All entries for January 2007

January 31, 2007

I am whole again!

Follow-up to Damn you, Orange! Hooray for Vodafone (well, Nokia really…)! from The randomness of tomorrow, today!

We finally have broadband back! It's amazing how you never appreciate something until it's gone; I never realised how much I rely on IMDb and how much time I pass with Wikipedia until they were gone...

So, now I can see what the Wii's News Channel is like...


January 20, 2007

WarioWare: Ultimate Alliance

I've just bought WarioWare: Smooth Moves and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. I've only had a chance to play on them for a few hours, but they both seem like a lot of fun.

For some reason I'm quite taken by Smooth Moves' drinking mini game; I don't know why. I also love the names for the "forms" - The Umbrella, The Mohawk, and The Elephant to name but a few - as well as their short introduction scenes...

Ultimate Alliance is also a lot of fun. The Human Torch is definitely my favourite character so far (there are unlockable characters) mainly because he uses fire (and who doesn't love fire) but also because he uses fire and can fly; although limited (there's an invisible ceiling) flying is still quite entertaining. I've found flying and spamming his flamethrower seems to take care of most enemies (although admittedly I am on Easy to get a feel for the game - it may not be so effective on harder dificulties); on that note, a tip for the first boss: when the dragon thing (can't remember its name) is standing around attacking, have the human torch fly close but off to one side and use the flamethrower; that seemed to finish him off quite quickly as the boss' attackes miss...

If anyone's interested, my team in Ultimate Alliance is (in no particular order): The Human Torch, Iron Man, Spiderman, and Wolverine; although I tend just to play as the Human Torch - switching purely for variety; I don't know if there will be any necessary changes later, but I haven't encountered any yet...


January 16, 2007

English Parliament

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6264823.stm

I don't really see what all the fuss is about; surely, by definition, England already has its own parliament - the one in London. Also I don't see how 1,953 people can be used to say that most of the 60-odd million people in the UK think England should have its own parliament; that's only about 0.003% - if you were to interview all 60,000,000 people you'd mis-count a greater percentage than that...

Plus why does it matter what Scotland and Wales think? It's not going to affect them, surely. Yes, fine, it's interesting, but it's also quite interesting that the hottest chilli on the planet is grown in Dorset...

Now, admittedly, I don't know much about politics - and I tend to group governments in general together with Unlimited Broadband and cow dung - but I really don't see the point of a specific English parliament; especially if Scotland and Wales have their own parliaments, so surely all London has to worry about now is England anyway...


January 12, 2007

A Blog Entry in Two Parts (Part 2)

Follow-up to A Blog Entry in Two Parts (Part 1) from The randomness of tomorrow, today!

Previously, on The randomness of tomorrow, today!:

Discounting actual programmes that annoy me (Big Brother and the like to name but a few) one of the main things that annoys me about television programmes manifests itself in two ways, the second of which is more annoying but both of which are essentially the same sin:

1. Something I can only recall Knight Rider doing off the top of my head, which is providing a short - but detailed - preview of the upcoming episode prior to the opening titles. While it's true that this particular example is easy to skip in recordings since it goes Preview, Titles, Episode - such as to have an easily identifiable break between preview and proper content - it still seems completely pointless to me; if I want to see what's going to happen in the episode, I will watch the actual episode - this is, after all, the point...

2. The most annoying one requires a break for adverts (which makes it even more annoying in shows that don't even have adverts...) which is where they give a detailed preview of what's going to happen in 3 minutes time! That one really gets me - my attention span is not so short that a three minute ad break is going to stop me from watching a program I'm enjoying; and if I'm not enjoying it, no amount of "here's what exciting stuff is coming up" is going to keep me watching...
Also not only do we get the preview before the adverts, but afterwards we get a review of events witnessed just three minutes ago! I don't mind reviews such as prior to some Stargate SG-1 (for example) episodes where they tell you what happened 7 days ago - or possibly several months for some recurring themes - but my memory is good enough to remember what's already happened before the adverts in the current episode.

Also, I hate "Next Week" for precisely them same reason - don't spoil the surprise; the preview of upcoming events is not the basis of my decision to continue watching the series (not that I'm expecting any to read this, but a hint to any writers/producers/directors/etc: Decent content, not previews, are what keep people watching...)

I'm glad I got that off my chest.


A Blog Entry in Two Parts (Part 1)

Follow-up to A Blog Entry in Two Parts (Part 2) from The randomness of tomorrow, today!

