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Dr Who

May. 5th, 2007 | 10:44 pm
mood: artistic

Just watched Dr who where they made a reference to 'Harold Saxon' . I was doing some trawling on google when I came up with a link to destiny technologies (dot org). sounded like the kind of organisation that would appear in an episode so I followed it. A wonderful new age website ( lovely)
'Destiny Technologies unifies and integrates, under one all-encompassing discipline, the four separate studies and practices of healing the body, mind, emotions, and progress of the soul. The totality of the human being is a combined conglomeration of these four aspects. The goal is deep, authentic healing at soul level.'
(so cool).

naturally tonight's episode was one of those where you know scientist meddles with nature and gets zapped by it ( ha didn't see that one coming still nice episode).

Which makes me wonder why can't we have an episode/story were some one is pushing the limits with feng sui or crystal healing or homeopathy or spiritual healing (take your pick) and manages to unleash some terrible ur-id creature(s). Hideous but tasteful monsters created by exploring the forbidden limits of Feng Sui ( or something).

After all go into any book shop and the bookshelves on self help and alternative medicine are as big or larger than the 'science' section.

I guess this is just an example of how much 'faith' we have in science. Acupuncture creating monsters seems so ludicrous ( well at least to me) surely if we believe alternative therapies work then we must believe they can go wrong.

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Oct. 17th, 2006 | 09:32 pm
music: Just Can't Get Enough (Extended Radio Mix) - A Retrospective Of House '91-'95: Jon 'Pleased' Wimmin

Came in and worked on the outline for the argument for the thesis on the way in. Its going slowly and I havn't got to the good bit.

had lecture from Bill about virtual communities.
Quite good lecture and this time I got the handout.

Went up stairs to explain what a portal was to Alan - he wants to build one for sustainable building. Has 200+ sites and partners.

Eveyone liked the new suit.
Showed Lura the postcards and she was quite impressed. Apparently there is an area defined by a wire which under jewish law counts as a 'walled city' be nice to get the outline. Also she was interested in either my group or all the groups doing the posting of cards if people are interested. She was a bit vague on the point of committing students presently. This would give me at least one other area and it would be a suburb. More data is not to be snuffed at.

no more cards today so I get 21 out of 200. I have 400 more cards to pick up tomorrow for posting.

After Alan/Laura I rushed off to LBS for interview. I think I did quite well, I think my history and interests where quite entertaining. They gave me 2 new and heavy books and warned that the course work load was quite high. Well I have nothing but writing up to do in the spring. Turns out the course woman knew me or at least Simon Warner Bore at Okupi. So should be quite good.

I then rushed over to the FTb, it turns out the box that wouldn't run pserver didn't have xinetd running on it. Go lots of interesting info about the next Ftb website - looks like they are heavy into getting close to no cgi-bin web-site. The cheif architect had some intreasting problems so I fished for work. This made me 6 mins late leaving getting to the station. That in turn made me late getting train so I had to catch the slower train.

Poor ruth means she has to handle kids until 6:30 by her self. Poor her. Still he mum will be around soon.

I talked to Ruth a couple of times today - we are working on a paper on using space syntax simulation of movement to simulate construction of a ad-hoc network.

So it sounds like tonight is going to be bussy to. Tommorow hope to do FTb in morning and then go get cards to post in afternoon - but which shoes to wear.

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Oct. 9th, 2006 | 11:53 pm
mood: anxiousanxious
music: Golden Girls - A Retrospective Of House '91-'95 Vol1: Judge Jules (volume one) (Disc 2) - Kinetic

Looks like I lost the car keys when we I was moving all the heavy boxes from the car into the house. We can see the spair pair on the car seat but the main key should be in the house some where. I've agreed to that if ruth doesn't find them on tuesday then we should call a car window guy and then knock it in ( cheaper then getting a lock smith in apparently).

Up late because apparently I was also requested to wash Lambs swimming gear today. So I put a quick wash on now.

What makes this interesting is thinking about it from a context aware computing point of view. What I need is a device which can accept vague orders from people - mostly Ruth but also Alan and others any one I meet and agree in person or over the phone to do a small job for.

