Weblog entries for May 2005

Gordon Brown's proposals “fraught with danger”
This letter to the FT — from a Professor of Economics, no less — explains far more clearly than I could why Gordon Brown should leave the housing market alone.

Self-referential aptitude test
A multiple-choice test whose questions are about itself. “The number of questions with the answer A is…” My brain hurts.

Smash-Up Derby
A band that performs mash-ups live. The band plays one song while a singer sings something different. Absolute genius. My favourite is probably Smells Like Billie Jean — Nirvana vs. Michael Jackson.

Web-based scavenger hunt. Find things or submit your own list. The perfect way to waste Friday afternoons.

Everything you thought you knew about grilling is wrong
How to barbecue food without ruining it. It's nearly that time of year again!

Predator at the Chessboard
An exhaustive but easily digestible guide to chess tactics.

Cover songs
The top-selling independent musicians on iTunes are those who have done cover versions of famous songs. It's because they appear in the results when people search for their favourite song name.

A staggering series of articles about Apple's new video codec, with demos. “This isn't streaming-web-video-low-res-choppy-stuff. This is television, being beamed out over the Internet at such a low data rate that the average cable-modem subscriber can download it four times faster than real time.”

Handwriting tips
Lots of advice about improving your handwriting if, like me, “your writing looks as if frenzied chickens got loose on the page“.

Inflection point
This was a big week in technology. Microsoft unveiled the new XBox, Google released their Web Accelerator and an Apple insider dropped heavy hints about the future of video.

Queen grants Rolf royal portrait
Rolf Harris is going to paint a portrait of the Queen, as part of her 80th birthday celebrations. I hope he keeps asking Prince Philip, “Can you tell what it is yet?”

BBC Backstage
Wow. “backstage.bbc.co.uk is the BBC's new developer network, providing content feeds for anyone to build with. Alternatively, share your ideas on new ways to use BBC content. This is your BBC. We want to help you play.”

The Keep-It-Clean Plan
How to keep the whole house clean in just 19 minutes a day. I am good at keeping files on my computer organised, but awful at keeping the house tidy. This should help.

Getting things done with Automator and Spotlight
This is the best reason I've yet found for using Mac OS X Tiger. Smart Folders are totally changing the way I work.

Han Solo in carbonite, in Lego
Life size!

How lightsabers work
“Have you ever wondered how these remarkable weapons work? Where does the energy come from, and how are they able to contain that energy in a rod-like column of glowing power?”

A history of the GUI
Some of these old interfaces are amazingly ugly.

Election night party pack
As if this evening wasn't shaping up to be thrilling enough already, the BBC have produced a party pack for you to download and enjoy while you watch the results come in.

Tiger details
“Notes, comments, and observations regarding Mac OS X 10.4.” It's being updated regularly and you can submit your own findings.

How to sit at a computer
I'm not sitting properly and I bet you're not either.

Moss graffiti
“This simple yet effective concoction is an old favourite of gardeners trying to encourage moss growth and provides an excellent alternative to spray paint.”

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These entries form part of Stephen Wettone's weblog.

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