March 2004 Archives

March 31, 2004

Soap vote

It's nearly your last chance to vote in The British Soap Awards 2004 at the Pure Soap site. The vote closes at midnight on April 1st, and the award ceremony is on May 8th. I point it out firstly as I hardly get to write about my work at the moment for several hideously complicated reasons, and secondly because being a cultural snob I suspect it may well be one I leave off my CV in the future....
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March 28, 2004

BBC News launch Beta Audio Video Search

Despite knowing it was on the cards, I actually missed the launch a couple of weeks ago of a beta trial of the BBC News Audio Video search. If you do a regular search on the BBC News Online or BBC Sport sites from the toolbar the new widget appears on the right-hand side of your results page. You are able to click a large button to make all of the search results Audio Video results. The service is...
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March 27, 2004

The enemy of my enemy is my friend?

"Mr Dacre was particularly scathing about Mr Campbell's handling of the events leading up to the death of Dr Kelly, which he described as a 'very cynical regime to try and break the BBC.' 'It's part of Campbell's policy that if you don't support the Government you have got to be broken and demonised' Mr Dacre added, describing the aftermath of the Hutton inquiry as a 'terrible, terrible tragedy' for the BBC." This article in The Independent was talking...
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England due to play this week? Must be time for another Sven story then

It is a lucky co-incidence how this media story always re-surfaces just as England are about to play a match, but there was simply astonishing stuff from The Sun today over Sven and England. It seems trivial to point it out...but I can't resist moaning. From Steven Howard - "Euro bid left in tatters" "They gave him a job which, with it, brought a certain responsibility towards the millions of fans who forget their tribal wars at the drop...
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March 26, 2004

Christmas at home for shopworkers

The Christmas Day (Trading) Bill got its second reading in the House of Commons today. It is a measure proposed by MP Kevan Jones and supported by USDAW, which would have been my union when I worked at Reckless had such a thing been recognised by such a small and quirky second-hand record business. "The Christmas Day (Trading) Bill proposes to ban stores with a floorspace in excess of 280 square metres from opening on Christmas Day in England...
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March 25, 2004

Champions League Football and racist graffiti at The College Arms in Walthamstow

I had a fantastic time last night watching the first leg of the all English Champions League Quarter Final between Chelsea and Arsenal, at the College Arms pub in Walthamstow on Forest Road. The pub was packed, and was a brilliant example of how football can bring people together. It was the most diverse crowd I have ever seen in a Walthamstow pub. There were a Japanese couple, two generations of Afro-Caribbeans, and some ladies from Africa. There were...
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Things you never thought of...

A recruitment advert in The Guardian today placed by Baer Management Consulting on behalf of Philip Morris International: Flavorist Research & Development Division With a view to enhance smoking quality, the successful candidate is responsible for the development of new and the modification of existing cigarette flavor systems. Closely liasing with the research specialists you are able to subjectively profile our client's products and those of competitors and to translate product development briefs into cigarette flavor systems that meet...
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What is wrong with the BBC website Wiki page

Spurred on by his triumph of branding over service rant about the lack of intelligent URL redirection on the BBC website, Yoz has set up a rant wiki page: What's Wrong With The BBC Website I like the fact that this is an attempt to flush out into the open what is 'wrong' with the site that isn't on purely business terms - i.e. what is the impact the BBC has in the market - or on purely strategic...
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March 24, 2004

The London Standard, David Beckham and the Madrid Bomber

A simply incredible front-page story from the Evening Standard tonight. It took three journalists, Bill Bond, Patrick Sawer and Charles Reiss to reveal that: "One of the Madrid bombing suspects is obsessed with David Beckham, it was revealed today. The England captain came face to face with Moroccan Mohammed Bekkali two weeks before the rushhour carnage. Bekkali, 31, who calls himself Bekks after his hero, waited outside Real Madrid's training ground and got the player to sign his birthday...
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March 11, 2004

Was tonight a night for European football?

In September 2001 UEFA cancelled an entire round of Champions League and UEFA Cup matches as a mark of respect for the deaths caused by a terrorist attack on another continent. On March 11th 2004 UEFA compelled four Spanish teams to play their UEFA cup matches despite the fact that their homeland had been subjected to the largest ever terrorist attack on European soil. I totally understand the viewpoint that we shouldn't allow terrorists to interrupt our daily lives...
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March 9, 2004

Unwelcome To Britain

I flew back into Britain today, and what a sorry experience it was, full of the kind of British mean spirit that gets me down. Before we'd even fully boarded, an overweight over-sunburnt British couple had managed to barge and shove their way down the aisles looking for any nook and cranny to stash their copious duty free fags'n'booze - in the process treating a couple of fragile lovely old Indian ladies who must have been in their sixties...
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March 7, 2004

Postcard from Dubai

Very rarely on currybetdotnet do I stray into the kind of "What I had for breakfast" territory that gets blogs such a bad name - but.... I'm posting this from Dubai, where I am enjoying / enduring a four day non-BBC expenses paid pseudo-business trip that has sent my body-clock into spasm. My observations so far: 1: The traffic in Dubai seems markedly worse than the last time I was here two years ago. With all the construction work...
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March 4, 2004

BBC Creative Archive - more details emerge

Ashley Highfield, BBC Director of New Media & Technology, to the FT New Media & Broadcasting Conference - The On-Demand World Is Finally Coming "The Creative Archive will give everyone in the UK the freedom to search for and access clips from the BBC's television and radio archives via They will be able to download clips free of charge and use them in a way that will enable them, we hope, to explore their own interests more fully....
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March 3, 2004

The Vanity Experiment on "designing task based interaction flow"

Brilliant stuff from Ant explaining the thought and effort behind the BBC's Single Sign-On Registration service - Tips for designing task based interaction flow I particularly value any set of observations that can hammer home this kind of point: "Errors are usually not the fault of the user, but the fault of the system for not understanding the user or allowing them to input how they would naturally" It doesn't matter whether you are building a web application to...
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March 1, 2004

44% of American Internet users have created online content

Blogging is still infrequent...and apparently sound statistical analysis is rarer still. According to this Yahoo! story based on an Anick Jesdanun report for the AP: "The Pew Internet and American Life Project, in a study released Sunday, found that somewhere between 2 percent and 7 percent of adult Internet users in the United States actually keep their own blogs.". Somewhere between 2% and 7%? How vague do you want to get? Later in the article it says: "The margin...
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Future funerals

This train of thought developed whilst I was at Elbow's gig at Brixton Academy the other week. They played a track called "Scattered Black & Whites" from their first album, which seems to me (and I could be wrong) about the kind of family memories triggered by looking at old photographs, and earlier they had played the track "Fugitive Motel". The video that accompanied the track consisted of photographs and postcards from troops in the First World War to...
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David Elstein on BBC staff

"Every BBC employee should ask themselves every day what is so special about what they do that it justifies threatening the poorest people in society with hefty fines or jail if they fail to pick up their equal share of wages that are at least five times their own meagre income." Unchartered waters - David Elstein hits back at criticism of his proposals to reform the BBC - Monday March 1, 2004 - The Guardian...
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