The job would be added to a list of things to do and then automatically tracked and reminded. ( the job might ask when it had to be done by and then remind with a logarithmic intensity ( i.e 50% of given time then 25% then 12% ect .

So what would this be - a audio device which remembers the last hours of conversation and lets you make a marker ( storing the last 2-5 mins on disk ). Be better if you could have something which could a) guess who you where talking to. b) might parse what had to be done.

Kind of interesting when I've done experiments when I say I will have to write that down on my note book people get all fussed that I am now making a big deal of it. The real problem is being there when I need it. So for example I get a lot of requests when my eyes are shut and the lights are off in bed just before going to sleep. As mentioned I get requests when I am on the phone including walking the baby off to sleep.

Perhaps I need a smaller note book. Or to make a log or something.

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Amazon Map mentioned on Information aesthetics

May. 24th, 2006 | 09:03 pm
music: Loop Guru - Duniya, The Intrinsic Passion Of Mysterious Joy - Freedom Form The Known

On the 5th Information Aesthetics made a link to the amazon map project

Gave quite a nice write up!

how cool.

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Dr Who Cybermen.

May. 15th, 2006 | 01:54 pm
mood: tiredtired

Well Just viewed the most recent version of Dr Who (Rise of the Cybermen) and the birth of cybermen. To be honest I'm pleased and pretty disappointed at the same time. The cybermen where quite scary but I found the essential premises a bit weak.

Ok so the basic plot is disabled scientific genius invents robot men in order to take over the world. Firstly the central bad guy is too close to Daverous the pro-generator of the Darleks( disabled scientific genius). I'm surprised they couldn't come up with anything more original. The original concept of their evolving from planet Mondas would make less inconstant with historic contacts ( parallel earth... plot clause).

What could have they done.

a) There is a country at war a long war - too many of the army are being injured. The create policy mechanical upgrades. We see the cyber army as normal military with mechanical 'armour'. The cyber army is becoming worn the mental strain of war is becoming a bigger drain than the lost of 'life'. The plan becomes to create a set of drugs and electronics which can remove the fear and terror of war from the troops. Well a more logical sequence but harder to pack into a single program.

b) Perhaps the central bad guy could be a committee (not all disabled). The creation of the cyber men is a by product of a group decision making process.

c) Perhaps the central bad guy should be a (mad) politician or writer ( for a change). I liked the notion that the central drive is to create a body which will not age or become vulnerable to illness. But how to move from single person to mind mangled army in a credible way is difficult.

Clearly the plot operates around 'personal devices' - More specifically mobile phones ( and Blue tooth heads sets which do look absurd/Tom Cruisish), but also Ipods (or Walkmans in the 70's). It might have been slightly better to make references to more invasive things like body piercing( Higher yuck factor). So all in all I quite liked it but it did seem a little 'lazy' from a plot point of view. Over all I thought the original Darlek episode was a much better introduction. Single Darlek overcomes large numbers of human enemies. When a single creature can over come incredible odds then the foreboding of a large number of of the same creatures is overwhelming ( and definitely behind the sofa worthy).

The Cybermen do change in each carnation - perhaps it would be a good plot to have a cyberman who takes parts from inanimate objects and uses them to 'extend/repair' him self. This might be a good plot device and provide a way to show how adaptable they are. This adaptability would be the core for their constantly changing appearance.

I guess the other aspect which would be quite useful is the notion of subcutaneous upgrade - why not have 'agents' working for the Cybermen who appear human but internally have greater strength,speed,sight. So we get an interesting transition from Steve Austin to cyberman quite terrifying.

Naturally its interesting to compare the cybermen to Star Treck's 'borg'. What makes both races frightening is their desirer to absorb/asimilate there enemies to become new troops. It seems obvious that the Borg are the earlier Dr Who cybermen with better PR. The fact that the first episode is entitled 'Q Who?' should not be ignored.

Interestingly both the cybermen and the borg are very similar to zombies. They are all 'undead' very slow ( you can run away from them) and relentless. One thing which was also ignored was the source of the Cybermen's intolerance to gold. This kind of weakness would be a nice kind of item to work into the generation plot (perhaps the master mind(s) hopes to maintain control by building a fundamental weakness into his offsping).

