So there’s a page on MyBook or SpaceFace or somewhere trying to get me to sign up for one of these newfangled website thingies. It’s like being sociable but without the beer, talking or seeing anyone, apparently. And I read in an industry magazine last week that employees spend an average of 58 minutes a day (62 in London) on these websites, so I must be missing out on something really good. Like as good as EastEnders and Coronation Street back-to-back, perhaps? Lo, I hark the olden days when I was mocked for being a geek.
Even today’s xkcd is in on the trend:
…although I find the forum discussion on just what being “it’s complicated” means more interesting – does everyone need to jump through all these hoops when marking relationships? Is “somehow known to me” insufficient? Am I the only one happy with a certain bit of ambiguity, even as to who is a friend? I model myself on the bit in Donnie Brasco, where ‘a friend of mine’ is a completely different relationship to ‘my friend’, but I don’t think anyone notices much.
So just to prove I’m not an Internet dinosaur (yet), here’s Yet Another Stupid Web 2.0 Video embederised herein:
(Bonus points if you spotted the pun…)
It’s probably about time I plugged a website that I like to keep an eye on – The Skye Guide. The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice what draws my interest… no, not specifically the creative commons license ( ), but it’s a website that my Dad runs in his spare time.
I’ve only been to Skye once, and that was many years ago, but I have to agree with the comment on the Quiraing – one of the most awesome places I’ve ever been. Don’t miss it if you’re nearby. I can’t remember much else about my visit – other than a very, very talented busker in one village who we listened to ad-libbing about what was going on in the town in an amazing cross between folk guitar and observational comedy.
I’d love if he could link to openstreetmap instead of the ordance survey, but the coverage of Skye is somewhat lacking at the moment!
This is the most retarded thing I’ve ever seen in a URL:
If your survey system is vulnerable to reuse of the link, it’s better to fix the problem, rather than tacking on such rubbish at the end. Shame on you, whoever you are.
So, for reasons that aren’t important, I was… hang on, if it’s not important, I can still explain it here, especially given the warm reception to the most boring thing I’ve posted in ages…
While looking at the list of pages that link to the current “Picture of the Day” on the front page of Wikipedia – it’s currently a Giant Planes Comparison (with the links in question shown on that page) – I was wondering why quite so many people link to it from their Wikipedia User pages. So I picked one at random (User:Harryboyles as it happens, although that’s really not important), and found that he is one of 248 people to classify themselves in the category “Wikipedians who help fix disambiguation pages with links“.
What? Are these people who use links in order to fix broken disambiguation pages? Or are there broken disambiguation pages that have links, which these people fix? Does anyone see the delicious irony here?
Actually, if you look further, it’s actually not the disambiguation pages that need fixing, it’s the other, unspecified, pages that link to the disambiguation pages that need fixing. So it doesn’t matter which way you read the collective title of people-who-fix-something-or-other, since it actually means something else entirely.
Well, somebody needs to clarify all this ambiguity, and it looks like that someone is me.
Yahoo mail, along with most other crappy webmail accounts, puts a little tagline at the bottom of all the emails you send. Free advertising for themselves, and a good way to annoy anyone else having a conversation with you – you rapidly start pushing around loads of nested adverts whether you like it or not.
However, this amused me, from the climbing list I’m on – Yahoo! put the following tagline in a poor guy’s email:
All New Yahoo! Mail – Tired of Vi@gr@! come-ons? Let our SpamGuard protect you.
… which then got promptly munched by the anti-spam filter on the mailing list. Nice work, Yahoo!
So if you use Yahoo!, or Hotmail, or any other crappy free email, and every now and then you emails don’t get through, maybe this is the reason.
I’ve discovered a new pastime – Internet TV courtesy of the Participatory Culture Foundation’s “Democracy Player” software. It lets you subscribe to video feeds (“channels”), and obviously play them back after they’ve downloaded. So this is definitely something for which you want to have uncapped broadband!
My favourite channel so far has got to be Terra, a nature documentary series. It stands out from the crowd for being close to TV production quality – real, interesting documentaries, for free. Lots of the other channels are just computer geeks with a camera and no producer in sight, so I tend to avoid them. The daily Rocketboom is also fantastic, and worth subscribing to. While most channels are available elsewhere (on YouTube or wherever), it’s much better to subscribe to them all in Democracy Player, let the high-quality versions download, and watch them when you want.
A quick work about the software – for me, it crashes all the time. It crashes between videos. It crashes on startup, it crashes on closing, it crashes while browsing the channel guide. It’s by far the least stable and least polished piece of software that I use. It’s a little bit rubbish. But it’s completely worth putting up with for the content – from documentaries to comedy to music videos to current affairs. Try it – it’s open source, and all the channels are free.
Read on for my list of recommended channels. Continue reading
One of the reasons ASP.NET is successful is that it lowers the bar for Web developers.
I’ve been using Ruby on Rails for one of my current web apps that I’m developing, and it’s great (and every time I work on the other one, I regret a little more that it’s in PHP). It’s so easy to get things done, and so long as it’s not the first MVC web app you’ve developed, you’ll really appreciate how it works. I can only scoff at the above statement, from this page – as Simon Willison said, “Holy cow, ASP.NET is complicated”. Still, it’s by Microsoft, so it’s guaranteed that it’ll be pushed by millions of IT managers who know not what they are talking about…
I’m trying to encourage myself to post more often, and I thought this was certainly worthy of it: The Best Blonde Joke… evah!. Surprisingly funny.
It’s been a few days of upgrades recently. First off was the new version of Firefox, released last week. The lightning-fast forward and back is great – especially noticeable when you click on a link halfway down a page, and hit back. No more reshuffling the page as the layout is recalculated. Also, error pages (server not found and so on) are shown as pages, instead of dialog boxes. That’s been a long time coming. The only downside is that most of the themes haven’t been upgraded, so I had to find a different one. Most of the plugins I used are now redundant, since tabs are a lot easier to work with. Overall, a highly recommended upgrade. (If you don’t use Firefox already, you really should try it!)
Yesterday was a not-quite seamless upgrade for my Kubuntu install. I think it took about three chunks of upgrades to sort itself out – each time it would upgrade about a third of the packages. But it eventually worked, and I like the minor upgrades to all the software that I use (and especially to the package manager!). And it’s so nice having the OS and all the programs you ever need sorting themselves out automagically.
I’ve finally got round to upgrading the software that powers this weblog. That’s been a long time coming too. So if you notice anything wrong (or badly styled) let me know. I’ve also got all the spam-filtering plugins disabled; I want to see how well the new version copes by itself. It’s like putting your head in a lions mouth to see if he’s hungry…
This post was brought to you by the words “Open Source”, “Free Software”, and “absolutely fantastic”. Oh, and probably “preaching to the choir” too.
Quickly now, before they fix it. How to get from South Ken to Crystal Palace, via Shepherds Bush, Kew and most of London. If you’re in a taxi, make sure they aren’t using Google Maps for navigation…