This is the last day of August. Why is it that time seems to go by much more quickly as you get older? Is this just an age thing? Clearly, time passes at the same rate – although I probably spend more time asleep at this point in my life (and, to the best of my knoweldge, I haven’t slept for six months).

Cookie Me

So DoubleClick are going to be more open about Cookies and all that they are tracking. According to DoubleClick’s press release:

“DoubleClick is to be commended for its cooperation in setting an industry standard for promoting consumer privacy in the data collection and tracking taking place across networked websites,” said New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.


The issue of cookies – especially in relation to online advertising – is something that seems to get some people all worried that they are being spied on (like those big satellites can’t see what you’re doing anyway). It seems in the US, people go to court over them. Given that I been working in the online advertising business for nearly seven years (has there been an online ad business that long?) I think I am supposed to have an opinion on this hot potato. Except, I don’t think I do (at least as long as we can use cookies I don’t have an opinion, which I guess means I do have an opinion).

Cookies are not evil and, as companies like DoubleClick must have millions of cookies in their databases I am sure my online activity is not of sufficient interest for anybody to try to find out where I have been. Most people are pretty good and don’t store personally identifiable information and, even if they do, I could just wipe my cookie files and start again and stop being tracked. So, all I really want to say is there is nothing wrong with cookies. Cookies are useful. People who hold data on me should abide by the Data Protection Act which seems sufficient for every other piece of information that is being held about me, so why does everybody so worked up about these little bits of data? Agghh!!

<This unstructured, meaningless rant is now over>


I am a PC kinda-guy. Well, I was a Unix admin at one point (very briefly) but after spending a whole night loading Linux from 80 discs at work I opted for the relative ease of an out-of-the-box PC at home. But I am tempted by an Apple. Mybe it’s the underlying Unix-ness of it all that is appealing. Maybe it’s that my Windows XP box doesn’t really live up to my expectations. A friend of mine says, “I believe the tide of reason is finally beginning to lather the unwashed masses” – can you tell he’s a Mac guy? But it’s true. I’ve heard of several people who have gone Mac.

So, I came across a link to Ken. Now Ken is is an Apple product manager and he has a weblog which is worth the read. Even for PC-heads like me. [link thanks]

Blast Into Orbit

I have been fascinated by the weather since childhood. This is not your typical British interest in the weather – which is a necessity if you live in England’s green and pleasant lands. No, I really want to understand forecasting, cloud patterns and the like. The basics can’t be that hard. Yet, I have never, ever done anything about this.

There are other things I would like to do, too. Phonography, a course in British History or a wine appreciation course. Yet I never do any of them. So, first thing tomorrow I am off to buy one of those books that list evening courses and do something!

What started me off on this analysis of the things I should do? Well, news that a new weather satellite is to be launched. Meteorologists say the new technology will lead to better forecasts, especially for severe weather such as storms and fog. [BBC]

Fast Lane on Foot

I haven’t spoken of London’s traffic problems for a while now. This is because it’s a bad story and I am trying to be positive. I have not been overly delayed for sometime (although every taxi I take tries to navigate Trafalgar Square which is a automobile no-go zone at the moment).

I also realise that London is a big city which is home to many millions of people who all travel. It stands to reason then that, if the system should fail one day, movement will be difficult. I know that an integrated public transport system run (efficiently, effectively) for the people is a (very) long way off.

Still, it did amuse me to read that,

London’s road traffic is travelling at its slowest ever pace, averaging less than walking pace, according to a new report. [Yahoo]

Celebrities in Space

Ah, ITV (Britain’s original commercial televison network). From their website:

This channel – which has done more than most to build the cult of celebrity – has taken its first step toward atonement by placing a group of celebs (the type who take a bow each time the fridge light goes on) and place them in the Antipodean wilderness.

The programme is I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, which should be worth watching for the title alone. It’s made my day.

Now, when celebrity Lance Bass shouts, “I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here”, it takes on a whole new meaning.

Lance, a member of boyband N’Sync may actually go into space. I thought this was a wind up when I first heard about it, but apparently not:

He is being sponsored by a consortium of major companies and Hollywood producer David Krieff, and has signed a preliminary contract for the mission – but recent reports have suggested that he has missed deadlines to pay the $20m flight fee. [BBC]

Half-Hearted Bollywood

You know when you don’t go to the cinema for, what seems like, an age and then you suddenly go quite a lot? No, well, I do this on-off thing with cinema quite a lot. Yesterday, following on from my Men In Black II experience, I went to see The Guru at The Clapham Picture House (which, if you live in this part of the world, probably ranks as one of the better cinemas and it’s not part of an overly large chain – although there are more of them then you would imagine).

