The Sock Diary

Musings of a part-time Sweaty Sock.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Euromillions winner 'in hiding'

Euromillions winner 'in hiding' after winning 77 million quid. She's "devastated" apparently. Er, really? "Devastated" might not be the word. "Over the moon", "chuffed as peanuts", "shocked", "stunned", "a freaked out" - all phrases I might associate with winning 77m quid. "Devastated" makes me think why the hell did you buy the ticket if you were going to be gutted about winning? Good luck to her anyway. Hopefully she'll buy the person who commented a dictionary :)


MilkandCookies - Origin of CTRL-ALT-DELETE. Amusing clip of where crtl-alt-delete came from. Bit of a dig against Bill gates. Found on Everything Is Interesting

Things you can do with RSS

Is this the best resource ever for explaining and exploring RSS?Tim Yang Wiki. Quality. Being subscribed to for regular review.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

lastminute.comedy Podcast

I was listening to Adam Curry's Daily Source Code podcast earlier this month (I think it was this one), and he put out an appeal for comedians to join him at Podshow. Having the email of Paulyb at lastminute.comedy, I emailed him suggesting it might not be a bad idea to get in contact with Adam. Unfortunately Paul had no idea what podcasting is, even after my (less than cogent) explanation. I explained again, he went and had a strong whiskey and a lie down and talked to some guys at his radio station. The result, in spite of my inept explanations, is the Punky podcast feed! First episode now available by subscribing to the feed or here (mp3 file).

I had to post as I am inordinately chuffed about it, even though I did almost nothing apart from confuse an already confused comedian with funny hair.

Good on you Paulyb. Hope it goes well.

Come to think of it, I still have no idea whether he talked to Adam :).

Update: link on the site to Paul's Damn Announcement.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Excellent Podcast on Future of the Net

Inspiring podcast presentation on ITConversations by Adam Bosworth from Google.

Monday, July 25, 2005

iPod Shuffle

SocksWife wanted something to play music in garage (the workshop: partition is finished, lathe is on order, workbench is in, elcetrician has wired it up, my DIY isn't that bad I suppose). So it was five mins on Amazon and, me being a sucker for gorgeous tech, she now has a Shuffle and a PodGear Shuffle Station for her delectation and delight.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

London Bombs - Again?

Sky is reporting explosions at three tube stations. Sheperds Bush, Warren Street, and the Oval. Hopefully, this is not happening again.
A series of incidents have been reported near Warren Street, Oval and Shepherd's Bush stations on the London Underground.... Smoke was seen coming from a train.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Anniversary of Apollo 11 Moon Landing

So check out Google Moon - Lunar Landing Sites. I recommend zooming in on one of the launch sites all the way. The faq is pretty cool too.

Monday, July 18, 2005

He ain't heavy - Andes mountain stylee

Sitting in a waiting room, being "soothed" by Andes Mountain music (pan pipes I think) accompanied by a schizophrenic(sp?) guitar (think Santana after a night out wirh Slash). the current tune is "He ain't heavy, he's my brother", sans vocals, thank goodness. I'd rather not be soothed I think.

Monitoring Technologies Put Developers in an Ethical Hotseat

Devx has an article called Monitoring Technologies Put Developers in an Ethical Hotseat:
So, when you're asked to build monitoring applications that you know will be used to spy on employees, just say no. They can't do it without you. Refuse to build such applications until sufficient legal restrictions are in place to limit companies' monitoring capabilities to appropriate business uses. The power is in your hands. Use it wisely.

This is a thought provoking article. Asking whether a developer should develop monitoring systems and applications that will be used against all employees as it is easier to monitor everyone, and not just selected people. The state of law in both the UK and the US regulates governments monitoring and use of personal data, but nothing much regulates a companys use of employee data, extracted from their emails, RFIDs, web browsing, etc.

Rather predictably I think one shouldn't compromise here, and I hope that I'd refuse should the day ever come, but one of my older and wiser friends pointed out that when it is a choice between keeping your job (and paying your mortgage, etc) and doing some nefarious software that goes against the grain, "principles are fine but fear is the key". Horrible, but true in many cases.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Has the Pope banned Harry Potter?

Short answer: NO.

There seems to be some confusion about this. The Vatican says no, but the media seems to have interpreted a letter from Ratzinger (pre-popedom) as a denunciation of the Harry Potter books.

The Times Online:
"It is good that you enlighten people about Harry Potter because those are subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul before it can grow properly," [Ratzinger] wrote.

However, in an interview on Vatican radio (transcript from, thanks Father Roderick) Monseigneur Peter Fleetwood, apart from backing up J.K. Rowling's creation as pretty good thing, suggests the letter in which Ratzinger allegedly denounced Potter as dangerous, is basically a form letter, tweaked by a sub-ordinate, in answer to a bit of a mad lady (my interpretation of his words) from Germany (maybe the Jesuits have a form letter for answering mad tract senders, they probably get a lot :).

