Anyone know where we’re going?

Why can’t people just say what they mean?

So I left Cornwall yesterday afternoon knowing full well this was almost certainly going to be a bad day for travelling. I mean, have you seen the weather of late? Actually, I ask because I haven’t. Cornwall has been fairly well shielded from most of it. Devon on the other hand had up to 55cm the other night. Suffice to say I assumed my travel problems would be there.

How wrong could I have been? Sailed through Devon without a hitch, In fact, sailed all the way to Paddington station without a hitch. Slowed a little in places, but for the most part it was a fairly boring journey I spent watching the rest of the firefly TV series on my laptop.

The trouble all started just as we were coming into London. The announcer on the train told us that we had made good time and were in on time and that to add to our good fortune all the underground lines were running just fine too. Well that’s handy, maybe I can get an earlier train than the hour later one suggested to me.

Yeah, as if things could go that well! As I go out the main station and into the underground I can’t help but notice a lot of lost looking people, even for a big tourist place like Paddington. Turns out the circle line was shut down, the whole thing! Well, that’s handy. Thinking cap on, I know, District line down to Earl’s Court, then District along to Victoria. OK, sorted. At Earl’s court I am met with about 3 times the number of people that station can handle and a train that claims Victoria isn’t on the District line. Quick look at my map and I’m still right thankfully. Find a train that claims to be going to Victoria, get on that, they announce all stations. It is pretty packed, not much room to move. We rattle through the stations one by one until we get to Sloane Square (the one before Victoria) and then they decide our next stop will be St James’s Park. Oh come on guys, no, not again. You see, several years ago I was on a train to Victoria when they decided it was closed (twice) and we sailed through it. This time I had already given up and just stood there waiting to sail through. Thankfully, little luck on my side and we actually stopped there this time.

All in all, I love the underground. That is not to say it is without faults. I have been on much cleaner; better, easier to understand systems in other parts of the world, but none of them have quite that character. Maybe it is the little mistakes from time to time that make me like it so much, even if it does cause me to almost miss my trains from time to time…


Legal tango

OK, the last few days events have been, well interesting.

On Tuesday I received an e-mail sent from my website via my contact form. The e-mail claimed to be from someone at the law firm Hewitsons asking for a response regarding a letter and e-mail sent to me on the 10th of December regarding me infringing copyright on something called the “Belbin SPI“.

First reaction: “What the hell?”.

So, I typed back an e-mail saying I had received no such e-mail and could they please re-send.

Wednesday morning I got a reply containing a PDF of the original that was apparently sent. Unsurprisingly it had been sent to the wrong place. I have always made sure you can’t trace my address, phone number etc from my site. In fact, you can’t really even get my e-mail. That said, I do have a contact form which by the very fact I replied to him, I do monitor.

The letter detailed a URL to a copy of the Belbin test I had on my blog. That link in fact comes from this blog entry made back in 2005. I wrote this having just done the Belbin test in college, and thinking it was quite interesting I took the document we were given at college and put it online for others to try out. The document I posted had no copyright notice on the bottom. Call me a little naive but I didn’t see an issue with this.

In the letter they firstly accused me of “passing off” my document as my own work and not their clients. The first thing I did was go back and re-read my entry. Although that entry is now different, the first 4 lines are the same. I explain in the entry who it was by and what the name of the book it was first published in. In my mind I don’t think that really counts as passing off.

Then they gave me a list of things they wanted done:

We are instructed to demand that we receive by close of business on Wednesday, 24 December 2008 the following:

1. a written undertaking that you will not hereafter whether by yourself, your servants, agents or any of them or otherwise howsoever

(a) supply or offer to supply services, not being services of our client, under, by reference to, or including the name BELBIN (or colourable imitations thereof)

(b) infringe our client’s copyright in the Belbin SPI

(c) cause, enable or assist others to do any of the aforesaid acts

2. the delivery up to this firm of all material (including without limitation, promotional or other business literature and hand-outs) in your power, possession, custody or control, the supply of services using which, would be a breach of undertakings in numbered paragraph 1 above

3. the names and addresses of all persons, firms and companies to whom the you have supplied services relating to BELBIN Team Roles using the Infringing SPI and/or the Belbin SPI

4. an accurate written statement setting out in reasonable detail the dates and numbers of SPIs provided by you or downloaded from your blog together with details of any remuneration received by you for providing these

After I spent some time pouring over that wonderful legal babble trying to decipher it into English I came up with the following: Remove the document.

