You may wonder why I like it so much, well its quite simple. There is not another Olympic logo like it. Fair enough other Olympic logos work and indeed look good (see here) Only problem is they all look the same, they all have the same elements and all show some kind of recognisable symbol or mark, that is of the host nation. I like the London 2012 logo because its different, simple and there is nothing like it, even if it was a little expensive.
I have a ever growing iTunes library, but sometimes when importing stuff, the ID3 tags go all wrong, or in the in Japanese/Non-English Characters. So like many geeks I hate having to mess with each ID3 tag individualy even if iTunes makes it easy. Solution CDDB and a little script from dougscripts.co. You simply go to the playlist, run the first script which searches CDDB to find the album your playing, then you run the second script that then copies the page details and puts them in your ID3 tags. Voila! your library is nice and perfectly formed.
5 Reasons to switch from IE to something else:
- Its Horrible confusing and counter-intuitive (in versions 5 - 7)
- Its unSafe See Here
- It causes headaches on a monumental scale, I only play with web design its not a serious job and it give me headaches I can only imagine what it does to the poor developers that design sites for a living.
- Pop-Ups - whilst installing Google's toolbar and using pop-up blockers built into the latest version IE its still not good enough, with a couple of firefox extensions you can block anything you don't want easily and you can even stop the annoying "Zap Me!" ads
- This is the simplest of all the reasons, its made by Microsoft and therefore supports there own proprietary software and activex controls, which should really be named entry points for spyware and nasty painfully hard to remove software that you simply don't want
Simply put switch and make your life more productive and Kill Off Bills Browser
In the beginning, the iPod let you listen to every CD you owned, even when you were stuck on the Red Line. Then Steve Jobs said, "Let there be video," and lo and behold, you could watch "Lost" die a slow, overwritten death on a two-inch screen. But while people seem content to load their little devices with as many songs and TV shows as possible, podcasts (think of them as radio programs that you download) tend to be neglected.
Listen and Learn With Podcasts - washingtonpost.com
The Answer = Not anytime soon
Why? it all falls down to the mentality of the person learning and the fact that listening to a podcast is a passive occupation, were as good learning will always be active.
Increasing technology use within schools, colleges and university's can do nothing but help the way we learn and consume that learning materials. Being able to access course materials 24/7 is a great resource to have but you don't remember the stuff you do aswell as you would from a classroom.
I think there will inevitably be some invention that takes podcasting and vidcasting out of the passive domain into the interactive and maybe then we can consider replacing the classroom. Until then I think classrooms are safe.
Designing in general can seem complicated and daunting but with just a few photoshop techniques in your toolbox. You can create a logo for you in a couple of hours or less.
You start with a blank sheet
Like all good things its best to start with no computer, a soft pencil, rubber and blank sheet of paper will do. Start by just randomly sketching something and then start working that into a logo (say you initials for example) You can spend as long as you like making this drawing look something like how you want it, but it doesn't have to be very neat.
Next step take a photo of your design (or scan it) I tried drawing my logo free hand straight on the my fantastic Wacom Intuos3 tablet, but it never looked right. This way works best for those of us who aren't 100% confident with the graphics tablet.
Follow the Yellow Brick Road
Now for the slightly more complicated bit, open up your photo in photoshop and start using the pen tool, to trace over your logo. You can find a fantastic tutorial on the pen tool over on PixelPerfect
You can then continue and play with the path till its perfect (this is why you pencil drawing didn't need to be perfect)Then fill the path with a gradient by creating a gradient layer and using the path to mask it. Repeat this process until all elements of your logo.
Add a bit of text and you have yourself a logo. Its not that difficult, really. The harder part is making your website match your logo.
If you've read my earlier posts on quantum computers and artilects, you may have thought "Thats all very interesting but its not gonna happen in my lifetime" well you'd be wrong. You can now pick up from D-Wave a 16-Qubit computer.
While its not quite upto the standard of Andromeda' we're getting closer.
I have been a bit low on the postings lately, hopefully I am about to change this. New theme new ideas (thats the idea) I now intend to keep content fresh and also make it easy to get to the content on the site. As you may know/see this new theme is based on hemingway and is a big contrast to the old website. The idea is to get all the content on the site is places were its easy to get to and easy to share and bookmark. Only time will tell if the theory will work out OK. I plan to post every other day or maybe more depending on what I feel Like.