I was asked once in a press-conference in the Vatican whether I thought the witchcraft and magic in Harry Potter was a bad thing, and I said to the people present: 'did anyone in this room grow up without stories about witches and fairies and magic and spells and mystery and so on and so forth?', and everyone seemed to agree that none of us had grown up without those things. And then I said: 'did it make us into enemies of the faith, or enemies of God, or enemies of the Church?' And people seemed to say: 'no, no'. And I said: 'well, I can't see any problem with Harry Potter, because, really, all the stories are about the victory of good over evil'.

I was sent a letter from a lady in Germany who claimed to have written to the then cardinal Ratzinger, saying that she thought Harry Potter was a bad thing.... The letter back, which I suspect was written by an assistant of the then cardinal Ratzinger in his office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, suggested that there was a subtle seduction in the books. What that subtle seduction was, was not specified, which makes me think it was a generic answer.... [The lady] had written a book on these subjects and so the Cardinal's signature was at the bottom of the letter, suggesting she should send me [her] book.

I think it's pretty much a media fabrication that the Pope thinks Harry Potter should be banned, with quotes taken out of context to sell papers and create hype and hysteria where there would be little or none.

Further links:, NZCity, bellaciao

Tags: , , ,

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Finished it. Wow. What a story! J.K. Rowling is back on form, after the slight disappointment of the Order of the Phoenix. There was something a bit... Dirty Dozen about Order of the Phoenix. I hesitate to use the word about a story about wizards, but there was something unrealistic about it. I had trouble suspending my disbelief for the last half of the book.

The Half Blood Prince sweeps all that away, and kicks butt. I'm not going to spoil it for you, but I seriously recommend you buy, beg, or borrow a copy and read it. Anyone who says they don't think they'll like reading a kids book should just read it. It's not a kids book, it's an everyone book.

Thanks Ms Rowling. Nice job.

The New Harry Potter

The New Harry Potter
Originally uploaded by partTimeSock.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has arrived (8:30 am is an

ungodly hour to be woken up by the postman on a Saturday :). I have had

to promise SocksWife I'll get another copy for her if it takes me

longer than the end of today to finish it. Best carry on then.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Sid Invented iTunes.. D'oh!

Sid's FishNet. This is a great article/reminisce. Stick with him. It gets better.

David James 'back in Rover talks'

BBC NEWS | Business | David James 'back in Rover talks'. Would be good if MG can be resurrected in some way, and even better if production, even if massively reduced, could remain in this country, and I think only David James' bid would ensure this.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

BBC - UK 'embraces digital technology'

BBC NEWS - UK 'embraces digital technology':
...And as digital radio continues to grow in popularity, both AM and FM listening has declined.
And as podcasting continues to grow in popularity.... :)

Two minutes silence on 14 July 2005 at 12:00 BST

IMAX Tour of the International Space Station

RedNova News - Tour the International Space Station with IMAX. Tempting to go see (as long as it hasn't got whooshing noises like Star Trek doors closing). They're also doing a DVD.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Another boring bomb alert

Another boring bomb alert
Originally uploaded by partTimeSock.
So we're at KX, waiting to leave and the driver comes on the tannoy thingy, "don't think you're getting home tonight. I'll get you as far as I can but you're not going all the way" (I kid you not, drivers of trains have to have a certain levity, otherwise they'd go nuts). Suspect package on the line. Joy.

So I'm a bit bored sitting on trains going nowhere, and phone my bro, can I crash at his place in London? Not a problem. View of the Thames, bus journey into work tomorrow. Ah, it's a tough life.... Missing SocksWife though. He's got Sky Plus. I'm going against the "nothing Murdock" grain and watching the Simpsons. Brilliant.

Edited 14-Jul-05 to clear typos (was moblogged and fingers were fat :)

Invasion of the Podcast People

Peter Lewis - Invasion of the Podcast People - FORTUNE. Excellent article for those needing an "authority" comment on podcasting (favourably ;). Found it on Dave Winer's blog.

Howstuffworks "How the Future Force Warrior Will Work"

Howstuffworks "How the Future Force Warrior Will Work". From a purely techy point of view, this is fantastic (in all senses of the word). This how I wanted my Action Man to be when I was kid. It sounds like pure sci-fi. Keill Radnor territory.

They talk about making the solider a "more stable weapons platform", think Alien 2 (or maybe 3, must watch them again) and Ripley in the exoskelton, add a Hellfire missile or two (I know, it's air-to-ground, but they'll prob have James Bond jet packs working by then). That'll reduce the length of the Kill Chain then.

