Welcome to Yurp
I hear a major American financial market data organisation is having
big problems trying to recruit staff in London. The pay package sounds
interesting and the company is one that would look good on the CV,
until they tell you how many hours a week they expect (45 hours)
and how little holiday you're going to get (15 days). I've heard tales
of people laughing and walking straight out of interviews
on being told this.
To put this in perspective a pretty typical UK job is
around 37.5 hours a week with around 25 days holiday,
assuming there's around 10 statutory holidays a year as
well, that's 1687.5 hours per year. These chaps however
wanted 2115 hours, and were they willing to pay the
25% extra for the 25% extra hours? Nope. That's just
dumb, why alienate your workforce from the very first
day they sign up? I can't imagine that a tired, pissed
off workforce are very efficient.
[Thu, 29 Apr 2004 00:14
Jealous, moi? Nope!
A little bit of chasing around and I've found the right chap at
to badger about getting access to their
for series 60 phones. It looks like I've managed to get much
the same deal as Russ,
in that I've got to sign an NDA, I
can't re-distribute the app to others and there's some things
I can't talk about, but on the whole it's great.
is also giving it a go and you should see some comments
from us both about Python on
So I'm waiting for my (not very onerous) NDA to wing it's way off
to Nokia - snail mail, how quaint. In the mean time I'd better
Dive Into Python
to brush up on my Pythonic skills.
[Tue, 27 Apr 2004 13:05
Official: Jim is 'leet
tells me, all because I emailed
a week or so back when
didn't get a mention in their round up of cunning P2P
I didn't think much more about it until this week's issue came
out and there in
this week's tracking section
Diego gets a huge dollop of link love and I get a name drop, cool
[Tue, 27 Apr 2004 00:21
Fine Woodcuts or Great Hacks?
Congrats to the Jibbler -
- on his first O'Reilly book.
will be out in July and features some content from
yours truly in chapter 14 on using IRC from mobile
phones, although god only knows what havoc the
American editor has unleashed on my English spellings
It's great to see that he's got possibly the best ever
front cover for a book in the
the hacksaw is just perfect. As you'd expect from the author of
there's plenty of IRC bot coverage in the book, but the
rest of the book certainly doesn't look flimsy and there's lots
of quality contributors; I certainly feel a little
intimidated being called one of "of the world's
most renowned IRC hackers"!
The sections I'm really looking forward to reading
(other than all the bot sections) are those on
enhancing clients, and providing alternative ways
to access IRC.
[Mon, 26 Apr 2004 13:11
Jealous, moi? Yes!
gets an early look at Nokia's Python,
I am seriously jealous and will be badgering him relentlessly
over email, irc, im and even sms for info, whilst throwing
crufty scraps of Python in his direction and asking
"does this work?", "what happens when you run this?"
etc. I'd love to be able to try my
25 line Wiki
on the phone, maybe not for full-scale editing, but as a
resource it would be superb, and the content would be
easy to pass from phone to phone or PC as it's only a
collection of text files.
From what I hear the only people outside Nokia who've had a
serious play with Python so far are those on the Forum Nokia
Pro service (which costs a not so cool € 3000 per year),
and who are tied heavily down with NDAs, even so the rumours
leaking from these chaps seem pretty positive.
This restrictive way of licensing and distributing
initially seems very strange compared to the usual open
source routes, although as the
Python FAQ states:
You can do anything you want with the source, as long as you leave the
copyrights in and display those copyrights in any documentation about
Python that you produce. If you honor the copyright rules, it's OK to
use Python for commercial use, to sell copies of Python in source or
binary form (modified or unmodified), or to sell products that
incorporate Python in some form.
So, this doesn't breach the
and it does seem a little odd, but then again I'm far more familiar
(as used by
Personally I really hope that Nokia will release their Python
source once they're happy with it as a basic product to allow
it to flourish as an open source project. This would make it far
easier for the series 60 port to keep track with mainstream
Python releases and fixes, and also avoid wasting the opportunity
for a series 60 handset to run the vast range of publicly available
[Fri, 23 Apr 2004 13:45
Hot Abercrombie Hoax
I was wondering wtf the Hot Abercrombie Chick blog,
a.k.a. Amanda Doerty was cropping up like a rash on
Blogdex, in various referrer logs and comment spam,
now I know (or think I do).
It seems that the
Hot Abercrombie Chick
blog is a hoax (more
coverage on MeFi),
I guess we're gonna see more of this sort of crap now that
it's possible to make a few quid from blogging :-(
"Amanda Doerty" can join the cast in my
War against Bullshit.
[Thu, 22 Apr 2004 13:06
Imitation is flattery?
Well they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but
weren't too impressed with someone
stealing their thunder,
and frankly the Mobitopians aren't at all impressed with
Is it stupidity? Bandwagon jumping? Crap marketing?
Or is it just plain old slimy typo-squatting? Well, it's bloody close to
the latter in my book.
aren't at all chuffed either, but at least we haven't called Mobilopia
pig fuckers, yet...
