Sunday, April 29, 2007

This'n'That - you can learn it at PubTricks.com!

Great card trick I found on via Stumble! Amusing trick involving three cards - not entirely sure how he does it though, but there are a couple of suggestions in the YouTube comments. Costs $9 to see how it works on pubtricks.com - I think I can live my life without knowing it...

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Nine Inch Nails

One of my favourite bands, Nine Inch Nails recently released their album 'Year Zero'. The past few singles have also been released in GarageBand format to allow remixing them. They've just released a few more tracks on their site which is cool.

Whilst reading that page I noticed a couple of things which I found quite amusing - first of all:

As a reward for stealing Year Zero, we've prepared the next batch of multitrack audio files for you to download.


Secondly for the those that don't have GarageBand, they have linked directly to a 'generic' version of the file - on thepiratebay.org as a torrent file...

Friday, April 27, 2007

Election Fever

Well, maybe not fever or excitement. Rather than blurt out my political thoughts and indicate who I'll be voting for - I thought I'd poke some fun at the election leaflets which got forcefully thrust through my letterbox yesterday morning. I'm also doing a postal vote, so I get a sneak preview at all those smaller parties you know nothing about until the big day - Scotland Against Crooked Lawyers party anyone?

First off, there is Richard Sullivan - Glasgow Baillieston candidate for the Scottish Conservatives, he lives nowhere near Baillieston, managed to spell the name wrong and waffles about how the Town Centre needs regenerating! Baillieston "town centre" is a street of maybe 20 or 30 shops, mainly takeaways and estate agents plus a couple of each type of shop including greengrocers and butchers with a Lidl and Morrisons right at the end. I actually thought it was doing rather well myself - not a single closed or out of place shop with new ones opening every month or so... Secondly he goes on about the need for "people here in Baillieston" to "deserve to be able to walk their streets at night". This confirmed it - he's never been here at night - In the couple of years I've lived here I've never seen a single problem! I might take him up on his offer to give me a lift to the Polls - might actually get him to see the area!

The other amusing leaflet was from David Jackson - candidate for the Scottish Liberal Democrats. Inside he waffles on about making Scotland, greener, safer, increasing health care and making young people matter. It's this last one I found amusing as the headline is sitting right next to the following picture:



That looks like a young person putting a Buckfast bottle in (presumably) a recycle bin. Are they encouraging young people to drink - or just be responsible enough to recycle their Buckie bottles after consuming them?

Another leaflet posted through my door doesn't bitch about other parties or offer to give pensioners more money. They simply state:
  • No to Anti-Social Behaviour
  • No to More Bogus Asylum Seekers
  • No to More Immigration
  • No to Being the Sick Man of Europe
  • Yes to Long Term Sustainable Jobs
  • Yes to More Police
  • Yes to Better Quality Housing
  • Yes to Education that Works
  • Yes to a Better NHS
  • Yes to a Cleaner, Greener Environment
Hmmm.

Well - I'm fairly sure Labour will get in again, but hopefully not. I'm posting away my vote soon and maybe it'll make an iota of a difference.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Music Recommendations

I was trying a new piece of software for my mac called 'CoverSutra' which is quite nice application. It offers a little icon of the current track being played on the desktop and has Growl support.

One of the features I didn't know much about was submission to a site called last.fm which is a music recommendation site. Coversutra will automatically upload the music you play (names of tracks only) and compare it with other people with similar listening tastes. Eventually it'll recommend local concerts and music based purely on your listening history! Sounds good to me - and it's free.

If you visit my actual website (rather than reading my newsfeed) you'll notice a little icon on the right hand side which displays my most popularly listened artists over the last week! Pretty cool - this updates live too!

Check out CoverSutra - it's only 10 euros!
Link to last.fm

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Street Artist



I found this website through 'Stumble!' and it is about pavement artist (Julian Beever) who is quite good at what he does. He paints anamorphic illusions to create the impression of 3D shapes from paintings on the floor. Check them out they are all very good, but this one got my attention the most!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Mobile Phone Insurance

In January of this year I bought a Treo 680 from Expansys on contract from Vodafone, the problem that I didn't realise is that Vodafone won't insure my mobile because it's not from them and they couldn't do a 'like for like' exchange. This meant looking for a 3rd party insurance company...

Most of the ones available are for purchase with a new phone, for example Carphone Warehouse, Argos, etc. I found one quite quickly on the internet, but (to me) it seemed like a bit of a nobody and wasn't sure whether it was a rip off or not.

Left with no choice, I went ahead and purchased the insurance from a company called Insurance4mobiles but with a number of different domain names on the internet. The website claims it is underwritten by AXA and when I called the number I actually got through to someone. The monthly price is £7.99 for my Treo 680 and you pay the first three months up front.

Well, you can't really review an insurance company without a claim, so by luck (or not so) I had to make one recently.

I managed to accidentally crack the screen on my Treo and this is covered by the insurance policy's accidental coverage. I called the company and told them I'd like to make a claim and they wanted proof of purchase of my phone, this was going to be slightly difficult as I'd purchased it from Expansys using Paypal. I forwarded on the paypal receipt and it wasn't accepted; after explaining the situation they would accept a photocopy of the label on the side of the box including the make and model of the phone along with the IMEI number. I compromised by offering a photograph of the phone displaying this information - I sent the photo via email and they were happy with it, claim approved and it would be a £25 excess fee.

They sent me an addressed package for the phone and claim form to sign which arrived the following day. After posting it, a few days later an absolutely brand new boxed and unopened Treo 680 arrived through the post!

After my initial reservations, they've demonstrated they are good - and a lot easier than some insurance companies I've claimed through (T-Mobile).

If you have an uninsured phone or laptop, have a look. They ensure a wide range of mobiles and have a couple of different insurance products.

http://www.insurance4mobiles.co.uk/