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Monthly Archives: July 2006

you go out on your bike for a long ride and don’t wear your normal kecks that contain your puncture repair kit. The resulting 9 mile walk back will not be any easier because of a reduction in the extra weight.

It’s a good idea when…

you go out on your bike for a long ride, get a puncture without having a repair kit, but stuff grass in your tyres as a way to cycle part of the way back without totally knackering your rims. It’ll make you feel like a regular MacGyver for at least part of the long trip home.

For people who love attaching their iPods to the end of their noses, the BBC have added a selection of programmes via video podcasts (all news-related at the moment).  So far, my favourite is StoryFix – a 5 minute mosaic-mashup of news from the week on News24.

At last! Skype have released a video version of their VOIP software for Mac users. Up until now only PC users had this luxury. As a Mac user sans Apple iSight, my webcamming abilities were limited but now I can use my Phillips Toucam Pro and see other Skype users which is great. You do need to install the macam webcam drivers first though otherwise it won’t work. Also the software is still in Beta so its a little bit flaky – but I’ve had it working.

Update: Skype have now released Skype 2.0 for Mac

The Broth is a multiplayer art game where any user can move any one of 1000 mosaic tiles to create pictures. Somehow out of this melée forms some pretty nice images considering. Emergence in action! Although it seems that most of the more intricate images are formed by only 1 or a couple of players. That said, the image of the map of the world is created by 18 people.

This was the scene on the Transport For London website today…

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I was IMing with Lindsay today and she asked how my baby was – referring of course to my thesis.  I didn’t like the analogy at all.  I think of it more like a scar – it’s something that really annoys you while it’s still fresh, but eventually it’ll be something that you can show off.

Latitude Festival

Friday was a day out from work, and a day of live music instead. We travelled up to Southwold from Ipswich to go to Suffolk’s first ever music festival – Latitude. First experience of it was not the best – poor signposting to get there and then getting jumped on for charity before even setting foot out of the car once in the car park. But from there on in it got much better. Latitude didn’t seem to be very heavily advertised and so the crowds where far more modest than other festivals, although they were still a good number of people there. We’d only booked tickets for the first day of the 3 day festival as for me that day had the best line-up – Stephen Fretwell, The Zutons and Snow Patrol. All 3 were absolutely great with the crowds getting bigger as each act came on. Stephen Fretwell managed to fit in a few new songs I hadn’t heard before, The Zutons were more foot-tapping and head-bobbing than I thought a band could ever be and Snow Patrol were just amazing. Lead singer, Gary Lightbody said it was their first gig back after losing his voice and the first time they’d headlined at a Festival. They went down an absolute storm – I’m not sure there was anybody outside the main tent when they were on.

As at any festival there were lots of acts at other stages that I’d never heard of – Nalle and M.Craft were two of them and both were excellent. Nalle was reminiscent of Joanna Newsom, but with a slightly different style. I also managed to catch the final song of the Pipettes who were a great song and dance act that I’m sorry I didn’t get to see more of.

The festival was sold as being more than just music, and so there was a literary tent, a theatre tent and a poetry tent. There was also art dotted about a nearby wood that had been lit up for walking during the evening. There was also a large lake nearby that offered free gondola rides, deck chairs lining the lake and a small freehold of painted sheep.

At the end of the day I was knackered, but I’d had a totally thrilling time, and thankfully not too long a trip back to Ipswich. Roll on Latitude 2007! Check out the photos on my Flickr photostream…

Ok, so I’ve decided to make wordpress.com the permanent new home for my blog. I’ve been really impressed with the level of features that wordpress.com has compared to Blogger. The level of control of the look of the blog is perhaps not as open as with Blogger (you can’t edit the HTML of the page directly, although you can still use HTML in each post and there are some excellent themes available that seem to be growing in number each week), but the amount of built-in features far outweighs this in my opinion. Trackback, comments, stats and categories are all built-in and the whole user experience is excellent. To top it off, the ability to add extra pages makes the whole package great – I’ve added a publications page and an about page so far.

I don’t want to spoil the show for Blogger too much though – its a great tool for first time bloggers who just want to post entries and engage with their audience, and it suited me really well for a while now. WordPress just offers that extra bit of functionality for anyone wanting a bit more.

Oh, and the image up above is one I took while out on my bike in Suffolk and the uncropped version is on my Flickr photostream.

Wow, I just read Kottke’s post about the Guardian hiring lip-readers to decipher what Materazzi said to Zidane to provoke the infamous headbutt. If this is true, then I totally second what Kottke says. While I don’t condone what Zidane did, I think it becomes a whole lot more understandable given what Materazzi allegedly said. Surely if lip-reading can be relied upon, then Materazzi should be very seriously punished for the outburst – particularly given the strong anti-racist theme of this World Cup.

Update: Ok, so apparently English lip-readers working on Italian subjects aren’t all that accurate.  I guess we’ll have to wait until we hear what Zinédine has to say.

I’ve finaly gotten around to putting up one of the tracks on the web from the band that I play in. We’re called Ripley and I’ve added our lastest effort to myspace.com/theripleyband.

This was recorded using Pro Tools and lots of other audio goodies I can’t mention because I wouldn’t know. Reb is our spectacular singer and songwriter, along with Huw who also plays guitar, Mike performs additional guitar overlays and I’m on the bass.