Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Wikipedia in the news

It's quite impressive that the Wikipedia, an online organisation that only employs a single full time employee, can make it onto the front page of the financial times.

Is this some kind of conspiracy by offline print moguls trying to defend themselves against the new form of publishing that the Wikipedia embodies?

There was not as much prominence given to this article: http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9588_22-5997332.html?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=zdnn

Ah well. Hope the Wikipedia keeps on going, and that it sorts itself out and gets some advertising on there! Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 25, 2005

Murder Mystery Evening

Awesome night - doing a bit of acting and roleplay, pretending to be a judge. Didn't manage to guess the killer correctly, though it was a bit of a cheat, the killers name was Scarlet Kipper. I assumed that as she was called Scarlet Kipper, that she was a red herring...
Unfortunately, she wasn't!! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Old Picture

Just found this photo, reminding me of old times... Posted by Picasa

Strange Dream

Very very unusual for me to remember a dream, but this one was so much fun I did for once...

Dreamt that I was very late for work \ some kind of meeting. Decided to take a short cut by trying to run down a mountain to a little coast path that lead to where I was going (this made perfect sense at the time). The path got steeper and steeper until I was just sliding down. At one point I thought it might end in a sheer cliff, but I didn't mind too much.
Of course, it did end up at a sheer drop and I was left hanging on to a ledge (just like in films). Then, luckily, someone from my agency and Colm turned up to give me a hand up. Unfortunately the person from agency over-reached and fell off the cliff. I remember not caring that they fell to their death, but I honestly can't remember which person from my agency it was...
Then Dan appeared and together Colm and Dan helped me up and took me to a car where they drove me to my appointment, which was when I woke up.

Talk about a dream teaching morals - don't rely on the people from work, trust your friends instead?!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Public Enemy

Saw Public Enemy last night.
They weren't as good as I'd hoped they would be. It wasn't as Old Skool as I expected - there were people with guitars there and they had live drums rather than a good old drum machine. I admit that they were good at hyping up the crowd and managed to show their fans a good time.
You do have to think that there does come a point where it's time to stop! Twenty years in the business seems a little excessive - especially when you start to sound like the fun loving criminals... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Paranoia

I'm not usually in the habit of taking photos of people on buses, but this woman was different.
There's currently lots int he news about this avian flu business, however I still haven't seen proof that it has made the leap from infecting birds to infecting humans. This person seems to think differently!
I wasn't living in London at the time of SARS, but that seemed to be another media fuelled scare story. By coincidence, I was reading an amusing story in the Guardian. It was making an extremely valid and relevant point about the BSE scares of the early and mid 1990s. There were predictions of seeing millions of people die from a disease that could cross the boundaries between Human physiology and Cow physiology.
So far, at least, this hasn't proven to be the case. When was the last time you heard of a new case of CJD being diagnosed?
I remember stories focusing on kids who used to eat beef every single day catching this horrific disease.
Mobile phones causing cancer is another of those scare stories, that is just beginning to fade. MMR vaccines is one of the few scare stories that actually got proven wrong during the 'scare cycle.'
The only real solution to this kind of nonsense is some kind of mandatory comparison of risks people have to take, some kind of benchmark risk. How about the likelihood of being run over for someone who lives in London and crosses the road twice each day.
It would be scary in itself to see the number of scare stories that don't succeed in being more deadly than that (I cross the road at least 10 times a day in my commute to work...) Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Pocket-lint.co.uk AOL to launch online TV service news story

Wasn't this the entire point of AOL mergin with Time Warner about five years ago?

All the papers are just reporting this as some kind of innovation for AOL. SUrely the quesiton should be what took them so long?

For the companies in question, it's the only way they're going to be able to make any significant money out of their old shows. THe fact that one of the 'channels' is going to be dedicated to shows that feature stars before they became famous is an indication of the quality of the programming.

