Archive for January, 2006

Jan 31 2006

Going Postal

Published by under Current Affairs

This isn’t really one to joke about but it reminded me about a game a Phrixus used to have on his PC.

A female ex-postal worker has shot dead six people at a sorting office in California, before committing suicide. Its official, going postal is back in fashion. “Going postal” is the term originally coined in the USA for disgruntled ex-employees that return to their previous work place and proceed to kill their ex-colleges.

It’s not a very nice thing to do but whats more scary is that it must have happened with such frequency (with-in the US postal service) for there to be a term to describe it.

The original Postal game is still available as well as “Postal 2: Share The Pain” and “Postal 2: Apocalypse Weekend” from the gopostal.com website.

One response so far

Jan 26 2006

Googles Just This Company, You Know

Published by under Technology

I am sick and tired of people saying Google is evil, Google is doing illegal activities, Google isn’t fighting for freedom of information.

Come on people, wake up and see the light. Google has been censoring its search results probably since the day it was created. In France (and possibly Germany) Google censors results referring to Nazis, this is so that Google.fr complies with French law. In Holland the age of consconsentcent for pornography was (and I believe still is) 16 years of age, however if Google returns image results showing those pornographic images to a UK (and probably most of the rest of the world) audience, they will be breaking the law therefore they filter their results.

So why should Googles activities in China be any different? It seems to me that Google, and other internet service providers, have a choice: do it the way the Chinese authorities endorse or don’t do it at all. After all you wouldn’t expect a dutch man to come over to England and start engaging in under-age pornography. You can say its completely different all you like, the fact is that it is the local law and the law must apply to everyone or there is no point in having a law.

On the subject of Google fighting for the freedom of information, well, that’s just non-sense. Right now Google is fighting the corporate institutions of America to be allowed to continue its Google Books program. Google is fighting for information which is out of print and out of copyright to be opened up to the world for searching. In fact Google is proposing that, for those books which are still in copyright and/or still print, only a small area around the search terms be displayed to the user, just to try and keep the publishing industry from throwing a wobbler. But still the authors unions and publishing corporations are not happy.

I wish that sometimes people would realise that whilst Google is trying to be a really cool and pioneering company, it is still just a company. And a company is just money making machine.

2 responses so far

Jan 26 2006

Fastr with Flickr

Published by under Bookmarks

This one comes via the Make: blog.

Fastr is a game that uses flickr images. It loads ten images that all share a common tag, one by one, and you guess what the tag is. When you guess right, the tag will turn blue. Then you can watch the pictures until the next set begins. The faster you guess, the more points you get.

I’ve already wasted far too much time on it this morning and will probably waste more before the day is out.

Link to: Fastr

2 responses so far

Jan 24 2006

A Quarter-Peal of Plain Bob Doubles

Published by under Bell Ringing

Sunday saw me ringing my first quarter peal of Plain Bob Doubles. I was ringing in sixth place and so I didn’t really that that complicated a job but I still had to stay awake and keep ringing for about 50 minutes.

One piece of advise I was given before starting was to NOT clock watch, which is pretty hard as the six is directly opposite the clock in the ringing chamber. So I spent the first ten minutes clock watching. I soon realised the errors of my ways and so decided to find other ways to focus my attention.

Method number one was to find ways to improve my striking. I concertrated on getting my standing position correct, finding the right place to hold the end of the rope and the best place to hold the sally, and I listened carefully to the other bells. Finally I decided that I had probably got as good as I was going to get. That took about fifteen minutes. Twenty five down, another twenty five to go!!!

Next up was looking for patterns. From leaning to ring Bob Doubles inside I know what the order of work is that each bell should be doing but could I spot patterns from the six that would make my life that little bit easier when ringing inside. Well, probably the easiest pattern to spot was that after the six does four blows behind a bell doing long fifths, it then does two blows over another bell and then two blows over trebble. This turned out to be quite handy as I kept missing the bell between long fifths and trebble. This brought me to within ten minutes of finishing.

The last ten minutes I spent working out what I would do differently the next time I rang a quarter-peal. Top of my list was wear a t-shirt with baggier sleeves. The t-shirt I chose to wear had fairly tight sleeves and, as I tend to sweat when ringing, I was starting to get chaffing under my arm-pits… not nice!!!

Next was my choice of foot-wear. Motor-cycle boots probably aren’t the best thing to wear if you’re going to be standing still for about an hour. Next time I find something with a little more padding on the soles.

