Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Real GIS becoming real and usable

It looks like the combination Google Maps and the BBC giving free reign for the world to mess about with it's data gives us up to date travel data on the web.

Google Maps Testbed

Peter Kay is a legend

Not only has he stolen the looks of Mr Stone, he's a pretty funny guy as well (not that you're not Neil).

Some musings from him for you to think about (thanks bro for the email).

Peter Kay's questions...

1. Why does your gynaecologist leave the room when you get undressed?

2. If a person owns a piece of land do they own it all the way down to the core of the earth

3. Why can't women put on mascara with their mouth closed?

4. Is it possible to brush your teeth without wiggling your back side

5. Why is it called Alcoholics Anonymous when the first thing you do is stand up and say, 'My name is Bob, and I am an alcoholic'?

6. Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer?

7. Why does mineral water that 'has trickled through mountains for centuries' have a 'use by' date?

8. Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp no one would eat?

9. Is French kissing in France just called kissing?

10. Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, 'I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here and drink whatever comes out'?

11. What do people in China call their good plates?

12. Why do people point to their wrist when asking for the time, but don't point to their crotch when they ask where the bathroom is?

13. Why is a person that handles your money called a 'Broker'?

14. If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests?

15. Why is it that when someone tells you that there are over billion stars in the universe, you believe them, but if they tell you there is wet paint somewhere, you have to touch it to make sure?

16. Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you but when you take him on a car ride, he sticks his head out of the window?

Techdirt:Is Dell Putting Spyware On Computers?

Lets start the next big rumor - Dell computers were responsible for the story below? I doubt it, but my conspiracy theories are in full flight today....

Techdirt:Is Dell Putting Spyware On Computers?

Israel Spy Ring Discovered

Although interesting in itself that this sort of thing has finally come out into the general media (rather that the usual "keep it covered up so no-one gets scared" approach to network infiltration that usually prevails), it's the other "major international companies" who may be implicated in this that interests me. I wonder if we'll ever find out if one of the big multi-nationals was involved, and if any of the software, or something like it, has been deployed in the UK or US. I'm sure a few system administrators are having a busy day today.

BBC NEWS | Israeli firms 'ran vast spy ring'

I wonder if this was my mother?

Once you start doing project management, you forget what you had to deal with as a developer. The deadlines, the millions of lines of code which infect your every breath and of course, the users. This brought back so many memories, and specifically my first techie job on a helpdesk, where a senior executives secretary had backed up her files every night by photocopying (both sides, just to be sure) the floppy disk that all her word docs was on, and the call from a distraight user who's coffee holder had snapped off (the CD drive...).

Infectious Greed: Computer! Computer!

Monday, May 30, 2005

Layer Cake Arrives

At last, it finally arrives. One of the few films that come out in the UK before America, so I was lucky enough to pick up the DVD when we were back getting married. Looks like it's getting good reviews here, and I would absolutely and thoroughly recommend you head out and see this (or you can ask to borrow the DVD when I get it back from Neil)
Entertainment Weekly's EW.com | Movie Review: Layer Cake

It's been a great one (and it ain't over yet)

Holiday weekends are great - you wake up on Saturday morning, and realize you can waste the whole day away, and still have a full weekend. I didn't do that, but still, it's nice to think it.

The moving season being in full effect, that was the first order of the day. I think I freaked out the Thompson family by rocking up to their house at 8am - it would have been even better if I had turned up at the right house of course. Still, a phonecall, directions, a couple of quick blasts throught he streets of Parker, two wrong turns, and I was there. We managed to get a couple of truck loads of stuff moved (2 trucks had been done the night before), and then I had to bail before I snapped in half or froze in some weird position for the rest of my life. A hot bath and so much stretching it almost felt like exercise (which everyone knows I'm allergic too) sorted me out though. And their new house is great.

Jason and Fatima had a pretty good bbq as well. Two things were apparent though - the fact that I couldn't stop yawning despite only drinking (very large) vodka red bulls meant it was going to be an early finish for the Pattersons, and Kathy Lee can burp the loudest of any woman in the world (even without the beer).

