Tuesday, October 31, 2006

XPensive Software

Recently I've been getting much more enthusiastic about using Linux, having used Fedora Core something (4?) the summer before last while working on a project for the Cogent Computing ARC and doing a lot of work over the last few months with Gumstix (which come with some Linux distro, can't remember what) and Ubuntu. Then there's Knoppix which I'm using in its LiveCD form as a host system to develop my own distro based off of the guide at Linux From Scratch. Basically, I'm thinking of migrating almost all the things I do over to Linux in some form or another, possibly only keeping Windows (specifically XP, not Vista, see below) to play various games on and stuff. Besides, all the useful tools are written for Linux anyway...

This decision has been helped slightly by my discovery of various items in the Vista EULA, as mentioned here (3 pages for you =P ) and here, and I won't even go into the "Trusted Computing" nonsense or the related insane pushing of DRM at the system level (right down to the hardware itself).

As a side-note, I'd like to point you to this purely because I hate iTunes with a vengeance.

Anyway, I think that's enough to read for now. My feelings towards Windows have moved very fast towards dropping it recently, and that doesn't seem like it's going to change anytime soon.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Deja Vu

It turns out that Overlord can't post to his blog as LiveJournal looks at the timestamp, decides he's posting from an alternate reality, and rejects him faster than Lordi at the Hilton. That of course means I'm posting here to annoy him =P For those not in the UK, we're transitioning out of/into (I can never remember which) daylight savings time, so we have just had our second 1am for tonight. I think he may just be trying to post an entry before the time on the last one he posted though, whereas I'm not, which may be why the system isn't liking it.

Last night we had pink pancakes. Yes, pink :-D We decided to mix some red food colouring in for wierdness value. Not much else to say about that really.

This morning brought a nice surprise for me. At about 11-ish I think Gina answered her mobile and then suddenly hopped out of bed and ran off, "I have to go, I'll be back in about 20 minutes". Anyway, I dozed off back to sleep and when I woke up there was a wrapped package on the pillow next to me. Intrigued, I unwrapped it and what did I find? Megatokyo volume 4 :-D :-D I tried to get it ages ago but the Forbidden Planet here wasn't stocking it. Turns out Gina got them to order one in for me without me even knowing, I was rather insanely happy for the rest of the day.

That's all for now I think, time to read more of MT 4 :-D

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sony = Ultimate Lose

Sony have sued Lik-Sang out of existence, I guess that's about where I stop buying anything Sony. My only planned purchases were some PSP bits and a PS2 which I doubt would make any impact on their profits, but still, the principle is there and they're plummeting anyway, which is probably why they felt the need to be this retarded. Info.

According to Sony they are "trying to protect consumers from being sold hardware that does not conform to strict EU or UK consumer safety standards, due to voltage supply differences et cetera". That would be the hardware that includes genuine Sony power adapters with the appropriate safety markings for various countries would it?

Lik-Sang is a huge loss, not only to people who regularly import, but also apparently to Sony employees:

Sony Europe's very own top directors repeatedly got their Sony PSP hard or software imports in nicely packed Lik-Sang parcels with free Lik-Sang Mugs or Lik-Sang Badge Holders, starting just two days after Japan's official release, as early as 14th of December 2004 (more than nine months earlier than the legal action). The list of PSP related Sony Europe orders reads like the who's who of the videogames industry, and includes Ray Maguire (Managing Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd), Alan Duncan (UK Marketing Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd), Chris Sorrell (Creative Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd), Rob Parkin (Development Director, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited), just to name a few.

I can only hope that Lik-Sang come back under a different name, or that the courts see that Sony are only doing this to desperately grab money and prevent themselves from going under due to their own dumbass decisions.

Job Ad

Preference will be given to handicapped applicants if equally qualified.

Yay for discrimination against able people *rolls eyes*

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Death Metal Druids

Two conversations (IRC followed by MSN). What can I say, everyone loves the idea.

Kemp: I love that the Pope declared rock to be anti-religion, thus vindicating a lot of people's music choice
Kemp: he seems to have also forgotten that Christianity isn't the only religion
Kemp: what if there's specifically a religion related to rock, how would that fit his anti-religion idea?
Kemp: also all the religions that just don't care what we listen to
NYRelics: i believe stonehenge was just a giant amphitheather :)
Kemp: f'ing yes
NYRelics: they powered their instruments by the earth lines *g*
Kemp: can you imagine a druid death metal band
NYRelics: hgahaha
NYRelics: nope :)
Kemp: they have the long hair to flail around :D
NYRelics: that would be a good act to bring out
NYRelics: yea
NYRelics: surrounded by little evil figurines made out ofwood
NYRelics: and entrails
NYRelics: :0
NYRelics: We're Druids! ROCK ON!