You see, I can’t do much more than that of their list. This is the internet, I don’t know anything about the people who may have downloaded it. As an individual I am not required by law to keep access logs of my server and I can’t possibly have names and addresses. In fact, the only real thing I can do is work out how many times it has been downloaded and even that proved hard, I don’t have logs past 2006 and a lot of the early logs are incomplete or for the wrong site etc… (the web is a complicated place and I have moved the document around as I have changed sites).

The other reason I couldn’t do much more was because I had never supplied the document to anyone bar putting it online, nor had I ever had any money for this.

So, I removed the document (plus the other couple like it that they never mentioned, better safe than sorry). I then replied saying I had done all I could and would like confirmation that the issue was closed. I waited until yesterday lunchtime for a reply. I then phoned only to get through to voicemail. I called a couple more times before e-mailing again. This time I got an auto response saying he was out off the office that day.

This morning I finally received an e-mail saying that they were going to drop the issue and not pursue it further. They thanked me for helping and removing the document.

It has to be said, I am glad that is over, I never would have thought something posted almost 4 years ago would cause me so much trouble.

As a side note, I was rather unimpressed with the bullish wrong attitude taken by the Belbin company and their law firm. Had they simply used the contact form on the bottom of every page of my site instead of trying their hand at investigating my e-mail address and postal address they would have got in contact with me first time. I am also not impressed at such impossible demands made and the accusation that I was passing off the test as my own. They could well have been sending their message to someone without the technical knowledge to call them on the impossibility of most of what they asked. They would have been complete fools to go after me for this, things like this have been tested in court over and over and they simply wouldn’t have got anywhere. That said, they did give me a scare.


Can you say “Mac”?

Are you running a Mac?

If so and you haven’t seen this trick before, bear with me.

Go to your applications folder, then the utilities folder. In there you will find an application called terminal. Open it up.

Then type “say hello world” without the quotes. If the sound is on your computer will speak whatever you put after the word “say”.

I know this is old hat to most people I know, but then again, if you are the average Mac user this will be like gold dust to you.

I think the next time someone asks me to fix their Mac I am going to script it to say “the matrix has you” at random intervals…

Oh the possibilities…


Why call a moron?

Why is it it seems almost all people in Tech support are complete and utter morons?

I was having a read of this page which details customers chats with idiot technicians:


I reminds me of all the stupid encounters with tech support I have had over the years. Normally the first major problem I have to get them over is that I have already restarted the computer and that having them tell me to do it doesn’t make it suddenly have any greater effect. The next thing I normally need to get them over is that the issue is complicated. They always greet me with surprise when i detail the issue, half the time because it turns out they have never heard of it.

My favourite example of this was a year or so ago when I was having trouble sending emails on my mobile through Gmail. Now the fact that T-mobile advertised their mobile data plan as a nice way to get to services like Gmail suggest they should really know a thing or two about making it work.Turns out they didn’t in fact, the only way the issue got solved was by me saying it so slowly for their tech to understand i figured it out without them.

Then you have to get them over the idea that they can’t just feed you meaningless suggestions with no real connection to the problem in hand. For example, when Tiscali wanted me to change my packet size to speed the connection up. I pointed out that this would give me about a 1% speed increase and I was looking for about an 800% increase. They then agreed that maybe that wasn’t the issue and we moved on. In fact, That issue took days!

It makes me think that actually, the one part of the IT industry that is really not being fully tapped is support. Tech support people who know how to do more than just turn it off and on again, Tech support people who don’t think “Linux” is an application or that your screen is blue because of a virus. Hell, most tech support calls could be fixed in minutes if the technician actually listened to everything they were told and thought about it instead of running from a script.


Space – the final frontier

I can’t believe I am saying this, but I am actually running out of space on my computer. This sounds silly to me and yet at the same time it doesn’t.

