The Sock Diary

Musings of a part-time Sweaty Sock.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Huge 'star-quake' rocks Milky Way

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Huge 'star-quake' rocks Milky Way:
This radio emission persists as the shockwave from the explosion moves out through space, ploughing through nearby gas and exciting matter to extraordinary energies.
Maybe this explains the Linksys problems ;)

Online metaverse

Wired News: Second Life Intrudes on First One. I heard one of the programmers of this on an IT Conversations podcast today and went to have a look. If you've read any of the Otherland series by Tad Williams, you may have a inkling of what this is about. It sounds pretty awesome. I just need some time to check it out. Stag night for one of my mates tomorrow and Sunday. It's gonna hurt.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Apple suspends online hack subpoenas

The Indirect Case For Life On Mars

ANother possibility for life on Mars. The paper's is being peer-reviewed for publication. Maybe, just maybe....

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

It's a Tough Life

Tough Life
Originally uploaded by partTimeSock.
The dogs look accusingly at me while I blog.

Murdoch Rethinking the web?

The Guardian has an article about Murdoch rethinking the web. I this the first big rumble of the future vision of EPIC and Dave Winer? I hope so. See also my previous post.

Apple Being Idiots

Why can't Apple just leave it alone? Don't they realise how much PR damage they're doing to themselves? Going after your own zealots is plain dumb.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Forget what I said about AirTunes not working in the previous post. I just noticed the AIrport Express speakers were still an output option in iTunes on the Mac, so I plugged a pair of powered speakers into the Airport, and once again it just worked. I'm smiling.

I'll have to get the decent mini-speakers and amp from the kitchin....

Linksys vs Airport

Wifi failed to work, except intermittently, since Sunday morning. Got fed up just now. Turned the wireless off on the Linksys WAG54G and plugged one end of a Cat 5e Ethernet cable into one of the router ports and the other into the Airport Express. Fast, functioning wifi throughout the house about five seconds after. It's on a funnily named Apple network created by the Airport Express but it just works.

No more AirTunes, but I have the Ipod dock plugged into the stereo, and an IR Navipod controller for the Ipod, so can surf on the Powerbook, and listen to tunes on the stereo.

Security of the network is worrying me, but it can worry me tomorrow.

Top tips for those of you thinking about a Wifi network. Get an Airport base station and, if you have a big house, an Airport Express. Costs about 40 quid more, but you'll save that and more in frustration and configuration time.

I've had two wifi routers from Linksys, both have been great over cable, neither has ever worked properly with wifi, even when I've had people come in to sort them or talked to Linksys themselves. Go figure.

Monday, February 14, 2005

No more 'I know best', says Blair

Guardian Unlimited Politics | Special Reports | No more 'I know best', says Blair:
Urging Labour not to be complacent in the coming election - the main theme of the three-day conference - he said: 'Where we have lost support, we go out and try and win it back. Where we have lost friends, we try to persuade them to come back to the fold. Where we have made mistakes, we say so.'

So when the admittance of the lies and FUD about WMD, Al-Qaida working with Iraq, etc, etc going to happen then? I expect breast beating

Siemens developing invisible 'post-its'

I don't know why, but I find the idea of digital graffiti, leaving location specific notes for you or your mates to pop up the next time you or they are there, fantastic. Can't explain why, but looking forward to this.

Digital Media Europe: News - Siemens developing invisible 'post-its'

Sunday, February 13, 2005

WiFi - the saga continues

Well, after a rather long day, wifi is working again, dunno how long for, but am going to bed now. Suffice to say (until tomorrow when I write it all up), linksys are to blame for the problems, not Apple.

iPhoto is excellent. iTunes is as lovely on the Mac as on the PC, but feels more "in place". AirTunes is great.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Apple Update

WiFi is crap. Now totally fails to work. Posted this from the PC. Am reading Apple help files (joy). To be fair, couldn't get WiFi to work properly with my old PC laptop either.

Still playing...

