Weblog entries for October 2004

Oblique Strategies
A deck of cards originally published in 1975 by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt. Upon each card was printed one of the many observations they had made during their work together.

Rubik's Cube solution
Maybe my brain works the wrong way, but even with a 3D model that shows the solution step-by-step, I'm still baffled.

The iPod Sock
Everyone is concentrating on the iPod Photo and neglecting to mention this. A friend of mine carries his digital camera in a sock; perhaps he'll add this to his wish list for Christmas.

Red Sox win World Series
Thus ending an 86-year wait since Babe Ruth was sold to the New York Yankees in 1920.

John Peel, 1939-2004
There'll never be another like him.

Career Calculus
Focus on the first derivative in order to improve your career prospects.


To Do items

To Do items

Microsoft's financial horizon
Interesting take on Microsoft's financial prospects from a Microsoftie.

Hitchhiker's Guide Entry Competition
Can you improve on “Mostly harmless”? If so, hurry up, the competition closes on Sunday.

Lots of really beautifully illustrated Flash games.

Swedish Chef clips
Bork bork bork.

An Introduction to Using Patterns in Web Design
This has been floating around the web for a couple of weeks, so you may already have seen it. But if you haven't, this seems to be the most helpful advice yet for designing user interfaces.

A universal remote that turns off almost any television.

The world's greatest recipe collection, it says here.

The Power of Nightmares
“In the past our politicians offered us dreams of a better world. Now they promise to protect us from nightmares. But just as the dreams weren't true, neither are these nightmares.” Wednesday, 9pm, BBC Two.

Don't carry your laptop around in a conspicuous laptop bag. Disguise it with this cunning product.

How to be creative
“90% of what seperates successful people and failed people is time, effort and stamina.”

Bush is “truly not that concerned” about bin Laden
The mind boggles.

The seed of Apple's invention
Probably the best interview with Steve Jobs I've ever read.

The greatest equations ever
Article from Physics World describing the thinking behind the voting for the top 20 equations of all time. 1 + 1 = 2 appears eighth on the list.

A decade on the Web with Netscape
The first public beta of Netscape was released ten years ago today. Do yourself a favour: get Firefox, its rightful heir.

Froogle UK
“froo·gle (fru'gal) n. Smart shopping through Google.” Now available in the UK.

Safari-style tabs for Firefox OS X
Much nicer than the default.

TextMate — new editor for Mac OS X
Looks pretty good. Not sure if it's a BBEdit-killer. Time will tell.

Christopher Reeve, 1952-2004
Farewell, Superman.

Ten Years Of My Life
One photo a day for ten years. Really nice photo blog.

Star Wars origami
All I want for Christmas is a paper AT-AT.

Flashmob — the opera
“There will be something like 200 people on site, including a 62-piece orchestra, a choir of singing policemen and a chorus of football fans…” All filmed live at Paddington Station.

Chess openings
“There are 20 possible first moves for White. Ironically, all 20 have names. Most of the moves have a logical strategy behind them.” I know it's desperately geeky, but it's nicely done.

Custom coloured iMacs and iPods
I'm not sure whether this is heresy or genius. The laptops look a bit strange, but the new iMacs look fantastic. Ferrari red? Yum.

Global Vote 2004
Let the US know your opinion on this year's election.

Ten commands every Linux developer should know
Excellent article. Things like this make me realise how little I really know.

Paris by night
Prepare to scroll sideways. Beautiful 360° photo of the Paris skyline.


Big band, small name

Last night our local pub (which is marvellous, by the way, we must take you there some time) had a group playing live jazz. They'd been advertising it on the blackboards for a couple of weeks and, since we are quite partial to the odd bit of jazz, we went along.

They were pretty good, I must say. When we got there they had already started, and we were lucky to get a table because the place was packed. There were two of them — one playing trumpet and flugelhorn alternately and the other playing alto or tenor sax, with backing tracks playing bass and percussion.

The only odd thing about them was their name. You know how some jazz ensembles name themselves: “The Miles Davis Quintet” or “Dave Brubeck Quartet”, for example. It's sensible because it directs your attention to the most important thing (i.e. that Miles Davis is playing) while saving the trouble of thinking up a clever name or having to list the names of all the musicians.

The twosome playing last night were called “The Simon Currie Duo” which struck me as rather silly. Granted, it does save the trouble of thinking up a clever name, but would they be wasting all that many letters by giving the name of the other bloke? “Simon Currie and John Smith” doesn't take up that much extra room, does it?

We spent half the time speculating. Which one of the two was Simon Currie? (Consensus was that it was the trumpeter.) What was the saxophonist's name and had he deliberately chosen to remain anonymous? These questions need answers.

Favicon from Pics
Make a favicon for your site by uploading any image.

Music plasma
Weird and wonderful visual music search engine.

Ricky Gervais releases a new book. It's supposed to be for children, okay?


Libtechnorati 0.1 is released

At long last, I've got round to releasing some of my work as open source.

Libtechnorati is a PHP implementation of the Technorati API. Get it while it's hot.

Here's hoping it was worth the wait!

Aerial photos and maps overlaid
This is fantastic. Search with a postcode as normal and be amazed.

Drink tea
The 1984 game of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, reborn as a Flash movie.

Michael Fish retires this month
Britain's (and possibly the world's) longest serving TV weather forecaster looks back at his career, and that hurricane quote.

Colour scheme generator
A very clever tool, which I've used to create the colour scheme for this site.

Google audio search in 2006?
More of the ‘what-will-Google-do-next’ predictions.

Firefox: 3 million people can't be wrong
Firefox has been downloaded 3 million times and, judging by the graph, shows little sign of slowing down.

A maths/physics problem
“If you are walking from point A to point B in the rain, do you get more or less wet depending on how fast you walk?”

Fonts for programmers
If you're tired of looking at Courier New all day every day, here are some suggestions for different fonts you might prefer.

AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail, Earthlink and Comcast to start requiring SPF on incoming email
“[Messages] that cannot be authenticated will be assumed to be spam or a phishing attempt and will be rejected.” If this is right, it seems a pretty drastic (and welcome) step in the fight against spam.

Transport Direct
Londoners have had something similar for a while; now there's a journey planner covering the whole of the UK.

Tories pushed into fourth place in Hartlepool by-election
Would the last person to leave Conservative Central Office please turn out the light?

Marketing Firefox
“Goals: 10 million downloads for Firefox 1.0 within 100 days after its release; 10%+ marketshare within 12 months.”

IE — embraced, extended, extinct?
CNet special report on what the future holds for IE.

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