Overlord: Dude, that would be so awesome to see
Kemp: yes, yes it would
Overlord: GAIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA *death metal solo*
Kemp: this must happen

Other Death Metal Druid posts:

Me and Overlord are now the only results on Google for "Death metal druids" :-D

Robin Hood

I've been watching watching the BBC's new Robin Hood series and I must say I am rather impressed by it, against my expectations. If we ignore the use of hair gel and synthetic fabrics in that time period, along with making it slightly cleaner than it would have been (presumably due to it being the BBC), and some cases of "interesting" physics, then it's quite a good series. I have no idea how historically accurate it is but I like the angle they took with it, and I'm glad they didn't start at the usual place of Robin being the "stealing from the rich to give to the poor" guy with no backstory for how he actually got there, for once he is something other than a random guy who just wants to be nice. Basically he's been away fighting with King Richard in the Crusades (thus his access to Saracen weapons) and when he gets back he sees how corrupt the local authorities have become, gets stripped of his titles (the fact that he was a noble is something that isn't mentioned a lot in other tellings, though the Disney cartoon probably isn't too good a reference for me to use =P ), and ends up making life as hard as possible for the Sheriff and Guy (of Gisbourne), who coincedentally is believed to have had his own legend going on which got absorbed into the Robin Hood one. For more info on the Crusades hit your favourite info source (Wikipedia is always useful), though a summary of the particular one going on here (if my interpretation of the information is right) can be found here:
The Third Crusade, 1189–92, followed on the capture (1187) of Jerusalem by Saladin and the defeat of Guy of Lusignan, Reginald of Ch√Ętillon, and Raymond of Tripoli at Hattin. The crusade was preached by Pope Gregory VIII but was directed by its leaders—Richard I of England, Philip II of France, and Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I.
(Emphasis mine)

If I picked out the wrong Richard then feel free to moan at me, my knowledge of our old rulers is at about the same level as my knowledge of structural engineering, ie virtually zero.

Anyway, definatly something to watch if you have some time or bandwidth* spare.

* I do not endorse piracy, download from legitimate sources only =P

Thursday, October 19, 2006

BBC News

Just some random BBC News posts pulled off my news reader (and a couple that were linked to from them).

Experts create invisibility cloak
This one is fun. They managed to get what they call a "metamaterial" to redirect microwaves around an object and recombine on the other side, thus making the object near-invisible to a detector. They say that with nano-scale engineering it could be made to work with visible light as well. How would you know where you put the thing though?

US Congress steps into cyberspace
Apparently they're appointing people to check out online transactions (which occasionally involve real money) in the interests of understanding them better. They say there's no plans to start trying to tax these, but I think we all know how much their word is worth. Which leads smoothly onto...

China's full-time computer gamers
These dudes build up gold in games like World of Warcraft and then sell it for real cash. It's a (more than) full-time job but I guess it could be fun...

And finally, Basra troops 'on another planet'
When the US can support our troops better than we can then maybe we need to rethink how we treat them.

Single on memory stick for Keane
I'm quite impressed by this, releasing a single on a USB stick. You get the video for the single as well, and it's on a 512MB stick that you can use as per any other stick. Not bad for £3.99.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Food and Thought

Last night me and Gina ate at Nandos. We went there last Sunday because the Chinese had stopped cooking things for the buffet and what was left wasn't really worth it (even with the generous discount they offered us). When this Sunday rolled around we decided to go there again as it really is a great place as long as you like lots of chicken. Long story short, we ordered quite a bit. We had a chicken breast burger and chips each (mine the least hot possible of course), along with two pittas, garlic bread, and five chicken wings. I had the idea of buttering half a pitta (the butter was completely melted and thus rocked) and rolling it up with chicken off one of the wings in it, the wings being a very nice barbequed/flame-grilled flavour. That was possibly my favourite thing I ate that night, I had another two of them and Gina also had one and decided she would have more next time. We in fact had to order another pitta to make the last two, bringing the total count up to three pittas consumed. I was quite full at the end of it all. I probably won't be getting garlic bread next time as their ones taste different to the frozen store-bought ones which I'm so used to (they have corrupted my taste buds), it is something you should try at least once though as the different flavour might be something you like.

Someone we discussed momentarily while we were there was the diminishing quality of our leaders and suchlike. We started off on Martin Luther King and moved onto the fact that we don't hear any good speeches these days, I commented that the last good speech I remember hearing was in the movie Independence Day =P It also occured to me that the most famous philosopher of our time is one Tyler Durden, who isn't even real in any sense. Oh well, maybe things like that are meant to gradually become virtual, who knows?