Monthly Archives: January 2009

The News goes live

I HAVEN’T had much time to update this blog recently, and the reason is because I’ve been working on a new site, The News, which officially goes live today. This will be a global news site, with some team members in Bangalore and others spattered throughout the world.  We’re trying to create news with something of an edge, and will aim to do original stories, in conjunction with some news feeds. There’s a press release about it, here. (There’s some coverage of it in the UK Press Gazette, here.)

So Intel’s Craig Barrett is off

I SEE from both the IT Examiner and The News that Craig Barrett has decided to retire.

Barrett was a master of process, but not particularly good at marketing. His wife is already well known in her own right. The family is obviously well connected.

But he is a courteous guy. I once asked an Intel  man called Yu a question and he turned a little nasty. Barrett is a kind of diplomat.  He said: “I think what Albert Yu meant…”

A gentleman and a dude farmer and good fisherman.

What happens when you die?


BT’s latest iniquity emerges

I WAS WAITING in for the gas man today – the gas man did not cometh – but a special delivery tipped up through the post.

It was a special delivery from British Telecom, that firm has decided I need very special advice to set up my BT Broadband in Oxford.

Sorry, not a very good sunset tonight in Oxford for my loyal one  reader, Doctor Drashek.

(Picture above, right now,  from left to right: Charlie Demerjian from the INQster [see no evil], Rupert Goodwin  [hear no evil], and a man from Intel [speak no evil] who can’t stop laughing – picture taken near  the special cigarette factory Mao-tse Tung used to have). Cigarette smoking in public places was banned in Taiwan on the 15th of January this year.

BT: It’s a zombie firm

I JUST moved into a gaff (place) in Oxford and British Telecom (BT) decided to make my life a nightmare.

Rather than just reconnect me to the line here, BT decided to subject me to the most Byzantine nightmare possible.

When I ordered the BT broadband, the lass I spoke to said that she would need to send out an engineer at a cost of £125 plus pre-Gordon Broon VAT.

I explained to her that the line was already there, but she insisted no, ni, it was not. On commission?

Worse was to come, or rather not come. The “virtual engineer” never arrived, and the phone rang at 11:30 the morning the “man” or “woman” was to have arrived.

I had been connected! The same day, a “welcome pack” delivered by Parcel Force was to have arrived and didn’t.

How the hell does BT get away with this scam over and over again? Four days later the BT router arrived. By then I was already connected.

I spoke to several very nice BT people trying to get connected. I  think  a refund will be coming my way. It’s a scam. BT should be bashed about the head over and over again. BT Zombies. 


Prisoner sues Intel for $5 billion

I’M PLEASED to see that my first online IT publication, The Register, is an avid reader of the IT Examiner. Heck! And TG Daily too.  As you can see by checking this Google link here.

George Orwell and 1984 – the truth is a lie

CHECK OUT the link on the right to George Orwell’s diaries from the 1930s.

Of course Orwell, whose real name was Eric Blair, wrote 1984 and also found himself in the thick of things during the Spanish Civil War, in the crossfire between the anarchists and the agitprops.

Animal Farm is one of his tomes too. In the 1960s it was one of the texts that us kids had to learn to get our English GCEs.  I failed. He worked for British Intelligence during the Second World War – although he was an anarchist, he appeared to be quite a conformist too. His diaries from the 1930s show he quite liked eggs, the definite mark of a conformer.

In the fight against the Spanish Fascists, celebrated in one of his rather less read but beautifully written books, Homage to Catalonia,  he found himself in one of Dante’s Hells. The hell being that though he was obviously an anarchist, the commies and the fascists wanted to kill him.

Anarchism gets a bad press, even in the 21st century, but Barcelona was a model of what can be done by folk who have a sense of community.

And oddly, modern Barcelona is still a pretty free city.  A pretty fair biography of Eric Blair is here.

Mahaballipuram is a delight

THE PICTURE ON THE HEADER above is part of a delightful relief to be found in the rocks at Mahaballipuram. It’s not far from Chennai (Madras).

Just a short walk away from here is the so-called “Sea Temple” – the dreadful tsunami a few years back revealed that there are many more temples under the waves.

Here’s the full pic of the Mahaballipuram relief, if you’re interested.  I particularly like the expressions on the faces of the elephants, as they nurture the elephant calf below.


Two more sunsets happen in Oxford

AS THE MOON waxes, and the year grows, we are more interested in how the sky looks.

Tonight was a very violent sunset in Oxford, vivid in its colours and its hues.


Yesterday was far less harsh, a pink hue, we feel. A nice hue and a nice feel.


The same view, but with so many different colours.  It’s an English winter.

Solar panels score in 2008

HERE ARE the results of a whole year garnering electricity from 15 Sanyo solar panels on top of a terraced house in North London. The panels were first installed in March 2007, so this is the first full year of results available.


This table below shows an estimate of what the panels have delivered since installation, together with a rough idea of the money they’ve generated.


For more on the system installed, check here, and here, and here. As well as on this bog, here and here.