September 30th, 2006Uncategorized
We went to see An Inconvenient Truth last weekend at the Duke of York’s. Very well put together, with some really eye-opening statistics. Other people have reviewed it far better than I could, so I’ll leave it there.
Last year, when we went to the Eden project, you could buy some carbon offset packs to compensate for the amount of miles you drive per year. I thought about it, but didn’t pursue it. This morning I’ve just paid for a carbon offset for the 6.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions I have used driving and flying. I’ve been researching the options primarily between Climate Care and Carbon Neutral. The calculators at Carbon Neutral for flights cover more options, but for driving there seemed little difference between the two.
In the end the choice of supported projects swung it for me. Carbon Neutral have a Natural Woodland portfolio (although there weren’t any available for me to buy), an International Communities portfolio and a Futures portfolio. All which seem pretty worthy. The Climate Care projects seem to be a bit smaller scaled and helping more local communitites, concentrating on efficient cooking stoves, efficient lighting and things like that.
The other thing that concerned me slightly about Carbon Neutral was the fact that you got gifts for having your certificates posted to you – surely this is adding to carbon emissions?
Tomorow we’re going to see Who Killed the Electric Car? Not sure if the Duke of Yorks is having an eco-season or something, but we seem to be.
September 27th, 2006Uncategorized
Genius, pure genius
September 26th, 2006Uncategorized
I was looking to redeem some of my nectar points earlier, and so attempted to log on. I couldn’t remember my password, but I know both my card number and my email address. Their Forgotten your password page allows you to enter either email address or password.
I chose to enter my email address, as it saved wandering off to find the piece of plastic.
So despite the fact that it says twice to enter either email address or nectar card number, they don’t allow you to enter email address on this form. You’ve got to enter your nectar card number. So, I’ve had to go and find that plastic card anyway. An example of poor user experience.
September 25th, 2006Uncategorized
Turing, the Enigma, the WWII code breaking efforts… these are all important parts of our geek heritage. So we were unable to resist a visit to Bletchley Park on a day when they’d invited back veterans who had worked the machinery there, and the team who had re-built and were demonstrating a working version of the Bombe: Photos are up with a bit more of an explanation.
There’s also some video, showing the Bombe working, the Colossus, and an un-watchable bit of geeking around an SGI’s file system:
width="320" height="240" />
September 21st, 2006Uncategorized
I listened to the excellent IT Conversations: Steve Coast podcast on my way in to work this morning, which was all about OpenStreetMap. This is a project I already knew of from the dConstruct podcasts as there was a Brighton mapping workshop the day after dConstruct.
I don’t have a GPS unit, but my only exposure to one was excellent. Whilst in Colorado snowboarding in March we found out about the SlopeTracker service, and rented a unit at Copper Mountain. The end result of this was a piste map with our routes marked on it, along with statistics such as maximum speed, miles travelled, time spent boarding etc (sample map). A great service. So today I started investigating what other ski resorts you could get GPS based maps for, and I stumbled across Mountain Dynamics and the SnowRanger set of resort maps. There’s an Uplink tool as well so that you can share your routes and statistics online.
If we can find a similar service that supports the Mac, then my justification for buying a GPS unit will be in place, and then maybe I can start to contribute to OpenStreetMap as it sounds like a great project. I especially like the fact that they’ve proved the existence of errors and easter eggs in the traditional maps. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always found the use of fictional roads and landmarks as a way of protecting your copyright to be a bit wrong when your reputation relies on the, otherwise, amazing quality of your data.
2September 19th, 2006Uncategorized
September 17th, 2006Uncategorized
A weekend of food related stuff. Firstly, on Friday evening we revisited the Noir Caribbean takeaway, this time trying the goat curry and chicken curry which we both polished off in no time, all washed down with a bottle of local organic wine.
On Saturday we pottered around the A Taste of Sussex market, picking up some local food, drinking some local beer and generally chilling out enjoying the sunshine. We headed out to Hove for dinner, but with no real plans, and decided on Los Amigos for dinner, which was good, but as with our last visit, the bill seemed surprisingly high. Our last stop for the day was The Sussex for beers.
Today, Richard had to head off to London, so I decided to continue the food based weekend and, armed with my camera, I visited a few local food shops, both tried and tested and new to me, before returning to the food festival, to sample some of the hot food and also to watch a few of the shows on the live food show stage. Then home to cook some bagels.
September 15th, 2006Uncategorized
A new feature for iTunes 7 is the ability to transfer purchased music from an iPod to a desktop – as long as the purchaser of the music is authorised on your machine. I discovered this by accident when I plugged my shuffle into my PC at work to put some files on it before heading home for the weekend. When I plugged it in a dialog appeared offering me a new option to “Transfer Purchases”, I figured I’d give it a try and it copied all the purchased music on my shuffle onto my PC. Great. So, I headed off home and decided to plug our main iPod into my macbook and see what happened. No pop up dialog, but if I control click on the name of our iPod I get a menu which offers “Transfer Purchases”. Very cool! This will save me cutting CDs to transfer our purchases from one machine to another.
September 14th, 2006Uncategorized
September 14th, 2006Uncategorized
I think the TV show Who Do You Think You Are? is a perfect example of the BBC meeting their charter to inform, educate and entertain all in one programme. You’ve got celebrity for the entrainment, information in terms of history, and education in terms of genealogy. And just to reinforce the BBC stamp on it, you’ve got Doctor Who turning up in it on 27th September.