I am currently using 75% of my disks and that is after I removed about 80GB of data the other night.

You see, when I built this version of my machine some time ago I used old hard drives and added more as I have always done.

This has left me with 2 X 160GB, 2 X 250GB, 1 X 320GB. I probably spent the same amount each time, it is just that the bang for your buck has gone up. I don’t like to throw away perfectly good working kit, so this has left me in a situation where I am using 5 drives to do what could technically be done with 1 now. Well, I say it could be done, part of the reason I use lots of drives is to protect against data loss in case a hard disk dies (I have never had a disk in my machine die on me).

In the case of my setup I use the 2 250GB drives as data and data backup. Problem now is my data is running out of room and I like to keep my data on two same size disks.

The only solution for my current way of thinking is to remove the two 250’s (well, probably the 160’s and give the 250’s their role) and replace them with something like a pair of 500GB or 750’s or something. However this is a lot of work and still leaves me with a problem I wish to address.

I am all for being able to get to my data from anywhere at any time. The problem with my monolith of a computer is yes, it has loads of space in it, yes, it is very powerful, but it also requires a lot of power to run and I don’t like leaving it on overnight etc.

The only real solution for me is a data server. Some low power box that contains disk after disk and keeps my data safe. There are some cheap ones out there (this springs to mind) but me being me, this isn’t quite good enough. It only holds 2 disk which means to keep my data secure I have to to use RAID 1 which mirrors the two drives. This means I loose 50% to storage space to backup’s. What I really want is a box that supports RAID 5 where i only loose 33% to backup. Problem here is it needs at least 3 drives and those all in one boxes I like so much don’t do RAID 5 as much.

So far the best solution to my issues is this device: TS-509 Pro Turbo NAS

It holds upto 5 drives, it contains more features than you can shake a very big stick at and most importantly, it rebuilds the arrays, expands them etc all by itself, I don’t need to spend days breaking it or rebuilding it myself if I need more storage. The only catch is it is about £600. I guess that is the price you pay if you want to keep your data safe and accessible.


Live goes, err, live

Some of you may know that CES is currently going on in Las Vegas in the states. This is a big trade show for the tech industry to show off its new toys. All the big boys are there including the likes of Microsoft, LG, Samsung, AMD and Intel. This is the place where we were first shown the CD player, the DVD, the Commodore 64, the camcorder, even the game “Pong”. So there is no doubt this is where you go talk about big things.

The headline opening talk was by Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer and he was showing off some of the new things MS have to offer. If you have a spare hour and a bit, the talk is here: Clicky

Obviously most of the talk was history, marketing and clapping, however some interesting stuff did come out of it.

Firstly they have now made the new version of Windows (Windows 7) available for public download. It is only the beta (test version) and it only has a limited time that you can use it but this is the next version of Windows to play with and all very early. Not that you should download it and install it on your main machine. This is beta which means if it breaks, tough. If you want to try it make sure you only put it on a machine with just data you don’t mind vanishing.

Another big thing that came out of this was the Windows Live essentials suit coming out of beta. The live suit is made up of a fair few things, the main ones being Live messenger, the gallery, e-mail client and blogger. Most of these have been in testing for some time now, but now we have the full versions.

As such, I am currently running the new version of MSN and alike. First impressions are good. All the tools i normally use (MSN Plus and APatch) work just fine. The interface is nice and clean (and looks so much better on Vista than 8.5 ever did). I might have found one little bug, but all in all, looks good.

One of the things that I wasn’t expecting with this release was the new outlook plug-in for Hotmail. Many many moons ago you could use hotmail for free in outlook express for free out of the box. It was very easy to set up and use. Then, as Hotmail really took off they made this a pay for feature. However, the lucky few who had got round to setting it up (myself not included, i missed out by a couple of days!) got to keep this feature for free. Clearly I have been far too tight to pay so i have been stuck with the webmail until now. I say until now because they have released a couple of toys. The first is a Vista mail clone for XP and Vista which works with your hotmail account without paying. That’s very nice, but what about those who use Outlook. Well, there is now a plug-in for Outlook which lets it connect and work just like an IMAP account. This means I can create rules for Hotmail!

