Friday, January 29, 2010

Good old iTunes losing playlists

Tried to automatically update to version 9.02 and it fell over (not my computer... or me). Restarting it had once again lost my playlists and library and yes my Purchased list under iStore. Manually upgraded and they were still missing. Oh it still knows who I am with my iStore sign-in and that my computer is authorised. Just the playlists that go whoosh.

So lesson to everyone export important playlists to the XML format so you can import them back in.

Oh almost forgot I found a way to get the Purchased list back under iStore. I'd created a new Smart list with Purchased equals True then exported it, clicked on iStore then File|Library|Import Playlist picked it out and there it was. Not sure if it's 'smart' in that new purchases will be added to it I'll have to wait and see.

[And now as of 9.2 that little trick doesn't work, the Purchased Smart list appears as a normal playlist]

Lovely weather

So hail this morning and now a brief flurry of snow. Well it is almost February.

Dante's Inferno PS3 demo review

From a disc rather than the PSN store so I've no idea how big it is Dante's Inferno is taken from the Divine Comedy where instead of Virgil taking you on a quick tour of the afterlife for theological reasons you're taken on said tour to smash (or redeem) the wretched souls of hell. You know as you do.


So I've had a go at Martha Speaks and Pingu, but what about this new arrival taking up roughly the same time slot on BBC2 - Tronji?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bank secure software

Not naming names for obvious security reasons but with our old bank we used to be able to transfer funds, get statements etc via a standard internet connection passwords and a random number generator. Now with our new bank we have to use their piece of software obviously designed back in the Win95 days via a VPN.

Sure it's more secure but boy does the VPN foul up the network connection. Try sending something through close to the cut-off point when everyone else does it and not only will it throw back an error but it will disconnect that computers LAN connection for about 5 seconds until clever old Windows finds it again.

So having dealt with the previous bank's failure to use standard HTML, every credit card companies inability to use the internet to deal with fraud and now this I'm rapidly coming to the same conclusion as my father that all those in charge of these things have difficulty finding contacts on their mobile phones.

iTunes and the non-default Outlook Store

Every single bit of mobile software that syncs to Outlook that I've got allows me to choose what I sync, but most importantly where it syncs from. Got a secondary personal store on Outlook that you use and want to sync it to your personal mobile phone, not a problem just point it in the right direction.

Every. Single. One. Except iTunes. For iTunes the only choice you have is to sync or not to sync. You will sync to the default folder and you will not have a choice in this matter.

For all it's vaunted high-tech snazzy ware Apple seem to have a software mindset rooted firmly somewhere in the 80's.

Apple's iPad

So the badly kept secret is finally out and Apple announce their shiny new touch-screen tablet dubbed the iPad. So firstly isn't that name a touch close to the iPod - iPod, iPad; iPad, iPod. They could have gone for iTablet, but that's two syllables and we know they don't like that and iTab? Well Tab is a drink so that'd be confusing. Pad makes sense it's just a little too similar to my mind.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Energy Companies

You have to love them, or not. Long-term readers may recall the trails and tribulations we've had in being a landlord when it comes to sorting out energy costs. This is hopefully the end of a tale that started back in 2007 when the meter was replaced and the utility company decided to match up each of the readings to the wrong rates.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Child Poverty again

I've done this in 2007 I've done this in 2009 and oh look it's barely 2010 and here I am again.

Orphi's mentioned the contradiction between Save the Children saying child poverty is up and the government saying it's down so what gives?

End of the recession?

The latest figures about to be released are supposed to signal at last the end of the recession. To recap a recession is defined as being at least two consecutive quarters showing a fall, but the end is defined as soon as any growth appears.

In other words you could have four quarters of decline followed by one small rise in the fifth quarter and hurrah the recession is over. The first problem with that is that markets are chaotic, one small bump in the graph doesn't mean it's time to celebrate, the second is dealing with percentages.

So let's start off at the initial value of 0%, for two quarters the GDP falls by 2% (therefore a recession) meaning that we're down 4%, for the third quarter it rises by 2% (marking the end of the recession) so we're only 2% down from where we started.

Now let's try that with figures. We'll start at 100, subtract 2% and we're down to 98, subtract 2% and we're down to 96.04, add 2% and we're back to 97.96 not 98. Now you can do this in another way by defining that initial 100 as the reference point so we start at 100 subtract 2% and reach 98 then subtract another 2% of the initial 100 making 96, then add 2% of the initial 100 and we're back to 98.

