Averages

  • all particles (waves?) behave chaotically within boundaries, averaging at at some mean that allows us to predict gross, or macro behaviour.
  • as with all laws, they can be stretched, and, with the laws of averages, they allow for outliers on any sides of a mean (3dimensional mean? 4d?), so you’ll get the odd atom behaving totally out of character. But because it’s averaged out, rarely see any effect… but sometimes you do.
  • Einstein(?), Galileo, Newton(?) working on the averages

Jensen Interceptor

There was one outside work, so I took a photo for all you lovely people. This of course put me in mind of The Saint. So that’s Song Of The Day.

I’ve never seen the The Saint on TV (it was probably on ITV). I always vaguely thought Roger Moore drove the Volvo and then at some point changed to the Jensen. No. Roger Moore played Simon Templar in the 60’s. The Jensen The Saint was a 1976 model, driven in the remake series in 1989. The chap playing Templar was Simon Dutton (Duttons are another fantastic make of car, but I digress).  You learn something new every day.

I chose the Orbital version cos:

  1. It’s the only version I own
  2. It’s quite kick arse.

The Cult’s Saint is quite good too, and very kick arse, but not quite aligned with the Jensen.

Above the Gulf of Arabia

Top one from the 90’s today… The The – Sweet Bird of Truth from the album Infected. Awesome song, awesome album. Amazing how the mind plays tricks. I was convinced it reminded me of 6th form Common Room in the late 80’s, usually fitted in between the genre defining miserablists The Smiths (who I’m not linking to on principle) and The Cure (who are great, so nerr). Turns out it must have been an earlier album as the album was only released in 1990 by which time I was encoding cheques at NatWest Bank in the machine room. The The have been around since 1979, formed and fronted by the iconic Matt Johnson. IMHO Infected is still as fresh today as it was in 1990. Well worth a listen.

I’m defining a new smart playlist to select tracks I haven’t played for over 6 months that I haven’t marked as “Never play again” (1 star rating). Should make sure I hit more of my music more often. I’m hoping surprise and delight, but I have no doubt there will be shock and awe in there too.

Our Borders are Sealed

Pressed the shuffle button this morning and got a rare treat, Our Lips Are Sealed by Fun Boy Three. Very literal, but it stuck in my head what with the Burma situation and the laughable, if so many people weren’t dying, situation there.

Apparently the main reason the generals of the State Peace and Development Council (no really, that’s what they’re called) don’t have the need to talk to anyone is because the military was given the ability to self fund in the 1950s. This means that, among other things, the military extracts oil from Burma and sells it overseas. They have pots of cash, none of it dependant on the population and really just don’t give a monkeys by the sounds of it. Got most of that off Radio 4 over the last few days.

Song of the Day..?

OK, so I’m going to be very sad a try to remember to post a link to a song a day. I’m totally going by what I wake up with in my head or the one that grabs my attention most on the ipod if I listen to music on the way into work.

So this morning woke up with Dubstar – St Swinthin’s Day playing in my head. Not their best, but thought it might do. However, on getting off the bike 🙂 after a gorgeous ride to the station featuring sharp gleaming sunshine, warm tarmac, and relatively clear roads, I plugged in the ipod and pressed shuffle… may I present the inaugural SOTD? Zoe – Sunshine on a Rainy Day circa 1991 and a staple on the student dance floors in Middlesborough that year.

The Cost of the Olympics

The (current) estimated bill for the olympics: £9.375 billion

The estimated bill for installing fibre to 95% of homes in the UK: £9.5 billion

Ditch the Olympics, tell broadband suppliers to pony up £3.5 billion and the taxpayer will pay £6 billion, leave it to the telcos to manage and rollout, and we, 95% of the UK citizens, get some decent infrastructure before 2012.

Country gets an infrastructure that is, for once, up-to-date and not limping after the rest of the world; small athletics clubs and athletes get their funding back; and a colossal waste of time, effort, and money is not spent to benefit one small corner of the country that is already overpopulated and won’t know what to do with the “world class” mouldering monuments 10 minutes after the last Russian weightlifter leaves in 2012.

