22 December 2008

Greatest Robot Dance

The only way to explain this is if he's actually a real robot and we're on the verge of the robot uprising.

Now excuse me while I go and try to buy a shotgun.

Lego Millenium Falcon Stop Motion

Very nice animation. If building a lego model isn't hard enough, why not also make all the pieces dance on their way to being placed?

20 December 2008


This is absolutely stunning.

A short animated film where every frame is a painting - over 6000 of them!

17 December 2008

Christmas time

Some nice free Christmas music. A bit of help to get into the festive mood.

03 November 2008

Jonathan Coulton sings Creepy Doll live with Neil Gaiman!

I can't believe that Jonathon Coulton and Neil Freakin' Gaiman were both on their way to Manchester on the same day that I was flying out of Manchester on business.

Opportunity missed...

Neil's blog post

29 October 2008

Deal of the day

Somebody at play.com has a sense of humour

To add a little context, this deal was posted on the day that this was going down.

02 October 2008

Amazing miniature midtown Manhattan

via MAKE Magazine by Collin Cunningham on 02/10/08

Wow. Now that's impressive!


Michael Chesko built this scale model of NYC's midtown using balsa wood and a love for detail -

This scale miniature of Midtown took 2000 hours to complete. As reference, he used blueprints, old photographs, digital reproductions, and satellite images. On a good day, he'd work his way through four city blocks. The entire model is 36" x 30"... a good deal smaller than most office desks. At the 1:3200 scale, the Empire State Building Chesko's favorite skyscraper) roughly reaches the dizzying height of a Campbell's Soup can.
- Check out Tinselman's blog for more pics and info - Stop and Smell the Miniatures

22 August 2008

The US election is frustrating to watch

How is it possible for these two stories to appear in the BBC RSS feed at the same time? People in America would rather entrust their struggling economy to a man who can't answer a question about how many homes he has? Are people really that convinced that only a Republican can possibly know what's good for the economy?

At least we now know that McCain's grasp of his personal finances is no better than his grasp of America's.

I'd be content to sit back and laugh if the American economy wasn't so likely to drag half of Europe down with it. As it is I feel like screaming at the stupidity of it all.

Obama camp ponders its man's slipping poll lead

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama has attacked his rival John McCain for not knowing how many homes he owns.

25 July 2008

Why is DRM bad? Here's why.

Yahoo has just announced that they are going to take their music store offline. That's not a huge issue as it was never very popular to start with, but they are also shutting down the DRM license servers.

This means that if somebody tries to copy their music to a new device it will no longer play.

Now imagine that Apple has to shut down its iTunes license servers for some reason. Maybe they are found guilty of fiddling the books and go bankrupt in 2010. Not terribly likely, but who knows what the future holds? It would basically disable millions of dollars of purchased music overnight. Most people probably don't realise that a track purchased with DRM is actually only rented.

Obviously, if you had just downloaded the track illegally, without paying the rights owners a penny then you wouldn't have any problems at all. And the music industry STILL can't understand why piracy is so popular. If you want to fight something that's free you have to do it with a better product. Trying to make people pay over the odds for something that is massively inferior to the free alternative is never going to work, no matter how many people you threaten to sue.

News on the Yahoo thing is here

08 July 2008

The Scourge of Violent Video Games

Facts are great. We need to get more of those. Maybe if we collect
enough we can send some to the media.


'Rubbish' golfer hits hole-in-one for £15,000 prize

You know it's time to start playing the lottery when...

A self-confessed "rubbish" golfer flukes a shot that wins a £15,000 car during a round where he lost 23 balls.

26 April 2008

My first OS upgrade

Despite using many, many different operating systems on my personal computers (dos, most versions of windows since 3.0, many different linuxes, etc) I have just performed my first OS upgrade. Previously I've always backed everything up, repartitioned, formatted and then installed from scratch.

Well yesterday I installed an update for Kubuntu 7.10 via the automatic updater (actually just a minor bugfix in firefox) and when it had finished it told me that there was a new version of Kubuntu 8.04 available. It offered to upgrade me to it automatically. I was planning to install it anyway so I clicked yes.

It had a look round my system, told me that I would need to download 1006 meg of updates and that this would take 2 1/2 hours on my connection. I went to bed and this morning everything was downloaded and waiting for my permission to install.

So I'm now typing this on a nice, shiny kubuntu 8.04 system :-) The whole operation was amazingly painless and has upgraded not only the core OS, but also all of my software to the latest versions.

So far the only thing I've noticed that wasn't how I would have liked it is that it upgraded firefox to the version 3 beta 5 release which isn't compatible with many of my add-ons. I opened the add/remove programs tool, searched for firefox and asked it to install firefox 2. I also uninstalled version 3 to be on the safe side. Click "accept changes" and bingo! Firefox 2 is back.

Could you imagine an experience like that on windows? My move from XP to Vista on the same machine (now reversed) was a torturous process that involved me sitting in front of the computer typing in arcane product keys, downloading drivers, calling MS for activation, installing every application I needed from a different CD or web site and finally culminated with a pop up bubble telling me that my motherboard wasn't supported by Vista. Even after getting through all that the resulting OS was intrusive and annoying.

Kubuntu never ceases to amaze me.

18 February 2008

Bush vs. Left Wing Bloggers

America must surely be the only democracy in the world where "left wing" is used as an insult. I would have thought the McCarthy mindset might have faded just a little by now.


14 February 2008

American Nuclear Weapons Safety

Well this is terrifying. Pakistan is concerned about the safety of the US nuclear weapons procedures. Especially since a B-52 has been sent into the air with a payload of nuclear weapons by mistake in 2007... Nobody on board knew that they were carrying nuclear weapons.

I think the quote below shows the remarkable arrogance of the US military in a very succinct way.

"Iqhman added the Pakistani government would be willing to offer technical advice and assistance to the United States on improving its nuclear weapons handling procedures. Speaking anonymously because of the issue's sensitivity, senior Pentagon officials said it is Washington's role to give, not receive, advice on nuclear weapons safety and surety issues."

Oh dear.

Full article