head caused by a shotgun. Investigation to that point had revealed that the decedent had jumped from the top of a ten story building with the intent to commit suicide. (He left a note indicating his despondency.) As he passed the 9th floor on the way down, his life was interrupted by a shotgun blast through a window, killing him instantly. Neither the shooter nor the decedent was aware that a safety net had been erected at the 8th floor level to protect some window washers, and that the decedent would not have been able to complete his intent to commit suicide because of this...

Ordinarily a person who starts into motion the events with a suicide intent ultimately commits suicide even though the mechanism might be not what he intended. That he was shot on the way to certain death nine stories below probably would not change his mode of death from suicide to homicide, but the fact that his suicide intent would not have been achieved under any circumstance caused the medical examiner to feel that he had homicide on his hands...

Further investigation led to the discovery that the room on the 9th floor from whence the shotgun blast emanated was occupied by an elderly man and his wife. He was threatening her with the shotgun because of an inter-spousal spat and became so upset that he could not hold the shotgun straight. Therefore, when he pulled the trigger, he completely missed his wife, and the pellets went through the window, striking the decedent.

When one intends to kill subject A, but kills subject B in the attempt, one is guilty of the murder of subject B. The old man was confronted with this conclusion, but both he and his wife were adamant in stating that neither knew that the shotgun was loaded. It was the long-time habit of the old man to threaten his wife with an unloaded shotgun. He had no intent to murder her; therefore, the killing of the decedent appeared then to be accident. That is, the gun had been accidentally loaded...

But further investigation turned up a witness that their son was seen loading the shotgun approximately six weeks prior to the fatal accident. That investigation showed that the mother (the old lady) had cut off her son's financial support, and her son, knowing the propensity of his father to use the shotgun threateningly, loaded the gun with the expectation that the father would shoot his mother. The case now becomes one of murder on the part of the son for the death of Ronald Opus...

Further investigation revealed that the son became increasingly despondent over the failure of his attempt to get his mother murdered. This led him to jump off the ten story building on March 23, only to be killed by a shotgun blast through a 9th story window.

The medical examiner closed the case as a suicide.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Bonsai Beginnings

Well I hope you all had a good Christmas, I certainly did. I am looking forward to things calming down a little over the next few days though. Well at least until the New Year celebrations start off.

One of the presents that my wife bought me was a Bonsai starter kit. Now although (thanks to my father) I have more than a passing interest in gardening, I'm not a keen practitioner. I never seem to have the time. But the growing and maintaining of Bonsai has long held a fascination without any actual first hand experience. This made the kit an excellent gift. Apparently it contains everything I need to get started. Five coir pots, five coir compost discs, four packets of mixed seeds, some wooden marker stakes and some growing instructions. I thought it would be nice if I blogged about my progress. So welcome to a new category of Bonsai.

Today I soaked the coir discs in water so they expanded to fill two of the pots. I thought it might be prudent not to try all the seeds at once but to keep some in reserve in case of failure.


As per the picture I then sowed the seeds an placed them to into plastic sandwich bags and put them in light (but not direct sunlight) to aid germination. I understand that this won't be a quick process but it should give me time to read up on how to perform the next step. Watch this space.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Happy Christmas

I'm going to be busy with a big family Christmas over the next couple of days and I don't anticipate being able to post. So I'd just like to wish all my readers and friends and family, a very Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

A Bad Day?

How bad a day must you be having to get so desperate for a pee that you have to squat in the street? You hide behind a car in a quiet backstreet, thinking you have got away with it only to find later that all the strange powers of the cosmos have conspired against you to choose that exact moment to have the Google Street View car pass you by, thus capturing your embarrassment for all eternity and for the entire planet to witness.

UPDATE: Perhaps not unsurprisingly Google has now removed the image. If you missed it, Alex at GoogleSightseeing kept a copy here.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Fox Hat

Another quick post I'm afraid but hopefully enough to stop the blog from healing up.

This is one is simply funny enough to make me laugh out loud and is therefore worthy of mention. I dedicate it to Gresh who told me about it and who could do with a laugh.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Lincoln Cathedral

Although I'm occupied with other things at the moment, I found a quick moment to snap a couple of shots of Lincoln Cathedral which is very near where proceedings are taking place. Sadly it is only my phone camera that I had to hand, but I'm still relatively pleased with the outcome.

Most exciting of course is the fact that my new purchase has finally arrived and so look out for many more pictures and a full review in the coming weeks.


Thursday, 11 December 2008

A Pause For Thought

I'm sorry to leave you with a blog's equivalent of the test card. But the fact of the matter is I am away from home at the moment supporting my best friend during his trial. My Internet access is limited and in addition I cannot really think about much more than the case at the moment.

Normal service will be resumed shortly I hope.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Disco Move

It was with more than a little sadness, that I sold my beloved Discovery recently. Despite a high mileage there was absolutely nothing wrong with her, on the contrary, she was running very sweetly. But I have inherited a newer model (1996 300 Tdi XS) after the death of my father. I am really not in a position to run three vehicles at the moment, so my beloved "grep" had to go. It's not all bad though. Many of the modifications that I made to "grep" I was able to remove (with a lot of help) before she went and they can be fitted to "Laurie" when I find the time, so watch this space for further pictures.

Here is "grep" as she was at the LRM Show this year.


And here is "Laurie" whilst she is still standard, but not for long so watch this space.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Let It Snow

Just to get everyone into a Christmas frame of mind, I've changed the colour scheme here and added a little snow to give it a nice Christmas night effect. Well maybe not, but I can't afford tinsel. I hope you like it anyway.

Edit: It just occurred to me that those of you reading this via your email feed or with an RSS reader of some some kind will not see the new look. You'll need to click through to the actual site.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Russell's Teapot

On a similar theme to my post regarding my atheism, I today came across a comic strip all about that very subject. I'm not the type of atheist that preaches, but I do like this subtle and funny way that religion is shown to be quite a daft idea. Russell's Teapot is based on a quote by Bertrand Russell.

If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.

