Tuesday, 31 January 2006

New blog

I've moved to words.danhon.com. Too much hassle keeping MT working.

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Tuesday, 17 January 2006

Colgate 360

Saw an advert for the new Colgate 360 this evening in ads between halves of The Daily Show. Apparently it's way better than the previous version, but I've heard that Colgate have been plagued by supply problems. Probably won't be able to pick one up in Sainsbury's, Boots or Tesco, but I might be able to get one in a few months if I pre-order.

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Monday, 10 October 2005

Putty knife? Pah

Today's fun fact: putty knives are no good for opening up Mac Minis. Pizza cutters (the ones with the wheel blade) are much better.

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Saturday, 03 September 2005

The Federal Response Has Been Unacceptable

I've been watching the news this afternoon. I'm so glad that the American President has updated his country on federal efforts following Katrina.

SUNDAY 3 SEPTEMBER 2005 10:06 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Yesterday I saw the aftermath of one of the largest natural disasters ever to strike America. A vast coastline of towns and communities are flattened; one of our great cities is submerged. The human costs are incalculable.
In Biloxi I met Bronwynne Bassier and her sister, Kim. Bronwynne told me that the only earthly possessions she has left were the clothes on her back. I also met relief and rescue workers who are performing heroically in difficult circumstances.
They've been working around the clock, risking their own lives to save the lives of others.

(Unlike me, of course. I was on holiday or playing the guitar)

Yet, despite their best efforts, the magnitude of responding to a crisis over a disaster area that is larger than the size of Great Britain has created tremendous problems that have strained state and local capabilities. The result is that many of our citizens simply are not getting the help they need, especially in New Orleans. And that is unacceptable.

(Totally unacceptable. Of course, you're damned if you think you're going to get an apology out of me. It would be so simple for me to say "I'm sorry. We failed you," but I'm not going to.)

During my visit I discussed these problems at length with Governor Riley of Alabama, Governor Barbour of Mississippi, Governor Blanco of Louisiana and Mayor Nagin of New Orleans. Each state will have its own set of challenges and issues to solve. Yet all of us agree that more can be done to improve our ability to restore order and deliver relief in a timely and effective manner.
This morning I received a briefing on the latest developments on the ground. Right now there are more than 21,000 National Guard troops operating in Louisiana and Mississippi, and more are on the way. More than 13,000 of these troops are in Louisiana.
The main priority is to restore and maintain law and order, and assist in recovery and evacuation efforts.

(Please don't ask why we didn't help to maintain law and order and put in place evacuation efforts before this happened. I was on holiday at the time busy ignoring Cindy Sheehan)

In addition to these National Guard forces, the Department of Defense has deployed more than 4,000 active duty forces to assist in search and recovery, and provide logistical and medical support.
Hour by hour, the situation on the ground is improving.

(I can say that because we're far too late. It's not hard to improve when you're starting from a huge mountain of dead bodies. On the other hand, given that I have the full support of Pat Robertson (and by extension, the Almighty), I'm sure I can just bring the dead back to life in a while.)

Yet the enormity of the task requires more resources and more troops.

(I have only just realised this. I'm rather slow.)

Today I ordered the Department of Defense to deploy additional active duty forces to the region.

(Hell, I was told we could take Iraq with a minimum military contingent, so it's not my fault I didn't realise we might need, say, anybody on the ground at all for just a little wind.)

Over the next 24 to 72 hours,

(Oops. Maybe a bit late.)

more than 7,000 additional troops from the 82nd Airborne, from the 1st Cavalry, the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, and the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force will arrive in the affected areas. These forces will be on the ground and operating under the direct command of General Russ Honore.
Our priorities are clear: We will complete the evacuation as quickly and safely as possible.

(The evacuation will be much easier to complete quickly and safely now, rather than a few days ago, because we've already let a whole bunch of people die. This is value for money for the American taxpayer.)

We will not let criminals prey on the vulnerable, and we will not allow bureaucracy to get in the way of saving lives.

(But we will let criminals play on the vulnerable and the bureaucracy get in the way of saving lives for the first critical 72 hours of a natural disaster which, of course, could have been prevented or mitigated in the first place.)

Yesterday I also signed a $10.5 billion emergency aid package to fund our ongoing relief efforts.

(I was too busy on Thursday. Anyway, I'm on holiday. What do you expect? This hurricane just snuck up on me. I was far too busy dealing with Sheehan's concerns)

This is a down payment on what will be a sustained federal commitment to our fellow citizens along the Gulf Coast. I want to thank the Congress for their quick, bipartisan action, and I look forward to working with them in the days and weeks ahead.

