How about some sun?

Getting into that bad time of year here in London. Haven't seen the sun in weeks, and not much prospect of seeing it. Well, at least we'll be skiing in a couple of weeks, and that's something to look forward to.

Australia: the new Nigeria?

Just got a 419 spam with a new twist:

Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2006 21:42:53 +0700
From: "Mr. Mark Kewell" <>
Subject: Hello Friend.

Hello Friend,

I am Mr. Mark Kewell a personal treasurer to Late Mr. Kerry Packer the
Richest man in Australia and owner of the many companies. His business
empire, built around Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd (PBL), includes
television, magazines, Internet-related enterprises, Melbourne's Crown
Casino and the Burswood Casino in  Perth, beef cattle properties,
petrochemicals, property investment, resources and engineering.
[ ... ]

Top of the heap?

According to this article in yesterday's Guardian, the hierarchy of road users that traffic engineers should be: disabled and visually impaired people first, pedestrians next, then cyclists, public transport, delivery vehicles, cars used for business with more than one occupant and, at the bottom of the heap, single-occupancy motorists.

Evidently the traffic engineers behind the signals from Constitution Hill (incidentally, this country doesn't have a Constitution, but we have a road commemorating one) to Hyde Park Corner. Cyclists and pedestrians get four seconds of green out of a three and a half minute traffic light cycle!

Geo hacking

Got back from NYE in Paris last night. Photos soon.

Meanwhile, I've been toying with my new phone (Nokia 6630) and Bluetooth GPS. Took this track while wandering around Paris on Saturday. You can see me wandering around the square in front of the Louvre pyramid looking for Margaret, then we wander off to grab a (rather good) kebab in the Quartier Latin.

I'm toying with this stuff. The tool I'm using, AFTrack is nicely configurable. You can set it up to hit an arbitrary web page passing it GPS data, which will make some cool stuff possible involving travel and blogging.

DLT drive working

Thanks to Christian's provision of a SCSI cable, I've been able to get a DLT drive going for Peaceworkers. The drive itself came free from Freecycle. I'll be a lot happier knowing Peaceworkers are getting proper backup.

So now we need to get it installed into Peaceworkers and get them some tapes. Anyone got a cheap source for tapes? They're DLT IIIxt which are 15 (30 if you use tape manufacturer arithmetic) gigs. They'll need a cleaning tape too.

This is the first time I've really messed about with tape drives under Linux. Not entirely obvious or well documented, but fortunately my brother was online to point me in the right direction. Once you know the basics, it's quite easy.

Intelligently designed comic

Doonesbury is one of the comics I read every day. It's not often that it's laugh-out-loud funny, normally it's only wrly funny. Today's strip is an exception, and reminds me why I read this comic.

Sometimes this strip gets a little to Amerikkka focussed, which is fine but not that interesting to the rest of us. However, it's almost always very relevant and very clever.

You can read it here