1. Thoughts on Bugatti & Hello Kitty

    A Bugatti Veyron packs 1020 brake horse power, delivering 922 foot-pounds of torque to reach a top speed 220 miles per hour, at which point, the wing and spoiler will be providing a staggering 770 pounds per foot of downforce. The Bugatti Veryron is, by any measure, an awesome machine. 

    But a Bugatti Veyron with a Hello Kitty paint job and a 4ft tall Bugatti logo splayed across the bonnet, is not an awesome machine. It is a shit machine.

    Sure, it has all the same moving parts and precision engineering. The only change is purely superficial. But where previously I would have considered selling one or more testicles to own such a contraption, I now wouldn’t be seen dead in it. 

    That’s what design does. Why do so many people struggle to understand this?

  2. Debranded


    I’ve been meaning to give a shout out to Debranded for a while. So here I go.

    Debranded is a fledgling fashion label, the brain child of a few friends of mine who have been working in the rag trade for a few years. For a veritable cornucopia of reasons, they all agreed there is a better way to make and sell clothes. Primarily, they wanted to channel some of their ill gotten gains to places where they can do some good. So 7% of each sale goes to a good cause of your choosing. Even better, the profits are shared out amongst the designer too who usually get the short end of the stick in this business.

    The fashion business is a tough nut to crack so I wish them all the best. If you want to help them out, take a look at their collection here and buy yourself something nice.  

  3. Lib Dems Pledge To Repeal The Digital Economy Act →

    I can not think of a single logical reason to vote Labour or Conservative. 

  4. The Science Behind 2012

    You’re adopted. We’re all adopted in fact. Let me explain. 

    If you look up into the night sky on a very dark night (with little surrounding light pollution), you will notice that most of the stars are grouped together in a band that cuts diagonally across the blackness. What you’re looking at is the Milky Way, or what we have lovingly referred to over the centuries as Home. 

    The thing is, that’s not our Galaxy. We actually belong to a different Galaxy with the not-so-homely name, Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy (or SagDEG). The Milky Way, it turns out, is something of a bully and has been viciously gnawing away at our Galaxy for the past… um…. well, for a very long time. The upshot of this is that our solar system has been kidnapped, and now lives with it’s new family in the Milky Way. 

    So what does this mean? Surely there’s repercussions? We can’t possibly jump from one galaxy to another without stuff happening.

    As it turns out, lot’s of observable changes to our solar system have been going on as a result of this cosmic ass-banditry. As energy levels shift, scientists have noticed polar shifts on Neptune and Pluto, auroras on saturn, clouds forming along Mars’ equator, 1st Stage Atmosphere generation on the moon, but more astonishingly of all, an increase in temperatures on all planets in our solar system. Or to put it another way, Global Warming on Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto (I still love you), Haumea, Makemake, and Eris

    WTFFFF*? So the cause of global warming comes from outer space? Also, how come we have 13 planets now?

    Wait, it’s gets worse. Like me, you may have noticed that there’s been a fair few earth quakes this year. Loads it seems. Also, if like me you’ve seen that movie 2012, you’re shitting yourself because this is like, totally what happened in that movie before everything went bat shit crazy! Could this have anything to do with SagDEG? You bet your fricking balls it does. You know how with all the 2012 conspiracies they revolve around the Mayan calendar? Well they do. Anyway, the Mayan Calendar (apparently the most accurate in the world) takes it’s cues from Pleiades which the Mayans used to gauge our precession through the universe. Due to the convergence between SagDEG and the Milky Way , the read-point(???) of Pleiades will no longer be a constant, which apparently is why the Mayan calendar ends in 2012. Whatever that means, it sounds to me like the Mayans knew a bit more than we thought they did about the end of Days. 

    So to summarize. We’re all adopted, and we’re all going to die in the way Roland Emmer- er- rer- urm…. ric depicted in last years epic block buster disaster movie that critics are calling “Good” and “A Movie”. Own it on DVD and Blu-Ray Now!

    All of this this is, of course, complete arse water of the highest order. The debate over where our solar system originated is still raging, SagDEG is unlikely to be the cause of global warming and the Mayan calendar does not predict the end of the world. This was originally going to be an April fools day post, but I completely forgot about it. Anyway, back to work for me. 

    *What the Fuckity Fuck Fuck fuck

  5. Collateral

    Some of you may have seen the news that Apple has changed in TOS for iPhone OS developers, some of you may not. In a nutshell, the change means that Adobe’s plans to provide a way for Flash developers to compile and run their Flash projects on the iPhone, and distribute them through the App store have been stopped dead in their tracks. 

    The Adobe community is understandably up in arms about the change. They feel cheated, and rightly so. They were promised something new, exciting and most importantly, profitable, only to have it snatched away at the last minute. Although in my opinion they’re blaming the wrong team. This isn’t Apple’s fault, it’s Adobes. 

