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New Humble Indie Bundle

Apr. 12th, 2011 | 09:36 pm

There is a new Humble Indie Bundle available. I'm sure you know the deal by now.

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More final drinks...

Mar. 21st, 2011 | 02:13 pm

Apparently we are going to the Porter Cottage (286 Sharrow Vale Rd, S11 8ZL) tonight for more drinks.

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Going away...

Mar. 10th, 2011 | 04:38 pm

There is a gathering planed at the Devonshire Cat on Sunday the 20th from around 6pm, occasioned by my leaving Sheffield for the foreseeable future on the 22nd. Please come!

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Car Giveaway...

Mar. 8th, 2011 | 11:49 am

I thought I would put it up here on the off chance anyone is interested.

I would be happy to give my car away for free to anyone who wants it.

It's old, a 1997 Subaru Legacy, but it works fine - there are some bits and bobs that are a bit busted, as you might expect in a car that old, most notably the stereo is quite temperamental.

If no one wants it it's going to the scrap dealer.

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Stuff to give away

Feb. 26th, 2011 | 05:11 pm

I also have a lot of stuff to give away for free:

Lexmark Z1420 inkjet printer with wifi

Kyocera Mita FS-3800 laser printer (black and white only)

About three boxes worth of old computer hardware and cables. There is all kinds of stuff in there, I'm happy for people to tale whatever they want from it

Lots of assorted kitchen equipment; pots, pans, knives, mugs, plates, the lot. Also a food processor, rice cooker and other appliances. Same deal as above.

There may be more later, stay tuned.

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Stuff to sell

Feb. 24th, 2011 | 03:40 pm

I have some stuff to sell:

If you are interested in any of these, contact me and we can sort a price.

First, a sewing machine: Husqvarna Viking 116, about 1 1/2 years old, was about 250 pounds new. - SOLD

Second, a computer: Core 2 Duo E8600@3Ghz (stock), 4GB RAM, AMD Radeon 4870, 250GB HDD. I may be wiling to sell this in bits if you want only some of it.

One Cibox C2202 22 inch 16:10 monitor, 1680x1050, VGA and DVI input - SOLD
One BlueH HM19W 19 inch 16:10 monitor, 1440x900, VGA and DVI input, also has a TV tuner and remote and SCART input

Also:

Logitech X-240 2.1 speaker system
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Humble Bundle 2

Dec. 15th, 2010 | 11:14 am

New humble indie bundle:

http://www.humblebundle.com/

Pay what you want, split it between dev's and charity how you want, get 5 games that work on Win, Mac and Linux. Awesome.
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First exoplanet that may sustain life found:

Sep. 30th, 2010 | 10:31 am

Awesome: http://news.discovery.com/space/earth-like-planet-life.html

Like the title says.

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The Cyberarms are here (ish)

Aug. 4th, 2010 | 10:57 am
location: United Kingdom, Sheffield

This is extremely cool:
http://singularityhub.com/2010/08/03/mind-controlled-artificial-arm-begins-the-first-human-testing/
A prosthetic arm, 22 degrees of freedom, and controlled directly by sensors in the brain. And the best part: They are doing feedback, I.e. some sense of touch will be transmitted back to the user.

Human trials are about to begin.

This is completely new and pretty amazing. Getting close to being able to fully replicate an arm now...

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Time Portals (kind of)!

Jul. 30th, 2010 | 01:41 pm
location: United Kingdom, Sheffield
music: Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Night Enchanted | Powered by Last.fm

This is really amazing:
http://gizmodo.com/5600272/photoshop-time-portals-to-world-war-ii

A guy has taken old photographs from world war 2, and taken perspective matched photos of the locations now, and put them together; inserting the old photos in to the new ones seamlessly, in a sort of time window way.

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Comic-Con vs. the Westboro baptists

Jul. 25th, 2010 | 11:07 am

This is pretty awesome:
http://www.comicsalliance.com/2010/07/22/super-heroes-vs-the-westboro-baptist-church/
The Westboro Baptists are one of those crazy nutjob churches who turn up and protest everything. One of their sticks is that they go to the funerals of famous people they disapprove of and make a nuisance of themselves. Yes, they are that classy.

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ASAIF Campaign Guide

Jun. 18th, 2010 | 09:41 am

The Song of Ice and Fire Campaign Guide is finally out!

http://grrm.livejournal.com/157114.html
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Another cool games bundle

May. 25th, 2010 | 04:23 pm
location: United Kingdom, Sheffield
mood: excitedexcited
music: Rhapsody - Legendary Tales

There is another indie games bundle available, much like the humble bundle previously pimped here. This time there are 6 games on offer. The only one I personally know is the bridge construction set, which I rather enjoy.

http://www.givewhateveryouwant.com/

Much like the previous one, you can decide what to pay, between $1 and $100. And, much like the humble bundle you can select what proportion goes to the developers, and what goes to charity. So more games FTW!

