Archive for July, 2006

Cancelled elective

I recieved an e-mail this afternoon telling me that the 20 credit module in cybercrime at the school of law has been cancelled for next year and I will need to choose a new set of modules to fill up those credits. While the problem is far from insoluble its a big annoyance as it was a module I really wanted to do in favour of other less interesting modules that were on offer to me. I will most likely end up making up the credits with ones from the school of computing, but I need to make sure I do things that will both favour my fields of interest and will be useful in years to come; I don’t want this little set back to be turned into an even bigger one by causing me to struggle with a module I never wanted to take in the first place.

The law department have indicated that the module should be available next year and was only cancelled due to staffing issues this year but unfortunate;y doing electives in the third year isn’t really an option for me because of the way the school of computing works so I guess I will just have to resign myself to the fact I will have to give this one a miss πŸ™

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Bluetooth battery life woes

Recently I ordered a new phone from O2 as part of an upgrade package and renewing my contract. So far I’ve been very pleased with my Nokia 6280 but one thing is really getting on my nerves; the drain bluetooth places on the battery.

I have it setup such that I have control over my phone with some software on my computer when it is in range. This enables me to manage the phone book, send text messages and transfer files without touching the phone. I restrict access to the phone to my own machine by allowing only already paired devices to see the phone is there and gain access to it.

The issue is my battery only seems to last for around 48 hours standby, even if I don’t make any calls. For a phone that advertises a standby battery life of over a week this seems a bit of a con to me. My old Motorola Razor V3 had bluetooth enabled all the time (so a wireless headset I had could be enabled simply by switching it on) and the standby battery life was hardly affected at all. I appreciate that my new phone is more feature packed in general and this should be expected to use more juice, but seeing as it only seems to be bluetooth that causes this drain its not really acceptable. For any modern phone bluetooth is one of those things you can’t afford to turn off and yet likewise you are not always going to be able to get to a charger depending on travel arrangements etc.

If I thought writing to Nokia was going to help I would do so, but I thought I would post here to warn anyone who knows me and that might be considering getting one of these and uses bluetooth not to touch them with a barge pole unless they have a range of charging options available at all times.

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RouterTech popularity grows

On my monthly stats trawl today I realised the true potential for success with RouterTech. We now get a huge amount of traffic every day, and while many of the hits are from people who arrive, cruise for answers and then leave once they have found what they are looking for it shows we are doing a good job. Hits this month will top 700,000 and this looks set to rise in the near future.

We get several new members every day and our firmware download counter now stands at just under 400 meaning that what started out as almost an experiment to see if we could better a number of commercial firmwares now has a firm base of users. This looks set to increase still further with the forthcoming release of a couple of new firmwares; one upgrade to our exisiting offering and another for a different type of router.

Its a great thing to be a part of and big thanks goes to all those who continue take time to contribute and keep the knowledge fresh, especially the developers that make a better job of firmware improvement than many in the commercial business who are paid to do so. RouterTech couldn’t happen without you.

If readers haven’t already done so please link to RouterTech and recommend it to your friends. We really can squash a huge variety of networking issues and we have a high success rate of solving problems. The more people come and visit us with their issues the more technically minded people we can get on board and make the experience a whole lot better.

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House Party

Last night Matt’s cousins had a house party so we all went along. I guess you could call it the first house party of the new academic year, even though that theoretically hasn’t yet begun. Still it was a great night with plentiful alcohol, good music (although the playlist for the first half an hour or so was rather questionable) andof course good company. Some people I already knew from the long lazy days in Hyde Park a few months back but it was good to chat to a few of them for a little longer and of course meet some of the folk I didn’t already know.

An aside point but an intersting one none the less is how much I have missed house parties. In York they would be a regular occurance, perhaps one every couple of weeks or so, but deepest darkest Clarence Dock put paid to that for my second semester here in Leeds simply because of the distance involved for the most part. Its certainly a nice feeling that now, back in the thick of students-ville I will be able to go back to my former house party habits, and who knows, perhaps my cheese and wine evenings may soon be making a come-back πŸ™‚

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Middle East Crisis

I was in two minds about if to make this posting, firstly because its bound to cause a large amount of disagreement and discussion and secondly because there has already been an inordinate amount of coverage in the press about the whole business anyway. The problem is that in many respects the comments in the press and the official sources, while giving the issue plenty of attention, are not approaching it from the correct angle at all.

The reality on the ground is really quite simple. We have two sides firing blind at each other with nothing but hatred and thoughts of revenge in their hearts. Casualties in the intended target range on both sides (miltary/terrorist type targets) are minimal if not non-existant, while civilians continue to die in ever increasing numbers. Irrespective of what you read, that really is the bottom line of the situation – there is no getting away from it.

