Sunday, May 30, 2004

Finally RFID finds an everyday use .... almost

Recently I went to a conference on Ubiquitious Computing (Mark Weiser is the father of ubiquitous computing)

The conference was thought provoking and the debates were argued with passion - in particular the pros and cons of RFID and the knock on effect on privacy to the individual.  While everybody could (and did) agree that RFID will improve inventory control and order processing - streamlining businesses and in fact even improving the shopping experience.

Where the debate raged was in the "future" of RFID and the ability to track anything. One arguement was that the criminal element of the world could be tracked and processes could be put in place to prevent them straying further from the path.  Unfortunately what seemed to be unconstrained was knowing WHAT was recorded, WHEN it was being tracked/probed/monitored and of course WHO was doing the tracking probing.

An example use given was, as an emergency monitor for the aged and infirm, and maybe even tracking the prosecuted villans of the world.  This opportunity, to track the criminal element, was taken forward.  For it to be realistic, one would need to capture every criminal or wannabe criminal first and implant them.  This is a little impractical, unless it is something that is done early on in the person's life - ummm, e.g. Birth.  Now this opens pandora's box even further - now everybody is trackable, by anybody with the inclination.

This proved to be the losing arguement - and the house (pro) lost, even though it was actually in the direction of ubiquitious computing.

Now ... the (from Layer 8) is an interesting USE for such technology;
Long weekend: Tip #1 Attention golfers: Never lose another ball in the woods or tall grass again. RadarGolf has created a device that lets your help find your wayward shot using RFID technology embedded...

[via Layer 8]

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Recipe of the day

This dedicated to Dave O and all Banoffee pie lovers out there - lets spread the word

A great reference to all things Banoffee can be found at The Banoffee Pie Page

However for those of you desperate for the recipe already ...

2 Tins (~400g) of condensed milk
Three large bananas
One packet of digestives or similar
2 tablespoons margarine (or butter)
Half-pint of double cream, or whipping cream

Put the sealed tin of condensed milk in a pan of boiling water and allow to boil/simmer for around 2 hours. Place a lid on the pan to prevent all the water boiling off. ***do not let the water boil dry***
When done, remove the tin and leave to cool.

While the milk is cooking make the base.
Crush the biscuits in a freezer bag with a rolling pin until they are reduced to crumbs. Gently heat some margarine in a saucepan or a microwave until soft/liquid.
Pour crumbs and liquid/soft margarine and mix in with the crumbs until they start to bind together. Transfer the biscuit crumbs to a round dish and flatten with a spoon so that the base is covered. Place in the fridge to set.

When the tins are cool enough to handle, open carefully - the condensed milk will have caramelised and may well shoot out the opening.
Pour/spoon the toffee from the tin onto the biscuit base of the dish.
Slice the bananas and arrange them on top of the toffee.
Cover in cream as required.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Eric Idle's Singing Tribute to the FCC

"Here's a little song I wrote the other day while I was out duck hunting with a judge… It’s a new song, it’s dedicated to the FCC and if they broadcast it, it will cost a quarter of a million dollars." 


Monday, May 24, 2004

The Wine has landed

Bubbling finished
Bottles a brushed
A sip, sip, sip
wine made :)

More Prague pictures

Just to prove we didn't spend the entire weekend underground.

Not all were from this year :)

When in Prague

Eat well.... try the Museum of Torture

Though on the inside it seemed to be a fairly ordinary McFastFood shop...


Some other pictures of the group/Prague
(well ok only one of Prague.... it is not the done thing to take a camera to all the places one goes to on a stag weekend.)

Friday, May 21, 2004

Prague :)

Off to Prague today - Stag weekend 8-)
I'll try to take some non-blurred pictures and post a few when I get back.

Meanwhile .... Town sold (again)

Town Sold On eBay Finally Sold For Real... But Not On eBay Back in 2002 there was a tremendous amount of hype when Bridgeville, the small (mostly deserted) California town was put up for sale on eBay. It eventually sold in an auction for $1.8 million - and got a tremendous amount of press attention. The only problem: the $1.8 million bid was a hoax. A whole year went by and the owners of the "town" sheepishly admitted that the buyer (and his money) never showed up. Now, however, the town has been sold again - but not on eBay, and back down at its original asking price of $700,000. Even with the failure of the actual sale to go through, though, people still remember that you can "sell a town on eBay," contributing to the use of eBay as a PR platform beyond just its ability to match buyers and sellers.

[via Techdirt]


Has SCO gone mad ...?

I used to be a fan of SCO - heck I nearly worked there back in the late 80s.  BUT now they seem to have lost it.

I just fail to see what this will do to help them in their case against IBM or long term financial benefit it will give them.  In fact I would have thought that trawling through all the information from FSF will be a painful expensive exercise for both SCO and FSF.   The only people who are going to make money out of this are the lawyers!  Enough already.  SCO go home!

