Saturday, December 30, 2006

HD-DVD Broken

It was only a matter of time really. It was quite amusing seeing this unfold on Doom9 as no one quite believed him. Are we going to see this person vilified and made an example of, as they tried to with DVD Jon? Will this mean all the majors go for Blu-Ray instead? Probably not, because that will just get cracked sooner or later. Ho-hum. Such is the circle of copyright protection life.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Yey!

The Future

It's not exactly what I was going for back in February but it's damn near close enough.

3's newly released X-Series offers 3G services with a flat charge. And no more 'walled garden' internet nonsense. Lookie:

What you get:
  • Unlimited* mobile access to Slingbox and/or Orb
  • Unlimited* Windows Live Messenger already included in your price plan
  • Unlimited* international calls with Skype
  • Unlimited* data to use on:
    • Web surfing with Yahoo! Search and Yahoo! Go
    • Mobile Mail with Yahoo! Mail, GMail and other internet service providers
    • Podcasts
  • eBay - Free on your price plan
I want one. But not yet, they still don't do Skype-out.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Web 2.0 - Or 'The dotcom crash 2.0'

Google buys YouTube for $1.65bn
Rupert 'Beelzebub' Murdoch buys MySpace for $580 million
eBay buys Skype in $2.6bn deal

del.icio.us, blogger, flickr, Picasa - were all bought previously by the same corporations, the difference here being the size of the recent deals.

I've been itching to write something about Web 2.0 because it's been infuriating me for so long. I've read lots of dreadful definitions of Web 2.0. none of them really cut if for me, so here's my own: Web 2.0 - Any website that is unusable on dial up. A lot of people like to put in some sort of social networking aspect, but really, I think that definition pretty much sums them all up. I can go and make a sandwich when I'm waiting for someone's MySpace page to load. That's if it doesn't a) crash my computer or b) plant spyware and steal all my passwords.

What prompted this piece were news reports emerging about Yahoo offering up $1bn for Facebook.com. Nope, never heard of it either. Must be an American thing. Hilarity ensues when you read that they were turned down by the founder, Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook board member Peter Thiel said last week: “The site's college-aged users make it worth $8 billion or more, as much as Viacom Inc.'s MTV music video channel," according to Bloomberg reports. from Zdnet

Worth $8bn with revenues estimated to be around $50m a year. Did I hear anyone say '3G Licences'? I say take the money and run kid, because mark my words, this bubble's going to burst within 12 months and you'll be kicking yourself. They may decide to go public which would be the beginning of the end really. All it takes is a battering in the markets for one major Web 2.0 player and the public are likely to stampede, much like they did in 2000.

One aspect of Web 2.0 that seems to get conveniently overlooked is that the sites mentioned above are all community driven. The huge sums involved in purchasing these sites is essentially to pay for someone's bright idea. Which is fair enough I suppose, some of those ideas are pretty smart and I certainly wish I'd had them. (Although back in 2000 I remember talking about movie rental downloads - which Lovefilm have just started doing. Damn you youthful apathy.) However, since all this content is user generated, shouldn't they get a slice of the pie? Hmm?

What if someone were to buy Wikipedia with it's millions of user written pages about Star Wars droids and it's constant disputes. Would it get divvyed up between all the contributors? Would it bollocks. Thankfully I think Wikipedia is safe, backed as it is by a charity, but if you've spent all day uploading videos to YouTube for the enjoyment of others, shouldn't you be rewarded for doing so? I reckon this might be the main cause for the bubble bursting, when you keep on giving and get nothing in return don't you eventually just give up?

Of course that's not even taking into account that the primary demographic for all this social networking Web 2.0 nonsense are aged 18-34, and have a notoriously short attention

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Scrooge hat on


I know I'm going to get a fair amount of stick for this, but I simply can not pass comment on this relatively recent phenomenon that occurs at this time of year. Charity Christmas eCards (the 'e' stands for electronic because if you put an 'e' in front of anything it suddenly makes it super dooper hi-tech and whizzy, like email (normal mail but slower and more junk), e-envoy (a government minister who makes sure that all government IT services are delivered late and over budget) and efood (food bought online that says I'm better than you - not to be confused with efamine, hunger caused by non-intensive arable farming to produce luxury organic goods for export).

But I digress. It's not that I'm opposed to charity, or I think cancer is great, I just find something slightly self satisfying about advertising charitable giving. Charity isn't about looking honourable, it's supposed to be an altruistic act. But it's become so fashionable to be a 'good' person - to recycle, only eat organic mung beans, drive hybrids (which in many cases pollute more) and so on. It's just another spoke in the modern day version of keeping up with the Jones'. That curiously English disease of oneupmanship of your peers.



Anyway, who really cares about Christmas cards? I'd much rather be bought a pint. Or a mince pie. Although that doesn't mean they're not gratefully received (you know who you are) but unless everyone you know is sending cards they just end up looking sad and lonely on the bookshelf. So please, keep your ecards, give money to charity, but don't shout about it like you want a reward or something.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Nørway

I'm getting quite excited now, the plans are starting to take shape. We'll be flying out on the 7th Feb to stay a couple of nights in Oslo before starting the journey north. It's not totally decided yet but the rough plan is to train it up to Trondheim, then on to Bodo and then bus the final leg to Tromsø. It should take a few days. We'll be flying back down from Tromsø on the 18th ;)

Things to do - stay in the Igloo hotel? go dog sledging? cross country skiing? go to Hammerfest because it's got a cool name? visit the northernmost point of Europe?

