Archives for category: Opinion

This is a legal battle which seems to be lighting up the technology blog space. Even though I don’t count myself as a “technology blog” I still feel the urge to throw my two cents into the ring.
From the snippets of evidence that I’ve seen, it seems quite obvious that Samsung has copied Apple, it also seems to me that several of the patents that Apple has should never have been granted.
So, my ideal outcome would look something like this: Samsung is fined, but a relatively small amount (especially compared to the amount that Apple seems to be after), maybe a few tens of millions of dollars.
This in my mind amounts to a stern slap on the wrist for Samsung, it should develop it’s own ideas and forge it’s own path (lets face it, that should be the best for consumers anyway).
However in addition to this I think there should be a negative taint to the outcome for Apple to dissuade them from throwing around lawsuits with such abandon.
Either the simple fact that the damages awarded are insignificant enough that the whole thing seems completely pointless, or one or more of their more obvious looking patents is rendered invalid.
Having said that I don’t envy the jury in the slightest it certainly seems to be a difficult trial!

I’ve just finished watching ‘The Cell’ on BBC iplayer. Not the rather dodgy film with J.Lo in but a three part documentary originally aired on BBC4 about the scientific process that led to the current understanding of the cell and life on earth. It is totally mind blowing how far science has come in just four centuries, and to be honest I wish I’d seen it sooner so I could recommend it before it expires on the iplayer site (runs out this evening). It served – for me – to highlight how much of what we take for granted took massive intuitive leaps for scientist of the day. For example, when the cell was first discovered by a linen maker in Denmark it was well understood that new life just appeared. Literally just popped into existence. There was even a written method for ‘appearing’ mice. Leave some grain in a jar along with some sweaty rags and ‘pop’ – one week later you had mice.
Then from seeing the cell for the first time there was a long time and lots of experimentation to find some ‘well known’ facts. e.g. All life is made of cells, cells have a nucleus, the nucleus contains chromosomes, cells with-out a nucleus or with more than one don’t work. Chromosomes are DNA, DNA is the code of life etc.
In the last episode the current state of the art research was outlined. In Harvard scientists are on the brink of making life.

Making life. I don’t think there is any way in written words to express how completely ground-breaking, history making and philosophically challenging this is. As soon as the human race has made life then we can essentially act like gods in our own playground. A scary thought at the best of times – but it’s actually happening. The next ten years have the potential to be very very interesting time to live in!!

Are they? Here is a list of 20 drugs, ordered by an average harm rating – consisting of Physical harm, Dependence and Social Harm.

  1. Heroin
  2. Cocaine
  3. Barbiturates
  4. Street Methadone
  5. Alcohol
  6. Ketamine
  7. Benzodiazepines
  8. Amphetamine
  9. Tobacco
  10. Buprenorphine
  11. Cannabis
  12. Solvents
  13. 4-MTA
  14. LSD
  15. Methylphenidate
  16. Anabolic Steroids
  17. GHB
  18. Ecstasy
  19. Alkyl Nitrites
  20. Khat

If you look at this list and compare it to the illegal drugs list for the UK, you do have to wonder what is going on.
Read the rest of this entry »

Well last night I watched the ‘pilot’ of the hit US TV drama Lost. Although to be honest I don’t think it was a pilot in the normal sense of the word. By this I mean, they didn’t create a realistic airplane wreck with explosions and collapses, and they didn’t go out to a big ol’ jungle type island and film lots of exiting things on the offchance that it’d be taken up by a TV company.
No I think of it as more of a feature length introduction.

That’s not the point, the point is WOW I can see my self getting quickly addicted to this series!
Several times while watching I was think ‘Oh no don’t go cheese on me this is getting good’. Everytime they did NOT go cheese, instead leaving vital factors to the imagination.

What’s that? You need an example?
O.K. right at the end of the first episode you see a vauge reflection in a pool of a dead guy in a tree. The characters see it too and all look up. ‘How does something like that happen?’ Asks one of the characters (or words to that effect I can’t remember exactly).
Do they pan up to cheesy effects?

No they cut, end of episode.
What happens? Indeed what did happen? Immediately you want to know more. Genius!
Almost as genius as me making the point but without giving away any of the plot ๐Ÿ™‚

Well it had to happen eventually. Both my writting about it and the actual event itself I suppose.
I have to admit that hearing about the terrorist attacks in London was quite a strange experience for me, at the time it just seemed slightly surreal and that was about it. The reality of the event was not really at that moving for me, people die all the time and harsh as it may sound, I treated this event in the same way that I treat many world problems: Mild indifference.

Then however, a change occured, on my way home from work. Instead of listening my my usual musicall selection I was listening to radio 4. The descriptions of the seemingly smooth operation of the emergency sevices plans for such events stired something in me. A sense of pride I suspect. National pride. At the way the British people coped with the explosions.

That was what moved me, not the horror of the event itself but the reaction to the event by the people involved in the event. This is, I think, the first time that a major historical event has occured and the internet has been a major source of information (for me anyway). Of course there are all the usual news sites and they are pretty much the same as reading the paper or watching the news, only quicker. But add to that the more personal accounts, un-edited and bluntly frank in their accounts, these blog entries were a totally different way off looking at the event.
This is an excellent example, so good infact that I found it through the bbc news website. Reading it you get a brief glimpse into the atmosphere of the blitz, or more specifically ‘the blitz spirit’.
Some excellent quotes from this account (in my opinion) I have coppied here, although I would strongly recommend you read the whole thing yourself.