Note that I haven't changed the percentage figures in any way, but the results are different depending on how you calculate it. So anyone betting that all these graphs appearing in the media explain how they're calculating things?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Prototype the final review

So first, second and third impressions aside I'm at least three-quarters of the way through both in the main quest and side-missions so here's my final verdict - The developers do not want you to play this game. It's either that sheer ignorance, or a deadline to meet.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Misfits - Another thing they got right.

I've already mentioned the cleverness in the tie-in content for Misfits, but publishing my playlist reminds me of something else they did well.

For each episode you can get a brief synopsis as well as find out what piece of music was playing and it links directly to the Apple iTunes store so you can buy it. So that's why "Echos" by The Rapture which is the title sequence music and "Until We Bleed" by Kleerup the outro music when Simon collapses on the roof are now in my collection.

Two pieces of music I've bought that feature in a TV show when I'd normally expect never to discover what the hell they were because it wouldn't bother to tell me.

Give these people a raise.

Banks and the stock market

If there's anything that should highlight the problems with the stock market it's the result of President Obama speech about curbing banks. Down went their share price and with it the stock market. Nothing's been done yet and chances are nothing's going to ever happen; yet still they tumble.

As far as I can tell there are a couple of reasons for this.

Canny stockbrokers realise the amateurs will hear this and pull out of bank shares thus lowering the prices; as this is going to happen it's in their own interests to get in there first before they fall too much.

Secondly knowing that stock prices will tumble it's in their own interests to sell now and buy back later when the prices have dropped knowing that once the initial panic is over the prices will rise again.

Remember all this is based on absolutely no actions taken by anyone at all right now. Speculation - the cornerstone of our economy.

Radio Times and Newswipe

Hey look a new series of Newswipe on BBC4 last night, wait it's a repeat from Tuesday why didn't I see it then? Because it wasn't advertised.

Roman numerals

Watching a film last night with someone, and we watched it through to the end as it was one of these that has a little bit after the credits. So post-film she mentions something about the special effects and I reply that this film was after all made in 1985.

"How do you know that?"
"It was on the credits MCMLXXXV"
"You can read them that quickly"
"Yeah have been able to since as long as I can remember"
"Yeah well that's just you isn't it"

Thanks; I think :-) I'd never really thought about until then, but it's like being able to read reverse writing or when it's upside-down just catches me by surprise that this isn't something everyone can do with ease.

So anyone got something they can do that they're surprised other people can't?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Music Playlist

There now follows by alphabetical track order those songs I've paid for from iTunes. Judge not lest ye be judged ;-)

Fun with iTunes

I haven't done anything with iTunes since my credit card details were nicked so imagine my surprise when I started it up and it told me I had no music in my catalogue. Say what? I pointed it at My Music/iTunes and it happily chortled away adding everything back.

The Kraft of Cadbury

Good to see the tabloids treating the Cadbury/Kraft story in their normal subdued manner. Anyone getting their news from the healdines might be a bit confused what with so many discussing the takeover by Kraft of Cadbury.

Road surfacing and pothole filling

Oddly enough both the planned works for High Street on the 11th and the Stour Bridge on the 14th never came to pass. However sometime between Monday evening and Tuesday noon someone did tip some tar into the larger holes that had formed on the bridge and given it a whack with a shovel. Seeing as I avoid the moon surface that is Wilden Lane can anyone say if they've done the same down there?

Traffic back to normal

You can tell everything's back to normal with the roads when the 5min Sunday drive takes half-an-hour heading home from work.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Prototype third impressions

I didn't put in Portal in the end, I turned back to Prototype; trying to switch between two sets of controls can be disorientating for me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Where'd our connection speed go to?

We use a BT backbone for our broadband connection though we go through a different gateway. Yesterday DaBoss started complaining about the speed. It wasn't with just one site, the computer wasn't running anything or sucking down updates and most importantly mine was having the same result.

I disconnected and reconnected the router, I rebooted the router. Then rang our gateway provider who got onto the backbone who came back with a shrug. In the meantime I ran the official speedtest from BT that's and our 6Mb connection link was returning 300Kb. Bad point you can only run it once every three hours.

"So you're getting 3000"
"No three hundred"
"Oo that's bad"

Tests were run with no conclusion. Apparently BT won't start looking for problems until the get a lot of complaints and will barely admit to anything.