Most depressing Christmas present ever?

http://www.iwantoneofthose.com/global-warming-mug/index.html?CMP=EMC-MINIDEC1

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

DUKE TERRY

ATTN: SIR/MADAM,

PERMIT ME TO INFORM YOU OF MY DESIRE OF GOING INTO
BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU. I GOT YOUR AND
CONTACT FROM THE EUROPEAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND
INDUSTRY. I PRAYED OVER IT AND SELECTED YOUR NAME
AMONG OTHERS DUE TO IT´S ESTEEMING NATURE AND THE
RECOMMENDATIONS GIVEN TO ME AS A REPUTABLE AND TRUST
WORTHY PERSON I CAN CONFIDE ON AND BY THEIR
RECOMMENDATIONS I MUST NOT HESITATE TO CONFIDE IN YOU
FOR THIS SIMPLE AND SINCERE REQUEST.

I AM DUKE TERRY,A 22YEARS OLD BOY, THE ONLY SON OF LATE CHIEF AND MRS
CHRISTOPHER TERRY. MY FATHER WAS A VERY WEALTHY COCOA MERCHANT BASED IN
ABIDJAN, THE ECONOMIC CAPITAL OF IVORY COAST BEFORE HE WAS POISONED TO DEATH
BY HIS BUSINESS ASSOCIATES ON ONE OF THEIR EVENING OUTING TO DISCUSSON A
BUSINESS DEAL.

WHEN MY MOTHER DIED ON THE 1ST OCTOBER 1990, MY FATHER TOOK ME SO SPECIAL
BECAUSE I AM MOTHERLESS. BEFORE THE DEATH OF MY FATHER ON 24TH APRIL 2004,
IN A PRIVATE HOSPITAL IN ABIDJAN, HE SECRETLY CALLED ME ON HIS BED SIDE AND
TOLD ME THAT HE HAS A SUM OF US$7M (SEVEN MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS)
LEFT IN A BANK HERE IN EUROPE.

THAT HE USED MY NAME AS HIS ONLY SON FOR THE NEXT OF KIN IN DEPOSIT OF THE
FUND. HE ALSO EXPLAINED TO ME THAT IT
WAS BECAUSE OF THIS WEALTH THAT HE WAS POISONED BY HIS
BUSINESS ASSOCIATES, THAT I SHOULD SEEK FOR A FOREIGN
PARTNER IN A COUNTRY OF MY CHOICE WHERE I WILL
TRANSFER THIS MONEY AND USE IT FOR INVESTMENT PURPOSE.

FOR THIS SIMPLE REASON, I ARRANGED WITH A TRAVEL AGENT, WHO HELPED ME TO
TRAVEL TO EUROPE.

I AM HONOURABLY SEEKING YOUR ASSISTANCE IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS.
1) TO HELP ME RETRIEVE THIS FUND AND HELP PROVIDE A BANK ACCOUNT WHERE THIS
MONEY WOULD BE TRANSFERED INTO.
2) TO SERVE AS THE GUARDIAN OF THIS FUND AND ME
3) TO MAKE ARRANGEMENT FOR ME TO COME OVER TO YOUR
COUNTRY TO FURTHER MY EDUCATION AND TO SECURE A

MOREOVER, DEAR, I AM WILLING TO OFFER YOU 15% OF THE
TOTAL SUM AS COMPENSATION FOR YOUR EFFORT/INPUT AFTER
THE SUCCESSFUL TRANSFER OF THIS FUND TO YOUR NOMINATED
ACCOUNT OVERSEA. FURTHERMORE, YOU CAN INDICATE YOUR
OPTION TOWARDS ASSISTING ME AS I BELIEVE THAT THIS
TRANSACTION WOULD BE CONCLUDED WITHIN A SHORT TIME
YOU SIGNIFY INTEREST TO ASSIST ME.

ANTICIPATING HEARING FROM YOU SOON.

THANKS AND GOD BLESS.

EMAIL ME DIRECTLY ON duketerrypvt1@aim.com

BEST REGARD
DUKE TERRY


RESIDENTIAL PERMIT FOR ME IN YOUR COUNTRY.

MOREOVER, DEAR, I AM WILLING TO OFFER YOU 15% OF THE
TOTAL SUM AS COMPENSATION FOR YOUR EFFORT/INPUT AFTER
THE SUCCESSFUL TRANSFER OF THIS FUND TO YOUR NOMINATED
ACCOUNT OVERSEA. FURTHERMORE, YOU CAN INDICATE YOUR
OPTION TOWARDS ASSISTING ME AS I BELIEVE THAT THIS
TRANSACTION WOULD BE CONCLUDED WITHIN A SHORT TIME
YOU SIGNIFY INTEREST TO ASSIST ME.

ANTICIPATING HEARING FROM YOU SOON.

THANKS AND GOD BLESS.

EMAIL ME DIRECTLY ON duketerrypvt1@aim.com

BEST REGARD
DUKE TERRY

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Holiday

I've decided i'm going to Norway as soon as feasibly possible (end Jan, early Feb). I'm not entirely sure how or why I stumbled upon this conclusion, but Norway it is. I'm going to see the Northern Lights (weather permitting), to whom I have been unacquainted with since my teenage years. I'll be going here, still to decide how to get there. So if anyone wants to buy Alison and myself some pressies I think seriously warm clothing would be much appreciated. And a torch (it's in darkness until the end of January).

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Could do with a day off

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off was on Film4 yesterday. Sweet. I was going to say I'd forgotten how much it rules, but that would be a lie. I remember all the time how much it rules. And even in my youth I realised how true Ferris' words were. Just take some time to think about it now and again, mmkay?

In other news I just made an awesome gazpacho from possibly the best cookery book in the world. The Silver Spoon is so amazing it has recipes for animals I've never even heard of. I can't wait for lunch tomorrow. Is it wrong to be this excited about soup?