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If technology doesn't seem like magic, it's probably obsolete

I'm finding less time to update my blog these days, but my flickr photostream is often updated.

Playing in my house right now...

At 00:00 GMT on Thursday I was listening to:

More of what I've been listening to

Latest pictures from my phone

www.flickr.com
More pictures from my phone


Monday October 31 2005 at 01:49 GMT

In further Russ-related news, he's going to be in London for the inaugural MobileMonday on 7th November, so I'm aiming to make it down then too. No idea when I'll travel but watch this space.

Monday October 31 2005 at 01:40 GMT

Whilst we were on holiday, one of the guys used this quote which I think is pretty good: it's better to be looking at it than for it (I think it was in reference to toilet roll at the time ;-). Catching up on my aggregator, Russ has a good quote too: If someone's using a PC to demo the Next Big Thing ... then it's not the next big thing.

Monday October 31 2005 at 01:36 GMT

The whirlwind that has been New York and Provence, plus Hazel's birthday party has almost come to an end. :-( Normal life will now resume and the working week begins tomorrow. Ah well...

Before I left, I posted a whole load of pictures in the gallery, so check those out if you've not done so already. Provence pictures will be posted shortly.

Saturday October 29 2005 at 01:06 GMT [via mobile]

... Chateauneuf du Pape.

... Chateauneuf du Pape.

Saturday October 29 2005 at 01:01 GMT [via mobile]

Saturday October 29 2005 at 00:59 GMT [via mobile]

Relaxation Central.

Relaxation Central.

Monday October 24 2005 at 21:31 GMT [via mobile]

Ian & Jams relaxing in the pool.

Ian & Jams relaxing in the pool.

Monday October 24 2005 at 21:27 GMT [via mobile]

Happy Birthday	Hazel!

Happy Birthday Hazel!

Monday October 24 2005 at 21:20 GMT [via mobile]

Jams patented y-splitter delivers Russian Shandies without requiring a glass!

Jams patented y-splitter delivers Russian Shandies without requiring a glass!

Monday October 24 2005 at 21:12 GMT [via mobile]

En route for a week of fun in Provence.

En route for a week of fun in Provence.

Friday October 21 2005 at 13:35 GMT

If you like in Canadianland, you can catch Pro on TV on the 1st of December at 10pm, Food Network (BIG image). You may remember he was filmed back in August.

Friday October 21 2005 at 02:30 GMT

New York was wonderful fun, but it just wasn't enough time. Here's what we got up to...

On Friday, we flew over, got to our hotel and then ... fell asleep. Woops.

On Saturday we were up fairly bright and early, and started the day with breakfast at the Red Flame Coffee Shop. With some good food inside us, headed out for a wander about and after a beer slowly wandered home, via a few shops on Fifth Avenue including Jimmy Choo, which wasn't as impressive as I'd expected. That night we head out to see Carl Cox at Crobar, which was very good. We even bought our way in to skip the queue. How impatient is that. ;-)

Basketball On Sunday we slept in quite late after getting home just after 5am, then went to see the extremely funny Avenue Q. I'm not a fan of musicals, but was persuaded it would be worth seeing, and it totally was. Well recommended if your visiting New York. After that we marched over to Madison Square Garden to see the Knicks get beaten by one point in the last minute by the Dallas Mavericks. Exciting stuff. Once Hazel had wondered at the array of junk food available, and we'd sampled a good variety, we headed home, before going out much later for a quick drink.

Cosmopolitans Monday saw us up sharp to go on the Sex and the City bus tour, which was genuinely great fun. We saw lots of parts of the city we would never have made it to by ourselves. After that, we went to a shoo shop which was super impressive (Manolo Blahnik) and one of us purchased some beautiful feet-covers. After that we crossed the road to the Museum of Modern Art for a few hours. We headed back to the hotel via the cool M Bar at the Mansfield Hotel.

Manolo Blahnik Monday night, we headed out originally to Gramercy Tavern, but our stomaches couldn't wait the hour required to get a table, so after some stumbling around we found Republic, a noodle place much in the style of Wagamama. We'd been trying to find a good jazz club all weekend, and we finally found Village Vanguard where we saw the Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra who were most enjoyable.

On Tuesday, it was all over, and we had to pack up. :-( After a walk through Grand Central Station, we picked up bagels from the best place ever: Daniel's Bagels. Mmmmm-mmmmm. After paying our respects at the World Trade Center site, we caught the subway home, collected our cases and made our way back to the airport -- EARLY!!!

