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February 02, 2003

My mobile defection is complete: I'm now the prowd owner of a shiny, silvery phone that flips open, does Java games and has a big colour screen. Oh, and it makes calls too. Bonus! I'm looking forward to seeing if I can get it to play the Death Star march from Star Wars in all it's ominous polyphonic glory.

Dum dum dumm dum de dumm, dum de dumm...

The downside, of course, is that now begins the arduous task of letting everyone know my new number. If I haven't given it you get and you think I should have then let me know.

So, generally a demoralising couple of days, topped off by the news that we're in for another six weeks of winter, according to the groundhog. Fortunately for us we don't have groundhogs over here. I suppose the nearest we'd get is a hedgehog, which'd probably give us better odds as they're small and so cast smaller shadows. I doubt they can manage more than a couple extra days of cold weather.

I suppose it hasn't been all bad. At least I got to do the Orange Rooms last night, which may well become a weekend favorite. Roll on Friday night...

Posted by Dave at 08:25 PM Comments (0)
January 26, 2003

A guestbook entry from the ominously dubbed 'Rafe the Destroyer' scared up a little site modification this weekend. Thanks to the miracle of stylesheets you can do this.


For most people this will make absolutely no sense whatsoever. If you are one of those people I'll refer you to this entry for some background on Louise the disappearing orange. I've been meaning to put in some custom tools in for a while, and this seemed as good an opportunity as any. I've got some more styles up my sleeve, some of them a little more adventurous and a lot less garish, so keep an eye on the 'hamster stylee' menu.

Back to default style

Posted by Dave at 03:10 PM Comments (1)
January 24, 2003
Porn to go

I let this article slip under my nose earlier this week: Lately it seems like the adult industry is acting as the dark saviour of technology. When Napster went under, one of the first hopes to resurrect it was an adult entertainment company. Now it seems that the mobile networks (yes, mobiles again) are expecting porn to generate them £2.5 billion a year by 2006 and make those 3G licenses all worthwhile.

Doubtful. Phones are just not the right medium for porn. Sure they're discreet and you can hide them quickly if you hear the boss coming, but look at it this way: At least if you were (hypothetically speaking...) browsing online naughtiness on a train with a laptop it'd be big and flat enough cover up any, ahem, evidence of your activities to those not within sight of your monitor. Mobiles are way too small - who's going to risk that embarrassment while waiting for a bus?

Posted by Dave at 06:31 PM Comments (1)
Pitch Black

Night Blindness: Children may develop a 'profound fear of the dark' because they have difficulty seeing with the lights off.

Well, yeah.

Posted by Dave at 06:12 PM Comments (0)
January 22, 2003
Scientists clone cat. Sort of.

Wired reports that American scientists have managed to clone their first cat. I'm sure this isn't going to bother the Raelians, who are already hammering out their first batch of human clones. But this would be good news for pet lovers with a pet who's lost or sick, or who died and happened to leave some spare DNA hanging around.

According to her creators, the inventively named 'Cc' is a perfectly healthy genetic clone of her 'mother', Rainbow. Only, she has a different colour coat, different build and behaves nothing at all like the donor kitty. In fact, "You'd have to be told they were cloned in order to know". Forgive my scepticism, but, riiiiiiiight.

So why did they do it? I have a theory: Think government. Think CIA. It's like that movie 'Twins', with unpronounceable Arnie and Danny DeVito, where they make two test tube babies, but keep one a secret. See, what you won't read about is 'Bcc', the other experiment to produce an evil, genetically modified super-cat for domestic surveillance in criminal's homes, or covert-ops in India or...something.

OK, I admit it doesn't sound that scary, until you think about it: like the article says, 'scientists so far have been unable to clone a canine'. They can't do dogs yet! So how would anyone fight them? What the hell would we do if an army of crazed mega-moggies turned up in London intent on destroying the country's yarn industry and eating all our Whiskas? Makes you think...

Posted by Dave at 07:52 PM Comments (0)
January 20, 2003
On the evolution of buggies

This weekend I discovered that you can't buy buggies or prams anymore. Gone are the days when babies just needed a way to get around, and we used to think of prams as a cart for transporting your infant from A to B. These days it's just not that simple. These days, you need a Travel System.

In the 21st century babies have become like the hub of an intricate social network, and like a computer network you need to have the infrastructure in place well in advance of the delivery date. It has to be versatile, expandable, functional and robust. So you make a list, and after hours of careful scoping, proof-of concept exercises and user acceptance testing you finally find the travel system that's right for your needs.

But that's not the end. Once the kit arrives you still have to install it: A seemingly simple task, only no-one knows how to use any of the hardware because the manuals are completely incomprehensible and the person who bought the gear in the first place is out of the office (something about labour? I don't know...).

And then there's all the patches, add-ons and accessories that you have to add to keep things running smoothly after delivery: the carry pack, the changing station, the safety gates, the cosy-toe system(!?)... It's all about the systems. You'd think you need a computing qualification just to look after a child soon.

In case you were wondering, this is how I'm coming to terms with being a soon-to-be uncle. I've really gotta get some time off work!

Posted by Dave at 09:43 PM Comments (0)