Finally, I must remember not to do anything too strenuous before ringing. On Sunday I thought I would be a good idea to split a load of logs for kindling right before I went to ring my quarter-peal. Althought I was fine during the ringing, that evening and all the next day I could hardly move I was aching so much.

2 responses so far

Jan 24 2006

Four Things

Published by under General

I got this meme passed to me by DamienG, so I guess I’d best carry it on.

Four jobs I’ve had in my life

  1. Software Engineer
  2. Database Administrator (& web developer)
  3. Student Mentor
  4. Electrical/photographic sales assistant

Four movies I can watch over and over

  1. Ghost In The Shell
  2. Ninja Scroll
  3. The Last of the Mohicans
  4. (I’ll get back to you on this one)

Four places I have lived

  1. Guernsey
  2. Richmond, London
  3. Finsbury Park, London
  4. Hatfield, Herts

Four TV shows I love to watch

  1. Futurama
  2. Lost
  3. Desperate House Wives (I blame it on the gf!)
  4. Gardeners World

Four places I have been on vacation/holiday

  1. Norway
  2. Iceland
  3. USA (California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Arizona)
  4. Rest of [western] Europe (France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Holland, Sweden, Denmark, Luxemberg)

Four of my favourite dishes

  1. Spaghetti bake
  2. Sunday roast (chicken or pork)
  3. Hot chicken salade (Dix Neuf)
  4. Hot bacon sarnie

Four websites I visit daily

  1. BoingBoing
  2. Little Gamers
  3. Google
  4. MAKE:

Four bloggers I am tagging

  1. Shane Marriott
  2. Matt Ingy
  3. Leigh Brookes

Interesting note, I traced this meme back to hicksdesign.co.uk the domain of Jon Hicks. For those of you that don’t know, it was Jon Hicks that came up with the logo for Firefox. I guess that makes me nearly famous :)

One response so far

Jan 16 2006

Ringing Responsibility

Published by under Bell Ringing

Thursday 12th January was the AGM for the St Peter Port parish church tower. I was planning on having a nice relaxing evening and just sit there muttering agreement (or disagreement) as everyone else did. Unfortunately, or fortunately as the case may be, things rarely turn out as expected, and so my relaxing evening was not to be.

Everything was going quite smoothly until the time of the election of officers. To be honest, I had thought that all the positions would remain the same. However, due to unknown circumstances (I could speculate but I’m not going to) our Tower Captain decided that it was time to step away from ringing for a while. As a result we had to elect a new Tower captain. The first choice, and in my view logical choice, was the Paul who had previously been both Steeple keeper and Treasurer. Whilst he graciously accepted the position, he also stepped down from position as steeple keeper. He then proposed that, as I had been working with him in the tower on the previous Tuesday, maybe I would like to take up the position of steeple keeper.

This took me rather by supprise. I’ve only been up in the ringing chamber once so far. I have no idea what exactly steeple keeping entails (although I have got a pretty good idea). But I have got the support of everyone in the tower and probably the other steeple keepers around the island. With this in mind I accepted the position and, follow a vote by the tower members, was elected steeple keeper.

Now to try and figure out what exactly I’m supposed to be doing for the next 12+ months!!!

No responses yet

Jan 16 2006

New Part For The Bandit

Published by under GSF600 (Bandit)

This weekend I finally got around getting some new brake discs, as I’ve had bent discs since my accident in Norway, and fitting my jack-up kit on my Suzuki Bandit 600. Thanks to Dave and his tool kit everything went (mostly) smoothly.

The replacement of the brake discs process went something like this:

  • Put bike on centre stand
  • Put sand bag on pillion seat (to raise front wheel off the ground)
  • Put a car jack under the bottom of the header pipes (sand bag wasn’t heavy enough)
  • Remove front calipers
  • Remove front wheel
  • Remove old discs
  • Fit new discs
  • Remove old brake pads
  • Grease & fit new brake pads
  • Refit wheel
  • Refit calipers
  • Remove car jack

Apart from it being a bit awkward trying to get the front wheel and spacers to line-up with the forks when putting the wheel back together everything went as smootly as you could imagine. An hour from start to finish (I had plenty of time and didn’t want to rush things) and once again I had front brakes that actually work.

