<< July 2003 September 2003 >>

Saturday 30 August, 2003
# Computer game 'boosts hearing' - A simple computer game can dramatically improve children's listening skills by teaching them to distinguish between sounds, new research suggests.
No doubt compensating for atrophy in the other senses. Boom! Boom!

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#[linkfarm] Stan Lee: The Rise and Fall of The American Comic Book
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#[linkfarm] Why offshore IT outsourcing can't be stopped
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Friday 29 August, 2003
#[Arabica] Arabica Utils contains a small (but slowly increasing) number of code conversion facets. One of these coverted from ISO8859:1 (Latin1) encoded text to UTF8, and another converted from UTF16 to UTF8. I realised however, that they were inconsistently named, and have now changed this.

From now on, the facets will be named [external][internal]codecvt.h. The UTF16 to UTF8 is therefore called utf16utf8codecvt, and reading a stream imbued with this facet converts from UTF16 toUTF8. Writing to such a stream converts from UTF8 toUTF16.

Facets with a name like [something]codecvt.h are byte stream encoders/decoders where [something] is an external encoding. Reading a stream imbued with base64codecvt will un-Base64 the stream, while writing to it will Base64 everything.

The upshot of this is that some of the names of existing facets have changed in CVS - iso8859_1_utf8_codecvt is now iso88591utf8codecvt and utf16utf8_codecvt is now utf8utf16codecvt. I now this is a bit of a pain in the arse, but I do believe it will make thing clearer going forward.
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#[linkfarm] Win a meteorite!
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# john: we've just had a letter inviting us to a free preview of "the italian job" remake - cos we have a mini laughing face
jez: laughing face
jez: "Dear John, you might like to see this pointless remake because, after all, you bought one."
john: cynic
smellygit said u missed out



SU [added 29th Aug 2003]

fay [e] said hey man i just found this website by searching for a lovely pair... i am a female... and i am not addicted to porn.... [added 25th Nov 2005]

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Thursday 28 August, 2003
#Kilamanjaro or Jamaican Blue Mountain?
The last time I had Blue Mountain is was so horrible, we not only poured away the coffee we'd made, we threw all the grounds away too. By coincidence, I'm drinking Cafédirect Kilimanjaro right now, although I usually drink big, long, booming, earthy Equal Exchange Sumatran Takengon.

Anyway, back to the question - I don't have a preference one way or the other, really, just as long as it's well made. Don't skimp on the grounds, use good hot water, if it's a cafetiere don't be in a hurry to push the plunger, no sugar, no milk, no food with except maybe a ginger nut, and a nice big cup.

The coffee trade's a pretty murky business. I only buy fair traded coffee (oo! hark at him), and I'd encourage everyone to do the same. Further actually, I'd encourage you to "shop aware" (catchy, eh? just made that up) and pay attention to what you buy - where it comes from, what it's made from, who produced it, that kind of thing. Paying attention to what you buy won't make you run off and dance naked while beating a tribal drum outside a G8 summit (although obviously you could if you wanted), but it will change the way you shop and thus change your whole relationship with the "global economy". It puts you in greater control of your own life, and that can only be a good thing. There are a million links I could fling out here, but I'll try and stay calm - Make Trade Fair, Baby Milk Action, Kick all agricultural subsidies, The Soil Association and (bonus points for this one) The Vegetarian Society.

Question from Lisa NicelyToasted. What's this about?
Lisa [e] said Hurrah! Great answer!

Yep - I spend a lot of my time checking the origins of my food. It's not much, but I certainly feel better about what I buy. I try to stay as local as poss, but I figure EU-produced stuff is relatively OK (as long as it's not Nestle's - harder than one might think). Always nice to read GM-free and suchlike on labels as well. [added 28th Aug 2003]

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#[linkfarm] Jakob Nielsen for President, 2004
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#[linkfarm] iTunes iSbogus
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#[linkfarm] RSS - A Primer for Publishers & Content Providers
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#[Arabica]SAX Writer too
To serialise SAX events out as an XML instance you can use SAX/Filter/Writer.h
   SAX::XMLReader<std::wstring> parser;
   SAX::wWriter writer(std::wcout);
   ... build filter stack here ...

