Category Archives: Uncategorized

#harkive 2016 liveblog

Andrew Hickey has made me aware of the harkive project, which is interested in what music people listen to. Today, July 19, is the day they do it for — I have no idea why — so I will be live-blogging what music I listen to today. As much for my own interest as theirs.

Harkive-Red-1-300x300

(Random) Richard ThompsonFor the Sake of Mary. Picked by my random MP3 chooser, from an album that I downloaded when I was searching for British singer-songwriter folkies. I find this disappointing. Seems sort of sub-Springsteenish. Continue reading

Good customer service from Tesco

Due to a mixup over exactly what he wanted, I bought a phone from Tesco (Moto G 4G) as a birthday present for my youngest son, then found that it wasn’t wanted.

I just called them. They’re coming tomorrow to pick it up, and will refund me in full, not charging for the pickup.

This is quality service. It makes me much more likely to buy expensive items from the again, knowing that they’ve treated me well this time andsafe in the knowledge that they will treat me well in the future.

Nice, work, Tesco!

Go home, JavaScript, you are drunk

Using rhino, the command-line JavaScript interpreter:

mike@brach:~$ rhino
Rhino 1.7 release 3 2012 02 16
js> []+[]

js> []+{}
[object Object]
js> {}+[]
0
js> {}+{}
NaN
js>

From Gary Bernhardt’s classic lightning-talk, Wat, which is very well worth five minutes of any programmer’s time.

 

Saying goodbye to the first two charity spammers

I said last week that from now on, when I get spammed with physical begging letters, I will send the junk back to the originator in the pre-paid envelope, with a big STOP SPAMMING ME message scrawled over it. Here’s the first batch:

IMG_1438-goodbye-charity-spam

These are the first new charity spams to arrive since I did the big clear-out when I just junked the 40 or 50 that had accumulated. The one on the left (Carer’s Trust, rather irritatingly styled carerstrust) I’d never even heard of before. The one on the right I do have involvement with; but that is very specific and constrained, and they should never have used that as an excuse to send me unrelated junk mail.

I put there in the post a couple of days ago. The beatings will continue until morale improves.

What is the opposite of “man”

Here is a linguistic oddity that I’ve been aware of for some time. What is the opposite of “man”?

  • Boy (because he’s immature)
  • Woman (because she’s female)
  • Machine (because it’s artificial)
  • Beast (because it’s not rational)
  • God (because he’s not mortal)

All equally valid answers, because a man is an adult male natural rational mortal.

generic-man

Continue reading

James Bond movies, part 4: Sean Connery returns again

As Roger Moore’s sequence of Bond Films settled into its increasingly frivolous nature, Sean Connery — who has famously said “Never again” after filming his comeback Bond-movie Diamonds Are Forever — was persuaded to return once more twelve years later.

Never Say Never Again (1983)

This came out in the same year as Octopussy, which I consider the nadir of Moore’s efforts. Tiring of Moore, I watched Never Say Never Again between For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy, and found myself liking it a lot more than I expected to. Connery is clearly too old for role at 53 — but that’s still three years younger than Moore was in his offering of the same year. More importantly, Connery had retained his charisma — if anything, he emits even more of an alpha-male vibe in 1983 than he had in 1971. And that alone makes the film work.

Continue reading

Free Speech in the UK

British people have the right to use “satirical, or iconoclastic, or rude comment” and to engage in

“… the expression of unpopular or unfashionable opinion about serious or trivial matters, banter or humour, even if distasteful to some or painful to those subjected to it. We should perhaps add that for those who have the inclination to use Twitter for the purpose, Shakespeare can be quoted unbowdlerised, and with Edgar, at the end of King Lear, they are free to speak not what they ought to say, but what they feel.”

According to Lord Judge, the Lord Chief Justice, in charge of the Twitter Joke Trial.

Could we, as a country, please remember that?