At least it will be going ahead. I hope the BBC's service comes online soon and shows all these monkeys how it should be done!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Google Print and Copyright

Slightly crazy position for the authors to take - I don't fully understand the position they are taking.

From my experience, having seen one or two results popping up from Google Print, Google doesn't allow you to read the whole book. In fact, it doesn't allow you to read more than three or four pages.

What's the point of going off like this? I strongly suspect Google will \ already has put in links to Amazon or eBay so that you can buy a book immediately after reading the pages.

Once eBooks come of age (which is growing more and more likely with the rise of PSPs, better screens on mobiles and Video iPods) we would be able to buy the book immediately and receive it immediately.

If any author supports the idea of their work appearing in a public library I see no need to object to their work appearing in this. The fact that almost any book can be read for free merely by paying a visit to any of the 4,624 libraries in the UK yet book buying still remains popular is a strong indicator that demand for reading material is unlikely to be dampened by Google.

Go Google!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Fantastic Weekend!

After a particularly hectic week at work, I managed to get some good quality time off.

Friday night I went to see Nick play at the End. None of the sets were amazingly outstanding, but it was a really good night. Nick played a brilliant set, he looks much more comfortable with having three hundred people looking on as he does his thing.

There were a good bunch of people there, I'm beginning to get used to this whole London scene. I spent last night with the London lot too. Went to see fireworks at Alexandra palace, which were pretty good though they were synced to music. More specifically to the beach boys and other gems selected by Capital FM. Ah well!
There was an extremely good turnout, though this disturbed Laura as she thought it wasn't managed very well - probably a fair point. I didn't manage to meet up with Colm et al until well after the fireworks had finished.

The rest of the night was spent drinking in the pub having fun. Today was spent not doing much, just watching TV, reading the papers and such like. It's always good to get a good bit of relaxation every now and then. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 31, 2005

Pumpkin

Geeky I know but there we go! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Dinner at Lincoln's Inn

Jo kindly invited me to dinner at Lincoln's Inn.
Lovely food and lovely wine, followed by Port is always appreciated.
I was a bit suprised to find that all the people I talked to seemed to have been in Cambridge at around the same time I had been there. One of the people I met there seemed to look very very familiar.
Ah well, it was good fun meeting them all and I look forward to having more political discussions with random barristers.
Slightly stressful getting there on time. Spent the majority of the afternoon frantically trying to get a campaign live. My AD took ages approving the insertion order - so lots of running round before I finally got things done.
Internal processes are good in some ways, but not when they get in the way of efficient working. Posted by Picasa

Trip up BT Tower!

Went for a seminar run by the IPA - something about 'advertising after the TV spot.' Reasonably interesting seeing someone talking about the new trends in technology. Particularly interesting was a talk from Helen something or other - head of Thomas Cook TV. I think they've done good work in promoting their brand.

More interesting, however, was the lunch at the top BT Tower. 34 floors up in the centre of London is always a good thing! Spent a little time mingling, but soon tired of networking. Maybe that's a skill I need to practice a bit more.

Annoyingly, I didn't get the chance to go to the Ad.com party - was hoping to be able to leave the office on time, but didn't.

However, I did manage to meet up with Alex Petrovic who was visiting from Geneva. It was good to hear he was doing well.

To make the day even better, I had my annual review and was given a pay rise (though not as much as I would have liked!) Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Fast Forward

Well - we didn't win. Annoyingly, Sting managed to win even though he didn't put that much time into his group's presentation.
Taking Campaign down the heat magazine model didn't sound like a sensible idea to me, but it's not my decision.
We went drinking after finding out that we'd lost. This is Katherine, a girl in my team taking a draw from a Shisha pipe.

Good fun was had by all! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Blog: 17 March 04. Bill Hicks

This piece is a bit close to home.

Working in adland does change some of your perceptions. When I clicked on the button to post this to the blog, I noticed that urchin are tracking the activities on Blogger.

