Aug 31


By general consensus, it’s Blog Day, so here’s a few blogs I read and like, in no particular order.

Josie Fraser’s A Girl and A Gun – one of three blogs she runs, this one focuses on movie reviews.

Podchef Show: a podcasting chef who runs a blog and has great Flickr Food photos

Billy Mernit’s Living the Romantic Comedy. Story telling that you just have to keep going back to.

Thinker’s Room – M from Kenya who has a lovely line in satire.

And I have to throw in Global Voices as a key stepping off point into lots more different viewpoints.

I’ve deliberately avoided what i call my ‘regulars’ -these are the ones the when I’m short of time I read first, a combination of sites of differnet genres and people I know. ! Im planning to put these in a site blogroll in the next few weeks but they’re always on Bloglines.

Tecnorati Tag: BlogDay2005

Aug 31

Round Up 31 Aug

It’s been a funny fews days with things all over the place but now I’m getting back on track.

I find I can say very little more about Hurricane Katrina; there’s a lot out there. TheTimes-Picayune continues to be published, even if online only, in a life goes on mode. In a weird way the newspaper reflects that, as the the only other news I have seen on the front page has been football-related.

HMV and Virgin are launching music download sites this weekend. The HMV site is utilising The Who in combination with McFly to promote a special version of My Generation to kick start the site.

Technology saves a drowning girl. A girl who passed out in a swimming pool was saved by an underwater monitoring system, that monitors activity by camera and recognises lack of activity in people underwater. The alarm was raised and the lifeguards were able to resuscitate her.

As Movable Type 3.2 (why do I always want to type Moveable) allows me to run multiple blogs know, I thought I would. Next week i’m volunteering at the World Master’s Rowing Championships so will put a separate record of time spent in another place. Link once I’ve set it up ;o)

Aug 31

VoIP for the masses

The Metro have an article this morning about VoIP phone services, giving a good rundown on those available in the UK market. Obviously triggered by Google Talk, the key message is that this is a good thing. It goves a brief write up o Skype, Vonage, 056me and BT Communicator.

For me, it’s interesting that for the 2 computer based services just states plainly that your computer needs to be turned on to use. Explainging some of these services to various family members, the difficulty was in the non-computer based services, ie how can an internet-based tool work without the PC being turned on, because internet=web=browser. Now my parents finally have broadband, I’ll be able to get them connected up.

I also now have a theory as to why the very mention of Google gets lots of people excited. Say it, then say it again a number of times. I think it triggers long buried memories of being a pre-speaking child and being ‘spoken’ to by adoring relatives- google-google-google. Just a theory!

Aug 30

Gratuitous Blonde Joke

The BBC are reporting that a lorry load of Hydrogen Peroxide crashed and exploded on the M25 in Middlesex. Reports that a group of blondes wearing short skirts and white stillettoes were busy heard to complain about getting the map upside down were dismissed by police.

Sorry…sorry, it’s that kind of day.

Aug 27

Unmerged Flickr

With all the problems around the merger of Flickr and Yahoo IDs, Flickr have proved why they have such a fanatical following by unmerging the accounts of anyone who asks. Although you can argue they should have seen this coming (the need to log in continuously is one of reasons I tend to stop using Yahoo aps) at least they are paying attention to the backlash. In my case, the unmerge was done promptly and I’m back to using Flickr with ease.

But I was surprosed at some of the comments in the groups on Flikr such as this one; absolute horror that we would have to use an ID of a company that acts as a ‘spambox’ and make you have a Yahoo mail account. Obviously a completely different company than I’ve experienced. I signed up with my gmail account and I’ve never been asked to create a yahoo one. But the company have obviously annoyed a lot of people over the years.

Aug 27

Autumn TV

It’sBank Holiday Weekend , whoch means the BBC/ITV are running previews for the autumn TV. And both are doing exactly the same thing, a 30 second montage of dramatic clips from the new programmes set to uplifting music. So whilst I’m greatful we do not get the US version of never ending trailers for weeks, sometimes months in advance, the clips don’t really tell me anything. But I bet the internal marketers were really chuffed!

Oh, sorry – it does tell me one thing. Oh God, it;s AUTUMN!!!!!!!!!!!

Aug 27


One of the new plugins from MT is Stylescatcher, a simple way to apply new styles to your blog from a library. There’s a simple interface to ebale style choice andit;s obviously easy to add further libraries.


However, for me, it’snot working. On first application, when the style sheet is linked from the default library, I get no style at all. If I copy across the CSS, then I get the colours but no page layout. Which means I think I need to go and rearrange the layout, which is slightly screwy anyway, in order to use this nice plugin. Then I can do a new style every day ;o)

Aug 27

The Big Moo

Tech Crunch, one of my favourite blogs for its analysis of new web businesses and applications, is offering copies of Seth Godin’s new book, The Big Moo, as part of the novel marketing scheme. You either need to comment (far too late for that) or trackback – and it looks like there’s still room for that.