The jack-up kit was a bit more interesting. Whilst it is theoretically more simple that replacing the brake discs it took just as long. The process should have been something along the lines of:

  • Undo & remove lower rear height adjuster bolt
  • Undo & remove upper rear height adjuster bolt
  • Replace rear height adjusters with new ones
  • Re-fit upper rear height adjuster bolt
  • Re-fit lower rear height adjuster bolt

Well, thats the theory. In practice things went a little differently. The lower bolts came out without too much trouble but the upper bolt was more difficult. Part of the problem was that I have got a rear-hugger fitted on the bike and, as I couldn’t be bothered with removing it, this meant that access to the upper bolt was greatly reduced. After much effort and a slightly rounded nut the top bolt finally came free.

Fitting the new adjuster bars would have been plain sailing only the holes for the bolts were slightly on the small side so the bolts couldn’teasily be pushed through by hand. Not to worry, enter Dave and his big hammer! The result is that the bolts are re-fitted and the back end of my bike is now sitting about 3cm higher than it was on Saturday.

2 responses so far

Jan 12 2006

My First Netsplit

Published by under General

I’m kinda new to the whole IRC thing.  Yeah, I know, its a bit lame for a programmer.  Anyways, I experienced my first netsplit to day, and it looked something like:

[11:36] *** tavon_ has joined ##csharp.
[11:37] *** Hamled|Erp has joined ##csharp.
[11:37] *** zobel has signed off IRC (clarke.freenode.net irc.freenode.net).
[11:37] *** tavon has signed off IRC (clarke.freenode.net irc.freenode.net).
[11:37] *** ikea has signed off IRC (clarke.freenode.net irc.freenode.net).
[11:37] *** ioman has signed off IRC (clarke.freenode.net irc.freenode.net).
[11:37] *** trollboy has signed off IRC (clarke.freenode.net irc.freenode.net).
[11:37] *** blackfalcon has signed off IRC (clarke.freenode.net irc.freenode.net).
[11:37] *** Macke has signed off IRC (clarke.freenode.net irc.freenode.net).
[11:37] *** mopos has signed off IRC (clarke.freenode.net irc.freenode.net).
[11:37] *** vulture has signed off IRC (clarke.freenode.net irc.freenode.net).
[11:37] *** jp- has signed off IRC (clarke.freenode.net irc.freenode.net).
[11:37] *** DreamweaverN has signed off IRC (clarke.freenode.net irc.freenode.net).

[11:37] smellyhippy: erk! netsplit :/
[11:37] Moridin8: whoopsie

[11:37] *** mopos_ has joined ##csharp.
[11:37] *** ioman has joined ##csharp.
[11:37] *** tavon has joined ##csharp.
[11:37] *** ikea has joined ##csharp.
[11:37] *** trollboy has joined ##csharp.
[11:37] *** blackfalcon has joined ##csharp.
[11:37] *** Macke has joined ##csharp.
[11:37] *** mopos has joined ##csharp.
[11:37] *** vulture has joined ##csharp.
[11:37] *** jp- has joined ##csharp.
[11:37] *** DreamweaverN has joined ##csharp.
[11:37] *** zobel has joined ##

For those of you that still don’t know what a netsplit is checkout wikipedia.

No responses yet

Jan 11 2006

Alaskan Ice Towers

Published by under General

The Alaskan Alpine Club is back with their Ice tower and this year it is bigger and better than ever before.  For the first time the are experienting with two towers (North and South).

They started back in October 2005 when the pumps were first switched on. The towers have been growing ever since (with a minor hitch of a bursting pipe… or something).

They have also put up a link to a funny cartoon on YouTube about Ice Climbing. Well worth a gander.

No responses yet

Jan 11 2006

Phishing Attempt

Published by under Technology

I got an email this monring from PayPal saying that my account was suspended due to “suspicious activity” and that I needed to login to re-activate my account.  Luckily the email provided a link to the login page so I didn’t have to type it into my browser.

Yes, alight, I know what you’re thinking.  Yes I did already see though this blatant lie to the fact that it is nothing more than a phishing attempt.

I thought I’d visit the site anyway just to see how good they’d managed to make it.  In the past I have seen phishing sites that made a meticulous copy of the original PayPal login page and have made all the links point to the correct PayPal.com pages, the only difference being that the destination page for the login form is on the fake site.

The site that I got sent to however was an abomination.  The tabs at the top weren’t links.  The links that were actual links only point back to the same page.  This really was a half baked attempt, and if anyone falls for this phishing they deserve to have their PayPal account compromised.

If you want to see what a bad phishing site looks like, head over to: http://61.79.228.100/image/.pp/updates/us/webscr.php?cmd=LogIn

Warning: It is a phishing site so please don’t try to log in.

No responses yet

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