Update: It seems that
are none too impressed either.
[Wed, 21 Apr 2004 22:55
Interesting London Events
A couple of interesting events happening in London in the next few
months. First off a London bloggers get together on May 12th, details
should be good for a beer or three and a chat with some
interesting people - most of the English based
appear to be on the list.
Secondly, and maybe even more seriously
is on Sunday June 6th, at Imperial College Union, London. As
"Definitely NOT the Emerging Technology conference in
the UK", yet another of
Ewan's cunning projects,
is there no end to this man's mischief?
[Mon, 19 Apr 2004 23:58
All About N-Gage
that he and I did with
of Nokia at the
He's a nice chap, enthusiastic about the product and about Nokia's
adventures so far in the world of gaming. Plus he gets top marks from me
for answering Ewan's evil questions without resorting to pre-prepared
bullshit, and still being more than willing to pose for pictures
sidetalking style with the N-Gage. Top man!
[Mon, 19 Apr 2004 23:38
I was wrong
(my wife insists this has happened before),
the only things I'd wished for that really arrived
are the move to "classic" talking, the hotswap
MMC, and size reduction. I was wrong on many other points,
chiefly additional features and newer software. Nokia have
really played the conservative card and in order to
maintain maximum backwards compatibility have kept the
core functionality almost identical to the original
N-Gage, same OS version, same Java MIDP level, same screen
colour depth etc.
All About N-Gage
has a run down on the
an overview of what it's like to really
use the device,
and some lovely
of the N-Gage
Possibly my biggest mistake is the most significant although
it may not seem it at first. I was calling the new device the
N-Gage 2, implying it's a successor or replacement for the
original N-Gage. The QD is nothing of the sort, like the
Nokia have embraced the commodity market, and are starting to
treat their phones almost like a car manufacturer creates
and nurtures a range of car models and specifications.
With the two N-Gage phones you now get a choice, one being
slightly bigger and better specified original N-Gage, and
another that is the more cuddly and potentially cheaper QD.
Like a car you get the chance to pick the one that meets your
tastes and budget. The next logical model is the top of the
range fully-loaded uber phone, for which I just can't wait!
As David Potter of Psion
"In a year's time, in any case, all phones will be,
essentially, "smart" and it will be a marketing
decision, not a technology issue, about how much of that
smartness is visible to the user."
A year isn't far off, and the signs of commodisation are already
loudly signalling the start of that process.
[Sat, 17 Apr 2004 00:02
foaf:maker in xhtml
in the meta tags of a web page to indicate who
created the document. As he says, combine this with
in a Foaf file and this really completes the circle, nice stuff.
Phil's observation that
Outlook feels like holding a turd
rings pretty true here, maybe it's a mindset thing
but Outlook just doesn't work out for me either. Then again I know of an
internet security firm who insist on using it internally, which just
strikes me as wrong, after all would you trust a bank who didn't use locks
on their doors?
[Thu, 15 Apr 2004 19:02
N-Gage 2, more info? Less content?
More pictures of what might be the N-Gage 2 have trickled out at
- planted? Perish the thought :-)
I've written a few more thoughts about the Taco2 over on
it appears that Nokia's trend of producing phones with just
enough features to picque the interest, but not enough features
to really satisfy continues. Dare I mention the phrase
inadequate product range?
No, probably not, I'll save that for the launch tomorrow...
[Tue, 13 Apr 2004 13:40
N-Gage 2, Wishlist
I'm off to what even Nokia are grudgingly admitting to being
the N-Gage 2 press release on Wednesday, I'll be representing
All About N-Gage
who's also carrying the flag for the new
site. Live coverage should (GPRS willing) be
taking place in the
irc channel, unless the free lunch is too good to miss...
Ewan and I have had slight differences of opinion on what
will be in the new version of the N-Gage, but not on anything
substantial. The pictures seem to bear out some of the rumours,
farewell to the Taco's infamous sidetalking, and hello to
hotswap MMCs. The screen images hint at Nokia Series 60
version 2 software (as on the 6600, 6620, and 7610 with
Symbian OS 7.0s), and maybe a camera, the overall looks are
cuddlier and less aggressive, so far so good, looks like
Nokia are playing it reasonably safe (but not going too
bland like the 3660 and 6600). How do the improvements
fit in with my N-Gage 2 wishlist?
- Sidetalking banished - Check
- Camera - Maybe
- Series 60 version 2 - Check
- Hotswappable MMC games - Check
- Slightly smaller - Maybe
- Huge amounts of internal memory - Unlikely
- RDS on the radio - Fingers crossed
- Python pre-installed - Kneels, prays to the snake
- A freebie NG2 for everyone at the press launch - Laughter
- More games, let's hope this device is why a load of games have
been held back.
- Detail improvements to the device, like bigger battery, better
headphones (the phones themselves are fine, the two plugs are
fiddly and get in the way when plugged in).
