Thursday, June 29, 2006

Scam the Scammer

This is quite a funny story between someone who was sent a '419' email (an email asking to help get funds out of Nigeria or similar).

He replied exclaiming he didn't have the time, but created a new story about how he could offer donations of between $25 and $100k based on quality of some artwork. The person replying used the name of 'Derek Trotter' and 'Rodney Trotter' in the scam.

He managed to scam a wooden carving of 'Trixie and Captain Cuddlepuss' from 'Creature Comforts' and a carving of a Commodore 64. Even managing to get the Nigerian scammer to pay the postage costs to get them here!

Very interesting read - I bet he enjoyed this!!

Found it originally on this Boing Boing article.
Link to actual site

Friday, June 23, 2006

Good News Everybody....

It would seem that Futurama might be resurrected for another 13 episodes on Comedy Central! This is brilliant news which I have been waiting for oh so long! I love Futurama and look forward to watching these new episodes.

I've been following the 'Can't Get Enough Futurama' blog for a while and they've been hinting at possible Futurama movie releases from Xmas 2007 which will be cool.

There isn't any press release on Comedy Central's website and 'Can't Get Enough Futurama' found out from a Reuters article. So this new is still rumour territory - but fingers crossed!

Frauded kids get to see England

I can't help but disagree with this. I am fairly sure that if I'd booked my tickets, flew out and discovered that I couldn't get to see a match, the most I would get back is the cost of the football match tickets. My travel insurance and credit card company would probably cover some of my costs.

I don't see why the government should step in with Fifa and BA to bail these kids out. I say let them experience the real world for once rather than strapping them into a pocket of improbability.

This would only be fair if the government decides to treat every person who has been frauded.

I can't help but think they wouldn't have done this if England hadn't gotten through. It wouldn't surprise me if they even get to meet the team and 'hang out with them' in Baden Baden.

Really the government doesn't give a rats ass about who goes to the football matches - this is all just some 'good PR'. The cameras will be all over the kids at the matches with the team and David Beckham and they'll have good fun, the best day of their lives, etc - and Tony Blair will reap the benefits of being a 'good guy'.

Absolutely pathetic.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

iPod Camera Connector with Memory Card Reader

I've been using Apple's iPod Camera Connector to transfer photos from my Canon EOS 300d camera and have been frustrated by the lack of speed of the transfer and the fact that a 1GB transfer kills the iPod battery before it's finished. I hoped that my memory card reader - a USB 2.0 generic memory card reader from Target in the States connects, but the iPod doesn't recognise any cards plugged in.

After much searching on the web, I found a list of compatible card readers cobbled together by a group of people trying readers out at random. Unfortunately it isn't clear how fast any of these devices are and this irritated me little as the best one I could find was a Belkin Card Reader (F5U249) on Amazon.co.uk at £20. Even eBay was £20...

So I thought I'd just splash out and get one just to see if there was an improvement - even if it meant being able to use my camera whilst the images were downloading I thought it was worthwhile.

My first test was 108MB worth of images (71 photos) which I transferred from the Camera to the iPod using the Canon provided USB cable, the next test was using the same data on the same memory card, but this time from the Belkin memory card reader. Thankfully the Belkin was a clear winner in speed - saving seven minutes transfer time. The full times are below:


108MB (71 Photos)

  • From Camera - 12 mins 24 seconds

  • From Reader - 5 mins 24 seconds




Clearly the Belkin isn't operating at USB 2.0 speeds with the iPod, but most importantly, it's quicker.

Hope someone finds these stats quite useful as it would have definitely sold it for me if I'd known before.

Friday, June 16, 2006

TUAW on sharing iCal Calendars

All the methods mentioned by TUAW involve acquiring at least a GB or disk space from (albeit one of them free) an online supplier.

They didn't mention another (free) system which I use to share my calendar with my wife and her calendar with me. This is iCal Exchange. iCal Exchange is designed specifically for sharing calendars from iCal - I've used it now for 2 months and have found it very reliable and easy to use. You can even log in to your account on icalx and view your calendars using a web based calendar system, you cannot edit though as iCal doesn't support this.

iCal supports both public and private calendards - private calendars require a username and password to be supplied and I think you need to pay iCal Exchange some money for this service, but the public calendars are free.

Give it a try - it makes some sense if you don't want to use an online disk service like box.net, jungle or .Mac - or hack your iCal with Scalp.

link to TUAW article
link to iCal Exchange

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Criss Angel And Half A Woman

This embedded video of a Blane like magician 'splits' a lady in two in some park. It is a bit spooky - No idea how he has done it...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

My Old Student Residence...