As always, click to enlarge.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Animusic Resonant Chamber

If I had the patience, skill and software (none out of three ain't good) the following video is the sort of thing I'd love to produce. A winner in an animated music competition. Nice relaxing music together with an innovative piece of animation is a nice combination.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Snapped Up

Excellent news. Well for me anyway. I have manged to secure a DSLR on eBay at a bargain price. Hopefully it will arrive soon as I can't wait to get working on a new project I have come up with. I won't give too much away yet but watch this space.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

InterHigh

I'd like to tell you a little about InterHigh, possibly the worlds first online High School, that was started by my sister and her husband. Home schooling appears to be quite popular here in the UK but it is not often easy to ensure that the correct curriculum is taught. Therefore the ability to have all the advantages of home schooling combined with an approved curriculum taught by fully qualified teachers, makes a lot of sense.

That's where InterHigh comes in. It is modelled on an English/Welsh secondary school with on line teaching for years 7 - 11 (normally ages 11 years to 16). In the final year pupils are entered for international GCSE examinations enabling them to continue into further education or employment.

Teachers and pupils work from home by logging into a virtual classrooms on the Internet to receive real time tuition every weekday morning. Apart from lessons, teachers set and mark homework, prepare reports, end of year exams and prepare pupils for the GCSEs and A-levels of their choice.

A video explaining in more detail can be found here.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Frozen Water

No, I don't mean ice. Dean has achieved some nice results at something that I have always planned to try but have never got around to. Photographically capturing the moment that a drop of water hits the surface of a bigger body of water.

My favourite shot is below, but you can see more with a guide to how it was achieved, in his post. Hopefully if I can get my new camera sorted I can finally give this a go myself. As always, click to enlarge.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Fan Boys

If you like Star Wars and you're also a fan of juvenile silly humour, then I think we'll both love Fan Boys. Set for release in January of 2009.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Oops List

If you're having a bad day, or you're generally feeling low, it can often help to realise that others may be worse off than you. The Germans have a word for it, schadenfreude. Well, aside from taking first prize in the "most understated domain name" competition, the oops list may well be the site for you. A mixture of photographs and videos of crashes and other misfortunes with a mostly but not exclusive aviation flavour.

I have to say that some are more than just "oops" and may well be full blown tragedies but I still think it's worth a look. I have posted some examples below. As usual, click to enlarge.

Edit: Well as it seems this site doesn't like hotlinking I have removed the pics. You'll just have to visit for yourself. :-(

Friday, 21 November 2008

Overdue Account

I was hoping to offer some insight in to this story and tell you a bit about David Thorne and how this all came about etc. But I have sadly been unable to find out much. I don't know who David Thorne is and I still don't know that the email exchange between him and Jane Gilles is even real. All I know is I still laugh when I read it and I hope it is true as it is pure genius. If you know more please leave a comment so I can edit this post and give the proper credit. Thanks. As usual, click to enlarge.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

TR2N

Surely the term "long awaited" has never been used more appropriately than for a sequel to the 1982 Disney film, TRON. But it looks as though our wait may soon be over. A very early trailer was shown at a "Comic-Con" and it was announced that the film (provisionally entitled TR2N) is in production and due for release early 2011.

From the poor quality footage (below) that a fan took at the convention and that is now available on YouTube, we can see that Jeff Bridges is confirmed to be taking the role of Kevin Flynn once again and John Hurt and Karl Urban are rumoured to have major roles. I would imagine that with the advent of CGI the sequel will be a lot slicker looking but it's nice to see they are keeping the feel of the original with the lightcycle scene making a welcome return. Having said that, I hope it is a true sequel and not just a remake. Some films just shouldn't be remade IMHO.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

LIFE Photo Archive

When I think of LIFE magazine I immediately think of some of the incredible photojournalism that it must have contained over it's long existence. LIFE has always used the thinking that a good photograph can tell/sell a story rather than just illustrate it. This philosophy has produced some stunning artwork over the years.

Now LIFE have teamed up with Google to host 10,000,000 of these images (photos, etchings etc.) dating back t0 the 1750's, oneline. Only about 20% of the collection is available so far with more being added later. You can view this historic collection by either visiting here or by using a conventional Google image search but adding "source:life" to your query, computer source:life for example.

Thanks to Slashdot for the original report.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Anyone For An Argument?

Whilst it is true that I have a relatively short attention span, I'm sometimes lucky enough to come across something that can hold me until the end. A website I discovered recently is one such thing. "Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About" or TMGAIHAA for short, is a site that is so well written I actually LOL'd...Literally! Starting off as relatively short list of topics that 'Mil' Millington and his girlfriend, Margret [sic], have argued about, it has grown in to an hilariously funny rant that kept me reading for several hours. I even ploughed through the section on his legal troubles with the Mail on Sunday, and am now working my way through the extensive FAQ's.

Nothing keeps a relationship on its toes so much as lively debate. Fortunate, then, that my girlfriend and I agree on absolutely nothing. At all.

Combine utter, polar disagreement on everything, ever, with the fact that I am a text-book Only Child, and she is a violent psychopath, and we're warming up. Then factor in my being English while she is German, which not only makes each one of us personally and absolutely responsible for the history, and the social and cultural mores of our respective countries, but also opens up a whole field of sub-arguments grounded in grammatical and semantic disputes and, well, just try saying anything and walking away.

Mil is an author too and had released several books which will definitely be on my Christmas list. I know it's long, but please persevere with this site. It is well worth it, more so if you are in a long term relationship.

New Feed

By popular demand, I have added a second RSS feed to the blog. Now not only can you get the latest e-clecticism posts by pointing your favourite RSS reader here, but you can now also keep up with the comments by pointing your reader here.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Catch Up

Well it's been a busy few days. Trying to get everything sorted out before I finish work plus my 40th birthday celebrations. With the stress of the last few months it was nice to relax and have a bit of fun for a change and I'm lucky enough to have some very good friends that make that both easy and enjoyable. A huge thank you to all that attended our mini pub-crawl and the calmer follow-up the next night. I'd post photo, but I don't want to scare you.

Anyway, back to normal now, I'll catch up with the backlog of posts I want to make this week but in the meantime, enjoy this video to cheer up your Monday via the main man, Graham Linehan.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Have You Backed Up?