Our flying visit really was brilliant fun, and we managed to pack a lot into such a short time. If Hazel has anything to do with it, we'll be back shortly.

The full gallery of pictures is here.

Thursday October 20 2005 at 23:51 GMT

Back in August I posted about the RIBA Stirling Prize. At the weekend the winner was announced ... and amazingly it was the Scottish Parliament that won!

On a related note, the new series of Grand Designs has begun. The first programme in the new series followed a 78-year old lady building her new house. It really did not seem that interesting, however. I'm sure the rest of the series will pick up quickly though. My own plans to build a house are definitely formulating. It seems like one of those things you just need to do in life.

Tuesday October 18 2005 at 15:08 GMT

It seems that the mail server I use to post pictures has taken a break from service, so nothing has shown up. Grrrr. I've posted a few directly today, perhaps the others will turn up at some point.

It's been a very busy and fun few days, which have come to an end all too quickly. Our planes leaves in 7 hours...

Big thanks to everyone who dropped me a mail or left a comment about places to go and things to do. Full report when we get back.

Tuesday October 18 2005 at 15:05 GMT [via mobile]

Here they are: one pair of incredible Manolo Blahnik\'s.  This picture does 
not do them justice at all, plus they need a beautiful girl to be wearing them for the 
full effect.  :-D

Here they are: one pair of incredible Manolo Blahnik's. This picture does not do them justice at all, plus they need a beautiful girl to be wearing them for the full effect. :-D

Tuesday October 18 2005 at 15:03 GMT [via mobile]

After visits to Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik, Hazel finally 
found a beautiful pair of shoes.  When we went for dinner last night, she waltzed off 
without me, saying she had everything she needed now...

After visits to Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik, Hazel finally found a beautiful pair of shoes. When we went for dinner last night, she waltzed off without me, saying she had everything she needed now...

Tuesday October 18 2005 at 14:58 GMT [via mobile]

Yesterday Hazel and I went on a Sex and the City bus tour.  It was a very cool way 
to not only see so many of the locations, but also to see parts of New York we wouldn\'t 
have had time to otherwise.  We\'re sitting on Carrie\'s front stoop here.  :-D

Yesterday Hazel and I went on a Sex and the City bus tour. It was a very cool way to not only see so many of the locations, but also to see parts of New York we wouldn't have had time to otherwise. We're sitting on Carrie's front stoop here. :-D

Tuesday October 18 2005 at 14:51 GMT [via mobile]

On Sunday we saw the New York Knicks getting beaten by one point, by the Dallas Mavericks.  Even though it was a pre-season game, the atmosphere was electric at the end.

On Sunday we saw the New York Knicks getting beaten by one point, by the Dallas Mavericks. Even though it was a pre-season game, the atmosphere was electric at the end.

Tuesday October 18 2005 at 14:48 GMT [via mobile]

Saturday October 15 2005 at 19:16 GMT [via mobile]

We made all our flights on time (just!). Today the rain has stopped, and we\'ve wandered around in glorious sunshine. I\'m enjoying a sample of beers before Hazel decimates the holiday budget at Jimmy Choo. Stand by New York!

We made all our flights on time (just!). Today the rain has stopped, and we've wandered around in glorious sunshine. I'm enjoying a sample of beers before Hazel decimates the holiday budget at Jimmy Choo. Stand by New York!

Thursday October 13 2005 at 23:35 GMT

With all the craziness that Google Maps has thrown up, it's hardly surprising that someone managed to hook things into the Garmin XML format. After a bit of searching last night, I stumbled across this loveliness.

After a quick upload to my own server, a request for a google API key and a little tweak to handle dynamic filenames, I give you this. Please note: none of the cool coding here is mine, I downloaded it from these guys.

Of course, you really want to see it in action, so here are a few samples. For collest results, make sure you select 'satellite' instead of map:

Insane, no? The Internet rocks.

Thursday October 13 2005 at 00:35 GMT

If you're one of those funny people who still actually look at my site site in a browser, then you'll have noticed the front page (just up there ^^^) has a whole stack of links now. These are things I've been reading and thought you may find them interesting too. You can check out all of the links I've added on my del.icio.us account. Naturally, there's an RSS feed too.

