Artificial John B Impersonator

The text below is the output of my phone's AI autocomplete app (SwiftKey), based on its knowledge of the things I say and do. My only interaction was to choose between the three suggestions it offered. I have been made to the park. I am not going anywhere, and I will not receive the item … Continue reading Artificial John B Impersonator

The Boeing Comet is still on sale

The first jetliner was Boeing's square-windowed 707; it was grounded after a few months following tragic incidents which wiped out a fair proportion of elite Americans. The money flowing to De Havilland to create a civilian airliner progamme to promote their non-murderous plane trumped nationalist concerns. Despite the fact that the 707 is a finer … Continue reading The Boeing Comet is still on sale

This little thing? Oh, it doesn’t matter; here you go

Via Tim, I find a very cool article on the Aussies who worked in Melbourne under Bletchley Park's command, breaking the Pacific Axis's codes during WWII [*]. Very cool, and - unlike the (shamefully underfunded, GIVE THEM MONEY) museum at Bletchley, not even remembered at all. Should be. This obviously gets me onto the history … Continue reading This little thing? Oh, it doesn’t matter; here you go

Have Google ever met any foreigners?

The World's Unsurprisingly Fastest-Growing Networking Platform, Google+, is getting stick from various corners for its naming policy. This formally restricts you to "Use your full first and last name in a single language". The idea behind it is sensible. G+ aims to be a combination of a professional network like LinkedIn, and a personal network … Continue reading Have Google ever met any foreigners?

Mac, and back, with knobs on

I believe it's a popular cliche among serious enthusiasts for Mr Jobs's products to say "once you go Mac, you'll never go back". Here's a datapoint to the contrary. I bought a MacBook Air at the end of 2008. At the time, the GBP was at an entertaining 2:1 exchange rate with the dollar. Naturally, … Continue reading Mac, and back, with knobs on

Small company woes

The office manager/PA/secretary at my current workplace is a thoroughly excellent sort, and is absolutely aces at office managing, PA-ing, etc. However, an IT procurement expert she is not - and listening to her on the phone to IT vendors is more than a little painful. The *headdesks* and *facepalms* on the other end of … Continue reading Small company woes

‘Newspapers are doomed’ forecast of the day

From a media expert: The future of national newspapers is in doubt [...]: the purveying of 'news' (which is only one of a newspaper's functions) is in several respects more interesting, more immediate and more dramatic on-screen. The greater part of all newspapers is given over to advertising [...] which keeps them alive, and to … Continue reading ‘Newspapers are doomed’ forecast of the day

Legal guidelines for photographers in England and Wales

In the wake of the Guardian newspaper's treacherous attempts to photograph the secret, hitherto unseen building at 1 St Mary Axe, everyone considering taking photographs in public places in England and Wales should really ensure they're aware of the complex legal situation surrounding photography. A conventional reading of the law can be seen in this … Continue reading Legal guidelines for photographers in England and Wales

Yes nucular, no Tridentular

Supporters of nuclear weapons systems like Trident generally justify the cash by saying things like 'dangerous world, Kim Jong Il and Ahmadinejad very bad men, we can't just disarm'. Or, more cynically, 'place on world table, we can't just disarm'. I'm not totally sold on this argument - after all, the US will continue to … Continue reading Yes nucular, no Tridentular

Hacking mobile phones is hard to do

This Wired piece about some techies who discovered a major flaw in the DNS systems that underpin the Internet, and co-ordinated a mass surreptitious effort to fix it, is worth reading if you like That Sort Of Thing. However, there's one aspect of it which strikes me as utterly bizarre: "The first thing I want … Continue reading Hacking mobile phones is hard to do