There maybe a law for it, but it is common knowledge in IT circles that the more tech savvy you are, the more you know how important it is to take backups, and therefore the less likely you are to actually take one. Luckily, every rule has an exception. Well it's lucky for NASA anyway.

Apparently NASA took a lot of readings and collected a lot of data about moon dust during the Apollo missions. A "dust detector" invented by Australian physicist Brian O'Brien was used and the data was stored on 173 data tapes at NASA and Sydney University, but O'Brien's preliminary findings didn't receive much interest, so the tapes were sent to storage. OK so far. But as NASA is now interested in moon dust again (for whatever reason) they decided to retrieve the tapes but found an oversight had seen the tapes disposed of some years ago.

Luckily the copies in Australia didn't share the same fate and are still in a good condition. The only drawback is the format. They were written on a 1960s-era IBM 729 Mark V tape drive. O'Brien contacted the data recovery company SpectrumData, who stumbled upon an old IBM 729 Mark V tape drive at the Australian Computer Museum Society, which agreed to loan the historic piece of hardware.

It certainly won't be an easy task to restore this data but SpectrumData are confident they can build an interface for the drive and get 40+ year old data back early in the new year.

Lest We Forget

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Science V Faith

I am an atheist. I have been for a long time. I find the whole idea of religion preposterous. However it does interest me, which makes me a little more clued in on many religions than those that follow a single one. This can lead to to some fascinating discussions. Don't misunderstand me. I'm not a one of those atheists that tries to point out to those with a faith that they are wrong. If someone wants to believe in the supernatural and magic, that's fine. It's just not for me. However I often get asked, why I don't believe. This can be a very long and complicated answer. But not now, I'm just going to point the asker to the following picture, as it really sums it up for me. As always, click for full size.

Minor Changes

I have made a couple of minor changes to the blog this morning. Firstly I have moved the comments posting form to the same page as the corresponding post rather than on a separate page. The embedded comment form is hopefully more convenient for you because you can use it to post a comment immediately, without clicking over to a different page.

The other change is to add "reactions". Rather than make a full blown comment I have made it easier for you to give me feedback by adding some tick boxes under each post for you to rate them. Simply tick the one that you think applies.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Not Bad At All Actually

Regular readers of the blog will know that I am rather a big fan of U2. I have been a fan ever since the October album was released way back in 1981 and although I have liked some of their material more than others over the years, I remain a huge fan to this day. I have seen them live, I have met several of them and I have an extensive collection of their music, much of it never released. I am of course looking forward to the new album as well. But my all time favourite song has not changed since I first heard it in 1984. So I thought perhaps a post dedicated to it was in order.

Bad was never released as a single as it was considered a little long for radio play, but has nonetheless became a firm fan favourite because of Bono's passionate live performances of the song, especially at Live Aid. The vague lyrics are about heroin—specifically, about a friend of Bono's "who was given, on his 21st birthday, enough heroin into his bloodstream to kill him". I cannot explain exactly why I love the song so much, but I can tell you that when I hear it, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I think part of it is the fact that it has what musos call an extendable bridge that Bono often uses to slip in parts of other songs. I think I have managed to hear around thirty different versions so far.

Anyway, with the help of YouTube, lets play some of the best examples. If you know of better ones, please feel free to point me to them in the comments. If you're not familiar with the track, enjoy the rolling drums, driving bass line, the haunting repeating guitar riff and the soaring vocals.

The first one is the definitive live version in my opinion despite the mullet haircut. Performed at Wembley Arena in 1985 and featured on the "Wide Awake In America" EP. This is what I want played at my funeral.


Later that same year came the Live Aid performance. The mullet is still there but now we get some examples of Bono's talent for mixing in snippets of other songs. Lou Reid's Satellite of Love and Walk on the Wildside and The Rolling Stone's Sympathy for the Devil and Ruby Tuesday. This performance really launched U2 on the world stage. Sorry this version is so poor but it's the only one I could find.


We jump ahead now to 1987 and Dublin's Croke Park. The sound quality isn't the best but at least the mullet has gone.


Forward again now to 1992 and the Zoo TV tour. This time Elton John's Candle in the Wind makes an appearance.


Finally, forward again to 2001 and the Elevation Tour. This time another U2 song, 40, is featured.


Edit: A big welcome to all of you visiting from StumbleUpon. You're really boosting my stats, thank you.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

A Change Of Life

Well, I got made redundant last Friday. Sounds quick and painless when I write it like that, and I guess it was. I was called in to a room by my boss literally five minutes before I was due to leave for home, and just like that, I was out of work. Now it's fair to say that my boss has actually no idea what I do. He has even said it himself, and so to make my role redundant is a brave move on his part. Of course when he finds out that I actually play quite a large part in bringing in customers and keeping them with us, he may well come back and offer me some contract work. I for my part wish him good luck with that.

For you see I was getting to a point that I was having great difficulty in staying interested anyway and was considering a move. The company was not the same one I joined over twelve years ago as many of the talented people had long since left and it was slowly disintegrating before my eyes.

Nevertheless it still hurts when you're told. Especially two weeks before your 40th birthday, a month after burying your father and this close to Christmas. Timing is everything don't you think? My stress levels after recent weeks were already off the scale and this certainly had the potential to have a whole new scale drawn up. My self esteem had already taken a battering and although it was my role that was made redundant and not me, it is very hard not to take it personally.

But...it's not all bad. Luckily I'm in a financial position that means I can take my time and choose the next stage in my career carefully. Who knows, I may even make a complete change and get out of IT altogether. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Computer Quotes

Below are some profound and funny1 quotations from the great and the good of the computer industry. These were collected from various corners of the Internet.