One must ask the question then; who with the power to broker peace terms between the sides fighting this losing and devastating battle is selfish and inhumane enough to sit on the sidelines and watch people be slaughtered? It’s not my place to name countries or political groups etc. because the blame game is not the answer. The answer I would hope to see to that question is no one, after all do we not all strive for peace?

I think the peace loving people of this world need to take a long hard look at the people who result in you answering that question in a way other than I have described. Do you want them to make decisions that implicate non-violent and peace loving people in the slaughter of innocent civilians? I’m not saying go out there and just march on anti-war demos because the problem runs deeper than that. We live in a society where there are accepted norms and irrespective of how shocking the consequences of those norms are we are unwilling to challenge them. It’s high time people stood up to this stigma and made a concious personal decision about what and who to support and why.

Just because others around you in the street are beating the crap out of each other doesn’t mean you have to join in or even support one group of people or another. Why then are our governments dragging us into a situation where we not only have to take sides and get involved in issues on our doorstep but that require us to travel to the next town just to put the boot in. Its time to stop being the sneering mob behind a few big bullies, after all a bully without its mob is barely a bully at all in the face of a whole playground of opposition.

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Great political humour site

If its really original and amusing political humour you are after, then you would do a lot worse than check out the images by Clay Bennett . They had me chuckling the whole way through. Some might be a tad tastless in todays specific world climate, but if we can’t have a good laugh at the expense of people who can’t get their act together then who can we laugh at πŸ˜€

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Large beer

Check out this massive glass of beer! The left hand glass is just shy of a pint in size to enable easy comparison. This is one beer I wouldn’t want to be downing in a drinking game. Thanks to Sy Borg for the photo.

Huge beer

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Comment subscriptions

After a discussion on the subject of keeping track of blog comments yesterday in the Quilted Llama I present yet another little update for my site, this time allowing readers to subscribe by e-mail to the comments when they post their own or see the potential for an interesting discussion that they want to follow. You can manage your subscriptions by clicking a link at the bottom of every notification e-mail you recieve. Subscribing is now an option at the bottom of all posts that allow comments, be sure to check it out.

I hope that for the more provocative posts that this will result in more comments and interest, so if you are interested in something I have written about or what someone has placed in a comment then please consider signing yourself up to follow that discussion – you never know when someone might say something you can’t resist replying to πŸ˜‰

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Full house

For the first time since we moved into our house here in Hyde Park it is full! Matt and Kat arrived up from London today and so its quite the hub of activity. Much as I prefer company to not having it, I have very much got used to living on my own these last 6 or 7 months and its going to take a few days to become used once again to having other people in close proximity.

Having people around in general is a mild love hate relationship. Great in the sense that debate and chatter is always forthcoming and your bad days can be eased so much more quickly by off-topic discussion than by cursingΒ  at a computer screen, but not so great in the sense you are never truely alone. My hi-fi has seen quite a work out over the last few months and its going to come down to earth with a bump as its owner quickly reliases that not everyone can (or should have to) enjoy the finer tones of Chris Botti on trumpet played at full volume (although he is an excellent trumpeter, you should check out his music).

It will however open doors (quite literally, lol) to being able to move away from the desk for a few minutes at a time though. Having people around when you make that all important cup of tea or coffee to boost your caffine levels becomes not only a stroll to stretch the legs and prevent the onset of RSI but also the chance to pretend the screen doesn’t exist for a brief but precious few minutes and interact with a real tangible human being, and that can only be considered a good and valuable thing in todays modern time-concious world.

No doubt life in my house will end up being documented in an amusing and occasionally vague style on here, and in fact most likely with comments provided by Matt and Kat themselves, but it is a year full of promise and one I feel sure I will enjoy immensely.

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Lunch with James

Today saw a break in the battle against sorting stuff out in my new house (which I am glad to say I have now won in its entirity) to go and meet up with James Flinders (ex. Halifax College President) for lunch and some drinks. As it was a warm day and Chris was around in town and wanted to meet up too we decided not to break with tradition and headed to the Quilted Llama where we relaxed in an air conditioned environment and recounted tales of Halifax gone by and commented on Halifax today.

It was interesting to get a thrid party take on some of the college issues and I was pleased to see that Chris was amused at some of the insane things that York students have to deal with such as partial bar closures and the like. I do feel at times James and myself bored Chris slightly with chat about a realm he has not even had the pleasure of visiting, but still, I think it made a good afternoon.

We also ended up discussing quite an important issue for students who have friends accross the academic year groups; how to best keep in touch with them once they graduate and you remain in uni (or vice versa). We both agreed that uni life was often strange without the people who have been with you throughout your time there, and I relised that its going to happen to me twice, once most recently with York, and again later on in Leeds. I just hope I have the will power to keep in touch and that friends whom I end up seeing less often are receptive to my efforts. After all, the odd relaxing lunch with more distant uni friends, as today showed, is always a great way to spend and otherwise uneventful afternoon πŸ™‚

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