Now I know that creating rules for Hotmail has been around since the interface change, but this time it’s different. Now, because I have full access I can set up a rule and most importantly apply it to my current Inbox, not just new messages! This is the what I have been looking for for ages!

If you want to get all of this stuff, I suggest you go here and have a little download session: http://download.live.com/

Actually, and while you are at it, why not go to http://home.live.com/ too, this is their new live services home and it has to be said, I am impressed, it has a Facebook style feed with friends details etc. Funny that, especially when they are teaming up with Facebook and others to put feed information in this feed.

It looks like they may have actually come up with a nice way to etc all your news. I am impressed.

I for one would like to remain positive about this. So no MS hating for a little while, pat them on the back, they did good. You never know, it might last too.


Apples for apples

So, Apple, masters of design, why do the shadows for icon in the dock bounce with them?

Why did you decide to change the dock application running icon from a black triangle, clearly visible, to a little blue neon that blends in?

Why when I have an applications folder stack does it find the newly installed application but not it’s icon until after a reboot?

Why does my battery claim not to be charging when plugged into the mains, yet when I unplug, the laptop is still running. It was holding steady at 70%, then, (while not charging) jumped to 71%. Go figure.

Why did it take them this long to write a decent bluetooth stack?

Why aren’t I in bed yet…


End of year roundup

So, time to round up the year. I did this last year and the year before and it seemed a bit of fun then… so I figured, why not do it again. Can’t hurt.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Be a Groomsman, Spend a night in an airport, go to a graduation (just not mine), go to a ball (two no less).

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
As per usual I didn’t really make any. One day I will make some and give it a shot, but for now I have enough to be getting on with as it is.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Again, nope. Although I get the feeling the days when that happens a lot are soon coming. Silly getting old thing…

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Again, thankfully not.

5. What countries did you visit?
France, Italy (just for a night) and I was meant to go to Japan, but it was not to be.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Last year I said “More enthusiasm about my uni work”, and to an extent this still rings true, but things are quite different this year. I still don’t want to do it, but I am. For this coming year I would like more travel and a lot more time with my girlfriend Demelza

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Jonners and Beth’s wedding, Holiday to France with Demelza and my family. The two balls I went to for end of university for some people. I also moved house in Brighton which was actually quite fun, although a lot of work. Visiting Demelza in Cornwall and her coming to stay with me a few times have all been really nice too.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Coming out of the mess of my level year at uni not completely broken springs to mind. I’m not sure if achievement is the right word, but how things have gone with Demelza spring to mind again (note the reoccurring theme…

9. What was your biggest failure?
My final year project at uni. Although a great idea and in a lot of ways it was also my greatest achievement, I still failed at it.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
As per usual, colds and alike, but nothing interesting.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Flights to France. Best family holiday ever for me.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Well, I normally become political at this point, so I see no reason to change that. The great voting public of America. They finally got it together and voted the right man into power. Hell, it was almost even a woman, and that is really impressive.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
US and UK governments, as always. There are of course many stories from around the world each day that scare me and appal me, but there is nothing more consistent that these governments. Actually, if you want a classic from a few days ago that I found scary, try this out

14. Where did most of your money go?
Probably in the following order: Bills, food, trains, planes

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I wouldn’t say I got quite that excited, but Holidays, going down to Cornwall, Beth and Jonners wedding.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Probably Top loader – Achillies’ Heel, although KT Tunstall – Suddenly I see is in there somewhere. Oh, and Sia Furler – Breathe Me

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a. Happier or sadder?
Happier. Last year I was expecting to fail or mess up my degree (well, I already was). This year I am being more hopeful with lots more to look forward to.

b. Thinner or fatter?
I think about the same.

c. Richer or poorer?
So much poorer. Last year I still had a nice big pill or Merrill’s Money, now it is all gone… *sobs*

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I will I did more uni work, but I also wish I had figured out I wasn’t going to complete my degree that year a bit earlier and used that time better. As per usual I wish I had seen more friends more times.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
I actually don’t know.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
At home with my family as per usual.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Not technically, but I fell further in love *que soppy music*

22. How many one-night stands?

23. What was your favourite TV program?
Still the legend that is Top Gear. That said, love Stargate Atlantis and Bones too

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I don’t think so. I guess I could if I really wanted to, but I don’t really hate people. They bug me and grate at me, but I never hate them as such, more wish they weren’t in my line of sight.