(I am pleased to have redefined the meaning of the word "quick" to mean "less than adequate and after the event")

I know that those of you who have been hit hard by Katrina are suffering.

(Someone has told me that maybe I should watch CNN)

Many are angry and desperate for help. The tasks before us are enormous, but so is the heart of America. In America, we do not abandon our fellow citizens in their hour of need.

(Actually, we do. We then get around to helping them four days later after the poor people have died. And by poor, I mean those who have less financial resources than richer, whiter Americans)

And the federal government will do its part. Where our response is not working, we'll make it right.

(Making it right now will bring back your dead. I on the other hand went on a great bike ride.)

Where our response is working, we will duplicate it. We have a responsibility to our brothers and sisters all along the Gulf Coast, and we will not rest until we get this right and the job is done.

(I rested. And your representatives and senators.)

This week we've all been humbled by the awesome powers of Mother Nature.

(SHOCK AND AWE MAN, SHOCK AND AWE!!! RUMSFELD'S GOT TO GET US SOME OF THAT SHIT!)

And when you stand on the porch steps where a home once stood, or look at row upon row of buildings that are completely under water, it's hard to imagine a bright future.

(I'm worried about oil)

But when you talk to the proud folks in the area, you see a spirit that cannot be broken.

(A dead man's spirit cannot be broken)

The emergency along the Gulf Coast is ongoing; there's still a lot of difficult work ahead. All Americans can be certain our nation has the character, the resources, and the resolve to overcome this disaster. We will comfort and care for the victims.

(Now that the media is on my ass and I'm finally worried about my polll ratings)

We will restore the towns and neighborhoods that have been lost in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. We'll rebuild the great city of New Orleans.
And we'll once again show the world that the worst adversities bring out the best in America.

(This. This that you see, this federal response, this absolute disaster IS THE BEST THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD CAN DO! FUCK YEAH!)

May God bless you, and may God continue to bless our country.

(Heh, heh)

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Wednesday, 20 July 2005

Open Tech 2005

I'll be at Open Tech 2005 this Saturday milling around - drop me a line if you'd like to meet up for a chat.

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Friday, 27 May 2005

New toy

(Two weeks ago) Me: I wonder when Orange are going to finally get around to releasing the Treo 650?

(Last week) Me:"Trust Orange to release the Treo 650 while I'm having the busiest week of my life (to date, so I don't get told off for belittling wedding preparations). Oh, and all the cool people here have Treos. I should get me one of those.

(Early this week) Me: Hm. 100 for an upgrade. Suppose I'd better suck it down.

(...)

Orange Customer Retentions: Hello, my name is [blergh]. How can I help you?

Me: I want to leave. I'm fed up. I want a Treo, and I'm prepared to go to Vodafone or 3 for it. (Yeah. A great bluff, seeing as those networks don't even offer that phone)

Mr OCR man: I see. Please hold.

(Hold music)

Mr OCR man: I'm going to pass you along to a cheery young woman with a strong regional accent (because either (a) research has indicated that you will be more receptive to sales pitches when they're presented with a strong regional accent and/or (b) our call centres are more likely than not situated in areas where, let's be honest, the cost of labour is a little lower than, say, certain areas of south east England) who's going to help you.

Me: Uh huh.

Cheery Scottish woman: Hello! My name's [Cheery Scottish woman]! I'm here to help you! (and I bet you have a genuine people personality, too). Mr OCR man's told me you're thinking of switching networks. Why is that?

Me, petulantly: I want a Treo. And I want more free minutes.

Cheery Scottish woman: (tappity tappity tap) A Treo 650? I can certainly do that for you.

Me, rather more perkily: Really? And how much will that cost?

Cheery Scottish woman: Oh, nothing! I can do that for you for free!

Me: I see.

Cheery Scottish woman: And let's look at your account. Hm. Well, you're paying for x cross-network minutes, but using y. Why don't we give you y-x minutes extra, for free, for 18 months!

Me: Okaaay.

Cheery Scottish woman: Is there anything else we can do for you?

Me: A pony?

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Friday, 20 May 2005

Must retain composure

OMG, so we met Wil! We love you Wil!

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Wednesday, 18 May 2005

Mind Candy at E3

We've set up a flickr group for photos we're taking at E3 - check it out here.

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Saturday, 14 May 2005

E3

Yes, yes, I haven't updated in a while. Sue me. It'll be fun.

I'm in LA next week for E3 with some of the Mind Candy gang.

If you're going to be out there, come say hi to me and the rest of the team at the UK State of Play Pavilion in the West Hall, stand no. 2316 or drop me a line at danhon@gmail.com.

