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Monthly Archives: March 2009

skype_logoUPDATE Tuesday 31st March: Yes! You can find it here.

There’s a lot of net chatter suggesting that a Skype app for the iPhone will be in the App Store on Tuesday. For free (yay!). Works only when you’re logged onto WiFi (doh!). Still, I’ll be in line to download and test it tomorrow …

boxedwaterHere’s something so obvious I’m not sure why someone hasn’t thought of it sooner: Rather than package water in hard to dispose of plastic bottles, why not ship them in paper cartons? To be sure there will be a very thin plastic film liner, I doubt they’ll be using wax, but even so the ability to flat crush and recycle or biodegrade the paper is a huge win to for the “bottled” water industry.

My only suggestion would be that they tether the screw off cap to the carton to prevent it ending up as unwanted trash. And just look at those four gorgeous sides on which to print something …

Ok, listen up packaging guys: I want an insulated, flat pack container for my morning coffee with a large screw on cap I can safely drink from!

Suggested browsing Boxed Water

I’m in a video-centric frame of mind this week. After appreciating Slumdog Millionaire recently I couldn’t help but smile at this faux iPod ad on YouTube …

fishy_pedicureCNN’s Kitty Pilgrim reports “There’s something fishy about the trend in flesh eating pedicures” here.

Suggested reading Fish cartoon at Darren Garnick’s Culture Schlock | The Garra Rufa in Wikipedia Doctor Fish, claiming these little critters give relief to people with various Skin Disorders, including Eczema, Psoriasis and Dermatitis included | Buy your own here

In the first two (of five) animations you’ll barely connect the dots to whom the advertising sponsor it …

There are three more: Read More »

ninth_gateNB: Spolier alert! See the movie first if you don’t want to know the outcome. I’m writing this review, however, for people who may otherwise be disappointed in the movie’s ending — which is better appreciated when you decipher some of the symbolism upon which it is built and have time to study the book’s engravings.

The movie “The Ninth Gate” (script here) is based on a Spanish work of fiction “The Club Dumas” by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. In it the protagonists, Balkan and Corso, respectively search for and research a fictional book called “The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows”. The searcher is material and acquisitive — he knows what he wants and he goes after it. The researcher seeks knowledge, doesn’t know what the outcome will be and enlightenment is his reward. Both are embarking upon a journey, with very different outcomes, one of destruction by fire and the other of enlightenment. Keep your focus on Corso, this is his story, only he passes through the ninth gate. Corso himself doesn’t seem to realise this until the end. Decide for yourself what the role of Corso’s companion is: Is she heaven sent or come straight from hell? Could she represent the whore of Babylon symbolising a false religion and is the burning of the castle at the end a reference to the downfall of Jerusalem?

Read More »

There’s an online version of Tetris that I cannot imagine you could complete in less than a fortnight here.

Why? Not only because you can but, maybe, also because you can’t!


Keyboard: Left, right and down cursor keys and space to flip.
On screen, upper right: You can toggle the sound and pause for five minutes.

Is your service provider this obtuse? A man is quoted .002¢/Kb on an out of network data plan. They charge him $0.002 instead (the difference between $71.00 and 71c in his case). He calls to query the bill. Take a listen to this …

The service provider in this case is Verizon: Check your bills folks, Verizon can’t do the math!

The URL to the audio suggests this incident is somehow associated with the xkcd online comic. There’s a cheque payment out there purported to be made by Randall Munroe, creator of xkcd …


… excepting the protagonist in the audio clip is named George. So I’m calling this a fauxtograph — Photoshopped!

If you ignore the unit of value and focus only on the decimal point then you’re probably thinking the unit is Dollars for both, but just like .5 of a Dollar and .5 of a cent is the difference between 50¢ and 1/2¢, then $.002 is one hundred times greater than .002¢ — they’re fractions of different units of values, Dollars and cents. Therefore .002¢ is $0.00002

P.S. It wasn’t easily apparent to me how to embed an .mp3 into WordPress, since it strips out the embed code as soon as you update the post. It turns out there’s an audio command …



I spent the morning at Google’s New York campus learning more about Enterprise search. It’s a pet project of mine (as yet unfunded) to bring search to the newspaper’s various silos of knowledge — including the company’s facebook, intranets, wikis, blogs and many repositories. Each may have it’s own navigable structure and local search but across the enterprise there’s insufficient structure to know where to find every nugget of information — everything is miscellaneous and much of it is lost in plain sight.

Will the luck of the Irish finally smile on my search project?


Caption: In the spirit of St. Patrick’s day both Google and YouTube (a Google acquisition) went green today …

Suggested follow up: Google videos on Everything is Miscellaneous, Enterprise Search, Google Search Appliance – Universal Search for Your Business, Google Search Appliance: New Features and Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder a book by David Weinberger

Pay AIG’s executive bonuses with their own toxic assets. Since they’re short on their own cash and heavy on those toxic assets, why not shape up a CDO based on those assets and reward them generously with their own Kool Aid? Excepting there will be no more credit default swaps to assure their value.

At least this way they’ll become deeply invested in turning those risky investments around, right?

Pi Day is celebrated in the USA by math heads and associated geeks on March 14th (from 3.14, the first few significant number of the number Pi). In other parts of the world Pi Day is celebrated on July 27th — although I’m not sure why July 22nd (because, says David Blatner “22/7 is a pretty good approximation of pi (but 355/113 is better… too bad we don’t have that many months))”

Pi, represented by the Greek letter Π, is a symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter: Pi = 3.14159265358979323846…

Suggested reading: David Blatner’s The Joy of Pi | Wikipedia’s entry on Pi

iphone-copyUPDATE: Tuesday 17th March. To answer the question before I pose it for new readers of this blog, the answer now is “yes” (see more appended).

Will version three of the iPhone software, to be announced this Tuesday, finally bring select, cut, copy and paste to the iPhone? I would hope so. Tethering would be nice and so would video, push, background applications and stereo Bluetooth — but no requirement has been as long suffering nor as blatantly missing as select, cut, copy and paste.

I’ve previously blogged about this omission: iRegret buying the iPhone: No select-cut-copy-and-paste! and iPhone could learn a lesson from Newton.

Do it Apple, and do it now, it’s long overdue! Read More »

Amazon’s Kindle, a software application for the iPhone, is available from the iTunes store here, for free. It works independently from the Kindle itself but if you had one and wanted to switch between the Kindle and the iPhone to read the same book, the system will sync up your bookmarks so you can seamlessly switch between the devices. Books you’ve bought for the Kindle will download to the iPhone and vice versa.

Browse for books in your browser, not the Kindle application, and send sample first chapters to your iPhone for free. After reading the sample chapter on your iPhone you’ll be offerd a “Buy now” link — which essentially is a 1 click immediate purchase of the book from the Kindle application, no confirmation offered nor required.


Huntington, Long Island: Brushing 14″ of snow off my Jeep! Read More »