No idea how the technorati thing. Opps.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

mollten: BNP take advantage of the london bombings

Molten reports the BNP are taking advantage of the london bombings. This is reprehensible. Preaching hatred and FUD to further their own objectives. I'm all for free speech, and I'll defend their right to free speech, but they're still scum in my book.

(First go at technorati tags, so may look weird)

Wikipedia Timelapse Movie

Found this timelapse movie of the changes on the wikipedia page for the London Bombings on The Last Minute. It's amazing. Disturbing point too when some posts a flame about Muslims. Brainless idiot whoever that was.

The music is well chosen too. Funnily enough I was listening to the same song (one off 100th Window - Massive Attack) on the way in. I actually checked my headphones to make sure I'd put on the PC ones and not the ipod ones.

everything is interesting: It was Always Going to Happen

Dan has a thought provoking post at everything is interesting. I felt the need to comment and did.

I did miss out that I did support the war in Iraq initially too, until I realised I'd been lied to a grand scale, which was around the time David Kelly committed suicide (my post, 2nd para). Admittedly, much of my family had tried to convince me of this before the war, but I thought they were wrong, and pinko lefties pacifists, etc. Anyway, from a purely selfish point of view, I was furious I had been conned, and vowed to do my damndest never to be conned again. Bloggers (Technorati, podcasters, etc) + the papers + Medialens + the beeb and the links generated from them all help me find out a lot of the background in big issues, before making a way more informed decision that was ever able to before.

Monday, July 11, 2005

RSS in China

From Dave Winer's Scripting News. The official Chinese government newspaper, in English, on your RSS reader.

London Bombings Virus Alert

mollten: Londonbombings Virus Alert. The writer is an arsewipe, but we knew that already. As per usual, never run any attached files from your email.

Someone is paying this guy to distribute their adverts (spam) on the zombie network he can create from people loading this Trojan. If people knew the depths to which these people will sink to peddle their wares, maybe they wouldn't make it worth anyone's while to spam, meaning these people wouldn't get paid for doing this. Sigh.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Terrorism can't change our way of life

All my sympathy and best wishes to those who lost relatives and friends, and to those who were injured. You're all heroes.

Blair and the Queen have said "terrorism can't change our way of life" (I think Bush said something too, but he muffed it up). Even after Thursday, I will continue pointing that out Blair's and Bush's "War on Terror" is wrong. Otherwise the terrorists have changed my way of life, haven't they?

So: Unfortunately, Blair is "tossing bombs at innocent people", and we, as the British electorate did not chuck the bomb tosser out at the last election, more's the pity.

Not that I think that would have stopped the terrorists, whether they're fundamentalists of the remains of the IRA, the Middle East, or Nether Uppingly. They just want destruction and latch onto a cause to justify it in their twisted little minds. The bottom line is, London has been expecting, and has had, terrorist attacks for the last 30 years. We all just get on with it. We'll mourn our dead, maybe feel a bit shakey for a couple of days, be glad it's the weekend and we didn't get on that train, maybe have a couple of pints, or a jug of Pimms if it's nice day, feel bad for the victims. Nothing's changed. Your "cause" has not advanced. We still go to work, we still all get on with it, situation normal. So be afraid Mr Terrorist (assuming you're still alive and weren't the incompetent who blew himself up by accident). The wheels of British justice are grinding your way. They ain't pretty, but they're pretty implacable. We will prosecute you under British Law when you are caught and you will have a long time in prison with no-one to talk to and no chance of reprieve, no glorious death for The Cause (whatever it is), just obscurity and boredom. The innocents you maimed and murdered are heroes, you are toejam. Actually, you're less relevant than that, but I'm not feeling very inventive today.

St Paul’s | clagnut/blog

St Paul’s | clagnut/blog. Good post. Short but hits the spot quite effectively.

So thanks then, terrorists. You’ve just succeeded in bringing the families of millions of Londoners that bit closer together, giving them an increased love of their city and an enhanced appreciation of their way of life. You might have destroyed the lives of several hundred people, but – and this is stating the bloody obvious you fuckwits – you’ve achieved nothing.

Pfff: Surviving a Terrorist Attack: What a difference a day makes.

weaselbitch: Yesterday my train exploded...

Cause for Concern (

Friday, July 08, 2005

Excellent post from Nero Fiddled

There's a Connection Here. Cogent argument for education, not the war-on-terror.

Got it from a PubSub feed targetted at the London bombs.

Izzy Mo's blog

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Flickr: London Bomb Blasts

Home now

Another selfish post. Is this the right way to think. Who knows? I don't.

Got home OK by cadging a lift from a friend out east, then up the M11 and then cadging another lift with another friend from there. Unlikely to go in tomorrow. Will be VPNed into work from home.

Didn't really think about how close I'd been to the Aldgate one until I walked in a saw SocksWife, standing infront of the telly, watching the body count rise, crying. I got a big hug. She asked what time I'd got to Aldgate, about 9am. Glad I couldn't be bothered to queue for a coffee at KX like usual.

