Technology

30 August 2011
I am typing this on my brand new Apple keyboard. Seems to be working pretty well. Really, no problems at all. Not sure if it is vastly superior to a normal keyboard but it certainly isn't any worse.

For some reason I seem to be making fewer typos than usual. Surely, a keyboard can't be responsible for that?

31 May 2011
If there's one thing that has come out from Weinergate it's... that I have no idea how Twitter works.

28 May 2011
Sex, Science and Politics - Terence Kealey

Really good and free to me.  And nearly free to you if you can find it remaindered.

Slightly misnamed.  It really should be called “A History of Everything” covering - as it does - history, agriculture, technology and even language. 

Central claim: markets bring forth technology; technology brings forth science.

Fun quote: “..the benefits from doing research do in fact accrue to the researchers because they - and only they - understand other people’s research.”

01 December 2010
Why this Wikileaks business may be incredibly important

I have this feeling that this whole Wikileaks business is not only significant for what it is in and of itself but also for what it heralds.

Here is my reasoning:

Wikileaks shows that from now on it will be impossible to keep a secret.

The Crozier theory of organisations states that organisations exist to keep secrets.

Therefore, organisations have had it.

23 June 2010
Government science doesn't work. It is something that Terence Kealey has been saying for over 20 years and every time he does it gets that little bit better. This time: why there was no American aircraft industry in 1914, despite the fact that they'd invented it; how they became dominant; and why they went into decline after 1975.

23 October 2009
Michael Jennings and I talk about dead industries walking

Michael’s theory is that one of the consequences of the current recession/depression/end-of-civilisation-as-we-know-it, is that a whole bunch of industries that have been around of donkeys years are going to disappear.  He reckons that this will include: book shops, newspapers and opticians.

This podcast marks a first.  It is the first to be recorded down the line using Skype.  I think it works pretty well.



20 October 2009
I've heard of Windows 3.1. I am about to a lot about Windows 7. But I've never heard a peep about Windows 4, 5 or 6. Were they, by any chance, really good versions of Windows that we never got to hear about because the praise for them was drowned out by complaints about 95, 98, 2000, Millenium and Vista?

I think we should be told.

16 March 2008
Linux: not ready for prime time

What is a girl to do? 

For years the only man in town was Gates the Geek, William of Washington, the Seattle Straight.  OK, so his mane was mangey and his clothes didn’t fit but you kind of knew where you were with him and his Blue Screen of Death.  He was Old Unreliable.  But there was one thing you could count on: you’d be compatible.

But now, things seem to be going wrong.  Vista’s Vista seems to be no better than Vesta’s Vista.

Time to check out other suitors?

Well, the’s always beeen Mac.  He’s pretty, he works hard but he’s a bit like the Church of Scientology: culty and expensive.

Step forward Linux - the Finn to Win.  He’s the exact opposite of Mac: he’s culty and inexpensive.

And yours truly is nothing if not a skinflint. 

So, one brave morning, I decided to give Linux a try.  And after a few days I came to one clear and indisputable conclusion. As far as Linux is concerned:

NOTHING FUCKING WORKS

Oh, it claims all sorts of things about itself but getting it to work can only be described as “interesting”.

In the Chinese sense.

For instance:

  • It wouldn’t load onto my disk despite there being plenty of space.
  • When it did finally load the resolution was so poor I couldn’t see the OK
  • buttons
  • The screen had an atrocious flicker
  • I couldn’t connect to the internet
  • I couldn’t get Opera to install
  • I couldn’t get Flash to install on Opera
  • The search facility doesn’t work
  • WINE crashes the whole computer
  • Actually, lots of things seem to crash it.  And they complain about Windows.
  • The text rendering is poor
  • In fact, all the graphics are a bit naff.

Now on the last few points, I shouldn’t really criticise: these are amateurs and it is possible I’ve got a duff version.

But there were a sufficiently large number of problems to make me suspect that it’s going to be a good while yet before Liunux is a true competitor to Windows

19 December 2007

“I have finally decided to take the plunge. Last night I upgraded my Vista desktop machine to Windows XP...” Coding Sanity