Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Quiet zone on trains
I have often been irriated beyond belief by inconsiderate train passengers who choose that very moment in life to call every number that exists on their phone. We've all sat next to them, they are the people who are uncomfortable with silence. They talk on the phone not because they have to but because they can't help themselves. They are the reasons you yourself only makes calls on the train if its necessary or keep them short. They are the reasons you usually say "I am on the train now I'll call you back later". Anyway C2C trains are introducing a membrane on the windows of their quiet carriages to stop this once and for all. The membrane basically blocks all radio signals from penetrating the train. Wehoo! Now if they could just find a device to block loud personal steros.
posted on Tuesday, 28 October 2008 08:39:08 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [1]

 Monday, 27 October 2008
Laminate Flooring
My wife and I decided since they had a deal on laminate flooring at Home Base (like Home Depo for my American readers) this weekend, to finally replace the old carpet in the dining room with laminate. What I saw in the advert was 3.98 per box what it actually meant was 3.98 per meter about 8.83 per box. Oh well it’s still pretty cheap right? Well that's until you have to buy all the extras to lay it down it son starts to add up. You'll need a fitting kit and Homebases cheap kit at 9.99 is a bit noddy, you will need a mallet or Homebases equivalent about 14.99. Is that all? Nope far from it, you'll also need a circular saw at 40 pounds, for those long planks if you like me are useless at cutting straight lines. Otherwise a normal saw will do. A foldaway cutting table will also set you back 50 pounds if you don't already have one. Don't forget corking at 9.99 a bag, you will probably need two and then if you are laying it on concrete floors you'll need a vapour barrier at 19.99 for 10 square meters (we needed two box's). See how it all adds up? Fitting the stuff isn't the easiest thing in the world. Now I know my grammar and spelling is nothing to rave about but the instruction that came with the flooring was riddled with mistakes. Anyway if you are planning to lay some laminate flooring, please enjoy yourself! :)
posted on Monday, 27 October 2008 09:06:10 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Thursday, 23 October 2008
The Osborne affair
I think its a bit too convenient that the Osborne or "yaughtgate" affair gets brought to our attention now when the government has its old king of sleeze Peter Mandelson back on board. It almost appears that it was a well thought out manouver to entrap Osbourne and take some of the heat off Labour for a while. Its a clever move on Labours part, the thing is it all seems so blatantly obvious. Labour if anything comes out from an enquiry can just say "oh tut tut Mandelson you'll have to go" because you were also on the boat, while Osborne leaving is major blow to the Torys. You can almost imagine Mandelson walking past Osborne in the house of commons saying "nothing personal old chap politics is politics" with a grin. Osborne is probably kicking himself now, the thing is he did nothing wrong all that happened was a play on words. Even if the loan or donation had been made it would be via a British company. I believe there will be a high five exchanged between Mandelson and Gordon Brown tonight. Mandelson reminds me of the person in those old gangster movies "a friend of the family" you bring him in like a trump card to sort out "the family's" problems and then he's gone again... PS appologies for any spelling or punctuation mistakes this article was written from a small PDA screen on the train.
posted on Thursday, 23 October 2008 07:34:24 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Wednesday, 22 October 2008
Vista Blows
I am so annoyed with Windows Vista it has got to be one of the most annoying operating systems. Why does it have to take so long after unlocking it to resume? XP used to take a couple of seconds tops. Why does it take so long to resume after hibernation? Again XP was a hell of a lot better. Don't get me started on booting up, I delibratly decided to keep my Vista install clear of clutter and place everything on Virtul MAchines and as predicted 4 months later Vista grinds to a holt. In my min it officially blows. When will they come up with an OS geared towards people on the move who don't want to wait on their PCs to resume the PC should be waiting on you not the other way around.
posted on Wednesday, 22 October 2008 19:43:15 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Sunday, 19 October 2008
Home Repossessions

Its pretty much astounded me what home repossessions have done to whole neighbourhoods in parts of the US. Basically turning neighbourhoods into areas that are derelict and vandalised as the banks have been unable to sell the houses they repossessed.

It made me wonder after seeing the article Ministers plan repossession help on the BBC web site, wether it would have been better to the neighbourhoods and to the banks if they approached these people and said "Okay how much can you afford to pay us?". As apposed to saying "Lets get them out of their and get our money or as much as we can back now". Surely this would work out better to the banks, because at least they would be getting some type of income on the money they are owed even if it is lower and if they help these people, when they get back on their feet they would be the first to benefit. I am pretty sure that the other alternative leaves both parties out of pocket and could devalue a property market even further making once thriving neighbourhoods ghost towns.

posted on Sunday, 19 October 2008 16:25:24 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Saturday, 18 October 2008
The soldier of the future

soldierofTheFuture I've just been reading a fascinating article about the soldier of the future on how he will be more than just a normal foot soldier but part of a wireless network his clothes, armor and possibly even his gun integrated into a network that provides a wealth of information to him.

