| Sunday 31st July 2005 16:14MDT | → 0 Comments |
I’ve finally got around to setting up skype (contact name: rlongstaff). I bought a relatively inexpensive headset with integrated microphone and it works like a charm. With some skypeOut credits I made a phone call to my mother - mainly to check the microphone level. Line quality seemed fine, though I think there is a fair amount of CPU time devoted to signal processing so don’t load your machine while in a call.
However, another feature caught my eye: skypeIn, with which you are allocated a real phone number that, when called, is diverted to your skype app. Not only is this only
| Saturday 30th July 2005 9:12MDT | → 1 Comments |
I’m sitting in bed and my legs hurt. Yesterday the whole company went on a ‘fun day’ paid for by a grateful customer (on who’s project I didn’t actually work but that would otherwise have meant the whole company going minus three people so they snuck us in too).
It was at Nutfield Priory and comprised a morning and afternoon of events such as (OK, in total they were):
- Learning ‘circus skills’
- Quad biking
- Mini-hovercraft racing
- Laser clay pigeon shooting
I enjoyed the quad biking the most. Every other person I spoke to about it said “I’m going to buy one those!”. I doubt they will - you’d need a big garden that you wouldn’t mind tearing up.
In the evening dinner and drinks were laid on. Taxis got us there and back without hassle (except in the morning my taxi arrive 45 minutes early and had to come back later when I’d showered).
I enjoyed it to some degree, despite expecting not to, but I can’t say I ever look forward to spending an extended period of time in an enclosed space with drunk straight people. I think people just become rapidly, and embarassingly, boring when they’re drunk - but hey, maybe I’m the boring one?
| Wednesday 27th July 2005 19:08MDT | → 1 Comments |
Well, I didn’t lose my voice but I feel I sounded a bit croaky. The potential customers seemed happy enough but what bothered me was my boss was in the meeting and my efforts trying to compensate for the sore throat may have given him the impression that I was either nervous or didn’t know my stuff - neither of which was true - which wouldn’t rate me very highly in his esteem. Then again, maybe he didn’t think that (my project manager said I was fine). That’s paranoia for you.
| Tuesday 26th July 2005 20:12MDT | → 2 Comments |
I am so annoyed. Tomorrow I have to make an important pitch to a potential new customer, in the presence of our managing director, and I have a sore throat which is affecting my voice. If I lose my voice tomorrow then there will be hell to pay! I’ve been preparing for this presentation for weeks!
| Sunday 24th July 2005 12:37MDT | → 2 Comments |
After what seems like an eternity of drought, it’s pouring down today. Fortunately, I don’t want to go anyway - I need to stay home and do chores.
Yesterday I met up with Graham and we went for a long but pleasant walk around the Ash Ranges, which is an area of heathland near where he lives (in Ash) with fantastic views of the surrounding countryside that is nominally owned by the military and used by them for exercises, etc. However, whenever they don’t have anything planned the public are allowed to wander round - on condition they don’t pick up anything that looks like ‘miliary ordnance’ (i.e. a shell, that might blow their hand off). Afterwards we had a drink and a tasty meal at The Swan pub in Ash Vale. I must remember that one in future.
| Thursday 21st July 2005 19:34MDT | → 0 Comments |
After my little rant-ette about the BBC, fate decides to show me why they should be preferred, and preserved, over any other media outlet (especially Murdoch controlled ones). In covering today’s bombings in London, Fox News (who are not called Fauxnews for nothing) report some horrifying news: ‘… man with beard seen fleeing subway’.
Exhbit B is this editorial from the Sun:
We must tear up our membership of the European Convention on Human Rights.
I’d prefer to tear up The Sun (and have done, one a previous occasion many years ago when there was talk of inviting representitives of the German government to attend our annual remembrance parade and The Scum illustrated their ‘indignant outrage’ story with a montage picture of Nazi soldiers goosestepping along Whitehall.)
In fact, just in case anyone didn’t get it the first time, their editorial today says:
Tony Blair must rip up the Human Rights Act and rewrite the outdated UN Convention.
It would be a novel thing for one country to unilaterally rewrite a multi-national treaty. However, one should never cloud the issue with facts.
| Wednesday 20th July 2005 18:33MDT | → 0 Comments |
Although I think BBC News is better than practically all media in this country, it has tended towards a somewhat tabloid approach over the past few years - especially in its 6pm news, which seems to be presented with a ‘Coo! Look at this!’ attitude, and News Online. In the latter case, it has an article entitled ‘Teachers say no-one should ‘fail’. This has caused a storm of protest and has been attacked from all sides - until you look carefully and in fact it’s one teacher proposing a resolution to one conference of one teacher’s union - a far cry from it being the opinion of all teachers.
Another example is ‘Vitamin controls backed by Europe’. Apart from implying in the title that Europe is ‘them’ and not ‘us’, it states:
The European Court has decided to tighten rules on the sale of vitamins and minerals.
… which gives the impression that the Court made the law itself, when in fact it was merely ruling on the legality of it.
This may seem like Daily Mail style nit-picking but these aren’t trivial issues and I’m afraid the BBC seems to be letting accuracy slip in its ‘new media’ - maybe to try to catch up with competitors.
| Sunday 17th July 2005 15:28MDT | → 1 Comments |
More hacking today, this time sitting in the castle grounds. It was glorious sunny weather again today. I find I’ve been getting good karma with all this outdoors programming and make some good progress on bf’s website.
Speaking of bf, he’s been somewhat quiet on me recently and it turns out he’s ill. I’m not sure if it’s consequences of his extended return trip or the weather in Madison (around 90F every day). It might also have something to do with how Air Canada failed to transfer his luggage properly and it’s now sitting in an office in Chicago O’Hare airport and they’re apparently refusing to send it to him. I think that may be another airline to strike off the transatlantic transportation list (not that I thought it was a good choice anyway).
Either way, I’ve been feeling humbled as, when I last spoke to him on the phone, he was rambling and I did suspect him of being drunk. However, it now dawns on me that the effects of being ill and being drunk manifest themselves in the same way with him - explaining why BA thought he was sozzled when he had a bad reaction to some new pills. I feel so bad about doubting him thesedays - I really should treat him better.
I bought English Legal System by Gary Slapper et al. He is professor of law at the Open University. The reason I bought it is to help me decide if I want to take up their new Level 1 law course (yes, I know - I don’t have a particularly successful record when it comes to OU courses). It’s pricy though at
| Saturday 16th July 2005 14:46MDT | → 1 Comments |
I need to do some hacking on bf’s website so, as it’s such a nice day, I thought I’d sit on the grass outside my apartment with my laptop - comfortably within distance of my wifi. Very pleasant.
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| Thursday 14th July 2005 19:53MDT | → 0 Comments |
Bf has finally emailed me. Apparently things went horribly wrong with his flight schedule and it took him twenty seven hours to get back. Naturally he was exhausted and has been sleeping a lot of the time (made worse by the temperatures in Madison this time of year - around 90F every day).
Recent purchases: Short guide to the European Convention on Human Rights and Introduction to the European Convention on Human Rights - The rights guaranteed and the protection mechanism (Human Rights Files No. 1) - both from Council of Europe publishing.