Darth Vader - another cyberwanna be?

I'm going to update this post when I see the ending is like.

ps - I predict the Doctor et.al will be saved due to presence of watsit's dad.

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what an evil and odious little website

Mar. 6th, 2006 | 11:43 pm
mood: worriedworried

. Den Brook Valley Wind Turbine Action Group

If you every want to know what causes global warming then stop one of these 4x4 driving NIMBYs and ask them. You try explaining this to your kids in a rational way
'Yes Barnaby some people think that saving the future from global warming and creating local jobs is less important than the vague possibility that they might notice a large wind turbine when they are driving there SUV to work in the big city.

Yes I know you think they look nice. but but.. '

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Spell checkers

Feb. 11th, 2006 | 10:24 pm
mood: aggravatedaggravated

I'm writing a webpage which will pick up common errors missed by a spell checkers. Central to this checker is when one word ( which is a correct spelling) is miss used as another. Like their and there.

To make this work I've been looking up for lists of common errors including Homonyms ( words that sound alike). What annoys me is the way that spelling appears to throw us back into a biblical era Why?

People get they crude about it. They appear to belive it is the most important thing. I think correct spelling appeals to people want and wrong and a wright way of doing things just so they have a verbal axe to accost those around them with. I remember thinking how vile the writer of 'eats shoots and leaves' was to the rest of the world. http://dissc.tees.ac.uk/Mistakes/Spelling/Spell5.htm mentions 'If you spell these wrong - It's a sign that you're are not paying attention.' Could you imagine any more dictatorial language than that?

For example most of the websites on spelling are very poorly designed and are visually illiterate. How would they like it if people wrote to them complaining that they had broken the basic rules of good visual style? They would think this was the gibberish of some deranged mad man and might be right in that. If someone emails about spellings on a website well that's a basic error which must be corrected at all costs.

I don't think I would mind as much except that the spellings are pretty much arbitrary. For example people get equally derisory about errors of English and American spelling. The fact that the word is correct in one language and not in another should really indicate that people need to relax.

Another example of social exclusion the term Homonyms. Why homonyms why not 'soundalikewords' ? So it was derived from Latin so what why not derive it from Arabic or Chinese, why derive it at all? Why, maybe so we (the literati ) can exclude others? I'm not convinced there is not a power issue involved behind all this.

People complain about the costs of illiteracy but they never complain enough to think about simplifying the written language its self. In the US when they wanted everyone to drive a car they create ( at great cost ) a high way system which can be drive by morons. As example you can learn to drive in 3 driving lessons in the US ( 20-30 driving in the UK for a licence). I accept that this form of simplicity reform seems to elude people. A similar blindness is the way that people think that users should require a simple licence to 'drive' a computer. Why not just demand that computers are simpler to use.

Back on topic - given the imperious tone of these web sites I can't help wonder. Are professional writers that interesting? . Given that historically they spend a great deal of time either memorising pedantic junk OR looking it up on a number of writing manuals. One beings to wonder if this breed of people might have more in common with accountants than visual artists?

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message to my MP

Jan. 24th, 2006 | 12:10 am
mood: coldcold

I want to express my concern at some of the recent announcements in the press over reviews of nuclear power.

My objections to nuclear power are long and mostly entirely practical. I will not bore you with the details but to summarise nuclear power is expensive, dangerous, a blatant challenge for terrorists and most especially is no practical solutions to global warming.

One item which caught my attention was the claims that nuclear power stations should be 'pre-approved'. That is primary and generic objections to the technology would be handled in one central evaluation and then planning permission would then only be have to be sought on specific local issues.

If this pre-approval where applied instead to the installation of wind turbines then the 'energy independence' of this county would be in a good deal more stable ground.

I am also not sure why we need 'energy independence', many counties around the world do not have it. Further we lost 'food independence' and 'manufacturing independence' over the last 40 years so why be so concerned that we can produce all our own domestic energy? Nuclear power can never economically provide fuel for our cars so the transport sector will be a dependant even if the electricity sector is not.

