asides quickie

Multitasking Myth

Vanity link: The Multitasking Myth


Tesla Roadster first impressions

Tesla Roadster – the first impressions: you know, the electric sports car? I can’t wait to hear Top Gear’s review of it. The torque curve sounds off the chart (0 – 6000rpm at max torque!).

the daily column


Here’s a challenge for you: what will communication look like in 3 – 5 years?

Two of my housemates are currently studying Moving Image Design, and that is their design brief for a theorhetical ad for Orange (project is sponsored by Orange and winner takes home a small prize for their efforts). Last night around the dinner table we had a chat about it, and actually found it incredibly difficult to pick what would happen in 5 years.

If it was 50 years from now, there’d be no problem – you could dream up pretty much anything (within reason) and it’d sound plausible. But 3 – 5 years means it’s just beyond the technology horizon, and so requires a little bit of thought and a little bit of imagination, but within limits. 5 years ago, wireless networking was at its nascent beginnings. 3 years ago, phones were just beginning to hit their strides as multimedia devices, though it all looks pretty familiar really (remember, it was only 2005).

Before you say it, the iPhone – not that revolutionary; my dad had a touchscreen PDA 3 years ago. Sure, it wasn’t as slim or as fancy as the iPhone, but it still did (does) the whole mail, web, music, videos, and all that song-and-dance that the iPhone does (except the iPhone does it better, to be sure). Not that revolutionary.

Probably the most fun thing we came up with before we devolved into looking at funny ads on YouTube was an OLED shirt with constantly moving images, such as, for example, waves sloshing around whenever the wearer moves.

What do you reckon communication will be like in 5 years?


Last.FM plays full songs free online

Full songs are now available to be listened to on Last.FM: Damn, now you can tell exactly how awful my music taste is without having to go get the songs yourself. Security through obscurity for a little while, though!

asides opinion

Obama on MLK

Barack Obama on MLK and the Civil Rights movement: Obama (and his speechwriters?) is bringing back the great art of oratory (via).

I obviously can’t vote in America, but Obama seems to be the most well-spoken and inspiring candidate out there. The other candidates all look like they’ve calculated their lines and positions by polls; if Obama has, he’s a lot more subtle about it. Whoever gets the nomination, if it’s not him, fer cryin’ out loud, make him your VP.

the daily column

Now this is cricket


Now that was a proper Test match.

I’m not bitter or anything, but this could’ve been 2-1, you know what I mean? Or at least 1-1. That would’ve made things interesting.

the daily column

A few short minutes

Returning from watching Les Miserables, I was in an oddly cheery mood, given the subject matter of the musical. I’d seen a visiting friend off home, and was now returning home when she got on.

She was with her friends, and they’d been sitting in front of me in Les Mis. It wouldn’t have mattered, because she was the kind I would have noticed across the theatre. Her hair was almost a cherry blonde, darker perhaps, artificial, a shining beacon that made her unmistakable. The vagaries of connections on the underground meant we made it to the same train, the same carriage, despite my earlier detour.

Perhaps she recognised me, as she sat opposite, for she flashed a small smile my way. Perhaps it was just a brief courtesy when eyes met, for I had my headphones on. I turned the music down a little, eavesdropping on the conversation with her friends, sitting to the side of me, held across the carriage.

From the accents of her and another, I imagined them to be tourists; her accent suggested Chinese, though her command of English was good – perhaps Hong Kong. Settled in the seat, she turned her attention to her shopping. The bags were unique, one suggesting a visit to the milliner, the other a Harrods bag design I’d not seen before, Harrods further enforcing the tourist image.

the daily column

Lessons Learnt Tonight

a) Don’t rush dinner. Really, take your time to prepare it.

b) Whole wheat pasta is healthier for you, but it also takes longer to cook completely. 4 minutes more, in fact, according to the instructions on the packet.

c) Al dente is intended to be a lot more al than dente.

d) Carbonara sauce is the wrong sauce to pick for a vegetable pasta.


Movie Review – Quickie Edition V

The Great Escape – An oldie but a goodie to start the year. Superb movie – if you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a service and have a look-see. ★★★★★

I Am Legend – Will Smith is the last man left alive, a virologist named Robert Neville who has survived a virus which turns people into aggressive, cannibalistic, vampire-esque zombies who cannot come out in the day. Great effects, especially the empty New York, makes the setting effective. Smith plays the character well, and the zombies for the most part live up to the hype, but the plot has some holes in it that you’re expected to ignore for the sake of the horror/action part of the flick. Very different from the book, apparently. ★★★

Stardust – based on the novel by Neil Gaiman, Stardust is a fantasy flick that doesn’t try to follow in the footsteps of Lord of the Rings et al. This is more of an old fashioned fantasy adventure, with all the cues, and a well executed (albeit obvious) romance angle to boot – Gaiman in particular is adept at weaving the romance with the fantastic, and the actors don’t disappoint in executing the vision. ★★★★ (am kicking myself for not watching it sooner)

Wag the Dog – A political dark comedy set in the Clinton era; a president hoping to get re-elected needs something to distract the media when a potential sex scandal arises late in the campaign. Robert De Niro plays the deep-cover spin doctor who is brought in to save the day, as he stages a war built on rumor and doctored footage, with the able assistance of Dustin Hoffman’s Hollywood producer, to make it seem like the nation is at war and thus swaying the public to the incumbent. A little dated but very pointed and incisive. ★★★

3:10 to Yuma – Ponderous, slow burning Western from the school of old school westerns. ★★☆

National Treasure – Dear god, who comes up with these plots? Grabbing every possible conspiracy theory it can, this is cringe-worthy action that tries to be more intellectual about things. Not. ☆

Shoot ’em Up – The point at which you will realise how ridiculous this movie is when Clive Owen takes out a team of Secret Service agents while skydiving from a passenger jet. Forget realistic – this movie has no relation to reality what so ever. ★★ (one star all by itself for Monica Bellucci for… just being Monica Bellucci.)

War (a.k.a. Rogue Assassin) – Looks like a by-the-numbers organised crime movie until about 10 minutes from the end, and then… voila, good twist! Guess that, audience. Not enough ass-kicking, but that can be forgiven. ★★☆


Nora Zehetner

Nora Zehetner (above) is my new favourite cutie. Also, this movie needs watching more than once just to follow the goddamn slang, but it wouldn’t be the same without it. Feels very Chandler-esque. ★★★★☆

the daily column

When the boss is away…

… I update twitter, apparently. My bosses for three levels are out of office today, leaving me most senior in the room with 4 others. Yikes.  And what do I do? I… slack off. And answer support emails, so I don’t have to write test cases. Woo procastination. Productive procrastination at that.

I bought a new coat! Having lost my earlier one, stupidly. I even followed all most of the guidelines I set out before.

That is all.