Sunday 31 May 2009


When to pick up Emma, in Stamford and have afternoon tea with her parents. What a lovely little town, pity we only had time for tea at the George hotel before departing back to London.

Thursday 28 May 2009

do you think i have a communication problem?

The company I work for has just switched over to using Apple Iphone's, i think i had to take a picture of my desk before the switch over....cables.

HDMI 1.4 announced

Ladies and Gentlemen, will you please welcome HDMI 1.4, the latest incarnation of the all-digital interconnect. I blogged some time ago about HDMI 1.3

So I thought it was time to mention HDMI 1.4 which is due for publication by the end of June, the HDMI 1.4 spec's key elements are integrated networking, support for bigger screen sizes, 3D support and a new, more compact connector oh dear not another connector.

The addition of networking is specifically the addition of a 10/100Mb/s Ethernet data channel through the HDMI cable. On Nice wonder what we can do with that....connect it to your PC or you home internet. There are lots of HDMI-equipped devices already have Ethernet ports, the addition of networking is arguably redundant, but it should make for reduced cable clutter - but you will have to buy a new cable with the extra, Ethernet-exclusive wires.

HDMI 1.4's support for resolutions greater than 1080p will stretch to 3840 x 2160 at 24Hz, 25Hz or 30Hz, and 4096 x 2160 at 24Hz . Apparently they say its got enough resolution to transmit two 1080p images, allowing the technology to support stereoscopic 3D.

The Micro HDMI Connector is a significantly smaller 19-pin connector that supports up to 1080p resolutions for portable devices. This new connector is approximately half the size of the existing HDMI Mini Connector, introduced in 2006 when HDMI 1.3.

HDMI 1.4 will support colour spaces sYCC601, Adobe RGB and AdobeYCC601, the better to ensure the telly shows the colours encoded correctly. Alsothe standard will have extra wiring for two-way audio, again with the intention of reducing cable clutter.

Friday 22 May 2009

Lyn Brown expenses

Constituency: West Ham
MP: Brown, Lyn
Party: LAB
Second Home: £15,889
London Supplement: £0
Office: £20,358
Staffing: £93,109
Stationery: £1,858
IT Provision: £924
Staff Cover: £0
Communication: £3,255
Travel: £253

Total Expenses: £140,537
Second Home!!! How can anyone claim for a second home when Westminster is only 8.1miles away. Her excuse is "do not have use of a ministerial car and enables me to manage late night and early morning working at the Commons."Even with the tube being a bit funny less than an hour away or taxi less. Guess what Lyn do what everyone else does and take public transport. I talked to a nurse at the Portland hospital last week who said she had to get a taxi in on Sundays as the train from Mottingham where she lived, didn't start early enough to get her in for a seven o clock shift start which cost her £25 pounds out of her wages. I think MP's like Lyn Brown should start living in the real world like everyone else and stop trying to milk the system and expect to claim it on expenses, the nurse couldn't claim it back why should you.

update: Lyn mentions she has her own car in the article here so why is she complaining that she doesn't get a ministerial one, she should think herself lucky she can afford to run a car, I know a lot of the people she represents can't afford it at the present time.

From: David Padua Date: Apr 22 10:56 UTC Short link

Dear Sir,

According to publicly available figures Lynn Brown MP claimed over 15,000 in "additional cost allowance" which usually means a second home. Lynn Brown MP, for West Ham, claims for a second home? A second home? Stephen Timms MP, who is almost in the cabinet, and represents East Ham, next to Lynn Brown doesn't claim additional cost allowance.

Why is Ms Brown claiming for a second home when her constituency is a stones throw from Parliament, only an hour at most by public transport? In the register of interests, it lists that she has a quarter share of a house in Cumbria. Does she list this as her main residence, and a home in London which she claims the allowance for? Or is it for something else? Its time Lynn Brown
explained what this is for.