The two main design principles of the NeXT machine appear to be revenge and spite. (Don Lancaster)

I've noticed lately that the paranoid fear of computers becoming intelligent and taking over the world has almost entirely disappeared from the common culture. Near as I can tell, this coincides with the release of MS-DOS. (Larry DeLuca)

If you have any trouble sounding condescending, find a Unix user to show you how it's done. (Scott Adams)

Unix has been feverishly evolving for over 20 years, sort of like bacteria in a cesspool, only less attractive. (John Levine)

The purpose of the icons, the purpose of the entire OS X look and feel, is to keep the customer happy during that critical period between the time of sale and the time the check clears. (Bruce Tognazini)

UNIX is an operating system, OS/2 is half an operating system, Windows is a shell, and DOS is a boot partition virus. (Peter Coffin)

When you say: "I wrote a program that crashed Windows", people just stare at you blankly and say: "Hey, I got those with the system -- for free." (Linus Torvalds)

Java is the most distressing thing to happen to computing since MS-DOS. (Alan Kay)

Some people have told me they don't think a fat penguin really embodies the grace of Linux, which just tells me they have never seen an angry penguin charging at them in excess of 100mph. (Linus Torvalds)

I'm not one of those who think Bill Gates is the devil. I simply suspect that if Microsoft ever met up with the devil, it wouldn't need an interpreter. (Nicholas Petreley)

The sad and sobering fact is, our current personal computers -- the Macintosh included -- are amazingly fragile nightmare kludges of delicate interactions that only barely work right most of the time. (Steve Gibson)

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning. (Rich Cook)

The best way to prepare [to be a programmer] is to write programs, and to study great programs that other people have written. In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and fished out listings of their operating system. (Bill Gates)

Being a social outcast helps you stay concentrated on the really important things, like thinking and hacking. (Eric Raymond)

People that think logically are a nice contrast to the real world. (Matt Biershbach)

Programming is like sex, one mistake and you have to support it for the rest of your life. (Michael Sinz)

You needed a cool name to put on a T-shirt, and you needed a T-shirt to give to people. It was part of getting people excited enough to work 70 hours a week. (Erich Ringewald of Apple)

1. Possibly only funny to fellow geeks.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Page Layout

It seems the last template I was using didn't handle photographs too well, so I have temporarily switched to this more minimalist approach. If anyone can recommend some good templates that are compatible with Blogger, please leave a comment.

Geek Humour

I appreciate that not everyone will find "geek humour" funny. I'm sure to many it's an acquired taste. But being the confirmed geek that I am, I like it a lot. Anyone who can make a joke out of computers, coding, maths etc and make it funny is worthy of praise in my book. I thought I'd share some good examples I have come across in the past. If you're not a geek you might want to skip this post.


A creative use of C there I think you'll agree.

xkcd is always a great source for geek humour, I urge you to subscribe. I have many favourites, too many to list here, so settle for this one and browse the archive at your leisure.


A classic if you're a Linux user, baffling if not.

OK, this one is a little more mainstream. But perhaps only geeks will realise how frighteningly real the "marketing speak" is.


You just can't talk about geek humour with out mentioning Star Wars at least once. There are lots of great examples out there, so get Googling. Here is my current favourite.


And finally, one for all the electronic heads out there. This literally made me "lol". So sue me.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Photos That Changed The World

I was at a friend's house recently whilst he was taking a picture of the tiny baby of a friend of his, clutching his son's hand. I have not seen how it turned out, hopefully he'll allow me to reproduce it here in a future post sometime.

Anyway, it reminded me of a picture I saw several years ago that really stuck with me. It was a photograph taken by a surgeon who was in the process of performing a Spina Bifida operation in utero. It is often called "The Baby Hand". So when I had a few moments free, I Googled it. I have linked to it below.


The site I found it on is rather good. Photos That Changed the World is pretty much self explanatory. Perhaps a better title would be "Landmark Photos" as I cannot always agree that they changed the world. Also some of the comments leave a lot to be desired but don't let that put you off, it is well worth a visit.

Many of the pictures are a little heavy, so I'll stick to the baby ones here. The following picture may not seem remarkable. Taken via an endoscope, it shows an unborn fetus. Perhaps you'll agree it's quite remarkable when you learn it was taken in 1965.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Headless Chicken

Sorry folks, I know it's been a bit quiet again here lately. Personal issues combined with a heavy work load have had me running around like a headless chicken and prevented me going anywhere near the blog in the last while. That should all change next week, so please bear with me until then. Thank you.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Email Subscription Issue

It has come to my attention that, if your are subscribed to my blog via email, that any videos that I embed are not being displayed. I will of course work to rectify that, but in the meantime you may wish to alter your subscription and use a feed reader like I talk about here.

Alternatively you can always click on the title of the email to be brought to the relevant page on the site proper.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Searchme

I'm not trying to turn in to a reviewer of search engines or anything but after I looked at Cuil last August, it would be unfair not to mention another search engine I have have discovered that I really like.

Searchme is not a new way to search but rather a nice new way of viewing the results. Rather than be given a snippet of a web page featuring your search terms as a result, Searchme gives you a visual representation of the page it has found. As their own blurb says...

Searchme lets you see what you're searching for. As you start typing, categories appear that relate to your query. Choose a category, and you'll see pictures of web pages that answer your search.

I do like the fact that the 'iPodesque' interface makes it very easy to flick through and view the pages of sites before you actually click-through.

It is only in beta at the moment, but I can see Searchme becoming very popular.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Music For Drummers

I know this is totally staged and that it was more than likely recorded in a studio with electronic gadgetry rather than household items, but it made me smile. It's also really hard not to tap your feet as well.

This is "Music for One Apartment and Six Drummers".

Monday, 20 October 2008

Furture Me

I came across a strange site today. Not strange exactly, the concept is straightforward enough, an electronic time capsule. But somehow it unsettled me slightly, and I'm not sure why.

Future Me is a site that allows you to send yourself an email that will be delivered on a future date of your choosing. OK so far. You can choose then whether or not that email is private or public but anonymous. If you choose public, then other users of the site can browse the content of your email without seeing your address etc.

It was when I came to read some of the emails that I got a bit of a shock. Some are funny but many are desperately sad. People pleading with their future selves to have gotten them out of the terrible mess they were in. Poverty and abuse were common themes. Now maybe I'm feeling a little over sensitive today or perhaps I just randomly happened across the bad examples, I don't know. Either way, it completely put me off writing my own. If I haven't put you off, you can view some for yourself here.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Geograph Tops One Million

The Geograph British Isles project aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of Great Britain and Ireland. It's been going several years now and has recently reached the 1,000,000th picture mark. As I've said before, the idea is brilliantly simple, which more than likely contributes to it's success.