Setup a .mac account, started up Garageband and added some cowbell to a short reverb and echo full sound check. Excellent. Checking out ipodderX Light. Not sure what it's going to give me over ipodder, but will have a look.

Safari isn't really my cup o'char, might have to be a sneaky Firefox download tomorrow. Wifi is offically great, if a little slow I think. Maybe I can tweak that.

My first post from an Apple Mac

Wow. What a lovely piece of kit. The only thing we had problems with was the wifi, but since I don't really understand how wifi is setup, that wasn't particularly surprising. Anyway, it works now. I'll post a detailed experience rundown tomorrow. Might go to Starbucks and see if I can get the wifi "just working" :)

Friday, February 11, 2005

Batman Begins

LokiTorrent Shutdown

LokiTorrent Shutdown

Death by Litigation (Score:5, Insightful)
by slusich ... on Friday February 11, @10:18AM (#11641609)

Regardless of the legality of the site, it is down now simply because they didn't have the money to fight a lawsuit. This is a dangerous trend which has been going on for far too long.

U.S. Scientists Say They Are Told to Alter Findings

This kind of stuff just makes me mad. Even taken with a large pinch of salt, it adds to the perception that the big business special interests lobby (very well-funded) are able to influence what happens at a national and international level to their benefit (short-term profits), rather than what's best for a country/world view (long-term sustainable).

About Podcasting

4 Minutes About Podcasting is a short video (can you guess how long?) about podcasting. Before 2mins 14secs, is what podcasting is, after is how to install iPodder and setup some podcasts. Good job

Apple Mac "Out for Delivery"

Whoo-hoo. Might get it this afternoon.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Apple Powerbook getting closer

ActivityLocationDateTime (GMT)
Cleared CustomsDUIVEN, GE, NL09 Feb 2005 17:26
Shipment Picked UpEINDHOVEN, NB, NL09 Feb 2005 22:15

It's only been 41 days since I ordered it. Apple have assured me it'll be worth the wait....

This is why I don't trust the EU

Stuff like this about the Software patents is just such a bloody stupid way to run a railroad. How can you trust anything or anyone that's blatantly bowing to big business by using obfuscation and weasel scheduling?

Last week, the group of MEPs responsible for legal affairs (JURI) voted to ask for a restart, which would effectively send the directive back to the beginning of its first reading. Their request needs approval, however, and guess what? That vote is taking place on the same day as the Council of Ministers' meeting.

European software patent law hangs in the balance | The Register

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

What will the newspapers be like 2014?

EPIC 2014 suggests news and content streamed to us by a meta-national tweaked by freelance editors, our demographics, buying and browsing habits, and social circle.

To me this sounds like a pretty harrowing vision. The driver for the profiling is, on the surface, to better fit content to what you want to see and hear. Underneath, it's to better target advertising at you. Either way, you will become the target of your own automated sychophant, or group of sychophants, which air-brush the world to better fit what you're comfortable with. It will become even more of an effort to find the underlying truth of anything, because your friendly search engine and news aggregator will start with targetting searches at articles you will probably agree with. Stuff that may supply a different point of view, or a mroe than slight mismatch with your world-view will be on the second, or third results page, or whatever type of browser "page" we have by then.

Think about it now: it's difficult as netizen to make sure you read or listen to contrary viewpoints. In my case, I find it extremely hard to read the blogs of supporters of Bush et al. I'd much rather skim through Rising Hegemon or Rumour Control. If your social circle is modding up comfy world-view stuff by reading and watching it, your friendly GoogleBot will pick that up first, you'll read it, that increases it's mod score, so others will read it... it's a vicious (or virtuous, depending or point of view) circle. Eventually we'll all end up reading the nice sanitised faintly fluffy outlook of the world that'll say nothing substantive and give us all the impression of hard news. McDonald McNews.

Where will we be if we just hear and see what confirms our own world view? Will that be Nirvana? Probably for some. Will it be Hell? Probably, for others that aren't being fed, socially supported, made refugees, etc. The fewer the voices saying "Hold on a minute", the more they can be ridculed and ignored (Doctor David Kelly).