I have been pondering this one for a while and I just can't seem to get it resolved in my mind, like most things its double edged.
In my case i think that blogging has significantly improved my written (pity I didn't pick a-level english) I also find it easier to write longer more in-depth things that I would ordinarily just leave well alone.
Think of it, outside of the blogging context though. You write lots, you get better at writing, blogging is just an extension of that writing skill. You then have the flip side, the fact that you can get so into the blogging and other related things on the web that you then spend less time working and more time blogging. The key would seem to be getting the right balance of blogging and work, lets say the blog to work ratio. In my case I would love to spend every living moment making stuff for the web, and blogging. Alas I need to work because I aren't doing particularly well on the maths side of things but Computing is entirely other story.
Sorry for disjointed nature of this post, and the fact it would seem to posting for postings sake but I think it's genuinely instresting to actually see what benefits you get from blogging. We all want to blog or do we?
"Everyone thinks they have something to say, until they're put on stage and asked to say it." Mr Plummer
We are entering a time were computers run our lives, we put blind faith into them (do you take a regular backup?) and also are starting to increase the amount of transactions we take online, with the populisation of internet shopping and internet banking in no small contributed by eBay and PayPal.
We (depending were you read this blog) live in countries with few or no laws on how to protect ourselves online, fair enough there's the DPA in the UK which goes somewhere near but there is no clear definition of what constitutes hacking or any other cyber-offence.
It stupidly simple to get access to a computer that you don't own that its scary. You can take a standard off the shelf USB stick, push it in a computer it will create you a Administrator account a remote user account and give you the password to anybody who logs into that machine. Many homes now are switching to wi-fi indeed BT offer there Home Hub which is wireless with all there packages, albeit with a very simple 64-bit encryption assigned to it, but who's responsibility is it to secure there wi-fi, I am firmly in the camp that if you leave it open its fair game to anybody, but just think about what you do online in a particular day and how much somebody could find about you it just a few hours on your network. Its enough to steal your Identity and rob you blind, yet many people just don't understand the scope of the problem.
It's all well and good knowing that these things are problems but how do we stop this from happening in the first place. As yet I haven't been able to come up with a single thing that could be feasibly enforced, or surrendering our own privacy to some higher power (which I don't think anybody in there right mind would be comfortable with. This is a problem that is almost as big as Global Warming if we manage to survive what ever apocalyptic event we make. Yet, we continue for the most part ignoring the fact it is a problem and how it would effect you if your identity was cloned and bank accounts cleaned, not a particularly nice thought.
I have dabbled in many office applications google's offerings microsoft open office and some i cant even remember.
I am amazed at ThinkFree Office it is exactly what a web app should be and the learning curve is 0 cos it looks just like office on you desktop. Wel done guys, and ThinkFree Office is my default Office of choice.
And I got this from 5 minutes using it.
This is a continuation of "The Rise of the Artilects"
Artilect: Artificial intelligence (also known as machine intelligence and often abbreviated as AI) is intelligence exhibited by any manufactured (i.e. ) system. The term is often applied to general purpose computers and also in the field of scientific investigation into the theory and practical application of AI. Wikipedia
An Article that dropped into my feed reader at the beginning of the week, describes a system devised by Hitatchi which monitors the person haemoglobin levels in the Brain (Optical Typography) The use of this is very limited now but could have a large impact on the way we intereface with technology but also for people who are paralysed, a clear example of converging technologies.
I never really took myself as much as a designer, I just know what looks good and what doesn't and what works and doesn't. I am starting to venture out into abit of web developing and learning a hell of alot along the way and really enjoying it.
I don't think I am at the stage were I could confidently create a wordpress theme from scratch but I aren't far off. Now, onto the link at the top of the page, I found it quite by accident (I can't remember now how exactly I didi find it) Its an excellent presentation, and has some interesting stuff for anybody in design, whether it be a beginner, semi-beginner (me) or Experienced.
With the web becoming a self-purpetuating cloud of buzz words and ways for us to communicate for free, could we live without it. Simple answer is; NO, we just couldn't live without the resoruce that is the web.
