Where are you going?

First of all, pop over and say hello to Mary, yet another new member of the ever-expanding WBC, of which more in a bit. In an excellent post (and only her third!) Mary makes the point that so many people don't seem to know what they want to do in life, where they're going, what they're doing. They are worried that they don't even know what they want out of life. The thing that struck me about that post is that it assumes that there are people for whom this isn't true: that there are some lucky, clever, sorted people who know exactly what they want out of life, and have a pretty good idea how to get it. Some comments by some friends even indicate that some people believe I'm one of those people. Let's get this straight: I am not one of those people. And nor is anybody else. I remember the last time I felt like I had it all together and knew where my life was going. I was 14. I lived with my parents, totally under the padded but nevertheless iron thumb of my mother. I was going to go to school,...
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Warwick University Weblogs

I thought it might be a good idea to gather together a list of weblogs by Warwick students. God knows why. If you find any more, get in touch. For no good reason Paul Roberts The Warwick Job, also semi-hilariously at Hot or Not personals Sanction's Hard Post Neil Parley Antigeek Seldo Dot Com Well, obviously Wabson Likewise It's Educational! Joe Grassby's page Chris Alcock hurhurhur Hillan.Org Ed or John Hillan On General Principle Chez Meaningless Artichoke Moz Peachey Trash Matt Elton MynciBoi Dan Govan Karinski Talia ShinyPixel Rik Ward Vitamin J Steve Spencer AfterLife, a joint project by many Warwickians, spearheaded by Matt Elton (above) M Mary Disco Stu Mikey Genetik Jamie Barfield The Pink Blog Artemis
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Today's bit of computer trivia

Computing (depending how you define the term) was invented mainly in English-speaking countries (although France, Germany and Hungary all have credible claims). The contenders for the construction of the "first modern computer" are England and the USA, and which actually came first depends on an even finer distinction in how you define a computer. The details of that debate are quite interesting, but irrelevant, since the result was the same: computers are English-speaking devices, right down to the core. This created problems when computers spread over the entire world. Microsoft Windows performs the same function whether it is in London or in Bangladesh, but it is useless if its users cannot understand what it is saying. So programmers began having to translate programs from English to other languages. This turned out to be a huge pain, since programs have millions and millions of lines of code of which many tens of thousands can contain English, from the instructions in the settings menu down to...
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Have some linkage

Memeing around the world at mach 7, I give you Rock Paper Saddam, in case you haven't seen it already. More than 30 years late they're still sexist; can you imagine how racist and homophobic they must be? This reaffirms my long-standing desire to never, ever work for Investment Wankers. BBC News Online's photographer of the year competition could get very big indeed. Homophobia? What homophobia? In response to a gay couple being denied a room at a bed and breakfast, the Guardian surveys B&Bs across the nation and discovers even Tunbridge Wells likes homos these days. I quite like the infinite cat project. Omigod, this is, like, *so* funny. I give you Britney Spears' mission statement: Ohmigod, I'm gonna make a difference for the better too! I'm gonna be sexy again! I am! I'm gonna get my knee fixed - no, I'm gonna buy a new one - no, I'll buy a new leg and never have to let my fans, my ever-lovin' fans, down again. Then I'm gonna start going to the gym again for 18 hours a day, and find that body...
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20 Questions to a better Personality

Via eDan Wackiness: 20/100 Rationality: 56/100 Constructiveness: 80/100 Leadership: 52/100 You are an SRCF -- Sober Rational Constructive Follower. This makes you a White House Staffer. You are a tremendous asset to any employer, cool under pressure, productive, and a great communicator. You feel the need to right wrongs, take up slack, mediate disputes and keep the peace. This comes from a secret fear that business can't go on without you--or worse, that it can. If you have a weakness, it is your inability to say "no." While your peers respect you, they find it difficult to resist taking advantage of your positive attitude and eagerness to take on work. You depend on a good manager to keep you from sinking under the weight and burning out. Unfortunately, complete bullshit. Anyone who was with me in my final year knows that cool under pressure is the last thing to describe me, and my eagerness to take on work is only my matched by my ability to prodcrastinate from ever doing...
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Fun

