December 2006 Archives

December 31, 2006

currybetdotnet 2006 review

I have never previously done this kind of end-of-year review type thing, well, except for making mixtapes of the year for friends back when cassette-by-post was the preferred method of delivery rather than mp3-file-delivered-to-your-phone-via-Bluetooth or whatever it is the kids are doing these days. However, on Friday I wrote about some of my favourite blogs from 2006, and today I wanted to do a quick run through of the highlights (and lowlights) of writing and running currybetdotnet this year. I...
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December 29, 2006

A few of my favourite blogs from 2006

Well, it is review of the year time, and since I've been on a roller-coaster ride of travelling through Europe and living in 2 different EU countries, I can't really do a top ten albums or TV shows of the year. I did think though that I would do a quick round-up of some of the blogs that I have most consistently enjoyed reading through the year. Inevitably I guess I ought to start with a quartet of blogs from...
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December 22, 2006

A year without the internet

The Christmas holiday is often used as a time of reflection in the media, spawning endless charts of the year, predictions for the future, and a desperate grasp to try and pull the previous 12 months into some kind of coherent narrative thread. So, in what has been quite an exceptional year for me, here is mine. Over the weekend it was the first anniversary of leaving the UK with my wife, and setting out on the travel adventure that...
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December 21, 2006

Walthamstow Dog stadium on The Londonist, Visit London, and my Flickr stream

Last week the excellent Londonist site used another one of my Flickr pictures to illustrate a story about encouraging Visit London to make more of the attractions available to tourists outside of Zone 1. Apparently Walthamstow Stadium is one of only six attractions outside of Central London listed by Visit London....
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Dell survey privacy breach by MarketTools

A couple of weeks back I was invited to take part in a customer satisfaction survey about the Dell laptop that I had purchased to take away travelling with me. Although it has done me a good service, I've never been overly happy with it - probably because I didn't spend enough money on it. Credit where credit is due to Dell though, when I blogged on 'A lemon tree of our own' about breaking the keyboard on it, one...
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December 20, 2006

Entertaining reactions to BBC Worldwide's P2P move

There has been a lot of entertaining reaction across the web to the announcement that BBC Worldwide will be distributing some shows via the Zudeo service in the USA. On TechCruch, Michael Arrington sparked another U.S. vs U.K. flame war with his (tongue-firmly-in-cheek I'm sure) comment that: Under the agreement, BBC will license a number of television shows to U.S. users, including Red Dwarf, Strange and Invasion Earth, Little Britain, Doctor Who, Fawlty Towers, Coupling, Keeping Up Appearances, League of...
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December 19, 2006

Sony launches new Christmas promotional pages on the Connect store

Whilst most of the focus in the musical digital download world last week was on whether iTunes sales had risen by 84% or dipped by 65%, Sony quietly slipped out an incremental update to the European Connect music store. It is the first public release by Sony based on some of my wireframe work. Most of the updated features go on behind the scenes and - hopefully - won't be noticed by the users. The most prominent new feature though...
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More reaction to Arsenal's move to ban all national flags from their stadium

The furore over the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' flag at Arsenal's Emirates stadium has been going on for a couple of months now, not that you would know that from the BBC's pathetic news story covering this weekend's announcement by the club that all national flags and nationalists flags are to be banned from the stadium. The piece simply trots out the official Arsenal line that "The move comes after some fans have been upset at the waving of...
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December 18, 2006

Arsenal forced to ban all national flags over Cypriot dispute

I wrote at the beginning of the month about the dispute at Arsenal caused by the repeated flying of the unrecognised 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' flag by Mete Ahmed within their new Emirates stadium. At the time, Arsenal had considered that since it was not specifically against the law to fly the flag within the UK, they would be taking no action over it. However, pressure from the Greek Cypriot community appears to have swayed the clubs opinion. In...
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BBC Collective's Christmas mp3 collection

If you were terrified by being subjected to another festive season with the X-Factor one-hit-wonder and Noddy Holder inflicted upon you as the only soundtrack to Christmas, then the team at collective have stepped in to save you with a collection of alternative Xmas mp3s. Since many of them take the dear Lord's name in vain, or at least in a miserable fashion (i.e. The Fall), or refer to non-Christian elements of Christmas like the so-called "reindeer", I suspect it...
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December 15, 2006

Free £60 Sainsbury's voucher hoax email

It looks like the hoax email promising people £60 worth of vouchers for Sainsbury's supermarket stores is doing the rounds agian in the run-up to Christmas. The email asks you to forward it to at least ten people, and copy in a J Sainsbury's address, and then apparently the company will contact you with the free voucher. It is interesting what moves people to pass this on. Leave aside for a moment all the DPA issues there would be for...
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December 14, 2006

