archive for the News category

Iraq Rebuild More Cash than Marshall Plan?

Links,News Tuesday 28th February 2006

It has been predicted that the rebuilding of Iraq will cost more than the Marshall Plan. The Marshall Plan was the effort to rebuild the whole of Western Europe at the end of WWII. Something is definitely wrong there…


Child’s Play

Gaming,News Saturday 17th December 2005

childs play

Buy some toys for sick children at xmas. & Yahoo! Sitting In A Tree

News,Technology Friday 16th December 2005

So, the big Y! makes yet another social-software purchase and buys I started using delicious last year and while I didn’t find the whole book marking thing that useful I do try to trawl delicious popular once a day to catch up on all the latest trends. It seem that Yahoo! is taking taking a different approach to the big G. Google tend to hire the super-academics and take the “look how smart we are” approach. Whilst Yahoo! are hiring (and buying) the entrepreneurs to broaden their portfolio of online services to provide to Yahoo! users, “look how friendly we are”.

It’s quite a turn around as Google used to be the friendly new kid on the block, with Yahoo the bumbling, messy old guy trying to keep up. Now everyone is realising that Google is not infallible, is making billions of dollars a year, has endless beta cycles and generally wants to index every bit of data, ever. Yahoo are trying to get close to the people who use their products, they’ve finally got into blogging, launched a nicer API than Google and started buying up the social apps that people actually use (upcoming, flickr, delicious etc). I still like Google’s products, Maps is just awesome, but somehow I feel they’ve become more corporatey than Yahoo!


Remembrance Day

News Friday 11th November 2005

In Pictures : Field Of Remembrance

Britain remembers it’s war dead

News,Technology Friday 7th October 2005

So I’m adding to the general blogosphere buzz by blogging about a blogging tool. A while ago I put my email address into some box on and a few days ago I got an invite to start a blog. offers a free pre-installed wordpress hosting solution much like blogger. So I setup a completely pointless blog just to try it out.

It’s a very neat setup, you can do almost everything you can on a normal wordpress setup except edit the actual page templates. It comes with a choice of eight different themes which is more than adequate for this type of service. I think I’ll stick to my own hosted wordpress install though. The geek in me requires much more customisation than allows.


Open Rights Group

News,Technology Saturday 10th September 2005

Glad to see this has been setup. Basically a UK version of the EFF.



News Sunday 4th September 2005

So, hurricane Katrina turned out to be a lot worse than anyone expected. I know everyone is saying the same thing, (with a lot of passion in some cases) but it is quite amazing that the Bush administration can fund the invasion and occupancy of a country half-way around the world. Yet cannot give sufficient help to people in its own country. Lack of communication and excess red tape seems to be to blame for a lot of the delays. The post 9/11 knee-jerk reactionary Department For Homeland Security just seems to have added another level of bureacracy into the whole governmental apparatus.

A whole bunch of geeks stayed behind and and holed up on the 27th floor of a New Orleans ISP keeping a journal, which is fascinating yet scary reading. I can’t help feeling that the worlds greatest super-power has enough money, but if want to you can donate through the Red Cross.


Sheer Genius

News,Technology Monday 25th July 2005

$ cd Afghanistan
$ ls
bin Taliban
$ rm Taliban
rm: Taliban is a directory
$ cd Taliban
$ ls
$ rm soldiers
$ cd ..
$ rmdir Taliban
rmdir: directory "Taliban": Directory not empty
$ cd Taliban
$ ls -a
. .. .insurgents
$ chown -R USA .*
chown: .insurgents: Not owner
$ cd ..
$ su
Password: *******
# mv Taliban /tmp
# exit


London Bombings

News Thursday 7th July 2005

It’s all pretty horrendous although compared to Madrid we got off lightly. Also, when put in the context of what happen every day in Iraq, this is nothing. Also, I’m glad to see that Alex is alright.


Software Patent Bill Thrown Out

News,Technology Thursday 7th July 2005



Make Poverty History

Edinburgh,News,Photography Monday 4th July 2005

Kerry and I did a bit of the Make Poverty History march on Saturday and then mooched around the meadows for a bit, soaking up the atmosphere. It did feel good to part of something big, the amount of people involved was huge. When we got back to the Meadows (thinking we were the last to go around) there were still five huge queues of people waiting just to start off! I took lots of photos, which are available to view in pictures. We didn’t see any of the “trouble”. Although when we were waiting for the bus home, five police vans screamed past us towards Buccleuch street, probably something to do with this.


Who Should I Vote For?

Links,News Sunday 24th April 2005

Unsure of which party has promised what for the upcoming elections? Who Should I Vote For is for you.

According to them I’m a raving Lib Dem, closely followed by the Greens. Sounds about right to me.


More Creative Commons UK

Links,News,Technology Wednesday 6th April 2005


Japanese WW II sub found off Oahu

News Saturday 26th March 2005

This is pretty amazing.


Hunter S. Thompson

News Wednesday 23rd February 2005
1937 – 2005

“Some may never live, but the crazy never die.”


