Monthly Archives: October 2008

Berries

Been ages since I’ve taken the camera out with me. I do like this time of year though as the sun sets – some good light. Except the other night when the walk took us past a long line of big trees and by the time we emerged the quality light had gone.

Berries in a hedge

Just before this was taken a guy had gone past us pushing his bike up through the field. He had stopped briefly and remarked that Winston was “as big as a horse” (…..). A minute or so after this I saw a huge orange slug on the ground so I laid down to try and get a pic. I was facing up the field and say the guy glance back at me and the dog. Seeing me laying down made him stop – so I had to get up and yell that I was fine. Maybe he thought my horse had trampled me… but I couldn’t get a good slug pic.

To the BBC Pt.9

This is how BBC News deals with an unexpected event:

Normal news chatter
– event starts to break
Normal new chatter
Then the presenter tell you something is breaking
Yes, they are sure it is breaking
There may be pictures in a moment
Confirmation of the thing that is breaking
They will take you there in a moment
– the picture switches to the breaking news. You can see things happening
The presenter starts saying things like “There you are, and he is .. and he is talking about .. and we reported this then .. and as you can see .. and this is all about something we reported earlier .. and I do like the sound of my own voice .. and if the presenter who looks like a schoolboy is on he will have interrupted his colleague by now to make himself look more important .. and here we go straight to the event”
– event takes the screen
Presenter says “I do apologise, we seem to have missed the first part of that” or “We missed that but we hope to get a report soon”
And THEN they wheel in some person who has just as much of an idea as any random person across the globe and they sit and spout lots of “if, maybe, possibly, think, what could” and any other words that are there simply to fill space and keep this “expert” (remember the taxi driver?” from going to Sky or some other new network. (Actually, could I have a job like that? Have laptop, know where wikipedia is, can nod knowingly, sigh deeply, blame the left / the right / the unions / modern technology / the failure of the nuclear family…)

Just.switch.to.the.event.
We can cope, honestly. Thrown a caption or scrolling message up (make it fast though, not quite Network 7 speeds but faster than you go currently) but please just let us see it. Just because you are in a studio does not mean you have more a clue about a breaking event and lots of events are self-contained. So just switch.
Whenever you get the chance, do not tell me the news.
Show me the news.

The Dell monitor button

One day and because the monitor button is to my right I must have pressed it in at a slight angle. The button slipped around and the next day I could not switch it on. Because it is smooth I had to use something sharp to carefully drag it back into place.

bad Dell button

Apparently Dell made a wacky design decision with this model. You would expect the area under the button to be a membrane that was central and large in comparison to the button. Not here. The actual membrane is small and off center. The part of the actual plastic button that depresses that membrane is also small and off center. So because I did not use direct pressure at the right angle it slipped – and has done ever since.
The button cannot be removed. The button cannot be glued into place. I could have fitted an inline switch but that’s just hassle which should not be needed. It annoys when it needs dragging back but it does not otherwise harm the monitor except aesthetically. But given that the complaints in the Dell forums have gone back well over 2 years, and that the cost to change the design must be fractional it is strange that Dell continue to produce this inherently flawed model.

Some online time

Played some online Burnout Paradise last night. Great fun it was too. The race winner in each case was in an amazingly fast car and doing stunningly quick times. All the fun was way back though as one guy seemed intent on taking down as many other cars as he could. I got much of his attention because it will have said the equivalent of “n00b!!” as the start sequence gave a driver overview. So when the taking part is excellent who cares about the winning?

Double standards by the gun

A spokesman for the Justice4Jean campaign said: “It has been highly alarming and extremely insulting for the bereaved Menezes family to hear evidence at the inquest from senior officers in the Metropolitan Police that they did nothing wrong and that a similar tragedy could happen again.

“This continued rebuttal of any wrongdoing on their part only adds to the shameful perception that the Metropolitan Police has no regrets and shows no remorse.” BBC

?In Rio de Janeiro, the police kill three people everyday….

?A remarkable number of police lead double lives,? said Mr. Alston, ?While on duty, they fight the drug gangs, but on their days off, they work as foot soldiers of organized crime.?

Clearly, the institutions for holding police accountable are broke

UN News

One is a mistake, the other is daily state sanctioned murder. For the slow, the mistake is not in Brazil.

