Friday, 29 August 2008

Comedy producer Geoffrey Perkins dies

"BBC NEWS | UK | Comedy producer dies in accident
The former BBC TV head of comedy has died in a road accident in London. Geoffrey Perkins, 55, worked for many years for BBC Radio, where he created the game Mornington Crescent in I'm Sorry Haven't a Clue. He also produced the radio series of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the first BBC Radio comedy in stereo. He also worked for Hat Trick productions on shows including Spitting Image and Father Ted."

This came as a bit of a shock.

BBC NEWS | UK | Comedy producer dies in accident

McCain picks female running mate

"BBC NEWS | World | Americas | McCain picks female running mate
US Republican presidential hopeful John McCain has picked Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska, as his surprise running mate. At 44, she is three years younger than Barack Obama and is credited with reforms during her first term, but she is relatively unknown in US politics."

Now, tell me that this isn't a sly move to pick up Hillary supporters who don't like Barack!

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | McCain picks female running mate

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Sync iCal and Google Calendar

"BusySync - Sync iCal and Google Calendar - from BusyMac
With BusySync it's incredibly easy to share iCal calendars with family or coworkers on your LAN without the need for a dedicated server. Shared calendars can be viewed and edited by multiple users, and changes are instantly published and synchronized with all users on the network. You can even make changes to shared calendars while offline and your changes will sync when you reconnect to the network.
"

At last - some Mac software that will allow you to publish one or more iCal calendars on the web (via Google Calendars) without getting into the horrendous sync problems you inevitable end up with when using software that goes both ways. And it doesn't need 10.5 or the very latest version of iCal either! UK cost is £17 inc VAT.

BusySync - Sync iCal and Google Calendar - from BusyMac

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

iPhone ad rapped

"BBC NEWS | Technology | iPhone ad rapped as 'misleading'
A television advert for the iPhone misled consumers, the Advertising Standards Authority has ruled.

Two complaints to the watchdog noted that the advert said "all the parts of the internet are on the iPhone". But the ASA said because the iPhone did not support Flash or Java, the claim was misleading.

Apple had argued its claim referred to availability of webpages, rather than their specific appearance.
"

Ah, so its great that you can get to the URL of a Flash website - but its not actually important that you can read any of it? Come off it, Apple - that's never going to fly.

BBC NEWS | Technology | iPhone ad rapped as 'misleading'

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Shell V-Powers their profits

Filled up with Shell V Power (99 RON) again yesterday and thought I'd take a leaflet about their drivers' club. If you opt for the "money off petrol vouchers", you get 1/2p per litre bought and the lowest value voucher they'll send you is £2.50. In other words, you need to buy 500 litres to get anything, and at the current price (118.9p/litre), that's £594.50 to get £2.50 back - or 0.4% discount. Whoopy do!

Shell earnings last year? £13.9Bn - or £1.5m per hour.

Are these two facts related at all?

Friday, 22 August 2008

'Massive failure' over data loss

"BBC NEWS | Politics | 'Massive failure' over data loss
Ministers have been accused of a "massive failure of duty" after thousands of criminals' details, stored on a computer memory stick, were lost. Details of 84,000 prisoners in England and Wales were lost by private firm PA Consulting.

The missing device includes un-encrypted details about 10000 prolific offenders. It also includes the including names, dates of births and some release dates of all 84000 prisoners in England and Wales - and a further 33000 records from the police national computer.

PA Consulting is one of the companies that has been involved in developing the government's controversial ID card scheme - opposed by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
"

So they can't even keep hold of a small dataset - what are they going to be like with the whole country's data?

BBC NEWS | Politics | 'Massive failure' over data loss

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Peru moves to end Amazon protests

"BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Peru moves to end Amazon protests
Some 65 Amazon tribes say the law will make it easier for big energy companies to buy up their land, parts of which are known to be rich in oil and gas."

This is very bad news. Again big global businesses are being allow to ride rough-shod over the lives of indigenous people. Whilst it would be bad news anywhere else in the world, to allow any increase in the industrialisation of the Amazon rainforest is tragic.

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Peru moves to end Amazon protests

Thursday, 14 August 2008

A-level pass rate and A grades up - yet again

"BBC NEWS | Education | A-level pass rate and A grades up
There has been another increase in the A-level pass rate and the proportion of entries awarded the top A grade. Figures from the Joint Council for Qualifications show 97.2% of entries in England, Wales and Northern Ireland passed, up from 96.9%. A grades went to 25.9% of the entries, up from 25.3% - and in Northern Ireland more than a third achieved an A."

The pass rates are set by the exam boards. The only way that a higher percentage can pass is if they change the percentages. And that's exactly what they're doing. It started with the Tories and New Labour (aka Thatcherism continued) are perpetuating the trend. They're not getting easier - the kids aren't getting brighter - the exam boards are simply letting more people pass.

BBC NEWS | Education | A-level pass rate and A grades up

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Microsoft sees end of Windows era

"BBC NEWS | Technology | Microsoft sees end of Windows era
Microsoft has kicked off a research project to create software that will take over when it retires Windows. Called Midori, the cut-down operating system is radically different to Microsoft's older programs.
"

Well, if its "cut-down" its already radically different from any version of Windows!

BBC NEWS | Technology | Microsoft sees end of Windows era

Friday, 1 August 2008

UK in 'delusion' over emissions

"BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | UK in 'delusion' over emissions
The UK has been living under a delusion over its claim to be cutting greenhouse gases, according to two reports that will shake the climate change debate. They show that instead of falling since the 1990s, UK greenhouse emissions have been growing in line with the economy."

Who's deluded - who's deluding? The Government might be pulling the wool over people's eyes again, but the public know that New Labour's green credentials are pretty flimsy by their continuing insistance on allowing the expansion of airports. Green taxes on their own achieve nothing unless alternatives are provided - and I don't see much in the way of public transport construction going on.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | UK in 'delusion' over emissions