If you think you can contribute and are happy to grant a Creative Commons licence on your submissions, allowing them to be reused and enjoyed by future generations, then go for it.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Drawing On Experience

I wish I could draw. I always have. Although I have created some pictures in the past that I am truly proud of (I really should post some here), I spend hours correcting and amending them until I'm happy. It would be bliss to just create and be confident that you're going to get the effect you were after.

Caricatures would be an ultimate aim. Take this one of Angelina Jolie from this site. The artist has nailed it in my opinion. A skill I'd love to have.


Or how about this study of a Woman from the Inside Out. I like that real "scribblely" style, and it's nice to see how the layers builds up.

How confident would you have to be in order to do this, one mistake would mean re-painting everything.

Another great example of seeing a piece in progress is the following video. Another time lapse piece. This time a superbly drawn Scarlett Johannson.


If you'd like to have a go at something like this but can't afford the high price that something like Photoshop goes for, might I recommend SUMO Paint which is free and runs in a browser window and yet offers everything you need.

Finally, one more video. Not only a great cartoonist, but a wicked sense of humour as well. Enjoy!

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Why, That's Delightful!

I thought I'd use today's post to talk about another blog that I'm an avid reader of. Why, That's Delightful is written by Graham Linehan. Graham as co-creator and co-writer of Father Ted, co-writer of Black Books and creator, writer and director of The IT Crowd works on some of my favourite sit-coms and his natural humour easily extends to his blog. Unlike many "celebrity" blogs, Graham not only welcomes comments on his posts but often takes part in discussion with his readers.

A recent post made me laugh out loud when Graham warned us all to watch out, that it was October that Santa visits all the people on his ‘naughty’ list! It was accompanied by the following picture. Shocking indeed.

Friday, 10 October 2008

SongBlitz - U2 Edition

So you think you know all there is to know about U2? How about you try taking a quiz. The excellent music site JamsBio has launched a U2 version of their SongBlitz quiz. The idea is to match the U2 song that plays up to the album it came from. With three levels of expertise, it's more challenging than it sounds.

Try it yourself here.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Word Of iPod

Some people have too much time on their hands it's true. But occasionally that yields something as simple and yet sublime as this.

Word of iPod - Tale of Love

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Downtime

I know I have not having posted for a few days. Not only did I have the death of my father and his funeral to arrange but then I lost my Internet connection for most of yesterday due to BT maintenance work.

However, normal service should now be resumed. Watch this space.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Interfaces

I am fascinated by interfaces. It is not uncommon for developers to work long and hard on an excellent piece of software or a feature rich website only to have it marred by a poor interface. The huge outcry over the "new" Facebook seems to be mostly focused on the change in interface. Whilst it is true that we the users are slow to change when it comes to our ideas of an interface, for instance since moving from a CLI to a GUI in the 90's nothing has really changed since, it does not mean that there aren't other ideas out there.

For instance, how about a website where clicking is not required. Don't Click It is just that. It started as an abstract idea but now seems to be suggesting itself as a real alternative. I have to say despite my best intentions, the urge to click is still great.

Another example is the Dynamic Graphics Project's attempt to introduce real world physics to the desktop interface. The following video is a demonstration.


Other examples using multi-point touch technology are shown here being demonstrated by Jeff Han of Perceptive Pixel.


It seems the old mouse could soon be replaced.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Happy Birthday Willow

As I usually do, I'd like today to take time out today to wish Willow a happy birthday. Of all the Greshlets that passed that week, I sadly knew Willow the least, having only met her once about two weeks before the accident. They say first impressions last and it is certainly true with that little firecracker.

Willow gave the impression she had been around before and had somehow hung on to all her worldly knowledge. She was wise and fantastically witty.

Sleep well little one. Is túisce a éagann an óige mar aon leis an mhaith!

Monday, 29 September 2008

Nick Brandt

The work of Nick Brandt is really interesting. He gives a really fresh look to wildlife photography that I really like. His pictures have a quality to them that gives them a look of paintings almost.



More examples of his work and a biog can be found here.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Geoffrey Laurence Hunt, 1916 - 2008

I lost my best friend yesterday. A huge proportion of the man I am today is due to my father. At the beginning of last week he suffered a severe stroke. Despite the fact that when I visited him the day before yesterday he had improved greatly, he lost the battle last night.

I have never checked but I am sure that he was the oldest member of the Discovery Owners Club. He was a very active man and a huge fan of Land Rovers, using his Disco to tow his caravan to Ireland at least once a year. A keen photographer (something I inherited from him) and gardener, he will be sadly missed.

Sleep well Dad!


Thursday, 25 September 2008

PostSecret

It seems to me that the best ideas are usually very simple ones. This is particularly true of a blog that I have been subscribed to for some time called PostSecret. A gentleman by the name of Frank Warren created a site and simply asked that people send him their secrets written on a post card, which he then posts to his blog.

The response has been so overwhelming that there are now several sites, a book and a lecture tour. The post cards are often very skilfully decorated and the secrets vary in theme considerably. Many are quite heart-breaking, some are quite funny, but all of them pique my interest and make me wish I could find out more. Frank made a short film to explain more.

PostSecret Mini-Movie


You can view some of the secrets yourself by visiting PostSecret's main site and his MySpace page. There is also a Facebook page if you'd like to try and get to one of Frank's lectures.

If you're wondering if I have sent him one of my secrets, well that would be telling wouldn't it. ;-)

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Blogger's Choice Awards

For a bit of fun I decided to nominate my own blog (plus some of my friends') in the Blogger's Choice Awards. e-clecticism by nature doesn't easily "pigeonhole" but Best Geek Blog, Best Blog About Stuff and Best Blog of All Time seemed appropriate. :-)

Can I please urge you all to vote for me in any or all the categories by clicking on the image in the side bar.

Thank you.