Finding what was lost

How do I find the £40 battery charger for the camera? Even though I noticed it gone 2 weeks ago and have since searched absolutely everywhere? I order another. I’ve ordered one and once it has arrived and I’ve used it the original will pop up. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

Update: It turned up. So it was the looking, the ordering and the blogging it that sorted it out. I rang the shop – they hadn’t sent it yet so I’m good there too. Result.

Leave before leaving

As I have written many times before I am firmly in favour of the individual having the right to die, for them having the right to die where and when they choose. And unfortunately it is a topic that rears it’s head in our home. It has been mentioned in the last couple of weeks in fact. This was before the latest case involving right to die. This does not mean I am right – far from it – but it is a subject that we have both thought hard about because the time may come where it becomes our reality.
Going to Dignitas is one thing and it is expensive so ‘doing the deed’ at home is cheaper, closer to loved ones but it is also a lot closer to the law. But there is something important about Dignitas (or somewhere distant if it exists) that I have not seen discussed. It’s the act of leaving.

Maybe choosing to die in your home is too easy and too hard. It is easy on the person dying because they are in the environment they want to be, it is easy because although they are leaving they do not have to leave that environment first. It is hard on those that remain because the house then has unshakeable memories, the room will forever be ‘that room’, the room will never experience the happiness it could, maybe the home ends up being sold because creating a new life there would be too painful. So maybe leaving first is a better path for those that are left behind? If you want to die then maybe the best place for those you leave behind is somewhere away from the home, maybe somewhere so distant that visits to the scene are not expected. If you want to die then the acts of packing, saying goodbye, leaving the home and travelling while upsetting can only set your mind more firmly that what you are doing is right but also it gives that time to think again, to change your mind. It means that loved ones do not feel they have to be there, that they would be letting you down by not holding your hand. It means you can actually say Goodbye in a normal way that thousands do every day as you leave the home for that last time.
It makes things fair.
And if it makes the law that much further away then that is also a benefit. Regardless of what the law says there will always be the “But God loves you and it is HE that will take you” religious enforcers who will push and push for action to be taken for those left, for those that did what they knew what was actually wanted, for those where the physical matters more than the intangible.

Boris Johnson wrote an opinion piece over 2 years ago which I still think is excellent. But the problem with that bill is (was) that people must be close to death already. What if you are paralysed, have MS, Motor Neurone or any other destructive disease? So assisted suicide can’t just be for those that are medically close to death but also those trapped in bodies that at one time worked but now do not. But even so I don’t think home is the right place to do it. Some say that taking one’s life is being selfish and I disagree. But taking your life in your home and expecting others to just carry on does seem selfish for me. There should be the option to die though.

You are involved in an accident and paralysed from the neck down. You have great difficulty speaking. You need to be fed through a tube because you could choke if you tried to swallow food. Your body will lose all tone, you have no sensation but you do have pain. Your memory is impaired. So if you believe in God you would be happy to live your life like that? If not then you too support the right to die.

Skimming over the week

So this week I’ve had the worst asthma in years but seem to have turned the corner on that thankfully. Finally persuaded J to watch the LOTR trilogy (Fellowship was slow, Towers was good, Return was okay, too much fighting) and we both agreed that the end was supremely pants. J found out a bank card of hers had been cloned in London – luckily she had just taken the money out. Thomson actually agreed that the holiday we went on had too much rubble so they sent a compensation check. P has come back today with a mass of homework (she’s predicted A / A* in most subjects) but D has come back for the weekend so all is good, very good.

Fat Apple.

“How do you supersize a simple music manager? Ask Apple.”

“It takes a supersize helping of chutzpah to create an ad that criticizes Windows for its ?bloat? and then deliver an upgrade with as much unnecessary junk as this one.”

“And finally, decide whether you want to install Apple Software Update. Given the history of serious security flaws in QuickTime and iTunes, it?s crucial to remain up to date with patches for all Apple programs you choose to install.”

Ed Bott at http://blogs.zdnet.com

I’ll be following the comments to see what the fanboys come out with to counter this.

Which ssh setup?

D is back from Uni this weekend and one of the things I’m going to set her up with is secure browsing. Tunnelrx is installed on the macbook she has so it’s a question of a connection. I see 2 ways: (1) create another user on a domain of mine and let her use that or (2) set another unused domain as almost zero space but with the bandwidth and let her use that. Is there an advantage to either or a better way? (I know this only covers browsing but that’s okay).

Update in case anyone wonders: D has an unused domain hosted on my reseller anyway. That now has the grand total of 5mb disk space and for now 10gb of bandwidth. She will SSH through that.