August 2nd, 2005


Spotty dog

  • Happy birthday to zonefox and giantpanda for tomorrow. Coincidentally, the local branch of the NHS have declared it Sexual Health Week. No connection.
  • A Flash animation of the sort of happy dream a crash test dummy might have. If it gets stuck, click on it and throw it around.
  • I do like the "roads overlaid onto overhead satellite pictures" hybrid Google Maps. You can look at where I work (centre of pic). Evidently the atmosphere was unusually dry that day and the wind was blowing WNW.
  • BT sent me mail the other day saying that unless I opted for a different charging scheme for my BT Chargecard, they would start charging me £1.18 per quarter for the privilege of owning the card. I wasn't too happy about this, naturally. They have since changed their minds and transferred everyone to a lower rate with no subscription fee. Good, except there's now a surcharge for calling from a payphone, to the point where you're about as well off putting money into the thing than using your chargecard, alas. Or, alas, just use a mobile phone, if you own one, if you have credit on it, if it's charged up, if you can get a signal, if...
  • Talking of BT, they recently sped up my broadband connection from ½Mb/s to 2Mb/s at no extra cost, which is very nice, but the scheme I'm on is charged at what is only a competitive price for the higher speed these days. They said that they would do this for everyone within five months or so from mid-February, so when it had got to late July, I followed waistcoatmark's example and whinged at them. I'm not sure if my whinge had an effect - I hope it didn't as I hate having to be a squeaky wheel in order to get service. To coin a nonce word, do we live in a echerocracy, where the loudest rule?
  • Both my computers have insufficient memory - 128 MB - and so need to use swap files extensively, reading and writing to the hard disk. Would it be faster to eliminate the hard disk and host the swap file on a RAM chip accessed via the USB port? Admittedly this would be like fitting a RAM-pack to a ZX81, but that worked well enough, sort of...
  • Accio has been and gone and seems to have been tremendously successful, as far as I can tell. The lack of slash content is very far from optimal, but I'd wait a while before prejudging the likelihood or otherwise of slash content appearing next time.
  • Worldcon in Glasgow this weekend - the shift pattern has really screwed things up for Worldcon as well as for Accio, otherwise I'd have gone. I do note that their Young Adult Fun Activities programme (translation: mild, but more impressive than household, stunts) includes Roller Blade Quidditch, which is a new one on me, though they do permit roller skates, skateboards and even unicycles. Sounds fun. I also note that the YAFA programme includes a session of "Rebel Training Camp and Missions", for which "stuff to bring or do" includes black waistcoats, beige combats, boots and "blue shits". Whops.
  • Leaping seamlessly, quidditchmaster posted the first part of a multi-stage riddle game, though it seems to have gone now. I couldn't get anywhere with it, but shrineofdoves people quite possibly would've done. Any chance of a return, Nick?
  • Had a browse of the Invision game show forum yesterday for the first time since, ooh, November. The average sense of humour displayed, weighted by frequency of posts, is enough to keep me away, likely for another 8-9 months. The lovely folk on there remain lovely, of course, but there are precious few of them (Matt, Robair, Mark...) who aren't weblogging elsewhere - and I'll get the chance to work on David Hammett when he comes to the UK next week. Actually, there are precious few people (though they do exist!) on even ukgameshows who are lovely who don't also weblog, so I'm thinking about unsubscribing there.
  • The European (Nations) Team Chess Championship is in progress now! England have sent a weak team - somewhat stronger than the team they sent two years ago, but still weak enough that they're only #18 seeds out of 40 entrants. Nice 3½-½ win over Spain yesterday, though.
  • This looks like the most interesting poker promo I've seen for a while - win five ten-handed poker tournaments in a row and win $25,000, win a sixth for an extra $50k, win a seventh to make it up to a cool million. (A near miss - five top-2 finishes in a row - gets $250, too.) It's not some sort of grand tournament structure that'll take until the next Ice Age to complete, it's just "beat any 5/6/7 tables in a row" (with sensible terms and conditions against cheating or poor behaviour). The rake is a bit harsher than usual (they're $10+$2 tables), but if you're good enough to win 10-player sit'n'goes even 15% of the time then I think this is a very interesting proposition.
  • Current Music
    "Graduation", old DDR track