The world (well, a few friends anyway) were invited to the Tonks Sunday Night Asian Feast - I guess not his usual order everything from the local, but a trip down to Changs to celebrate our birthdays (we still pretend we're 20 and can have a month long celebration) and the fact that we didn't have to get up for work today (although I'm typing this at 9.50 having been up for a couple of hours, so the lie in didn't quite work out as planned - however, this was for some fantastic and top secret news, which is still making me grin from ear to ear, so no complaints). It was good to get the gang back together again - seems like a while since we had a decent sized group like that out, and we even got a guest appearance from the ever elusive Mr Batty, who has been travelling and working the world in his efforts to repeat successful company startup number 1 with number 2. Now if I could get number 1 to be as successful as I think we've got a shot at, I'll be happy.

Today is block party bbq day if the weather holds off from pretending I'm back in England. The blow up castle will be out for the kids (and probably the adults after a couple of jacks) to bounce aorund and make themselves sick. It's going to be a good one......

Friday, May 27, 2005

Oh my word

I'm getting excited now.....

Project Gotham Racing 3 pics - Joystiq - www.joystiq.com

Popdex : the website popularity index

Will I ever make it on here???? I'm waiting with baited breath (but still breathing...)

Popdex : the website popularity index

Oh No!!!

Possibly the worst thing I've ever seen.......

Cellphone Thong

Thursday, May 26, 2005

It's Moving Week

So Wallace went downtown yesterday (sort of), the Thompsons move a mile or two at the weekend, and perhaps the strangest of them all, it appears that Riaan will be moving without actually moving. More explanation here

The End of the World?

It must be - the news stories are getting stranger......

Officer Goes To Jail For Flashing Toy Banana

A Real BBC Story

But almost as strange. After a campaign of violence and terror, including chainsawing down a CCTV camera, and threatening passers bye with an axe, the courts decided to deal with him by monitoring his dresscode. Next month, courts rule murder is ok as long as you don't wear loafers and burberry.

Hoodie ban for violent teenager

Oh Dear!

Another nail in the coffin for Mitsubishi? I certainly hope not, as who would be left to keep pushing Subaru to build better and faster STi's? The Evo is great (although I pulled my name off the waiting list after the US announcement of the STi release), and I hope it keeps getting better - the STi only came to America because Evo did it first.

Mitsubishi Halts Sales of 2006 Eclipse, Cites Flawed Brakes and Other News: Industry News Stories : Jalopnik

Feds shut down BitTorrent hub

I realize that corporate America has valid reasons for shutting this sort of stuff down to protect copyright infringements (not that I'm sure I agree 100%), but what puzzled me more was what exactly this has to do with Homeland Security? Did they fear distribution of the new Star Wars movie might incite a revolution?

Feds shut down BitTorrent hub | CNET News.com

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Let the fight begin

"Although Bill Gates was quoted in Time magazine saying that he’d launch Halo 3 for the Xbox 360 on the day Sony ships the PS3, Ballmer said that Halo 3 will ship when it’s ready, regardless of PS3’s launch schedule. He conceded, however, that if Halo 3 is ready when Sony rolls out the PS3, he might find the coincidence enjoyable."

I'm starting to save now - the only plausible solution is to get both of course (and the HD-TV to go with them). I managed to aquire both a PS2 and an XBox a long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away...), but never really played the PS2 too much - the games took way too long to load, the online stuff was never as smooth as XBox, and I got seriously addicted to Project Gotham Racing 2. It ended up being donated to the mother-in-law for Christmas along with the Dance Mat thingy to keep the family entertained.

For real??

After checking that it wasn't April 1st, we've resorted in the office to questioning the reporting integrity of the BBC (what?!?).
This is the scariest (or is it sickest/funniest??) story I've seen in a very long time. If only Phil was still travelling the world, we could send him along for a quick look to check it out.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Marathon Shopping

So we went to Crate and Barrel this afternoon, to finish picking up the things we wanted from the wedding list. We jsut gave them a list, came back a couple of hours later, and everything was packed up ready for us to take away. Obviously we had to hand over payment, but it was pretty smooth. Shame we were 3 items short when we got home - another trip back is in order, especially as we paid for everything. And why do they insist on putting stickers on the bottom of all their cups that are impossible to get off easily?