Its also interesting to see that Stephen Timms and Jim Fitzpatrick, the other Newham MP who both have positions in the Government whereas Lynn Brown doesnt. Yet she claimed about 20,000 more in expenses than both the other two.

Thats more than a nurse would earn in a year, or would pay the rent on a council home for over 5 years.

There is no suggestion that anyone here claimed for something improperly and that all expense claims have been made I assume in accordance with the rules. In the current climate though I feel it is morally obscene that an MP who is paid a salary of 5000 a month, receives an additional 11,666 a month in expenses/allowances.

David Padua
Custom House E16

From: Mike Law Date: Apr 22 19:30 UTC

And Lyn Brown replied: " I share a rented flat in Central London. I have not bought a second home. I am renting it. It enables me to manage late night and early morning working at the Commons. I also do not have use of a ministerial car."

I've sent a FOI request to the Commons to find out how many early morning and late night meetings she attended and the start and end times for the meetings.

Tuesday 19 May 2009

Life Inc The Movie

Life Inc. The Movie from Douglas Rushkoff on Vimeo.

I read Douglas' blog and find it very good read.

The blurb from the website:
In Life Inc., award-winning writer, documentary filmmaker, and scholar Douglas Rushkoff traces how corporations went from a convenient legal fiction to the dominant fact of contemporary life. Indeed as Rushkoff shows, most Americans have so willingly adopted the values of corporations that theyre no longer even aware of it.


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Monday 18 May 2009

Manic Street Preachers; Journal For Plague Lovers

The Manics guide to to writing a good album,

  1. Great riffs and licks from guitar god James Dean Bradfield.
  2. Superb complex lyrics from the late Richey Edwards.
  3. Jenny Saville painting as a cover (it worked on The Holy Bible, it will work again)
This is the album we were never going to get to hear, the lyrics so long on the shelf the expert editing of Bradfield and Wire work to turn the most complex of lyrics into hummable sing a long tunes. From the opening with the classic quotes and pieces of movies playing the songs in echos of albums past ringing in your ears. Solid bass and drums set the stage of the guitar and then like a song bird Bradfield comes to life and the hairs on your neck stand up. This album doesn't feel new you haven't heard the songs before but it feels so comfortable and like an old friend welcome you to the fold. Richey Edwards complex and intelligent lyrics take you on an extreme journey in the mind of a trouble mind of rock star.

Every song is a highlight the spine tingling metaphors but Me and Stephen Hawking stands out for the comedy lyrics about their sexual prowess and a review can't be written with mentioning 'Williams Last Words" sung by Nick Wire, as my eyes filled up I can listen to this note again and again.

On Saturday Night James and Nick talked about the new album on Channel 4 click on the link below to watch the programme for the next 28 days.

The new album from Manic Street Preachers; Journal For Plague Lovers is out now on CD, 2CD deluxe edition and to download.

Roses in the Hospital

I've stopped and started this post many times over the last few days, i've come back to it edit it and tried to change it but it never seemed write to publish it yet. Just this second I've heard that my partner Emma is heading home to her parents so I feel its about time to finish the post and hit the button.

On Wednesday evening Emma went in for surgery at the Portland Hospital in London, nothing quiet prepares you for those agonising hours of waiting to hear any news. The constant checking of watches and hoping the phone will ring, but then hoping it does as no news is good news is good news. But in the end Surgery went well and I went to see Emma when she rang me on Thursday morning before work.

Nothing quite prepare you for the sight of someone you love all wired up and plugged into so many machines with oxygen coming in through pipes in their nose and groggy from the painkillers. It brings a tears to your eyes but you know you have not got to show it as it makes it worse for them. Your heart breaks because at that moment you can do nothing for them but be there, hold their hand. You know they have the best medical care in the world but you feel useless.

So after lots of wonderful medical care, Emma has gone home from hospital this morning thank you to all the friends and family who came to visit and the wonderful flowers that were sent.

