Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Road Closure, but where?

Once again it sesms our County Highways department are provided only the vaguest of information regarding road closures. Earlier this month traffic was being turned away from Hartlebury Road by a "Road Ahead Closed" sign despite the fact that it was quite possible to continue up to at least Millfields Drive and Wilden Lane.

They did eventually put up a sign about a shop way further up still being open, but I bet those on Wilden Lane weren't exactly chuffed.

Now it's the turn of the A4025 upon which a sign has appeared once again stating that the road ahead will be closed from the 10 April for 6 days. So again at what point will it be closed? Will it be possible to reach the Common, Cook's Garden Centre, Sandy Lane Industrial Estate, Chadwick Bank etc.?

How many people heading to Cook's etc. will take the diversion and find themselves on the wrong side of the works?

I swear those setting these things out have no little to no comprehension of how people actually use the roads they're shutting down. Actually I've just confirmed that because as of this moment they don't know where the work is going to be carried out.

Awesome.

[Update - hah the sign has now been removed. Either it's been moved to a more appropriate place (but the entrance to a road with no major exits is the right place); they've cancelled the work; or they'll suddenly reappear with a more descriptive message]

[Update 2 - They've cancelled the work]

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Does the press need to be regulated?

What with all the wrong-doings being levied at the press it would seem to be an odd question to ask whether the industry requires regulation, however given the exact nature of the wrongdoings it's rather more pertinent that it first appears.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Worcester Parking Charge confusion

I've just been told a tale of parking at night in Worcester. It seems in a least one car-park (Copenhagen Street) the charges have been altered for a particular period. For 1 hour the charge is £1.20, but for the period 7pm-9pm the charge is only £1.00.

So if you arrive between 6pm and 7pm and wish to use the car-park until 9pm how much do you pay?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mathematical puzzles

Some of dreams still follow logic in this case I was present at a quiz evening in which the following questions were asked and I was roped into answering them, which I did so while still dreaming. Upon awakening I jotted them all down.

I have no idea where the first question and answer came from; the second is a variant on a different puzzle and the third from a magic book I read aged 12.

Problem 1: An airport owner has 7 airports, each offers a direct flight to the other and the owner wishes a diagram that shows this. Show all the direct flights using only four lines. Oh and drawing a line from airport 1 to airport 3 that passes through airport 2 is not 'one line' it's two, because it doesn't show the direct flight from 1-3.

Problem 2: Take a cube (six sides, square faces) and a tetrahedron (4 sides, triangular faces) and connect a face of the former to the latter so all sides and corners of the faces meet.

Problem 3: Make a hole in an A4 sheet of paper large enough for an adult human to pass through.

Solutions to follow; have fun.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A new Pope and why live events fail

I did end up watching the Papal announcement ceremony if only because it came on straight after Eggheads.

Lot's of guards in razor helmets that I wouldn't want to be headbutted by. Someone in a parade who seemed to be running late and had to run in position and some guard commander fussily directing his troops into straight lines. At which point absolutely nothing happened.

Cue a load of whaffle from the commentators. At one point they started contemplating what a potential candidate would do if they were elected and what name they might take rolling through all the traditional names and then someone brilliantly stated that "Of course John Paul the first was a new name". Really no shit John Paul the first was the first person to take that name; I'd have put money on it being John Paul the second.

The cameras weren't controlled by the BBC so we had a lot of crowd shots and an amusing "crowds as far as the eye can see" as we watched the traffic roll past behind the crowds. A quick chat to some Italians who, oddly enough, were hoping for an Italian to win. Then a loud cheer for no reason until we were informed that the lights had gone on in the room next to the balcony, the room we couldn't see due to the camera still being fixated on the crowds. Oh I did have some fun trying to translate the inscription on the fa├žade as it whipped past as they focussed on the balcony; caught the date of 1612, but who was pontiff at the time? Then caught PAVLVSV following APOSTOL...

Then out tottered some guy who looked like they'd dragged him out of a nice cosy coffin to speak some Latin. I actually heard the name Jorge Mario and the taken name of Francis, but didn't grasp it as it wasn't one of the top contenders listed in yesterday's paper.

Then the commentators woke up, presumably after a "Who the hell is that?" moment and the breaking news banner became 'Jorge Bergoglio named' while the scrolling banner beneath assured us that the new pontiff would be named soon.

Then out he tottered with a younger guy helping him forward and I switched off.

