Category Archives: In The News

My take on public events and viewpoints

“I Love My Rollerblading…”

I know, I know, it’s “Inline Skating” and not “Rollerblading” but I wasn’t going to argue (Rollerblades are to Skating what Hoovers are to Vacuums, it’s a brand name).  Anyway!…

A few months ago the local newspaper did a shout out via their twitter feed looking for people for their “I Love My” section.  Always looking for free publicity I replied back saying that I’d be happy to do something about my skates and skating in the local area.  We swapped details and I never heard any more, I figured they had dropped me for someone more exciting.

Last week, I received a phone call from the Surrey Hants Star Courier asking if I still wanted to do it, Of course I jumped at the chance.  Unfortunately I had now committed to being attacked for Children In Need and so the photo shoot was going to be me with full on face fuzz!

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Not a bad interview at all.  I’ll never be able to get them to add everything in, I had talked about Goodwood Roller Marathon and the Winter Sessions at Sandhurst but they mentioned Cskate and the Arena so I’m happy 🙂


I may not be a Microsoft fan however I do realise that they (or their money) can go into producing something that is truly new and unique.  Search for Notre Dame on Flickr and you will find thousands (190 thousand in fact) of pictures of the cathedral.  Photosynth has really taken that to the next level and allowed a true 3D map to be built from these 2D pictures.

For me, this is straight out of Star Trek.  Saying that, Ironically this is almost impossible without the sort of basic tagging that is only now starting to be done with photos.  I am looking forward to seeing where this technology takes us.

See the TED Talks video on Photosynth for a much better example and demo.

Prisons give inmates mobile phones

So let me get this right, prisoners have been smuggling mobile phones into prisons to keep in contact with the outside world (although I dread to think with who in the outside world), fair enough, it’s going to happen but now they are actively giving prisoners mobiles phones.  Now I’m not too worried about the calls (although I can see a few problems there!) but almost every phone nowadays has a basic browser (even WAP) let alone MMS messaging etc. There isn’t much you can’t do from a phone nowadays and well, if they can’t do it then it’s just a phone call away!  Why not just give them broadband and and be done with it!

Black boxes in cars

I would love to know the percentage of cars in the UK that have these things!?  The scary thing to me isn’t that cars have them but that people are driving around in cars and don’t know they have them.  I may be wrong but I would imagine that it would help prevent accidents if you knew that your car could prove your driving… saying that, I can see that that may not be a selling point!

Investigators found a palm-sized tattle-tale under Michael J. Wilson’s hood in an effort to show a jury that the Arnold man should go to jail for the crash that killed his pregnant wife and another driver.

The device is called an event data recorder, or EDR. Some call it a “black box” because its function is similar to that of an aircraft’s flight data recorder. An estimated 64 percent of all model year 2005 vehicles driven in North America have one, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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September 11th – Five years on

Everyone is doing news about the World Trade Center at the moment and while some of it has been very interesting to watch I haven’t really felt compelled to write anything about it. Until now anyway! I found a video online that someone shot on September 11th from their home, two blocks away from the twin towers. It’s an interesting look at the going on around the area as it happened and worth a look. September 11, 2001: What We Saw

Bluetooth security and advertising

I was watching BBC’s Click program today which had an piece on how technology was being used in advertising to make billboards stand out [1]. The bit that got my interest was using bluetooth to connect to passing mobiles, this interview sums it up well. If the bluetooth UID of a mobile phone can be picked up by a poster as you walk past, and all these posters are networked together then how long before the information is sold to tracking agencies?

We already have mobile phone tracking sites that allow you to find out where in the country a phone is logged on (to quite a good resolution too). While most of these sites require some form of authentication with the phone for public use the information is obviously there to phone company employees and the people behind these sites, who knows who has access to this info.

The other security concern is the vulnerabilities of the phones, apparently with Coldplays latest album, posters in London were offering to upload a free mp3 track from the album to bluetooth phones passing by. Nearly all first generation phones that support bluetooth are hackable with new vulnerabilities being discovered on phones all the time. Bluetooth can already be used to control a vulnerable phone, for example to make it call a premium rate number without the owner knowing. If I were to use Internet Explorer as a browser I could pick up spyware just by visiting a webpage, now people will be infecting their phones by playing affected MP3’s that they have downloaded for free from rogue posters. Neither of these techniques are new but in this ever mobile age the transport methods are changing and the speed these changes are implemented are getting faster.

IT ‘nerds’ get more bedroom action

With a title like that I just had to put this on my site!! 🙂

The archetypal image of the IT professional is of a nerdy bloke who spends most of his time by the computer. But Downtime can now explode that myth by revealing that “adult male nerds” have sex far more often than the average man.

This is the findings of a survey of more than 7,500 such individuals carried out in the US by IT recruitment Web site It discovered that these IT-focused lotharios have sex an average of 108 times a year, compared to the average of 79 times a year for non-ITers.

Russ Curtis, JustTechJobs’ chief executive said, “If these guys were anything like I was, they were picked on as kids, and probably didn’t kiss a girl until they were 23 years old. Now they have money and power and members of the opposite sex find them very alluring.”

Computer Weekly – 26 April 2001