The soldier of the future will know as much information as say the military planning room. He will be able to feed into a network to make strategic decisions. His clothing and armor will help keep him cool in hot climates and warm when its cold. He will be able to interface with his units robotic drone that can relay aerial photographs to him or to land based "mules" that carry supply's for more ammunition, water and various other supplies.

What could possibly go wrong?

Now the above vision is probably nothing new to you if you have played games such as Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon  and yes wouldn't it be so cool if the soldier of the future had all of these abilities? The thing is it really got me thinking about the issues we have with computers today and lets use Microsoft Windows as an example. No matter how fast your PC is the damn new operating system still takes for ever to load even to recover from standby. Imagine the operating system for the soldier of the future was based on a Windows Vista (scary thought isn't it?). I am not saying it will be I just wanted to give a shock example. The soldier of the future would be in mid conflict when his screen display would malfunction complaining that the USB/FireWire connection with his gun had failed and that advanced aiming systems was down. "Would you like Windows to find an alternative driver for you?". He may also get a message stating that the preferred wireless network "USMILUNIT678" was not available would you like to connect to "ENEMYNET101" instead? Or for some unknown reason his system was unable to get an IP address because it could not find the DHCP server. Or half way through fighting, Windows suddenly rediscovers his gun and tries to reinstall it. Another thing that may happen is Windows for no reason at all starts to use up 100% CPU every time he plugs his gun or camera in. Or half way through making a tactical decision gets a message saying "Windows is low on resources  try closing down some programs".

While trying to destroy an enemy target he make get an interruption such as "Windows has noted you are trying to take a sniper shot would you like to make use of the sniper wizard?" When chosen he may get a message "Windows is now installing the software for this operation please have your install CD ready" or "You now need to reboot for these changes to take effect".

posted on Saturday, 18 October 2008 12:40:57 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Monday, 13 October 2008
Packed Train
I am writing this article from a packed Reading to London South West Train. For some reason only known to themselves the train is 4 cariages long instead of the usual 8. Only when people got off at Clapham did I find enough room to hold my PDA. While some guy through the whole journey decided to eat his garlic infested risotto from last night from a tupaware container while people crammed on at each station. For some reason people still insist on letting their personal stero music blair out, I am now so sick of listening to Bony Tyler...why do they keep on replaying the same song?
posted on Monday, 13 October 2008 08:12:32 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Sunday, 12 October 2008

That certainly got your attention didn't it? If that got your attention I am pretty sure you would shell out 50p for a newspaper at the train station on your way home with the same headline, wouldn't you? I know I have. What I am trying to get at is that a lot of our recession fears and woe's can be linked directly to such headlines. While I am not saying that newspapers are responsible for the state of our economy or the current banking crisis they are pretty good at making things sound a lot worse than they actually are and over cooking the issue. Well if you think about it if you had the chance to sell more of your product with some catchy lines wouldn't you?

I wonder if the newspapers started saying "All is great!" or "Economy saved" if it would have a positive effect physiologically on the economy? What may also be interesting is all of the potentially damming things the government and other organisations may have slipped out while everyone's attention was averted elsewhere.. could there be anything worse than a credit crunch?

posted on Sunday, 12 October 2008 22:02:52 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Friday, 10 October 2008
Iceland to be aquired by the UK
The small island of Iceland is to be merged into the much larger island of the UK. The move follows emergency legislation put in place by the World Bank to stop the nation from going bankrupt. As part of the take over bid all members will be issued with UK passports and have their currency replaced by the pound. The UK will also be taking on the debts of this nation and there are expected to be redundancies in government where duplicate positions exist. Now the above while a bit of humour, shows just how serrious the credit crisis has actually become. It is incredible that a country can actually face bank ruptcy, and a first world country for that matter. It kind of makes you wonder if the world just got a little too greedy and the banks that blame the government not for doing enough should actually be keeping rather quiet. What also strikes me is all the other things goverments are getting away with because everyones attention is on this crisis. I also can't help feeling that the latest market crash today is also being brought on by some investors playing the market. Just think about it if everyone is panic selling shares someone could pickup a real bargain on these shares. When they recover that someone would have made a mint.
posted on Friday, 10 October 2008 18:28:11 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

Test my new blog software
This is just a test of my new pocket blog software
posted on Friday, 10 October 2008 18:04:14 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]