But 76 though, seriously a whole 2 years younger than the guy who resigned? Don't they ever learn... oh wait no, no they don't.

Google service cuts

Hmm so iGoogle will be going at the end of the year and now Google Reader will be departing in July. Given that I have no use for Google+ and redirect gMail to the address I actually want to use I'm wondering exactly why Google should be my start up page any more?

I've now switched over to Feedly which happily imported my feeds and seems easy enough to use and has more features.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Fountain Inn, Tenbury - review

I had a Mother's Day dinner at the Fountain Inn at Tenbury with a family group. Obviously a special menu set, but how was it? Sadly I didn't get a chance to photograph the menu so I need to run from memory on the items I didn't have

Educating for life not for work

I read an interesting piece in Sunday's Independent from Tom Hodgkinson entitled "Education needn't be so geared towards jobs" Annoyingly there are some areas I agree with, but talk about missing a big point.

The Ancient Greek word schole, which turned into our word for school, meant leisure, and the art of cultivating one's leisure was of central importance to the culture of Ancient Athens
and
In the Middle Ages, the basic liberal education was invented by the Greeks, became known as the trivium and offered the three liberal arts of grammar, logic and rhetoric.
Well yes it appears Tom doesn't realise the people at that time kept slaves and/or vassals.

Friday, March 08, 2013

The Human Reaction

I woke up to news that the Police were increasing the number of patrols on buses in the wake of the stabbing of a 16-year old. This seems a case of horses an stable doors, but in fact makes sense with the telling phrase "to reassure commuters" and that's because we're a strange species

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

The Unknown BAFTA

Did you watch the BAFTA's; difficult to miss I suppose - red carpet coverage, award-winner speeches, post-party coverage and then the next day front-page headlines and analysis in all the papers. What do you mean I'm a bit late? Did you think I was talking about the Film awards that happened on the 10th of February? Oh and no I don't have a crystal ball to watch the Television awards that will happen on the 12th of May. I'm talking about the Game awards that occurred last night.

What awards? Well yeah exactly.

PS3 Hard drive failure?

Oh what fun! After my backup drive (that contains my PS3 save data) failed now it appears the hard-drive in my PS3 has gone the same way. At least I managed to snag the save files onto a different drive before this happened.

Anyhow there I was trying to play Dragon's Dogma and it kept freezing, to the extent that even holding the power button did nothing and it required a full power off at the socket. Then finally it rebooted to tell me the file system was corrupt and needed checking. 100% later and it failed to reboot nor would it power off. Repeat, repeat. Enter Safe Mode look to rebuild the PS3 database, Preparing... and nothing.

Fortunately I've still my hard-drive from my previous defunct YLOD PS3 which happens to be exactly the same size. Now all I need is the time and daylight to switch them over and see what happens.

Update - Well the good news is my PS3 appears to be working. The bad news is that neither of the non-destructive techniques worked so I had to do a full restore to factory defaults.

Heh Borderlands 2's initial load is faster now. As of yet I've not tried Dragon's Dogma. I'll give it a week with B2 then try Kingdoms of Amalur if all seems healthy I'll install DD and if it falls over again at that point I'll know where blame can most likely be placed.

Two hours to sync my trophies though; yeesh!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

The Back to the Future I timeline - anomalies

Cracked have posted one of their amusing video's regarding a flaw with the first Back to the Future. Of course there are several, but the flaw they point out took me some time to understand. In the end I laid it out as follows.

We start with the original timeline and its inhabitants that I'll refer to using a subscript OT. In this timeline DocOT hits his head invents the flux capacitor, and build the time machine. MartyOT watches his father GeorgeOT being picked on by BiffOT and hears about how his mother LorraineOT fell in love with his father after being hit by her father's car. Now things get fun.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Backups and Archives - knowing the difference

This entry resulted due to the failure of one of my home backup drives
"Oh one of my backup drives failed"
"One? Why do you have more than one?"
"Because otherwise it wouldn't be a backup"
"Huh?"

In the most simple of terms if you have a computer you probably want to make sure the data on it is safe. Cloud backup is fine, but they tend to have limitations and upload speeds aren't the same as download speeds as anyone trying to upload a video to YouTube has probably discovered.

For such things, and for peace of mind, a local external and portable hard drive is a good option; particularly given how cheap they are nowadays.

With disk plugged in data is copied across either by manually picking and choosing or by letting the Operating System run its own backup software. All done the user can now retire safe in the knowledge that if anything happens to the computer the data can still be retrieved. Or not.