May 31, 2004

An American Almost Notices The Outside World

Dave Winer is trying to show the wider picture of the nationalities involved in the Iraq conflict.

He starts well...

"When people say it's just Americans in Iraq they're missing something..."

They are. Unfortunately, so is Mr. Winer...

"...America is so diverse, we have people of European, African, Asian, Latin descent."


As someone who often quotes BBC articles, I'd expect him to be better informed. From the top of my head I can list the UK, Japan, Australia and, until recently, Spain; and I don't follow the news stories about Iraq. Five seconds with google shows that in January, 35 countries other than the US had troops in Iraq and the aforementioned BBC provided a summary last month.

What hope is there if educated Americans are so uninformed?

Posted by Adrian at 08:05 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Photo Links

If you want an image for some CD artwork, or some web design, then there's a vast selection at Stock.XCHNG (royalty-free and cost free) and (royalty-free, and pretty cheap, plus you can upload your own photos and get paid if anyone uses them).

And then if you're using the Gimp (free image manipulation package) to manipulate them, has lots of useful tips and tutorials; something you'll need unfortunately, because the Gimp UI is rather unintuitive.

Posted by Adrian at 11:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 25, 2004

MP3s Of Illegal Tracks

Rather than the usual dubious infringement of copyright by distributing the MP3, these are MP3s of tracks that themselves have infringed copyright, usually by sampling somebody who objects to being sampled.

Here's a Webjay playlist for all the tracks on the page for anyone who wants a listen.

Check out the video page too, for gems like Dubya as the sun in the Tellytubbies.

Posted by Adrian at 10:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 23, 2004

A Little Wiser (But Not Much)

As usual, I've been beaten in getting the photos up from my 30th birthday party. Those of you who read the comments to May 15th's post will have seen Jo link to the pics on her Fotopic site, and Carl has managed to immortalize my shower curtain in his take on events.

This year I did a much better job of managing my alcohol intake, resulting in my survival until the 7am close, and virtually no hangover the morning after. I had a blast!

Posted by Adrian at 05:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

In Praise Of Polymaths

Polymath: n. person of great and varied learning.

Sounds much more fun than being narrowly focused on one aspect of one field of interest. The problem with being a modern-day polymath, as Suw Charman points out, is that the world would rather you specialized. Of course, it's entirely possible that olden-day polymaths like Leonardo Da Vinci had the same problem, I don't know.

Focus hasn't troubled me unduly, at least not in my career. I've managed to stay mostly in the mobile phone / embedded software arena, and varied life with stints in protocol development, project management, application development, software porting, and a while as a COO.

Even that limited diversity brings problems. Given the precarious nature of my finances whilst launching my own business, I'm keeping one eye out for opportunities to earn a little extra cash; but it's hard to succinctly explain my wide range of talents*. Do I list the programming languages in which I can code? (C, C++, PHP, Perl...) Or a list of acronyms my code has understood? (TCP/IP, PPP, HTTP, GIF, HTML...) Devices my code has run on? (Nokia 6600 et al., Siemens SX1, Sony Z5 et al., Psion Series 5, Amstrad em@iler, Linux PC, Windows PC...) Those are the standard geek identifiers, but miss the management side of things; project or department management isn't something I could do for a short period of time, but I could advise software companies on their management, or their software process.

So many possibilities. So many other things I'd like to dabble in: building hardware; design; my artistic side (even if that's just creating some more cakes). And at the same time I have to make my fortune and make the world a better place. Hopefully, having my own business will give me some of the flexibility to pursue this multi-faceted agenda, or at least the techie part of it.

Experiment? Adventure? Impossible? Probably all three, but it's going to be fun.

* I know, so modest...
Posted by Adrian at 12:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 22, 2004

May 18, 2004

New Grand Theft Auto?

And to think I still haven't bought GTA: Vice City, there's now Grand Theft Auto: Lego City ;-)

Posted by Adrian at 11:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 15, 2004

The Saints Go Marching In

My birthday afternoon preparations for tonight's party have been continually interrupted by the excitement flowing from the TV tuned to the Powergen Challenge Cup Final.