So, maybe the solution would be to have software, our sychophantic buddy, that forces us to be exposed to other, possibly uncomfortable, points of view? Maybe this should take 20% uncomfortable, or non-demographic/social circle matching, and stuff it in our news feed? But who'd do that? We're more likely to not read it, or not pay attention to it, so there's less revenue in doing it, rather than feeding us the opiate of confirming our own views (as it were).

Open Source or government mandated, i.e. a philosophical software choice (usually) or a law.

Be interested in any comments as I know I am glass-half-empty quite a lot :)

London Underground : The Song

London Underground : The Song. As a daily commuter to London, this pretty much sums things up on some days.

UPDATE: Direct link to the song

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Losing Hubble

Why have I never heard of the Spitzer telescope? And I thought I read enough to keep vaguely up with this stuff. Anyway, check out about a mini solar system forming. Not the real deal, it's solar system like behaviour round a brown dwarf, but apparently scientists are going to be able to work some useful stuff out from watching it in action. Most interesting (to me) on this page was the second image on the "Click here to learn more about the Spitzer Telescope". Explains where this, and the other oribiting telescopes, including Hubble, fit in. Changes my perception of the impact of losing Hubble.

Although losing Hubble is a gutter, I believe it is far more important to get manned missions back to the Moon and out to Mars, than to take pictures of the universe. I know it's important work, and has already brought benefits to the scientific community and the general public, but mankind still has all it's eggs in one basket. Earth. Getting knowledge of how it all began and is likely to play out isn't going to do us much good if an asteroid hits the planet, or a pissed off bunch of bug-eyed aliens decide we're the galactic equivalent of toe-jam. At least with colonies we may have options. Knee-Jerk Contrarian Game

This game from from last year still makes me laugh.

'Boring' Mrs Blair forgets which country she's in

Mrs Blair refers to the New Zealanders she's talking to as Australians... twice. Not a good start.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Gaelic bill secures MSPs' support

Looks like a similar setup to Wales could be on the way in Scotland to preserve, and extend the use of, the language. About time, Gaelic is going to die out if something's not done. Not that I can speak it, but my Granny can :)

Talk to Tony Blair

People wishing to take part in the programmes should submit questions of no more than 30 words by calling 0870 901 4200 or by filling out a form on the Five website.

The deadline for questions is February 11.

No date available for when it's going out apart from "later this month".

Do it.

"I rant, therefore I am"

Saturday, February 05, 2005


Gizoogle - Fo all you beotches who wanna find shiznit. Just searched "parttimesock" on it and got this:)

Tha Sizzock Diary: Podbother'n
... they're podsafe . Snoop dogg is in this bitch. aint sure how much of an issue thizzat be yet, but will look into and yo momma. posted by parttimizzle @ 23:39. 0 comments: << hizzle. ... - 18k - Cached - Similar Pages

Date for Your Diary

Slashdot has a story about asteroid which will be visible to the naked eye... in 2029. MAke a note.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Warnings about junk mail deluge

The BBC are reporting:
Mr Hogan said 90% of the junk mail filtered by Symantec subsidiary Brightmail was spotted using techniques that did not rely on looking at net addresses.

For instance, said Mr Hogan, filtering out e-mail messages that contain a web link can stop about 75% of spam.

Am I missing something here? Where I'm sitting, that sounds like Brightmail, configured by Mr Hogan, will bin:
  • 100% of mail with a homepage address as part of a signature
  • the vast majority of IT team based email that refers to online resources/team blogs/wikis
  • all gmails, all mails, all hotmails, and other webmails that include their web address in every mail.

A restriction like that would make email useless to me and most of the people I correspond with.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The Snoozatron

Wallace and Gromit demonstrate the invention all techies will want. It's a big .mov file, but worth the wait.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Looking for Linux?

Linux LiveCD Roundup - BeatrIX ( comes out as "the one live CD to carry around with you".