This morning I ran the same test - 4500Kb.

"Seems to be fixed, but that's a big difference"
"Yeah can't put that down to fluctuation, they might have fixed something last night. All the residentals coming on line and complaining"

Ah the joys of large companies - one person complains and nothing, but lots of people complain and suddenly something is done.

Driving distances

I'm still amazed at how close some people get especially in bad weather. One oncoming car was tailgating a van, you know one of those without a rear-view mirror, in this mist/fog. Yesterday I was behind a skip truck (with skip in place) I could just about see his side-mirrors which meant by the 'law' of bumper stickers he could see me; if I edged closer they would vanish. So what? Well there was a car two lengths ahead between the two of us.

I just don't get it

Monday, January 18, 2010

Prototype - second impressions.

Okay you get used to the movement and you can even get used to the momentum once you've got enough XP... sorry EP to buy the boosts and damn if isn't seriously cool to jump around the city. Yet there are still problems.

Rubbish collections.

On Wednesday the 13th out went the normal bin for it's fortnightly collection and there it stayed unemptied until I got back. Okay at the time the side-roads were still slushy and slippery so fair enough, but when were they going to be collected?

Snow aftermath 3

The last view of my back garden Friday was an expanse of white, first thing Saturday it was all green. All the snow had just gone. Well around here it had anyway. I drove into Kidderminster and parked for free at the Crossley Estate to walk into town and fortunately got a spot next to Currys at the end nearest there.

Parking laws again

Dropped my mother off at the Co-op this morning as the kids are back at school I thought to go via Vale Road, turn left and down that way, except as I approached the end I saw the queue backing up and so switched to the left lane down Lickhill, Vernon, then Tan Lane where the school is. The number of parents trying to cross between parked cars - yeesh. Okay there are a lot of parked cars, but where are you walking from?

Anyway I turned into Tan lane and watched the cars stopped outside the school you know on those yellow zig-zag lines that say "School Keep Clear" between them. So I've just checked the Highway Code

Keep entrance clear of stationary vehicles, even if picking up or setting down children

I think that's pretty self explanatory. Of course those vigilant traffic wardens should pick up on that, except what with it being before 9am there's no sign of them about.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Prototype first impressions

Not that good to be honest. A bit like the beginning of InFamous you're constrained by scenarios rather than being able to dive right into the open-world structure as you start; however Prototype takes the annoying position of flashbacks.

No snow just rain

Which is great as most of the slush seems to have gone, though it's still slippery in places. The main roads are clear, but the rain is pooling on some of the side roads as it can't get to the drains. I also note that despite the rise in temperature the canal still seems frozen in places.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

FEAR2 review.

As I mentioned in my entry on game stories it's possible to play both FEAR and FEAR2 without bothering to take in what's going on. So if you haven't played the first one don't worry about it. If you're thinking of picking up one go for the second for the PS3 it's got achievements... and that's basically the difference.

GMTV's expert driving advice

In all these conditions it seems GMTV has decided to get some expert tips on how to drive in this weather.

1st - Move off in second gear.
2nd - Watch road conditions and try to avoid potential troublespots. As he asked to deal with skidding in Canada and was told nope, but I'll teach you how to avoid skidding in the first place.
3rd - Get winter tyres. These are cheap now and can be fitted easily.
4th - Avoid "pesky side roads"

So I'll happily accept advice points 1 and 2. As for 3, so where am I supposed to store the tyres I'm taking off? If you're a two car family that's possibly eight tyres you need to find room for. Onto 4 and fine I'll stick to the main roads can you tell me how to get to them without using those "pesky" side roads first? Okay I'll grant he probably meant don't get smart and try to take a shortcut, but still.

However the big surprise to me was the two main points he didn't use - Take it easy, and watch your distance. Perhaps he assumed these were so basic he didn't need to point them out.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Conservative letter

Had a letter from David Cameron MP signed and everything in real (laser) ink so I know he loves me ;-)

Snow driving

The snow is still falling, but doesn't seem to be sticking. I've just got back in to be told that if I'd been parked where I am now five minutes ago my car would have been wiped out by a turning truck travelling sideways. Needless to say I've moved my car to a safer spot.

