Sunday, 19 August 2007
BBC iPlayer Try 2

Okay after rebooting my machine twice I finally got the BBC iPlayer to work. Wehoo!

What can I say it actually works! The picture however is very "letterbox" style and not really 100% optimised for computer screens. Oh well will download some more now and see what I get. 

posted on Sunday, 19 August 2007 20:36:23 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Friday, 17 August 2007
Police national computer destroyed by Buncefield fire

I found it highly amusing that the backup system to the Police national computer system along with other key information systems were destroyed by the Buncefield fire. The part that amuses me, is what in the world were they deciding when they put a disaster recovery system next to  an oil depot? Hey guys if you ever manage to rebuild it why not put it in a bunker or in the middle of an open field (probably on a hill to evade flooding).

posted on Friday, 17 August 2007 19:31:35 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [1]

 Thursday, 16 August 2007
Fond memories of early online shopping

I suddenly had a trip down memory lane today when my wife popped her head out from the kitchen and commented "Guess what the sugar is nearly gone!".

Now while this statement might not mean much, it reminded me of when my wife first tried shopping online 4 years ago. She was trying out Sainsburys' new web site enabling you to order your shopping online and ended up ordering a 5 kilogram pack of sugar by mistake! Now while we have made many errors when ordering online, especially when we mistakenly ordered 20 kilograms of tomatoes (that's a lot of tomatoes!). The sugar was the most memorable because its lasted for 4 years!

posted on Thursday, 16 August 2007 21:37:48 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Sunday, 12 August 2007 Ajax Desktop

Every now and again when you are surfing the web you come across some really good ideas StartForceand if you are lucky some of them are ahead of their time and free! is one of those ideas that literally blew me away. Its basically (and I use basic loosely) an Ajax desktop you can access from anywhere in the world using nothing more than a web browser.

So what does that mean to the non technical? Well it means you can store all your files and correspondence in one place on the Internet and access them from anywhere in the world. Logging into your StartForce desktop you can edit Word Processed documents and spreadsheets from this self contained desktop in your browser without having to worry about the software not being installed on the machine you are using in say an Internet cafe for example. The desktop it provides feels very much like Windows XP and provides you with:

  • Web browser + favourites
  • Word Processor
  • Spreadsheet Program
  • Games
  • RSS reader
  • Messenger client for ICQ, Yahoo, MSN, AOL and Start Force. Which is great for people who may have this blocked on their firewall.
  • Video Player 
  • Audio Player
  • Picture Viewer

This is such a cool application, the only thing I think missing from it is an e-mail client. As you can see from the picture I took, I opened as many application as I could to demonstrate the functionality.

posted on Sunday, 12 August 2007 15:49:41 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

Sky Offering discount on HD box's

I wonder how many people are in my particular dilemma, you shelled out some cash on an HD ready TV which proudly sits in your living room but alas you are only use half of its capabilities, why? Because you can't receive an HD signal without a Blue Ray disk player (part with £420 min for a PS3 the cheapest in the market), Virgin Media Box or a Sky HD box.

Okay while I like the PS3 I am not quite prepared to shell out £420 for it, I'm playing a waiting game to see if it will come down in price first. Microsoft probably had a better idea with releasing the XBOX 360 and then a separate HD player later (will it ever arrive though?). That leaves us with Virgin Media, and to get this I will need to have cable installed and I can't get any of the Sky Channels on Virgin media. I know you guys provide a great service guys, but you're not providing anything that Sky doesn't already offer. Get some of the programs Sky has on its flagship channels before Sky does, a decent flagship channel of your own and just maybe will you start to boost those subscription numbers again.

That leaves me with Sky HD but like Virgin Media you have to pay a subscription fee and then an additional subscription fee just to receive HD TV. In addition to this you also have to purchase the HD box yourself which costs around £299. But Sky have introduced a sliding scale, the longer you have been with them the cheaper the box becomes. So if you have been with them over 6 years you can get the box for £199. Not bad but Virgin Media are giving their V+ HD Box's away for a setup fee of £150 and they have 500 on demands movies to watch (not looking at the fact they don't have any of the main Sky Channels).

posted on Sunday, 12 August 2007 11:29:32 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

Floods in Cape Town South Africa

The weather is only getting stranger. I was on the phone to relatives in South Africa who told me it was raining so hard in Cape Town South Africa that they are scooping up water by the bucket load from their garden and pouring it down the sink.

If you have been to Cape Town before you will know that when it does rain it usually drains away into the ground, however its not doing that now because there is so much of it. In some houses in South Africa its naturally assumed that the water coming down the guttering from the roof can be allowed to flow out into the garden with no further drains. This design however could lead to flooded gardens. Soon these adverse weather conditions will start changing the whole structure of how houses are architectured in countries around the world.

