Monthly Archives: March 2004

Trouble in Rummyworld

Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Bush. All of them obnoxious in their own special way. But there shall ever be a magical bile-splattered corner reserved for the squinty one.

Maybe, at last, the tide is turning. Even mainstream US networks are beginning to question the way things have gone, to sweep away the pixie dust and expose the hypocrisy. Yea, even the venerable Face the Nation.

(Link from BoingBoing)


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No Kelly inquest shocker

Now then, let’s see. An internationally respected scientist dies after being exposed as a journalistic source. An inquest is opened and adjourned pending the outcome of a top-level inquiry. The inquiry – not an inquest, and led by a judge not a coroner – determines that the scientist committed suicide. The inquiry did not take proper forensic evidence, nobody was under oath, and there was no cross-examination in this area. Many reputable people, including coroners, forensic experts and (of course) lawyers, dispute the idea that the scientist killed himself. They say there are a number of unanswered questions. What to do?

It’s obvious, isn’t it? You have a proper inquest, as you would have done had there been no inquiry. As you would have done after any death like this, whether or not the person was in the public eye. After all, an inquest is the One True Way
to determine cause of death, especially where there is doubt.

So naturally, the coroner says he believes there are no “exceptional reasons” that would necessitate the opening of an inquest.

I don’t know whether Kelly killed himself or not; he probably did. I am sure that Hutton was not qualified to determine cause of death, and that the Hutton Inquiry did not follow the due process of an inquest.

I should be staggered that the Oxfordshire coroner, Nicholas Gardiner, decided a full inquest was not necessary.

But sadly I’m not.

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London excitement

Went to London with Sarah today to window shop in Knightsbridge and the Kings Road. Felt underdressed in various locations. Sarah scandalously violated the window-shopping ethic by buying something.

Didn’t see any of the supposed additional security measures: we certainly didn’t get our bags searched on the train. There were, however, lots of airport-style tannoy announcements telling us not to leave bags unattended. I’m sure it gives someone the warm and fuzzies.

I did catch a brief glimpse of what I’m sure was a passenger jet being escorted by two fighter jets. The louder-than-usual jet noise alerted me, and I looked up just in time to spot them – fighters tickling the wing tips of the passenger jet – before they disappeared behind a building. They were banking right, not following the usual Heathrow approach (at least compared to the other aircraft we saw). I had my camera with me, but no time to take any photos.

Haven’t seen anything about this on the web. Maybe it’s so common these days that it doesn’t register as newsworthy any longer.


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The Channel 4 promo you probably won’t have seen…

Not work safe, or for those easily offended by words: sweary promo. Brilliant.

Apparently it’s shown twice a night on FilmFour channels after 10pm. It’s been banned from the cinema, even before 18-rated films.

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“I’m on the train”

I’m not really. But working in the Bango office is sometimes like that. Everyone has a reasonably new mobile, of course, everyone has their own (usually polyphonic) ringtone, and phones are ringing pretty regularly. After being out of an office environment for six months, it’s a bit of a culture shock.

The tunes remind me of 1980s arcade games. Come to think of it, some of them might actually be from 1980s arcade games. Around the Out Run era.

Is it me, or are policemen looking younger these days?

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Monkey maths

I often have odd dreams, but last night’s was one of the oddest. It was TV-movie quality.

Everywhere I went in this dream, I’d hear rattling from various pieces of equipment, mostly electrical. There’d be a bit of fizzing, and then out would shoot tiny monkeys. They’d buzz around madly (like deranged flies, or that thing from Vision On), and seemed to have the aim of landing on a piece of paper and solving a particularly tricky maths problem. Then they’d buzz off again.

In the dream I started to recruit various sidekicks (a la TV movie) to try to track down the source of all this. I suspect it would have turned into one of my epic chase dreams had I not woken up.

I, for one, welcome our new supermonkey overlords.

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You have to spend money to make money

I’ve bought a PowerBook. 1.25 GHz, 512 MB, 80 GB, 15-inch.
Plus the Adobe Creative Suite.

My excuse is that it’s mainly for work purposes (I’m spending the
next month working for Bango). And also because I’ve coveted one for
some time.

It’s luuuuvly. Some oddness, including flaky SMB connectivity
(bizarrely, the GUI way sometimes fails but mount_smbfs works fine)
and a required google to discover how to type # (it’s Alt-3: # isn’t
labelled on the keyboard or described in the doc). But on the whole
it does what it says on the tin.

There was a touch of America-is-the-world during installation. It
asked me to set the date, which defaulted to 1-1-1970 in good ol’ UNIX
fashion, but there was nothing to indicate which number was the day
and which the month. Since I’d already told it I was British, I
assumed day-month-year. Bzzt, wrong. Oh well. Smack hand Apple. (It
gets it right post-install.)

The most annoying thing I’ve found so far as a “Windows switcher”
is that, by default, Tab only moves between text boxes. You have to
select a checkbox (System Preferences, Keyboard & Mouse, Keyboard
Shortcuts) to make Tab notice other types of control. And rather than
a single Alt press, it’s Ctrl-F2 to give the menu bar the focus.

I’ve spent the weekend sorting out email, etc. Downloaded buckets
of software. I didn’t think I’d be installing all the developer stuff
within two days, but I’m using Fink for package management, and some
of the stuff I want (the Subversion client, for instance) is only
available as source right now (and, sadly, requires you to build the
whole of Apache and sundry other packages first). Still, it’s
exercising the CPU and disk; I heard the fan for the first time not
long ago.

I’ve discovered Fink to be a bit unstable if you want, er, unstable
packages (as Subversion is currently categorised). Fink managed to
install segfaulting tar and awk binaries while updating and rebuilding
itself, which was very clever I thought (I copied over the standard
Darwin binaries and crossed my fingers, and it seems to have worked).

I haven’t even run iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie or iDVD yet. I have,
however, got XEmacs working…


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Queen of all our Take Harts

No, this isn’t an entry for cravat-encrusted Tony Hart‘s esteemed Gallery by Kathy aged 9 from Caithness.

From Saatchi show courts controversy:

The image of the princess with blood pouring from her mouth is one of the latest acquisitions of art collector Charles Saatchi.

Entitled Hi Paul Can You Come Over, the painting represents the paranoia the late princess felt in the last months of her life, according to the artist Stella Vine.

The 35-year-old single mother had never sold a piece of art until Mr Saatchi bought the painting for £600 two weeks ago.

You’d never have guessed.

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iPod ad remix

Shamelessly lifted from boingboing:

By betamale


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Pointless and yet somehow interesting observation of the week

The word “no” sometimes ends in “wuh”. This means “No, and if you keep asking I will get annoyed”.

It’s probably a dialect thing.

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