Thursday, 28 February 2008

D'oh!

"One of the guys took off... straight through a glass window, he didn't even bother pushing the button, he just ran straight through it."

I'm almost tempted to suggest that they know a bloke in Kent with a pilot's licence....

Read the full story to understand why robbing a bar while it's hosting a bikers' meeting might just not be the smartest plan in the world

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Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Couldn't make this one up

A pilot whose light aircraft crash-landed in a garden in Kent has been arrested on suspicion of cultivating cannabis. Sid Clark, 47, of Tonbridge Road, Barming, near Maidstone, has been bailed pending further inquiries. The plane crashed in Lyminge on Saturday, carrying a prisoner on day release from jail.

Whoops!So the story so far. Light aircraft crashes in a garden. Pilot is interviewed on TV and admits that he made a mistake in the fog and mistook some trees for a landing strip. He'd hired the plane and the owner is not a happy bunny. Oh and his passenger turns out to be a prisoner on day release from HMP Blantyre House - they were taking a day-trip across the channel........

And now the police have popped round to the pilot's house and stumbled across a few hundred plants.

I suppose the moral is that if you are growing your own and fancy a jolly to France with a serving prisoner and the weather is a bit off it's probably best to make sure you are absolutely straight - know what I mean?

Full story on the BBC Kent site

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We built this city - heard it in Asda today




For Mouse folk


DSCF2016
Originally uploaded by nogbad the bad
I promised to show you where the apples grow. To the right of that barn, behind the trees, are the orchards. I've uploaded more photos showing views from the front and back of the house.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Whoops!

I've been talking about Internet censorship in a few places over the last few days and here it is again - this time it looks as though Pakistan managed to pull YouTube over for an hour.

Pakistan's attempts to block access to YouTube has been blamed for an almost global blackout of the video website for more than an hour on Sunday From BBC
I think there are some real issues in amongst all of this. I live in a tolerant, Western democracy with few restrictions on what I can say, see or do yet an engineer somewhere on the other side of the world restricted my access to something while working on blocking a web site from the inhabitants of a specific country. Of course this isn't the first time such a thing has happened and the US, Canada, Algeria and others censor Al Jazeera. The news agency's web site is frequently targeted by lone hackers and political meddling.

Rheingold finishes "Virtual Communities" with this paragrah
If electronic democracy is to succeed, however, in the face of all the obstacles, activists must do more than avoid mistakes. Those who would use computer networks as political tools must go forward and actively apply their theories to more and different kinds of communities. If there is a last good hope, a bulwark against the hyper-reality of Baudrillard or Forster, it will come from a new way of looking at technology. Instead of falling under the spell of a sales pitch, or rejecting new technologies as instruments of illusion, we need to look closely at new technologies and ask how they can help build stronger, more humane communities--and ask how they might be obstacles to that goal. The late 1990s may eventually be seen in retrospect as a narrow window of historical opportunity, when people either acted or failed to act effectively to regain control over communications technologies. Armed with knowledge, guided by a clear, human-centered vision, governed by a commitment to civil discourse, we the citizens hold the key levers at a pivotal time. What happens next is largely up to us. - http://www.rheingold.com/vc/book/10.html
I think that we, the citizens, must keep a close eye on what governments around the world are doing to try to curb our Internet access "for our own good"

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Facebook numbers down

Martin predicted this but the numbers are in and Facebook is losing users in the UK.

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End of an era

So the curtain will finally fall on Netscape Navigator. AOL are pulling the plug on support although Netscape 9.0 will still be available for download. Those who've read the stories about the birth of the web and browser wars will understand how important Netscape has been and why its place in the history of online communication is assured - and Eric Bina was working for Netscape added the HTML tag which allows the image above to be displayed. Support stops on March 1st so take a moment to think about its passing on that day.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Nanny knows best

Let it be known, once and for all: if a smart, computer-savvy 16 year old wants porn, no technical barrier will be able to stop him. This is a natural law, similar to the laws of gravity or thermodynamics.
Great quote and not a bad story either. The Australian government has spent A$85M on trying to create tools to filter the Internet. Of course this was doomed to failure and when a teenager cracked the filter in half an hour they might have got the message but now the Australian government has decided that ISPs should censor what they carry. The proposal is that those who want the unfiltered version will have to contact their ISP and request it.