Strange thing to notice, but then they are one of the web trackers we use at work to monitor usage. Had a good argument \ debate with Colm the other day about it. There are many parts of my job that are dark \ evil but the fact that technology allows it just makes me think it is cool!

It's all about the triumph of technology. I can use a sophisticated tracking system at work to target people who have bought a car recently and then advertise car insurance at them. Does this mean it is something bad?

Ah well - Sunday evening thoughts indeed!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Guardian Unlimited | Columnists | George Monbiot: The price of cheap beef ...

Seems to have a strange definition of slavery - by this measure all workers during the industrial revolution would have been slaves?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Courtney Looking Crafty

Sometimes (rarely) my phone actually takes a good picture! Posted by Picasa

Awards Ceremony last night

Expression on the guy's face is fantasticPosted by Picasa

Monday, September 26, 2005

What a week!

Not really.

It's not been too busy a week (and a bit). My economist subscription has finally come to fruition and I've been to Torquay.

Torquay was nice and chilled. Wandered about a bit in the wonderful sunshine and in the nice countryside, but didn't manage to fully unwind while there.

The week went pretty quickly, managed to finally get one of my campaigns live: Orange Content - www.orange.co.uk/downloads

Randomly I appear to be promoting my housemate's own tracks which are on here. As far as he can see, he's not getting any of the revenue from the ring tones.

It does seem strange that he doesn't get any money for tracks that he has written that are being sold using his name. Surely there is a way to get this money to him?

Went to Milk and Honey for the first time, which was very nice. Milk and Honey is a well-to-do bar with an extremely exclusive ethos behind it. You can only get in if invited by a member. More than that, they have a set of rules for behaviour at the place.

I found it a bit quiet - more like a reasonably well kitted out bar rather than anything special. Good night, one of my suppliers' wallet was hit rather hard!

The fast forward course has now started. The brief is to find a way to make Campaign magazine better. Better in terms of content but also in terms of relevance. It's a tough brief - I was hoping for something cool and consumer led.

Business to business selling is tough and there are few easily accessible research tools. Admittedly it is quite easy to ask around my peers in order to find information, but it's not representative and you have to be very careful to ask the right questions.

SPent the weekend chilling, which has not left me feeling amazingly refreshed in time for work today! Oh well.

Trying to get another campiagn live today, www.orange.co.uk/talkingpoint. Should be live at some point tomorrow, but it's tough as the creative agency still have a lot to do. It's going to be really great when it is live though, they've done a really good job on the actual creative.

iMedia Connection: Blockbuster's VOD

iMedia Connection: Blockbuster's VOD

iMedia Connection: Blockbuster's VOD

iMedia Connection: Blockbuster's VOD

CThe Observer | International | Armed and dangerous - Flipper the firing dolphin let loose by Katrina

Cool!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

freshly mixed - electronica community

freshly mixed - electronica community

I think Freshly mixed is the only site I subscribe to. It's still one of the ones I actually visit the most, just to pick up the mixes I want.


Pendulum on the essential mix is a good idea!!!

Monday, September 19, 2005

RSS basics (Thunderbird) - MozillaZine Knowledge Base

RSS basics (Thunderbird) - MozillaZine Knowledge Base

Stuart Jeffries: Corporate rudenesd

There they go again - blaming everything on Corporations.

The problem stems fropm a host of reasons, not just one!

The main reason is that everything is getting bigger and more interconnected. When you live in a little village, courtesy is more important as the people you bump into are permanent fixtures in your life. You aren't rude to them as you're going to see them again.

The problems starty when city life intrudes. If you're never going to see anyone again there's no incentive. Why help a stranger (apart from an altruistic headrush) who, in all probability, will you will never meet again.

As more and more people choose to live in bigger and bigger cities and the city centres consolidate rudeness will become more widespread. ASBOs will not help - we need to convince people of the necessities of being nice.

Presently, there is no obvious reward for being nice. Culture publicly rewards figures such as 50 Cent or Charles Clarke or Alan Sugar. The majority of public figuresd did not get there by being consistently nice to strangers. We need to find people that are consistently nice and reward them.