    Why Adobe thought it could announce and release this sort of functionality without even speaking to Apple begs belief. Apple and Adobe speak all the time, mainly so Adobe can ignore Apple’s software and hardware updates, but they speak none the less. So there’s no excuse for things to have gotten to this point…. unless of course it’s exactly what Adobe wanted to happen. Which it totally is. 

    Back in reality world: Adobe knew this would happen. Apple have been clear from the word go about Flash on the iPhone; ‘Not gonna happen’. Adobe also know that any future updates to the iPhone OS could (and probably would) break any apps developed in Flash CS5. At this point Apple have to wait for Adobe to bring their own platform up to speed, which as they’ve demonstrated time and again in the past is not something they’re really all that into doing. So Adobe suddenly gain control of Apples development timeline which would be a cluster-fuck doomsday scenario of the highest order. In geek terms at least. Most other people probably wouldn’t even notice.

    Adobe also know that end users don’t know and don’t care what language was used to create their iPhone fart apps or iPhone flash light apps so when apps created in Flash CS5 start crashing and generally screwing up the end user experience it’s Apple that takes the flack, not Adobe. 

    Adobe have behaved in a way that (from my point of view at least) is irresponsible, unprofessional and shows utter contempt for their own user base. It is Adobe that promised something it knew it would not deliver and it is Adobe encouraging it’s user base to rally against Apple in what can only be described as a smear campaign. This is PR of the lowest order that uses Adobe’s customers as pawns in a game of chess they know they wont win. Although it will at least do some token damage to Apple’s image which I guess Adobe thinks is like, totally worth it. 

    So allow me to misquote Lee Brimelow, one of Adobe’s platform evangelists by signing off like this… “Go screw yourself Adobe.”

  6. A Farewell To The Future

    The internet is by far mankind’s single greatest achievement. It has changed the way we do pretty much everything, and will continue to change things in ways we still can’t imagine. The future for man kind looked promising, until last night when the British government, in it’s infinite arrogance, greed and stupidity passed the digital economy bill

    For those of you who don’t know that the digital economy bill is; at it’s core it’s the Music and Film industries wish list for how the internet should be censored for their benefit. At the helm is Britain’s dirtiest bottom feeding political scum bag, Peter Mandleson. The upshot of this is, if an organization thinks a website or individual has infringed their copyright, the site can be shut down and the individual disconnected form the internet.  

    In my opinion, copyright owners should have a legal framework with which to protect their intellectual property. Up until now, the old framework seemed to be working pretty well, but this new legislation is too one sided, to broad in its scope and the people behind it are utterly untrustworthy. 

    What needed to happen was for the government to sit back and do nothing, thus forcing business models to change and adapt to the way the internet has changed things. Instead, UK politicians have filled their pockets with cash, shafted the british public (again), and scuppered any incentive for companies to change and innovate. The bill will result in a decline in innovation cross the board. It is hard to imagine a company like Spotify having the motive and opportunity to exist under this new legislation. Would Wikipedia, if it started today, survive under these conditions? I doubt it, and who’s to say what will happen to it in the coming weeks, months and years. After all, what is copyright infringement? It’s a difficult question to answer when you take things like satire, parody and journalism into account. It’s a question that deserves due process and thorough examination in most cases. Sadly though, not anymore. 

    What really gets under my skin however, is the way the UK government, and governments around the world think they have any authority to police the internet. They didn’t create it, we did. They don’t own it, we do. I think we’ve done a sterling job of building and policing the internet on our own so far. We should all be proud of what we’ve accomplished. 

    However, the wording of the bill’s title puts the governments real intentions front and center; “Digital Economy.” There is no Digital Economy, there’s just the economy. The internet was not created to be an economic platform. E-commerce represents an insignificantly small part of all the activity on the web, but as is too often the case in life these days, the needs of the minority will supersede the needs of the majority. 

    Above all though, the governments wish to police and control the internet might be a little easier to swallow if we had any faith that the people behind all this had even the slightest clue about what they’re talking about. Instead, we’re left with brain donors like Digital Britain Minister Stephen Timms who thinks “IP Address” stands for “Intellectual Property Address.


  7. Here’s an oldie but a goodie. VR Head Tracking on the Nintendo Wii to create 3D TV without the need for glasses or a fancy polarized screen.  

  8. I’ll Probably Be Getting an iPad

    I’ve been using iPhones and iPod Touches for a while now, and I’ve loved being able to sit on the sofa, check emails, surf a bit of web and do other small bits and pieces of web related jiggery pokery without having to crack open my Mac Book Pro, which seems gargantuan by comparison now. It’s been a perfect go between and I’ve not once had cause for complaint over this set up…. until last night night when I was sat there thinking to myself “you know, this is great, but I wish the screen was a bit bigger.”

    With the iPad just around the corner, a device which up until now has only registered as a “meh” in my mind, this is hardly a coincidence. Dam you Apple! Dam you!

  9. When Frameworks Attack

    I’ve learnt to be weary of web frameworks. They start out trying to make simple things easier, and inevitably end up making important things difficult. I think of frameworks like this

    "They make it easy to do somethings, but impossible to do anything."

