Friday, 21 March 2008

Largest (censored) online population?

I caught a news item on The Register recently about how China is now the largest online population.

Now thats all very well, but the now 'largest online population' is actually a heavily censored one as the BBC reports back in 2006.

Ever wondered how bad the censourship is? Check out these side by side tests by Philipp Lenssen. Philipp also comments today that news from Tibet has been completely excluded.

I've got a built-in dislike for countries who do this, probably because I live in a country that doesnt ask Google to censor. I'm so used to finding what I want when I want it. But hold on there Mr. ILiveInAWonderfulPlace.... what about tv censorship? film censorship? They happen in your wonderful country, arent those the same things?

Why, for instance, when your watching Smokey And The Bandit on a sunday afternoon do they feel it necessary to remove the words 'Nice Ass' and replace with 'Nice Lady'? You have to wonder, especially when it seems you can get away with saying 'Cr*p' on the radio these days. I'm not sure if 'Nice Ass' comes even close to that.

Maybe with the countrywide adoption of digit tv, programme broadcasters could actually specify what the rating for the programme is, and you could set the acceptable level on your box?

Ofcourse I'm actually talking about different types of censorship there, so back to Google... But it does seem that they did start regretting the move a year later as the Guardian reports.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Red Dwarf 20 Years Old

For a show thats now reportidly 20 years old, I dont get bored of watching Red Dwarf. I own all the series on dvd.

I'm not sure if it appeals to the techy in me or not, but its right up there with Spaced in my list of favorite TV shows. Anyone who hasnt seen either of them should definately give them a shot.

Hattie Hayridge just edges it as my favorite Holly (although Norman Lovett does have his moments in series 1 and 2). I saw her doing live standup once. I wouldnt say shes brilliant, not bad is as far as I'd go, but thats a good rating when the standup bar is set so high these days.

For me, Red Dwarf writing, acting and filming was at its most creative from Series 3-5. The adventures are just excellent, and if your into Red Dwarf already, I can definatley recommend the out takes they bundle with the dvds. I've also read the book Better Than Life a number of times.

I guess although I like all the cast actors, Chris Barrie as Arnold J Rimmer has to get the highest rating for playing such a sad, weezley smeghead so well. I've seen all of the main cast in other shows, but the most bizare was Danny John-Jules in StoryMakers for CBeebies!

Would I love a reform of the cast for another series.. problem is, its never like it was is it, take the Carry On franchise.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

BBC Football blogs

I like a good footy game. Not attached to any particular club myself, just nice to see good football. Which is why I particularly enjoyed Middlesbrough v Cardiff in the FA Cup.

I didnt take delight in Boro playing like a bag of ole you know what. It was how well Cardiff played on the day for a championship side. Dont worry, I wont start coining phrases like 'Thats what makes the FA Cup so...'.

Anyway sorry, to the point, a few days ago I was visiting the BBC Football page just before the Champions League Quarter Final draw was about to happen. What they do is post some choice comments from the blog conversation onto the results page before the results actually come up, which to be honest is sometimes a bit more entertaining than the draw itself.

Check out comments 1100, 1145 and 1152 from this.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Do you ReSharper?

I'm not a massive techy, but do like the occasional Dilbert or xkcd. For the most part, I write code in C#. Which means that at one point or another, youre going to have to deal with ReSharper. The question is, to ReSharper or not to ReSharper.

For starters, as a relative noob to ReSharper, heres a list of pros and cons that I've found so far:
  1. Right clicking to run NUnit unit tests, is very useful, and the UI aint too bad either.
  2. Debugging straight into a unit test via the bug icon.
  3. Double clicking the unit test and being taken straight to the coded unit test.
  4. Being able to navigate straight to the implementation of an interface, rather than the interface itself.
  5. Showing the unused using statements was good until VS 2008.
  1. It seems to me that the whole Dev team needs to buy into it, if they dont, the ones who do use it will see twenty zillion red/orange and yellow warnings down the right hand side.
  2. ReSharper seems to get in the way of a few UI events. For instance, I'm one for double clicking a word to highlight it for copying etc. This can become hard when ReSharper is trying to respond to whats on the line and what it thinks you what to know about.
So anyway, I'm using it mainly for the unit test functionality and partly just for the sanity of collegues. I'm sure I'll pick up all the shortcuts etc and other gems it can offer.

Its one of those things that proves no-one knows it all, and you'll see someone do something and think, ah, now thats nice.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Lost ITunes Library?

I've got an IPod Nano 4GB (I'd like a touch, but will have to wait for funds to come available!).

Anyway, since being indoctrinated into the world of Apple, I've found that my ITunes Library has bitten me on the arse a few times.

I've got a notebook and a desktop PC. The hard drive went in the Desktop PC so I got a replacement, then I got a new PC. Both times, its been "Oh, bugger. My ITunes...".

After some searching, I found this page on how to rebuild your library from your IPod on Sickles Insight.

Worth a look even if you bookmark it just incase.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Not meant to cry

I reckon we've all got a bit teary eyed over a film at one point or another in our lives. But have you ever been caught off guard by a film?

I'm not talking about a zombie jumping out at you like in Shaun Of The Dead. No. I'm talking about when either the lump in the throat or welling up occurs while watching a film that you would in no way expect to get teary eyed over.

A mate confessed to me a while ago that he wept like a baby during Cool Runnings with Jon Candy. If I hadnt done the same myself a while ago, I'd have laughed my arse off.

So what is this phenomenon? I have a feeling (in my case) it was because I was watching the film directly after a large night out with friends. There may have been some hidden emotions that just needed the slightest excuse to come to the surface.

What was the film that had tears running down my face? Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory (Gene Wilder version). Where Wonka gives the factory to charlie and says his family can move in....

The shame of it.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Debt IS Money

First off, I'm no financial expert. I work for a firm that is sub-connected to the Financial Sector, I'm not fully educated in Financial markets, but do get some of the basics.

Anyway, I quite like reading Robert Peston's blog (BBC Business Editor). I dont confess to know all the terms that he uses or what some of the implications are, but it does give the normal joe an insight into whats going on and what could possibly be coming the publics way anytime soon.

I was reading this evening about the US investment bank Bear Stearns and how its an equivalent disaster for the US Fed as Northern Rock was for the Bank of England. Then I started reading some of the comments... it always helps to hear what others have to say on the subject. I came across a comment from Eugene Walker who said:

Where does all this money come from we ask ?

Watching this video is well worth 47 minutes of anyone's time.

Now I've only watched 25 mins of the 40 odd on offer (and I'll definately be finishing it).. so far I'm impressed with the way the video decribes the senarios (I'm a normal joe remember!). I believe Eugene is absolutely right with his comment about a good use of anyones time.

But I guess more importantly I'm a bit taken back by my new found knowledge. Its quite astounding the whole debt system, but honestly if you understand it rightly, absolutely necessary.

10 minutes after watching the video, while my brain was mulling over money in general, a fraise popped into my head.... 'Money makes the world go round'. Well clearly thats not true...

Debt makes the world go round.