   SAX::wInputSource is;


Writer "kind of" pretty prints, in as much as it tries to indent elements nicely. This will be configurable later on, as will things like turning the XML declaration on and off, declaring a DTD and all the rest of it.
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#[Arabica]Commits! We have more commits!
Just committed DOM/Utils/Stream.h to CVS. This provides one of Arabica's most requested features - an operator<< from DOM::Nodes. It is, as ever, fully parameterised, so it should be possible to serialise DOM trees with an arbitrary string type down any stream, so long as the string and stream char types match, and there's an operator<< for the string type. If you're using std::string or std::wstring, it'll just work.
   SAX2DOM::Parser<std::string> domParser;
   SAX::wInputSource is;

   ... load instance from somewhere ...

   DOM::Document<std::string> doc = domParser.getDocument();

   ... manipulate doc ...

   // dump out to console
   std::cout << doc;

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#[linkfarm] Steganographic text to spam encoding
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Wednesday 27 August, 2003
#The Highway Code - Rule 92
The horn. Use only while your vehicle is moving and you need to warn other road users of your presence. Never sound your horn aggressively. You MUST NOT use your horn except when another vehicle poses a danger.
angry_john said Ah, just you wait, the EU will soon be harmonising the use of the horn to ensure that it is mandatory to lean on it whilst stationary in traffic jam as a way of letting the person in front know that you are waiting. [added 28th Aug 2003]
anonymous said And apparently in Glasgow, the definition of a nanosecond is "the time interval between a traffic light changing from red to amber and the car behind sounding the horn." [added 8th Nov 2006]
Paul Bradley [e] said 'Inappropriate use of a horn'

I was told by a beat bobby about this after using my horn to move an idiot who was parked on double yellow lines blocking all the traffic turning into and out of the road I was trying to get out of. I have heard it all now!!! Why bother putting a horn on a car if you can't use it.

Bigibrd. [added 16th Jul 2009]

pcavaney said Why have a horn? - so all the inconsiderate gits out there can wake up night workers, kids, people having a quiet kip after tea, avoid getting off their idle backsides to knock or ring a doorbell. The rules aren't made for fun, they are there to "protect the Queens peace" and you should observe them. [added 8th Dec 2009]
anonymous said The horn is one of the most important controls fitted to a motor vehicle. Here are the situations in which it should be used: to alert a person of your presence2 [added 21st Jan 2010]
upyoursarsehole [e] [w] said why ring the bell when u can annoy ur x and his neighbours lol [added 21st Jan 2010]
anonymous said 10 am just been woken up by a driving instructor blowing her horn twice to let my neighbour know she was sat 5 meters away waiting to take her on her lesson.The blind leading the blide

Rowley Regis [added 17th Aug 2010]

anonymous said I think a baseball bat is the only answer for the inconsiderate people who can't follow a simple rule and have respect for others!

Woken up at 6.30am for the last 3 weeks despite asking politely for them to stop! now the council & police are involved [added 14th Jan 2011]

P Norris [e] said live on a country lane, single track winding. Drivers use horn all the way down approx 500yrds. When I have asked why they say to warn drivers coming the other way. They do not reduce their speed, so where do they expect the other drivers to go?? Surely you should drive according to the conditions of the road not the speed limit [added 11th Jun 2011]
chuffa [e] said My boy's mate, when he comes to pick him up sounds his horn a couple of times to let him know he is there. He then sounds his horn several times just to wind me up. Ive told my boy it is against the highway code. Also there are people with young children that are sleeping, which are awakened by this laimo. If I torch his car with him in it or out of it, would I get an O.B.E. [added 17th Oct 2011]
Linny [e] said I have someone HONKING their horn to picking their daughter up from boyfriends house 10.10pm every week night. this has been happening for nearly a year and has woken my now 10month old baby up several times. I have asked politely pocking my head out of the window for them to stop, they stop for a few nights then carry one.