So far there have been:

  • Massive floods in Britain
  • Heat waves in Europe coupled with forest fires
  • Severe flooding in parts of India
  • Floods in Cape Town
  • Unusually large insects such as spiders not native to the UK suddenly appearing in the UK and surviving the climate.

Mmm smells looks like global warming.

posted on Sunday, 12 August 2007 02:07:09 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [1]

 Monday, 06 August 2007
Water Alarm

Just picked up a really cool gadget for just £7.50 from Tchibo, its such a cool idea when you think about it. Its basically a simple bit of electronics that detects if your floor is being flooded at night by say maybe a leaking washing machine and lets out a loud alarm sound. I bought it at once, having had a leak from our washing machine in the past that went undetected I thinks it a valuable accessory well worth the investment.

posted on Monday, 06 August 2007 19:31:59 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Sunday, 05 August 2007
My blog and its readers

Hi just and update for readers of my blog.

  • I will usually link to you in my blog roll if you link to me. Let me know if I haven't linked to you yet, I sometimes miss blogs out by mistake. Remember I won't link to you if you are an advertising farm, porn site or just an inappropriate site. I love blogs with genuine content and genuine people and I like to reflect that in my blog roll and links.
  • If you comment I will follow. I strongly believe in following links left behind by people who comment on my blog I believe it helps to enrich the blog sphere so don't be shy comment away. I will naturally however delete spam links, wouldn't you?
  • Need help on anything I have blogged about or are interested in? Please drop me a line I am more than happy to help.
posted on Sunday, 05 August 2007 12:25:42 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [1]

Big Spiders in England

I've lived in England for some time now and never before have I encountered rather large and varied species of spiders until now. During the past year we have seen hobo spiders and some rather large spiders hidden under tea towels that make even me (being the hardened macho person I am) scream in terror. I'm just wondering if its the change in climate that's making these large spiders thrive, I remember when leaving South Africa how glad I was that I wouldn't wake up one morning with a large furry spider starring me in the face. Its looks like that horror will once again be returning ahhhhhh! 

posted on Sunday, 05 August 2007 12:16:29 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [2]

 Saturday, 04 August 2007
BBC iPlayer

iPlayer I've long been a fan of on demand TV and IPTV, I think its a brilliant idea to be able to get TV on demand when you want to watch it instead of changing your schedule to fit in the programs you want to watch on TV.  I've been using Sky Anytime PC for a while and have been suitably impressed with the results and then I tried Joost which just completely blew me away. Joost was so amazing, why? Because it just worked you didn't have to do much just install it and turn it on and you were watching TV. I am a strong believer that IPTV should just be a platform and content providers should treat and select platforms such as Joost and treat it the same as any terrestrial method of receiving TV. For example the content providers get paid by adverts in between shows or maybe by subscription mechanisms. Surely the content providers shouldn't lock their content down by network and try and get it through as many platforms as possible, that way everyone benefits. The content providers have a greater audience which in turn equals bigger profits for them?

Anyway I digress... I finally got hold of a BBC iPlayer Beta account and hurried to download the software and install it. Everything went fine until I tried downloading one of the programs and all I got was "We are currently experiencing technical problems, please try again later"....arrrghhh! Not impressed! I tried everything, checked over all the instructions checked the help but there was nothing to help with it. I can see now why the iPlayer has had some bad publicity lately. Anyway I am going to wait and see what happens tomorrow maybe its a one off technical issue?

posted on Saturday, 04 August 2007 22:03:40 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

Foot-And-Mouth disease in the UK

Looks like Foot-And-Mouth disease is back in the UK. The last time this happened the price of British beef plummeted and students unconcerned about the disease crossing over to humans were dining on cheap prime British beef steak while the rest of the public avoided it like the plague. Funny enough I have just been near the area affected today in Surrey near Ash (which is out of the surveillance zone), the area no surprise has had a number of news helicopters and an increased police presence.

posted on Saturday, 04 August 2007 20:49:42 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Sunday, 29 July 2007
Computers ruling your world

I was just thinking after watching one of those films where the clever computer system some scientist creates to make life better takes over his whole house while he is out and locks his wife and kids inside the house and for some reason decided to kill anyone that approaches the house.

So if Hollywood is anything to go by...

  1. I will not allow a computer to control all the locks in my house
  2. The off button for the Super Computer will be a switch not some silly computer terminal I have to type a password into.
  3. As soon as the computer starts getting jealous I'll unplug it.
  4. I will not plug ray guns into the super computer
  5. I will not allow the super computer to control the national grid.
  6. The super computer will absolutely not have control of an automated metal work shop where it could build android foot soldiers.
  7. I will not allow the super computer access to heating systems, especially the ones under the floor which may inevitably fry you when you try to walk on the floor.
  8. I will not name my super computer Skynet, its bound to want to take over the world.
posted on Sunday, 29 July 2007 22:30:36 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]