Interesting times, I was a little underwhelmed at first sight
of the N-Gage 2, but (if this is it) it's not unattractive
and the softer lines go well with their newer devices.
[Sat, 10 Apr 2004 00:21
left handed piano
- something one of my keyboard bashing colleagues
discovered, he thought it was a jape, but it's actually
real. Not only has this chap had a left handed piano
specially made, but he also sells a midi device that
changes notes as if the keyboard had been mirrored at
middle D, i.e. you play the traditional C key and it
changes the note on the midi stream to an E, B
becomes F, and A becomes G.
Left handed guitars are weird enough to play for a
right hooker, I can't even start to understand how
someone can re-program their mind to switch to a
left handed piano keyboard. Perhaps it's like switching
from a UK QWERTY keyboard layout to a French AZERTY
or German QWERTZ keyboard layout, which I can do
seamlessly within minutes.
Well, you'll just have to find out.
[Wed, 07 Apr 2004 13:24
Another season of Aussie Rules has started and the regular
I have with my mate Steve in Melbourne is also underway,
unfortunately I'm currently third and last (we have a virtual
player who only tips based on the current ladder position, and
he's beating me too). Also
now seem to want you to register to read their stories so
it looks like I'll be going elsewhere for my news fixes;
I don't register for news stories anywhere as a matter
of a principle. They can find some other mugs to sell
their ads to...
On the plus side, my team the
are picking up where they left off and are already
heading in the right direction to win their fourth
successive grand final, although it's very early days
yet. Another plus point is that
now take Aussie Rules bets - I'm sure they didn't
last year - I reckon this could be a profitable season!
[Tue, 06 Apr 2004 22:18
pyblosxom 0.9.1 released
best laid plans
of mice and men...
Well, I was going to upgrade to pyblosxom 0.9
a week or so back, but I got busy and there were
reports of a few minor bugs, so I held off and
pyblosxom 0.9.1 released.
I guess I've got no excuses now.
[Tue, 06 Apr 2004 13:32
El Reg gets tarted up
Nice job lads! The old Register design was ok in a retro
no-nonsense sort of way, but the new design just looks far
cleaner and more modern. It appears that they've added
some nice structural changes too, the permalinks are now
meaningful rather than being just a jumble of numbers,
the page titles carry a hint about the current story
- exceedingly useful when one has dozens of browser tabs
(or browser windows for you IE victims) open - and they even claim
"We're proud that The Register uses valid XHTML and CSS on its pages".
Now, who's next? There's plenty of news organisations with
lamentable sites (and a few who still haven't learnt about
feeds), it's great to see el Reg leading the way!
[Tue, 06 Apr 2004 13:07
Taco as an MP3 player?
was thinking about
getting an N-Gage again,
not as his primary phone, but for Fifa 2004, IRC on the move, the
FM radio and primarily as an MP3 player.
Price wise it's quite competitive with flash memory based
mp3 players, and offers plenty more too. He had a query
on battery capabilities so I let mine have a good
play to test things out. Sure my figures aren't
necessarily conclusive, but I was quite impressed.
Over an 8.5 hour period, my battery went from fully charged to flat,
but during this time I did the following with the phone:
- 1 hour IRC chatting
- 30 mins FM radio listening
- 4.5 hours MP3 listening
Maybe that's not quite as durable a performance as an iPod, but it's
certainly handy enough (if you'll pardon the pun) to be very usable.
[Mon, 05 Apr 2004 17:28
Gmail, a spoof?
Well it sounds too good to be true - 1GB of webmail when the
opposition are offering at most tens of Megabytes - and the
timing of the announcement is rather startling to say the
A chap they shafted with Google
does that sound likely to you?
Well maybe, just maybe, Gmail might be real. I suspect Erik's
taking advantage of the fun and games and pulling people's
legs a little with some faked screenshots. But, when you
look at the details, it's feasible.
- First up - storage costs, commodity hard drives are
around $1/GB, so Google don't really have to sell much
advertising per user to cover hardware costs.
- 1GB of email, seriously how many people hang onto
that much email? I certainly don't, I've got most of my
email for the last 10-15 years here and it's far, far
less than 1GB, ok I delete spam and viruses, and remove
attachments but all the same, 1GB is a *lot* of email.
I suspect the average user would more likely use 10-20MB.
So you can cut the hardware costs significantly.
- Compression - given that the majority of email is
text, html or attached documents, if Google were to
compress before storing to disk I'd expect
space savings of at least 50%, maybe much more.
- As for the timing of the announcement, well it
certainly doesn't hurt to get people talking
about your product, does it? :-)
- The paranoid card - if you believe that Google
are run or funded by some evil organisation who want
to know as much as possible about your life, then
don't you think they could find out one hell of a lot
by having access to all your email?
To be honest I can't see many reasons for Gmail to not
happen, it gives Google more reasons to sell ads, and that
seems to be their main focus these days.
[Fri, 02 Apr 2004 05:19