Viewing the Tehran conference about the Holocaust from Austria

Whatever the current issues between "the West" and Iran, you have to admire Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's ability to put pressure on sensitive nerves in the West, and generate a lot of publicity. The conference on the Holocaust that took place in Iran this week is a prime example, sparking outrage around the globe, but at the same time making people ask questions about the nature of free speech under Western democracies. I've been interested as an observer here in...
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December 12, 2006

More on AlJazeera.Net in English online

Over the last few weeks I've been looking at the AlJazeera.Net English site. I haven't written about it up until this week partly to allow them time to do a bit of snagging on the site post-launch, and partly because I have still found it to be quite unresponsive during peak times. Whilst there are some things about the site that I like, I find there are still quite a few rough edges to it. The registration process, for example,...
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December 11, 2006

AlJazeera.Net in English on the web

Since the launch of the associated television channel on 15th November, I've been itching to have a poke around and review AlJazeera.Net's new online English edition. My interest in the site is of course partly because of my general interest in online news, and partly because AlJazeera.Net has something of the shock-of-the-new about it compared to our "Western" news media. Not least though, my interest is because a couple of years back I spent three days in Dubai having interviews...
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December 9, 2006

Christmas cards and rewriting history from the Daily Mail

At the risk of irritating Frankie with my tabloid obsession, I couldn't let pass today the revelation from the Daily Mail that 'Christmas cards are losing their religious message' This is part of a seemingly endless campaign by the right-wing tabloid press in the UK to convince their readers that Christmas is being abolished, despite the evidence I saw all around me in the UK when I was there last week, that, frankly, you can't move for the stuff. And...
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December 8, 2006

Get your hand off my Harry Enfield video

Considering that The Guardian's web sites have traditionally been one of the more advanced online offerings from the British press, it is surprising how often they make errors when linking through to material. I wrote before the World Cup about their failure to link to their RSS feeds properly, and for a while their Football Weekly podcast was only available to download either as a direct mp3 file or via iTunes, because the RSS feed for it was either not...
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Greta Blue due to be a highlight of the Design Interiors show

It is always nice to see one of the companies I do some web work for getting praise. Greta Blue, who import Indian made organic cotton bedding, are launching their range at the Design Interiors show in Birmingham in January. As one of 5 suppliers of "Eco and Ethically Sound Sourced Products" they have been picked out as a highlight of the show. Eco and Ethically Sound Sourced Products Many Design Interiors exhibitors are at the forefront of sustainable design....
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December 7, 2006

Yahoo! door-stepping ex-Google Answers researchers

I loved this cheeky little blog post from Yahoo! last week encouraging the paid researchers from Google's now defunct Answers service to jump ship to Yahoo! Answers Please consider sharing your knowledge with millions of people on Yahoo! Answers; connect with users with shared interests; get answers to all your questions; and help build the world's most vibrant and trusted community. They've even set up a Yahoo! Group specifically to help those involved manage the change. I've written before that...
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December 6, 2006

Not-so-hot spot at Stansted from T-Mobile

On Monday I flew back from London to Salzburg, and in the morning I had about 15 minutes in the Starbucks that is situated by the BBC's White City offices. As I knew I would be at Stansted later in the day and there is also a T-Mobile wifi access point in the terminal building, I signed up at the White City development Starbucks for an hours T-Mobile access, knowing I would be able to log in again later later...
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December 5, 2006

The Daily Mail's flip-flops over EU driving standards

Yesterday's anti-EU rant disguised as news in the Daily Mail was aimed at the proposal for common standards across the community for driving licences, which might require drivers to be periodically re-evaluated for medical conditions that might affect their driving, and renew their licence every ten years. The thing that perplexed me was that three years ago, when the Mail was reporting EU activity in this area, the tone was almost on the verge of positive, well, as positive as...
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December 4, 2006

Right to reply, but no right to network privacy with Newscounter

Over the last couple of weeks I've been looking at a site called "Newscounter", which takes articles from the press in the UK, and allows users to vote on which stories they would most like to hear the other side of, hopefully giving individuals and organisations a right to reply which they so seldom get in the mainstream press. The site is still under development, but seems at the moment to me to be missing a couple of key features....
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December 1, 2006

Cypriot flag dispute at Arsenal

The relationship between Greece and the rest of the EU on one side, and Turkey on the other side, has been getting a lot of attention this week due to their inability to reach an agreement over Cyprus. Since the turmoil caused in 1974 by first the Greek backed coup on the island, followed by the Turkish invasion, relations have still not been normalised over thirty years later. Only Turkey recognises the northern part of the island as a nation...
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