Well, spring time means two things in the Patterson household - end of season drama (Tarrantino's CSI wins by a mile) and battling with the sprinkler system. Heidi and her mother sorted it all out this morning after a couple of trips to Home Depot, a lot of fiddling, and a quick search in the grass for reading glasses, but it's all working perfectly now. I know when I'm well off - I got tasked with making a couple of CD's of wedding pictures and the Tampa trip, and a couple of other techie things, so I got off pretty light.

And the great thing about not travelling for a couple of weeks - you get to do normal stuff that should be taken care of, but you never quite get to. So, haircut is done, laundry is half way through, and doctors is scheduled for Monday. Just need to get my summer tires on before the snow ones melt off and I'll be good.

Weekends are great

Another gorgeous weekend in Denver, and I actually managed to make it outside this time! Hit the mini golf with Meaghan and Holly (and their Mam and Dad) yesterday - a promising start by me (hole in one on hole one) was quickly bettered by everyone else. Still, I think my shot in the water made the biggest splash!

Friday night was supposedly going to be a quiet one - we blew off a big party downtown in favour of a couple of drinks at happy hour over the road at LoDo's. A few vodka redbulls later (which happened to be ridiculously expensive - $12.50 each!!!!!!), a couple of games of pool, the worst mozzarrella (sp?) sticks in the history of mankind, and suddenly we're at home with a group of friends playing poker until after midnight.

Managed another late one last night, my recent bowling practise paying off with a comprehensive victory ;-) Well, not sure thats 100% true, but it was fun. We were out celebrating with Ray and Jen for their 4th wedding anniversary (and them getting a babysitter). And the drinks are a lot cheaper at the bowling alley.....

Found the most heartbraking video over here. I just can't believe someone could do this going in a straight line........

Uploaded some photos of the Dollhouse Review night out from last weekend in the photos section. Like I said before, if you get a chance you need to check them out - we'll be there June 17th (first Friday after my birthday) at Rise.

And Nick decided to get back on the blogging horse and write the longest essay I think I've ever seen since school. He was moaning of course ;-) Check it out here

Friday, May 20, 2005

Pilates - life giver or taker??

Since I moved to the US, I've often been accused of actively avoiding any exercise whatsoever. However, this is more directly related to me screwing up my back playing footie after I got here, than just shear laziness (most of the time anyway). So the physio, chiropractor and doctor all recommended doing Pilates to help strengthen my "power box" (which sounds a little feminine and rude, but I'm comfortable than I'm male and straight, so I'll use their language). This is all well and good, but what they didn't tell me at the time was that this could well be the most difficult type of exercise in the world. No matter how fit you think you are, this stuff finds muscles that you never thought you had, and then insists on reminding you of those muscles for days afterwards. I haven't even tried the intermediate section of the DVD yet, content that if it gets any worse, I may never walk again (or at least for the hour or so after I finish). The first time I did the beginners section I literally had to crawl up the stairs once I was finished. But, and here's the real kicker, it actually works - the back doesn't hurt everyday once everything calms down, I sort of stand up straighter, feel fitter, and can even hit the real gym in relative comfort. So every day, I have to deal with the choice - pain today doing the exercise, or more pain later by not doing anything - Pilates won last night for the first ime in way too long, so if I'm walking a little funny, you know why. But at least it's a straighter funny....

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The weekends come thick and fast

Looks like I get weekend number 2 in a row off work - this is getting scary - I just hope I don't get too used to it before the big project starts.

Anyway, planning on taking full advantage while I can - so, Friday night hitting the party trail again (although hopefully the hangover won't be as big as last weekends), followed by a bit of crazy golf with the neices on Saturday, and more bowling, this time with Jen and Ray. No doubt Sunday will once again involve as much sleep as possible.

And can someone answer me this - why does United insist on putting ridiculously small planes that are always overbooked on its route between Denver and Atlanta?

Quote of the week

Now that I've found out Tom Peters and his team actually post all of their presentations so you can download them for free, I can get my daily/weekly fix for ridiculously bright presentations here. From there comes my favo(u)rite quote of the week - given what we want through with the whole CVG/SLB "thing" it made me laugh out loud
I am often asked by would-be entrepreneurs seeking escape from life within huge corporate structures, "How do I build a small firm for myself?" The answer seems obvious: "Buy a very large one and just wait."