The people I was with, loved it. They laughed (a lot). Many people in the cinema was laughing too. I smiled occasionally and there was the odd laugh but on the whole I was pretty quiet. So, to validate my lack of enthusiasm for the film (which seems to be generally well received) I got as far as The Guardian’s film site (which, I am sure was Film Unlimited at one point). Peter Bradshaw reassures me with,

There’s no bite or edge to this movie, though; it’s goofy, soft-centred romcom slush, with some very half-hearted Bollywood pastiche


… these moments don’t really justify the admission price [Full Review].

Now, I am using the web to reinforce my own opinions. This can’t be a good thing.

Not Hilarious or Surprising

Men in Black 2 posterStrange, zany, generally amusing and very likeable without actually being all that hilarious or surprising, Men In Black II relies heavily on familiarity with and affection for the original. Fans of that film, who are simply content with more of the same, should’n’t be dismayed or too seriously disappointed by a pleasantly insane bit of nonsense. [Empire Online]

This review tells almost all about my night last night. I went to UCI Sutton to see Men In Black II. I had enjoyed the first in a wash-over-me kind of way. Interest wanes at twenty minutes.

Around The World

A colleague of mine left work yesterday to go travelling and I was sad to see him go. He’s joining an ever growing list of people I know who are purchasing a back-pack and buying a ticket for six months. Three of my friends/acquaintances are in Australia travelling. One of my clients is off travelling.

What am I doing wrong?

Is it a coincidence that they all work in new media environments? And this morning I find that over at Jase’s homepage he links to this great travelling blog. The world is trying to tell me something!

Not About Me

I don’t talk about my blog. It’s a private thing I do, but I am not sure why (I would suggest points 2 and 3 here as a starting point to try and answer that question).

Yesterday I went for a very nice meal at Orso when the conversation turned to weblogs. I was somewhat shocked that my dining companions could not grasp the “why” of the blog concept. Why read them? Why write them? But I still didn’t speak about my blogging. It’s very odd but I do not feel compelled to actually talk about this.

I realised I do not talk about me to anybody very much. I discuss events that involved me. I talk about other people and tell people about my work. I express options with the best of them. But I don’t really discuss myself too often – at least by this I mean, I guess, emotions and my private life. It’s odd because I think people who know me would say I do talk a great deal, but I know I hold things back. Why is that?

So why to I carry on writing this? I have said before that it started out as a challenge to myself. Can I blog for a whole month with no interruptions? I did that. And still I find myself here!

The **** Of All Snacks

Remember the slag of all snacks?

I do like the sensitive side of this country! Today’s Media Guardian web site reports that “Pot Noodle’s controversial adverts using the line the slag of all snacks have been banned from appearing on TV after more than 300 viewers complained”.

300 people actually bothered to complain about a television advertisement. I would really love to know whey they felt this was inappropriate. I thought they were some of the funniest commercials that I have seen in a long time and the word was used in a humours, self-deprecating way. How can calling a plastic pot of fast food be that offensive. Such a shame they were pulled. However, I don’t really see the point as most people have seen them anyway.

Anyway, here is a gratuitous link to the most offensive words in the English language! Wonder if any of the complainers have a web site where they outline their complaints. I’d love to know. [Ref: Media Guardian]

BBQ Frenzy

Well, I’ll eat my words (as well as much of the food). It was marvellous, although I doubt I will convert.

I went to a barbecue today which is no amazing thing (although spelling barbecue is, for some reason, one of those words that I should not even attempt to spell).

Our hosts had a gas-barbecue (something I have always been very skeptical of – it’s not real barbecue cooking is it?). Well, I’ll eat my words (as well as much of the food). It was marvellous, although I doubt I will convert. There is something strangely masculine about fighting with coals rather than turning the gas on.

I suspect my life in turning into a bad episode of an Australian soap-opera for I am constantly saying we should have a barbecue. I am becoming obsessed. Yesterday it was kebabs on the barbie. Today, burgers. Or is it just a sign of summer? G’day.

In Short, Things Are Grim

Sometimes, I find the web addictive. I should be doing something else. I want to talk about this but I’ll let Metafilter do the job. Saves me typing on a Saturday.

For those who don’t want to click:

The World Summit on Sustainable Development, aka “Earth Summit II,” will start soon in Johannesburg, ten years after the Rio Earth Summit. Have things improved at all in the last ten years? [Metafilter].

The Art of the Blog

I have been thinking some more about this whole blogging lark. I have always said that the most fascinating part of the online community has been personal homepages. They drawn me in like some crazed stalker. However, you put it there for me to read so, perhaps, stalker is not the appropriate term (I mean how many people invite stalkers?). Still, read them I do. So, I was interested in the book We’ve Got Blog. Now, here is a handy link to some of the books contents.