Monthly Archives: February 2011

I just named a new dinosaur!

It’s true — when I am not programming, one of my other passions is sauropod dinosaurs, and I’m a part-time palaeontologist.  Today, the paper describing the new sauropod Brontomerus came out; I’m the lead author on the international team of three.  Read all about it over on my other blog, Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week.

Whither publishers?

I wrote this a few weeks ago as a comment on Eric Hellman’s blog (which by the way is an excellent read).  But when I happened to re-read it today, I realised that the thoughts that comment are significant enough that they probably merit their own post.  Here is it.

Eric wrote in his article:

Although one attendee worried to me about pervasive complacency in the trade publishing industry, Gonzalez’s view is that publishing is an activity fundamentally essential to our culture, and that one way or another, publishers are finding ways to survive and thrive as their focus shifts from a print oriented supply chain to a digital ecosystem.

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Crunchiegate: the cover-up continues!

Dammit, what’s the country coming to?  As though it weren’t bad enough that SSP UK, through their Pumpkin Cafe brand, didn’t give me the 75p cash refund that they promised, it now seems that the “full investigation” that they promised me is being dragged out.  Two weeks after they began this investigation, I haven’t heard a single word from them about it.  You have to suspect a cover-up. Continue reading

Everyone wins!

I’ve often argued that when there’s the means to easily pirate copyrighted material, every wins: the copyright holders who object so noisily are among those who benefit because its very common that people who’ve downloaded music that they like by a new artist will subsequently pay that that artist’s other work.

What I hadn’t realised is just how huge the commerical boost of having all your stuff freely available can be.

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Crunchiegate: full investigation started!

Hot news this morning!  It was late last night that I registered my complaint about not having been issued with a receipt when buying a Crunchie at the Pumpkin Cafe on Platform 9 of Bristol Temple Meads railway station.  But already, in only seven hours, they have emailed me back with exciting news.

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Reclaiming 75p for a receipt-less Crunchie

I spent much of last week up in Edinburgh at the Open Edge conference on open source software in libraries — I wrote about this over on my employer’s blog; it was a useful trip, both fun and productive.

But today I want to tell you about the journey home.  Well, a small part of the journey home — the part that took place while I was waiting at Bristol Temple Meads railway station for the train that would take me back to Gloucester.  In fact, I want to talk about the Crunchie that I bought there.

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