BBC Nice person of the year?

Teaching people to be nice will take time, effort and should be taught to parents aswell as children.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Messing about with Blogger


I think I need to upload this in order to use it on my title bar! Not sure if it'll come out in the size I want it to though!

Gwyn and Maggie Perry

Going to try updating weekly from now on - we'll see how long it lasts.

Work
One of my clients wanted a finalised plan for a big plan coming along soon. It was frustating seeing some of the sites that I though would work being stripped out of the plan. Branding campaigns are always a worry as without effective measurement all we’re really doing is throwing money at a problem. We can come up with as many strategies as the client wants, but if we don’t measure the outcomes noone will ever know if our clever strategy works!
They finally accepted the plan, though objected to the amount of coverage that we’d achieved. This was despite the fact it was significantly more than what they’d briefed us to get in the first place.
Some people still expect to get unlimited amounts of stuff with very limited budgets. Rates have been coming down in recent months, but not enough to justify what they seem to expect.
I worked on two major proposals in the past week for another client. Both have been rejected - due to lack of money on their side. It’s particularly annoying as we know that the plans and proposals we are sending over will get them more money than they put in, but they’re still not willing to take a risk.
They also want me to attempt to negotiate an entire launch campaign by doing barter deals. In another country where they just laughed at me.

Flat
There’s been an annoying person staying over in the flat this week. Although I don’t object to letting people stay, especially if we’ve got a spare bed, I do object to people moping around in the living room. I always feel a bit guilty retiring to my room or doing stuff when they’re just sitting there looking bored.
Get a book! Rent a DVD! Meet friends!
Nick is still touring in Australia, so there weren’t any cool new tunes!
Life
Usual dramas with gf. Still don’t understand women. Why can’t they just have constant moods!
It’s my birthday tomorrow so I’m going to visit my parents. Torquay is nice, but I do feel that I should be doing something wild rather than slightly pedestrian. I need to learn how to say no to my mother.
Didn’t see much of my friends this week. Mainly because of me buying this computer and feeling slightly poor. But also due to spending a bit too much time with gf...
Randomly, an old friend from School gave me a call last night as he was in town. Very short notice, but I hadn’t seen him or any of that gang for over a year, so I met up with him.
Shock horro but he’s gone and gotten married! Luckily to a very nice girl. It does seem that most of my Swansea friends are settling down. Worrying!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Food - lots of healthy food was at carnival! Posted by Picasa
Dancer! Posted by Picasa
Best Float I saw all day! Posted by Picasa
Good Overalls! Posted by Picasa
Random People trying to Fly Posted by Picasa
More of the Carnival Posted by Picasa
Part of the Carnival Parade Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | 41 killed in Peru air crash

Lots of crashes is going on at the moment.


Coincidence?


Probably!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Interesting name for a road - lots of unusual things down in Torquay! Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 24, 2005

Guardian Unlimited | Guardian daily comment | Giles Foden: Harry Potter and the digital prisoners

Guardian Unlimited | Guardian daily comment | Giles Foden: Harry Potter and the digital prisoners

Some very good points - as I seem to recall, media owners are looking to increase the amount of time that copy protection lasts. Doesn't seem to be fair, the majority of films seem to break even within a year or two of their production, anything that goes beyond the death of the author seems excessive.


Films are slightly different as they are not (usually) the product of more than one person, they're financed by a studio, produced, directed, written, acted, shot...
However, there should be a stop on the length of time rights holders have to exploit a film.

Free access to films and programmes would be a good thing. There doesn't seem to be much logic behind the fact that it can still cost £20 for a DVD of Laurel and Hardy films - surely the intervening time should mean we can obtain classic films for less than full price?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The view from our box at the Oval! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Cricket

Have been to the Asian tsunami match. Was genuinely impressed by the twenty by twenty version of the game. Luckily I managed to get into a box with the corporate hospitality lark. The view was great, and the free beer was quite nice too!