Wednesday October 12 2005 at 14:14 GMT [via mobile]

I picked up a tub of Mighty Muesli at Herbie (deli) the other day, after reading a short article about it in the shop. I was wary about quite how worthy it appeared, and how tasteless it might be, but after two large bowls I can confirm it is truly excellent, despite the hefty pricetag (the tub was £5.25). More information on www.mightymuesli.com .

I picked up a tub of Mighty Muesli at Herbie (deli) the other day, after reading a short article about it in the shop. I was wary about quite how worthy it appeared, and how tasteless it might be, but after two large bowls I can confirm it is truly excellent, despite the hefty pricetag (the tub was £5.25). More information on www.mightymuesli.com .

Wednesday October 12 2005 at 01:18 GMT

Quite a while back I tried to configure SpamAssasin at my ISP, but it just sent me lots of mails telling me I had spam, which totally defeated the point. After a flood of junk over the weekend, and the seemingly increasing temperamental nature of Thunderbird's junk rules, I decided to look again. To my delight, my ISP has implemented what appears to be a much-updated version of the software, with an extremely easy configuration screen.

Having initially left the threshold at 5.0 (mails are given a rating by SpamAssasin according to a set of rules), one or two slipped through the net, so I've decreased the rating to 4.5 which rates a pretty aggressive filter. So far, there have been no false-positives. Hopefully it will stay that way, and I can continue to collect my mail on my phone, without annoyance at paying to spam delivery.

The breakdown analysis does hold some strange fascination for me though. As an example, here's the highest-rated piece of junk received thus far:

Content preview: and trilogy may scabbard the residue or dow but fawn not
lilliputian see remitting not paranormal see pullover , demigod and
eloquent and braun , demystify or ivory Or maybe not [...]

Content analysis details: (40.5 points, 5.0 required)

pts rule name description
---- ---------------------- --------------------------------------------------
3.4 HELO_DYNAMIC_IPADDR Relay HELO'd using suspicious hostname (IP addr
1)
2.7 HELO_DYNAMIC_DHCP Relay HELO'd using suspicious hostname (DHCP)
0.0 HTML_MESSAGE BODY: HTML included in message
0.0 MIME_HTML_ONLY BODY: Message only has text/html MIME parts
2.4 HTML_IMAGE_ONLY_08 BODY: HTML: images with 400-800 bytes of words
3.1 RCVD_IN_XBL RBL: Received via a relay in Spamhaus XBL
[24.169.126.99 listed in sbl-xbl.spamhaus.org]
0.3 RCVD_IN_NJABL_PROXY RBL: NJABL: sender is an open proxy
[24.169.126.99 listed in combined.njabl.org]
2.0 RCVD_IN_SORBS_DUL RBL: SORBS: sent directly from dynamic IP address
[24.169.126.99 listed in dnsbl.sorbs.net]
1.8 RCVD_IN_SORBS_SOCKS RBL: SORBS: sender is open SOCKS proxy server
[24.169.126.99 listed in dnsbl.sorbs.net]
1.8 RCVD_IN_DSBL RBL: Received via a relay in list.dsbl.org
[]
1.3 RCVD_IN_BL_SPAMCOP_NET RBL: Received via a relay in bl.spamcop.net
[Blocked - see ]
1.7 RCVD_IN_NJABL_DUL RBL: NJABL: dialup sender did non-local SMTP
[24.169.126.99 listed in combined.njabl.org]
2.2 RCVD_IN_WHOIS_INVALID RBL: CompleteWhois: sender on invalid IP block
[24.169.126.99 listed in combined-HIB.dnsiplists.completewhois.com]
1.1 URIBL_SBL Contains an URL listed in the SBL blocklist
[URIs: ******.net]
3.6 URIBL_SC_SURBL Contains an URL listed in the SC SURBL blocklist
[URIs: ******.net]
3.4 URIBL_JP_SURBL Contains an URL listed in the JP SURBL blocklist
[URIs: ******.net]
1.5 URIBL_WS_SURBL Contains an URL listed in the WS SURBL blocklist
[URIs: ******.net]
2.6 URIBL_OB_SURBL Contains an URL listed in the OB SURBL blocklist
[URIs: ******.net]
3.3 URIBL_AB_SURBL Contains an URL listed in the AB SURBL blocklist
[URIs: ******.net]
2.0 FORGED_MSGID_MSN Message-ID is forged, (msn.com)
0.3 HTML_SHORT_LINK_IMG_1 HTML is very short with a linked image

Wednesday October 12 2005 at 00:02 GMT [via mobile]

Hazel cooked up a storm with this salmon teryaki. Yum yum yum.

