« October 2002 | Weblog Main | December 2002 »

November 1, 2002

My new Etch A Sketch

My laptop has begun to do some very strange things today. I now have to shake it to get it to boot up, a bit like an Etch A Sketch.

November 4, 2002

Aibo skate dude

Sony have released a skateboard for Aibo, which looks very hip. Now your favourite robotic pet can head down to the half-pipe and show off. But is Sony just hoping that by introducing Aibo to dangerous sports, his lifetime will be shorter? Can he handle hills? Will he be corrupted by skater culture? Also check out the new evil droid Aibo; could you sleep with this in the room?

New Nokia Phones

Nokia have just released details of a bunch of new phones, including a clever fold-out design. But best of all, I think, is the Nokia Observation Camera - set it up somewhere and it'll send its photographs wirelessly to your phone or email address. Coincidently, Nina and I were just talking about how we could get live pictures from the boat on Saturday, and we came to the conclusion that the technology wasn't quite there yet unless you hacked it together yourself.

Leaving Denmark

Just leaving to go to the airport now. Looking forward to a night in Stansted Airport!

November 6, 2002

Homeless in Stansted

It's always a bit bizarre sleeping in an airport, and now that it's impossible to get to Stansted before the first flights leave in the morning, more and more people are having to do it. Unless you grab a bench by about 9pm, you'll have to sleep on the floor. So I bedded down the other night, surrounded by snoring people, and slept remarkably well through all the flight announcements. By the time I awoke, however, everyone else was up and the airport was full of people in suits walking around me and looking at me like I was a homeless person lying alone on the floor. Next time I'll take a cardboard sign.

Some of the Ryanair planes are beginning to look their age. On the flight up to Scotland the guy in front of me was sitting in a broken seat that kept falling back into the reclined position and the cabin crew kept coming around to tell him to put his seat back up when we were taking off. He tried to explain to one of them that it was broken but the stewardess just replied, "Don't lean on it then!"

November 8, 2002

Liquid Lunches

I met Ged today for lunch, as he was working in the Glasgow office, but I was feeling pretty rough from being out with Colin and Andrew last night. It turned out to be a fairly liquid lunch, however, and so I had the pleasure of a double hangover this evening. I'm now in Edinburgh, staying with Ged over the weekend, and he appears to be planning a big night out tommorrow. The last time I went out drinking with Ged I fell out of a taxi.

November 10, 2002

Edinburgh

I managed to survive last night's ten hour drinking binge with Ged, and tried to be careful getting out of taxis. Tommorrow I'm meeting up with Kevin, so it'll probably happen all over again.

November 11, 2002

Kevin Mitnick's book

Someone has found and posted the first chapter of infamous hacker, Kevin Mitnick's book online, which was cut from the published version 'due to legal reasons'. In it, he tells his own side of the story. His girlfriend's blog, which documents their entire relationship is here. Maybe then I should be sharing more about my relationship with Nina online...

November 12, 2002

Glasgow night out

Colin and I went out to the Czech styled Bier Halle last night and while sitting there we were most surprised when one of the waitresses offered us free beer. It seems we'd timed it perfectly for a beer tasting that was on there, so we ended up staying longer than we expected and drinking more than we planned. It's hard to refuse free beer. We finally did manage to leave as we had to meet Andrew and Kevin in the Chip, but as you can imagine we were well lubricated by the time we arrived. It was very good to see Kevin again, and we all spoke about going on a lads trip down to the boat sometime. We carried on drinking in the Chip till closing time, though I have no recollection of taking the picture below of Colin leaning against railings that turned out to be a gate on the way home. The first pic is Colin, Andrew and Kevin, though Andrew isn't really as small as he looks in it. The second one is Colin drinking with his 'safety beer goggles' on.

Sadly, this is my last day in Scotland, though I don't think I could have survived the pace of drinking for much longer. I'm flying to London tonight, putting my pyjamas on and spending the night in lovely Stansted Airport, then getting up very early to catch a flight back to wonderful Copenhagen. I was trying to get down to Menorca, but the logistics of finding flights that connected with each other was a nightmare so I've given up on that idea for now.

My flight times are below...

From Prestwick Glasgow(PIK) to London Stansted(STN)
Tue, 12Nov02 Flight FR426 Depart PIK at 21:40 and arrive STN at 22:50

Flight GO401, Wednesday 13th November 2002
Departing London Stansted 07:15
Arriving Copenhagen Terminal 2 10:00

We recommend you check in at 05:15 (ha!)

November 13, 2002

Denmark

Back in Denmark now and feeling a bit knackered, possibly due to only getting 3 hours sleep in the airport last night, or the fact that I got a typhoid/hepA jab yesterday from Andrew as he sent me on my merry way. The flights over were fairly unexciting, which is the best way, though I almost missed the Ryanair flight from Prestwick as it left 25 minutes ahead of schedule - they put out a final call for me when I was still lost somewhere in the duty free.

November 15, 2002

Leonid shower

meteor.gif
The annual Leonid meteor storm begins on Monday night, with possibly hundreds or thousands of shooting stars visible per hour. This article from Nasa explains where and when to look, assuming that we get clear skies on the night. The BBC is also running this story, in which it says that this could be the best chance to see the meteor shower for the next 30 years.

November 17, 2002

Nina's Vaio


Nina's Vaio
Last night Nina and I booked flights to Mahon so that we can spend Christmas and New Year on the boat. We're going down for 2-3 weeks, so it should be pleasant to catch up with things on board and be back in Spain for a while.