Discounting actual programmes that annoy me (Big Brother and the like to name but a few) one of the main things that annoys me about television programmes manifests itself in two ways, the second of which is more annoying but both of which are essentially the same sin:

1. Something I can only recall Knight Rider doing off the top of my head, which is providing a short - but detailed - preview of the upcoming episode prior to the opening titles. While it's true that this particular example is easy to skip in recordings since it goes Preview, Titles, Episode - such as to have an easily identifiable break between preview and proper content - it still seems completely pointless to me; if I want to see what's going to happen in the episode, I will watch the actual episode - this is, after all, the point...

Coming up, after the break:

2. The most annoying one requires a break for adverts (which makes it even more annoying in shows that don't even have adverts...) which is where they give a detailed preview of what's going to happen in 3 minutes time! That one really gets me - my attention span is not so short that a three minute ad break is going to stop me from watching a program I'm enjoying; and if I'm not enjoying it, no amount of "here's what exciting stuff is coming up" is going to keep me watching...
Also not only do we get the preview before the adverts, but afterwards we get a review of events witnessed just three minutes ago! I don't mind reviews such as prior to some Stargate SG-1 (for example) episodes where they tell you what happened 7 days ago - or possibly several months for some recurring themes - but my memory is good enough to remember what's already happened before the adverts in the current episode.

Also, I hate "Next Week" for precisely them same reason - don't spoil the surprise; the preview of upcoming events is not the basis of my decision to continue watching the series (not that I'm expecting any to read this, but a hint to any writers/producers/directors/etc: Decent content, not previews, are what keep people watching...)

I'm glad I got that off my chest.


January 06, 2007

Damn you, Orange! Hooray for Vodafone (well, Nokia really…)!

A few things:

  1. Orange’s “Unlimited” Broadband shares nothing in common with Ronseal – you can’t use it to coat wood, and it by no means does what it says on the tin… (Translation: It’s not Unlimited, despite the numerous references to "[doing] as much downloading, surfing and online gaming as you want")
  2. We currently have no Internet access, so I’ll be largely unreachable for quite a few days (not that I imagine most people reading this would try to reach me, it’s just a valid point…)
  3. I love the fact that the N70 comes with a USB cable and has a modem in it…
  4. I’m not looking forward to my next Vodafone bill; the degree by which I’m not looking forward being proportional to how much I need to use the Internet before we finish shouting at Orange…

January 02, 2007

TROTT's 101 Ways to Pass the Time: #42 Don't Search for Porn

It’s always amused me that if you search for something on Google (kittens, for example) and then do the search again but exclude all pages containing the word “porn” (kittens -porn in this case) the given number of results will always go down; I’ve yet to find a word or phrase that’s so innocent it hasn’t had a single encounter with a reference to porn.

However, what’s confused me about the example I’m using is that kittens returns 12,800,000 pages*, kittens -porn returns 2,680,000 pages* (~10,000,000 fewer!), but kittens porn only returns 844,000 pages*. So either Google searches don’t quite work how I think they do, or 9 million pages keep appearing and disappearing in the time it takes me to search…

(* Correct at time of writing)


Wikipedia 'doesn't ban Quatar net users'

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6224677.stm

It’s true, despite what you might have read, for example, in the BBC article I’ve linked to. As it says on the relevant talk page at Wikipedia:

If you came here from a news headline saying that Wikipedia has banned all of Qatar, please pop right back over there and post in the comments that the story is not true. This IP number was temporarily blocked for less than 12 hours, and a block of an entire nation would go absolutely against Wikipedia policy.

(Alright, so technically they did ban what appears to be the entire nation for a month, but only until a few hours later when another admin discovered the 1 month ban and removed it because it was blocking the whole country…)

Update: The BBC have noticed this (well, not this – they’ve noticed the comment I’m talking about…) and have updated the article.


January 01, 2007

January Sale!

Writing about web page http://richardwinskill.co.uk/Random/nothing.php

Until the end of January, you can get your Free “Nothing” for half price! Hurry, while stocks last!

You can now also send “Nothing” as a gift!

(I’m pretty sure everything’s working properly. If you spot any problems, or spelling mistakes, let me know.)


Merry 2007!

Follow-up to Merry 2006! from The randomness of tomorrow, today!

Another one down, another x-a to go…

Where
x = Life Expectency
a = Age


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