Jan 31 2007

Claiming Ignorance

The question of whether it’s necessary or desirable to take school children’s fingerprints has not made it on the agenda for Parliament.

Straw refused, claiming ignorance: “I am not aware of the practice [of fingerprinting children at school], but obviously people have accepted it,” he said.

“There is a problem with ensuring people’s identity, and one of the ways of doing that is to use biometric data,” he went on, “Security in libraries is a big issue for younger and older people.”

The Register reports, via John Woodman.

Jan 31 2007


Jan 24 2007

Wrist Dreams

www.wristdreams.com – I love the kitsch name of this wristwatch blog. It’s as if the author believes we all, secretly, have wistful wrist aspirations.

Appropriately, it also links to this site about augmenting dead insects with the leftover clockwork from wristwatches:

Now THAT is a “wrist dream”, if ever I saw one.

Jan 24 2007

Good Measure

EDIT: looks like this dude’s site is broken, probably got bandwidth-whacked.

A Low Impact Woodland Home” describes one bloke’s success in building his family a luxurious hut to live in. For less than £3000 he put together an environmentally-sound open-plan house in some Welsh countryside.

Take one baby, a toddler and a building site. Mix well with a generous helping of mud, combine with 6 weeks of solid welsh rain whilst living under canvas. Do this in candle light without a bathroom or electricity for three months. Chuck in living with your father for good measure. Top with an assortment of large slugs. The result a hand crafted home of beauty, warmth and health for about £3,000.

But how long before riders on black horses start arriving to demand the return of “the One Ring”, eh?

Jan 24 2007

Evil Cabal

The Telegraph reports that Vlad The Impaler’s castle, aka Castle Dracula, is up for sale for $40m.

I’ll be setting up a Paypal donation site entitled “Please Help Fund The Refurbishment Of Our Fortress Of Evil,” with the aim of turning the castle into a techno-base for my criminal cabal. With the psychic emanations of Vlad on our side we’ll become a kind of National Trust*-meets-S.P.E.C.T.R.E. – a secret organisation of international fascists, bent on hardcore architectural preservation, mandatory heritage-appreciation, and occasional world domination.

*The National Trust slogan “for ever, for everyone” has a vaguely Orwellian tone to it.

Jan 16 2007

Does Not Compute

And I thought I was working hard /before/ Christmas. Christ. Well anyway: I’m writing big long words, filling out tax returns, staring into space dumbfounded. That sort of thing.

More soon.

Jan 8 2007

The Silence Of The Hamsters

I made a remarkable discovery yesterday: Hamsters occasionally emit blood-curdling screams in their sleep. I was working away and suddenly heard the terrible noise of an animal in pain in the hamster cage. Investigating, I discovered our Hamster to still be asleep.

Google reveals that I am not the only person to experience this.

Jan 8 2007

Etch Crazy

Punk art is allied to what an extraordinary prisoner might do in his cell. Not ask for parole, for instance, or bone up on his case, but etch crazy feathery patterns into certain secret places.

Locust St.

Jan 7 2007

Resulting Avatars

Passively Multiplayer is a system for turning user data into ongoing play. Using computer and mobile phone surveillance, a user and their unique history. These resulting avatars can be viewed online, and they interact with other avatars online.

Examples of data: web sites visited, email addresses, chat handles, contents of email or messaging, contents of word processed documents, digital images, digital video, video game moves.

Passively Multiplayer Games

Jan 6 2007

Blinking Lizards

“The nippers are bleeping and zapping in speechless rapture, their passive faces washed in explosions and gore. They sit for so long that their souls seem to have been sucked down the cathode ray tube. They become like blinking lizards, motionless, absorbed, only the twitching of their hands showing they are still conscious. These machines teach them nothing. They stimulate no ratiocination, discovery or feat of memory.”

Boris Johnson MP, 2007

Podgy old Conversative bloke gets tetchy about gaming. He’s ‘the funny one’ of British politics. Apparently games are to blame for the drop in literacy in the youth of today. Yeah. Because kids really worked hard at being literate before videogames came along… More here.