Space Junk

Science News (a great website full of fascinating articles) ran a story at the weekend that really caught my eye. It was actually in the "For Kids" section but then many have said that I'm a big kid anyway. It was concerning the fact that NASA has to track millions of pieces of junk that are orbiting earth. This debris could have catastrophic effects on a future shuttle mission or worse still if even the smallest pieces fell to earth.


Each white dot in this picture apparently represents an individual piece of tracked orbital debris. This image shows the Low Earth Orbit, which is the region from the Earth’s surface to 1,240 miles and contains the most space junk.

According to the article...

There are some unusual things up there, like a camera that floated away from astronaut Sunita “Suni” Williams in December 2006. Other astronauts have lost tools like wrenches and screwdrivers. In 1965 astronaut Ed White even lost a spare glove. Most of the junk, however, comes from large satellites and rockets that fell apart after they stopped working.

I always think of space as the last part of our world that us humans haven't managed to pollute. I guess I was wrong, we've made a huge start apparently. The original article can be found here and is well worth a read for the mind-boggling statistics alone.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

A Change Of Mood

It's not that I want to sweep the events of last week aside, far from it. But I do feel like making a fresh start of sorts. It is early days but certain aspects of my life seem to be taking a turn for the better (although others are not) and I'd like to mark that in some small way.

So, you'll notice a new colour scheme today and a new game as well. Yeah I know, it's not anything to write home about, but I have learnt my lesson about trying to run before you can walk, I can tell you.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Iris

As part of "A Blog In Mourning" week. This post is dedicated to the memory of the Greshlets.

And I'd give up forever to touch you
Cause I know that you feel me somehow
You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be
And I don't want to go home right now

And all I can taste is this moment
And all I can breathe is your life
Cause sooner or later it's over
I just don't want to miss you tonight

And you can't fight the tears that ain't coming
Or the moment of truth in your lies
When everything seems like the movies
Yeah you bleed just to know your alive

And I don't want the world to see me
Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am
By Goo Dolls (Rzeznik)

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Empty Chairs

As part of "A Blog In Mourning" week. This post is dedicated to the memory of the Greshlets.

Morning comes and morning goes with no regret
And evening brings the memories I can't forget
Empty rooms that echo as I climb the stairs
And empty clothes that drape and fall on empty chairs.
By Don McClean

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Fix You

As part of "A Blog In Mourning" week. This post is dedicated to the memory of the Greshlets.

When you try your best, but you don't succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home,
And ignite your bones,
And I will try to fix you.
By Colplay

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Winter

As part of "A Blog In Mourning" week. This post is dedicated to the memory of the Greshlets.

I should know who I am by now
I walk the record stand somehow
Thinkin' of winter
The name is the splinter inside me
While I wait...

The walk has all been cleared by now
Your voice is all I hear somehow
Calling out winter
Your voice is the splinter inside me
While I wait...

I could have lost myself
In rough blue waters in your eyes
And I miss you still.

And I remember the sound
Of your November downtown
And I remember the truth
A warm December with you
But I don't have to make this mistake
And I don't have to stay this way
If only I would wake.
By Joshua Radin

Monday, 15 September 2008

Wish You Were Here

As part of "A Blog In Mourning" week. This post is dedicated to the memory of the Greshlets.

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have you found? The same old fears.
Wish you were here.
by Pink Floyd. Waters/Gilmour

A Blog In Mourning

Out of respect for and in commemoration of the anniversary of the loss of the Greshlets, the blog has undergone a temporary colour change.

The posts this week are all dedicated to four beautiful children. They are all lyrics from songs that whose words hold resonance of some kind. I hope the authors will forgive me any copyright infringements.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

A Corner Turned

It will all be OK now. I promise you. I know you don't believe me yet, but give me a chance and I will show you. I have sunk so low and it hurt more than I think you realise. But out of the terrible darkness has come light. I...No...We have a long way to go I know, but with you by my side I have strength. Stay with me and it will be better than it was before. I miss and love you.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Smart Ass Answers

As seen on various websites and emails recently...Hopefully this small collection of quick witted answers will make you smile.

Smart Ass Answer #5:
A flight attendant was stationed at the departure gate to check tickets. As a man approached, she extended her hand for the ticket and he opened his trench coat and flashed her. Without missing a beat she said, "Sir, I need to see your ticket not your stub."

Smart Ass Answer #4:
A lady was picking through the frozen turkeys at the grocery store, but she couldn't find one big enough for her family. She asked a stock boy, "Do these turkeys get any bigger?" The stock boy replied, "No ma'am, they're dead."

Smart Ass Answer #3:
The cop got out of his car and the kid who was stopped for speeding rolled down his window. "I've been waiting for you all day," the cop said. The kid replied, "Yeah, well I got here as fast as I could." When the cop finally stopped laughing, he sent the kid on his way without a ticket.

Smart Ass Answer #2:
A truck driver was driving along on the freeway. A sign comes up that reads, "Low Bridge Ahead." Before he knows it, the bridge is right ahead of him and he gets stuck under the bridge. Cars are backed up for miles, Finally, a police car comes up. The cop gets out of his car and walks to the truck driver, puts his hands on his hips and says,"Got stuck, huh?" The truck driver says, "No, I was delivering this bridge and ran out of gas."

Smart Ass Answer #1:
A college teacher reminds her class of tomorrow's final exam. "Now class, I won't tolerate any excuses for you not being here tomorrow. I might consider a nuclear attack or a serious personal injury or illness, or a death in your immediate family, but that's it, no other excuses whatsoever!" A smart ass guy in the back of the room raised his hand and asked, "What would you say if tomorrow I said I was suffering from complete and utter sexual exhaustion?" The entire class is reduced to laughter and snickering. When silence was restored, the teacher smiled knowingly at the student, shaking her head and sweetly said "Well, I guess you'd have to write the exam with your other hand."

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

retrogeek

I came a cross a new blog this week which looks really promising. retrogeek is written by a chap who recently discovered a heap of 1980's computer magazines in his mother's garage and is now scanning the more interesting bits and sharing them. This is pure gold for me as although I appear to be slightly older than this chap, I too remember the excitement of the dawning of the home computer age. It is especially nice to see it from the UK perspective as well.