Does anyone know who I report this to? I feel lame reporting it but its driving me mad! [added 18th May 2012]

anonymous said damn british; 'oh no my sleep', 'oh no my kids', 'peace to all that don't want to be surprised or hear anything above their own radio volume level.'

Move to Russia or India. Then think again. [added 5th Jul 2012]

anonymous said Beep anytime when u need a horn is a horn just a noise not like a bomb going off. [added 23rd Oct 2012]
Hercules said I have an old man who picks up a neighbour most mornings in his Lexus. As he drives past the house, he honks his horn to let him know he's there - at around 8.05.

I asked him (politely) to stop and he said "I have a right to do it after 7am" and carried on; repeated requests have been ignored. I have a medical condition which disturbs my sleep and have to catch up by sleeping late (I am retired) and I'm sick of it. The police say they can only appeal to his good will. [added 14th Nov 2012]

herb said there ought to be a law brought in preventing misuse of horns at anytime. have just been woken by a motorbike horn at 3.30am. [added 1st Apr 2013]
Harry [e] said @Hercules I am sure there is a nuisance law this man is breaking. Try reporting to a more sympathetic police person. [added 21st Jul 2013]
Bike Van CarMan [e] said @ Paul Bradley. Did you inform the beat bobby that you needed to make him aware of your presence. And the presence of the traffic queue behind you. And that his ILLEGAL parking posed a danger?

The problem with beat bobbies is that they don't have instant access to 'chapter and verse' of the Road Traffic Act like the officers in traffic cars do. [added 31st Aug 2013]

Jane [e] said Checking on here for the Regulations as to when to use your horn, after a debate with friends. I am British but now living in Barbados, where they use the horn for everything! Such as;

When they see a Pretty Girl

When they see someone they know which is all the time, as a small Island and everyone know everyone.

When a car overtakes ok & so many more! [added 7th Nov 2013]

Ste'vo [e] said Propa at my wits end, the boy racers who find Mcdonalds car park opposite my house there meet spot keep making musical renditions with there horns. I wouldn't mind, but by the sound of it not one of them have have any musical talent.

I think unless you have a licence to do so ie, a taxi driver or really need to do so because of danger, fines and possible points should be considered for misuse.

Im not the only one in my street who finds this a pain, as many of us

have families with young children and night shifts to think about, plus medical conditions. It won't be long before one of my neighbours takes matters into there own hands its that bad.

[added 26th Apr 2014]

sam [e] said You must not use a horn when..... see rule 112 highway code

[added 26th Oct 2014]

sam [e] said Quote rule 112 (not 92!) Rule 112

Use only while your vehicle is moving and you need to warn other road users of your presence. Never sound your horn aggressively.

You MUST NOT use your horn

while stationary on the road

when driving in a built-up area between the hours of 11.30 pm and 7.00 am

except when another road user poses a danger. [added 26th Oct 2014]

Sam [e] said I just asked a Taxi driver not to use his horn outside my front door. I live opposite block of apartments! you can imagine. Got abuse. rang his office, got abuse. Rang police - not their problem... call council. Wish me luck! So why when I,m driving everything in highway code is Police matter and punishable by fines, points and public execution! [added 14th Dec 2014]
anonymous said Hi I have also confronted a taxi driver disputes the law when I told him, but he says he will not do it again..watch this space

[added 2nd Sep 2015]