UK PLC needs fibre to the home (FTTH) for true video conferencing and 3d immersive environments, reducing the necessity to commute and to fly for business; allowing true telemetry for life saving operations when a surgeon cannot physically be with the patient. Just think of all the things we do now on our computers that leverage the antiquated DSL (Broadband) we have. If the speed was 200 times faster, 500 times faster, what new applications would we be using? Ask the Japanese, the Danish, the Dutch, the Romanians, the Czechs… everyone is either rolling it out now, or has already finished doing it. What have BT, still, astonishingly, guardians of our telco infrastructure done? Nothing. Same as in 1997 when I worked for a small company developing on-demand video and shopping through a set-top box and this astonishing technology called broadband (not such a small company now, but the employees got screwed on the shares, so plus ca change). BT kept saying they’d roll-out broadband, honest they would, so we tested in Hull. In Hull the locals had booted out BT and setup their own telco, Kingston Communications, owning and running the infrastructure themselves. Kingston loved it and set about converting all their exchanges as fast as possible. The maintenance of these new exchanges and the extra services available over them, meant that the ROI was quick, and that the reliability was much higher and maintenance cost much less. It also meant much less floor space was used.

The video-on-demand service has since been renamed, sold, bought, messe around with, etc, and was rolled out in a major UK city in 2005-ish using the same infrastructure technology… 8 years after Hull had video on demand. Despite its early start, BT were so slow to upgrade exchanges, it effectively killed broadband and, by extension, IPTV in Britain for 5 to 6 years for its own reasons.

I wrote this and saved as a draft about 6 months ago. Still stands.

I originally posted this on geocaching.com forums cos I finally had enough of no RSS feeds and no-one to ask for them! You never know, maybe someone there will read it and finally get a decent developer to redo the site 🙂

I would love to be able to subscribe to my geocaching friends finds page. I would love to be able to show my last five found, or something like, on my blog, or family photo pages. People who don’t geocache but have a gps in their new phone or car will have a context and one click access to geocaching.com to see how much I enjoy it and maybe they’ll see the ads on the pages too. These feeds could only be available to premium members to create (if absolutely necessary). Peer recommendation is the key to monetisation of the new web. RSS provides the arteries for delivering it.

Google and Yahoo are gently introducing rss usage to the masses. The releases of Windows Vista and IE7 puts rss at the heart of the browser and desktop experience. The examples of Facebook, Twitter, wordpress, slashdot, the BBC, etc shows that freeing data means people love you more and come back more often. Islands of data restrict the spread of the good word about geocaching.com.

Judicious use of rss feeds mean that the load on the servers can be more spread and reduce the mail server load as many people may not feel the need to have email notifications if they are subscribed to area updates. More (cached) static files are served on 2 hour update cycles (for example), rather than repeated dynamic results nailing the asp servers during the busy periods.

RSS feeds will enable geocaching.com to open itself to greater ease of use, and web penetration, with a more scalable data delivery. It will therefore be more visible and usable by more current and prospective users, opening itself to innovative mashups by passionate developers and ensuring its continued relevance in the burgeoning Web 2.0 and social networking scene.

A final thought: in an era of medium to low-end GPS enabled mobile phones, can you imagine what an opportunity geocaching.com would have if it developed a plug-in app to FaceBook with it’s 31 million tech-savvy users and proven meme propagation?

Happy Birthday Beth

What a difference a year makes! Here’s our gorgeous wee girl a year ago:Beth aged a couple of hours and now: Beth showing her aunt her new shoes. She’s not a baby anymore. Among many other things, she’s great fun, funny, stubborn, beautiful inside and out, and in complete control of her father. She’s very like her mother. I’m a lucky man.

Zeitgeist

Happy New Year all. It’s that time again when Google publishes the zeigeist of the previous year. I notice the top 10 contains two references to wiki’s, and at least five other social software sites/types. Truly the web is becoming more of a conversation if these searches are being followed up by actions.

On the Google News top searches, leaving out the salacious crap, podcasting is in at number four. It’s also at number four in the how to section. Excellent stuff.

New Header Graphic

I’m putting a new header graphic on the blog. Beth’s growing up fast. She’s now nearly 8 months, and is into everything. She loves Sully (the blue monster in the picture) and laughs at him when he roars. We found out today that she will giggle uncontrollably when I play fetch with the dog. She’s very cool.