Thursday, 17 November 2011

Zombies: Zombie Boot Camp in the UK

Check this out!, a UK based "Experience Day" company are offering a Zombie Boot Camp Day.

For only £59, they'll kit you out with all the latest "zombie-deterring" armour, train you how to use a pistol, grenades and a rifle.  And then drop you in a zombie riddled warehouse with only your cunning to keep you bite free.

I have to say that this looks like a great alternative to paintballing or laser quest.  If only I was 10 years younger ...

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

I.T.: Farewell John McCarthy

4 September 1927 - 24 October 2011

Farewell to Professor John McCarthy, inventor of LISP and major contributor in the field of Artificial Intelligence. (From Wikipedia: "He was responsible for the coining of the term "Artificial Intelligence" in his 1955 proposal for the 1956 Dartmouth Conference and was the inventor of the Lisp programming language.")

I remember years ago programming in LISP at University, it was amazing. Having been brought up with BASIC, COBOL and then Pascal, being introduced to LISP, Prolog and Artifical Intelligence in the late 1980's was simply awesome.

Unfortunately I've forgotten most of what I've learnt with regard to AI programming, maybe it's time to revisit?

Maybe it's also time to think about the computer scientists of the 50's, 60's and 70's. The ideas they had, the languages they created and the inspiration they instilled for generations of programmers.  I'm sure that the developers of Siri, many moons ago, dabbled in LISP, maybe read a paper or two from Professor McCarthy, maybe that's where their interest in AI came from?

When moving forward, it's always a good idea to look back once in a while, just to see whose footprints you've walked in.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

I.T.: Farewell Steve Jobs

24 February 1955 - 5 October 2011

Farewell to Steve Jobs, truly a technology visionary.
You will be missed by all.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

I.T.: Raspberry Pi Wiki - Educational Links

Raspberry Pi have updated the educational links on their wiki.

Not just for the Raspberry Pi, but some very useful general Linux and programming links.

Monday, 5 September 2011

News: Police should commute in uniform, says think tank

I disagree.

If the officers are getting paid for their travel to and from work, and they are considered "on duty" at that time, then fair enough, pay them for their time traveling to work.

I feel that this is just making the police more visible whilst still cutting their numbers. If an officer is off duty and in uniform, do they still have the juristiction to perform their duties?  And do they have the same responsibility as an on duty officer? More to the point, if an off duty officer on their way to or from work arrests someone for mugging/burgulary or whatever, will the arrest still be legal, considering they're off duty?

As an officer, do you necessarily want to be leaving or entering your house in full uniform? I know there will be many officers out there who consider their job a vocation, and will do all they can to protect the public whilst off duty, but I don't think that they would want any criminals finding out where they live, this is ridiculous.

What next? Judges and Barristers wearing their wigs and coats on the number 54? Surgeons, strippers, butchers? All wearing their "uniform" to travel to work? It might make the commute more interesting to say the least!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

I.T.: Raspberry Pi

After reading a (paper!) magazine a few weeks ago, I was excited to come across Raspberry Pi (, a single-board computer designed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. 

The Raspberry Pi provides an ARM processor which is suitable for running Linux for an estimated price of £15 (approx. $25) for a pre-configured system, cheap enough to give to a child to do whatever he or she wants with it.

Having read a number of articles in the past regarding OLPC (One Laptop Per Child), where companies start off saying they're going to produce a low cost laptop, cheap enough for every child to have one.  Great Idea.  Only to hear a couple of months down the line that the original £50 per unit is now £150 per unit, or that the idea has been scrapped.  I thought that this might be another one of those.  Luckily I was wrong.  This actually looks like it going to be the real deal.

Having looked at their website again, they're running a design competition to produce the logo that will be used as their trademark.

They're also producing two models of the Pi, Model A (no LAN9512, 128MB)for around $25 and for another $5-$10, the Model B (incl. LAN9512, 256MB).  They're planning on shipping at the end of this year, 2011.  So for less than £25, you can pick up the Model B.

I have to say I am very excited about this, it takes me back to "Old School" computing, sat in front of a portable TV, banging away at a rubber keyboard, programming.  The nerd in me is exposed, and I'm drafting my letter to Santa right now.

Check out Raspberry Pi on, or follow them @Raspberry_Pi

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Photography: Amazing Close-Up Photography

Some amazing close-up photography from Caren Alpert.


What’s in our food?

What’s the difference between a bird’s-eye view of a remote vegetable crop and a microscopic swath from a pineapple leaf? How distinct is a pile of table salt from miles and miles of icebergs?

As a food lover and a photographer I answer these questions visually. Using scientific laboratory photo equipment, I journey over the surfaces of both organic and processed foods: my own favorites and America’s over-indulgences. The closer the lens got, the more I saw food and consumers of food (all of us!) as part of a larger eco-system than mere sustenance.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Bears: Yogi Bear, again, the usual suspect

Yellowstone National Park grizzly bear kills hiker

News: News of the World to close

It appears that this Sunday will be the last time the News of the World will be printed.

Will this be just a name change?
Is it just Murdock sidestepping the hacking issues?
Does this mean that the Sun will now have a Sunday edition?