    The number of frameworks I actually trust can be counted on one finger. It’s jQuery. 

    And so here I am trying to get to grips with a Javascript framework by the name of ExtJS. I’ll not bore my non techie readers with the finer details, but I will take a moment to provide a small example of the kind of warped thinking that’s gone into this frame work.

    Here’s a sample of code from one of the tutorials. You don’t have to understand it, just look at it and appreciate it’s size

    Ext.onReady(function() {
    	var myData = [
    		['Apple',29.89,0.24,0.81,'9/1 12:00am'],
    		['Ext',83.81,0.28,0.34,'9/12 12:00am'],
    		['Google',71.72,0.02,0.03,'10/1 12:00am'],
    		['Microsoft',52.55,0.01,0.02,'7/4 12:00am'],
    		['Yahoo!',29.01,0.42,1.47,'5/22 12:00am']
    	var ds = new Ext.data.Store({
    		proxy: new Ext.data.MemoryProxy(myData),
    		reader: new Ext.data.ArrayReader({id: 0}, [
    			{name: 'company'},
    			{name: 'price', type: 'float'},
    			{name: 'change', type: 'float'},
    			{name: 'pctChange', type: 'float'},
    			{name: 'lastChange', type: 'date', dateFormat: 'n/j h:ia'}
    	var colModel = new Ext.grid.ColumnModel([
    		{header: "Company", width: 120, sortable: true, dataIndex: 'company'},
    		{header: "Price", width: 90, sortable: true, dataIndex: 'price'},
    		{header: "Change", width: 90, sortable: true, dataIndex: 'change'},
    		{header: "% Change", width: 90, sortable: true, dataIndex: 'pctChange'},
    		{header: "Last Updated", width: 120, sortable: true, 
    			renderer: Ext.util.Format.dateRenderer('m/d/Y'), 
                            dataIndex: 'lastChange'}
    	var grid = new Ext.grid.Grid('grid-example', {ds: ds, cm: colModel});

    The tutorial then goes onto say…

    While this looks like a lot, it is really only seven lines of code in total!

    But no ExtJS, it’s not is it. It’s not seven lines of code whichever way you look at it. Why lie? Any fool can see that there’s more than seven lines of code there. Of course, I suppose you could squeeze it all onto seven lines if you wanted to. But that would be almost as crazy as using your ass-backwards framework. 

    What’s more, 90% of those lines are alien to anyone who doesn’t already have an intimate knowledge of the ass-backwards ways you like to do things.

    ExtJS sucks. Fact. Steer clear of it. 

  10. Apple & Tablets

    The rumors that Apple will be announcing a new Tablet device this months have reached such a fever pitch that if it turns out to be bull hunky, there’s going to be a riot.

    That said, since I’m something of an Apple fan, and because I’m also a blogger, Apple Legal have informed me that I’m contractually obligated to write a post listing my own worthless speculations on what the device might be like. My sphincter is too delicate for jail, so here goes:

    • I don’t think it will be called the iSlate. That’s a shit name.
    • I do think it will have a built in camera. I’m also “hoping” the camera will be completely invisible. That’s not as daft as it sounds if this Apple owned patent patent is to be believed. Either way, I just don’t see the logic in Apple creating a device like this without a camera as some people have speculated. They’ve put so much time and effort into things like iPhoto, iMovie, Final Cut et al, and the video editing they have on the iPhone is ground breaking. I can also imagine a new breed of imaging based software for people like architects, interior designers, film makers that can make good use of the built in GPS, accelerometer and compass combined with a camera.
    • Synching is going to be a big deal. It’s going to be a game changer and it’s going to be completely new. Think “Cloud Computing” but smaller. It’s also going to be something no other competitor even thinks about when they launch their inevitable “iSlate” killers.
    • It could fail. There, I said it. Apple could make a device that isn’t all that great. The word on the street is that Apple have struggled to make sense of this device since before the iPhone came along. This guy I know, he knows a guy that knows a guy who says Steve Jobs doesn’t really like the “iSlate”. I mention this because people seem to think that Apple can’t afford a failure. That if they released a device that didn’t receive instant unanimous praise and acceptance then it would somehow kill the company. Apple have had failures before: The G4 Cube and iPod Hi-Fi were both unmitigated failures while the jury is still out on the Apple TV, Macbook Air and Mac Mini. This device could go the way of the Newton just as easily as any other. But it won’t really matter, Apple will simply stop selling it and move on. Unlike a certain someone else.
    • It will have “Cut & Paste”.
    • There will be a developer SDK from day 1.
    • It will not look like a big iPhone.

    So there! Those are my predictions apropos the “iSlate”.

    Just one more thing… I also hope the Apple TV gets a mention at the upcoming event. Apple TV has the potential to be awesome if you think of it as a home server. The fact that Steve Jobs hasn’t killed it yet means he must have plans for it. All it needs is a little bit of of the same TLC they’ve given the iPod and iPhone.