Wednesday, 29 November 2006

Northampton Town's postponed League 1 home game against Leyton Orient has been rescheduled for Tuesday 19th December at 19:45.

Tuesday, 28 November 2006

Iraq 'on the brink of civil war'
Iraq is teetering on the brink of civil war, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has said publicly. Mr Annan said concerted action to dampen the vicious sectarian violence gripping Iraq was urgently needed.

If you hadn't noticed, they've been blowing the crap out of each other for quite some time now, mate. Wake up and smell the Kofi.

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Saturday, 25 November 2006

Today's Northampton Town home game against Leyton Orient was postponed due to extreme soggyness. Washed the car instead.

Thursday, 23 November 2006

Anyone know what's happening with the bug in PHP's built-in EXIF command (specifically exif_read_data) that extracts data from image file headers? I just upgraded a Windows server to PHP 4.4.4 in the vain hope the problem had been cured in a recent release of PHP, but I still get the problems. Same script, with the same images, works fine under Linux.

But I note that you can 'get around' the problem by, er, ignoring it. Still execute the command on your image, but supress the error message with the @ symbol. You may find you still get the bits of data you're after (like the original date/time the photo was taken):


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Had thought the term "cynical hacks" only applied to pork pie hat-wearing journalists from gritty Northern cop dramas. But I actually encountered some at MK Dons' FA Cup replay against Farsley Celtic on Tuesday evening. A bunch of other photographers sat next to me for the second half and spent the next 45 minutes moaning and whinging constantly about the performance and how they wanted to go home.

Sunday, 19 November 2006

Me at MK DonsThis is me freezing my butt off at MK Dons vs Shrewsbury yesterday. Was a case of right-place, right-time for the Dons' second goal - you can see the ball in the net - so I got a decent set of shots from Clive Platt's goal going in to the rather long celebration.

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Tuesday, 14 November 2006

"Polluting cars face charge rise
Vehicles causing the most pollution in central London are to face huge increases in the congestion charge, mayor Ken Livingstone has announced. The daily charge for vehicles in carbon emissions band G, which includes some 4x4s, is to rise to £25 from 2009.

In 2008, the charge will be removed for cars in Bands A and B which produce the lowest emissions, Mr Livingstone said. But the AA said the policy would not only hit so-called 'gas guzzlers' but family cars and people carriers.

But how often do you actually see more than one person in a people carrier? Why do people buy them? Why is it that ten years ago, if you had a family, you bought a car - now you have to buy a bus?

"The LA's Green Party said it was 'fantastic news' which would mean 'the end for the Chelsea tractor'."

Well, sadly it won't because a good many of the people who own cars like the BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne are so wealthy, they won't bat an eye at having to pay £25. They hardly seem worried by the cost of the fuel they use, do they?

BBC NEWS | England | London | Polluting cars face charge rise

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Friday, 10 November 2006

Billy IdolI had trouble believing this, but on Lost in the 80s we find:

Rebel Yule
Some shit you can't make up.

Frosty The Snowman
Silver Bells
Happy Holiday
Merry Christmas Baby
White Christmas
Here Comes Santa Claus
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Let It Snow
Winter Wonderland
Run Rudolph Run
Blue Christmas
Jingle Bell Rock
Christmas Love
Oh Christmas Tree
Silent Night
Auld Lang Syne

Due in stores (really, this is not a joke) from November 17th (click the image for the wonderful product via Amazon UK).

Lost In The 80s alternate track listing
Dancing With My Elf
Snow White Wedding
Sleighdle Of Love
Catch My (Snow) Fall

Lost in the '80s

A recent statement by renowned British botanist and broadcaster David Bellamy that Global Warming isn't actually happening has been comprehensively rubbished by George Monbiot writing in the Guardian:

For the past month a set of figures has been working a hole in my mind. On April 16 New Scientist published a letter from the British botanist David Bellamy. Many of the world's glaciers, he claimed, 'are not shrinking but in fact are growing . . . 555 of all the 625 glaciers under observation by the World Glacier Monitoring Service in Z├╝rich, Switzerland, have been growing since 1980'. His letter was instantly taken up by climate change deniers. And it began to worry me. What if Bellamy was right?

