Friday, October 29, 2004
This new phone from Samsung has fairly awesome, world-first specs, including a 5 megapixel camera and SVGA screen. Only available to early-adopting Koreans for now though ...
There's nothing funnier than someone falling down a hole ...
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Check out some good images from the Cassini probe.
The storm is impressive enough, and still blowing. Lots of flooding on the south coast. Back at yoga last night, time for a spell of good livin and healing.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
The country cowers as a Big Storm is forecast: welling up from the Sea of Biscay with 80 gusts and warnings of extensive structural damage. Here in the South East we're apparently right in the flightpath.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
When I was a student with rooms in Trinity College (many years ago, let me hasten to add) - and lived on the 4th floor overlooking Botany Bay - we had a late-night pastime, usually engaged in after getting suitably stoked. First construct an enormous paper jet using a double page of broadsheet newspaper. Just before launching paper jet from window, apply flame to one of its wings. Observe its fiery descent as it swoops and burns on its way to the cobblestones far below. For added amusement, any ones that "crashed and burned" - i.e. had not completely combusted on the way down - could be extinguished with "water bombs" (plastic bags filled with water and then knotted shut) heaved from the fourth story window. These not only completely extinguished the downed craft, but made an excellent splat-bang-hiss sound effect in the process.
Years later, it is good to notice that the "falling paper problem" has received the scientific study it richly merits. Read all about it here.
Watch this space as Google flex their muscles for an entry into the browser market with a Google-branded version of Firefox.
A week's hiatus as A. had to be brought back to hospital. At least we now know that even in remote Aughrim, they can have an ambulance at your door in less than 15 minutes if you scream for one. Now A. is back home, and I'm back at work, albeit shaky and on strong antibiotics.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Here's a site worth reading (when I'm not too busy working, blogging, or relaxing: How to make money from Blogging. Now that would be nice ...
Another good tip from Mark: http://tinyurl.com. Feed them your ultra-long and difficult to e-mail, stick on a postit etc. url - and they feedback a tiny url that you could write on a postage stamp, but goes to the same place. You can even drag a button onto your Links bar that gets you there in one click.
Monday, October 18, 2004
(spotted by Mark) This looks like an excellent cookbook for a way cheap plug-and-play 24 track recording studio at the affordable price of under a grand EUR.
Haven't done so much blogging about blogging in a while, but here's a mail (i.e. spam) I receved this morning on Gmail.
RatherGate proved that bloggers are the best fact checkers. That is
why we are writing to a few bloggers asking for help.
Yes Bush Can has collected several documents that are clearly suspect. But we need your help to prove they are fake: http://www.yesbushcan.com/falsedocs.shtml
Let's spring to action before these documents needlessly tarnish the
reputation of our Commander and Chief. You know the drill: analyze the handwriting, search for factual errors, and post your discoveries.
And keep us posted by sending email to FakeDocs@yesbushcan.com.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Well if you visit their link, it seems a long way from the core Bush/Cheney agenda, in fact seems to be by a bunch of spoofers who do more to publicize than debunk various driving-while-under-the-influence episodes by Dubya and Cheney, drunken misdemeanours by his daughters etc. All pretty old stuff. The "rallying cry" to bloggers to "debunk" these well established documents is a new angle though.
Friday, October 15, 2004
I was asked some questions about blogging by a fellow journalist, which sparked some thoughts about why I do this stuff. Here's the answers I gave:
Why do you do it?
I'm a professional writer, and all writing is practice.
It keeps a diary - I'm blogging since March 2003, so I get a record of what's happened and when - I've tried in the past to keep a paper diary and failed.
It keeps links to things I'm interested in - unlike bookmarks, which proliferate and don't help you to find anything, a blog usually has some descriptive text that helps you locate interesting or amusing links.
It keeps various friends - in Ireland, Sweden, France, US - au fait with what's up on this front, and prompts them to email from time to time.
It's a jumping off point for various blogs I follow: Karlin Lillington, SlashDot, BoingBoing, Informed Comment (for current, truthful news on Iraq), Ideas Asylum etc. (links to these are over on the right) In some cases, bloggers reciprocate by linking back.
What's your blog about?
> A mixture of personal diary and links to "stuff": usually with an offbeat angle on interests such as information technology, outer space, writers, earth sciences, music, sci fi and fantasy, and so on.
What drives people to blog?
> A desire for self expression and to record the passing life.
Does being a blogger mean you're a nerd? Is blogging for everyone?
> In the beginning yes, nerd only, but not anymore. There's even a homeless blogger: http://thehomelessguy.net.
Blogging is for everyone with an Internet connection who can write
Any controversies over blogging? What about journalists discussing stories
on their blogs? Any conflict of interest there?
> During the Iraq war, some journalists who were embedded were told to quit blogging. It's gotten people fired (just Google "blogger" and "fired" for plenty stories of this kind, e.g. at Microsoft). Most working journalists who blog (e.g. Karlin, myself) keep a firewall between their writing and the blog (I used to put pieces I published online but I don't anymore - in my case, just to keep the writing style consistent, blogging is more quick-fire, byte-sized writing than a magazine piece). (though it must be added that some news journalists have taken to blogging as their main outlet - but these are all working for online mags who pay them, e.g. Slate.)
Some people who are pundits rather than working journalists can make
decent money by putting Google ads on their pages. The likes of
blogger big guns like Instapundit and BoingBoing (links over on the right) are probably making a pretty OK income from their blogging by now.
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Check out this cool piece of panoramic, populist art: The Yum-cha Militia (My Mother thought she had SARS, but it turned out to be PMS).
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Mount St. Helen's continues restless: now building a magma dome (which it did just before the last big one). But geologists seem to think so much of MSH was blown away the last time any big bangs this time won't be so devastating.
Fine autumnal weather - rainy nights and clear sharp days. Looking forward to getting back in the hills soon.
Monday, October 11, 2004
Brought A. back from the hospital on Sunday - we drove back over the mountains and had soup sandwiches and a pint or two at the Glenmalure Arms. Stove time and comfort food beckons for the week ahead.
Thursday, October 7, 2004
A. continues to recover.
It had to be Japan: the cloak of invisibility is finally invented.
Wednesday, October 6, 2004
Lots of things you can do with a clapped out laptop: some good insights into computer re-use, ditching old hardware is a massive no-no given the environmental cost of both produing and discarding these beasties.
A. grand but a little dopey after op - anyway, all went well.
Tuesday, October 5, 2004
Another hiatus in the house as the day's of A's surgery looms, and today - arrives. Time slows to a crawl of fear, uncertainty and doubt.
Anyway, on a much needed note of levity: Romanian villagers flee disco-dancing aliens.
And the X prize which we have followed in these pages has been won (Branson's space-plans were buffed up the media in this context, so the X prize will bring a lot of reflected credibility to Virgin Galactic Airways...).
posted by A Seeker after Knowledge 7:44 AM