This is the man who managed to sink our punt during the punt race.
Posted by Hello

Monday, June 20, 2005

View at work

Need to look at this when I'm at work
http://www.rifters.com/real/progress.htm

Today

I am mostly avoiding the sun to stop making my sunburnt skin hurt!

Managed to find
davidbrin.blogspot.com

Really good little leftwing blogger who also happens to be a famous and quite good author!

Suicide Sunday

Went up to Cambridge over the weekend to catch some of the rowing but mainly to celebrate what looked like the start of Summer. Caught the train up with Romit, who's just finished his student days and had a good chat about random diseases and injuries while on the train up to Cam. Also managed to bump into Becky, who I used to go out with which was quite random. Unfortunately didn't see her again for the rest of the day. I'll have to remember to catch up with her at some point. Bumped into Mike Garnett and Chris Dale wandering back from Robinson ball at Cambridge train station.

The bumps course was absolutely packed with people, the weather was amazing and the usual crowd of friends and parents were sat on the towpath watching the poor boaties exert themselves to the full along the four mile stretch of Cam. There was, surprisingly, a horde of people I hadn't seen for ages up there. Amy Coker from Downing, Alex Petrovic from Clare, Tom Fry from Catz, Emily Trace, Kat Gillham, Linds Hoyle, Hannah Berriman and probably some others that I've forgotten. Ben, Dominic and Cj were about, having been to the CUAS may ball the night before.

Conveniently, Alex mentioned that they were having trouble filling their punt for the race on Sunday. I happily volunteered to fill the gap.

Selwyn seemed to be having a good year, the second mens missed out on blades by a very small margin and I didn't see any Selwyn boats being hit (though I didn't see any bumping either!). Photos to follow. I got in a bit of trouble for taking a photo of a girl who was crying on the side after being bumped, but it was a good photo!!

Went for a meal with Emily Trace and all the Newnham girlies, giving my my first chance to get to know Emily's boyfriend. She's been successfully hiding him from me over the last year, but it was good to find out who she's been talking about all this time. After the meal we popped to the Maypole, which was a welcome reminder of how good some of the bits of Cambridge can be. Also a reminder of how different your perceptions of cocktails are after having been exposed to the fancy ones in Soho!!

The next morning I headed down to the rollers to start the puint race. The weather was absolutely glorious and I was a bit worried about the fact that I had forgotten to put any sun protection of any kind on. Luckily a couple of glasses of wine stopped me from worrying about that, and somehow protected me from being burned. The start of the race went well, with Will Leyland punting extremely efficiently and keeping us in contact with the leading punt of Freija's.

Our problems began at the turn. Freija's punt was murderously well organised - they hadn't brought super soakers, they'd brought buckets. This was a bad development and meant we got absolutely soaked. This didn't deter us from the chase, but made punting slightly slippery. Mike Marshall and Alex Petrovic were doing sterling jobs of paddling and punting. Myself and Sarah Cooper were attempting to get through as much of the wine as possible. This state of affairs didn't last long.

We caught up with Freija's punt, about halfway on the return trip, but were met with merciless bucketing. This was excruciatingly effective and we sunk, the punt itself managed to touch the bottom of the Cam. This wasn't a good thing! This being a fun event, Freija's punt stopped to help us recover the punt and to bail it out before we continued. But they did steal our paddle. By now, we'd all been in the water a number of times, so it didn't matter any more! We eventually managed to finish third out of four, soaking but happy to have had a very good day out in the sun.

New Phone

Picked up a new phone this week - a Sony ericcson k750i. Very funky little gadget, good phone and seems to have an infinite number of features. Certainly beats my old Nokia into the ground. Still not one hundred percent familiar with the new interface, but I haven't noticed any significant problems.