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#Johnny Cash sings Nine Inch Nails' Hurt
Heard this a few weeks ago. The idea of a country singer, let alone a 70 year old country singer, doing a credible version of a industrial rock track seems pretty unlikely. Pay no mind to such doubts and watch this video now - it's remarkable.
groc [e] [w] said that's just totally stunning -thanks for bringing it to my attention. [added 28th Aug 2003]
Ken Davidson [e] [w] said Cash is a God. Chicken in black indeed! [added 31st Aug 2003]
cassie [e] said no words [added 22nd Apr 2005]
fred [e] said a fantasic song, sang it like it was his. Like to now who sings the newsest version of that song [added 21st Sep 2005]
tasha said johnny cash is the best singer known to earth and im a very young fan i am 13 and i love his music and even though hes dead his music will go on forever in my heart. [added 8th Dec 2006]
BeN [e] said johnny cash is the only man to be in the rock hall of fame and the country hall of fame at the same time .. and yes i knew that he redid nine inch nails 'Hurt" .. i would too its a great song! [added 22nd Jan 2007]
possum222 said actually johnny cash did "hurt" before nine inch nails did

..... [added 2nd Feb 2007]

possum222 said gawd stupid enough ..pssssshhhh [added 4th Feb 2007]

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#[Arabica]More commits
ErrorHandler is now template<class string_type> basic_ErrorHandler, and ErrorHandler is a typedef for basic_ErrorHandler<std::string>. The change is necessary because the basic_ErrorHandler::warning/error/fatalError methods take a SAXParseException. SAXParseException is parameterised on string_type because it takes a Locator, which is (you guessed!) is parameterised on string_type. Corresponding corrections to DefaultHandler and XMLFilterImpl. The end of all is that you don't have to change any code :) If you were using wide characters, you'd have tripped over this already.

Wide character (well, std::wstring) fixes to the Writer filter. Discovered it is vitally important to set VC7 to build with wchar_t as a builtin type. You have to do this on a project by project basis, and why it isn't the default is anyone's guess. If it isn't, the wchar_t is treated as a typedef for unsigned short, and doing things like std::wcout << L'<' will print 60, which is wildly, wildly wrong and really generally unhelpful.
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Monday 25 August, 2003
#[elsewhere] ahead of your time, dude
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#[elsewhere] Julie Burchill on comics - comment
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#[elsewhere] Processor.execute does not set _documentInputSource
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#[Arabica] Back in July, I announced that I was going to cut a new release "soon". As ever, my path is strewn with cowpats from the Devil's own Satanic herd and I didn't have the time I thought I would.

I've snatched a couple of hours over this weekend, and have managed to combined libSAX, libArabicaUtils and libArabicaXML into a single library, now called libArabica/Arabica.lib. Hey, it's a start. I'm now contemplating rearranging the whole of the source layout, but that probably best deferred until later. Probably much later.
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# I am desperately seeking a good looking, tall and intelligent male for interesting positions in Zurich. For this challenging task you do not need to have Java, Unix or C++ skills but some project management and international exposure would be an asset. A clean track record and cunning linguist skills are a must. Ideal maturity would be between 25 and 50. Mature candidates may be considered if their bank balance is substantial enough.
Friday night advert from Jobserve, not unsurprisingly withdrawn. After all, nobody who uses Jobserve would actually match that description ...
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Sunday 24 August, 2003
#[linkfarm] RSS Utilities: A Tutorial
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Saturday 23 August, 2003
#[linkfarm] Make the most of Xerces-C , Part 1
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Thursday 21 August, 2003
# Five second pint-puller launched - Waiting a long time to be served at the bar could soon be a thing of the past thanks to a new device which can pour pints in just five seconds ... Coors Brewers had teamed up with dispensing specialists, IMI Cornelius, to trial the new system in outlets for their Carling brand ... The groundbreaking system serves beer at two degrees Celsius and can pour lager in half-pint, pints and four-pint jug servings.
Ugh. Even the worst beer in the world deserves to be treated better than this. Sound like this is being targetted a "ram pubs" - those wonderful establishments where they take out all the seating and turn the music up too load for people to talk to each other - in which case most of the lager is destined to be spilled on the floor anyway. Best place for it.
prashton said Part of the joy of drinking draft (draught) beer is the sensation of anticipation as the bartender pulls the lever and slowly draws the liquid amber from the bowels of the cellar into a tilted glass. It's called creating a genuine thirst. Not surprised Colorado Coolade is promoting this concept, their beer really is melted frozen p**s! [added 22nd Aug 2003]
planetcutie said The lesson here is : Drink dry martinis instead. [added 24th Aug 2003]
It is impossible to get a good martini in a pub, and near impossible in even swaky "cocktail bars" or restaurants.