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

OS X on a PC???

Now that is something I will have to try out.  Free too :)
Watch this space and I will let you know how I get on.

Original lead care of Wired News;
OS X Makes Slow Debut on PC German students develop the first emulator for running Mac OS X on a Windows machine.

Olympic decision postponed!

I am joking, or am I?

I find it incredible that millions of pounds (of tax payers money) is being spent by 9 countries for the chance to host the olympics in 2012.  Yet the Committee seems to be enjoying their job - since the decision is still not expected for over another year --- WHAT ARE THEY DOING?

London awaits 2012 decision The nine cities bidding for the 2012 Olympics will find out if they have made the initial cut on Tuesday.

[via BBC News | News Front Page | UK Edition]

Monday, May 17, 2004

What more needs to be said :)

(thanks to Gareth for finding this one)
TiVo saviour of the advert?

It seems that TiVo is not the nemisis of advertisers, statistics (see Lies Damn Lies and Statistics further down) recently published by TiVo about the superbowl suggest that the adverts were the second most replayed aspect of the superbowl.

Apart from the fact that advertisers will be pleased, I have to wonder what these special adverts were like?  Are they still being aired?  I do not hesitate to fast forward through the adverts and in fact irrate friends (who force me to watch them) by mimicking the soundeffect of the TiVo fast forward.  For me they interrupt my mental process and ruin what I was watching.  I am as likely to get up and do something else forgetting what and why I was watching TV in the first place.  Surely I am not alone in this behaviour.

The quality of TV is suspect most of the time, hindered further by the fact that advertisers seem to only put effort in to addictive programming for a short time/special occasions, with those adverts/programs soon losing their appeal to the masses.  Maybe Blipverts from MAX HEADROOM was on the right line, at least they would only last a split second.

The good news is that I have recently bought my parents a TiVo :) 

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 'A TiVo moment to bust open the market' from Red Herring Blog.

North Dekota sounds DANGEROUS!

Man Angry At Mobile Phone Service, Starts Throwing Phones These days, with things like number portability around, if you don't really like your mobile phone provider, you can simply change providers. Apparently, that wasn't what a man in North Dakota wanted, though. He went to the local Verizon Wireless store, pissed off about something, and when yelling at employees (his original intention) didn't satisfy him, he started to fling mobile phones around the store causing $2,000 worth of damages and injuring (not badly) an employee. Of course, you have to wonder about his claim that he only intended to yell at employees. Before he started his fling fest he apparently took off his shirt (?!?) and put on safety goggles. Amusingly, this was done at a Verizon Wireless store - and Verizon Wireless tends to get some of the best marks for customer service.

In Memory of Dakota Da Cat

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Hmmm, can't seem to work out how to allow comments to be left.
A problem for tomorrow

So I had to include this as a "tip of the hat" to my old Maths school books - which I had covered with the quote "Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics"

My teacher was surprisingly amused, but only when I was able to say where the quote had come from; while often considered to be Mark Twain - Twain actually credits Benjamim Disraeli

Looks like lunches in the City are going high tech

"Lies, Damn Lies And Technology A few months ago we wrote about how one guy predicted that 3G mobile phones would never take off because the camera phone part would make it difficult to lie about where you were. We had no idea that most people used their mobile phones to lie about their location (or that that single factor would damn the entire product category). However, apparently the lying segment of the population is out there, and they've got money to spend, so solutions started cropping up, including a way to put fake image backgrounds into camera phone images to make people think you're somewhere you're not and (even more impressive) fake audio sounds to complete the faux imagery. There are even (apparently) bars that have fake office backdrops for camera phone enabled workers sneaking out for a drink. Douglas Rushkoff is now wondering about all this technological effort put into helping us lie better and wonders if it really shows how technology advancements make us more truthful. All these efforts show that people now need to make much more of an effort to be dishonest, which makes it even clearer (perhaps to themselves as well) how much they are lying. In fact, Rushkoff believes that such enforced honesty should be seen as an opportunity for people, rather than as a reason to avoid the technology altogether.

[via Techdirt]"

So, a quick wine update

The wine I am making is entering its last stage, and then we start the messy bottling process.  Not know for being messy, I think it must be something to do with my approach :)  Anyhow, it will be my next opportunity to taste it.

Yesterday's accidental taste was positive.  The wine had a big fruity flavour - no oak yet - and gave a slight tingle to the lips.  The Specific Gravity was at .992 which I am happy with.  Couldn't taste any tannins which I was a little surprised about.  All in all very positive.

I'll see if I can take an interesting picture and add it to this... two technical challenges :)



Newszcrawler really does help summarise the inumerable newsfeeds and websites out there that you want to keep up to date with.

Maybe now I will begin to write a little more.


check out