Of course some countries routinely censor what their citizens can access on the web so Australia is hoping to join Iran, China, Syria, North Korea, Thailand and others in "protecting" their citizens but Amnesty International keep a site, Irrepressible.info, against web censorship and it's hard to see how Oz can avoid being added. Censorship is censorship.

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Tuesday, 19 February 2008

UGC

Part of the promise (and threat) of the web has always been user generated content. Of course this post is an example of UGC and I'll let you decide on its value. I'm on safer ground flagging up a more organised UGC site. I spotted this on the SmartMobs blog (hat tip to Marius). Allvoices features a smart looking map and it aggregates news stories geographically based on photos, blogs, video, etc.

The mission statement is
"The goal of Allvoices.com is to create a global community that shares news, videos, images and opinions tied to events and people that have impact. Unlike a traditional news portal, our style of presentation creates new contexts in which stories are tied together in order to provide multiple points of view."
and it looks like an interesting use of technologies to do something that couldn't otherwise be done.

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Monday, 18 February 2008

The End of Mr Y

Just started reading this book. It's hard to dislike any author who starts a book by destroying a building on a university campus. The building the author targets is still there but in 1974 a building did collapse in the way which Scarlett Thomas describes - a disused railway tunnel beneath the building caves in. Thomas doesn't name the campus in her book (or she hasn't so far - I've not read much) but I'm sure that many readers will recognise it anyway.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Questions

Rob Spence (cheers Rob) found Labi Siffre's blog in response to my posting the link to the song. The latest post is wonderful - art question you will never hear - check it out

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Try as I might............

Fans raise their scarves before kick-offPlease believe me when I say that I tried to hold off from writing this post but I'm afraid I simply couldn't resist.

The last time City won at Old Trafford the scorer was Dennis Law, with a cheeky back heel, and United were relegated - that was in the mid 1970s. Since then we've had a few draws but we've not won. The last time we won both games against United in one season was 69/70 but on the day when both sets of fans came together to remember what Manchester lost 50 years ago it was City who got the points! Great photo from the BBC shows the fans holding up scarves provided to all fans by MUFC.

Blue Moon!

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Saturday, 9 February 2008

It must be...........



Just felt like sharing this as I love the song

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Erm

Maybe it's me but I found this story rather worrying.

The Ministry of Defence has expressed concerns that some wind farms interfere with military radar, making aircraft flying over the turbines "invisible".

I'm not a military strategist but announcing that our defence early warning system can't detect incoming if they navigate over wind farms does rather strike me as offering them some clues about how to stage an attack. The Thames estuary is now rife with turbines so that might offer an easy approach to the capital (not letting out many secrets here - anyone can see them from Herne Bay). In fact I would imagine that an underhand enemy might trumpet their achievements in meeting the Kyoto targets using large, floating, wind farms and actually be using aircraft carriers camouflaged with radar-defeating windmills.

I know I'm worrying unduly because the MOD have a great record in making sure that important information is held securely.

The times they are a changin'



After the last guy I think the poor people across the pond deserve a change. This is the bloke I'd vote for.

It's nearly that time of year


Support the guys at Anti-Valentine - you know it makes sense! (Some language may offend)




Monday, 4 February 2008

East Malling


East Malling
Originally uploaded by nogbad the bad
Today I twittered about the trip to London and also took photos with the phone and camera. You can see all the photos on Flickr. I think I noticed things I might not otherwise have seen simply because I was looking to take the photos. I certainly hadn't noticed the number of cameras on Herne Hill station - there must be at least eight on each platform.

An observation

A shortcoming with living alone is that you have to use your own toothbrush to clean the tread on your boots.



Friday, 1 February 2008

Check it out

If you haven't already done so. It's a site about the potential cuts in funding to the OU