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
More pictures from my phone

Thursday May 31 2007 at 12:26 GMT

It's not often I feel left technologically left behind, but Tom is making me feel that way just now! Tom is running a Web server on his Nokia N95 (phone), with a whole bunch of features such as sending an IM to the phone or requesting a picture be taken. Once the GPS portion is working properly, you should be able to see him on this map too.

If you want to try it out, the software Tom is running is the Nokia Mobile Web Server which Tom says is a piece of cake to install. There are a good number of reasons why you would want to run a Web server on your phone, but strangely they've missed two obvious reasons: 1) it's fun; 2) because you can.

Naturally, I've been trying to catch up, but there is no Mobile Web Server for UIQ, my platform of choice, and the chance of me actually being able to create one myself are minimal. Rest assured, as soon as I can run a site on my phone, I will.

Monday May 28 2007 at 14:34 GMT

When I woke up yesterday to hear the rain rattling down, the wind whistling and temperatures (taking wind chill into account) of 0C, I really felt for all the runners about to embark on 26 miles largely along the seafront. After rocking down to Prestonpans on my bike and getting final instructions, I took up my static(!) position outside Cockenzie power station, just before mile 12. The wind whipping down the road was incredible, and I really felt sorry for some of the later runners.

After completing my marshal duties for the runners coming back towards the finish at Musselburgh Racecourse and waiting for the sweeper bus to go past, I handed back my radio and cycled along to see what the finish was like after hearing very good reports from some people who had been in the grandstand. Even as those last few runners were trailing in, the response was very warm indeed, which was superb.

The new out-and-back course route seemed a bit boring to me, and I'm not sure how I'd have felt running with the wind in my face for 10 miles, but clearly I'm in the minority as all but one of the reviews on Runner's World said they would come back (and the other one is a 'maybe'). Overall, the response has been extremely positive which must come as a huge relief to the race organisers.

The one thing I really wish runners would do is write their names on their tops, on the front, and in a visible location. The number of people with their name on their back, or squirrelled away at the bottom of their running top was significant. This should really become a piece of standard marathon running guidance: it boosts the runners and it gives spectators something to shout about, improving the atmosphere for everyone. There is a chance I'm being too harsh here, as many people kept tops on over their running vests given the weather.

In terms of marathon organisation, it would be good to see an easier way for spectators to get to the route. Many of the roads were blocked off, but a little more thought in that area could perhaps have had a few shuttle buses running up and down, or else car parking for spectators. Even having the normal bus services running earlier on Sunday would have been a bonus and again improved the atmosphere.

Congratulations to all the runners and very well done to the organisers for overcoming what many suspected were insurmountable obstacles (or at least, were reported as insurmountable obstacles). Maybe next year I'll run it. Maybe.

More stories here: The Scotsman.

Friday May 25 2007 at 16:42 GMT

There's a flashmob in Edinburgh this weekend: details here.

Thursday May 24 2007 at 14:22 GMT

This weekend is the Edinburgh Marathon (although based on the route, it is perhaps more accurately the East Lothian Marathon). Last year I volunteered to be a marshal, and I've done the same this year, but with a twist. I originally applied to be a sector marshal, but said I could alternatively be a bike marshal, and they've asked me to take the second role.

The weather looks like good marathon-running conditions, so make sure you get out and support the runners. Course marshals are still needed for the far end of the course, so if you're free on Sunday morning sign up here.

Runners, enjoy the race!

Thursday May 24 2007 at 11:09 GMT

My ISP had some problems with the server I use yesterday, and as a result I've lost blog posts and comments, which are recoverable, but also a lot of mail ... which is not recoverable. Apparently the backup creation system has a bug.

The site should return to normal shortly, but if you sent me anything important by email in the last month, please resend it. Sigh...

Monday May 21 2007 at 16:01 GMT

The Six Cities event is on around Scotland at the moment, and there's some great things on. Tonight I'm off to hear about design and creativity and the effect it has had at Nokia with dwlt.

A few other things that look fun:

Saturday May 19 2007 at 18:53 GMT

Mark Thomas has some brilliant ideas and really gets on and does things. Check out his latest campaign against the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act. It may only be on the BBC Listen Again for another few days, so listen quickly.

Monday May 14 2007 at 16:29 GMT

St Mirren had a great win at the weekend that, along with a loss by Dunfermline, secured their place in the Scottish Premier League. Much rejoicing!

Wednesday May 9 2007 at 19:37 GMT

Sony Ericsson announced the P1 today, which is sort-of the replacement for the P990. A better camera would certainly be nicer, but I'm not sure I'll be clamouring for it.

Rafe has some nice pictures here.

Sunday May 6 2007 at 21:32 GMT

As I said, I've been a big fan of the Bear Grylls series, Born Survivor. As I was browsing the Web, I came across a comment that more programmes had been filmed than Channel 4 had shown:
Born Survivor

01 Costa Rica
02 The Alps
03 Everglades
04 Desert Island
05 Sierra Nevada
06 Alaska
07 The Moab Desert
08 Copper Canyon

Man vs. Wild

1. Moab Desert, Utah
2. Costa Rican Rain Forest
3. Alaskan Mountain Range
4. Hawaii - Mount Kilauea
5. Sierra Nevada
6. African Savanna - Kenya
7. European Alps
8. Desert Island
9. Rocky Mountains

Hawaii, African Savanna and Rocky Mountains were not shown in the UK, however if you really want to see them, I believe a quick search could point you in the right direction. If you have problems finding them, let me know and I'll see if I can find someone to help. ;-)

Thursday May 3 2007 at 10:14 GMT

Don't forget to exercise your vote today, for those in Scotland. The ballot papers are pretty complicated, so make sure you've read the guide before you go.

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