|<< August 2004||October 2004 >>|
Early comic that I don't remember anything about.
Drawn in July 89, so was between second and third year at university. Spent that summer in Norwich. Did a bit of industrial temping that summer: hefting windows at a double glazing warehouse, counting tins at a baked bean factory, strimming acres and acres of weeds at the about-to-open Center Parcs. Rewrote some of my exams - even went down to the UEA library to study. Wrote Amstrad Basic programs to draw Mandelbrot sets. Kick 'em off in the morning, see what you get when you come home. Actually, that helped with exams because I helped maintain and even foster an interest in non-linear control theory, which up to then I had found extremely dry.
Beans for lunch today. Strong possibility of beans for lunch tomorrow, and the day after. Maybe even the day after that.
Much excitement and nervousness yesterday. For the first time in I'm really not sure how long we had people for dinner. Nattle, while no longer getting all cross and shirty prior to guests arriving, did instigate a bit of last minute picture hanging. I also maintained a pre-dinner facade of calm, but in my desire not to under-cater cooked enough food for about 16. The people for dinner in question, Marv and James are jolly decent types and did tuck-in with some dedication. Together we made a fair dent, but they could probably come round again tonight and tomorrow without me having to cook again.
(Waking the Texan isn't bad, is it?)
One of the things I often ask my clients not to do is refer to their staff as resources. It's not uncommon to hear people say things like "I need another resource on this" or "We have some more resources starting next week" (worse - "We have some more resources available ..."). I believe it's a dehumanising thing to do - without meaning to you can lose sight of the fact that you're actually talking about people, and encourages an attitude that staff are plug-replaceable.
A girl I know, an asylum seeker from Zimbabwe, received a letter from NASS on Saturday. It told her that her landlord's contract with NASS was ending and she would be moved to new accomodation, in Swansea, this Wednesday. She's lived in Birmingham for two years, is at college, and her asylum hearing is in Birmingham in two months. When she phoned NASS to ask if there was any way she could stay in Birmingham, she was told it wasn't possible. She's also been advised that to try and stay here would probably prejudice her hearing. As an asylum seeker, she has no choice in this, she must live where NASS tells her.
It seems to me that if arbitrary and capricious acts of government caused you so much fear you fled the country, you would find it at least extremely unsettling to be ordered to move 150 miles at 5 days notice. It surely can't have been a surprise to NASS that this contract was ending. Even it were not possible to find new accomodation locally, could it have done any harm to give those effected a bit more notice. Hell, it might even have done some good.
I doubt NASS talk about resources, but I bet they do talk about "cases".
There was an article in the Telegraph Wedneday about a £1500 a person seminar for senior managers that was designed to help bridge the gap between managers and employees. Tesco's CEO was a keynote speaker and this makes sense, but the other was Lord Brown (John as I knew him in the 1970s) of BP, surely the most resource-bound individual in the country. My ex-colleagues at BP have nothing positive to say about his management style which included draining young technologists' minds and casting them on the rubbish tip once burned out. And he got a peerage (long live the Republic!)
As for your experience of Lord Brown, doesn't that seem to be about par for the course? BP are a profitable, well-capitalised company (aren't they), so he must, by definition, be a good chief exec. If he's a good chief exec, he must, be definition, be in touch with his staff. This is nonsense of course, because the definition of these things is all wrong.
Glad to hear the NASS has backed off some.
Got to hack on libgmail some more so I can grab the message bodies. Then I can pump them through pyTTS to provide a bit of commentary between the music. Chuck in a bit of random DJ speak, and it'll sound just like real radio.
Streamsicle is designed for relatively static lists which you manually refresh, while I want to automatically add things to the play list. I want the play list to be ordered by date. I want the old stuff to disappear off the bottom. I want, I want, I want.
As part of a shadowy internet sub-cabal, I'm engaged in abusing a GMail account as a private music club. It's fun to hear different things, particularly as we all seem to have different and yet, so far anyway, sufficiently overlapping tastes.
It is however a bit of pain in the arse to actually listen to the music. GMail's for email, after all, so that's not altogether surprising. What I want is for mails with music to be magically added to an audio stream I can listen to in WinAmp/XMMS or whatever, without embarking on a length detour of clicking and saving and piddling around.
This is, of course, exactly what software is for. Less piddling around on pointless stuff, leaving more time for Doom 3. There's no extant software package (that I could find anyway), but all the bits are there:
* - libgmail — Python binding for Google's Gmail service
* - Streamsicle - streaming MP3 server with a built-in web server
and, for bonus points, tools to read the covering emails too
* - Java Speech API
* - Sayz Me - simple text to speech app that might be useful as an example
Chuck in a couple of audio transcoders, and that should be job done.
Gah, all I need now is the time. Pete, hassle me about this. Approximately weekly should fall between irritatingly often and insufficient to motivate.
files are uploaded to gmail with a java app, with a unique id for each file (md5), then checked back and added to a gmail-distributed filesystem
NullIteratoriterates over nothing. That is,
static public java.util.Iterator NullIterator();
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