Feet up!

I before E

Whoops, I seem to have found a hole in the standard English spelling rule "I before E except after C", not that it really excuses my spellings of recieve receive and acheive achieve...

The rule breaking word is a popular drug extracted from plants grown in Africa and South America, and the correct spelling is caffeine.

I wonder how many of the other spelling rules have holes like this?

[Tue, 30 Mar 2004 18:47] | [comedy] | #


Yet another site for your blogroll, Fun1 a site mostly devoted to the lighter side of Formula 1. There's a better url coming soon, when Rafe sorts out the DNS...

Main ranters currently are OPL mad Ewan and myself, athough more contributors are welcome.

[Tue, 30 Mar 2004 13:29] | [motorsport] | #

Life on Mars

Terraforming sounds like fun, but wouldn't it be cheaper (and better for all of us) if the US had just signed up to the Kyoto treaty rather than turning the World into their dustbin?

[Tue, 30 Mar 2004 13:23] | [rants] | #

Rice has "Nothing to hide"

But the truth it appears...

Why on earth is it a "long-standing principle that sitting National Security Advisers do not testify before the Congress"? Is it because Congress is one of the few places they'd have to tell the truth? Servants of the people should be answerable to their masters, if not they should do the honorable thing. I'd settle for resignation, but ritual disembowelment is fine too.

Ms Rice can consider herself a member of the enemy in my ongoing War Against Bullshit.

[Tue, 30 Mar 2004 09:03] | [rants] | #

SMS Around the World

Matt Croydon rightly castigates the hype about trans-Atlantic texting finally working, after all he and I have been exchanging messages for quite a while, I suppose the real story is in interoperability between GSM and some of the whacky home-brew cellphone networks that the Americans love to use. GSM to GSM invariably just works.

Thinking about it I used to regularly exchange SMS with some of my mates in Australia around 7 years ago, hell I even used a great Australian SMS-email gatewaying (and much more) service run by some Melbourne based chaps called eFone, it used to puzzle the hell out of folks when I gave them a .au email address for sending messages to my phone in the UK!

[Mon, 29 Mar 2004 21:16] | [mobile] | #

When is false always true?

When you're using a mixed mode .Net C++ program apparently! If your managed C++ code calls an unmanaged virtual method that returns a bool you will only ever see a return value of true.

The Code Project documents this astonishing "feature" in .Net - truly scary stuff, just the sort of thing that'll make you pull your hair out when debugging.

[Mon, 29 Mar 2004 13:37] | [dev/cpp] | #

Spam Frank

Well, he asked for it.

For some perverse reason (testing I think), Frank Koehntopp wants people to send their spam to agathe.brauer@gmx.de Let me see, I suspect I might have a small amount of spam hanging around here...

[Mon, 29 Mar 2004 13:21] | [spam] | #

How crufty is your FOAF?

If it's anything like a lot of the FOAF documents I've seen, it's probably pretty nasty! Even if it's valid RDF and Rosco gives it the thumbs up, there's still plenty of opportunities for stupid mistakes.

Enter Perry Lorier's FOAF Lint tool, this currently has 13 tests to help encourage best practises in FOAF documents, and I'm sure that Perry will be adding more tests as best practises evolve and he gets more feedback.

[Thu, 25 Mar 2004 14:57] | [Foaf] | #

Are Ralf and DC even worthy of Minardi seats?

Probably not, I suspect even the lamentable Zsolt Baumgartner would keep their number 2 driver positions' safe. After all, their relative performances against their teammates last weekend in Malaysia were as poor as usual. I've panned DC enough times already, so today's fish in the barrel is Ralf.

Despite this mediocre performance, there are still persistant stories about Ralf re-signing for Williams or joining Toyota even if he does have to take a paycut, frankly if I was Frank, I'd be more concerned about losing sponsorship money and championship points (and hence Bernie's money) than a minor cut in an under-performing and over-priced driver's salary. Even if Schumi-lite does follow all the advice he's being given he's still a long way from being truly competitive.

Fortunately it seems like Frank is already looking very seriously at Mark Webber and Scott Dixon for next season, and Ewan tells me that the FIA allows you to change the number 1 driver once and the number 2 driver three times in a season. Given that JPM appears to be the number 1 driver, he suggests that we might see Gene in a Williams race seat once the season gets back to Europe. Wishful thinking perhaps, but as Ralf seems more intent on taking out his team mate, rather than overtaking anyone else, Gene could be a very wise choice.

[Wed, 24 Mar 2004 21:53] | [motorsport] | #

The War Against Bullshit

Ok, I'm a little cynical about protesting against Bush's desire to be seen (and more importantly photographed) in situations that imply he's improved "Homeland" security.

After all he's a politician, so it's standard procedure, much like lying, taking kickbacks, kissing babies, and going to funerals of people you've indirectly killed, but as part of my role in The War Against Bullshit I applaud Ezra's stance.

[Wed, 24 Mar 2004 14:22] | [rants] | #

Who Wants to Live Forever?

Who dares to love forever?
So, the chances of dying prematurely from heart disease are heading towards zero, how long will it be before the human body becomes infinitely repairable? When will the only chance of death be massive trauma in a location far from immediate medical assistance?

I suspect I'm a member of one of the last generations who will escape immortality. Will my children ever grow old and die naturally? Sometimes I wonder.

[Wed, 24 Mar 2004 13:14] | [rants] | #

Proof that stupidity is hereditary?

Maybe it is...

I don't know what the solution is, oral contraceptives in alco-pops and Sunny D or cutting the Kings Ferry bridge towing Sheppey out to sea and sinking it would be the populist suggestions. They might work, but I would suggest that education is probably the better solution, but what should one do when you can't even get the bastards into school?

