Archive for September, 2006

Slow Composition

September 30, 2006

Well, I don’t know about you guys… but I find the rich text editor on painfully slow to use. Like, it would be worthless on a Bulgarian internet cafe PC type of painfully slow. That sounds rude, but I once had to use on an old box in Bulgaria and all the unneccessary javascript brought it to its knees…

I know I have a five year old computer, but it’s a text editor, right? It shouldn’t be slow.


Zoom! Confuse!

September 30, 2006

So 10.4.8 has a new mouse wheel zoom function. Cool. It would have been nice of Apple to mention it, maybe, I dunno, in the release notes, or something, but never mind. That nice Mr Gruber noticed. So that’s alright then.

One small problem though; the thing doesn’t seem to be connected to the traditional keyboard zoom, which I use sometimes. So Command-Option-8, which I expect to snap the screen back out to normality, when I’m zoomed in, does nothing. You have to scrolly all the way out with the wheel, or remember to use the keys.

Perhaps they’ll fix it in 10.4.9. Perhaps they’ll even fix the menu bar clock!

dangerous and dangerous

September 29, 2006

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Tayside and Central | Dangerous roads upgrade urged

Campaigners have launched a petition calling for Scotland’s “most dangerous” roads to be upgraded.
TRANSform Scotland has also branded the Scottish Tories “liars and hypocrites” for demanding the dualling of the A9 between Perth and Inverness.

Of course, there are dangerous roads, badly designed roads, roads with inadequate capacity, too few signs (or in a few cases far too many). One of them is the A82, just over the hill from me. There are regular fatal crashes. Why could this be? Is it a dangerous road? Is it difficult to drive along?

Well, no. The section from Balloch to Tarbet anyway, is wide, and well laid out. You can get on the highway and basically sit there at 60 mph, admiring the view, turning the wheel occasionally. There are exactly two places between the Helensburgh turn-off and Tarbert where you have to slow down a little.

So why exactly are there so many crashes? Well, A82 is fast, but it is not straight. You sail elegantly around many many bends as Loch Lomond whizzes by to the side. So unfortunately, there are very few overtaking opportunities. And as it’s a well laid out road, it’s perfectly possible to drive down it at very high speed, in perfect “safety”, until you come around the last bend—and encounter someone trying to overtake!

And this is why I have very little patience with the “dangerous” roads lobby. Because the problem (these days) is, in the main, dangerous drivers. The UK may be the safest in Europe for road safety, but around 3,000 people a year still lose their lives. Improve the roads, sure, but unless people improve their driving, it will be an complete waste of time.

a matter of emphasis

September 26, 2006

BBC NEWS | England | North Yorkshire | Car driver dies in rail collision
A driver has died in Yorkshire when his car crashed through a fence on to a rail track and was hit by a train travelling at about 100mph.

This bugs me. Whenever there’s one of these “car going onto a railway” accidents, the subsequent press stories are always written as if it was somehow the train’s fault…

Your Name and User ID in Emails

September 26, 2006

Your Name and User ID in Emails
To help the eBay Community determine the difference between emails sent by eBay and spoof emails, eBay is going to start including a header in some of the emails that we send. This header contains the first and last name you registered on your eBay account, along with your eBay User ID.

Please, eBay, for the love of god! Use certificates! Headers can be spoofed.

The UN question

September 22, 2006

Guardian Unlimited
| Special reports | Defiant Bush appeals to people of Middle East

Mr Ahmadinejad[‘]s speech only once directly referred to the United States, but was infused throughout with criticism of the “exclusionist policies” of what he called the “hegemonic power” and its grip over the UN through its membership of the security council.

“The question needs to be asked: if the governments of the United States or the United Kingdom who are permanent members of the security council, commit aggression, occupation and violation of international law, which of the organs of the UN can take them to account?” he said.

Without having heard the rest of the speech, I think I can answer this one question.

None of them. The UN has been compromised by the “great powers” since the moment of it’s inception. It’s reliant on cooperation from its members (A “System 7” style of international goverment, if you like, Mac geeks).

Of course it would be possible to do something about it, but oddly enough, everyone chooses not to. Which is a bit of a problem, because we need a strong, fair forum where everyone can get together and work together on the rather pressing problems facing humanity at the moment.

[edited 25-9-2006 to zap an errant apostrophe]


September 21, 2006

Sofia News Agency: Bulgaria: UKs Reid Sends “Strongest” Signal for Limiting Bulgarians, Romanians

UK Home Secretary John Reid has given his strongest indication yet that the government intends to restrict access to the UK for Romanians and Bulgarians if their bid to join the European Union succeed, the Guardian commented September 20.

“Although he did not specify how restrictions might operate, sources said they could include a mix of measures such as quotas or a time period during which Romanians and Bulgarians would not be allowed to enter the UK.”

This is just so totally wrong. Either you are in the EU and have all the rights of an EU member state, or you don’t. It occurs to me that there can be an intermediary stage, “EU associate” or something where restrictions like this occur, and EU accession becomes a gradual process rather than the bizzare all or nothing system we have at present.

The Guardian disclosed last month that a senior government figure had revealed ministerial plans to introduce a work permit system for Bulgarians and Romanians who would be required to prove they could fill specific skill shortages.

“We have a strong record on accepting migrants from Europe, but sometimes politics has to override the economics, and that is what is going to happen in this case,” a cabinet minister closely involved in the talks said at the time.

That’s even worse! There isn’t a rational reason for this. It’s to appease idiotic racist blue-top tabloid reading voters. The 2004 accession migrants have on the whole been a great success. There won’t be nearly as many Bulgarians and Romanians.

So where, exactly is the problem?

Perhaps it’s in the head of Dr John Reid.

BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Sweden sticks to multiculturalism

September 16, 2006

BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Sweden sticks to multiculturalism

“I speak Swedish, Arabic, Kurdish, Persian and English with my friends,” says Ammar Mamand, a 12-year-old Kurdish boy living in Malmo, southern Sweden.

Reminds me of Drammen…

Dear BBC, is it possible you could use the right names for Swedish places? It’s not Malmo, it’s Malmö. For instance. And those aren’t just accents, they’re distinct letters and sounds.


September 16, 2006

Look at the referrer stats for my very very popular blog:


Could the person who was searching for old buses and BBC baggage news, in upper case, please step forward?

On second thoughts…

Motion Picture

September 16, 2006

At last, got a copy of Motion Picture by Yello. From a German company via Amazon Marketplace. Go the long tail! Annoying though, that such good music is no longer distributed in the UK.

Annoying also that Herrs Meier and Blank don’t seem to be making much music any more…