25. What was the best book you read?
What is this reading you talk of? I only look at pictures books. So, on that note, here is the best picture book of the year in my eyes. D.I.Y Dentistry

26. What did you want and get?
I put “love” last year, and I see no reason to take that out. The year you see me take that out, it was a bad year.

27. What did you want and not get?
A degree… But that’s my doing. I’m sure as usual it was lots of little things.

28. What was your favourite film of this year?
So many to pick from this year, Probably Quantum of Solace, Changeling, Wanted or Hancock would have to be high up there.

29. What was your favourite game of this year?
As I said last year, Burnout 2 on the GameCube, still. I still play it more than anything else. That said, Boom Blox is really cool.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
It was my 22nd birthday and I spent it with Demelza in Brighton.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More spare time and more time with friends, more money would be nice, oh, and moving to Cornwall.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
North Face advert

33. What kept you sane?
Well, it certainly wasn’t my housemates, or my family. Has to be Demelza. She is very good at calming down if I get wound up about something, which me being me happens a fair bit. She puts up with a lot from me, will have to do more to pay her back for it. As with last year, this is assuming I am sane… I make no promises.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy/respect the most?
Barak Obama without any doubt.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
The usual “war on terror” still winds me up. Anything to do with McCain, Palin and the republican campaign really got to me too.

36. Who did you miss?
Demelza, relationships at distance suck and require Skype.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Did I meet anyone new? I mean, there were a few faces at the wedding, but that’s about it. Again, mainly it was a year of getting to know a lot of people a lot better.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
Admitting you messed up is harder than messing up.

Happy new year everyone.


Christmas cheer!

Today has been a long learning curve. When I say “today” I technically mean yesterday, but I always consider today and tomorrow to be relative to my sleep, not the time.

Today I have felt pretty pants all day. Not Christmassy, fairly moody and all I have really wanted to do is be left alone. Of course that is far from what happened, what actually happened is I was bugged left right and centre about fixing technical things, computers, media centres, working out why a radio stream wasn’t holding, working out why an aspect ratio wasn’t working in recordings… you get the idea, lots of bugs and issues that I just haven’t cared about all day. I have also been fairly argumentative to top it off (yes, I know, even more than I usually am).

I am pretty sure I know why today was such a bad day. Demelza was staying the past week and a bit and yesterday she went back home for Christmas, and while this doesn’t leave me in tears, “it sucks” doesn’t quite do it justice.

In all of today I have however learnt one thing about myself. I have always assumed I neatly rode line between introvert and extrovert and never really fell either side of it. I can today with some certainty say that I lean to introvert. I needed peace and quiet today to recharge.

With that analysis out the way I do now have some Christmas cheer. Unfortunately it has come in a rather sad form, but it is sticking which is nice.

My website has a gallery. It has had one for a number or years and it works fairly well. Over the last few months I have been re-writing it to have a multiple upload script so I can add whole folders worth of images at a go. I have also been taking in meta data like camera shutter speed etc and adding tags to images. As such it has been a full re-write. I got the basic set of features working about a month ago when I finally transferred all the old images to it. Unfortunately, when I did this I noticed a CSS rendering bug (AKA, the thumbnail view looked very strange and just didn’t work). This bug completely threw me because it didn’t happen with the Flickr images page.

This new gallery is the last price in the puzzle of moving my site to the new theme however and this has been very frustrating. The incentive has always been there however to finish this or work out the bug.

So, after a conversation with Dan on MSN about how he may actually roll out the new version of his site before I fix this bug and roll out the last price of my site gave me an extra reason to work mine out. So, i set about trying another method of displaying the thumbnail grid view with CSS only. I tried it and the same thing happened, it was a mess. At this point i realised I had a common bug. 2 mins later I had solved it… just typical isn’t it.