Was extremely worried yesterday - I took part in the Clare College Punt Race. We were sunk about halfway to Grantchester and I saw the bag my phone was in descend to the bottom of the Cam... Luckily the phone survived as I'd put inside two airtight freezer bags and then inside an allegedly waterproof bag. The waterproof bag was designed to shake off a bit of rain, being dunked inside the Cam did not help matters.

Good Article

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1510223,00.html

Exactly what I think - newspaper writers are losers.

Friday, June 10, 2005

gprime.net - flash animations

gprime.net - flash animations

One day I'll have time to look through this site

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Useful

http://notlong.com/

Whereveryouare

www.whereeveryouare.org.uk


Seems like a decent site full of Healthy moans about random subjects.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

BBC Backstage :: Front Page ::

BBC Backstage :: Front Page ::

Wow

Amusing Christian in the middle of the red light district!
Posted by Hello

The stairs up to our hotel in Amsterdam!
Posted by Hello

Chilling in Amsterdam.
Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Globetechnology: The Good God Google

Globetechnology: The Good God Google

Good article, though seems to have missed Google Video...

Friday, April 15, 2005

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Diplomats say Iran building tunnels to hide nukes

Diplomats say Iran building tunnels to hide nukes

And so it begins.

What's wrong with building something to protect yourself from Nuclear attack?

Especially if you're extremely likely to be attacked by nuclear weapons

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Protest over US biodefence boom

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Protest over US biodefence boom

This sort of thing is kind of worrying - as far as I remember those Anthrax attacks that this research is a defense against were from someone who worked in one of these labs.

Did they ever catch the person responsible or is this something that people have forgotten about?

Hey!

People are visiting this site and looking at stuff!


Yay!

Monday, February 28, 2005

Aljazeera.Net - Qatar, Shell finalise $6 billion deal

Aljazeera.Net - Qatar, Shell finalise $6 billion deal

Go Shell!

Good thing to see that they're trying to recover their reserves!

Me!
Posted by Hello

Friday, February 25, 2005

EducationGuardian.co.uk | higher news | Minsters say no to nano centre funding

EducationGuardian.co.uk | higher news | Minsters say no to nano centre funding

Bloody scaremongerers.

Although there should be a bit of precaution when beginning any kind of new technology it is silly to believe the wilder stories (e.g. Prey by Michael Crichton). Nanotechnology is not a wholly new discipline and shouldn't have to face any new hurdles before being approved.

Even if people do start putting hurdles in front of nanotechnology it will be very difficult to define what nano technology is.

Where does nano technology start? At what size - some of the computer chips being made at the moment could be considered to be nanotechnology if the settings are sufficiently broad.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Best Meal This Year!!!

Square Meal - Search for Restaurants in London

Definitely the best meal I've had for quite a long time.

I had a starter of pigeon with cardamom and something else that was just plain beautiful.

Main course was prawns in a saffron sauce which just plain kicked ass. Service was amazing and almost everything about the meal was great. I thoroughly reccoment this place to anyone!

Searching Blogs

Doesn't seem to be a simple way to search for blogs

Interested to see if I could search by where a blogger is located

10x10 / 100 Words and Pictures that Define the Time / by Jonathan J. Harris

10x10 / 100 Words and Pictures that Define the Time / by Jonathan J. Harris


This, by the way, is the best site ever made.

I like the way it can just sum up the days news:
'bush', 'iran' and 'iraq' are the three most important words in the news today

Charles denies Queen wedding snub

BBC NEWS | UK | Charles denies Queen wedding snub

Why is this news?

What I want to do

I want to be able to incorporate RSS feeds directly into my own blog. To have a page that lists what I'm playing in Audioscrobbler together with what I've recently been up to in other areas

Ideally I'd be able to have a central point that would collect together all my public communication / correspondence - posts from forums, news articles I find interesting...

The Beginning

Investigating how blogs work in general and what it's possible to do with them takes time and means you should set one up

I imagine the difficult part with setting up a blog is finding stuff to say. I'll see how it goes