I can't thank Ms Eben and nurses and staff of the Portland Hospital enough. Thank you all for making Emma's stay a pleasant one and making us all feel welcome and for making us laugh at a very hard time, especial thanks go to Comfort, Jennifer and Cynthia. Thank you

Sunday 17 May 2009

Twitter has it's own comedy club

Sent from my Mobile Device

Saturday 16 May 2009

Ryanair trying to fleece you some more

I wrote early last month about the costs of flying on a budget airline well it seems Ryanair have trumped me with a charge for printing out your ticket. There seems to be some completely wrong and criminal about charging some for a essential document of journey. I don't mind paying for food or them charging for fast boarding as all of these charges can be avoided but charging you to £10 pounds per return to print your ticket at home or £80 pounds at the airport seems criminal and a sign of a money grabbing and dishonest company.

"Ryanair passengers face a £5 charge per flight to print out their tickets at home as part of moves to abolish check-in desks and increase revenues. The policy replaces Ryanair's practice of offering free online ticketing and charging anyone who opted for face-to-face check-in £10. In future, anyone who arrives at the airport without a pre-printed check-in card will have to pay a £40 "boarding card re-issue fee". In-built restrictions to the online ticketing system mean many customers will be unable to print their tickets when they book, raising the chances for penalty charges from customers who think they have completed the process.

Wow to a penalty charge of £40 pounds if you don't have a printer or if like me someone else say like a promoter of a music gig in another country mormally books the tickets for you, now we didn't see that one coming. I love the Daily Mash take on it


In a statement released yesterday Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary said: "Cock-a-doodle-do! Everyone pay attention. These are my new rules.

"You will print out your own boarding pass and pay me for the privilege of doing so. If you do not have a printer you will pay me £40 for not having one and you will then wear a paper hat that I will make for you. The hat will cost £40.

"You will complete a quest. Probably involving a rare gemstone. You will bring me the gemstone wrapped inside a cheque for £40.

"Luggage is a sin and you will be punished for it. Therefore your holiday will last no longer than 14 minutes. If it does I will kidnap your goldfish and charge you £40 a leg to get it back."

A spokesman for the British Psychiatric Institute said: "Ryanair is no longer something to be hated, it is something to be pitied. It's as if Mr O'Leary has suffered some kind of severe mental trauma. Perhaps he has finally flown on one of his own planes.

"He needs to be sedated, isolated and subjected to a twice-daily programme of powerful electric shocks. If that doesn't work we will have to carve out a hefty chunk of his frontal lobe.

"In the meantime we would urge other airlines to step in and start flying to Ryanair's destinations as soon as possible. For the love of God, please."

UPDATE: Damian Corrigan, of asked Ryanair some of the questions interesting replies

Thursday 14 May 2009

Mark Thomas takes legal action against MPs

PRESS RELEASE - Thursday 14th May, 2009

Today Mark Thomas, political activist, commentator, performer, writer and comedian has instructed his lawyers, Leigh Day & Co to write to the Speaker of the House of Commons threatening legal action unless a full transparent review is urgently ordered into the scandal of MPs expenses.

Mr Thomas has been advised that the approach peddled by MPs in the press that their unreasonable expenses are within the rules is not correct. In fact, the current scandal has been largely caused by attempts by many MPs to stretch the rules far beyond their ordinary meaning and an unwillingness by the House of Commons Department of Finance and Administration officials to rein them in.

The letter requires Speaker Martin, as Chair of the House of Commons Commission to take urgent steps to commence a review of the Department’s actions in dealing with MPs’ applications for expenses. The following steps are set down as the bare minimum requirements:

- To obtain and publish independent authoritative legal advice & guidance on the meaning of the MPs’ expenses rules, to be consistent with other guidance applicable to the public where similar words are used

- To appoint independent accountants to audit all claims by MPs in the current parliament against the legal advice and guidance obtained

- To consider auditing all claims by MPs back to May 1997, applying consistent principles which would be applied in cases of false/ excessive claims against other public authorities or the HMRC

- To explain publicly what sums have been wrongly paid out to members and to set out proposals for recoupment where overpayments have been made, such recoupment to be no more favourable to MPs than the system for recovery of benefits overpayments or income tax underpayments

- To report possibly fraudulent claims to the Metropolitan Police fraud squad for investigation.