While I was in Scotland Nina bought herself an Asian import Sony Vaio laptop, and since I got back she's been using it intensely, even sitting up later than me at night.

About a Boy

Last week in Scotland I watched About a Boy on video. It's not a film I would have chosen because, well, it's about children, but Cathy went down to the video shop and brought it back. Surprisingly, it was a really good film, though the funniest part for me was seeing someone else who doesn't work get into confusing conversations every time he meets somebody new and they ask him what he does. Also, it's by the makers of Bridget Jones Diary, a film that managed to be much better than the book, in my personal opinion, and took far less time to read.

November 19, 2002

Drinking and Sailing Videos

signofcross.jpg
I've just uploaded this video (3.37Mb) taken last week in the pub. In it Colin is re-enacting the day Mr Burns, one of our primary school teachers, taught one of our classmates to do the sign of the cross with a sharp piece of chalk.

Also new in the video page are a couple of videos I took in the summer of dolphins swimming at Zamindar's bows. They're here (2.14Mb) and here (2.14Mb). Add a comment if you have any problems running these videos.

November 20, 2002

The Big Gay Leonid Show

The sky finally cleared the other night, so at 04:00, I got on my bike and cycled out to the countryside and up a nearby hill to watch the Leonids. It turned out to be fairly impressive too, with sometimes two or three shooting stars at a time crossing the sky and leaving green trails in their path. When I arrived, there were only a few people there, but gradually more and more turned up until finally there were about 25 of us. Later, when I told Nina about it, she asked if everybody had been there to see the stars, or if I'd unwittingly stumbled into a gay pick-up place. I'd wondered why everyone was so friendly.

Rabid Dundee


Dundee webcam
Dundee looks like it could be becoming the rabid city with the first suspected case of rabies in Britain for the last 100 years. You can take a look at the city centre on this very good live webcam and watch for people foaming at the mouth. We had bats living around our house in Dundee, and they never bit me. He was obviously bothering them. Hopefully the council won't use this as an excuse to exterminate them all.

Also in the news today is this story about a school some of my friends went to, which yesterday elecrocuted some children while they were in the swimming pool.

After fighting with it for 3 years, I finally gave up on Windows 98 last night, removed it, and installed Windows 2000. Now I just have to get it working properly and, allegedly, my life will be wonderful...

November 23, 2002

Wi-Fi Security

Nina has just handed in the Wi-Fi security project that she's been working on for the last month, and a copy of it is here (word doc), though some of the names have been changed to protect the... insecure.

November 25, 2002

Ellen Feiss Talks

Ellen Feiss, the mysterious star of Apple's Switch campaign who's now become a cult celebrity has finally broken silence and given her first interview. The original Apple ad is here and this story covers an Ellen Feiss look-alike competition run by Mac freaks in Holland.

November 26, 2002

Scotland photos

I've just posted the rest of the photographs I took in Scotland, and now you can leave comments on them too.

Scotland trip photos

November 27, 2002

Danish P2P Users get Billed

According to this story, the Danish anti-piracy organisation has been monitoring users of file sharing networks and has begun sending bills of up to $14,000 to Danish users who have allegedly been downloading copyright material.

It seems particularly worrying that Denmark is taking a global lead in monitoring and punishing internet users on the rather weak evidence of file names being downloaded. It also fails to take into account whether the user already has a right to the material, whether the material is in fact the files they think it may be, and who was using the internet connection at the time. I also wonder why Denmark, which has no major media companies, is taking action like this. Most worrying, however, is the implication that we should not expect to have privacy online, and that Big Brother is watching everything that we do. Do we all have to log on through anonymous proxies to keep our privacy?

Now what's that just come in the post...?

As the media companies fight to maintain their profits, we're gradually losing our rights to the materials we pay for. When tape recorders came out, the record companies wanted huge taxes on blank tapes. When video recorders were invented, the film studios fought the legality of recording films from television and lost. Gradually, we're losing fair rights to media. If I buy a dvd in America, I can't play it in Europe. If I scratch a cd, I'm not allowed to have made a backup or download another copy.

The only way that media companies can stop people from copying their products is to lower prices. Very little of the money goes to the artists anyway, and as production prices have come down, retail prices have gone up (it costs much less to make a cd than a record). The only place I have seen media prices dropping is in Asia, where VCDs (video compact discs) were being heavily pirated. In response, the media companies dropped prices to around 3 a film, and now most people buy the originals. At the same time, the media companies have fought hard
to keep VCD's out of Europe and the USA to avoid the same thing happening here and their profits being erroded (it's even illegal to bring them back yourself). Now we have copy protected cd's that won't play in computers and you can't listen to on mp3 players unless you buy it again from the company's website, and next on the horizon are time expiry cd's and dvd's that will only be playable for a limited time. Aren't these monopolies getting too powerful?

November 28, 2002

Thailand photos

I've now put up the photographs we took last year in Thailand.

Thailand photos

November 29, 2002

Skating Rink

The skating rink has opened once again for the winter in the centre of Copenhagen, so it's time for me to dust off my skates and go and embarrass myself there again!

November 30, 2002

Dinner in Ban Gaw

Had dinner with Nina tonight in our favourite Thai restaurant in Copenhagen, Ban Gaw. We've both loved Thai food since last year's Asian trip, though I know I'll be suffering the ring of fire tomorrow! One of the interesting things about Ban Gaw is that it's in Vesterbro, Copenhagen's red light district, and so has its fair share of aptly named bars like the Spunk Bar around it.

Found this on Google tonight, the Nina Rose doll, and it's only $15!

Nina Rose is such a lovely little doll and needs a home ..What a great addition to any room.