Monthly Archives: September 2011

ARM objects to picture of Tudor on Intel book review

HAD A SNOTTOGRAM from ARM US PRs just because I put a headshot of Tudor Brown on the book review what I wrote yesterday – and which you can  find here. Take it down, she the lass Grabowski said, take it down! Has ARM no sense of ♥ humour? Discuss. Or don’t.

I have an objection to the smaller bricks in the wall

FOLLOWERS of this bog will have noticed we scored an apparent victory against developers of stuff between the railway line and the community here.  The developers have scaled down their plans, as expected. But nevertheless there are still cogent reasons why the previous application was declined that haven’t been addressed in the later recension. ♦

I have objected on the following lines:

Commenter Type: Neighbours
Stance: Customer objects to the Planning Application
Reasons for comment: – Affect local ecology
– Close to adjoining properties
– Conflict with local plan
– Development too high
– General dislike of proposal
– Inadequate access
– Increase in traffic
– Increase of pollution
– Information missing from plans
– Noise nuisance
– Not enough info given on application
– Other – give details
– Out of keeping with character of area
– Potentially contaminated land
– Strain on existing community facilities
Comments: The previous plan was turned down for cogent reasons that haven’t been addressed in this, rather expected, re-application. It appears that because the land has already been bought, by hook or by crook a building will be built. The proposed plans of Oxford suggest this is an eminently unsuitable development. Bellerbys is a great college, no doubt, but surely the kids won’t want to be subjected to the nasty habits of the residents between 17-41 Mill Street.

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Here are four great books I’ve read in the last 10 days

There can be no doubt that up in the Marriott, in 4th Street, Tom Foremski perhaps made the best joke ever. The best jokes are mantras. Tom relayed a story of a guy who had thrown himself off the Empire State Building and was overheard to say, half way down, “so far, so good”.  We all hit the pavement or sidewalk eventually.

His book – In my Humble Experience, is a collation of articles that show a different side of Silicon Valley.  As yours truly has been holed up near La Honda for the last four days and night, sometimes dipping into Woodside, we can affirm there is a different, higher side to the Valley (surely Valet, Ed?). We love chapter 19 – Die, press release, die! Die! Die! – Foremski had been hinting strongly that the PR machine had a few cogs loose – because press releases are nearly useless.  They’re created by committees, edited by lawyers, and then vast amounts of moolah are spent to get this stuff into the spam filters of countless journalists. “This madness has to end,” points out Foremski. Aptly. But it hasn’t yet ended.

In my hide hole in the mountains near La Honda, where many an eagle quails, where the coyotes shriek, and where you can always at least descend to Woodside to stalk Larry the Man and Jobs the Steve,   we pondered long and hard on Divining a Digital Future, penned by the Professor, nay Good Doctor, Genevieve “I got water from frogs” Bell from La Intella and by Paul Dourish too. Bell indicates, says this dense tome, that the UK exists within “a set of competing hubs of social activity”, including pubs, gardens, community centres and sporting facilities. “People move between these local hubs, frequently without first going home,” the book avers.  Going down the pub, however, is harder and harder these days in good old Blighty because so many of them are closing down, or are geschloten already. It’s cigarettes, see. Cigarettes, or rather the lack of cigarettes, are the cancer sticks that are shutting down pubs down and giving strength to the Tesco elbow. Or is it that the major pub chains seek to capitalise on their extensive property portfolios and delude the shareholders with tales of Starbucks anew? This is a dense read, but well worth reading.

And so from science fact to science function, sorry fiction.  In his Science Fiction Prototyping, by Intel chap Brian David Johnson, he argues rather persuasively that it would be really good if there could be more sci-fi around. I kind of agree; it is a bit of an outdated genre though, as witness this passage from the clearly charming Roger Zelazny in Lord of Light: “Yama snorted: ‘The rod of Trimurti still falls upon the back of men. Nirriti stirs within his dark lair; he harasses the seaways of the south.” And: “To beauty, down with ugliness.” This is clearly based on Hinduism of a certain kind and surely cannot contribute to the shape of things to come.

Lastly, but not leastly, we turn to another of the books we’ve read while in our lair not too far from the Pacific but far enough away from Bucks in Woodside.  The Science of Light: An introduction to Vedic Astrology by Freedom Tobias Cole, who says, crucially, that developing initiation is the key to greater things. “Hard work,” says Freedom, nourishes discipline and control of the senses. “We are all busy, but we must make the time for this great study and still perform all tasks required of us in this world.” This book is thoroughly recommended too.

As Foremski’s mantra has it: “So far, so good.” (This article first appeared in

The Mill Street merry go round begins again

NOT ENTIRELY unexpected this one, here.

Get Real! LSI rickshaw wallah gives us a ride round the block

I’M in the hills right now, nurtured by friends and the redwood trees.  But just a few day ago  being carried round the block, me and John Oram, by this charming chap with his rickshaw – value $4,000.

I like the slogan Get Real. He was well aware of the plight of your average rickshaw wallah in, say Varanasi, and he and the other riders in SF clubbed together to buy one for a guy out there. ♦

Heard and seen at Heathrow about Hong Kong – and fags

QUEUING UP for my duty free allowance was delayed at Heathrow yesterday as  a very patient lady tried to explain to a young lad that Hong Kong had changed its attitude to duty free cigarettes.

Now, you are only allowed to import 19 fags into the territory – that is, of course, one short of a full pack. She would sell him a 200 ciggie pack of Marlboro Lites, but it was at his own risk.

He decided to take the risk and bought it; what happened to him we will never know.

But one thing is clearly for sure – if you fly to Taiwan or China there is no point buying expensive duty free fags at LHR; cigs are so cheap that you”re going to be cheated. We suspect it is similar in HK, but don’t know for sure because I only ever travelled through the airport, many times. ♥

Amazon decides to screw over co-founder of The Register

The Kindle service is obviously not too keen on ethical values. On the Amazon Kindle site, this tantrik document is being sold for £2.18, irrespective of copyright values or any other ethical values. It is my copyright – check out Google.

As I translated the Yoni Tantra a long time ago – and Google has referenced my translation many a time – I was rather surpised to find Amazon selling a Kindle version without my permission or say so. Plus it is the Yoni Tantra but appears to be being sold on the basis of breasts, not yonis.

To try and complain about this to Amazon is almost impossible to do online. You are told you have to send a snail mail message with something called a stamp!

This is so unlike Google. A few weeks ago, I discovered someone had thefted my copyright, dropped it an email, and within three days the copyrighted material had been downed.

Hey, Amazon! What you gonna do now?