Once in Quod - http://www.quod.co.uk - when I asked for a martini, the waitress paused then prompted me with "dry, sweet ... ?". "Vodka", I said firmly. When it arrived it was so full of crushed ice that it tasted of absolutely nothing.

In my limited experience, the best martini's in Birmingham are to be found at the incorrectly named Le Petit Blanc - http://www.blanc.co.uk/lpb_birmingham.htm [added 25th Aug 2003]
Inadvertant apostrophe in previous comment. Apologies to punctuation pedants everywhere. [added 25th Aug 2003]

Ken Davidson [e] [w] said Jez, don't think you committed a punctuation gaff there - language is an organic, evolving and ultimately democrat thing. Thousand's of people who go to shop's that sell video's, pizza's, 1960's music, chip's and tomato's cannot be wrong. There're plenty of other linguistic dos and donuts to worry about... [added 31st Aug 2003]

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# Hard questions. Must engage brain.

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# Is there another sport that generates coverage as splendid as this?
26th over: South Africa 67-4 (Kirsten 28, Rudolph 24)
Ali adjusts his comfy new England jumper before, at the second attempt, putting it over his head. Then he smiles. And with good reason - another good over there from the Worcester paceman who looks to have settled in nicely.

19th over: South Africa 40-4 (Kirsten 14, Rudolph 12)
A change in the bowling as Ali is replaced by James Anderson, who's surprised us all by not changing his haircut in the three-day gap between the Third and Fourth Test. It's a good over though, more accurate than we've been used to of late, and he picks up a maiden.
I think not. I truely think not.
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# Apparently, I write like a girl.
GIGO, probably.
AngryJohn [e] said Hmm, while originally believing that these boffins had hit on something I believed to be true (:p) my extensive testing showed that the word bollocks came up as female, as did the well known girly phrase bunch of arse. [added 21st Aug 2003]
anonymous said Bah, my link to your 'on the train' story didn't come out. :-(( [added 21st Aug 2003]

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# One Question Certification Tests for E-Mail Filter Authors - I'd like to propose a simple certification examination for people who'd like to write new mail filtering and response systems. It's very simple, just one question. If you answer the question correctly, you're free to write your software. If you answer the question incorrectly, you cannot ever write mail filtering software. I'm sorry, but that's just the way it is.

The question is, can a From address be forged?.

There might be room for an advanced certification test that asks one more question, namely, if you detect a virus that forges From addresses, should you respond to the From address, knowing that it's likely forged?.

If the answers are obvious, you're probably overqualified to work on e-mail scanning software.

Amen. Bar misplaced bounce messages, I've hardly been affected at all by the latest email virus event. Whether this means that nobody I know uses Outlook, or nobody I know has me in their address book (sniff!), everyone's antivirused up, or my mail provider is sweeping it all up for me, I don't know. Don't care either really :) If you're on a Windows box and using Outlook Express (hello, Mum), you might want to strongly consider changing to something else. I use Pegasus Mail because it's terrific, but lots of other people like Eudora or one of the Mozilla mail clients , among many others. (These programs are all available at no cost.)
wunderwoman said well i've managed to avoid this virus even tho i'm an outlook user at home and at work - but haven't had a spam problem so p'raps that helps. However always being open to advice downloaded pegasus but couldn't make it receive my mail - more luck with Thunderbird and have now loaded Firebird as my browser - and it stops those pop ups from Guardian that they wanted me to subscribe £20 to get rid of!!! Hot stuff! [added 22nd Aug 2003]

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Wednesday 20 August, 2003
# Java GUI Engineer - design, code and test of software required for a Skynet 5 related software project
Building Terminators?