It would seem that my old Student Halls of Residence (Maclay Halls) of Park Terrace in Glasgow is currently burning down...

I noticed a few months back the buildings were up for sale and the linked article from BBC News states that it is under renovation.

The following video clip is from YouTube:




Link to BBC News Article


BBC 'In Pictures' Photos

Flickr! Pictures

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Tony Blair to fly England Flag

Tony Blair has ordered the cross of St George to be flown above 10 Downing Street on England World Cup match days. I think this is wrong, Tony Blair is the prime minister of the United Kingdoms of Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Great Britain happening to be composed of Scotland, England and Wales in equal importance - and just for the record, TB was born in Edinburgh. I wouldn't expect, nor imagine, that the Prime Minister would fly a St Andrews cross if Scotland were playing, a Red Dragon for Wales - or God Forbid - The Red Hand of Ulster!

I think this is a severe error in Judgement as now I would expect a flag for each country to be flown for each of their match days - for example if Northern Ireland qualified in the next World Cup - what happens if Northern Ireland play England for example?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

My Wife's new Website

My wife's just created a brand new website from scratch using iWeb on her iBook. Louise has never created a website before and I am amazed at how straight forward she found it!

The website is all about Louise's favourite slabbery animal (not me) - the Boxer Dog! Louise has selected many of the best photographs of all of the Boxer's she has known and owned and placed them on the web for all to see!

Go check it out at boxermad.co.uk!

Play music on iPod through on any (Windows) Computer

I've got an ipod with lot's of my music on it, but it is synced with Mac OS X on my iMac. The problem is... Unless I duplicate or sync my iTunes music library with my Boot Camp installation on Windows, I can't play the music on that iPod through the computer - I Don't want to add another set of speakers to my desk just for the iPod as my iMac has them built in. I tried using a cable to loop the iPod through the line-in, but that didn't work either...

After much searching I discovered a program called Pod Player from iPodSoft. This is a single Windows binary which is freeware and allows playback of all the music on your iPod - including protected AAC if you install iTunes and authorise the computer!! The winner (for me) is the ability to set star ratings and it updates play counts on your iPod so when you sync it back to iTunes it updates everything.

The program is a single binary so I could conceivably drop it on the iPod, so I whenever I mount the iPod I get the program - although, my iPod's HFS (mac formatted) so I'd need MediaFour's MacDrive installed on every computer to do this...



I have to admit the interface leaves something to be desired when compared with iTunes, but aesthetics aside, it does the job perfectly. It displays all the playlists on the iPod and the "browse" album, artist, genre system works super fast and in a similar way to iTunes. Once you've chosen playlist/album/artist/genre choices or ran a search (which is reasonably quick), the results are displayed in the song list. Unfortunately I'd prefer the song track number to be more visible - it's at the end of many columns of file sizes etc - and Pod Player doesn't retain customisations of this between loads. Besides that - it's now in regular use!!

Highly recommended!!

Link to iPodSoft's Pod Player

Monday, June 05, 2006

FIFA World Cup Clip

I'm not a fan of football at all. In all honesty I really can't see the attraction - but many people can't see the attraction in Formula 1 motor racing so I'm not one to judge. However it is amazing how rampant football fever can spread across the country. My parents-in-law have just arrived back from Bristol and were talking about how 30% of the cars have England flags draped across their cars - amazing stuff!

It also must make Lawyer companies a lot of money as one in particular has sent a pre-emptive cease and desist letter to one of my favourite blog sites, Boing Boing. The company (Baker & McKenzie LLP) has warned many sites including Boing Boing that they will be monitoring their websites to ensure that no FIFA World Clips get posted illegally - there is no chance of that happening as Boing Boing's post about the cease and desist letter states. In fact the editors at Boing Boing would rather stream a video clip of an unfolding napkin over a football clip. So, here we go then with the retort courtesy of youtube!!

FIFA World Cup Video Clip
Boing Boing exciting video post

Alternative Endings...

Not exactly cheery for a Monday morning, but none the less - The Daily Telegraph has an article today entitled "Alternative Endings" outlining the various ways you can be laid to rest. Quite interesting as I only thought burial and cremation were the only options - I think the swedish "freeze dried" method sounds quite interesting! Also quite concerning for cremation is the 16 percent of Britain's mercury emissions from dental fillings!!

Just thought I'd share...

Link to original article