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VAT

May. 13th, 2010 | 09:32 am

I rather hope this will not come to pass, but I fear it may:

Economists predict rise in VAT to 19%-20%.
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More Government stuff

May. 12th, 2010 | 05:15 pm
location: United Kingdom, Sheffield

Here a small follow-up to my previous post.

Everything this Government does will be secondary to the reduction of the deficit. This would have been equally true regardless of who won. I do feel that many of the reasons people cite for not voting for Labour / criticising them are largely invalid. There are many reasons not to vote Labour, don't get me wrong - I'm not making any kind of partisan point here. But blaming them for the financial crisis, or blaming Gordon Brown in particular personally, is just inaccurate. Not only was it a worldwide phenomenon, but it was initiated and magnified by policies originated on both sides of the Pond in the Thatcher / Regan area, namely the deregulation of credit derivative markets (selling a debt to other people to you or me). And then finally initiated by the stupidity of mainly American banks in making loans they KNEW COULD NOT BE REPAID at the time! They did this because they knew they could sell those debts with a bit of insurance tacked on to others for a fat profit and not care.

So, the Labour government actually managed the crisis pretty well. You can complain about the bailouts, but there is no doubt that while it galls us (and me!) that we are rescuing people from having made stupid decisions, and are insulating them from the risk which is a key part of capitalism, the macroeconomic pain of saving them was MUCH smaller than that of letting them go to the wall. So, it sucks - but the consequences of letting them go under where almost too much to even contemplate. Is this a situation which we should try to prevent in the future? Yes, I would argue, but these steps have to be taken in calmer waters. To extend the nautical metaphor to the breaking point, you can't refurbish a ship while you are trying to prevent it from sinking.

So, to return to the original point. There are going to be cuts. There are probably going to be cuts in services you care about. These would have happened regardless of who won the election. They may happen in slightly different places depending on the party, but it is very doubtful Labour could have stuck to the no NHS, no Police, no front line services at all line. There is simply not enough money.

So, if you want to complain about Labour, complain about the nearly unprecedented expansion of public spending in the good years BEFORE the crash. Money should have been save there. There should not have been a running deficit in many of those years. That is the real scandal in Labour's management of the economy, and yes, it did happen while Brown was chancellor. So, public at large, get your facts straight.

Oh also, all those who are whining about how the child tax credit is going away.
1) The coalition agreement says it will be reduced for higher earners. This likely means some version of the proposal in either Conservative or LibDem manifesto, which brings the threshold reductions, from memory, to about £45000 family income from about £50000 where it is now. This is hardly crippling, especially, and this is crucial:
2) The income tax threshold will go up to £10000. That's over £3000 extra pounds which will not be taxed. So. Again, public at large, and I'm talking to you woman on the street the BBC interviewed in Bradford, you will have MORE money then before, not less; please get your facts straight.

Again, back to the initial point: to save money we have to spend less. This is inevitable. The scale of cuts required is so vast it will affect something you hold dear. It would have done under Labour also.

In the words of the Governor of the Bank of England: Any government ruling now will make itself unelectable for a generation, so large are the cuts required.

Discuss, if you like.

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New Government

May. 12th, 2010 | 12:31 pm
location: United Kingdom, Sheffield
mood: hopefulhopeful

So the new government is taking shape.

I must say that to me it is completely baffling that everyone is so confused / surprised / suspicious / insert you adjective indicating generally not knowing what is going on here reaction that everyone is exhibiting about this process. In Germany and basically every other democratic country apart from UK, US and Australia this is a completely normal process. In fact, if anything, the speed of five days for the negotiations is the only surprising thing about this - it usually takes much longer. This is not a bad thing in my mind at all.

To everyone who thinks this compromise is a terrible thing, why? We are getting a reasonable compromise between the two parties. All those who voted Lib Dem can be happy that some of the things they voted for are going to be implemented. So why be unhappy with this arrangement? Why deride this process? It's a good thing. Decision making in general will be based on a broader consensus now, it's less likely that very controversial policies will be implemented. So all those who did not want a conservative government, surely this is a much better alternative, as their policies are now much tempered by Lib Dem influence.