Monday, May 16, 2005

Start the week right

Apart from the fact that Gizmodo feeds my fix for gadget obsession on a daily basis, they also manage to do it with a certain amount of humour. Note in point, the latest Apple
news snippet.

The weekend was a blast - did no work whatsoever, managed a night out downtown on Friday and even went clubbing (to see the Dolls perform) before squeezing (with the wife) into the passenger seat of Rami's Z4 for the commute back. Two parties on Saturday, one for 10 minutes, one for a score of 10 (bowling, don't ask, it was fun though), and lots of lazing around on Sunday.

Saturday, May 14, 2005


Looks like the big boys might have found a way to reduce the cost of options in their P&L, which in itself is cool. However, what will these mean for stock prices - will they rebound back up, after the hit they took when they changed the accounting rules the first time? Or will it make no difference whatsoever?

Friday, May 13, 2005

It's a busy life

And here I was thinking that everything would calm down after the wedding.....

Tampa last weekend, Atlanta the start of the week, and lots of (very cool and exciting) work before the weekend hits. I can hear my bed calling, but The Dollhouse Review tonight, possible visit to see Jacob play football (sorry, soccer....) tomorrow morning, house warming party in the afternoon, and then brother-in-laws 30th birthday tomorrow night. There may be a can or two of Red Bull consumed this weekend... Good job the boys left 10 cans of it in the fridge after the poker party.

Trying to avoid work posts on here, but just wanted to say thanks to the whole team for all their hard work on our current project (you know who you are). They were (every single one of them) "totally awesome" (can you tell I've been over here for years now...), made a huge impact on me and (more importantly) the client, and all the hard work, brain cells and ridiculous hours expended were very much appreciated. Beers are on me if we ever get time to take a breather ;-)

Monday, May 09, 2005

Terrific Tampa

Went to Tampa for a day at the weekend (well, technically 2 or 3, depending on point of view) but only one real day for play, and it was great. Tatiana turned 8, so we showed up to surprise her at her bowling alley party, and it was a great success. (Hi Tati if you're reading this!!!). Tampa seemed like a nice place, although I did get attacked by mosquitos during my one and only attempt at exercise for the year (lame English attempt at baseball getting thoroughly beaten by young kids), and all the roads have 6 names.

The wedding album arrived today, so looking forward to seeing that. Unfortunately won't get home until Wednesday, so the wait is killing me. Given all the photos we've got so far, I'm not worried, especially given how great the photographer was. If you ever get married in England, I'd definitely recommend them (link here).

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Random stuff

So, couple of updates, mainly to the main site -

  • the main site should now look a little more like this page after a bit of work last night. When the wife wants polka dots, you give her them.....
  • I think I have also fixed the atom feed on this site (instead of hitting my brothers feed), and signed up at www.feedburner.com to replicate this on RSS as well, but now can't remember the link for that ;-) (or really know the difference - I really need to get a bit more techie again - spent too long doing management stuff).
  • I fixed the link to the honeymoon pictures (thanks for noticing Ahmad)
  • Added loads of new wedding pics, courtesy of Mike and Cindy
  • Helped the brother set up his Blog and ended up getting abuse for it (in the friendliest manner possible of course)
Found some pics of the Poker Party last night when uploading the camera, so those should appear when I get round to it.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The New Messenger rocks

Never been a huge fan of Microsoft (especially having spent the last weekend screaming and shouting at Word and Project while trying to make deadlines), but the new Version 7 of Messenger is pretty cool. Lots of new stuff, the graphics look like they're real 3D, and my brother nearly got me arrested with the new winks he sent me through ;-)

Now, if only someone could persuade Bill Gates to keep the development of the Mac version up with the Windows one, I'd be really happy.....

New MSN Messenger

Monday, May 02, 2005


In my never ending search for more information (coz I have so much spare time...) I somehow got on a trail of blogs on VC funding, technology startups, and other business related topics (I know, sad, but the new company thing is a big part of my life these days). Some stuff was interesting, some not, some funny (like the US vs English post I added below), and some just a little on the scary side. The one below was on the scary side, but it gave me hope that maybe I wasn't the worst presenter in the world after all.

VentureBlog: Personal Hygiene and PowerPoint Don't Mix