Pearly gates

posted 29 July 2003
Ooh, they're here! Transport for London has finally got its act together and introduced smartcards on all its trains and buses to replace the old system of thousands of (environmentally-unfriendly, fragile) cardboard tickets with magnetic strips. The somewhat oddly-named new Oyster cards are re-usable, and you don't have to take them out of your wallet for them to work -- just pass them over the reader, and you're through -- which should hopefully speed the progress of people through the gates. Better still, if you lose your card, you haven't lost your ticket -- you just report it missing, that card is cancelled, and they send you a new card with your ticket loaded onto it instead.

Currently they're only available in monthly and annual versions, but as the price drops they will become available for weekly and daily tickets too. Conveniently, they come just when I'm about to buy my first monthly travelcard for my new job, so I can be a cool trendsetter with my nifty remotely-read smartcard, which will almost certainly fail to work in a humourous fashion the first time I use it.

Forgive me for being geeky here; I don't really know why I find these so cool. I've just been waiting to see these cards introduced for a long time -- the little yellow readers started appearing on tube gates more than a year ago. And I really do hate the horribly low-tech paper tickets, they're such a pain.

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Random links that have interested me enough to bookmark recently: AwesomeGamerz is a mildly funny...

posted 29 July 2003
Random links that have interested me enough to bookmark recently:
  • AwesomeGamerz is a mildly funny but extremely twisted new webcomic, worth a look.
  • AlienDice unabashedly rips concepts out of Pok√©mon, but somehow manages to work in a sexy blue hero. And we already know how I feel about sexy blue men (via the excellent Nightcrawler Zone)
  • The Egomaniac has landed
  • I re-tested myself and discovered I have risen one place on the camp scale to be...

    LEVEL 7 -- VERY FEMININE
    It's kinda assumed 'Oh, yeah he's gay'. Your consistent behavior leads anyone you come in contact with to think that you're more than likely a fun loving Homo boy. You're the life of the party and your hands are moving and talking as much as your mouth. Your clothes are so perfect that sometimes they look fake.
  • Everyone knows Piltdown man was a fake, but did you know the hoax was probably perpetrated by Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes stories?
  • The All American Rejects, recommended by eDan, are quite cute and their songs are quite catchy despite having the most foppishly poetic lyrics I've heard in mainstream music in a long time.
  • It turns out we killed even more whales than we thought. Like, 10 times as many. This seems to lend weight to the theory that we have already fished 90% of all the fish in the ocean. Let's all go back to eating cows! No shortage of them!
  • A font that changes depending on the weather? I'm not really sure what use this is, but hey, good going there.
  • Be eco-friendly and stylish with a bamboo bicycle. Also quite cheap, apparently.
  • Who designs the really big, important websites in the world? The Wheel do. I want to work for these people someday; maybe I'll stick with my current job for the moment though, at least until it actually starts :-)
  • The Notorious A-List lists celebrities and all known lies about them, e.g.:
    Bloom, Orlando
    A yummy monkey, indeed. ("Dirty flirt.") "Kinda immature, a bit of a brat but still nice." Linked with Kate Bosworth and Susanna Eng and, I'm told, a German actor; I've gotten a lot of e-mail that Bloom is mostly bisexual, if not gay, and that his "affairs" with Bosworth and Eng are just PR.
    These are the things I like to hear.
  • Enjoy some hard-core irony by procrastinating by reading Slashdot's tips on how to be more productive. Some good advice in there though. "Blog less", for instance.
  • The wireless beer glass that signals the waiter automatically when you need a refill is a good example of technology filling an urgent need
  • Virtual humans are becoming more realistic, mainly by adding lots of imperfections. Funny how we won't accept things as real unless they're flawed; the Wachowski brothers were probably right about the Perfect Matrix
  • Not only is mind-control via television apparently possible, there's a patent on it, surprisingly enough not held by Jeff Bezos.
  • Roger's Trinidad and Tobago web page has come a long way since I first visited it in 1996, although his web design skills have not significantly improved, it must be said.
  • My favourite IDE, Eclipse, now (finally) has a plugin to support PHP. Yay!
  • Oh, and because he keeps asking, I shall mention technoboy in this blog. So there!

    Phew! That turned into a bit of a megablog; enjoy!

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