Tag: Rant

  • State of the Whale Address

    It’s no secret that the current state of my SuccessWhale social network client is not a good one. It currently exists in three forms:

  • Nine Princes and Three Walls

    I think I recall reading Roger Zelazny’s book Nine Princes in Amber as a kid, and enjoying it. Now the rest of the series sit atop my metaphorical reading list – not a real pile of books, but a prioritised list of regrets at all the renowned works of fiction that I have not yet read. I am making my way through them, but with the critical eyes of an adult, I am sure that I am not enjoying them as much as I once would have.

  • "Goddamnit, PHP", Episode 587

    If any of my readers are also SuccessWhale users, you may have noticed that for the last few days, clicking the “Conversation View” button for a tweet has resulted in a message declaring that you have tried to look at a “protected or deleted tweet” even though that is plainly not the case.

  • Rage Against the Council: Why Recycling in Flat Blocks Sucks

    A few minutes ago, I attempted the simple task of taking out a bag full of recycling.  Having circumnavigated the car that some thoughless Mazda-driver saw fit to park in front of the area where our recycling bins are kept, I discovered this:

  • IE6, WordPress, and Dick Moves

    For years, anti-IE6 sentiment on the internet has been rising – and justly so. It’s ten years old, and cares so little for standards that web developers often have to code for it specifically. Quite reasonably, they – we – are a bit fed up with that. Successive versions of Internet Explorer have become much better at standards support, and it would be great if every IE user would just upgrade to IE9 tomorrow.

  • Geo-IP Security: Option Three

    Facebook, and many other online services, have an almost-clever security measure that tries to protect users against account theft. It uses your IP address to do a “Geo-IP” lookup – that is, to figure out roughly where in the world you normally access the site from. If an access attempt happens from elsewhere, the user will have to supply extra information to log in – often an “identify this person from their tagged photos” quiz.

  • The UI of Least Resistance

    I was working up to a blog post on Ubuntu’s new “Unity” interface a couple of days ago, but repeatedly stalled when it came to making a point. The only point I could come up with was essentially just “I don’t like this”, which isn’t the greatest of subjects for a blog post – to say nothing of the hundreds who have trodden that territory before me.

  • In Praise of Disjointed Communities

    Prime Minister David Cameron is set to make a speech on immigration today which, to the very vocal displeasure of Vince Cable and doubtless many Lib Dems, is designed to appeal to the core and right of the Conservative party. According to the BBC article:

  • UX is in the Radio

    This morning, on the daily hour-long moan-fest we call “commuting”, we engaged in our normal pattern of radio use – working our way across the entire spectrum several times, not finding anything particularly appealing, before at last settling on the least annoying option. Then, a minute and a half later once that one not-too-bad song had finished, repeating the whole cycle again.

  • "Meh" to AV

    There are four months left before Britain goes to the polls to decide whether to adopt the Alternative Vote system, and already the #yes2av and #no2av campaigns are hotting up on Twitter.

  • Dear America, Your Missile Defence is not Broken

    @CampaignReboot, making a good point as always, earlier linked to this CNN article which bemoans the state of the United States’ missile defence programme after the failure of a Ground-Based Interceptor test.

  • Stuxnet is in the hands of Bad Guys?!

    Hey! Do you like fear? Do you like bullshit headlines? Well, has Sky got an news for you! “Super virus a target for cyber terrorists”, which bears the even more fascinating <title> tag of “Stuxnet Worm: Virus Targeted At Iran’s Nuclear Plant Is In Hands Of ‘Bad Guys’, Sky News Sources Say”, is their latest fantastical fearmongering piece. Let’s butcher it together.

  • The Atheist’s Sense of Wonder

    I’ve no idea why this thought should crop up now, but I recall being asked several times by religious folk why I would choose not to believe in a god. Often their question is something like “Why believe that everything you see around you was created by random chance, when it would be so much more wonderful to think that someone created it all just for us?”

  • i-Dosing is a Thing Now?

    So, not only does October’s edition of Wired UK suggest 4chan in its list of unusual places to make friends online – yup, that would indeed be an unusual place to look – but it seems to have decided to enlighten its readers on the wonders of i-Dosing too.

  • In Which I Bemoan the Tech Level in the Navy

    My job, in the main, is to produce HMIs (human-machine interfaces) for equipment that’s mostly sold to the world’s Navies. Which is great – it’s a job I love, and appear to be reasonably good at. We toil away for months or years, producing a nice GUI with lots of clicky buttons, and usually, customers love it. Often the reason they like it so much is because the interface it replaces, the interface of their old gear, is a bunch of giant battleship-grey painted cabinets adorned with half the world’s supply of little flicky toggle switches. In a lot of situations, just being able to replace dedicated hardware with a general-purpose computer is great.

  • The Meh Society

    Today, Ed Miliband gave his acceptance speech to the Labour party conference, and having watched it, I caught myself accidentally feeling cautiously optimistic. Have no fear, that feeling was quickly despatched and I remain my normal cynical self.

  • New Labour: Gone, but not Forgotten

    “The era of New Labour has passed,” said Ed Miliband on Sunday, and boy was I happy to hear that.

  • Revenge of the Mosquito

    The “Mosquito” anti-loitering system apparently still exists (shows how much I visit shopping centres), and somehow is still up for discussion in the House of Commons. I don’t believe I’ve publicly vented my spleen on this subject before, so here goes.

  • Society isn’t Broken!

    From Tory plans for communities to create their own schools to Guardian hacks begging for alternative currencies, ex-Soviet strategies for social collapse to alarmist talk of counter-insurgency on American soil, there has been a lot of talk lately about the advantages of small, self-sufficient communities over the single one-size-fits-all approach of the nation state. Half the world seems to think that, due to the economic downturn or by deliberate policy decision, the governments of the world won’t be effective at ruling their nations anymore.

  • Welcome to the New Digital Economy

    Despite its sponsorship by a twice-disgraced and unelected politician, despite the fact that it was transparently lobbied for by companies representing the record labels, despite it carrying disproportionate punishments for file-sharers, despite it seeking to undermine the work of content creators, despite a promise to oppose it from the Lib Dems, still the Digital Economy Bill passed through the Houses of Parliament.

  • An Ode to Sharepoint

    At a loss for other, more pleasant subjects to blog about, I will instead write about my nemesis, that being that has brought naught but pain to my life. I speak, of course, of Microsoft Sharepoint.

  • All Bugs Are Shallow… Except This One

    In his essay “The Cathedral and the Bazaar”, Eric S. Raymond coins the phrase “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow” – meaning that with enough testers and enough programmers, it is possible to diagnose and fix any software bug.

  • The Perils of Gas Supply

    So, I got home today to discover a nice polite letter put under our flat door. This enlightened us to the fact that representatives of the energy company E-on had tried to visit today “to discuss any problems [I] may have paying”, and that I should contact them as soon as possible, otherwise they would obtain a Warrant for Entry and return with Police and a locksmith if necessary.

  • Semicolon Rage

    Yesterday, I had a simple if statement. It looked like this:

  • A Manifesto for Open Democracy

    This is a thought exercise around the idea of an idealised democracy. I do not pretend that it is likely to be achieved at any point, nor do intend to actively campaign for it. Your thoughts and comments are welcome.