Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wii arrived!!



Quite by surprise yesterday afternoon a delivery truck came to deliver a package in Louise's name. What could it be?

Later that evening I had built up a sweat, pulled a muscle in my leg and had a sore arm. It was a Wii with Wii Sports ordered early December 2006!

My favourites so far are definitely the Tennis (despite the fact I don't like it in real life), Bowling and Baseball!

My PS2 has GTA: Vice City Stories in it - I'm about 30% through that game and I'm not sure I can go back to sitting on a chair stabbing my fingers at a controller! The Wii is just different and a lot more fun. Louise and I competed last night for about 4 hours before having to give up! Even the dog was trying to join in...

The Wii has WiFi on it, which was a breeze to setup and you get News and Weather through the first menu. The weather is quite swish - it gives you a google earth type map to play with and displays the weather and temperatures for major cities across the globe. You spin the globe using the wireless Wii controller! The news is extremely readable and looks like a newspaper. Cool stuff!

It also plays my old Gamecube games so I may just have a go at finally completing Metroid Prime!!!

You can create your own Avatar or 'Mii' which you can use playing your games - Good Fun!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton is definitely a Formula One driver to watch, however, I wonder just how much modern technology in the F1 cars is helping Lewis achieve the results he is currently enjoying.

I was a bit surprised to read that McLaren are being probed over possible team orders when they requested Lewis to 'take it easy' toward the end of the Monaco Grand Prix. How is this team orders? It simply stops Lewis Hamilton taking out Alonso and losing McLaren a one-two finish! Common sense!

Why is everyone saying he was robbed of his first win? Yes, he is quick - he has done well in motorsports before F1 (See this Lewis Hamilton article on Wikipedia), however it is still his fifth F1 Grand Prix and he is proving he is doing well! Why should we be expecting him to be winning every race?

I think this media coverage is giving Lewis Hamilton a bit of an ego now as I have read that he acknowledges the 'team orders' so that he didn't pressurise Alonso into making a mistake - and then perhaps colliding with him after such a mistake.

I was told to take it easy, so there was no point pressuring him into a mistake, and then if he had made a mistake to crash into him, so it was best to finish one-two.
Quote taken from article on BBC Sport


I watched on the edge of my seat Alonso being pressured by Michael Schumacher for the best part of most races and not making any mistakes. I doubt he would have in Monaco just because it was Hamilton.

Alonso deserved to win - he was definitely the fastest all weekend.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Chapel Cross Cooling Towers Demolished



The cooling towers at Chapel Cross Nuclear Power Station have been destroyed in a controlled demolition.

I read about this a few weeks back and the article mentioned they were going to broadcast it over the internet to try and minimise public presence at the site.

Well, they've done so and produced quite a nice site too with details of how the demolition works and a video of the towers falling down.

Pretty cool!

Link to Chapel Cross Cooling Towers Website

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Eurovision Song Contest

I went bowling on Saturday night to intentionally miss the Eurovision Song Contest since it had shunted Doctor Who off the schedule...

However, we arrived back to watch the last couple of songs with a few beers and see the final scores and of course Terry "We won the Cold War but we lost the Eurovision" Wogan's fantastic commentary. After watching the short clips we seeked out the Ukranian song 'Dancing Lasha Tumbai' and hoped it would win! A bit of a crappy song, but catchy and I am sure destined to be 2007's Macarena! Personally I think it's a perfect 'eurovision' song - a lot of effort's clearly gone in (doesn't that star sparkle) and in fact it's moved from 43 on the iTunes chart this morning to 16 right now and (hopefully) about to overtake Britain's lame attempt with 'Flying the Flag', which sounds to me more like a bad advert for British Airways and how much better the UK is to the rest of Europe (what?)

I was so disappointed that Malta gave the UK 12 points!?! Ireland of course did the neighborly thing and gave a couple of points to the UK - and of course the UK didn't reciprocate - surprising, given the fact that this week marked the restoration of power sharing in Northern Ireland... It would have been so amusing to see the UK entry 'scooching' off with no points.

Watch the Ukraine's 2007 Eurovision Entry (Verka Serduchka) on YouTube
Link to the Eurovision 2007 Final Scores

Thursday, May 10, 2007

1997 - 2007

The Daily Telegraph has an interesting diagram showing the average prices of everyday items in 1997 compared with today.

Price Differences 1997 - 2007 (Click to Enlarge)
(Click to enlarge)

Full Daily Telegraph Article about Tony Blair resigning as Labour Leader

Monday, May 07, 2007

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games



I've seen the signs about Glasgow's 2014 bid for the commonwealth urging me to back the bid, but I only just found out you can sign up online!

At Glasgow's Back the Bid webpage, you can sign up as an individual, company, club or school to give your support to Glasgow's Commonwealth bid.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

DRS Software

Steven Murdoch left an interesting comment on my previous posting about the Scottish Election Chaos. Namely that the electoral commission recommends that in the event of crosses and numbers being placed in the wrong columns a system where the ballot can still be counted and not simply discarded as 'spoiled'. Steven simply hoped that the software does follow this recommendation.

As a recent convert to Apple Mac OS X from Linux over 2 years ago, I'm not quite the Open Source Advocate as I once was. However, if ever there was a case for OSS, this must be it. I really would like the ability for the public to audit the software DRS has written to ensure it follows the guidelines. Even though it has been 'independently reviewed', I simply don't trust the programmers who wrote it unless I can see test suite results and/or the code. They don't have to reveal the company secrets that actually interpret the glyphs written on the paper - but they can open the algorithm used to produce the final results.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Election Chaos

Now that we've found out that over 100,000 ballots have been rejected due to being 'spoilt' I think they should all be recounted using common sense rather than a computer.

I strongly believe that most of the spoilt papers will be because somebody has placed a '1' where there should be a cross and a cross where there should be a number.

They should recount the papers such that a cross where there should be number = 1 and the number 1 where there should be a cross should be a cross. This would discard second, third and fourth choices of course - but would come up with a more accurate result.

Better yet, rerun the election in a few months time. I read somewhere on the internet that if this had have happened in Africa - Britain would be first shouting for a rerun!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Colourful Encryption



The HD-DVD encryption system was cracked over the last week and the AACS licensing authority is trying to take down the numbers wherever they appear on the net. They are failing miserably as a google search for the numbers yesterday revealed 30,000 results and today they're indexing 370,000 pages with those numbers!

t3knomanser decided that it was a good idea to create a colour palette containing those numbers, unfortunately when he converted it to GIF - the HEX encoding was lost.

What do you think of the pretty image I've created on this page? I quickly made it up in photoshop using some colours I thought go quite well together...

t3knomanser's blog
Originally found on Boing Boing

The above image is licenced under Creative Commons. I hereby waive the Attribution requirement on this licence.