I know it sounds unexciting but renewing investment in energy saving technologies would lead to a substantive and inheritable energy independence that the temporary stop gap of nuclear power can never deliver. Energy saving technologies would also lead to the creation of more jobs and act as a general stimulus to the economy which importing American reactor technology can never achieve.

I strongly urge you to ask thorough questions of those who might like you not to investigate too deeply.

As always I rely on you best efforts, intellect and truth of purpose to see this county through.

N. Dalton

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Lamb and Microlamb

Jan. 23rd, 2006 | 11:11 am
mood: tiredtired

Ruth took Microlamb off to the Hospital. The midwife + the doctor where worried about Microlambs dimple. Possible indication of spinabifita ( how to you spell it).

Lamb is at home with the roses blooming all over him(aka Chicken Pox). The new zone looks to be his legs. He's been difficult to get off at night's (surprised) and has been waking up regularly in the middle of the night. All this lack of sleep has been getting to me.

I have also been suspect that Barnaby caught an ear infection from his Grandmother (Drue). He was complaining at one point about an hear/head ache. Then I saw a great dear of earwax emerging form one ear. A few days later I saw a deal of puss emerging from both of his eyes. Recently I have noticed that he has had problems hearing me. Jemma at nursery was complaining he was ignoring her which I think is related. All this has made him much more difficult to cope with, while he stays at home.

Fortunately Ruth managed to get Leif to come and help look after Barnaby from Tuesday to Friday. After that Barnaby will be well enough to go back to nursery.

We remeasured microlamb it turns out that she is not off the height scale as originally thought. She is in now the top 90% for height. She also has quite thin and long fingers and toes ... Future surgeon do you think? How about a super model with an IQ of 150 ( like her mums(IQ)). We have been quite impressed with her ability to track and move her head. She can almost hold her head up. We have been impressed with how far in advance of Barnaby, Ameila appears. On the other had she has had three weeks more in the womb over Barnaby so you might expect she is able to do more apparently earlier on.

Ruth back form hospital - it's just a dimple.

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Jinty's car to the shop. Plus being caught in a car by Police.

Jan. 17th, 2006 | 03:32 pm
mood: awake
music: 808 State - Wired (Disc 2) - In Yer Face

Juline ( Ruth's sisters boy friend) popped round this morning to help drive the car shop to be quoted for repair. Juline has the kind of car insurance which let's him drive any car(cool huh).Very kind of him in that I'm sure he expected he could get it all done before going to work. Unfortunately I had to take lamb to nursey and so was unlinkly to be back before 9:30. I'm still feeling a little guilty about the imposition but he was very gallant about it.

To speed things up Ruth offered to write the numbers ( policy numbers down). When I got back I insisted on printing out the instructions while Juline waited. Go into jinty's car and drove off. After a while Juline noticed that a police car was following us. Well we looked odd enough - two people driving in the day in a car with a bent door.

Eventually we where pulled over and the police seemed friendly enough. Things where slightly awkward until I pulled out the print out. This happened to have the police incident ID which he was able to call in and look up. I chatted to the WPC. The central mirror was missing so we had not noticed them when they started to flash their lights at us and they ( the police) had thought 'oh stand by for a bit of chase action'. Sorry to disappoint. I was also informed that they knew a man in Stoney Stratford who was able to pull open his door with his bear hands. Constabulary suitably placated we set off to the garage.

They where expecting us and where able to do the necessary inspection at the same time. After that the guy was able to pull ( again using only his hands and knee) the car door back into place. Not a perfect fit but almost rain proof. Good enough to drive says he.

This makes more sense of the break in - someone ( or ones ) where coming back in the night and thought they would nick jinty's car. Using only his hands ( I guess ) was able to pull the door open enough to get inside. Guess he had the strength to open the door but not the wit to get the ignition going. Certainly the igition was not interfered with.

Quote done we where able to drive the car home. Oddly on the way back we noticed another car being pulled over. Clearly this is pull a car over day for the police.

All back safe and sound. Still no sign of micro lamb.

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