Silence decended on the carriage apart from people choking and coughing, then someone near me quipped, โ€œWell, at least we got the Olympics!โ€

I called work, told them my train had exploded and said I was covered in all this black, icky stuff, so I was going home to get a bath. They said, โ€œSo weโ€™ll see you around lunchtime, then?โ€ Yeah. Right.


Well I’ve seen it now, and I thought it was damn good to be perfectly honest. Some people had voiced concern about ‘hollywoodisation’ of the historical aspects. Well I’m no expert on the crusades or anything but it all seemed pretty good to me!
Also, Ridley Scott as a director is no Steven Spielburg, if you know what I mean.
I don’t want to give anything away but it’s definately worth seeing. Possibly not quite as good as Gladiator but deffinately getting pretty damn close. Orlando Bloom is a pleasent supprise in the film. I’ve always had doubts about Orlando, having only seen him in Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean. I personally didn’t see a great deal of difference in the acting style between these two films, even thought the characters are quite different (Elf versus Human for starters).
Anyway this doubt has been firmly dispelled by Orlandos performance in Kingdom of Heaven and I look forwards to his next film. As long as it’s nothing like Calcium Kid, a film I refused to watch on principal (it looked crap).

Well I watched this film on DVD at the weekend, very good but also rather twisted!
Using excellent cinematography it shows the bad side of drugs and how they can really F88K UP people’s lives. Some of the bad trip scenes really put over how confusing and terrifying these kind of things can get, in a much better way than Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas did (thats also a damn good film though).
Put me off drugs for life, although admittedly I’ve kept them at a safe distance anyway, but hey ๐Ÿ™‚

A good film, I was hoping for a much more insightful opinion but my brain is not cooperating at this moment.
Has Jennifer Connelly as one of the stars, not really all that important appart from the fact that I thought I recognised her from somewhere. Turns out she was in ‘A Beautiful Mind’, ‘Labyrinth’ and The Hulk (probably where I recognised her from) and she has no relation to Billy Connelly, the well known stand up.

I have recently finished reading a book about punctuation. Now you may be thinking that this is quite possibly the dullest subject imaginable, but Eats, Shoots & Leaves (book of the year 2004) is a good read being humerous, light, and informative.
When I was at school, all those years ago, I didn’t get any lessons in grammar or punctuation, not that I remember anyway. This book has highlighted how little I actually know about the subtleties of english grammar. I have, thankfully, been able to pick up most of the basics from copious amounts of reading, but this has still left me quite wise in the art of proper punctuation and grammar.
“Wise?” I hear you ask, well if you accept the idea that wisdom is knowing that you know nothing, then yes, I am very wise.
While considering this fact on the train a thought struck me; if being wise means knowing you know nothing, surely wise people are also pretty negative?
Perhaps there should be proactive wisdom where you might say: ‘I know I know nothing and I’m going to do something about’, a scholarly wisdom if you like.
There would also be, I suppose, lethargic wisdom, where your thoughts would stray more along these lines: ‘I know I know nothing and I’m going to watch TV’, where you can feel safe in the knowledge that you are unlikely to learn anything from television and if anything remotely educational comes on then you can quickly change the channel.
I like to thing that I am proactively wise, although I must admit this activity is restricted to subjects that grab my attention.
What kind of wisdom do you have?
Are you wise at all for that matter?

Notice how I’m trying to insight a lively debate of sorts.

Feel free to correct my grammar and punctuation, it’s the only way I’ll learn. ๐Ÿ™‚

It was a few months ago now that I first heard the term ’emo’ in relation to a musical genre, at first of course I was completely comfused and had no idea what it was all about.
Shortly however it became clear that this was ’emotional’ music, so the followers of emo listened to emotionally charged music. I thought this was a fantastic idea, a genre of music that transends and encompasses all other types of music.
Why – my thinking continued – this could include dramatic opera, rousing classics, (some) pop music and also rock, jazz, hip-hop, R’n’B, maybe even some dance… especially the darker beats with moody breakdowns…

unfortunately I soon discovered that it wasn’t this interesting and gound breaking at all.
Emo music in fact means aggressive guitar thashing and incoherent screaming… aka crap (in my book).

So with this massive disapointment I will make my own music genre ’emot’ which will be all that I thought ’emo’ was going to be, and more.

Join me
Join emot

A few minutes ago…

*beep*… my phone is on quite mode because I’m at work, I pick up:

me: Hello
them:Ah, hello I’m calling from O2 and I’m hoping to save you some money on your mobile phone bill.
them:Now you’re on pay as you go at the moment aren’t you?
me:No I’m on T-mobile mix-it
them:Ah you’re on a contract, you wouldn’t happen to know how long you’ve got left on that do you?
me:About seven months
them:Oh… you’ve got seven months left? Well sorry to waste your time then.

Not the first time a cold caller has failed miserably to sell me anything and with out me having to say a word out of turn ๐Ÿ™‚

me = proud