Generally, I am not too unhappy with this outcome. The general Eurosceptic-ness of the Conservatives, my primary issue with the party these days, is mitigated. There is going to be a referendum on a better (though still not ideal) electoral system; the Alternative Vote. This system, familiar to us Sheffield University students from the Sabatical Officer elections, will not create proportionality, but it will reduce the wasted votes in each constituency; ensuring that each representative is acceptable to a majority of the electorate in each constituency. Personally I favour the Additional Member System of Proportional Representation, and not only because we use it in Germany. It's genuinely a good system. You get overall proportionality of parties, while also retaining a directly elected representative for each constituency. What's not to like?

Discuss, if you like.

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Vote!

May. 6th, 2010 | 05:28 pm

Please remember to vote today!

Post from mobile portal m.livejournal.com

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Indie games - pay what you want!

May. 5th, 2010 | 11:37 am

This is completely awesome:
http://www.wolfire.com/humble

Get five indie games (including the super awesome World of Goo), pay what you want! Split what you pay in whatever way you want between the developers, and two charities, Child's Play and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

You get the games for Windows, Mac and Linux! All in one go. DRM-free, of course.

Please give them some money, even if it's only a few dollars, it's better than no money. I would particularly encourage a generous contribution to the EFF, who do a lot of stuff for all of us that important in this day and age. They fight for privacy, fair use rights and free speech in the digital world, causes immensely close to my heart.

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oped

Apr. 30th, 2010 | 02:47 pm

There is an interesting piece about the type of politicians changing over time in the UK; I don't necessarily agree with all its observations, but it is an interesting perspective nevertheless:
http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2010/0430/British-election-political-animal-Brown-vs.-technocrats-Clegg-Cameron?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+feeds%2Ftop+%28Christian+Science+Monitor+|+Top+Stories%29&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher

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First past the post...

Apr. 15th, 2010 | 10:27 am
location: Sheffield, UK
mood: awake

Food for thought for those who are fond of the first past the post system:

http://www.voterpower.org.uk/

Calculating the chance that any of us have to influence the outcome, depending on where we live.

Hint: For those in Hillsbrough, it is the least powerful seat in the UK, giving you the equivalent of 0.002 of a vote. over here in Central we fare a little better, with 0.221 votes equivalent per person. That is pretty close to average, which is about 0.25. Only people in marginal seats have any realistic chance of influencing the outcome. Most powerful seat in the UK: Arfon, with 1.308 equivalent votes per person, roughly 5 times the average in the UK.

Doesn't really seem fair to me.

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Roleplaying in a community centre

Apr. 9th, 2010 | 03:54 pm

I'm sure some of us will find this interesting:

http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Arts/2010/0409/Role-playing-games-pull-reluctant-school-kids-into-a-supportive-crowd

It's about a gaming shop / community centre in Maine. Nice to see the positive aspects of gaming reported on once in a while....
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Health care and America

Mar. 22nd, 2010 | 08:07 am

So the House finally passed the health bill last night. This is not a perfect bill. However, it does address many issues. Foremost the inability of many self-employed or employees of small bu8isnesses to actually find insurance, something that has been nigh-on impossible in may cases. Or completely unaffordable, which is the same thing. OH, and you have a pre-existing condition, and need to change / get insurance, because you have say changed job? Your fucked. No one will insure you.

I shall let George R. R. Martin recount his experiences, because he certainly has them, whereas I can only look on form the outside:

http://grrm.livejournal.com/141683.html

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DRM == BAD!!

Feb. 18th, 2010 | 01:06 pm

Ubisoft has perpetrated a complete travesty. In their new PC games (including Assassins Creed 2), you will need to be connected to the internet ALL THE TIME to play, even in single player modes. If you lose connection at any point THE GAME STOPS! You will need to wait for connection to be re-established, and then reload your last save.

Really, it is true.

So if at any point your internet drops out for a bit, a common occurrence for many of us, you need to reload your last save. If their servers go down, you can't play. If they ever take their servers down / go bankrupt you can't play. You can't play on a plane / holiday / anywhere without internet.

You get the idea. This is INCREDIBLY bad and wrong of them.

EDIT: The supposed purpose of this is to prevent piracy. Which it won't, because people will crack it anyway. And then have a superior product, because it actually works.

Please consider boycotting Ubisoft!

Buy no more games of theirs, including no console games, and let them know why (Ubisoft contact details) until they cancel this insanity.

EDIT: There is also a petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/ew15dl94/petition.html. I expect direct contact with them to be more effective though.

Thank you.

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Another Test

Feb. 11th, 2010 | 04:04 pm

Does it go in seconds?

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Buzzed?

Feb. 11th, 2010 | 01:28 pm
music: Savatage - The Price You Pay

I wonder if this will show up?

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