Mmmm Steak, Ooo Pizza… Oh Dear

Why not combine them in Domino’s "unmissable", new Steak Special? …Because the result would be the second-worst pizza I have ever eaten (pipped at the post only by an ill-advised choice in a tourist restaurant in Southern Turkey, what was I thinking?).  I love pizza, I love Domino’s.  Steak Special – how unfortunate.  Rant over. […]

The Last Sell-Out?

I first saw this ad as a double page spread in this week’s Economist. My first thought was, "how sad".  It’s not as if he needs the money and it felt like a sell out by one of the few who have never sold out.  However, it’s a fantastic photograph – by Annie Leibovitz – […]

Mass Production vs Craftsmanship

  Mass Production; the bed-rock of modern civilisation; the source of modern prosperity; the root of homogeneity, of bland, predictable "excellence". Craftsmanship; the very zenith of man’s art; the incarnation of the love and sweat of the skilled artisan, the fruits of years spent learning the craft. Or is it?  Is it just a question […]

Quaero – Viaticus stolide attero

I thought this had died quietly years ago … but apparently not.  The EU has just approved €99m to aid France in the development of Quaero. Originally a Franco-German project to build a European (i.e. non-American) Google-killer, this was a pet project of President Mitterand.  The Germans quickly saw sense and bailed out but, it […]

1,000 True Fans

What a beautiful concept from Kevin Kelly.  A consequence of all that Chris Anderson talked about in The Long Tail is that it is easier for creators (photographers, musicians, writers, whatever) to reach directly to their audience, their market, their fans.  Cutting out the middle-man, and the middle-man’s filters, has never been easier.  What Kelly […]

Our Love of Books…

I read this interesting article from ars technica.  It seems that we humans have an emotional bond with good, old-fashioned books. No surprise, I think; for three good reasons: Practical – books are surprisingly good at what they do.  They are particularly portable, durable, relatively light-weight, reasonably cheap (the world won’t end if you leave […]

Silver Machine? No, Silverlight

Don’t you love it when two of your favourite things come together?  In this case, it’s cool technology and rock and roll. When I was still at Microsoft, I saw a couple of very, very cool demos of a technology called SeaDragon which enables magical things to happen with images.  Some of this has now […]

Gathering Round the Urban Campfire

Mothers’ Day notwithstanding, the urgent need (well, long outstanding commitment) to fit the cat-flap found me indulging in that most masculine of pursuits: wandering the aisles of the DIY store looking for new devices; augmenting my manhood with power tools. I am now the proud owner of a jig-saw.  More "saw" than "jig", it has […]

BT Phone Book – Why?

I went out of my front door on Sunday to discover a British Telecom telephone directory on the doorstep.  I took it inside, stripped off the (non-recyclable) plastic cover and went out the back door to drop the book in the recycle bin.  I then spent the rest of the day feeling irritated.  What a […]

Nature's Treasure

The Nakhla meteorite was seen to fall from the sky and land in Egypt.  Comparison of trapped gases to the data received from Mars missions proved that the rock had originated on the red planet.  The Aurora Collection consists of 296 diamonds, each of a different hue; many of them glow or change colour under […]

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