August 2005 Archives
August 31, 2005
I came across this earlier:
A conversation with Richard Longhurst is like tiptoeing through a linguistic minefield. Suddenly, innocuous expressions such as growing businesses, bottom lines and rising profits are steeped in innuendo, but there cannot be many childish double entendres that Mr Longhurst hasn't heard before.
That is because, for the past three years, this former information technology journalist and his business partner, Neal Slateford, have been running LoveHoney, a hugely successful internet company selling sex toys. It is a long way from computers to condoms, so just how did the pair make the leap?
Now I know what to do for a living when I quit the journalism business.
August 30, 2005
I missed this while I was away over the weekend:
Eastman Kodak Co., plagued by falling film sales, plans to close some operations in its headquarters city, Rochester, N.Y., and scale back production at a film plant in China, cutting 900 jobs as part of larger realignment to accommodate digital photography.
The age of film is passing far quicker than I expected. In fact, I think it's passing more quickly than anyone expected.
August 29, 2005
Hurrah! That worked!
The Blogroll will be missing until I install the new version of MT-Blogroll, but other than that, we have a success.
If all is well, this will be the first post made to this blog under the new version of Movable Type. If not, I have a lot of trouble-shooting ahead of me.
August 26, 2005
Sorry for a week of blog neglect. I've had a lot on my plate professionally and personally, and I have had to deal with rain in the bedroom. That's right, in the bedroom.
Never let anyone tell you that having your roof replaced is easy.
August 22, 2005
Sometimes, being a Mac user feels like being trapped in a strange, distorted time warp. In some ways, we're well behind. Games are the classic example of this: many games reach the Macintosh platform at just about the time the PC version hits the budget ranges. At other times, you feel well ahead of the PC pack - I was wearing those distinctive white iPod earbuds long before the little white music player became a mass-marlet phenomenon, and almost a generic name for MP3 players.
Andrew Teh was tired of nobody ever watching his home movies. �Even my own wife wouldn�t sit through my videos, and she was in half of them,� he recalls. So, when his daughter Cynthia�s wedding loomed last January, he vowed to create a show that people would sit through without being emotionally blackmailed.
The key, Teh realised, was editing his amateur footage into something friends might find more appetising. �If the material was cut down to the best bits, arranged to tell a story, dressed up with a few eye-catching effects, explanatory titles and backing music, I thought people might even ask to see it.�
This is sold as news. Silly season news, sure, but news. Now, I was doing all this nearly five years ago. The circumstances were less than ideal: my Dad was dying, my brother bought a video camera so we could capture some of his reminiscences of his life before he went, and I picked up a new iBook so I could edit the footage in iMovie. All the stuff that's proclaimed as revolutionary in the article was available to me, hardly an enthusiast or hobbyist, nearly half a decade ago.
However, there is a reason behind this hitting the papers about now: the launch of Windows XP Service Pack 2 last year.
�Best of all, the Windows XP Service Pack 2 update came with this great editing application called Windows Movie Maker 2, which is far more powerful than the original version, letting you add titles, apply filters to give your video a special look or change scenes with good-looking transitions.�
But then, perhaps that's the point. Most Mac users are early adopters, of a sort. They tend to be more willing to mess around with things in a creative way. That's why the Mac ethos, its look and feel, appeal to them. What this article is marking is the passing of the idea that originated with Apple passing into the mainstream. And the mainstream is, most definitely, Windows.
August 20, 2005
August 19, 2005
One of the things I love about Flickr is the amazing images you can stumble across by accident. One chap commented on the anti-Banksy graffiti below, and I had a quick nosey at his pictures.
What a find. He's documenting the withdrawal of Israeli settlers from the Gaza strip, with some powerful images already up-loaded. You can fine the whole lot here.
August 18, 2005
So, the football season is in full swing, the cricket is gripping the nation, and what am I writing about? So Doku. What I can I say? I wasn't born with the sport-watching gene.
I've been watching the So Doku craze from a distance, in a really, really passive way. I assumed that it would pass pretty quickly, but months on it seems to be spreading. It's spreading into books with Carol Voderman on the cover. It's seeping onto posters on London Transport, advertising all the So Doku books available. It's becoming as prevalent in newspapers as the crossword.
And I just don't get it. I started trying at the weekend, and I found the concept simple enough. It's a simple logic puzzle, right? You deduce what number goes where by working out where it can't go. Fair enough. It's fun for about 10 minutes, but then I got bored. I tried a few more times during the week, with the same result. If anything, it seems more boring than crosswords to me, because the basic process to solve the problem is the same every time.
So, help me out, dear readers. What the hell is the appear of this?
August 17, 2005
August 16, 2005
I was making my way down to Cannon Street station, when I suddenly heard a roar. Rounding the corner, I saw that the street was packed, and that everyone was facing the same way. A bar called Deacon's had mounted screens in the windows, and they were showing the latest test match in the Ashes series. We'd been doing pretty well, or so it appeared, and the English public have become rather fond of winners after the Rugby World Cup success last year. And so, commuters broke their journey home to stand in the street and watch cricket.
Pity the result wasn't great, though.
It looks like the backlash against London's favourite (Bristolian) street artist may have begun.
Update: Our anti-Banksy graffiti artist isn't nearly as clever as he thinks. It turns out that this particular piece of work is by Arofish, and not Banksy after all.
August 15, 2005
It really hasn't been a good week for aviation, has it? Leaving aside yesterday's horrifying crash, BA's problems with sympathy strikes and catering suppliers monopolised headlines all weekend. Now BA claim that they're being affected by an internal dispute within the supplier firm, Gate Gourmet.
Flight International disagrees:
Behind the Gate Gourmet dispute is the chronically deficient
business model in which airlines rely utterly on robust, 24/7, service
from caterers, ground-handlers and so on but are not willing to pay a
sensible price for them. So margins and reward-packages at those
suppliers are in perpetual conflict - in this case a dose of
heavy-handed US labour relations (Gate Gourmet is owned by Texas
Pacific Group) was all it needed to ignite the tinderbox.
Cost reduction is all well and good, but when it hits customer service, it's time to rethink, especially in aviation.
August 14, 2005
August 9, 2005
August 3, 2005
August 2, 2005
This is profoundly depressing:
BBC NEWS | England | London | Hate crimes soar after bombings:
Attacks on Muslims have soared in London since the 7 July bombings, according to police figures.
There were 269 �religious hate� crimes, compared with 40 in the same period last year, the figures show.
Most were verbal abuse or minor assaults, but also include damage to property, including mosques and have a great �emotional impact�, police said.
London's slowly becoming its old hateful self, isn't it?
Rather ironically, given my last post and my sentiments towards London today, I'm in some August company as one of the top 10 Lewisham blogs listen on the Lewisham Online website. You'll find some good reading there, including the two political Andrews (Brown and Milton), the blogrolled Bob from Brockley, and Macworld editor David Fanning.
It's easy to tell that it's August. Here's how:
- Get up.
- Have breakfast.
- Get ready.
- Head to the station.
- Catch a train.
- Sit down, get a book out and start reading.
- Suddenly realise that you've not only got a seat - you actually have a choice of seats.
Yes, it's that wonderful time of year when London actually works, more or less. Where commuting is a pleasure.
Well, it should be. One Woman was involved in helping a guy who was threatened on a train this evening on the way home. Why was he threatened? Because he accidentally stood on someoene's foot. How was he threatened? He was told he would be knifed.
Every time I think that this city is a half-decent place, something like this happens. That's why we're leaving London. Do you blame us?
This is a test. Not a very interesting one, alas. Please return to what you were doing.
Nothing to see here.