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Tuesday 19 August, 2003
# Flight from reality - Colouring our hair is the norm, fake tan routine. We love the smell of artificial leather, hate new-mown grass. Do we even know what 'real' is any more?
Well, do we?
Ken Davidson [e] [w] said Well, speaking as someone who still prefers alabaster-skinned English roses, loves the smell of real leather (controversial?), is a member of CAMRA, and is fluidly moved by new mown grass, then I guess that occasionally dying my hair is acceptable.

Local middle-England free rag story recently: "woman gets stress from complaining to the council for 5 years about the leaves falling from a tree into her garden" - jeez, how on earth do these people function? [added 20th Aug 2003]

Fluidly moved? Mowing the lawn makes you pee yourself? [added 20th Aug 2003]
Ken Davidson said Yes, it makes me do a sex wee. [added 20th Aug 2003]

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#What a lovely pair of plums.
A pair of plums
Webcam foolishness. Apologies.
Stu said Looks like you've had a BCS (at least the S) depilation. Though your face furr still seems to be intact. [added 19th Aug 2003]
BCS? That'll be this http://www.dooyoo.co.uk/lifestyle/body_care/waxing/_review/363883/ [added 19th Aug 2003]

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# Amazon Ordering Method Patented in Europe
This is not a good thing. I'd consider becoming a sheep farmer if it wasn't that I'd just end up paying transgenic animal taxes to biotech multinationals before the decade's out. There seems to be no escape from corporate and patent office fuckheadedness.
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# Both Matrix sequels were made at the same time, and presumably both these photos were taken at the same time as well.Bah - they've fixed it. Previously it repeat the Keanu Reeves picture instead of the Tarantino picture. [added 4th Sep 2003]

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#These people have too much time ...

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Monday 18 August, 2003
#Can you spell "Screw U"?
Just seen on Jobserve
6 x Senior C on Unix Guru's for leading IT company. Must have strong language implementation, compilation, optimisation, mastery of development tools such as GDB/DBX/purify, OS/Kernel interfaces, C/C++ library/runtime, Multi-threading, systems performance tuning, IPC, API, network programming/protocols and cross platform development. Knowledge of Fixed Income securities and markets a plus. The right person will be starting work at 6am and have 15xdays holiday a year. They will probably come from a financial, stock exchange or software house background.
Ken Davidson [e] [w] said Yeah, but what they don't say is, "...and finish work at 8am, taking the rest of the day to talk at the coffee machine, before being taken home in a company-provided lear jet." No? Probably not then. ;-) [added 20th Aug 2003]

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# john: dya listen to the cricket on r4 LW ?
jez: indeedy
john: don't ur computers interfere a lot ?
jez: although I have just been having a rousing folky singalong with Maddy Prior
jez: yes - that's why I use the RealPlayer stream
john: ahh
jez: they don;'t have it for every series , but they do for this one
jez: ah - Blowers and Foxy Fowler are opening :)
john: just switched from radio to realplayer - they are about 30 seconds behind on the internet
jez: but if you set your clock by the pips on the stream
jez: you'll think the radio is 30 seconds in the future
john: :))
jez: blowers rules!
john: bowoled him
john: :))
jez: this rocks!
john: its just like being there
jez: well, it's just like being there with a lw radio stuck in your ear
jez: when you're at a match, you get whispers through the crowd when the R4 commentators give out some detail about scoring or injuries or whatever
jez: it sweeps through like an audio mexican wave
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# The Today programme interviewed Tony Martin last week. As ever, it wasn't a soft interview and pressed him reasonably hard. That's good, that's what interviews are for. Predictably though, the Saturday letters slot was taken up with complaints from people who thought he'd been treated harshly. You treated him like a criminal wrote one correspondant.

During the interview he claimed that he didn't know there was anyone there when he fired his gun, and went on to say that if only they [the burglars] hadn't been in his house, they wouldn't have been shot. Everyone can play the if only game - if only Tony Martin hadn't had an illegally held shotgun. If only he hadn't kept it in his bedroom. If only he hadn't loaded it. If only he hadn't fired it.

