Feet up!

The Beagle has landed

Or crashed, or the usual Xmas small print of "batteries not included" wasn't spotted by the ESA chaps at Darmstadt.

Whatever, I've been following the Beagle's progress or otherwise on the Beagle team's Weblog (no feed unforch), and news pages.

However, I'm pleased to see that the Beagle itself is rather smarter than the ESA chaps and not only has managed to avoid the frames and tables tag-soup hell of the official site, but it's also managed to setup it's own blog on BlogSpot. I guess it feels somewhat superior to the ESA folks who've landed it on a hostile planet with such a very limited selection of MP3s, so it's decided to do its own thing communication wise.

[Mon, 29 Dec 2003 11:07] | [comedy] | #

Cinemas encourage piracy?

Well you wouldn't necessarily think so from the numerous adverts claiming "Piracy supports terrorism", "Piracy funds organised crime", "Piracy supports George Bush" (I made that last one up, but it's the most plausible of the bunch), shown before the Return of The King the other night.

Further thoughts about the unpleasant cramped conditions in the cinema, and the way the whole experience left a nasty taste in the mouth has made me realise how deep a hole the movie business has dug itself into.

The average cinema today is certainly encouraging piracy; let's face it, why on earth should someone pay good money to spend an evening in an unpleasant environment?

Here's some things I don't want to experience when I go to see a film:

Here's some things I'd like to see:

My local cinema fulfilled many of these needs, but it's closed down - it needed a refurb and with another new cinema being built within 50m I guess the refurb wasn't viewed as being profitable enough, and I bet they can make more money by turning it back into part of the restaurant. Damn :-(

[Tue, 23 Dec 2003 21:50] | [rants] | #

LoTR - RoTK

In best Thauvin style here's a micro-review of the latest Tolkein Lord of The Rings epic movie Return of The King.

3.5 stars, slightly better than Erik's view, but it's still no masterpiece. IMO this is possibly the weakest of the three LoTR films, more Hollywood than some of the others in that the numerous lengthy battle scenes just seemed to be used as filler (some of these so vacuous I was half expecting Arnold or Bruce Willis to appear). I'm told the ending doesn't match the book, this certainly seems likely, it has the "feel-good factor" nonsense so beloved of Hollywood, frankly it almost looks like they filmed a proper ending and then got pulled back into the studios to add a different twee ending for the RIAA.

The Reg points out the continuity errors, and I've got one other major gripe, the nearest cinema for me was Canterbury Odeon. To book I had use their almost inaccessible automated phone service where they proceeded to take the most roundabout possible route (on an expensive but not quite premium rate phone call), and then they still had the audacity to charge a booking fee! To cap it all the cinema may have had a refurb recently, but it was still dirty and stuffy with insufficient seating room for an adult - I'm 5'8" and I was very cramped, something that doesn't even happen to me in economy airtravel!

Next time I'm voting with my feet, let's face it the Odeon's criminally inaccesible website should have indicated their customer service intentions in big red lights!

[Mon, 22 Dec 2003 20:48] | [rants] | #

Blogslacking...

Like Matt, I've been blogslacking this week, "normal" service should be resumed shortly.

Not that I've got any huge missives to post, just a tangle of ill-formed thoughts to beat into some semblance of shape.

[Fri, 19 Dec 2003 19:22] | [blogging] | #

Sven's New Ride!

Santa's New Ride the movie

A Sven-tastic new film from Sven and his merry bunch of helpers - Santa's New Ride

Yet another cool film to squeeze onto the 3650!

Update 2004-01-13: Sven currently has some hosting problems - details here.

[Sat, 13 Dec 2003 14:43] | [comedy] | #

Are you pleased to see me, or...

One of the highlights of today's Wi-Fi day on Mobitopia is Chris Davies' Pocket Hotspot a gorgeously useful little device, if I had the spare cash I'd buy one off Chris tomorrow.

Martin's ride on *the* Wi-Fi train was great too, and for him to get an interview on board with the CEO of GNER was just brilliant.

[Fri, 12 Dec 2003 21:37] | [mobile] | #

Wi-Fi Day

It's Wi-Fi day over on Mobitopia for no reason in particular, it could be entertaining! Martin will probably out-trump us all if his little adventure comes off successfully, that's certainly worth looking out for.

[Thu, 11 Dec 2003 23:46] | [tech] | #

Three, a story of pain and insults

So, I've written another article about Three on Mobitopia.

Yet again it's critical of them, I don't know why, but this pains me; I feel like a parent scolding their child. I have no financial (or other) involvement with Three, but I really want them to succeed, how or why can an individual become so enthusiastic (and so disappointed) by a mere corporation?

[Tue, 09 Dec 2003 22:24] | [mobile] | #

SeX1e beast

Siemens SX1 does Tron
Ewan's got hold of a Siemens SX1, and I'm very jealous, however I should be seeing him very soon so I ought to be able to prise it out of his fingers for a quick play.