The figures that Bellamy cited must have come from somewhere. ... The data, he said, came from a website called [This site] was constructed by a man called Robert W Felix to promote his self-published book about 'the coming ice age', [which] claims that sea levels are falling, not rising; that the Asian tsunami was caused by the 'ice age cycle'; and that 'underwater volcanic activity - not human activity - is heating the seas'. Is Felix a climatologist, a volcanologist or an oceanographer? Er, none of the above. His biography describes him as a 'former architect'. His website is so bonkers that I thought at first it was a spoof.

It is hard to convey just how selective you have to be to dismiss the evidence for climate change. You must climb over a mountain of evidence to pick up a crumb: a crumb which then disintegrates in the palm of your hand. You must ignore an entire canon of science, the statements of the world's most eminent scientific institutions, and thousands of papers published in the foremost scientific journals. You must, if you are David Bellamy, embrace instead the claims of an eccentric former architect, which are based on what appears to be a non-existent data set. And you must do all this while calling yourself a scientist.

Guardian Unlimited | Guardian Weekly | Junk this science

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Thursday, 9 November 2006

Have managed to waste most of today trying to update Apache 2 and/or PHP 4 on our various Windows servers. Most problems are being caused by certain PHP libraries and extensions requiring other files. This can sometimes be solved by adding the php folder and/or the php/dll folder to the system path, but some libraries are not happy with that and require you to copy them to the Windows system folder instead. Why we still have software that relies on such a stupid practice I don't know. It means, of course, that when you update PHP later, you need to copy those same DLLs again.

More confusion results from the error message you get in Apache's error.log file if a library doesn't load - for example, it might say:
Unable to load dynamic library 'C:\\php\\extensions\\php_ldap.dll' - The specified module could not be found.
...which might suggest that either the DLL file itself is missing, or that your path to the extensions folder is incorrect. Neither was the case.

To summarize, I found that:
extension=php_domxml.dll required libxml2.dll in the path or windows/system32 folder
extension=php_ldap.dll required both libeay32.dll and ssleay32.dll in the windows/system32 folder
php_mbstring.dll php_exif.dll and php_gd2.dll do appear to need any other files and can simply be enabled

Additional fun and games are caused by an apparent bug in recent and current versions of Apache 2.0.x resulting in "faulting module libapr.dll" appearing repeatedly in the system error log. Apparently this can be ignored...

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

Have been trying to get a colleague's Toshiba Satellite 6100 laptop working today, following Barry Erick's excellent page. Sadly I couldn't fix it, but I thought I'd take some photos JIC they are of help to anyone else.
From BBC News Online this morning - the changing fortunes of online learning:

E-degree graduates 'first in UK'
Five students are thought to be the first in the UK to graduate with an online foundation degree. The business and management part-time course is taught entirely online over three years by Bournemouth University and Leeds Metropolitan University.

I have to wonder if this really is a first - I expect the Open University Vice-Chancellor might hold a different view.

Plus, a link to:

'Shameful waste' on e-university
A Labour MP has condemned a failed online degree scheme as a "shameful waste" of tens of millions of pounds of public money. Dr Ian Gibson, who chairs the science and technology committee at the Commons, called the UK's e-university "an absolute disaster".

So, if the Government funds it, its a waste of money - if the University does it off its own bat, it works.

Plus, a link to a story on KMi's Virtual Degree Ceremony (although we're not actually mentioned):

Open University's online graduation
Students around the world have taken part in the United Kingdom's first online graduation ceremony. Twenty-six students in eight countries were presented for their masters degrees in an online graduation on Friday.

Shame the VDC died a death. Perhaps in these times of growing eco-awareness (reluctance to travel), its time it was brought to life again?

Monday, 6 November 2006

The nanny state is alive and well:
"A council has warned staff who send 'ageist' birthday cards to colleagues that they could be breaking the law. Workers at South Gloucestershire council have been told that age-related jokes could constitute discrimination or even harassment."

BBC NEWS | England | Bristol | Birthday card could be 'ageist'

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Sunday, 5 November 2006

Northampton motorcycle club hosted their last championship event of 2006 today at a course near Long Buckby. A full gallery available on line now.

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The new series of Planet Earth showed the plight of an adult male Polar bear who, with its home ice melting, swam miles out to sea to find land - and food. It finally came across a colony of walrus - but was unable to make a kill, received severe injuries trying and eventually died of starvation. Its was the most moving television I have seen in years.

With global warming on the increase, how long will it be before all the Arctic ice has disappeared - and the polar bear looses its home for good?

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