So why is this? Well a biased look at myself might be a place to start so: I sit a my mac far too long and have often been told to get a life, but every bit of information I could ever want is at hand be it current affairs, or historical information or maybe just what did I put in that e-mail yesterday - its all there, and it even follows me around.
So what of the generation that is not of the internet age, i.e. my parents. So theres my mum who buys and sells on eBay, my dad uses a Powerbook to do the photography stuff he enjoys and casually surfs the net.
My sister is sucked into the IM revolution, the fact I only get messages saying "jack my computers broke how do I fix it?" I don't really bother with it.
My sister doesn't have a mySpace account and neither do I, and this is where my problem begins with web 2.0 I like having access to all the breadth of information but I arent interested in the social networking rubbish. We are already to dependant on Computers, and people are getting Fatter and Fatter, but there is, nothing like a face to face conversation with somebody, you can correspond with somebody via e-mail (this is espescially true in business) and like what you hear, but when you actually see the person you don't after having a face to face conversation, doing everything online cuts out this judgement.
I only see mySpace as a collecting pot for the popular and the unpopular and the people in the middle of the scale just dont fit in with the way the system works, we then have the inherent problems with such a online network which have been widely published but no-one has come up with a solution that works. The actual solution is quite simple, do it in the real world.
Moving on from my rant on mySpace, and on to broader things. The internet is starting to populate every little facet of out lives, I don't go a morning without checking my emails and reading the latest news online, but also its going further there are fridges that will do your shopping online for you, all you have to do is zap the barcode on the way out from the fridge.
Are we becoming the masters of our on destruction, putting all our things online centralizing everything we are certainly already more at risk to ID theft and fraud. Do we need to become more aware of the security of our details? and should we constantly be thinking online we are at risk?
On the flip side, we benefit in areas putting everything online, by having having everything within reach at any web access point, I can sit down in town and tell my iMac at home to record a film on that night with a click. My phone can alert me when that important e-mail drops in my inbox. Overall I would say I am the worst organized person I know, but having multiple ways to access my data I have so far managed to keep everything going and on-time, especially with college stuff.
I think overall we shouldn't get paranoid but, we should be ever more aware about how much about us we put online and how many databases we are in and what that data does when it is no longer used. Is it wrong to ask a company like google to remove all you details from there databases (think google Accounts) when you no longer use there service anymore and is there a procedure for this, the UKs data protection act says not, but other countries aren't so controlling in this regard; just this morning i got 4 e-mails from lycos even though I said remove my details from there database.
Do we need a universal law, on data protection and use on the internet? Would you sleep easier at night?
I am doing some work/research into SEO for myself and also northernmusiconline.co.uk and I have almost exclusively being looking at Google. It was only until last night when a yahoo'ed myself that a realized, 'god i forgot these'
I think its weird that I didn't think of it sooner, but seen as I use google almost exclusively its slightly understandable, but by that logic also if you advertise with Yahoos equivalent of AdWords are you going to get less results than using AdWords. This is once again Googles biggest asset slapping me around the face, the Brand.
Well the answer is simple, VERY.
We had a power cut yesterday and i could do nothing while the power came back on (about 35mins). We couldn't ring out on the Landline or VOIP line, watch the tele, do my day-to-day business on the interweb, i couldn't even hoover(yes i was forced to tidy up, and i still haven't finished)
But just think how much of our infrastructures are dependant on electricty? Increasingly Phones, Traffic Lights, Safety systems (these should have back-up power) Even the bare essentials are effected, showers, heating/AC, Cook Appliances. Practically everything goes off, i would be interesting to see how we could manage without power. The big power cut in New York a few years back highlights out dependancy how many millions did it cost and how many people were trapped or unable to commute in that 14hour stretch.
No moving to focus on the UK, with the amount of redundancy in the National Grid dropping as more and more pwer stations are taken offline we are going to face more and more power-cuts, which means we have to get big on renewables or nuclear, or even both. I have to say i arent a fan of nuclear but the fact is there is that many people who object to the current viable renewable means that nuclear is the only option.
N.B. I couldn't be bothered to link to sources for the information but it is freely available have a quick google.