Martin and his apologists can piss and whine all they like, but he is not being persecuted or treated unfairly. He didn't defend his home in a reasonably way - instead he armed himself with a shotgun and killed someone with it. He is, however you want to slice it, a fucking criminal.

Lisa [e] said Quite right! [added 18th Aug 2003]
ajbattrick said Do you think that he should be able to be sued by the guys he shot?

What if he had stabbed them to death with a kitchen knife?

I don't think that this issue is as black and white as you make out [added 18th Aug 2003]

The law doesn't allow the burglars (well, the one left alive anyway) to sue. Well, it allows them to sure but not to win. The ex turpi doctrine already prevents damages for injuries incurred in the course of and because of wrongdoing.

There was a case recently where an old man stabbed and killed someone who had just kicked in the front door and forced his way into the house. He was aquitted, presumably because the jury felt he was in genuine fear of his life and that his actions were reasonable. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/3129295.stm and http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/3134723.stm

That doesn't necessarily mean that had Martin stabbed the burglars in his house that it would have acceptable. In cases where a householder kills an intruder, the presumption in law is with the householder. To secure a conviction the prosecution case must show that the force used was unreasonable. Tony Martin couldn't convince a jury that what he did - keeping a shotgun and shells in his bedroom and blazing away at people with it - was reasonable. That's why he was convicted. That's why he's a criminal.

[added 18th Aug 2003]
Opps - wrong about the stabbing case. He was acquitted, he wasn't charged in the first place. Wrote from memory, then gathered links, sorry. [added 18th Aug 2003]

wunderwoman said I thought it was not so much that he had a gun but the fact that he shot the boy in the back - therefore the intruder was going away from, not towards, Mr Martin that led to the conviction. [added 19th Aug 2003]
wunderwoman said I thought it was not so much that he had a gun but the fact that he shot the boy in the back - therefore the intruder was going away from, not towards, Mr Martin that led to the conviction. [added 19th Aug 2003]
Every case rests on a combination of things. Shooting someone in the back doesn't help your case, obviously. Not phoning the police doesn't help. Having a gun hanging around in your bedroom instead of locked in a cabinet doesn't help. And so and so on. [added 19th Aug 2003]
Ken Davidson [e] [w] said I just don't know Jez - while I can't agree with taking a life (any I hope on balance that Mr Martin *secretly* wishes he'd maimed rather than killed), I wonder what I'd feel like if I'd had my home broken into over 40 times in recent history. [added 20th Aug 2003]
Angry enough to do something practical about it, probably. Like installing security lighting maybe - something which was done after Martin was released. Or a burglar alarm perhaps. [added 20th Aug 2003]

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Friday 15 August, 2003
#[linkfarm] There's one ambition that lurks in the heart of every marketeer and entrepreneur: to become a household word.
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#Instant Messaging in Stereo
Instant messaging rocks. Nat thinks it's silly - you could do it all much quicker on the phone - but she's wrong, because it's not like being on the phone at all. Mr Singleton and I often have an IM window sitting open all day, and the conversation meanders this way and that, stops and starts, and often degenerates into mutual abuse. It's marvellous.

When the IM window isn't in the foreground and a new message arrives, it makes a little noise so you know it's there. What would be super-duper cool would be a little noise in stereo. Depending on the IM window's position on the desktop, it would be just fantastically geeky if the little noise's balance was adjusted to suit. If you had two conversations going at once - one window on the left, one on the right - you'd know who'd just messaged without even having to look.