Now while skidding happens what is poor is the degree to which some people are driving. I've already mentioned the cars up my arse if I dare to travel just under the maximum limit, but I've already seen one driver on a mobile while turning a corner and that very truck I mentioned I met coming the other way decided that while driving down the snow/ice/potholed road towards me to take his eyes off the road and lean over to fiddle with something on the other side of the cab - excellent.

Does this weather bring out the morons or is it that with the reduced traffic they're much more noticeable?

Free-form game

In my previous entry I wrote about the problems of fixed story lines in games what I didn't mention is that there may be a flaw in having a story at all.

Go Home?

DaBoss has just Skyped me, the quality of voice and video still amazes me compared to ye olden days pre-broadband, anyway he's stuck and the kids are off school. He said he took the dog for a walk this morning and thought "Nah" came back to find an extra inch of snow on his car.

Anyway I see how things fall, if it's still like this come lunchtime I might just stick the car in the garage at home and call it a day. I mean the main roads aren't bad, at least heading out of Stourport, coming in seems worse for some reason; depends on what they're like at the moment.

Telling a story in a game.

Flicking through various game sites such as Eurogamer, Escapist, 1up, etc. it seems that the discussion has turned to game stories and how to a large extent they suck. This confluence of discussion may be arising because at last it's becoming difficult to distract us with the shiny, shiny graphics and we're beginning to notice that the entire premise for us to be running through these worlds is flimsier than a piece of wet tissue paper.

Stop and search

With the latest ruling from Europe regarding Stop and Search I felt it worth while recapping exactly what the problem is.

Firstly such actions can only be taken in a specific area as designated by a senior officer this is then ratified by the Home Secretary. However the order comes into effect as soon as the senior officer orders it and if the HS subsequently denies it any action taken between those two points in time is still deemed legal.

Secondly although there is a time-limit on how long such an order can exist there's no cool-down time for another to be created. So there's nothing stopping a senior officer from taking out another as soon as the first expires.

Couple the two together and you can in theory (and in practice apparently in some parts of London) have a continuous applied order to an area even if the HS rejects it each time; and it's still legal.

More snow

More snow fell last night and it's currently around 2-2 and a half inches deep and it's still snowing. Fine flakes, but quite a lot of them. Took three attempts to pull forward on the road after backing down my drive, so joy to be had.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

District 9 review.

Managed to catch District 9 on blu-ray last night. Not bad, not bad at all. Shot in the form of a documentary interspersed with unbroadcasted 'real' footage it deals with the events 20 years from the point when a spaceship comes to a halt over Johannesburg and turns out to be filled with what amounts to alien refugees. Basically a cynical look at "Alien Nation". Rather than near-human aliens we have "prawns" and instead of attempts to integrate them they end up segregated in a ghetto.

The documentary footage switches between man-in-the-street and talking-head cut with shaky news footage. With the 'real' footage being what you'd expect from a standard action film. It blends well and contrasts between actual events and PR and provides a nice breather between the action without giving away the main storyline.

The ending may seem a little deus ex machina though, but it was all foreshadowed if you pay attention.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Traffic hold-up due to snow?

We all came to a grinding halt in Bridge Street just, fortunately the roads were clear as stopping on such a slope when icy would not be a good idea. So what caused this delay was it snow, did someone slip, did something slip?

Nope it was the bus-stop and as I've said many a time before the brain-dead decision to create a pull-in stop that doesn't accommodate an actual bus. This wouldn't be so bad except you often get another bus blocking the lane behind it and add in the car parked outside Lloyds Pharmacy and the delivery van parked opposite the Wheatsheaf nothing moves until someone, well, moves.

FEAR quick review

I finally managed to finish it and despite its lack of achievements I'm tempted to play it again (I even picked up FEAR2 at the weekend and have been on that all weekend). Sure it's a basic FPS with bullet-time, but the atmospherics are good, I never got frustrated or felt cheated when I died. So a good game... except the ending.

Felt like the developers had just given up for the last sections. Instead of Replica Soldiers moving through offices etc. Flanking you, throwing grenades and basically acting like good AI should (with some problems as is always the case) instead you're thrown into a narrow corridor affair with nasties teleporting in and making a bee-line straight at you. With one-shot kills it's a fish in a barrel shoot even despite the fact the game cheats by switching out your weapon load for less effective ones than those you've been hoarding ammunition for.

Also not helped that the game crashed during the load of the next final section and I had to replay it again from scratch (no save feature). Doubly not helped that having done so I got into the elevator to take me up to the load point and stood too close to the edge and got squished before it made it. So that's three times I had to replay that awful section.