[Wed, 24 Mar 2004 09:03] | [rants] | #

Pipeline or Roadblock?

Good stuff from dwlt and Techdirt on why mobile network operators should just focus on being mobile network operators.

I'm keen on the idea that a mobile network is just a big fat pipeline, and many operators' content offerings certainly reinforce this argument by providing very little worthwhile content (dare I mention Three?). However I can imagine that many others feel the opposite, for example Orange and Vodafone provide interesting and sometimes useful content, and there are very few good independent portals for aggregating mobile content. The alternative approach of entering urls directly on a phone keypad is just too tedious for many people, so what's the solution?

I've asked a few of Mobitopia's mobile content guys for their ideas, I expect we'll see some interesting posts from them on this subject.

[Tue, 23 Mar 2004 14:18] | [mobile] | #

River deep, Peckham Rye

Dasani, the joke that came true was recalled last week. We've been calling it Sidcup Spring in the office for weeks in honour of Del Boy, but now given its toxic nature and disastrous PR, can it really continue as a viable product in the UK?

The inimitable Register covers the full story here, personally I wonder if the paramilitary arm of the infamous Sidcup Massive were involved in the attempted poisoning of all these Claire Swire wannabes.

[Tue, 23 Mar 2004 13:32] | [comedy] | #

Break Like the Wind

Wow, it's pretty breezy today. I've got a mate coming down for the weekend who's a keen dinghy sailor, maybe I should tell him to bring his boat but leave the sails at home as a pocket handkerchief should suffice.

Whitstable Windsurfing are already reporting windspeeds of 44mph and the forecast for the weekend is even stormier, time to check my fence panels I guess.

On a semi-related note, Whitstable Yacht Club has revamped its website, very neat and clean, my only minor niggle is that it's not got any GeoURL tags.

[Fri, 19 Mar 2004 13:31] | [general] | #

Tie Me Kangaroo Down!

Coopers Stout bottle

Strewth! The George Pamphilon just down the road from the office seems to be turning into a Walkabout bar, odd stuff, Bromley is hardly heaving with Antipodeans. I wonder if I'll be able to get a decent pint of Boags or Coopers Stout?

[Thu, 18 Mar 2004 13:53] | [general] | #

pyblosxom 0.9 released

As I mentioned the other day there's a new version of pyblosxom out, full details from SourceForge. I'm aiming to migrate in the next week or so, cool stuff!

[Thu, 18 Mar 2004 13:38] | [blogging] | #

Nokia 7610 giving you more, and less

Nokia 7610 Symbian phone

There's a nice brief summary of the new Nokia 7610 Series 60 Symbian phone by Matt Croydon on Mobitopia, the phone was announced yesterday.

Now there's some nice features and functionality there, but the general response in #mobitopia has been pretty muted, it's arguably the best series 60 phone that Nokia have announced to date, but it's still got some niggling omissions. All the Nokia phones seem to follow the "good, fast, cheap, pick 2 of the 3" rule and none are fully featured. Here are some of the more notable feature omissions from the latest series 60 Nokias:

A few common features are that only the 7610 has a megapixel (well almost) camera, the 6620 is the only one with EDGE, and the tri-band nature of the entire range means you're still stuck with a choice between US (850MHz, 1900MHz and 1800MHz) and World (900MHz, 1800MHz & 1900MHz) oriented variants, roll on quad-band...

A final thought, MMC? Why?

[Thu, 18 Mar 2004 08:58] | [mobile] | #

New Planet Discovered

None of this silly Andes (Sedna, whatever) stuff, but something rather useful!

Planet PyBlosxom is a central point of blog content from pyblosxom users and developers and whilst it looks a little sparse currently I'm sure it will develop into something very interesting. It seems a little strange that Planet PyBlosxom seems to be PHP rather than pyblosxom based, but it's far better to use appropriate tools for the job, than use one tool for everything.

[Wed, 17 Mar 2004 20:30] | [blogging] | #


I needed a lightweight standalone Wiki for tinkering around and writing a few project notes, unfortunately most of the WikiWikiClones needed Apache or IIS, and I wanted something self contained and lite.

So, exactly how lite? 25 lines of Python, I guess that's probably lite enough!

How did I do that? Pretty easily actually, Python's CGIHTTPServer module did all the heavy lifting, Sean Palmer's minimal Wiki WyPy did the WikiMagic, and a minor tweak of the example code for the BaseHTTPServer module (shown below) glues it together:

import BaseHTTPServer
import CGIHTTPServer

def run(server_class=BaseHTTPServer.HTTPServer,
    server_address = ('', 8000)
    handler_class.cgi_directories = ['']
    httpd = server_class(server_address, handler_class)

Install instructions: Put the above code (I called my copy MyCgi.py) and wypy.py in a directory, create a subdirectory named w, run MyCgi.py and point your browser at http://localhost:8000/wypy.py

Minor niggles so far are that I can't get the 11 line version of WyPy to work so I've had to resort to using the (not very) bloated 18 line version, and that WyPy isn't as fully featured as say MoinMoin. I've also had to change two places in wypy.py that use "wypy" as an href to "wypy.py" as Windows isn't smart enough to autorun Python scripts without a bit of a nudge. I'm looking at the 11 line version, and that should be fixable, plus as I'm considering using this same Wiki setup on various devices including my Psion 5mx and hopefully my N-Gage (when Nokia finally release their Python port), featherweight code is a good thing!

[Tue, 16 Mar 2004 22:05] | [dev/python] | #

Jim Hughes
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