One of my wee bro's took the Victoria line and walked from Oxford Circus to work on a whim this morning. He normally takes the Picadilly from Kings Cross.

Technology really helped out. Pretty much the whole family knew the rest of the family was OK in about 1/2 hour with email. The mobiles were out most of the time as the companies were prioritising emergency services calls.

I remember the Kings Cross fire. I was a kid then. My dad went through KX tube ten minutes before it happened, same time every day as I remember it. Of course we didn't have mobile phones then and the public ones were a waste of time. It took him a while to get in contact. I remember not really worrying as Ma was calm as you like. If she was cool, everything was cool. Now I wonder how difficult that must have been to keep up.

How many people won't be going home to their loved ones tonight? My thoughts are with them and their families.

A sample of posts about the Bombs and the Victims

Grabbed most of these from Technorati. Must find out about that properly.

I hope everyone takes a deep breath before talking about revenge. Vengance breeds vengence.

33 confirmed dead

.. probably more. Bastards.

Trains from Kings Cross

Looks like the army has finished with the main lines. Hope this is useful to someone: "Trains running from Finsbury Park every half hour up to Welwyn and then change to Cambridge / Peterborough trains from there."

Aldgate sealed off

Aldgate sealed off
Originally uploaded by partTimeSock.
Weird out here. Not many people around. those that are look really annoyed. The road's sealed off. Just photographers and tv crew, with a helicopter circling round. I just hope there aren't anymore bombs around London. All this death and destruction to make a point.

The rollcall of friends is continuing, everyone we've got hold of is OK so far.

Updated with correct picture link (I posted twice by accident cos my Plam wigged out on me).

Railway Stations Shut - Conginency Plan?

This the current rumour, but apparently all the main railway stations are shut, and trains up the line are not running as the army is using them to move kit and personnel into London.

Not sure how any of us are getting home tonight. Ah well, at least no-one I know (so far) had been involved in the actual incidents, although it was pretty close run thing for some.

All the hotels in the City are booked solid for tonight.

Casualty rates are rising. Terrorists are gits.

Sky news website is timing out

Must be the load. They're reporting a lot faster than the BBC I understand.

Further to the Explosions

One of my friends was at Kings Cross an hour and a half ago. He says "a load of alarms went off and people started piling out of the station with soot all over them".

Sky are reporting a lot of casualties. Something has also happened at Old Street tube. British Transport Police are treating it as a major incident.

We're backing up all our servers.

Explosions in London

Sky News : Explosion At Liverpool Street Station. Loosk like it might be terrorist attacks. Apparently a bus has blown up, Edgeware Road Station is out with people trapped in the tunnels on two trains, Algate east has casulaties, Liverpool Street has casualties, and Kings Cross has people "wandering about with soot on them". The entire tube network is shutdown.

Hopefully no-one has been badly hurt, although one person is reported as being very ill. From a purely selfish point of view, thank goodness I went through Liverpool Street ten minutes before it happened whatever it is. I really hope it's not a terrorist attack.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Overheard in the street

Heard an Aussie guy on the phone saying "They're going nuts about the Olympics over here. I guess they're not used to winning." Harsh.....

London gets Olympics

Nuts. This is going to be embarassing. Based on the list of public infrastructure failures ("delayed projects" sorry) that this country has, chances of getting it right are very minimal. Also, a lot of lottery and govt money targetted at grassroots sports is going to be diverted to this huge public project. Net result will be less money at the grassroots, so less kids can get involved.

On the plus side, the politicians' excuses will be great, and we may have a good underground system by about 2020.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

All that is Apple is not good

Geek News Central is reporting that Apple have mangled the RSS for podcasts, and Dave Winer says the implementation is funky (among other things). Bad call Apple. Sugggest you fix it quickly.

Apple also seem to be caching some of the podcasts, which is good news for people's bandwidth bills, but doing wrongly or half-arsed is not good news for podcasting. It could piss off the first main-stream adopters from iTunes and blow it. Again, Apple, please fix it quickly.

Central Park... Suffolk

Central Park... Suffolk
Originally uploaded by partTimeSock.
Not quite the same as New York, but a valiant effort.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Cool, and Green way to get around the country

hippyshopper has found a brilliant web site that arranges car-sharing trips to anywhere anyone's going.

NASA Tests a Solar Sail

Universe Today - Audio: NASA Tests a Solar Sail. Brilliant. I've subscribed to the podcast feed. I think I heard about a Russian one launched from a submarine that failed last week. Yep, here it is.

Pirates of Outer Space can have schooners and clippers now :)

More about the Grokster Case

Cameron linked to my post, and has some interesting comments. cameron reilly: The Grokster Case put into perspective.

Diebold axes 300 jobs; cuts profit forecast