The issue came up because some of my image titles were going onto two lines. On my Flickr page they only ever used one. The padding above my images never took this difference in height for different titles. One height variable later and it is solved. ” other simple changes and the new gallery is now live. All the old data is there, all the comments, all the old links work and finally, in a long time my site is on the same theme. It finally looks like a site again.

Please feel free to try it out and tell me what you think: http://www.craigk.org/pictures/

Of course there is lots of work to do first, but for now i feel i better use my new found Christmas cheer for something more immediate, like Christmas.

Happy Christmas.


My Documents

The clue is in the name. They are my documents, not yours. When I install an application I don’t want a folder just for it to dump it’s files, I will decide where I want them.

I mean, come on, how many people sort their files by what they are? Seriously, everyone stores them based on the project they are in or in a group of sorts. For example, you don’t have JPEG’s, GIF’s, PNG’s, BMP’s etc, you have “Pictures”. The same applies to everything else.

To this end, thankyou for “My Chat Logs”, “My Received Files”, “My Shapes”, “My Web Sites”, “My Weblog Posts”, “MyHeritage”, “Notes”, “Expression”, “Visual Studio 2005” and “Visual Studio 2008”. You were never wanted and all your did was waste my time and my space. Please don’t come back.


Censorship fail

WARNING: Some links on this page may offend some (probably won’t, but may)

Censorship is a big thing on the web these days. We have always seen the Internet as freedom of information. You connect up to the tube and then you have all the information (good or bad) within your grasp. When the likes of China and Australia to name but a few start to mess with this model we all get slightly edgy. For a time Net neutrality was the chief threat to the freedoms of the web, but thanks to a recent political change in the US this is unlikely to come into play in the near future.

With all this in mind when Censorship starts to come home and starts to involve that cornerstone of Internet free speech Wikipedia we all start to get more than a little edge. This is clear by the number of articles I have read on this so far.

So, to the problem. If you visit the following link you should find it is blank:


This is because it has been classed by IWF (Internet Watch Foundation) as child pornography. It is a picture of a mostly naked prepubescent girl. Now traditionally this would be fine, censoring child porn by anyone’s standards should be fine. But in this case the album cover, although banned in many countries, was never banned over here. It has caused outrage a few times, but nothing significant. Yet suddenly our wise and mighty Internet filters have deemed it to be too much for us now, despite it being around and never banned for a number of years.

What makes this whole mess even more strange/farcical is that they failed with their censorship.

The following link is the secure version of the page on Wikipedia:

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Virgin_Killer (this one will almost certainly work for you)

This whole mess has made it into the public eye, for example, the BBC has this page on it:


Note on the right there is a related link to the Scorpions homepage. If you click on that (here) you will note on the left a discography, which in turn also has the banned image on it.

So what the IWF has shown is you can not censor the web and in by trying to censor information that has been in  public domain for years, all you actually do is drag it up and draw more attention to it. People got over this in the past enough for most countries not to act, why do we suddenly need protecting?


Where do you lie?

Myself and Dan (one of my housemates) just had a very long, very philosophical, very confusing and brain bending discussion which I will do my best to explain.

We began talking about wether you should require users to have JavaScript running in their browser so they can log in and fully use a website, or wether you should put considerable pain into working on a solution which will work without for those without it. Those without it number in the 0.01 percentile or thereabouts and make up, for the most part an insignificant proportion of the population, but still a proportion none the less.

My opinion is that these people should be dropped for the sake of simplicity of your code solution and to push JavaScript to the few who don’t have it. Dan’s opinion was that we should work to maintain the web in its most basic form despite the complication as to allow those people to continue to function within it. I believe that opinion is correct anyway.

Actually, speaking of correct opinion, when it was clear neither of us was making much headway convincing the other to their point of view we began to discus what made up a point of view, wether one could ever be wrong and what the differences were between belief and knowledge.

This then moved the conversation into religion, and what constitutes right and wrong.