I had a great weekend. Went on a boat with 450 gay men as part of OUT's Element 2 party, and followed by a 4am breakfast at Balan's cafe... met loads of cool new people, lots of fun. Am way too tired to blog properly, so here are two cut-and-pasted quiz results, which I thought were amusingly accurate: How to make a Laurie Ingredients: 1 part pride 3 parts self-sufficiency 1 part energy Method:Add to a cocktail shaker and mix vigorously. Add a little emotion if desired! How to make a Seldo Ingredients: 5 parts pride 5 parts silliness 3 parts instinct Method:Stir together in a glass tumbler with a salted rim. Serve with a slice of wisdom and a pinch of salt. Yum! Username: Personality cocktailFrom Go-Quiz.com
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Freedom2Surf customers

If you happen to be a customer of freedom2surf, a reasonably priced, medium-sized broadband ISP in the UK, then you may, upon trying to set up your connection, encountered some difficulties. Two important things they don't tell you are: You need to set up a dial-up connection, not any kind of broad-band connection. Yes, I know it's broadband, but that's not how it works. Don't spend 30 minutes working this out. Once you've worked out that it's a dial-up connection, it will ask you for a number. "But it's broadband!" I hear you cry, "there is no number to dial!" Yes there is. That number is 0,38 including the bloody comma. Don't spend 2 and 1/2 hours working that out. Wasting that much time finding out something that should be fucking written down somewhere on their fucking website might get you seriously fucking annoyed if that were the case. Much thanks to the good people of freedom2support.net (why can't companies ever make help sites worth half a damn? Why are community sites so much...
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Comment spam

Dammit! All my various instances of MT have been attacked by comment-spammers. If you have a blog with me, check your comments: if you have several thousand, get in touch and I'll let you know where the anti-spam tools are. Grrrrrr....
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Your nutty historical trivia for today

So, the US election is on Tuesday, November 2nd. With all the furore over postponing the elections in the event of a terrorist attack, I heard mention (on the BBC) that the rule for the date of the election is the first Tuesday of November. Then I read in the Economist, as a passing mention, that the rule is actually the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November -- an additional stipulation which excludes only the 1st of November. So why no election on the 1st of November? According to the Federal Election Commision (and they ought to know): Why the first Tuesday after the first Monday? Lawmakers wanted to prevent election day from falling on the first of November for two reasons. November 1st is All Saints Day, a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics. In addition, most merchants were in the habit of doing their books from the preceding month on the 1st. Congress was apparently worried that the economic success or failure of the previous month might influence the vote of the...
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William Shatner covers Common People

This is fucking amazing. From his new album titled, excellently, Has Been. (Produced by Ben Folds!)
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Inspector Sands

If you are ever on the London Underground and you hear a strange, obviously pre-recorded voice saying something along the lines of "Inspector Sands, please go to the operations room immediately", then be aware: what you are actually hearing is a coded message indicating to station staff that a fire alarm has been set off in one part of the station, but without panicking the stupid, sheep-like passengers. Many large public buildings such as stadia and theatres have similar messages, although the precise meaning of this one seems to depend on who you listen to.
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Convergence/divergence and the iPod

Tom Coates has a great post up about what will be the next big functionality in musical devices. He talks about ever-growing bandwidth, and practically unlimited storage, but then fails to make a vital connection, which given the enormous popularity of on-network P2P seems obvious to me: real world P2P. One of the really big selling points of the venerable cassette tape was that it allowed people to copy and shares tapes: record companies didn't like this functionality, but there was nothing they could do about it. The Next Big Thing(TM) as well as the Next Big Fight(RIAA) will be when somebody invents a device that not only stores loads of music/video/data and lets you carry it around, but lets you share it with other people, wirelessly and easily. They might be sharing it by a common wireless network, but much more interesting would be if they didn't require any external infrastructure to work: if two wiPods meet in the desert, they can share songs. The possibilities of such a device are...
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