I have added retrogeek to my "Links" section on the right, and I urge you to subscribe.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Religious War

Who says that religion doesn't cause war? But this is one war I can get behind. The video below explains all. Originally seen on RGS.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Waterworld

Feeling a little claustrophobic yesterday afternoon I decided to take a walk down to the Teme (one of two rivers in Worcester) to see first hand how far this year's floods have reached. With more rain allegedly on the way, I can see that this year may well match the levels we saw last summer. My wife and I walked along Laugherne Brook then around to the newly refurbished Powick Bridge.

The first picture I took was of some swans making use of the new temporary waterline. This is usually a field that I played football on as a child. The bank of the normally gentle brook is marked by the bushes in the background.


Next we see "Old Road" that normally leads to the Powick Mill complex. It is around six inches deep here.


Here is a shot of Powick Mill from the bridge. You can just make out the old bridge as it looks like a low wall, when in fact it normally stands a good twenty feet above the waterline showing arches.


Finally, a shot looking the other way toward the Severn (Worcester's primary waterway).

Sunday, 7 September 2008

A Google Too Far?

Up until now, Google leased the images that you see in both Google Earth and Google Maps from third party imaging satellite owners and operators. But yesterday they allegedly launched their own satellite, which the makers say has the highest resolution of any commercial imaging system. According to the official press release, GeoEye-1 "can collect images from orbit with enough detail to show home plate on a baseball diamond". I had to check but that is about seventeen square inches.

The blogosphere has exploded with the news. Many like John Battelle are hailing this as the last straw and that Google are already too powerful with what they know. Many are posting articles concerning "Gait Recognition" software that can use human shadows to track individuals. Personally I think much of this is an over-reaction. A bit of digging reveals that Google don't actually own the satellite. Google is the exclusive online mapping site customer for GeoEye-1 data; it is not even the exclusive customer for the imagery.

I just hope that I can finally get some decent images of my house. Here is another press release from GeoEye themselves.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Aslan

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind of the therapeutic properties of music. I have had a lot of stuff going on recently that I don't want to write about just at the moment, but sufficed to say, things haven't been too easy of late. At times like this, I tend to retreat "in to myself" and I am often accompanied by music. The phrase "a soundtrack to life" is often used but it is certainly true that, occasionally, you hit upon a song or an album or just a piece of music that just seems to fit a particular point in your life.

This is true for me at the moment with the music of Aslan. You would be forgiven for not having heard of them. For some reason that escapes me (and probably them as well) they have been huge in Ireland for years, but have never had any real commercial success elsewhere...yet. I have recently re-discovered my love for their music and often find myself listening to a live unplugged album they did some time ago called "Made In Dublin". The lead singer, Christy Dignam, has a superb voice and his lyrics, possibly because of his battle with drug addiction, are so so evocative. That combined with tremendously hummable tunes makes them perfect listening for me at the moment.

I urge you to check them out and give them the recognition over here that they so deserve. Their official website can be found here, a Youtube channel here and the obligatory Wikipedia page is here.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Happy Birthday to GNU

Twenty five years ago this month, a man called Richard Stallman announced to the world his intention to create a complete operating system from the ground up. He called it, GNU, which stands for GNU’s Not Unix.

Stephen Fry who is an advocate of free software has made a video that tells you all about it. Matt Lee an, FSF campaigns manager and the producer of the film, said...

Stephen has generously donated his time to the cause of free software. His ability to communicate a technological and philosophical movement in terms of the basic principles of sharing and user freedom — ideas that everyone can understand — will introduce a new and broader audience to the benefits of free software



You can watch the video over at gnu.org, or download a copy of the video for posterity.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Where Have All The Buskers Gone?

There is something very appealing about walking around Worcester, especially when you don't actually have to be anywhere in particular. It is my hometown since birth, which probably has more than a little to do with it, but even still. For me, it is one of life's little pleasures that I relish when I have the chance. Last Saturday was made the sweeter still as I was able to spend some time with my wife and children.

Whilst out, we did come across a pleasant sight. A group of buskers in High Street that appeared from their dress to be of Native American origin (although I am open to correction on this) playing pan pipes of various types. The sound they made was simply stunning, despite the abundance of modern technology spoiling the effect somewhat.


Why is it we don't see as many buskers as we used to on our streets? Dublin always has an abundance of them, especially around the Grafton Street area. But not so many over here. To me, live music is always a good thing, whatever the style. So come on you budding musicians, get out there. There is no better way to hone your skills in my opinion and you might get some money out of it too.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Salamagica

I recently came across the art of Richard Salamanca. I have not managed to find out much about him yet, but I'm already a fan. He appears that he uses, amongst other things, Photoshop or something similar to turn slightly off-beat (but very intriguing) ideas into art.


Sometimes a little disturbing and often very witty, you can find more of his work at Salamagica.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Pac-Man

The Air Hockey game I added to the blog recently, spent more time not working than working, so I have switched to Pac-Man. I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Image Metrics

Image Metric's "Emily Project" was designed to show that facial animation could look very real indeed. Check out the video below, it explains all.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Ronnie Drew RIP

The 16th of August saw the death of an Irish legend. Ronnie Drew, the lead singer of The Dubliners, passed away after suffering from cancer for some time, at the age of 73. Ronnie was born in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin in 1934 and rose to become a national treasure in Ireland.

Earlier this year, a single (The Ballad of Ronnie Drew) was written to originally include Ronnie himself but was changed to be a tribute to him as his health was declining. Proceeds from sale of the single went to the The Irish Cancer Society at the request of Drew himself. The song was performed by a number of famous Irish musicians. These included members of U2, Sinéad O'Connor, Christy Dignam of Aslan, Robert Hunter of the Grateful Dead, Kila, Christy Moore, Andrea Corr, Moya Brennan, Shane McGowan, Bob Geldof, Damien Dempsey, Gavin Friday, Iona Green, Jerry Fish, Paul Brady, Paddy Casey, Mick Pyro, Mundy, Chris de Burgh, Ronan Keating, Jack L, Eleanor Shanley, Mary Black, Declan O'Rourke, Mary Coughlan, and Joe Elliott of Def Leppard as well as The Dubliners and The Chieftains.

