| Thursday 27th July 2006 22:56MDT | → 0 Comments |
Good to see that my laptop isn’t the only one affected by the hot weather. It has shut itself down a number of times already. Now I make sure all the windows are open all day and I’ve set up a shell script that monitors the CPU temperature once a minute and sets off an alarm if it goes over 90C. It’s been noisy around here.
| Wednesday 26th July 2006 23:20MDT | → 0 Comments |
Beckett protest at weapons flight. She was complaining about not being kept in the loop. Does beg the question: if the Bush administration is prepared to deceive the UK over this (and, again, what does this say about our so-called special relationship) then how can we be sure no ‘extraordinary rendition’ torture flights didn’t use our airports too?
I can sympathise with this Ars Technica article: Quality of VoIP calls dropping:
The report made several intriguing claims. First up is the assertion that 19 percent of VoIP calls had “unacceptable call quality” during the last 18 months, certainly bad news for anyone thinking about ditching their landline in favor of VoIP. The company arrives at this number by measuring the “mean opinion score” (MOS) of all those test calls on its network. These scores are computer-generated; they don’t rely on humans to make judgments about what level of call quality is acceptable. The Brix study found that more calls than ever are scoring below 3.6, which is considered the threshold for acceptable connections. A quick look at the linear regression featured in their press release shows a scary downward drop in VoIP quality.
I’ve certainly noticed the quality of SkypeIn and, to some degree SkypeOut calls, to/from Terry has degraded over the past three months. I’m assuming this is because the number of sites that can be used as supernodes is dropping due to them wanting to avoid large bandwidth bills (and everyone else, me included, being behind router firewalls). I don’t think it’s my connection as it has recently been upgraded to 4Mb, though I don’t know if the 256Kb upstream rate has increased. Even if it hasn’t, that should be enough for voice quality bandwidth.
I hear thunder - time to hide under the bed (well, I would if my bed had an ‘under’).
| Sunday 23rd July 2006 9:57MDT | → 1 Comments |
This front cover from The Independent exposes what everyone knows but pretended wasn’t true - international law is a fiction maintained by the most powerful countries when it’s in their interest and not upheld by others, even though they’re in the majority and in the right, because they’re cowards.
Maybe, when the world is more equal in wealth, status and morality…
| Wednesday 19th July 2006 21:07MDT | → 0 Comments |
Today has been the hottest day of the year so far: 35C or 95F in old money. Of course, it would have to be the day that I was required to wear a shirt and tie as I was going to visit my customer in London. However, that started out rather comedy as there was some confusion as to where our meeting was taking place - we turned up at their office at precisely the same time they arrived at ours! What larks.
| Monday 17th July 2006 21:43MDT | → 1 Comments |
Such unexpected consequences of the current hot weather (maxing out at around 33C today): the semi-idle CPU temperature on my Thinkpad is up to around 55C and when I ran mp3gain on some large MP3s, average size of 25Mb, it bumped the CPU temperature up to 98C and the kernel shut the machine down.
In the meantime, I’ve not made much comment on the recent POWER Inquiry report. On the whole I agree with practically all the recommendations, though I suppose I’m somewhat more radical and feel we should move to (a) a republic and (b) a fully written constitution - both of which the report shies away from. Those entries that refer to a ‘concordat’ seem like a cry for a proper constitution.
However, I like a number of suggestions such as the
| Thursday 13th July 2006 19:40MDT | → 0 Comments |
I’ve been giving serious consideration to getting rid of my ntl fixed line phone and moving over to Skype, getting a UK SkypeIn number. I rarely use my fixed phone and my mobile should be satisfactory for emergency situations (failing that, I’ll just rouse a neighbour).
From some calculations, assuming a one hour call, this is the price comparison of Skype call charges as compared to ntl:
UK daytime: -121%
UK evening: -50%
UK weekend: +21%
Mobile daytime: +2%
Mobile evening: +30%
Mobile weekend: +81%
This takes account of ntl charging a connection fee. As you can see, it’s not immediately clear-cut. Skype is a lot cheaper for UK peak calls and fantastic for international. Not so compelling on the rest.
However, it might be more attractive when you consider that the annual fee for a SkypeIn number is approximately
| Tuesday 11th July 2006 20:33MDT | → 0 Comments |
Threat Level: peturbed
An unscientific analysis but I’ve calculated I receive approximately 1200 spam per day. Actually, that should be per weekday as it seems to drop off at weekends - it seems spammers follow office hours.
Threat Level: ohmygodwearegoingtodie
The Government have introduced a US-style threat level. I sometimes wonder where the truth lies: conspiracy, as in they want to keep the public fearful and consequently more ‘open’ to losing their rights in the name of security, or idiocy, in that they need to be seen to be doing something but don’t realise that a member of the public can’t really ‘do’ anything with a given threat. How do they behave at level ’severe’ as opposed to ’substantial’, beyond being vigilant - which everyone should be anyway when it comes to terrorism.
I think I subscribe to the first theory.
Threat Level: peachy
| Saturday 8th July 2006 14:07MDT | → 0 Comments |
My existing keyboard, which was a fairly cheap one I picked up on offer for
| Thursday 6th July 2006 20:49MDT | → 0 Comments |
Somewhat miserable. My daily Skype call from Terry (or SkypeIn I should say) was interrupted several times by what could be connectivity issues. The problem might have been with his cordless phone but who knows. Either way, the constant “Are you still there? Hello?” from both of us and having to give up upsets me and made me grotty with him. I sent an email apology. It’s no fun being quick to anger for trivial reasons - especially with the most important person in my life.
I wonder if the problem could be the popularity of Skype and the consequent loading on super-nodes or routes that block or otherwise restrict Skype traffic. If this planned ‘anti net neutrality’ comes into effect we could be looking at a short-lived, truely free or low-cost period of VOIP (i.e. before the major telco/internet companies march in and screw us over).
| Wednesday 5th July 2006 20:53MDT | → 0 Comments |
Sheer idleness has meant I haven’t updated for ages, though it’s nice to see people mention it - good to know I have more readers than just the googlebot.
In the meantime I visited Harrods with Denise, followed by another Denise (my mother) to present her with the product of my visit to Harrods - some medium swiss water process coffee beans.
Terry made a point of asking me not to bring him many (any?) presents when I visit in September, one exception being a new pair of wellies. My condition was they had to be green, like the Queen wears.
I went to the company barbeque a couple of weeks ago which was at a director’s house in Ockham. Very pleasant, and a nice cottage too though smallish, irregular shaped rooms inside which I feel would make it difficult to accomodate existing furniture. Quite a number of people went and brought partners/spouses (made me feel somewhat lonely without Terry - he’s the gregarious one). Everyone seemed fascinated with my orange inflate bag (which isn’t made anymore - good thing I bought a spare!). Well, they were until the England vs Paraguay match came on. Enjoyable, even though I normally dread social occasions.
Otherwise, its been frightningly hot recently and I’ve barely been able sleep - even bare. I’m also feeling somewhat less depressed, possibly because I’ve been concentrating my mind on fruitful activites.