Some time later we moved back to our original discussion and linked our views on it to our core beliefs. Dan is a Humanist and believes that that good of the many outweighs the few, and in his example he described the analogy of someone making too much noise on a train. If he silenced this person then it would benefit the whole carriage. I then pointed out that his analogy then brought us back to the original question but arguing against his earlier point of view by suggest that he was smiting the one to make the systems better for the many (which is not quite true, but for the level of abstraction we had reached was close enough). He then points out that he would weight this decision in the favour of the one person and do his best to help them (in this case our one non-JavaScript fan). At the point he mentioned the favouring of the one over the many in this case I brought up the point of being extrovert and introvert. In his case he is defiantly introvert and as such puts his weight behind the one. In the case of the web (which tends to follow the argument I was making originally) it is mainly made up of people with something to say (blog and alike) and as such, extroverts who are more interested in the opinions and the good of the many.

OK, that is complicated and the best I can do to paraphrase about an hour and a half of at times deep and philosophical and at other times, deep and technical discursion in the small hours.

Who says computing people aren’t fun!


Too afraid to do anything

I suggest you read this article from the times:


It is about how as a society we are becoming all too cautious, how we are scared to touch people, children in particular for fear of being seen as trying to abduct them or being classed as a child molester or something else not only perverse but also wrong. It is about how children are kept indoors for fear about what might happen to them outside.

I used to help in the Beaver Scout which is boys from 6-8 years old. I helped there for years and constantly came up against this fear. For example, you would never put yourself in a situation where you were alone with a child or even a group of children. we couldn’t hug them or comfort them (yes, little boys do cry), hell, even some of them games were made too complicated. For example, we had one game called tails where they had a sock sticking out the back of their trousers like a tail, then “catchers” had to run round and grab all the tails they could. This if fine, but what happens when a child can’t get their tail in correctly, do we just stand there and list instructions? In fact we used to get one of the female leaders to deal with it. They understood why we got them to do that, but still, we shouldn’t even have to think about such things.

I can think of many times in the past where I have been in town or a public place, seen a child seemingly on their own and not gone over to help. instead I have looked around to see if I can identify the parents. Even waited until they do turn up so as not to go over to the child. I fear that if I did just as that parent turned up I would be shouted at, branded etc just for trying to provide honest help. After all, how are they to know my intentions.

Of course this isn’t just our fault, this is fuelled by government. This about how much use the CRB is for example. All it says is that at that time I haven’t been caught doing anything wrong to children that could have me prosecuted. How many people does CRB actually stop I wonder. We are talking about convicted child molesters etc who then seek work with children etc. I am guessing not many. And even if it didn’t stop them, I have just said that you never get left in a room alone with children anyway. In short, the CRB is a worthless bit of paper that does nothing more than make us feel a little safer from something that doesn’t exist.

I feel for the children growing up in this mess. I would give them a hug and say it will all be OK, but I can’t…



So, better update this thing really.

Life has been going on (as it does you know) with not that much of note happening. One thing that has been getting some of my attention however is my final year project. As part of this project I have to keep a log of it as I go along. This being me I am doing this in the form of a blog which I will then print at the end.

This blog has been up for a little while now, but as I’m starting to make some progress I thought I would draw peoples attention to it now. For those who are interested I suggest reading the first couple of entries at least as they explain what I am trying to do in the most simple terms i feel I can muster at this point.

Location: http://www.craigk.org/uni/

Project description: http://www.craigk.org/uni/2008/10/11/deferred-success/

I am kind of winding down for Christmas (which as per usual seems to have crept up on me again. I don’t know why it let it do this each year, it’s not like I don’t know the date). As is always the case I am disgusted at how soon some decorations have gone up. There was a house on my walk to uni which had decorations up by mid November. This is taking “too far” to a whole new level.

I myself will continue to do my best to play scrooge until i am at least not in uni but home for the holidays. Otherwise it is just not that special.

Oh, another little project I am have been working on is the new version of my gallery for my site. I won’t link to it as Google will pick that up, but if you put a “2” at the end of the current pictures link you will see it. It almost certainly won’t work very well. (well, actually, I tell a lie, it will work well, it just won’t look very good).

Right, time to go battle this damn cold or whatever it is… bring on the z’s


Stop making my life hard!

I cannot think of a harsh enough punishment for the person at Adobe thought when I selected that I wanted 2 copies of pages 7-16 from a PDF I meant I wanted it printed like so:

page 7

page 7

page 8

page 8

page 9

page 9

… you get the idea…

What were they thinking!