If you're not, I'll probably be putting photos up every day on flickr.

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Wednesday, 09 February 2005

Mac OS X Tiger - No More Save?

Apple have released some more developer docs for Tiger, this time sneak preview documentation for Xcode 2.0. Of note is the new object-graph management feature in Core Data:

Object-graph management allows you to work with the data in your application, including full undo and redo support. It also provides a well-defined data integrity infrastructure. Object-graph persistence means that the data in your application is automatically stored to, and then retrieved from, a file on disk.

I wonder if this persistence is truly automatic and does away with user-initiated save points in documents (no more file-save - it just happens, all the time, continuously). How far does this full undo/redo support go?

Update: entry title changed as MT was breaking links with the period in 10.4

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Wednesday, 19 January 2005

no-follow

So now that I've upgraded and have installed the no-follow plugin for Movable Type, I'll get no comment spam, right?

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Saturday, 15 January 2005

Mac Mini is User-Upgradable

Unofficial Apple Weblog interview with the Mac Mini project manager states that RAM is user-upgradable without voiding warranty, and so is upgrading/adding Airport, Bluetooth and the HD. Doing the latter three might be harder, though.

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Sunday, 09 January 2005

Jerry Springer (The Controversy)

This being the self-congratulatory "blogosphere", I might as well weigh in. This is what the interweb's for, right?

I'm quite glad this was on TV. I've been trying (not very hard, mind) to see this for ages, and it was much easier to stay in on a Saturday night and watch it than to plan a trip out in London.

The first act was quite funny.

The second act, not so much.

Then again, I've always liked Stewart Lee's stuff.

I must say, though, that now that I've been subjected to over 8,000 swear words, I'm going to find it terribly hard to go to work tomorrow and have a civil conversation. I am particularly fearful of having to speak to any clients on the phone, for it is extremely likely now that I will have no choice but to submit them to a barrage of quite unwholesome language. I can feel the moral fibre within me shrivelling as I type. In fact, I am sure now, more than ever before, that Jesus is a nappy-wearing gay baby. I had my suspicions before, but henceforth my opinion of Christianity has been irrevocably coloured. I am not sure I can set foot in a church, chapel or cathedral ever again. I am grateful that, but for the fact of the BBC showing this programme, I would have been blisfully unaware of the truth about the Christian church. If only I had the foresight to make an informed decision about what I should expose my delicate self to, I might not have been so badly scarred. Perhaps, instead, I should've been in bed with a hot mug of cocoa at 10pm last night.

I note[1] that some Christian website[2] posted the address of the controller of BBC 2 who (subsequently, predictably) received a few death threats and whose family has now gone into hiding.

Yesterday, I saw a spokeswoman from MediaWatch-UK being interviewed by Peter Sissons on BBC News 24. He clearly wasn't having any of it, and you could tell that he really didn't give her argument much credence at all because he was having quite a hard time taking her seriously. E.g.

"So you admit you haven't seen it."
"No, I haven't seen it."
"Don't you think perhaps you should see it before you pass judgment on it?"
"If something is poisonous, you don't eat it to make sure it's poison."
"..."

which was really quite amusing.

Granted, she does have a point, and it's a rather complex one that cannot be distilled during a quick interview, but it's worth noting that at that point, it really looked like Mr. Sissons was about to give up.

One of her other arguments was that Children (someone has evidently thought of them) might see it. Mr. Sissons pointed out that perhaps Children might not be watching television at 10pm (for some reason, I am also of the opinion that perhaps parents might exert some sort of responsibility and discretion), but this woman has obviously accurately gauged the moral decline of the country, because she asserted the opinion that even if a child had not seen the show, she would undoubtedly be speaking to someone in the playground on Monday morning who had. Which rather lends me to believe that either all television at all times is suitable for children, or children should be fitted with off-switches. I suspect that there are some parents who may, at times, be quite grateful should the latter ever become a realistic option.

Perhaps instead we should medicate all children. There can't be that many of them. On the other hand, I suspect that there are enough blunt instruments in British households to ensure that a national Blinding Day could be quite successful.

I shall refrain from making any comparison between the controversy surrounding this screening and the production of Bezhti in Birmingham.

Oh, Tom has something to say about this, too.

[1] http://tinyurl.com/5ddhp

[2] http://www.christianvoice.org.uk/ - I had to stop reading this after a while because it was making me angry, and you wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

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Wednesday, 05 January 2005

Designers Wanted

I need, asap, high quality website template designers with immediate availability for some short term work contract work with briefs supplied. You will be paid. Email me with examples of your work.

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Sunday, 02 January 2005

Unordered List

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