Not being in the US, a contribution to P&P is required…but it;s still cheaper than buying from Amazon!

Aug 27

MT Upgrade

I upgraded this blog to Movable Type 3.2 this morning, a relatively painless experience for me considering my less than stellar understanding of how these things work. I usually end up asking for help! Despite a few issues over file permissions (I never get these right) and having to install a patch for Blacklist, eveything looks good – as long as this goes up!

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Aug 24

Google Talk

Google’s Im client is now available for download. The download is tiny, the install is quick and the interface is, as to be expected, nice and clean. As with MSMessenger, it’s tied into the online email account and you need a Gmail account to use it. The same email alerts are avaialable (in fact the alert arrives befire the email arrives inthe inbox) and you automatically get all of your inbox contacts contacts listed to choose from to contact. Now all I need to do is wait for someone else I know to download it ;o)

Aug 23

Poster Evolution

I’m reading some good posts today. Over at the Blog Herald, a post about the evolutionof bloggers and how, in the last 6 months or so, it’s gone mainstream and the (early) majority are adopting it, moving away from the geeks and the early adopters towards everyone who ever had the need to have a webpage and a few who never wanted one before.

Aug 23


Suw is looking to organise a UK equivalent of the Foo and Bar Camps that tookplace in the US last week. Suggestions for venues so far are London, Cardiff and Edinburgh (what, no-one for Belfast yet?) Go read – and commit to come along.

Aug 23


I;ve been testing Google’s new Desktop Sidebar whaatchamacallit. It looks pretty good so far, all the bits working well; just need FTSE 100, UK weather and a few more UK news soruces ( I see the the BBC somewhere there?)

It looks like innovation around web services is increasing. Kottke has a insightful piece about where it all could be going, moving towards a browser and web based world.

The sooner the better for me. I work across 3 PCs; getting all the work in one web based placed that gets accessed wherever I am would be wonderful. The challenge for me would be the transition period. it’s easy to move the machines I own to such a paltform, but keeping it accessible in a work environment, which is very conservative, would be the a bonus.

Aug 23


MSN Toolbar are trying to drum up downloads with a competition (hey, this time it’s UK based). It’s investigative based, play a game and find out who kidnapped tha cat. You’re supposed to download the toolbar to play. No real problem I rarely use IE anyway.

SO it gives me a toolbar search, popup blocker, links into Messenger, Hotmail, Spaces and My MSN, plus tabs. Tabs for me are now mandatory; why have more than one window open when i can work in a single view.

So the game starts by sending you an email with the link to the gaem; it goes to hotmail and so comes the first issue – hoe do I get the link to pen in a new tab. No right click option, I click and it opens a new window.

The next sticking point. There is a search option to get more clues; click on it – the pop blocker stops the window opening. I clicked on it; i made the decision – open the window please. Or, even better, open a new tab

Third point. Now I’m supposed to use the Search tool to find information about a fictional solictors; using the search term, they come up as a sponsored link. Click on it and it goes to a 404. Actually it goes to worse than that for me, an artifical MS page saying they can’t find it (when these come up it usually means I have to start retypeing the URL!) Only copying and pasting the link URl gets me to the page. Then all it is is a single page, with no working links. So far, not selling this. If you are playing a game – get it right. And you cannot proceed further without login links. Time to stop.

Aug 23

Flickr Login Broken

Flickr is slowly amalgamating itself into Yahoo and this weekend the IDs started merging. At this point you have a choice, but at some point in the future you won’t. So I combined them and now, annoyingly, you have to login every single time you go to Flickr instead of just using a cookie. Clicking remember details only remembers password. So Flickr have just borken my experience and added an annoyance everytime.

Aug 22

Six Feet Under

Dear 17674 American bloggers who have posted about the season finale of Six Feet Under. Stop – or at least mark your posts with big spoiler warning. Some of us who live in other countries haven’t seen it yet

Aug 22

22 Aug notes

From Engadget, a look back to 1985 and how the technology blog may have looked then as a BBS. I remember of lot of these; the Windows1.0 screenshot in particular struck home considering how much time I’ve spent starng at such screens.

From Niall Kennedy, blogs as a communication tool. Blogs usualy – hopefully ;o) – act as a one to many communication method. Niall saw a one-to-one use that keeps a communication alive in a single place; perhaps the medium allows more of a conversational and sharing mode than emails. Will it still have the saem sense of discovery and recollection produced by a bundle of letters? Perhaps – connectivty and deepness of content is far easier in a blog than in emails.

Aug 22

Medical Hacking

Intersting BBC article about an Vietnamese doctor who built his own endoscope. The machines normally go for $30000, but he put the home-made version together for around $1000. After 2 years perfecting the device, he;s now making them for colleagues.