The Speaker has been given 14 days to respond, failing which Judicial Review proceedings may follow.

Mark Thomas said:

“MPs are not above the law. If they have wrongly claimed expenses they should be made to repay. If they have acted fraudulently the police should be involved. This is what would happen to all of us as members of the public if we tried to fiddle public money.

Fraudulent benefit claimants are not allowed to form committees comprised of benefit claimants to investigate their misdemeanours. Nor can exposed tax cheats offer to pay back money because they are ‘concerned about how it looks to the outside world’ and then walk away with no repercussion.

If I need to go to court I will be making a public appeal to cover the legal costs of the case, which I’m sure will have overwhelming support! ”

Richard Stein, partner at Leigh Day & Co said:

“The main problem here is not the rules governing payment of MPs’ expenses, but how they have been applied. Many MPs have made claims which do not properly fall within the rules. The rules say that MPs have a responsibility to satisfy themselves that expenditure claimed has been ‘wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred’ for the
purpose of performing their Parliamentary duties and that overspent or mischarged amounts may be recovered. The House of Commons authorities must now take steps to make sure this happens”

Wednesday 13 May 2009

The Pretend Office

Having worked in an office most of my life you come to except emails about fire alarm test and messages like this which arrived in my email box this morning:

From: Office Manager
Sent: 13 May 2009 10:08
To: all
Subject: fridge


The kitchen fridge is just about to grow legs and walk outta Petra has kindly volunteered to clean it out. We will of course keep anything that is within its ‘sell by date’ but anything that looks vaguely suspect, will be chucked. If you want to make sure your stuff is saved, please let her know in the next hour

Office manager
Some Company

Well Phil Gyford wrote on his blog about how he and his freelance friends do not have to deal with the normal office day to day emails. So they set up their own virtual office and started emailing everyone@ on the mailing list and with some surprising and funny results. Not only the general emails were sent out but the obligatory embarrassing emails were accidentally sent to everyone in the pretend company too.

You can see Phil's post here and the Office archive or RSS feed

The Pretend Office is very much like the Matt Beaumont book “e.”

Set in an ad agency, but the whole book is written in emails.

Friday 8 May 2009

Thursday 7 May 2009

You know it's bad when

You phone doesn't know if it has a battery

Tuesday 5 May 2009

Look daddy I fixed it

Well I had a little issue I dropped my laptop on the plane and for the
last two days it's been intermittant. The back light would turn off
after the screen was moved. But always came back after reboot. So back
in the hotel room with a leatherman, I decided to see what the issue
was as I know I have demos of ContentAgent over the next few days and
didn't want it turning off in front of customers. So dismantling the
laptop was not an issue and the problem could be seen a crushed single
cable for the backlight so a quick splice and the cable was as good as
new. The back panel was changed by an engineer when the panel was
broken at new year the cable must have been moved by the jolt. We'll
at least we have working laptop for tomorrow.

Sunday 3 May 2009

Photos of Flushing Meadows

Well here are the pictures from Flushing Meadows the site of the 1964 New York Worlds Fair



more at

I heart NYC

Well just got back from Las Vegas and got over the jet lag and it's time to hit New York. I travelled yesterday Saturday to make sure I included a saturday night in the trip and thanks to the United upgrade it was a pleasant trip to Washington DC and the a little hop on Mesa airlines to New York and got to the hotel around midnight. Seeing the people outside bar made me want to go and soak it up but I thought it would be better to get some good rest. Today Sunday is a day off so I'm going to head to Flushing Meadows park to see the site of the New York Trades Fair as featured in such games as Grand Theft Auto IV. I've seen the park before mainly during taxi journeies to and from JFK. So it will be good to finally go and see it and cross it off the list. Expect some photos later today.