This is the first new category for a while. Here's the logic
behind it, I like widgets, buttons, badges etc for blogs, but I also like
minimalism. So as a compromise between a stack of
the latest shiniest widgets all over the sidebar of my blog (the teenage
girl bedroom look), and the Zen purity of tasteful white space, I've
decided to dump the widgets I like in this category of the blog. If
you feel you need widget overload, fight your way thru this category,
otherwise be grateful that the irregular posts here will fall off
the front page reasonably quickly.
[Fri, 29 Jun 2007 17:50
Off to the races
So we're off to the races on Sunday. Not Ascot, Epsom, nor even Longchamps, but Whitstable here on the sunny Kent coast.
The Whitstable Races are a fund racing event run by the local Rotary club, and should be a hoot, as they feature pantomime horses rather than the usual flighty equines. The best bit is they're taking place on Tankerton Slopes right in front of the Marine hotel, so you can guess where I'll be if it rains!
[Fri, 22 Jun 2007 08:08
[Fri, 22 Jun 2007 05:29
Grand Prix thoughts
A few random Grand Prix related thoughts, as I've no Fun-1 to post them on these days.
I've ranted in the past about the ludicrous ticket prices for the British Grand Prix - £99 is the cheapest and that's sold out, the cheapest currently available is £199.
The high prices are not the circuit owners fault, purely Bernie's greed. For those who don't know, the BRDC (who own Silverstone) pay the FIA a huge fee to hold the Grand Prix, which they can only recoup through ticket sales. Advertising, TV rights etc. all goes straight into Bernie's bulging pot.
Anyway, according to GrandPrix.com the French GP at Magny Cours is keen to attract disenchanted British fans - much like Le Mans has a huge British following. To this end cross-channel ferry company are offering 5-day crossings from £30 each way for a car and up to five passengers, and with three-day tickets to the Grand Prix event costing from just £57.50 the British prices start to look silly.
According to travel site ViaMichelin, Magny Cours is a mere 670 km from central London, a cost of around 90 Euro for petrol and tolls. So rough figures for two people going to the two events would work out at British Grand Prix £198 (398 if you were trying to book today), French Grand Prix £205 - factor in the far lower cost of living in France for food, hotels, the cost of getting to Silverstone, or another body in the car, and the French Grand Prix looks far more economically appealing.
As speculation goes, Pitpass's: "Ralf out, Kimi in?" looks a little odd. But, with all the rumours that Ralf won't even complete this season at Toyota, and Kimi not gelling with the Ferrari team, it doesn't seem completely unlikely.
Have you wondered what happened to Ferrari's early season pace? Personally, I attributed the relative slow-down to the FIA seeing through Ferrari's imaginative interpretation of the flexible floor rules. But, GrandPrix.com (who are far better connected than I) have heard runours of a major windtunnel mishap at Ferrari. Nasty (and dangerous) stuff if true, CFD "windtunnels" would never fail in such an exciting manner.
[Wed, 20 Jun 2007 19:16
[Tue, 19 Jun 2007 05:29
24 Heures du Mans 2007
It's that weeked again, sun, rain, beer, motorsport, funfair, and general lunacy. Unfortunately I'm not there this year, but I'll be following it over the web, tv, and radio. For that full experience I might even sleep in the garden, drink some French beer and build a beer mountain. Best I get up to the supermarket before the 15:00 CET start...
Anyway, here are my main sources of vital info:
Things I'm looking for this year? The Peugeots to give Audi a good run for their money, and Aston to put in a solid performance, the weather looks like it'll be a lottery too, so that could really make things interesting.
[Sat, 16 Jun 2007 10:38
[Sat, 16 Jun 2007 05:29
Dopplr starts expanding
Dopplr has been in private
beta for a while, and it appears to be starting to stretch its
wings and take on more testers. To this end I've now got "unlimited
invitations" to give away. However, to maintain my sanity - and the
ethos of Dopplr - I'm restricting the invitations I give away to
friends, and people I "know" online. I'm not being overly picky, but if
I've never heard of you, sorry no invite.
For some background, Dopplr is aimed at increasing
serendipity for frequent travellers. Dopplr's CTO Matt Biddulph has
written a good overview
of Dopplr's intent. For further background the Dopplr blog is worth reading too.
My two-pennorth on Dopplr? I like it so far, although I don't
travel enough to make it truly worthwhile; the attractive interface is
minimalist, verging on spartan. The best bit for me is that "it
just works", nothing fussy, nothing too prescriptive. As someone who
seems to live their life via IM, a Jabber interface would be useful,
but the sms, web, and rss interfaces cover all the essentials. There is
an api in the pipeline, so perhaps I could write a Jabber bot
for this anyway. The Dopplr
approach to feature-creep appeals to me, although it does
make me a little wary of requesting new bells and whistles.
Still puzzled by Dopplr? their About page sums it up
better than I can (snippet below):
Dopplr is an online service for frequent travellers. It was
created by an international team of world travellers as a tool for our
own use. We liked it so much that we decided to open it up to our
If you travel more than five times a year and have friends who do as
well, then Dopplr is for you.
How does Dopplr work? It lets you share your future travel plans with a
group of trusted fellow travellers whom you have chosen. It also reminds
you of friends and colleagues who live in the cities you're planning to
visit. You can use the service with your personal computer and mobile
[Wed, 06 Jun 2007 18:54
[Wed, 06 Jun 2007 05:29