Archive for July, 2008

Jul 31 2008

Off on hols …

Published by under Misc

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So please don’t expect much for a while.

I do have a post half-drafted about civil service blogging – much happening at the moment, including my own ‘proper’ FCO blog at some point in the coming months.

But more of that anon. This time tomorrow I’ll be in Denmark.

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Jul 26 2008

Links of the Week

Published by under Misc

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P1-AM255_YACHT_20080716192332.jpgBarbie in fisnhets n’ leather. Could open up a whole new customer base.

Tesco causes couple condom catastrophe – The Register. Sure, they get stuff wrong. But what I wouldn’t give for a Tesco delivery van right now.

Russian billionaire’s new yacht – WSJ. I think it looks kind of cool.

BSG Toaster. Gotta get me one.

Jesus and Mo. Why had I never found this before?

The 10″ Mac notebook you’ve always wanted. Gotta get me one of these, too.

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Jul 22 2008

WordPress for iPhone

Published by under Digital,Tech

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Writing this on the newly-released WordPress for iPhone app. Seems to work ok, although it’s more than a little basic.

Can’t quite figure out how to enter links, although I’m assuming that www.apple.com will show up as a hyperlink on screen.

Preview mode is very good, although doesn’t show your photos.

Attaching photos seems to work ok, given the limitations of the iPhone’s rubbish camera. Below, if it works, is the view from my window just now – the G-Wagen, fading perhaps but still King of Moscow’s urban jungle. Incidentally, four went past in as many minutes.

No copy and paste, of course, which – along with the lack of links – has to be the major limitation.

All in all, a pretty good effort. If I were liveblogging an event, for example, this would be pretty handy.

And it’s free. I’d pay for more features, though. Comment management, perhaps, or decent implementation of MarsEdit.

Thanks, WordPress. I look forward to the next version.

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Jul 20 2008

Pwning all over the world

Published by under Digital,Russia,Tech

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iPwn.jpgI’m not the only one to have been on tenterhooks for the last week or so following the release of Apple’s iPhone 2.0 update. Today, in what I reckon is a pretty impressive timescale, the iPhone Dev Team released their ‘Pwnage 2.0′ tool – enabling those of us outside Apple’s tightly-controlled set of official carriers to once again unlock our ‘phones and start playing with the new software. Thanks, guys.

It’s good, too. Some of the new applications are very impressive, and the whole thing feels that bit more polished.

But that’s not what this entry’s about.

This morning I headed over to Gorbushka in search of an 802.11n card for my Mac Mini. Didn’t find one. But what I did find, all over the place, was Pwnage 2.0. Barely a few hours after its release, Moscow’s iPhone industry is happily upgrading, unlocking and jailbreaking like it’s September 2007, and making a healthy profit in the process.

Globalisation and free enterprise. You gotta love it.

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Jul 14 2008

Where’d she go?

Published by under Media,Politics

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Along with many, many others, I thoroughly enjoyed the original Washingtonienne blog. So when a new Washingtonienne came along earlier this year, ostensibly with Jessica’s blessing, I found myself rather looking forward to a new round of adventures on the Hill. Particularly when she signed off her first entry thus:

Well this is plenty for a first post. Much more to come on politics, the media, Washington, guys, dating, and sex to come.

But alas not.

I count fourteen posts, perhaps 80% of which are about boys and why they haven’t called or texted. Precious little on the media, Washington or sex. There’s a faint dash of politics, and one of those awful pictures of a cat that can’t spell. (I kan haz Ur blog?)

And that’s it. The RSS feed’s dried up, and the blog itself is offline. I wonder what happened?

Getting sprung is unlikely – there wasn’t really enough political dirt there to make it worth anyone’s while. The happy-endings part of my brain hopes that a new beau has come along and whisked her off her feet, so much so that blogging is waaaay down the wannabe-Washingtonienne’s personal agenda these days. Or did she just get bored?

Perhaps imitation isn’t the sincerest form of flattery after all. At least Wonkette preserved the original. And now, according to Gawker, we have an HBO series to look forward to – produced by SJP, no less.

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Jul 11 2008

It’s tough being a fanboy

Published by under Digital,Media,Tech

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It’s only been a month since WWDC. Only a month since the hardly-news-really launch of the 3G iPhone and Apple’s new ‘MobileMe’ service. But in that short space of time, the hype has reached fever pitch.

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The new App Store, according to TUAW, will completely revolutionise, erm, everything. The iPhone 2.0 update will, so Apple tells us, salve the phone-envy of those of us stuck with the oh-so-out-of-date 2G iPhone. MobileMe will be, like, like mac.com only better. (anyone remember iTools?) And the new ‘phone itself, far from being the handset we should have had all along, is so much more than the sum of all its parts.

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Instead, it’s been a pretty rotten day for Steve & Co.

MobileMe has been up and down more times than the Grand Old Duke of York’s ten thousand men. And, as the song goes, it appears to now be neither up nor down.

O2′s Activation Servers for the new phone crumbled under the pressure. Same story at AT&T, apparently. And the iTunes App Store.

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As for the hacking / fanboy community, some early birds have nabbed the 2.0 firmware off Apple’s Servers and promptly found that they have to downgrade again because their phone wants reactivating. Surprise surprise. Meanwhile the devteam are tantalising their readers into a pant-wetting frenzy of anticipation as the next version of ‘pwnage’ approaches.

Take a chill pill, guys.

It’ll all be working fine in a week or so. Is it really so important to have it all now now now? Perhaps The Register puts it best:

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for the moment the best advice is probably to relax for a few days and get the update once things have calmed down. We promise not to tell anyone you weren’t at the cutting edge for 48 hours

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Jul 07 2008

Africa in perspective

Published by under Politics

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DML via Theo

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Jul 07 2008

Pie in the SKY

Published by under Media,Russia

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Swathes of the Brit community in Moscow have been up in arms for the past couple of weeks, following the disappearance of Sky News from the lineup of local cable provider KOCMOC TB (aka Cosmos TV).

One of the contributors over at redtape.ru has managed to get to the bottom of what’s going on. Here’s an excerpt from the reply he got from Sky:

Sky News does not have an agreement with Cosmos TV for the distribution of the channel in Russia; as such we were not aware that they were recently carrying the channel nor that the distribution has ceased.

Let’s hear that again:

we were not aware that they were recently carrying the channel nor that the distribution has ceased.

??!!

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Jul 05 2008

You think you’ve seen it all …

Published by under Russia

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… and then someone drives past your window in a golden Porsche.

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Jul 04 2008

Time for a spring clean?

Published by under Misc

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Is it me, or does this blog look a little messy?

I’ve tried to go with a relatively clean look, but I’m not sure three columns is the best way to achieve that.  And the line spacing / paragraph spacing is all wrong.

The Blogroll needs updating, too – lots of new people to add, and a few defunct blogs which will probably fall by the wayside.

And I need to update to WordPress 2.5.1.  I might also experiment with K2 – I’ve seen a few blogs using it, most notably the Lords, and I like the way it looks.  The trouble with me and themes is that I’m not experienced enough (or brave enough) to delve into the innards of WordPress, so I need a theme which looks pretty much the way I want out of the box.  I’ll see what I can find.

So if you stop by over the weekend and there’s nothing here, I’ve probably broken something.  And if the look does change, let me know if it’s better or worse.

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