Worst blogger ever

It's not just laziness, but hopefully I'll be able to blog more soon.
tagged with
1 comment

Ding, dong the witch is dead

Well, not dead, but at least somebody got around to firing his ass. We've got the house, the senate, and the big ol' cherry on top that is a Rumsfeld-shaped hole at the Pentagon! Woohoo! It is a good, good day folks.
2 comments

The company of strangers

I find myself the least busy I've been in quite a while, so expect a few long blogs that I've been storing up. I can remember three times in the recent past that I've spoken to a random stranger. The first was on the tube, probably about a year ago now. The carriage was almost empty apart from us and we were both on our iPods. I unplugged my headphones from the socket and motioned for her to do the same. Then I handed her my headphone plug and she gave me hers. We plugged them into our respective iPods and gave each other random samplings of each other's music collection, commenting on the songs as we went until we reached the station. It was pretty fun. The second was on the street near my house. A man came up to me and the friend I was walking with and started telling me about the crappy day he'd had, how everything had gone wrong, and how now he needed to park put didn't have change for the meter: he showed me the £2 in change he had in his hand and asked if I had 2 pound coins he could...
tagged with
2 comments

The Host with the most

Saw The Host today with O. Not bad! As monster movies go, it was a pretty awesome monster: large enough to be scary, but not so large as to be totally unbelievable, although occasionally it fell into the CGI-monster trap of suddenly becoming a lot bigger or smaller depending on the shot. The plot was oddly political: oddly, as in, it was obviously political in some way, but it was hard to work out what point it was trying to make exactly. It steered away from clichés and was refreshingly unsentimental: whenever it threatened to become emotional it veered away into black humour instead, which was certainly novel and generally well-done. In all, it gave the impression of a much more realistic reaction to a giant monster lurking in a big city: life mainly undisturbed, a vocal minority overreacting in various ways, and a lot of not very clever people doing whatever seemed like a good idea at the time -- and consequently being disorganized and ineffective. And of course: giant land/sea/squid monster...
tagged with
2 comments

What I just did was important

So, I was making a website as a favour to a friend of mine. The site has a gallery (not published at time of posting). Like any gallery, it has simple needs: a bunch of thumbnail images, and then a bunch of larger images conveniently sized for viewing in a browser. It turns out there are three ways of doing this: Manually: open each image in an editor, size it to two different dimensions, save the edited versions. This is slow, boring and laborious. Using a desktop application: find a batch feature in one of my existing image editors to do it, or get a custom gallery-making program to do it for me. I know Paint Shop Pro has this feature, though it requires a little fiddling to get right. I'm only getting to grips with Photoshop quite late in my web development life (Paint Shop Pro always did everything I needed, and still does, but Photoshop is what Yahoo! has a license for), but I assume it can do this too, possibly involving downloading some sort of macro or something. I'd have to google it to...
1 comment

The next step

/* */ The astute amongst you, dear readers -- and, really, amongst you there are few who are not astute1 -- will have noticed a larger than usual gap in the already fairly patchy narrative of my life that is this blog. In particular, you will notice that in early October I got made redundant, only to get a new job a little over a week later, promising "details soon". But those details never arrived. So what's been up? Well, a lot, as it happens. The week we were all made redundant was, understandably, pretty terrible. We were told that our positions had been made redundant, but we had not: as valuable, loved, huggly-cuddled employees, they wanted to keep us. So we had three months in which to find alternative positions within the company. In a company the size of Yahoo!, this is fairly practical: we always have dozens of unfilled positions even within the relatively small London office, and over at HQ in Sunnyvale it can be hundreds. And speaking of Sunnyvale: yes, they said, we could apply...
13 comments

Everything (and everyone) must go

So as part of our departure, our department has taken all the junk from our desks and organized a charity auction. Everything must go, very reasonable prices! Highlights include: One of those snazzy credit-card sized tube maps -- usually £10-£15, yours for £1.51! A rather fine picture frame, featuring a picture of our illustrious leader. A supercool Yahoo!-branded sports bottle. Yodel as you jog! Just in time for christmas, a set of christmas lights -- plus an extension cord! And more, much more! :-) Get bidding! All proceeds go to the RSPCA.
1 comment

Not your typical wedding

My friends Alex and Sup tied the knot today in the amazing chapel at Pembroke College, Oxford. It was a lot of first for me: it was the first wedding I've been to where I was a "primary" guest, i.e. the bride and groom were personal friends rather than extended family or friends of family. It's also the first time I've been to a wedding in Britain -- lots of new etiquette involving what to wear and buying gifts -- and the first time I've been genuinely moved by the service, not to mention the first time most of the guests were my own age: yikes, I'm now in the Marrying Years. Probably because of all of the preceding firsts, it was also the first wedding where I've thoroughly enjoyed myself throughout. The ceremony itself was an excellently-managed mingling of Christian and Hindu tradition, presided over by both a priest and a guru. Having been to a hindu wedding before, I was throughly impressed to see the hindu portions of the ceremony compressed to less than an hour, even if it did involve the guru...
tagged with
0 comment

It's important to have goals

It's just a bit sad that one of mine is now to have 50 connections on my LinkedIn profile.
tagged with
0 comment

Little things and ancient history

You know when you're in an elevator and you've gone up lots of floors in a single go, and the elevator decelerates as you approach your floor, and for a few seconds you feel lighter? I love that feeling. It's like you've finally figured out how to fly, and you're about to take off. Unrelatedly, a question for the floor: I was reading this article about an ancient Greek analogue computer. The damn thing was thousands of years in advance of the previous earliest known analogue computer of equivalent complexity, which depending how you define these things was either in the 1640s by Pascal or not until Babbage's difference engine in 1822. Of course, there were earlier clockwork devices for predicting planets, notably the Chinese had one in 1000BC. So it wasn't, like, unprecedented. But still pretty amazing. But the difference between the Chinese and Greek civilizations is that the Chinese one is still there, but the Acropolis is in ruins. So what happened to the ancient Greeks? Did their civilization...
tagged with
4 comments