Below I have embedded two versions of the song. The official video and a performance that took place on the Late Late Show earlier this year. RIP Ronnie Drew, you will be much missed.



Friday, 22 August 2008

Death Star Over San Francisco

There are more Star Wars parodies and tributes out there than can be counted, but every once in a while a fan will have the skill and technical know-how to go that one step further. Michael Horn has certainly raised the bar in that respect. Michael made a short film for Current TV that shows various vehicles of the Empire very subtlety appearing in amateurish looking footage taken around San Francisco.

I think this is where Michael's film wins out, in that it isn't the in your face style of a lot of films of this type. It looks real, not only because of his skill at using the composite software, but because he doesn't force it down your throat.

The film is below and a short interview with Michael can be found on The Official Star Wars Blog.


Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Ubergeek's Keyboard

I think I might treat myself to one of these. Over on Random Good Stuff, they have posted about "Das Keyboard Ultimate". A keyboard where all the keys are completely blank. Sadly the original link is down at the time of writing but RGS quoted the following...

Das Keyboard Ultimate is an enhanced 104 or 105-key USB PC keyboard equipped with 100% blank keys mounted on gold-plated and clicky high-end mechanical key switches. Not as elite a typist as you want to be? Not a problem. Das Keyboard Ultimate can teach you to type exponentially faster in just a couple of weeks. Since there are no letters to look at when typing, your brain is forced to memorize the key positions. Slower typers almost double their speed and fast typers become über fast!


The RGS link can be found here.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Education Is Important

A friend drew my attention to this video compilation recently. I like it because it is funny, it makes me feel clever, it has a great soundtrack in Handlebars by Flobots. But I like it mostly because it very cleverly marries the images with the lyrics. Nice job.


(Stupid People) Why Education is Important - Click here for another funny movie.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Sneak Peak On The Horizon

U2 have been busy in the studio for that last few months working on a new album that is rumoured to be released on November 17th. Although no official title has been released yet a hot favourite seems to be "No Line On The Horizon". A rumour strengthened by the fact Universal Music have registered the domain nolineonthehorizon.com.

Despite the release being a way off, some lucky French fans overheard Bono's distinctive voice emanating from the singer's holiday home in Eze, in the south Of France. Cheekily they recorded it on their mobile phones and have posted it on YouTube.


The sound quality isn't great but, it certainly sounds promising. Various reports have listed song titles for the record including For Your Love, Love is All We Have Left, One Bird, Moment of Surrender, If I Could Live My Life Again and The Cedars of Lebanon. The first single off the album is believed to be called Sexy Boots.

I'm looking forward to it I have to say. It has been four years since last album after all.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Games

I thought it might be fun to add a game to the blog. So as of now you should find "Air Hockey" at the bottom of the sidebar. I will periodically change the game, so keep checking back. Enjoy!

Micro Torrent 1.8

My torrent client of choice, on Windows, has always been the lightweight and very popular µTorrent and I'm please to say they have now released a new major update. Version 1.8 has some significant new features.

From UI point of view, not much has changed, but µTorrent now supports Teredo, which promises much improved IPv6 support. Teredo is a tunneling protocol that allows IPv6-unaware NAT devices to handle IPv6 traffic. This means you can get IPv6 connectivity without needing to upgrade any hardware, meaning better connections and improved torrent performance.

Another welcome addition is much better support for Vista including integration with Windows firewall. The complete change list is extensive so you might want to check out the whole thing.

µTorrent is free and is available here.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Evernote

It wasn't until I started blogging that I began to realise how difficult it must be for writers, journalists and researchers of any kind to keep a track of the endless notes, ideas and snippets of information you need to keep track of. Despite my best efforts I am terribly disorganised. If an idea occurs to me for a blog article or I see something that I like the look, unless I make a note of it or action it there and then, it is lost for ever. Napkins, texts, back of my hand, beer mats, notes on my phone and cigarette packets (other people's, I don't smoke) are among the varied media that have been used to store valuable information. It stands to reason of course that much of that information got lost.

But I think I have found the answer. For a few weeks now, I have been using Evernote. This simple but brilliant concept allows the user to capture information in a myriad of forms, annotate it, index it and retrieve it, anywhere Internet access is available. Photo's, text, web pages, even those scribbles on beer mats. With a number of clients to choose from, whatever platform you prefer, your notes are available to you.

As an example, let's say I see a sign in the street which is of interest to me. I can take a picture of it on my phone. I can then either browse to Evernote website to upload, or as I have a smartphone, I could use the Windows Mobile client that they provide. Another choice would be to simply email or MMS the picture to my account. Accessing that note later can be achieved by web, Windows client, Windows Mobile client or even a Mac client. Two free widgets also make capturing all or part of web page as simple as a lick.

I really can't recommend Evernote enough and I urge you to try it. So far the free account has been plenty for me, but there is a premium version which for a small charge increases the limits available to you. If I have not been clear, the video demo below may help.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Defcon NOC

Wired has published a nice article taking a peak inside the network operations centre at Defcon for the first time. Often cited as the world's most hostile network. Put together and run by a group of dedicated volunteers, known as Goons, they work hard to make the network robust enough to handle the endless stream of dangerous traffic.

Over 9,000 hackers, press, feds and geeks gathered at the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas for Defcon 16, the world's largest computer security convention.

Using around 40 AP's dotted about the hotel, the network provided a 20mb connection to the Internet via a point to point wireless connection to another hotel. Read the full article with more pictures here.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Happy Birthday Emma

Happy birthday "Big Yin"! You'll always be our baby. xx

Aurora

Mozilla Labs and design company Adaptive Path have teamed up to bring us Aurora. Aurora is a concept video that attempts to provide one vision (a very plausible one I must say) of the future of browsers and the web experience. Only part one has been released so far so keep an eye out here for the release of the remaining parts.

I nice bit of predicting...


Aurora (Part 1) from Adaptive Path on Vimeo.
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