Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Google's internal seminar videos

On google video there are a load of videos posted by user "Google engEDU" of internal seminars like this one on SCRUM - an interesting 2-3' anecdote starts around 31'30" or so (actually, the rest of the talk really resonated with my experience at a certain large enterprise software house).

These videos seem like a bit of a find - though possibly only really of interest to people working in software - if you watch any then do let me know if they good.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Since giving up TV you may have noticed I have spent more time on YouTube and Google video. Additionally, I have also been watching some Machinima - movies that make use of the rendering engines available in the various multi-player video games rather than expensive things like actors and sets. They are scripted, planned, produced, and directed by a lot of people who wouldn't be able to get funding for real-life versions. People are gaining more and more experience with this medium and the results are already quite impressive. There is still a lot of maturing that needs to happen (some of it with the rendering engines; though the quirkiness is not necessarily detracting), but they do a decent line of holding attention (though note, mine is not so difficult to grab :-) ).

Some links:
There is also this that is interesting but it is more a remix than machinima.

Oh yeah, there is also an article in the Telegraph today.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

USB memory stick woe

I have a funky issue with a USB memory stick. It works in my laptops but not my desktop. I can see the problem in device manager but it refuses to install any drivers (I didn't need to install anything on my very old USB1.1 laptop....). The problem (yellow exclamation mark) appears under "Other devices"-"USB Mass Storage Device" whereas my fully functional memory stick appears under "Univeral Serial Bus controllers"-"USB Mass Storage Device". Trying to force the install of the relevant working driver fails, as does disabling the device and reconnecting.

Does anyone have any ideas ? I did some searching but didn't turn up anything useful unfortunately.

Monday, September 18, 2006


So, I was finally prompted into using a social bookmarking site - 'ave a gander and be better able to 'pigeonhole' me (as far as I know there are no sexual connotations associated with that expression)! My initial bookmarks are now in place (50+ tabs as my home pages (actually from firefox's session saver extension) was getting a bit much every time I opened my browser). [Basically, I would use scrapbook to take a snapshot of things I wanted to have available offline and keep links I wanted to look at open in tabs....actually it was/is worse than this as I regularly use 3 different machines!]

Anyway, we'll see how it goes - let me know of any links that you think might be of interest.

By the way, I am using a firefox extension to tag pages - 'tis a relatively painless process.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Have Data will Travel

The trend that this is no doubt just the beginning of is just too scary. How long before this is added to the war on terror campaign (plus a little industrial espionage seems to be a sideline for a government monitoring program) - you don't mind if we just check through those new product/research files do you sir (and take an image of your disk for future mining) ?

In the UK there are also laws that mean that you can be legally bound to decrypt any encrypted content you might have. Failure to do so of course implies suspicion of being a part of a terrorist cell.

This is all very sad!

[UPDATE: You can do some things that are technically not encryption - the data is in plain view (would the courts agree?). Couple with all-or-nothing transforms (transforming is not encryption - there is no key) for added effect.]

Monday, September 11, 2006

Dr Spock

...lays down the rules!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Ear phones

These in-the-ear earphones Shure are sweet. Even with my iPod on its lowest volume setting (one pixel wide on the volume bar!) I have trouble making out what someone is saying to me. These were a complete life-saver on a recent long-haul flight...if it weren't for the frantic sign-language of the attendant I would have missed dinner!