That should be very interesting, I wonder, is it going to be good enough to take the Series 60 crown from the SendoX?

[Mon, 08 Dec 2003 17:53] | [mobile] | #

It's about time...

Grayson Perry - Turner Prize 2003 As he said "Well, it's about time a transvestite potter won the Turner Prize...", what a classic line for an acceptance speech, it certainly makes the usual crap from Hollywood for the Oscars look even more trite than usual. Grayson Perry, you're a star!

Anyway back to the art, Grayson Perry's pottery is exceptional work, classic art from tortured soul. The Chapman brothers' work whilst widely touted seems more like a juvenile lavatory joke in comparison.

More pics of pots on Grayson Perry's website, and more about the Turner Prize from The Tate Britain.

[Mon, 08 Dec 2003 13:13] | [comedy] | #

Show Us Your Tree!

Jim's naked tree, click for better view Russ asked: "Show Us Your Tree!"

So here it is, it only came into the house last night, and it's not covered in lights and stuff yet. Vital statistics are 4'9" (1.45m) tall and prickly!

Sure it looks a bit lost in this view, but with the kids and dog running around I really don't need anything else for them to fall over.

[Fri, 05 Dec 2003 20:32] | [comedy] | #

Bye Bye BlogShares

So it's closed down, and taken my millions with it...

I was one of the earliest users of BlogShares back in March 2003 and registered user number 6, although I have to admit barely touching my portfolio in the last few months.

Despite working in the financial industry writing software for the best part of two decades I didn't get a lot of the strategies and methods used by BlogShares, maybe that's what dulled my enthusiasm. Anyway it was fun whilst it lasted, I wonder what Seyed is up to next?

[Thu, 04 Dec 2003 13:34] | [blogging] | #

Whoops...

BBC show bias in Football scores
From BBC Sport's Football front page

Supporters of the so called "smaller clubs" have long been frustrated by the media bias towards the likes of Manchester Utd, but it gets a bit much when they can't even face up to reporting the true score...

If you're wondering, Man Utd lost 2-0 last night, not their first loss of the season and undoubtedly not their last.

[Thu, 04 Dec 2003 13:21] | [football] | #

TGV

TGV 325 at Montparnasse station Interesting story from the Japan Times about an experimental maglev train reaching 581km/h (also reported on Slashdot), cool stuff, but maglev is rather blue sky stuff, did you know that a TGV reached over 515km/h back in 1990?

Sure TGV is a bit brute force and ignorance - lots of power, and special extra straight trackbeds - but if a little more tech wizardry was added to this formula, even better performance could be achieved, after all the much maligned APT ran at 155mph (249kp/h) on conventional tracks back in 1979 with what we would now think of as stone-age technology.

Update : Fixed the TGV speed (doh!), and found this interesting page from the BBC saying that the APT hit 162.2mph back in 1979.

[Wed, 03 Dec 2003 14:02] | [tech] | #

SchemaWeb

Useful stuff time: SchemaWeb a site collecting RDF schemas, particularly useful schemas for FOAF, both serious stuff like Eric Vitiello's relationship schema that extends foaf:knows and fun stuff like the Beer and Pub ontologies.

No sign of LOAF there yet, looks like the LOAF project team are slackers... :-)

[Wed, 03 Dec 2003 00:07] | [Foaf] | #

Pompey falls again?

The Saints take on Portsmouth (twinned with Umm Qasr apparently) tonight in the Carling Cup.

I'm biting fingernails already, it's going to be a close thing, as recently the Saints have scored less often than Bill Gates, so don't expect a cricket score. In fact, Gordon Strachan is predicting a 0-0 score after penalties!

The Ugly Inside fan site has a funny guide to Southampton for Portsmouth's more troglodytic fans...

Update : Final score Saints 2 (Beattie twice): Pompey 0

[Tue, 02 Dec 2003 19:31] | [football] | #

Mobitopia Postings

So it's December already, I'm not sure how that sneaked up so quickly! Anyway, November was a duff month on Mobitopia for postings, so here's some stats to use as a light(ish) stick to beat some of the slackers (including myself) with.

Author Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Totals
Russell Beattie XXX X XXXXXXX X X 13
Matthew Langham X     X   2
Jim Hughes XXXXX XXXXXX XXXX XXXXXX XXXX 25
François Planque X   X     2
Moof XX         2
Tom Hume X   X   X 3
Diego Doval XX XX XX X   7
Petri Possi X         1
Frank Koehntopp XX X XX     5
Ewan Spence X XX   X   4
Martin Little   X   XXX X 4
Rafe Blandford     X X   2
Anil de Mello       X X 2
David Thomson       X   1
Matt Croydon       X X 2
Total 19 13 18 17 9  

I'll buy the most prolific poster in December a pint!

Update: The promise of beer certainly helped, here's December's results.

[Mon, 01 Dec 2003 14:14] | [blogging] | #

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