« September 2004 | Main | November 2004 »

Friday, 29 October 2004

Will somebody please think of the children

BBC News "Have Your Say" on a survey suggesting that kids who play 'computer games' end up becoming 'young loners' raises not entirely thought through feedback:

"Computer games these days are more involved than they were 20 years ago. It stands to reason you have to put more effort in, in order to get anywhere with them. This is a potential pitfall which should be monitored. Each game, be it on a console or computer, should be configurable so that you can only play it for a certain amount of time. Surely that's not too hard to do?"

To which I can only answer:

"Books these days are more involved than they were 20 years ago. It stands to reason you have to read for much longer in order to get anywhere with them. This is a potential pitfall which should be monitored. Each book, whether it be by J K Rowling or Tolstoy, should be limited so that you can finish the narrative within a certain amount of time. Surely that's not too hard to do?"

Because, damnit, I don't want to become any more short-sighted than I already am.

39 comments and trackbacks

Sunday, 17 October 2004

A few observations

Victoria Line
Sunday evening, Victoria Line from Victoria to King's Cross. About halfway, a woman gets on to the fairly packed (not, say, armpit-thrust-in-head packed) and there's a commotion as she struggles to drag whatever it is that she's carrying on to the carriage. I can't, from where I'm standing, see what it is that she's trying to bring on board until the crowd clears around her.

It's a chair.

A chair: one of those things with four metal legs and a meagre fabric covering stretched over it, all black. Undoubtedly a chair. It's sat (ha) there, right in the middle of the carriage. She sits on it.

"Fuck me, I've been in London for years now and I've never thought of doing that," says one of the men standing near her. Everyone laughs.

Drummer Street
Drummer Street, Cambridge. Sunday. Citi 1. Due to depart on the hour and half hour. Only it's not. Rather, it's demonstrably not if you're stood there at 1:22pm and it takes an hour until the bus turns up.

What strikes me as just a little silly is the number of people complaining to the driver about the bus being late, but then adding to its lateness by not having any of their change ready or, even, displaying complete shock at the suggestion that the process by which they are allowed to board the bus and be transported to their hoped-for destination might actually involve some sort of economic transaction whereby they, the potential passenger, would be expected to provide monetary consideration (and, hopefully, of the correct change), when said passenger has been waiting for the bus for at least fifteen minutes and, statistically speaking, there must have been at least some of them who had encountered this sort of situation before and, given hundreds of thousands of years of evolution, had still not grasped the foresight or indeed potential benefits of planning, by which I mean fucking getting their change ready or having some semblance of an idea as to where their purse, wallet, money-belt, money clip or other money-carrying device may be on their (at times, voluptuous) person, be it physically strapped to them or in one of their myriad bags, rucksacks, pockets or any other conceivable place.

You know I only wrote the above because I'm discouraged from producing such run-on sentences at work, but you have to admit, they are ever so fun.

Ah. So that's what a weekend is.

Alex Garland
Bugger me if Garland's The Coma wasn't the best book I've read this year. Still reeling.

Kevin Mitnick
On the other hand, I started to lose interest about halfway through Mitnick's The Art of Deception, if only because the whole thing was so depressing.

ABC have taken reality programming to the extreme in their new series Lost by picking a bunch of volunteers and fucking crashing their plane on an island in the middle of nowhere. Yes, they even killed some people, too. I'm surprised this one got past the lawyers. Episode four was a "huh".

Spooks, Season 3
Why didn't anyone tell me this had started? Harry looks distinctly worse for wear, though I suppose you would be if you'd just been shot. If I see one more shot of relatively-attractive-generic-spies shrugging on their jackets and walking in slow-motion formation again, I think I'll go spare.

I watched every other fifth minute of episode two on Saturday night, if only because the Battlestar Galactica TV movie was doing a remarkably good impression of a car crash.

Yes, I'm still more fazed at not being able to tick the "18-24" box and having to graduate to the slightly more terrifying "25-30" box or variant thereof than actually, oh, I don't know, getting married (preparations for which, by the way, are going just swimmingly).

4 comments and trackbacks

Wednesday, 13 October 2004

The best democracy there is

Passed on without comment, see also mefi.

0 comments and trackbacks

Monday, 11 October 2004


FutureFeedForward was (is?) a great blog-cum-online news site that detailed stories from the future such as Linguists Decipher Warning Message in Genome and Wal-Mart Tags Shoppers with Subcutaneous Cookies.

After a year-long hiatus, they're back and on form with a 25-page PDF complete with an End-Reader Licence Agreement:

IMPORTANTóREAD CAREFULLY: This End-Reader License Agreement ("ERLA") is a legally binding agreement between you (the "READER") and Hamlet Monkeys Media (the "COMPANY") concerning your licensed use of the subtended text (the "BOOK"). By stipulation of this agreement, the BOOK includes all material printed on pages affixed to the binding at the time of purchase. The BOOK is also deemed to include any marginal notations made by you or any other user, authorized or unauthorized, and to include any and all ideas, notions, plans, designs, or intuitions formed by you, whether or not fixed in tangible form, during use of the BOOK or within thirty (30) minutes before or after its use. [more]

0 comments and trackbacks

Tuesday, 05 October 2004

Dear Apple

Please stop changing the UI of your OS with every release. Even if it is only an application I don't use.

0 comments and trackbacks