Even More Waterstones

News Wednesday 12th January 2005

This is geting nuts, it’s made the Scotsman and the Guardian! Joe explains more here.

Also, I started a page collecting together all the publicity.


More Waterstones

Books,Edinburgh,News Monday 10th January 2005

After talking to Jed (our local friendly lawyer) I figure I should make my position clearer on the whole Joe firing issue. I understand that what Joe did was most likely in breach of his contract and can easily be called Gross Misconduct. It’s just I expected a company such as Waterstones, that sells books, to have a slightly more open-minded approach to this whole thing. A minor reprimand would have been a more apropriate response in my opinion.

Also, stop the presses, Joe has made the front page of boingboing. They’ve quoted a bit of his post where he talks about me, I wish I’d gotten on to boingboing under better circumstances.



Books,Edinburgh,News Saturday 8th January 2005

I left Waterstones over 6 months ago now and it was basically going downhill when I started about two years ago. Higher levels of management were imposing more HMV-like directives down through the structure and it was all getting very ‘un-bookshoppy’ in my opinion. But hey! I’m glad I don’t work there now because my fellow mate/blogging/geek Joe Gordon has been fired for blogging about working there. OK, he made some small criticisms about the management style but nothing that would warrant a full dismissal. Apparently it was ‘gross misconduct’ and ‘brought the company into disrepute’.

I really do feel for Joe, he certainly brightened the place up when I was there. But he was so frustrated with some aspects of the business that were being imposed. He had to vent somewhere and his blog turned out to be an ideal outlet. His venting was not a frequent thing, after all his blog is based around his satirical magazine, it’s not just a personal blog.

After I stopped working in waterstones I realised how crap it is. I only ever go in there now to talk to people I worked with and get the latest goss. Shops like Blackwells or Ottakars just have more soul. Waterstones is just like a shell that has books and I till in it. OK, this may be a little all-encompassing. There are some renegade branches out there, or ones that have enough clought to get away with stuff (like Manchester Deansgate) but Edinburgh – East End just seems cold. Anyway, I buy most of my books online now from amazon or second stuff from the nice wee shops in Edinburgh.

Joe also seems to have lots of other support on the internet: here, here, here and here.


Six Apart

News,Technology Friday 7th January 2005

So, they did indeed buy LiveJournal as everyone was speculating. Reading around the Six Apart website I began to think I was a little harsh on them with my hatred towards the mess they made of the Moveable Type licensing. They do seem to be a jolly nice company with nice people working there. I’ve no intention of moving back to MT or going side-ways to Type Pad though, WordPress does everything quickly, cleanly and oh so smoothly for me.


Rubbling In The Blog Jungle

News,Technology Wednesday 5th January 2005

Six Apart, the company behind MoveableType and TypePad are rumoured to be be buying the teen-angst ‘blogging’ emoticon filled pit of despair that is LiveJournal. I gave up on MoveableType when they started the whole world-domination thing and were so obviously neglecting MT in order to work on their pay for use blogging tools. I can almost hear all the livejournals screaming with drama…


Toot Toot

News Saturday 1st January 2005

Happy New Year World!

(Annual change of footer copyright text 🙂 )


Thank You Poland

News,Technology Tuesday 28th December 2004

Sign the “Thank you, Poland!” letter


“Oh! Its Going!”

News Tuesday 9th November 2004

Fred Dibnah has died 🙁

I loved his programs on TV mainly becuase of his endless enthusiasm towards any kind of mechanical system. Fred, you’ll be missed.


Embrace The Revolution

Links,News Monday 20th September 2004

Hands up who’d rather have a whole load of wind turbines over a nuclear reactor. Sign here: embrace the revolution.


Nutty! Away!

Books,Edinburgh,Links,News Thursday 9th September 2004

My good pal Alex has recently been promoted within Waterstones to a buying position based in big ol’ London. He moved their yesterday, on the train, more of an advance party I think. He’ll most likely be without any kind of ‘net connection for a while, but has just got a new bling-bling mobile that comes with a ton of free picture messages. Being the enterprising geek that he is he’s going to put those free picture messages to use with the free photo log service provided by He’s already started documenting his adventures including a blow-by-blow account of his delays on the train journey down. Have a look at what will no doubt evolve into an interesting small-ginger-man-in-London photo-blog.



News Tuesday 7th September 2004

Just noticed International Talk Like A Pirate Day is coming up. Yarha! me hearties!


Coup Coup Cachoo

News Thursday 2nd September 2004

This whole thing with Mark Thatcher (Scratcher lol) is pretty crazy. Him and his ex-SAS buddies were going to stage a coup in Equatorial Guinea. Gee…what is there in Equatorial Guinea? Oh! Oil! I can only think that this kind of thing is going to happen more and more. If the oil runs out in the middle east or it becomes even more un-settled then “entrepreneurial” people may start looking at these small (corrupt) oil-rich African nations. Get a hundred or so mercs, some weapons from South Africa and then stage a coup and rake in the cash.