Hazel cooked up a storm with this salmon teryaki. Yum yum yum.

Monday October 10 2005 at 15:13 GMT

My aggregator has been filling with stories for too long, and I've been neglecting it. Here's a few nuggets of interest:

Monday October 10 2005 at 09:16 GMT

Finally, my new phone is announced. That boy is going to ROCK! Wifi & 3G. Hello!!!

Update: here are some pictures of the P990, but be warned this page is MASSIVE.

Update 2: the top highlights for me are:

  • wifi
  • 4GB removable memory capability (iPod, what iPod)
  • 2MP camera
This boy is going to be truly revolutionary.

Update 3 (15.14 GMT): More coverage of the P990: Gizmodo, Inquirer, Unofficial Club Sony Ericsson (which has the easiest-to-view pictures), official Sony Ericsson P990 pictures.

Several further things caught my eye as I re-read the spec. One, there is an RDS radio included ... but GPS missed out (I know which I'd have preferred). Two, there are Word and Excel editors included as standard. Three, the VPN client is standard (I can't see that in the P910 specs). Four, separate controls for play/pause of music, volume control and camera activation/capture makes a huge amount of sense, and takes on the iPod crowd.

This phone is seriously set for business:

  • 3G and wifi capability give so much connectivity it's not even funny these days
  • push email/Blackberry compatability removes the Blackberry/separate phone situation many people find themselves in
  • Word & Excel editing plus PowerPoint & PDF viewing covers the majority of documents fired around a corporate network
  • VPN connectivity working with Opera 8 to browse internal sites and applications, the majority of which are inter- or intranet based these days
I will definitely be doing some test-runs of this setup when I get my P990, to see how well it copes. All I need now is a wireless network in the office (that's a big hint to Bill ;-).

Update 4 (22.36 GMT): slashdot discusses the P990, InfosyncWorld mentions the P990 and then reviews it.

Monday October 10 2005 at 00:16 GMT

Saturday was the first race of the winter cross-country season at Corstorphine Hill. It was a beautiful day, and a team from our club (one of seven we had in!) walked away with the first prize. My run was a bit of a struggle round, but things can only get better!

Sunday October 9 2005 at 23:40 GMT

Hazel is having a little birthday (she'll be 21 :-D), so I'm whisking her off to New York next weekend. We're looking for recommendations of restaurants and bars, so if you've got a suggestion, please leave a comment or drop me a mail.

Sunday October 9 2005 at 23:30 GMT

Tonight Viv (my sister) and I watched Monster, about the life of serial killer Aileen Wuornos and Tyria Moore.

It was a reasonable film, but I've no idea how it won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. It must be pretty crazy being Tyria Moore, who's likely still alive, though.

Thursday October 6 2005 at 13:19 GMT

There's going to be an Edinburgh Half Marathon in 2006. That could fit in quite nicely to my London Marathon training. Fingers still crossed in hope of a place!

Thursday October 6 2005 at 12:59 GMT

Last night I persuaded Hazel to come along to a Spring Heel Jack concert with me at the Queens Hall. Spring Heel Jack are a drum and bass outfit, but they've been straying into some jazz territories lately, so I thought it would be a winner. What I didn't fully grasp was that it was going to be quite such a free jazz extravaganza. Lucky it wasn't a first date. ;-)

Overall, I enjoyed the concert. It's been a while since I caught live jazz, and this was something slightly different from the norm. I have to admit I would have loved them to play a few classics from 68 Million Shades, but it wasn't to be. The format was two sessions.

On a related note, I see that Henry's Jazz Cellar, which is very handy for my office, is moving to the Grassmarket ... and Jools Holland is opening a jazz club here too. To see Later ... With Jools Holland being filmed would be a brilliant experience.

Tuesday October 4 2005 at 21:22 GMT

The name is a little strange, but finally 24 hour laundry has decloaked, and Diego and co. have launched Ning. Ning is a playground for building and using social applications on the web. Basically, they've done the hard work so that we (users) can knock together apps without the headaches. There will be plenty of innovation in the next few weeks.

I've got no idea when Mike Bitsplitter started working for them, but he's done a nice job rounding up the launch news.

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