Aug 072012

Reading this report from the BBC, it suggests that the YouTube app, along with Google Maps, will not be pre-installed in the operating system. Instead there will be only the web version of YouTube, and Apple’s own mapping solution.

I don’t know about you, but I would prefer to see the stocks and shares app disappear and Google mapping to stay. The mapping is the most used (default) app on my phone and I am just not convinced that another map solution will do the job.

There’s also a rumour that Apple will end the agreement with Google over search and implement its own search, integrated with Siri, so you “just ask Siri and don’t care where the results come from”. Well, I do care. I have seen lots of search engines and there’s a reason I keep going back to Google.

Anyway, standing in a public place, holding the phone up and “asking Siri” just makes me feel a little, well, Siri*…

*to be said with the cliche Chineses/Japanese accent.

Jul 312012

It is widely assumed that the media in general sensationalises everything just to get the readership. Admittedly the BBC is usually straight in their reporting.

However, in the case of the Twitter abuse towards Tom Daley, I really think that the BBC has played this issue down (link to article).

After coming fourth in the men’s synchronised 10m platform diving event on Monday, the 18-year-old received a message telling him he had let down his father.

Is the only tweet they mention. In fact, over the course of about 30 minutes (I can’t check for sure – the user’s account has been suspended – I did see the tweets though) there were a number of tweets full of profanity including the c word, the f word and some other swearing that I am not sure I even understood. I believe that this (along with subsequent tweets to other Twitter users) were the major issue.

I thought that the tweets that the kid (yes, kid. He was acting like a 12 year old that learnt the words for the first time)sent weree verging on harrassment. If he had been speaking about me or my family using such words I would expect him to be arrested too.

Tom Daley has had it hard for the last few months, losing his Dad last year whilst trying to train for the Olympics. Whether he won the diving or came 15th doesn’t matter. He is doing his best and is doing Britain proud representing us at the games. Same goes for all of Team GB as far as I am concerned.

As Pete Waterfield said (on Twitter)

For all the haters out there, come do what we do then have ur say

Jul 302012

There is a cacher (actually there’s a good few million of us) who has his blog at Blogspot.

I wanted to comment on one of his posts, one about puztoks and the trashing of a D5T5 cache. The content of the comment was not important, almost a throwaway about a spelling mistake which made the UK’s most prolific Geocacher into “Dr Silly”.

Whether it’s Blogspot itself or a setting made by the Blogger, I was unable to type in my details, instead the comments system wanted me to use a Pre-defined account from Google,, or similar services. I have both a Google and a WordPress ID and trying either of them the accounts were refused.

Sucky Blogspot. I keep trying and living in hope that one day it will work. So far I am constantly disappointed.

Anyway, have a read of the blog at SMS Text Blog.

And, congratulations to SMSText on being the first cacher in the UK (and third in the world) to find 100 D5T5 geocaches.

May 182012

Not being hosted at I shouldn’t really link to the blog, but this post is inspired by The Weekly Challenge Photo: Hands.
A couple of weeks ago we (Explorer Leaders) ran an event called The Concrete Zombie Challenge. I will write more about that in the future.

What I really wanted to share tonight is this image that I took during the event:

Lit by firelight from a Frontier Stove (Link to Amazon).

Not bad for a photo taken at half a second at ISO 800 (Canon EOS20d with 50mm f18 lens). No tripod, just a monopod collapsed as short as it will go.

By the way, if you’re interested, there’s also an interesting post about swearing in written work too.

May 182012

I am not really sure, but want to find out.

I have one of these*:

Dell Inspiron Mini 10

Dell Inspiron Mini 10

That is currently running a dual boot Windows 7 Starter (yuk!) and Ubuntu 11.10.

The Ubuntu runs beautifully when it’s running from the Live CD (actually, a memory stick), but the installed version doesn’t recognise the mouse or the wireless card.

I don’t really do much with the laptop and have today discovered that there’s a new Release Candidate for Linux Mint (based on Ubuntu) just been released.

Linux Mint RC

It look sweet and I have nothing to lose by trying it. I might actually get a usable laptop out of it.

*No, I didn’t pay much for it! The cost of a new screen that I fitted myself.

May 182012


I have no idea why, but this woman’s clothing fascinated me.

She was stood on the platform at a station last night. This picture was taken through the glass from the train, so I apologise for the quality.

Top hat with protective goggles and the platform shoes. She was wearing glasses so the goggles were all for show.

Stylish huh!

May 172012

Hating the Blackberry handheld devices.

I’m sorry. I try so hard not to hate them. I really like the Enterprise Server, the functionality it provides, the security that embraces the whole experience, even the BOFH style control that the BES gives me over the handsets. Even the BES has its limitations on “like” though. Everything is just so bloody complicated with it. You have so many different settings to get one thing working, all hidden in different places, that it takes 20 minutes just to figure out that some numpty has removed the capability to open PDF files. Then it takes another 20 minutes to re-enable it.

The devices are the worst though. Screens that format wrong, screens that are too small to do anything meaningful with, settings and options that need a two day advanced course (such as I am on now) to figure out what they all do.

And, what the hell is the point of a full keyboard and a touchscreen? Look at the image above. That’s a Blackberry Bold 9900. Supposedly one of the flagship devices. The screen isn’t big enough to be useful and the keyboard requires pencil thin finger tips to allow typing at any speed with accuracy. Sure, one can just mash the keyboard – most likely it will turn out a more comprehensive email – but at the end you have probably just insulted the CEO’s wife’s favourite episode of Don’t Tell The Bride which is just going to earn you your P45.

Try going to a phone shop and tell them you want the full touchscreen Blackberry. The conversation will go something like:

Rep: Which model Sir? The 9800, 9810, 9830 or 9860.
You: Huh? What’s the difference?
Rep: Well, the 9800 has touchscreen, the 9810 a better touchscreen and the 9860 has no keyboard. Possibly some technobabble will appear here too.
You: *head explodes*
You (after recovering): Give me an iPhone…

Now take into account the app-support on the device and this does not make a good consumer device. I think RIM realised this and are pulling out of the consumer market. Of course, the people in the corporate market still want the gucci toys and games on their device, it just means they don’t have to pay for it…

Give me the iPhone with all its “fan-boi” and baaah type comments that go with it, or an Android device with its lack of security on the Android market and I am much happier than with the over-priced piles of tosh that RIM churn out.

May 162012

I am a big fan of DIY gear for bushcrafting, camping and general home stuff.

This does not mean I like DIY in the traditional sense. I hate decorating!

Below is a fine example of the craft. It is a stove made from two pop cans. Fuelled by methylated spirits, it is lightweight (just a coke can!), can be made in minutes, and burns long enough to boil a cup or small billy of water for tea.


Most excellent when lightweight is a priority, it can be made from just about any pop/beer can you might find.

The only tool that’s essential is a knife, but a pointy object to make the “flame” holes is a bonus.

Link to Instructable for making your own stove.

May 162012

I mentioned a couple of days ago (on Twitter I think) that I was thinking of deleting everything on my blog and starting again. Tonight I have done just that. I moved everything (expect photos and stuff) to an archive, deleted everything from the main blog and have started again.

There was 7 years worth of posts on the old blog and I felt that they were weighing me down and not allowing me to move on in the blog. Certain expectations I had of myself that I just could not commit to. Things I have said, that, while I don’t regret, I don’t necessarily want to advertise any more.

I have new interests that have replaced many (nearly all actually) of my old ones. Yes, I am fickle like that.

I am not sure of the direction the blog will take. Facebook, Twitter, Scouting and my friends will no doubt have a bearing. Whatever, I am looking forward to the fresh start on my journey.