Sunday, May 2, 2010

Imposed Internet Sabbatical

My internet connection died on the 26 March 2010. I had an old suybscribtion that I was, to be honest, paying too much for. The modem somehow seemed to have lost its settings and couldn't contact the DNS server - no IP, no internet.

So I took the opportunity to purchase an upgrade (which will be done in two phases), and hopefully I'll have a fibre connection of around 40mbps in a month's time.

In the meantime there have been quite a few stories, so I'll try to summarise them chronologically here. First up the victim of the lorry shunt that so was so widely publicised on the net has spoken of her fear.

A chilling tale from history, which is maybe somewhat appropriate now given the plethora of vampire related TV shows and films the last couple of years, such as Moonlight, Twilight, The Vampire Diaries and even less directly related series like Charmed and Supernatural. The BBC's tale starts in Glasgow in 1954 when an urban myth was generated suurounding monsters seen in a graveyard. It was eventually attributed to hallucinations caused by reading sinister comic books and so the authorities clamped down on the publications. The sorry part is that they were looking for a scapegoat to ban American comic books which were supposedly a bad influence on children, which reminds me all to much of the current crusade against video games.

The UK finally has its own space agency says the BBC. After many years participating in ESA, the new agency is supposed to manage budgets and make decision making more efficient. I hope that the fact the UK has its own logo, that maybe there will be more promotion for space technology and engineering in general to inspire young people.

If that's not enough, Pacman lives on the Saturnian moon Mimas courtesy of this image from NASA.

In an Easter related post, the BBC report on how the depiction of The Last Supper has grown from a meager to a super-sized feast. Over the years meals have grown in size along with general prosperity, and painters through the centuries have reflected this in their translations of Jesus' final meal.

Portal is to get a sequel - hooray! Following a mysterious couple of updates involving strange transmissions from the radios to be found in each level, and a subtle change in the closing scene of the game, Valve have confirmed the suspicions. Furthermore, Ars reports that Jonathan Coulton who got so much publicity from "Still Alive" will be doing music for the new game, due out at the end of this year in time for Christmas. report that the European privacy watchdog want to impose the restriction of cookies, such that users must always be explicitly given the choice of whether to allow them or not for every site they visit. This may be a pain for Joe Average who does not realise that login sessions and shopping baskets are powered by them, potentially creating more harm than good. It would be a step in the wrong direction if users for "Always accept" when the goal of the EDPS is to avoid the creation of clandestine browsing profiles about users.

Justice has come for Omari Roberts who was attacked by two robbers as he entered his mother's home one night and stabbed one of them to death. The BBC reports that the second robber changed his story which corroborated Omari's version of events and the case was dismissed. And so it should have.

Climate change has conveniently solved the problem of a disputed Bay of Bengal island by making it disappear beneath the waves, according to the BBC. Scientists say it won't be last one either.

In OS land, the next version of Ubuntu Lucid Lynx will not only shift from brown to aubergine in its default theme, it will also incorporate a music store, say Ars. In the meantime, Microsoft are promising h.264 support and full HTML compatibility, but Ars questions their philosophy of bring fixed releases, rather than their competitors more frequent updates, which provide new functionality as it becomes available.

Another famous TV actor Robert Culp has passed way. The BBC reports on how he made his fame in America with Bill Cosby in the series I Spy, but is a recognised face in many later films and TV shows. RIP Robert.

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The famous Austrian village proudly boasts its own beer, appropriatly named Fucking Hell, which according to has been approved as a registered European beer brand.

The catholic church are having a hard time of it lately with all those pedo-priests being exposed says the BBC. An isolated case, then maybe a verbal apology and a promise to make things right would have been sufficient. But this is endemic and as far as I'm concerned it's time of an independent investigation to expose the cover-up and protection that the Vatican must have been giving all these years.

There's been a hell of lot hype around the iPad, an oversized iPhone with no keyboard. Our friends at Blendtec haven't let us down.

Further news in brief; Ricky came out, anthropologists discover the ancient human X-woman, Ada Lovelace, Babbage's assistant and the first ever programmer is still the number one tech heroine, Apple lost their next-gen iPhone, the Nord Stream pipeline construction has begun while in America an Eastern seaboard windfarm is on the cards, , life on Earth has been found that does not require oxygen, and Graham Norton disrupts the season's opening episode of Doctor Who...again.

Oh, and one more thing: SCO does not own Unix!