Dragon Age: Origins PS3 still going

I'm up to about 23 hours in Dragon Age which should give some indication of how much I'm enjoying it, but still there are niggles.

A touch of ice.

I looked out my window this morning at the queue of traffic piling up. The main culprit, as always, is the Vale Road/Gilgal junction pushing traffic back through town. What was surprising was the bumpy Dunley Road. In places it seemed the slush had frozen into tyre track patterns. I also watched a big land rover type in front of me travel about five yards without their front wheels rotating.

Yet still you get people up your arse, or the other extreme people leaving five car lengths between them as they trundle forward at 10mph.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Fire, I'll take you to burn.

Still clearing a unit out and one of the sub-letters decided to have a cardboard bonfire out the front, very small and enclosed in a metal cage. Having smelled it, me being me and in the fostering good will among tenants (and keeping an eye on what's going on) I wandered over.

Damn every time I forget just how hot a fire can get. I've just come back to an office heated to 25 degrees and gone "Brr". See sod recycling your paper have the government provide subsidies to bring back real fires :-P

Say no to the Hartlebury Incinerator?

Well I said I'd look into it so here we go. First off the bare details - a company wishes to build an incinerator on vacant land on the Hartlebury Trading Estate, this will burn off non-recyclable rubbish to generate electricity. Some people are annoyed at this.

Good old Windows un-named window.

One thing that crops up for Windows XP since adding in the Indexing Option (to get Outlook 07 working fully) is that when doing a search that window has a tendency to freeze up on the view pane. The folder/search pane works fine, but not the main pane.

Now normally when you get a freezing application you simply try to close it, or End Task it. Well for the first instance Windows complains that the window is busy and that shutting it down may cause problems do you want to continue? Say no and it'll just sit there, say yes and it'll just sit there.

So to End Task, up comes Task Manager and the window's not listed because it has no name. So I make sure everything else is closed down and switch to processes and end explorer.exe. Now as Windows runs on Explorer if that executable has to close or restart Windows will automatically run it again. Except in this case.

So with Task Manager still up I run explorer and back comes the desktop clean as a whistle. Of course this messes up your notification area with some processes still running, but not showing. Just run them from the start menu and close them down and restart them if you want them back.

Just such a flaw that you can't close a busy window which has no title.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Snow aftermath 2

Again the main roads seem clear, but of course that's little use if you can't get to them. Backed off the drive onto the side road went to move forward and spun in place. Remembering Orphi's witness account I spun my wheels as fast as they could go but it didn't work!

Only joking, I straightened up my wheels and tried to move forward slowly. No success "Oh great!". I then backed up slowly and then moved forward at a slight angle to my original position and moved off with little difficulty.

Still people thinking that because the roads appear clear you should be travelling at the speed limit. Oh travelling down the Worcester "B" Road last night was a pain. No street lights, can't see the kerb, and the dividing line was hidden under snow. I just stayed in the ruts from previous travellers and stuck to 25-30mph down the 50.

Arrived at work and spotted the ruts in the snow from where I normally park and without thinking drove into them. Then stopped, thought about it and backed slowly out and repositioned the car on the fresh layer next to them. I checked when I got out and yep rock-solid ice from the slush.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Stour Bridge closure 2

As mentioned from an notice in the Shuttle an unpublished letter and its reply work is being carried out at the Stour Bridge next Thursday.

From Clive I'm told this is really a half-day closure, but hey last week's Shuttle had the same notice up with a 5-day forecast. As yet there's still no signs up on the road in question so we'll see if they bother and if they do what the signs say.

Additionally there's going to be a speed restriction placed on High Street while they carry out resurfacing starting from Monday. Unknown as to whether it'll affect parking in the bays or not.

Snow aftermath?

Other than some snow last night nothing seems to be falling out the sky so far. The roads in Stourport are clear particularly in the town, but boy is it quiet.

Trouble is all the snow is turning to slush and if the temperatures stay the same will no doubt freeze.

Most drivers and pedestrians seem to be behaving though there are of course some exceptions. Of the oncoming traffic I saw a car being followed too closely by a Sky van. If this is the same one I've seen around he does delight in sitting on your arse.

And coming in to work I gently turned the blind corner and had to move to the other lane thanks to the BT Openreach van parked on the corner. Nice straight road nothing stopping him parking a little further up, but no that would mean having to work back and forth a bit.

Trundling over the bridge I noted the pristine conditions of the paths next to the river, that might have something to do with the snow drifts piled up what appeared to be a couple of feet or more in places.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

At home

Snow's stopped, but it's melting and the road out is already treacherous. So like everyone else around here it seems I'll stay put.

Snow update

I'm told that traffic in Kidderminster is pretty bad, not sure about Stourport.

[Update Stourport is gridlocked down to Worcester Road as everyone's trying to leave at the same time. There's also apparently a burst water main on the Walshes. And Holt Heath (who the hell would go up that in this weather?) is blocked as lorries can't make the hill and try to turn around and can't]

Snow is easing off, but I've just spoken to someone who said that we're expecting two phases a light one then a heavy one. If this was light I'm going to hate seeing the heavy.

[Update and has stopped easing off and drifting back down again]

Still snowing

A call from DaBoss who was trying to get up to Cleobury Mortimer this morning and has been forced to turn around due to the worsening conditions. As he lives out in the sticks (literally) he's heading directly back home while he can still make it (he has been unable to get out last year) picking up basic staples on the way.

Snow here is now an inch deep.

It's snowing! What to do?

It was trying to snow when I left the house this morning and now snowflakes are drifting down in much greater numbers and it's now white over outside.

Watching the BBC this morning and the video of cars skidding along side roads a statement was made that it was "impossible to grit all the roads". Wrong it is possible, just not practical. I think the problem lies in the rise of the suburb. Rather than houses either being directly on a main road or tucked up an offshoot somewhere, we now have a situation where we have a main offshoot to the main road that branches out into lots of little tributaries with a large cluster of residents.

Couple that with the rise in vehicle use and you have all these residents trying to get out, compacting snow and slipping on ice that hasn't anywhere to drain thanks to the poor drainage, building on flood plains, and increase in paving over natural soak areas.

Driving last night I spied large chunks of shattered ice pushed to the side of the streets. Water filling the potholes, freezing and being shattered as it's driven over - nice.

Oh and I forgot this from before Xmas a gritter early morning in Worcester out and about laying down sand being followed half-an-hour later by a road sweeper sweeping it all up. Now that's what I call communication.

Sony trophy server hiccup

Well it seems that Sony must have been updating their trophy servers last night as although they would quite happily connect and sync they wouldn't actually update the remote information. It did work this morning when I tried so all is well.

I would have thought they'd have finally set it so that the PSN ID bar would be updated upon sync particularly as the profile section of the Playstation site cannot be accessed via the PS3's browser. Amusingly navigating there either redirects or informs you that it's designed to be accessed via a computer.

As the PS3 is supposedly a full multimedia tool and that includes internet access. I'm sure there are some out there using it to write blogs, respond to forums etc. who want their ID displayed, but can't ever update it.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Your own search engine and RSS feed

Written for Tav of the WFA, but the basics apply to all.

If you're using one of the main pieces of blogging software that are available they pretty much all come with an RSS feed and internal search tool built-in. If however you aren't; let's say you want some more flexibility in your blog posts don't like the licence terms, or simply have been doing this longer than most of the tools got to a reliable point how do you join in the fun?

Tav's back!

From a comment here and over at the Shuttle (as well as the site itself)Tav over at the Wyre Forest Agenda is back in business. Typically the one period I wasn't popping over to see if anything new had cropped up was when he restarted. Trouble is without a feed I can't add it to my list for auto-updating, so any chance of joining the WordPress/Blogger crowd or getting a feed up Tav?

At the moment the big story is the proposed incinerator at Hartlebury. Long-time readers may recall similar plans for the old Sugar Beet site that ended up scrapped. A major line in that though was the sheer stupidity of having that many trucks trundling through that road network. I'll have a look at the arguments presented against at some point.

Happy New Year?

Well I suppose so ;-) I must be one of the few people in this country who've come out of the holiday period weighing less than when I started. Yep wasn't too well last week.

Sony Vaio battery use.

So I've powered up my laptop for the first time since the 30th and I note it's at 54% battery life? Um I don't set it to sleep, I don't set it to hibernate, I set it to switch off.

So either I've got some wake-up from peripheral power being used, or I'm supposed to be able to use it as a media player or some such with the main OS switched off. I'm guessing the former.