Butler Report

News Thursday 15th July 2004

The intelligence: flawed
The dossier: dodgy
The 45-minute claim: wrong
Dr Brian Jones: vindicated
Iraq’s link to al-Qa’ida: unproven
The public: misled
The case for war: exaggerated
And who was to blame? No one

great, that was time well spent then.




News Monday 7th June 2004

I was working all of yesterday so didn’t see any of the daytime stuff but I did watch the docu-drama in the evening. It was rather good, I especially liked the bits where they merged the old stock footage or photos with the new drama. I nice touch was the way the veterans commentary was shown not with them speaking but just with shots of them thinking and remembering. It made the whole programme seem like their memories.


Mirror Smackdown!

News Friday 14th May 2004

BBC NEWS | Politics | Editor sacked over ‘hoax’ pictures



News Tuesday 27th April 2004

Happy St. Georges Day

News Friday 23rd April 2004

The story of the war

News Friday 2nd April 2004


Bloodthirsty Americans

News Wednesday 25th February 2004



News Friday 26th September 2003

BBC NEWS | Technology | Turning mobiles into walkie-talkies


This is great

News Sunday 27th July 2003

Flash Mobs

we need an Edinburgh one!



News Sunday 1st June 2003

Nullsoft have developed a p2p app for small groups of people (10-50) that creates a network allowing file sharing, chat, searching etc. Seem quite cool stuff and its all ninja encrypted so no eavesdropping. Of course AOL/TimeWarner (their parent company) pulled the whole project two days after it went up. Can you guess why kids? Once something is on the net though its on the net:

mirror of the waste website 🙂


Its Funny and Terrifying

News Thursday 15th May 2003

George ‘DUBYAH’ Bush’s résumé

[via boingboing]


Gulf War 2 : The Coalition Strikes Back

News Tuesday 8th April 2003

This gallery of posters showing reactions to the war is very good and has some very thought provoking designs.

On the subject of the war, I just can’t help notice how surreal the war is becoming. Its partly due to the amount of technology available to journalists, it allows them to report stories with such speed and to actually be there as it happens. I can now be sat on the sofa watching my countries soldiers, as they kill another countries soldiers with bewildering arrays of equipment and firepower. Then we get the reporters being killed or coming under fire, and even better, we get them being bombed by our side, live! on air! as it happens! (bbc news )

I had bbc news 24 on this morning as background noise and my attention was perked by a tour around one of Saddam’s palaces. Some bbc reporter was hamming it up very badly, thinking he was on house doctors or changing rooms or something. He skipped around this palatial building pointing out all the wood carving, marble and stained glass. Even checking out the bathrooms with the gold plate plumbing and making wild speculations about how much it cost and how many had died builiding it. The punchline came at the end though, when he ended it with:

“Who lives in a house like this……Saddam Hussein lives in a house like this”

I kid you not.

Winner of the day though is the Iraqi Information Minister. Who gave a impromtu press conference in the streets of Baghdad categoricaly denying that the US has entered Iraq, saying that the invader had been “slaughtered” and they were comitting suicide at the walls of the city. All this when US armour was less than half a mile away across the Tigras and the weapons fire within earshot. He is propaganda personified.


March Blogging

News Tuesday 25th March 2003

Matthew gives an interesting write-up here, as does charlie here.


War Photographs

News Tuesday 25th March 2003

Some ‘excellent’ photos on msnbc:


I hate the smell of war in the morning

News Thursday 20th March 2003

I wish blair would stop pussing-footing around and just call it a war. Instead they mince about calling it a “police action”, an “increased offesive” etc…

It Blair can’t admit to us, his people, then we’re screwed.


Michael Moore speaks

News Tuesday 18th March 2003

Dear Governor Bush:

So today is what you call “the moment of truth,” the day that “France
and the rest of world have to show their cards on the table.” I’m glad
to hear that this day has finally arrived. Because, I gotta tell ya,
having survived 440 days of your lying and conniving, I wasn’t sure if I
could take much more. So I’m glad to hear that today is Truth Day,
’cause I got a few truths I would like to share with you:
read on…


Strategy my arse

News Monday 3rd March 2003

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | ‘Six Iraqis die’ in US-UK raids

“aggressive shift in strategy”, riiiight.
War then. Do they think we are stupid?


Not very reassuring…

News Friday 28th February 2003

“You know I could run for governor but I’m basically a media creation. I’ve never done anything. I’ve worked for my dad. I worked in the oil business. But that’s not the kind of profile you have to have to get elected to public office.” – George W. Bush, 1989



News Tuesday 18th February 2003

This is war:

The Unseen Gulf War by Peter Turnley – The Digital Journalist

Not In Our Name


Shuttle Columbia

News Sunday 2nd February 2003

my condolences


New worm hits the net

News Sunday 26th January 2003

Bank of America ATMs Disrupted by Virus (


MS SQL Server Worm Wreaking Havoc


Not Very Comforting…

News Tuesday 17th December 2002

BBC NEWS | UK | Police held in net paedophile inquiry


We’re Doomed

News Tuesday 17th December 2002

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Bush gives go-ahead to missile defence