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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Having it Large...

The moment is fast approaching when Mrs G and I will jet off to the Balearic island of Evissa for some serious "going Large" as per Kevin & Perry. 

If you have no idea what I'm talking about then two points are immediately clear: 1 - You've not seen "Kevin & Perry go Large" which has become a bit of a comedy cult classic movie and B - Evissa is the Spanish name for Ibiza. 
One of the best things about having kids that are now grown up is the choice of "when" to go on holiday - specifically NOT during school holidays. This means that bargains are plentiful and destinations bountiful as well as peaceful. What could be better than skipping the rain filled sky's of England for a week in preparation for a month full of Weddings and Olympics ?  I for one, can't wait. 

On the work front - its been a very very strange couple of months. Pooh and I lost one. It was here and then it wasn't. A terrible shame because we both quite liked it and it's always sad to loose the things you like. I recall I lost a pen which I was particularly attached to once....  And a dog....  Sad times. 

Still, Life goes on, onwards and upwards, carry on rewardless and other platitudes designed to make you feel either better or dumber. This loss, left a gap in my life. I tried to fill it with interesting edumacation and the like, but the motivational effort required to listen to a tiny tinny voice dredging through slideware often makes for an experience easily ignored - especially when there's the important job of watching paint dry to be done. That said, I did get some of it under my belt - and I may even have learnt something.

Some other woodland folk went away so I looked after theirs for them while they were gone. I didn't loose any of them, so I suppose I did all right. And then finally last week - something interesting came my way. It involved a jaunt up to that London for some secret squirrel stuff and a very very tight deadline. All well and good but for the fact that it's got to be finished while I'm jumping around with a glow stick and a whistle in some over priced but banging nightclub sleeping / reading on a nice quiet beach in Ibiza. D'oh. To be fair, I'm helping and not running the show, so there's plenty of others (if they're not on holiday too) that can kick it into the back of the net and at least get us nearer to winning the match. 

For now though - it's the weekend. The cars in the garage (MOT) and there's a list of little jobs to get sorted so I'd best crack on. Good to catch up with you all again - hopefully I've relocated my writing mojo and normal service will be resumed - unless I find myself still in Pacha or Space or Eden or Es Paradis at 7am and unable to walk or talk let alone write so accustomed to a siesta that it becomes a lifestyle. 

Adios amigos. Mañana.


This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Friday, June 29, 2012

Of Blogs..

Bloody posterous!!!  Doing my nut.  Some of the back end processing doesn't seem to have been quite as stable of late. To-wit my post from my iDevice whilst travelling on the train got proper mangled up - and I'm not 100% sure if it was my email that mangled it, or posterous... although I'm rather thinking it was the latter.

Since they were aquired by twitter, little seems to have been improved and I'm starting to feel that I may be better placed looking for alternative ways to ramble on about the rubbish that I ramble on about.

Having become a bit of a G+'er, blogger is the obvious answer - but I don't think the distribution (write once - publish many) system is in place in the same way.  Of course I might be able to cobble something together using IFTTT which is a glouriously clever little tool - but I'll need time to focus on it - and that's not very prevelant of late.


This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Evolution of Chatty

The people of Reading must be quite a sociable lot - at least those that take the train into London. They've had to develop in this way because of their unfortunate geographical location in relation to population size vs all towns and cities due west of them.


They've had to evolve from timid and retracted market towners into outgoing, friendly and simultaneously imposing socialites that aren't afraid to communicate with people from all walks of life. It's not something they would have done through choice, more through necessity and the fact that they've been unable to develop increased muscle mass in thier legs as quickly as they have been able to develop their oratory skills.

To this end, it's not unusal to see the residents of Reading board the city-bound train in the rush hour, approach a complete stranger and utter the words "Excuse me, is that seat free?" or "I'm terribly sorry to disturb you, but might I squeeze past?" coupled with a look of complete disdain that says "What the hell do you think you're doing taking up space on MY train"

Fascinating stuff....

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Friday, June 22, 2012

I know a lie when I hear one...

Which is why I never went to college....


Everything else is all true though.... probably.

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Break up the euro and restore human dignity - 22nd May 2012

I don't want to get on the political bus again.... But I thought this was interesting... Even if he is an MP ( or in this case an MEP)

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Finally the rain has stopped.... and we have a problem.

It appears that one of the sentry robot rabbits mistook one of the groundsman for an intruder and let rip in his general direction. The security cameras picked up this initial shot. The later ones are just too horrific to reproduce, but needless to say that I'll be picking bits of dayglow / high-viz jacket out of the rhododendron bushes for months....


This post originally appeared here: Posterous

Monday, June 11, 2012

iOS6, OSX Mountain Lion and MacBook Pro updates...

Here's a relatively quick roundup of today's Apple announcements...
Started off with Siri (Apples AI) warming up the crowd and a jab at Samsung. "I'm excited about the new Samsung - The refrigerator".... Hohoho, what a wit. 

Developers from 60 countries have gathered for a week of all things apple and the opening keynote often acts as a launch pad for cool new stuff. Obviously being for developers there's a lot of focus on software and apps - and this year is no exception. 