It's a local derby game between the two big names in rugby league, my home town team of Saint Helens vs. next-door neighbours Wigan.

An excellent game, with Saints romping home 32 - 16 after a pretty evenly matched first half. A few of my oldest mates will be busy celebrating that result tonight, and hopefully raising a glass to my 30th birthday, seeing as they've missed the party for the game.

A good week for sport all round - Saints winning the Challenge Cup, and Liverpool qualifying for the Champions' League next season.

Posted by Adrian at 04:56 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 14, 2004

The Trailer Is Out For Pixar's New Film

The Incredibles. I can't wait.

Posted by Adrian at 06:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Ciao, I'm Off To Italy To Join The Police

Let's see, I could take the Integrale back to her home, as my personal transport. Then join the Italian police and get to drive this as a company car!

Posted by Adrian at 06:08 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 12, 2004

Supergrass At The Cambridge Corn Exchange

Supergrass is 10. So says the badge I was given as we entered the Corn Exchange on Monday night. Those three words have done a better job of making me feel old than my impending thirty-ness.

We were there early, in plenty of time to catch the support act. The 22-20s, who sound like Motorhead fronted by Crispin Mills with a hint of Metallica and The Animals. Their distorted, heavy rock lent itself well to their infectious, energetic up-tempo numbers but was a little uneasy and monotonous with the slow ones; which unfortunately includes the upcoming single, 'Shoot your gun'.

Supergrass took to the stage at 9:15: superb from the get-go, the first organ notes from In It For The Money being delightfully drawn out for the band's entrance. Then followed an hour and a half of hit after hit, drawn from all their albums, broken masterfully in the middle with an acoustic section played from the relaxed setting of a brown leather sofa. I'd forgotten how many great songs they've got, no prizes for working out what's been on the MP3 player since...

Update: There are a few pictures of the gig available at Jean-Luc Benazet's website, currently on the News page: 13 May 2004.

Posted by Adrian at 11:00 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 07, 2004

[Bouncing Back] Marketing Without A Budget

This was the first session of the day, so we were all getting used to how it was going to work. The format was an open discussion amongst the group, facilitated by the session hosts, so things jumped about a bit. My rough notes...

  • Speaking at trade shows/seminars is a good way of raising your companies profile. After a while, the organisers will tend to increase pressure to have stands, attend shows where you'll be a paying customer, etc.
  • Trade Partners UK will help with costs for trade shows (possibly just those abroad)
  • Google and Overture adwords well thought of within the group
  • Annual reports for competitors often include information about the market, and are generally freely available from their website
  • Hiring MBA students as interns can be very cost effective, and hopefully provide good prospective employees in a couple of years
  • Providing free tech papers or books as freebies can drive traffic to your website

And as a couple of the attendees were involved with journalism, there were a couple of pointers on dealing with the press
  • Noticing technical errors in news stories and (politely) suggesting corrections is a good way of introducing yourself to a journalist. There's a fair chance you'll be noted down as a "friendly expert" on the topic, and then contacted for quotes on related stories in future
  • Target the right journalist at the paper when sending out press releases. Shows that you've spent some effort, and helps stop your press release being lost in all those just sent to the paper

Posted by Adrian at 08:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 06, 2004

Weren't You Wearing That Last Year?

I see that Carl has linked to the photos of his and Jo's party. Much fun, although I fear I overstayed my welcome by partaking of the karaoke until around 4:30am.

Hopefully the theme chosen for their next party will be such that I'm not tempted to just accessorize my suit again...

Posted by Adrian at 03:29 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Now this would look cool in my back garden!

Posted by Adrian at 10:23 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 04, 2004

Latent Semantic Indexing

LSI still conjours up memories of early 90s rave tunes, but it can also be Latent Semantic Indexing, a clever method for searching collections of documents

So if you're interested in text search (something I'm rather surprised that I am), here's a rather techie, but comprehensive introduction to what Latent Semantic Indexing is, and how to do it.

Posted by Adrian at 09:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack