rashbre central: January 2008

Thursday 31 January 2008


masque haunt old street
Three of us drifted into the Masque Haunt for a wrap up conversation. We'd been busy all day and it was good to sip a drink and take stock for a few minutes. It was still early enough for the place to be fairly empty, but we still stood by the bar, each aware we'd other calls on our time in the rest of the evening.

Earlier in the day I'd been in the spicily aromatic Nin Com Soup, also in the same area around Old Street, for a latte whilst I waited for our early morning prep meeting. So, I'd really only seen a single street, except when we were lost at the confusing roundabout for a couple of minutes and had to retrace steps.

As we left, I found a passing bus heading my way and left the others walking to Barbican to catch trains to outer London and to the airport.

Wednesday 30 January 2008


IMG_1146.jpgAn interesting evening at the Camel and Artichoke yesterday, for the London Bloggers Meetup, arranged by Andy Bargery and with the support of Qype.

Close to Waterloo, near to The Cut, in Lower Marsh was an upstairs room in the pub, set aside for the meeting. Qype had kindly supplied drinks although there was no need to prime the conversations which started and ran freely throughout the event.

I'd guess there were around 35-40 people in the room and I'm hopeful that Peter's photos will show up somewhere as a record. I took one early snapshot in the evening as people were settling into the very animated and diverse conversations.

Inevitable questions about blog names and who does one read, but then discussions whizzing in all manner of directions, based upon a group whose common interest is simply blogging. I found it an entertaining event and am now wondering how on earth I capture the names and blog addresses of the great group of people I met during the evening?

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Tuesday 29 January 2008

Camel and Artichoke

Well, I've had the banner up about this for a couple of weeks now, the least I can do is to show up at the pub in the evening. I'm not sure why they changed its name from the Reluctant Camel to the Camel and Artichoke, but I guess I'll find out tomorrow.

It reminds me of that rude joke about bricking the camel, but I'd better stop now before I dig myself an oasis.
camel and artichoke

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Monday 28 January 2008

sorted for Es and Whizz

excellentblog.jpgHow delightful to get an award from bobkat. Most unexpected and just after I'd written a post about reverting to ten minutes a day for my posts. No pressure then.

Er, I don't have a proper speech.

I will find some nominations over the next few days though and I'll make a rule to myself not to award anyone that I've previously thanked in some similar way in an attempt to spread the goodness.

Its always great to get passing commenteers and readers, even the stealthy RSS readers and silent lurkers are welcome. Even the considerable number of Polish folk who are using rashbre central to get London traffic news from my traffic cams page. Witajcie. And even the still considerable number of fans of pulp powertools fantasy bunnies and the readers who wish to dismantle iPods and iMacs. Good luck.

Thank to bobkat and for the moment I'm sorted with a whizzy E.

sorted for Es and whizz

Sunday 27 January 2008


Prior to digital cameras, I've had my share of 35mm SLRs. Spot metering, exposure calculations, depth of field, bracketing, ISOs, grain were all part of my SLR vocabulary.

Nothing prepared me for Debra's Hasselblad.

Out it came from an unassuming cotton bag. Debra's camera with a 12 back. Instantly iconic, a work of craftsman's precision displaying careful numbers and calibrations on every rotating surface. Special rails and rings heightened the control of the interaction.

Debra's camera is like the centre of a photographic vortex. A very cellular point so that as one knows something of optics, exposure, focus, field, composition then the 'Blad provides the raw synapses to control every aspect. Not a spectator sport, not point and shoot.

This fuses the photographer with the means to make the picture. The act is as one. A smooth ritual to collect the inputs for a frame and caress their impulses to the dendrites of the camera. As the operator's nerves fire their signal, the shutter and mirror's clunk provide a satisfying completion of this wholly addictive act of photography.
hasselblad shutter recording attempt

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Saturday 26 January 2008

cloned operations

agent smithSomeone has come up with a way to build new operating systems for cells. Apparently, you can drop a cassette of DNA pre-coded with a set of instructions into another cell, 're-boot' and take over the way the host cell operates. The first one is called Mycoplasma.

Okay, the second part of the name is genitalium, but no tittering in the back of class, please.

The PR spin on this is to make new carbon dioxide gobbling cells which poot out hydrogen or something equally energy worthy.

El snaggaletto that I see is what if the new cell decides to do what every cell in Hollywood blockbusters always does and (a) escape (b) go on the rampage (c) take over humans in some terrifying and ultimately destructive manner?

I'm sure the scientists have thought of this, and if we don't find the earth's atmosphere turned to explosive hydrogen, then the same scientists will find a way to engineer a counter cell, with a different operating system which can go around duffing the first set. A bit like the film I watched the other night, where the humans stand around and watch alien life forms fighting.

Or perhaps the scientists are approach by a strangely squinting person with a penchant for leather uniforms, who then captures their minds and makes them build a destructo-cell as a weapon so that an ultimate world ruler can be created.

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Friday 25 January 2008

something to write home about

Mellow Yellow
Mellow Yellow's interior had dark clouds of heavy, sweet smelling cannabis smoke drifting towards the window. A girl sat on the bench outside preoccupied with a roll-up cigarette. I watched the passers by. We'd suggested this bright, if dubious, spot to meet. Soon I would be saying hello to Debra.

Then suddenly, with a swirl, Debra arrived and we greeted the Dutch way with three kisses (left, right, left). We sparked into conversation, surprisingly familiar for this first meeting outside of blog-world. Debra had half expected an American. But I'd phoned yesterday and we'd made those final arrangements voice to voice. We both agreed there's something about voices. Not that there aren't voices in blogs, but there's an extra sparkle in a real life meeting.

We found a cafe, two smechliche koffie or some such that Debra ordered fluently. I nodded agreement with the choice and then we talked...and talked...and talked.

Blogs, real world, photography, writing, stuff.
Debra demonstrates the 'Blad shuffle
And now I can say I've 'touched' the shiny Hasselblad that Debra coaxes for some of her vast array of pictures. Debra's cameras span plastic Holga to the sculpted, meticulous genius of the Hasselblad, which is worth, and will get, a post of its own.

An hour and a half of chatter cartwheeled past us until normal lives started to tug our sleeves. We left together, a farewell left, right, left and I started making plans for my journey back to evening meetings in London.

Amsterdam has always been a place I enjoy, and now, for me is all the richer for Debra's presence.

Thursday 24 January 2008


Sometimes things slide out of control. I just had a delayed plane. Then the motorway was blocked from an accident. Then we had a power outage for an as yet undisclosed reason. Sitting in candlelight, luckily the laptop battery hasn't run dow

Tuesday 22 January 2008

Sheffield Monte

city crane
I was in Sheffield today; once the proud home of Britain's steel mills, when Sheffield Steel meant a British product rather than something from Kansas.

The decline of the steel industry's impact is documented in the improbable 'The Full Monty' which takes the steel mill unemployed and shows them become male strippers for a Ladies' Night.
Nowadays Sheffield has a skyline of cranes as various areas of the city are being re-constructed and some of the larger buildings appear to be owned by financial institutions. The central area around the town hall has a pedestrianised look, along with a modern tram service, akin to continental Europe.

I arrived late in the evening to almost deserted streets and then the next morning witnessed the major bustle as people went about their daily business.

Sheffield has had to re-invent itself between the thriving early 70s of the steel industry, through the recession of the 90s and now into new business of the 21st century.

Monday 21 January 2008

lounges where no one can hear you scream

alien vs predator ver3
The lounge saga continues; now that the various incorrectly ordered sofas have all been removed and I'm left with the right coloured and correctly shaped ones, its about time to finish putting the room back together. Quite a lot of things have been removed forever, but now there's the small comeback of loudspeakers for listening to music.

Small is a keyword here too, with the intention to make big sound without adding lots of black oblong furniture.

I should explain that I'd already hooked up a mac mini to the television to provide iTunes playback via the television as a sort of emergency system. It actually makes quite a good jukebox. But some higher fi speakers beckoned and could also support the television's multitude of surround sound options.

So yesterday was screwdriver day and after the usual crisis of missing toolkit investments, I was able to get everything working by sundown. So a period of 'running in' the speakers with some music was first called for and then by mid evening it was time to try the fibre optic link from the Sky box, via the amplifier to the speakers.

I picked a film at random from Sky. Bad decision. It was Alien vs Predator and after listening to the near silent opening credits, it moved into a sequence on an iceberg. "Clang" went an icepick suddenly. "Ooow!", I jumped into the air. I think the speakers work. The rest of the film is set in various dark caves with alien monstors leaping from everywhere, which now includes behind the sofa and sometimes apparently the really big ones are lurking in the adjacent kitchen.

I think I need a bigger cushion to hide behind.

Sunday 20 January 2008

caucus race

caucus race
"What I was going to say", said the Dodo in an offended tone," was, that the best thing to get us dry would be a Caucus-race."

"What IS a Caucus-race?" said Alice; not that she wanted much to know, but the Dodo had paused as if it thought that SOMEBODY ought to speak, and no one else seemed inclined to say anything.

"Why", said the Dodo, "the best way to explain it is to do it."

It was a curious scene.

First there was a marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle, (the exact shape doesn't matter, the Dodo said,) and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there.

There was no "One, two, three, and away", but they began running when they liked, and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over.

Some of the participants ran to schools or community centers but others weaved through slot machines and bar stools to participate.

Maids and cooks, bellmen and bartenders, nearly all of whom wore their uniforms and matching name tags, were granted a lunch break to attend.

By the Flamingo, participants at sunset registered their attendance before breaking off into a corner to stand for their preferred candidate. Whilst many of the voters ate from a boxed lunch, the caucus rules were translated into Spanish.

The course, now resembled a Strip and the clout of the Culinary Workers came into question with the dormouse repeatedly asking for fresh place settings and the people dividing nearly equally between Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton.

However, when they had been running half an hour or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out, "The race is over!" and they all crowded round, panting, and asking, "But who has won"?


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Podcast 2 : mixin' it

In the tradition of old mix tapes, here's my first 2008 "lo-fi" podcast of some recent music, as promised to Andrea a couple of weeks ago and I think I owe a few "Brit tracks" to Nat, too.

I said I'd try to keep it to modern-ish music, so I limited myself to mainly 2007, significantly British, with some 2008/2006 and "international" to balance it out.

I've put it onto my .mac site, to simplify web load times so its here

Just the podcast in another window, hit play and listen to some rashbre selections whilst browsing the blogosphere.

It's one 50 minute podcast blend with some simple track boundaries. If you like it, then buy the respective albums, of course.

2007 - Jack Penate - Spit at Stars (UK)
2008 - JayMay - Blue Skies (US)
2007 - Death cab for Cutie - I'll follow you into the dark (US)
2006 - Dresden Dolls - Coin Operated Boy (live acoustic) (US recorded Germany)
2006 - Babyshambles - Albion (UK)
2007 - Long Blondes - Nineteen (UK)
2007 - Fratellis - Vince the loveable stoner (UK)
2007 - Lily Allen - LDN UK)
2007 - rashbre and britney go toxic (US with UK remix)
2007 - Christina Nott - Wind - LA mix (UK with US remix)
2007 - White Stripes - Rag and Bone (US)
2007 - Cat Power - Lived in Bars (UK)
2007 - Newton Faulkner - Some unholy War (UK)
2008 - British Sea Power - Down on the Ground (UK)
2006 - Beady Belle - Who switched on the darkness (Sweden)
2008 - Radiohead - Videotape (UK)

Technical note: yes its low bitrate and has a choppy start. Call it impressionistic.

Saturday 19 January 2008

brits ahead?

Cat DeeleyThe Brits awards for music are coming up in less than a month. A few artists seem to have been put into multiple nomination categories so the Arctic Monkeys, Take That Reunion and The Kaiser Chiefs should win something on the law of averages. I don't have a clue how they decide who gets into this; the old sponsorship from the direct mail company Britannia Music ended years ago but at leat would give a clue to some metrics for who gets what.

The show has a reputation for sometimes shambolic self seeking publicity by artists and hangers on, so we'll see what happens in the run up. Last year's hosting with Iraq friendly fire quips, rehab jokes and innuendo about the Queen seemed to illicit a share of "disgruntled of Cheam" letters to the editor.

There seems to be a 'throwing beverage at someone well-known' incident each year now and the attempts to provide a certain 'wow factor' slide in various directions from Cat Deeley riding in on a champagne bottle, drunks lurching on stage and one year stage guests unexpectedly firing a (blanked) machine gun into the crowd. Last year it was supposed to be broadcast live but the 30 second delay was enough time for the relatively tame real time swear word editing.
This year I'll support Adele, Bat for Lashes and Newton Faulkner for some kind of prize - which probably dooms all three of them as I never get TV votes right.

I realize I'm probably one of a small-ish number of people to have actually seen Adele perform. Its intriguing how an artist with no album and a hastily released download single gets into the show in the first year. There's obviously some great representation operating in the background. The car crash creepy video to accompany Chasing Pavements, has a slightly over-produced Adele track with lots of radio friendly strings. I prefer the simple acoustic version of Adele's songs and feisty though she is, I hope she doesn't get beaten into submission by a record company.

Bat for Lashes at least got as far as an album and have one which is generally good though I normally skip the same couple of tracks if I listen to it in the car. And Newton Faulkner is another surprisingly strong soloist.

I hope these kind of shows are more about new stuff than regurgitation. Which makes The Arcade Fire vs The Eagles an interesting TWO categories. And The Beatles may have been a brilliant band but is it still necessary to award Paul McCartney as 'top popster' on these kinds of shows? I suppose it will make a good finale.

Friday 18 January 2008

kings of the wild frontier

adamI watched the first episode of Torchwood series two last night whilst I ate tikka masala in a short diversion from my current project.

I'm not quite sure what Adam Ant was doing there, but then, you don't see many blowfish driving red sports cars either.

Its interesting that by series two they are already taking a pop at themselves (the grumpy woman swearing at the Torchwood gang) and they seem to enjoy a few Star Wars jokes as well. Not dismissing the line about 'where's the blondes?' which was a spikey reference to Buffy from the James Marsters character who should really break out into singing 'Prince Charming' or similar. And they need to be careful with the snogging too. After Niles professed his love for Daphne, Frazier's shark was well and truly jumped.

There was some fifth element gadget assembly and some improbable DNA mixing to keep things moving along, but at the end of the first episode I sort of thought the trailer for next week looked better than this first episode. Maybe its a series that builds, but some of the formula-based 'new hero/baddie in town' business wasn't, for me, as original as others seem to imply. I'm wondering if all the reviewers were sent a pack about the new fast paced edits although I didn't really notice it as much. Maybe a few 'bumps', 'slowmo' and 'r-r-rewinds' constitute clever edits.

So, I'm remaining loyal and hope the effect in Series Two is holistic and let's not forget the Doctor Who roots of Torchwood.

excuse for daft video

And several people have been hitting rashbre central for the secret Torchwood portal. OK. Its below. No Dark Talk or Grey Thoughts.

torchwood portal.jpg

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Thursday 17 January 2008


heathrow boeing 777
Miraculous scenes today at Heathrow when BA038 crashed losing its undercarriage at the end of the runway. Everyone escaped from the Boeing 777. Apparently the plane lost all power and had to glide into the airport at the end of its flight from Beijing. Prime Minister Gordon Brown was waiting to take off to fly, co-incidentally, to China.

I've been in a serious plane incident myself once, in the desert, when an engine caught fire and our pilot had to dump all the fuel and land on one engine without the air brakes. I've nothing but admiration for the aircrew in these tough situations.

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London Bloggers Meet Up


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delurk and delightful

delurk.pngAccording to bobkat its delurking week. Go on...leave a comment or a blog address. I'll drop round and leave a comment and you'll get another link!

keep taking the tablets

red blueI was reading about the Cigbook novels used as a cigarette substitute across at keyholesurgery when I realized that here was another recent blogger in need of a few visitors.
mp3-taserI'm sure a few passing commenteers can help 'unlock' this new site. Its a lot better than the mp3 taser announced a few days ago.
cracking up

Wednesday 16 January 2008

call out the instigator

I was a little bit off a week ago with my guesses about the new apple things from Mac World, where the real answers were Mac video rentals (got that right), new apple TV unit (got that right also) and the headline act in the form of the rather slim MacBook Air (didn't get that). Its quite impressive how Apple manage to keep their new products secret until launch date and that even the better pundits seem to only get a few items right and usually miss the main one.

I'm not planning to stand in a queue for the new things anytime soon and even the new Time Capsule is like rashbre central's LAn attached Time Machine backup of any friendly macs in the neighborhood.

My sundry bits of PC kit progressively grind to a slowdown after about 18 months because of registry bloat, defragmentation problems, memory leaks and other general weirdness including a disdain to improve performance after routine upgrades. Comparatively, even my oldest Mac Powerbook still runs pretty much like new, supports most of the latest versions of Mac software and still edits video like a professional configuration.

I'm pretty sure that some of this new Apple stuff will have good general appeal and I'll be interested to see if mac manages to become more mainstream via iPhone, iTouch, MacBook and so forth rather than its still (undeserved) slightly edge position with most folk.

Tuesday 15 January 2008


hotel rival
Flying back on a plane from Stockholm listening to castaways and cutouts by the Decemberists on the iPod. Feeling one beer chilled after a couple of days of back to back meetings.

We started Sunday with random meetings in the late evening at a trendy boutique hotel owned improbably by Benny from ABBA. We were so late arriving that the hotel bar had already closed provoking a little excuse for us all to wander out to find a nearby bar. I asked the guy in the corner shop and he suggested a place at number 18.

Ten minutes, roped sidewalk and then inside with guitar band already rocking to an appreciative crowd. Tables and five beers ordered along with a scan for food. We'd arrived from USA, UK and Belgium on airline snacklets so the burgers beckoned as the best bet. Fifteen minutes and we are all congratulating one another on the serendipitous venue.

Next morning's seven o'clock start with the rest of the gang was suitable shock to the system with the bundle into taxis across town to the day's rather elegant meeting room coincidentally also named abba complete with plasma television showing a crackling fire as digital welcome.
fem sma hus
Twelve hours later back in taxis to the downtown hotel then walk to the Gamla Stan old town to the five small houses for a traditional Swedish supper...

And so it has continued until this evening when I'm sitting on the BA flight back to UK, which departed early from sleek Arlanda airport to try to beat the headwinds. Which right now means I'm being bumped around at 30000 feet.

Monday 14 January 2008

other world?

fem sma hus
Sometimes everything clicks together well on a business trip abroad. This one has been like that, randomly spotting people I know (like three people I ran into at Heathrow) and then even a co-incidental arrival of someone in Stockholm so that we could share a cab into town.

Other times it can be wearisome, with delayed or lost bags and those accidents where someone forgets to set their alarm in the morning. So far, so good, though I have been using two separate alarms. Amusingly, when I mentioned this, two other regular travellers admitted to using two alarms on different phones and one said they used two alarms and the hotel television as well.

Reassuringly paranoid. My other fun thing was to notice that my hotel has my nationality listed as 'Other World'. Seems about right.

Sunday 13 January 2008

don't let the sun blast your shadow

smogTowards the end of last year I had some long working weeks, which then quietened down a few days before Christmas. Last week I was away for part of the time and also working with people in Texas, so things are getting lively again. I've spent several hours today at home engrossed in spreadsheets and various reports and then have another bunch of things to do Sunday before I head for the airport.

Then I'm off to Stockholm for a few days and as soon as I get back I've a fair amount of commitments to complete. The world spins back up to full speed quickly now after the end of year break and we've already had our 'launch session' and are getting back into the swing of things.

Different from some years when it could take a month or more to get fully organized.

So blogging will return to ten minutes per day, I suppose.

Saturday 12 January 2008

wide time

starbucks to go
This is more about "Wide Time" than iPhones and Starbucks, but I think it illustrates the idea quite well. I consider that we can think about things over a long time and also over wide time.

Wide time is when there's lots of small things happening at once that together combine to make a set of bigger changes. Like looking back at a film from the 1980s. In theory its not that long ago, but there's so many incremental changes that everything looks sort of -er- different. Typewriters, big spectacles, payphones, small wheeled cars, large shoulders and so on.

So Phil Lu's idea to be able to remote order frappacinos is an illustration of the mental increments that create the effects making the wide time changes. Latte anyone?
grande latte

Friday 11 January 2008

Lakh, or judgement?

tata nano
A cheap new car from the forecourt in the UK probably starts at around £6000 or $12000. A wheel at each corner, petrol driven, CD radio, basic wiggly mirrors, airbags, no air-con, manual winder windows, two doors and probably a hatchback shape.

So this Tata Nano just launched in India is an interesting development. £1,277, if you convert the 100,000 rupees (1 Lakh) to GBP. Add on UK tax etc and I suppose it would be about £1,800. Petrolheads say it would be closer to £4,000 by the time it got to the UK, because it would need air-con and a few other modifications, like wheel bearings that can survive over 45mph and I suppose emission control, airbags, a safety shell and maybe some welding of some of the glued parts might also be needed.
Its an interesting dilemma though. Making something which is supposed to cut down the number of full family scooter outings in India, by popping them into a car with a two stroke 33bhp engine. With the increase of the new middle class in India, the transition from scooter to car is the next thing. But there's still the gap between those in families who have some form of foreign funded job (eg in the world of outsourcing) estimated at some 200 million and the other 800 million people who survive on less than 50 pence per day. Seven cars per thousand people in India, 480 in USA and 370 here in UK.
So if Tata and Bajaj (who make the Indian scooters) start pushing out Bosch-engined, non-emission managed cars for 100,000 rupees, there's going to be all kinds of knock-on effects framed in terms of the low carbon agenda, safety, crime and traffic management. Transformational - yes - unintended consequences? we shall see.
Meantime, rashbre central's motor fleet shall continue to feature a Ford Ka.

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moving wallpaper

echo beach
I've just been reading 'The Gum Thief' by Douglas Coupland. My version has the pretend novel 'Glove Pond' with it, which is written by one of the characters in the Staples store where the main novel is set. Its a clever idea wrapping a fiction inside a fiction (Midsummer Night's Dream, anyone?) and the new television drama by the folk who produced 'Life on Mars' does the same thing.

First there is a television episode about the writing of a creaking generic TV soap set in Cornwall stuffed with stock characters and a plot-line as wobbly as the set walls. The beleaguered producer decides to go after every populist drama award category in a series of tick the box episodes of a made-over version of the soap, where the ratings demographic is based upon the views of a single twenty-something female office assistant.

And then there's the show itself, renamed from Polsomething to Echo Beach now with supersaturated yellow sunny beaches and retro VW camper vans against a backdrop of hyper-fit surfers. Stilted acting reminiscent of old school soap, real soap star cameos and the money from the soundstages diverted to the producer's office furnishings.

I watched this entertaining pair of programmes thinking it was a two parter - I've just noticed they are implying a full series. It will be interesting to see whether the running joke can survive.

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Thursday 10 January 2008

frontier dressing

orbital outfitters IS3CMy previous post about Apple might be a bit space aged for some, so I thought I'd turn briefly to the business section for other news.

Today's launch (no pun) of the new IS3C space suit from Orbital Outfitters caught my eye. I suppose the high visibility colour has something to do with it. I'm intrigued that for something so 'high tech' it looks a little bit like something one would make for a carnival procession. I'm told these can be hired though, which I suppose implies a great deal of confidence from the providers that they will be used for two way trips.

In true wild west frontiers terms, the main action around space travel is in the 'new space' sector of business, but its notable that some of the early companies like Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) seem to be providing capabilities which have sort of defence related implications.

I suppose its best to be safe up there.

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apple predictions 2008

mac tablet
azerty is a slight giveaway this ain't American, comme-ci, comme ├ža
Apple sent me their announcement about the new Mac Pro in Japanese. It was still surprisingly readable, considering the language differences. rashbre central is made on a mac, so if that Japanese thing is a pre Mac World announcement, what else have they got up their kimonos for next week's show?
macbook air
Just for fun, my Thursday Thirteen guesses/suggestions:

1. Mac movie Rentals - iView? obviously as a new revenue model
2. Mac touch tablet device based on iPhone -iTablet? -iSlice?
3. iPhone update 16Gb and 32GB
4. iTV with blue ray inc DVD recorder/improved media center/Mac mini integration (just like I've already done)
5. OLED (touch) cinema screen
6. Glass reconfigurable keyboard using iPhone technology (maybe not)
7. Aluminium keyboard with touch area -or alu mouse
8. Sundry speed bumps and thinning of form factors
9. Matt screens for the iMacs (please) - unless the iMacs go touch sensitive
10. more slave technology to let one device run another (e.g.) iPhone runs a mac?
11. iMovie2 is as good as iMovie HD was
12. iGames - for the iPhone including Nintendo tie-in
13. firmware upgrade for iPhone to shoot video and support .mac

Any other ideas?
mac pad?

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Wednesday 9 January 2008

safe handling of alien objects

safe handling of alien objects
For whatever reason, I've been getting searches about alien objects recently. I thought I'd make it easier to find some sensible guidelines. Shields down, warp to Sector 5,3 and easy on the parsecs.

john peel sessions

peel sessionsI noticed that the BBC has put a fair number of John Peel Sessions on line now, although the ones from the late 1990s and into the 2000s seem to be track listings only without actual tracks to play.

I've picked a few live track extracts available for some of the well known bands, just as an example of the type of material available. Certainly worth a look and a listen. Every so often the BBC seem to isue a complete CD of one of the sessions.

billy bragg cat power david bowie faces jimi hendrix nirvana pj harvey pink floyd pulp t.rex top 125 gigs

Tuesday 8 January 2008

rana picada - dadaist rock

rana picada
It seems ages since I partook of chocolate and vodka, so I thought I'd sip this evening and yippee - a meme from WhatIFoundThere, the Dadaist rock band album cover meme:

1. The first article title on the Wikipedia Random Articles page is the name of your band.

2. The last four words of the very last quotation on the Random Quotations page is the title of your album.

3. The third picture in Flickr's Interesting Photos From The Last 7 Days any nice appropriately Creative Commons licensed photo will be your album cover.

4. Use your graphics programme of choice to throw them together, and post the result.

So, although I've broken the rules very slightly by using two pix together (thank you Mc Beth and Beautification Syndrome - the pix were too good to choose between. I suppose I'd better make some genre specific tracks so that its like a proper CD.

Track 3 : memetic eight
Track 5 : higher fire distortion (tx christina x)
Track 7 : ring modulation psychotic dadaism

So c'mon budding cover art designers - give it a try!

Monday 7 January 2008

frog robin plumber season

treefrog.jpgBack to normality this week. Whatever that means.

I'm admiring the Spring-like sunshine out of the window today whilst working from home, and also knowing that half an hour ago there was a kind of sleety-snow drifting around in a rather grey sky. Now its sunny-bright and the robin is oscillating between the fence, table and wall again, which I believe is its way of showing territory.

And rashbre central has been noisy today, with earlier busy cleaning sounds to ensure the needles from the tree disappear from the carpet and right now the gentle tap-tap of Mark the plumber who is fixing various taps and pipes in between discussing rainforest frogs and ways to make an environmental difference.

I'm mainly 'heads down' on an assignment, and then later in the week disappear back into the world of hotel meetings before catching my first flight of the year at the weekend.

Sunday 6 January 2008


light path
I dismantled the christmas tree today, all the dex are ready to be boxed for next year and the lights have been tangled into a carrier bag as a time delay for the next season. It's my last excuse to post pictures of illuminations but also a point for reflection.

I'd decided not to set up lists of resolutions to break by next week, but I think the picture provides some thoughts.

Firstly, it was taken whilst fooling in great company on the way to some revelry during the festive season. There's an obvious path leading forward, but there's also a lot of semi hidden side turnings, which could be worth exploration. There's some bright sparkly lights, places to sit and muse, some signage which could provide clues and an array of possibilities in the various windows, with only one apparently shuttered view.

I hope its a good metaphor for 2008.

I'm also going to add the 'strangers' clicky to rashbre central which I spotted at elby's, as a way to branch from the main route (not just in blogworld).

But for now, its time to reset everything for another exciting year.

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