Apple now have over 650,000 apps in the app store (225,000 for the iPad) and have paid out over $5bn to developers in royalties from the 400m end users who buy the little beasties.  It's fair to say that no matter what your platform preference, the "app" has become ubiquitous thanks to Apple and the App store. 

Tim Cook too to the stage and made an impassioned Thankyou to the developers that were present and then went on to announce some changes to thier notebook range, as well as news on OS X and iOS 6. 

The MacBook Air (which everyone is copying - see Dell) has new ivy bridge 3rd gen core processors up to 2 Ghz dual core i7 faster memory and graphics and now up to 512Gb Solid State Drives. They've also chucked in USB 3.0 (with USB 2.0 backward compatibility) and a 720p FaceTime camera. The entry level 11inch version is $999 and the 13inch is $1199, both available now. 

The MacBook Pro. Again with ivy bridge processors up to 2.7Ghz quadcore i7 faster memory and graphics cards, USB 3.0 from $1199 for the 13inch version and $1799 for the 15inch. 

The bigger news here though is the Next Generation MacBook Pro. Apple claim it is the most beautiful computer they've ever made. Slimmer and lighter than the existing MBPs with the Retina display we're used to seeing on the iPhone 4 and iPad 3. It has 4 times the number of pixels on a standard Mac Book Pro (that's 3million more than an HDTV!), less glare, high contrast ratios, deeper blacks and to make the best use of it, that means an update to OS X. All the stock applications (Mail, Safari, iPhoto etc) have been updated and Aperture and Final Cut Pro will follow swiftly behind. There's also updates from third parties to Photoshop, AutoCAD and Diablo III. 

With up to 2.6Ghz quadcore i7 processor, 16Gb or RAM, a Kepler GT 650M for graphics and up to 768Gb of flash storage, it's a monster. They've even squeezed 7hours of battery life in there, which isn't a lot, but considering the power requirements of such kit, isn't bad either. Now here's the killer though - the price....

15.4 inch 2.3Ghz quad i7, 8Gb RAM, 256GB SSD will set you back $2199 but that's entry level. See for yourself how much money you could spend at

Getting back to software, there are 66m OS X users in the world and the next version is called Mountain Lion.  It focuses on iCloud (with its 125m users) so that everything you do gets synchronised across all your devices and now you get Messages, Reminders and Notes integrated too. Messages (which has been available in beta for a little while) means your phone messages sync up everywhere. I've been using it and it's pretty cool I must say. Also in there is notification center - which iOS users will already be familiar with and from the iPad 3 they've brought in dictation. Built in and works for every app on the system - even Microsoft Word apparently. ;-) You'll be talking to facebook in no time or you can share anything  from the system wide Twitter button. 

The new version of Safari has improved JavaScript that runs faster than IE9, Chrome 19 and Firefox 13. There's a Unified search field and tab synchronising (again via iCloud) much like Chrome on the Android handsets. 

AirPlay mirroring has also arrived from iOS. If you're running an Apple TV then your Mac will be able to stream 1080p straight to whatever you have it plugged into. 

There's a whole ton of other updates which again you can read about on the website, but it's coming next month as an upgrade for $19.99

iOS6. Here comes over 200 new features. I'm not gong to list them - I need food - but a couple of highlights. Siri has a few updates which I'm sure will be great for those people on an iPhone 4S and they also seem to be a bit too US centric - but time will tell.  Launching apps with Siri is something everyone's been waiting for, but that also have "eyes free" for in-car use. They've teamed up with BMW, GM, Mercedes, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler and Honda all of whom will have a Siri button on thier steering wheels in the next 12 months. That's a pretty big deal. Siri is also coming to the iPad 3 (and not a moment too soon). Not the iPad 1 or 2 though. 

What didn't happen last time round was Facebook integration. It's here this time though and will have a publicly available API. Worse news though - it's integrated into the app store so you can like apps - I won't be doing this - and iTunes content. This is particularly disappointing for me, but such is life. I'm sure you can switch it off. 

FaceTime will work over cellular networks in iOS6. 
Messaging gets properly unified. 
Safari gets an overhaul. iTab syncing and photo uploading and a Full screen landscape view. 
Photo streams that you can share with other people. 
VIPs - a group of contacts that you can get to quickly in Mail. Easier attachments for mail too. 
Passbook to keep boarding passes, tickets, store cards all in one place. Location support for these too. 
Further enhancements for accessibility. 

Most importantly - and as mentioned before - the all new Maps App in 3D rendered on the fly! Built in turn by turn navigation. In fact pretty much everything you could want from a SatNav without buying a SatNav. Looks awesome by all accounts and is clearly something I need a closer look at, but Google won't be happy. 

So how long do we have to wait?  The beta is out for developers now (this very instant) The rest of us - with iPhone 3GS' and above or iPad 2's and above - will have to wait until the Autumn. 

WWDC runs all week - who knows what else is around the corner. :-)

This post originally appeared here: Posterous

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