Perhaps in my copious free time I should have a little hack on a Jabber client.
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#[linkfarm] Nutch
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#[linkfarm] 10 Things I learned while writing a book
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#[linkfarm] RMS on SCO, Distributions, DRM
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#[linkfarm] Whale flatulence!
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Wednesday 13 August, 2003
#[Arabica] After weeks and weeks of not working, the SourceForge statistics have suddenly sprung back into life. Until they died, the stats showed Arabica averaging around 200 downloads a month, which I don't consider bad at all given that everytime I plan to do some work on it, live bites me in the bum and takes the time away.
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Tuesday 12 August, 2003
#[linkfarm] JXTA-Remote-Desktop
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#[linkfarm] GUI Toolkits for The X Window System
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#But I can't.
Stupid Windows Service Pack dialog box
smellygit said Remember, Bill knows best. [added 13th Aug 2003]
Yea, but what does he know? Box is ticked meaning restart later, but also disabled meaning what? I'm confused.

I didn't want to reboot straightaway, so I just left the box sitting there until I was ready. That actually turned out to be not very long after, because the installation had monkeyed up the fonts. I guess they really do want you to reboot immediately. [added 13th Aug 2003]

smellygit said See - they know best so take control from you. Servers you right for being a BillBoy :p [added 14th Aug 2003]

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Monday 11 August, 2003
# Back. Sat in sun on beach a lot. Now a bit brown. Went to zoo, too. Much fun had by all. Passed kidney stone on the way home to celebrate. Away to Cardiff now. Work.
ajbattrick said Woo Yay for kidney stones [added 11th Aug 2003]
No! No yay for kidney stones! They are bleeding agony. [added 12th Aug 2003]
stu said I find a Volterol suppository takes the mind of things when passing the stone. Don't know whether it's the act of inserting the suppository that does the trick or the high-powered pain killer that it contains, but what the heck, it works. [added 12th Aug 2003]
Buckeye [e] said What are you doing with kidney stones? You should leave the chalk eating to your toddler! [added 12th Aug 2003]
Buckeye [e] said What are you doing with kidney stones? You should leave the chalk eating to your toddler! [added 12th Aug 2003]
When I first experience the joy of stones - http://www.jezuk.co.uk/jez/2000October#88 - my Mum took great delight in pointing out that kidney stones occur primarily in those aged over 30. She's great, my Mum. Nat and Mum both chided my coffee drinking, but nobody really knows what causes them, and Mr [No First Name Ever Given] Ryan the urologist just told me to keep my fluid intake high. "Any fluid. Any fluid at all."

This one wasn't as completely excrutiating as the first, although I'd rate as somewhere between mild-discomfort and almost complete agony. Stu, I'll bear the inserting-things-up-the-bum for any future occasion, but as we were driving along the A14 at the time, greasing up in a layby might not have practical. [added 12th Aug 2003]

stu said Have you had a kidney function scan?

I had a fucked kidney from birth, but my occasional excruciating back, side, and groin pain for 23 years was initially put down to an over-anxious mother and then never really followed up. In those days the medical profession was always right.

When I finally got unbearable twinges right at the very tip of my glans, passed masses of blood, and then felt as if I was passing spikey steel ball-bearings, they finally did something and diagnosed a dodgy sphincter joining the kidney to the ureter, on which I have since had two operations. Still get agony if I drink too much alcohol, because it puts too much strain on that kidney.

I recently met a friend's mother (who must be in her late 60s) who's had trouble all her life and finally got diagnosed last year. It's taken a year of operations to get it almost right. Now she has a permanent stent in her kidney/ureter.

If you've not had a scan, I'd say get one now.

Better to see if you can get if fixed than get arrested for inserting things up yer bum in public... [added 13th Aug 2003]

I haven't had a kidney function scan no, but I'm happy that it is just stones. I've only had renal colic pains twice - in October 2000 and last Sunday. First time round, I was X-rayed which showed that the little pipey bit down to my bladder was looking a bit distressed, and two or three small stones in the kidney. The stones are only a couple of millimetres or thereabouts across, so not really worth ultrasounding to bits. I'd just have to take my chances - if I remember correctly, I was told I'd be unlucky if they came down, so I guess I'm unlucky :) [added 13th Aug 2003]

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Friday 01 August, 2003
#[linkfarm] Cloning a Computer With Free Software
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# Off on holiday. Bye.
smellygit said MoBlog d00d [added 1st Aug 2003]

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