January, 2009

  • Steve Clayton

    Jason Langridge’s New Blog



    My blogging chum Jason Langridge has a new home for his Mr Mobile Blog – links and RSS feeds have changed accordingly but his subject matter and expertise on it stays the same

  • Steve Clayton

    Ambient News


    I’ve been playing with Firefox a little more than usual of late and came across this interesting little extension called Ambient News from Atul Varma that aims to provide a non intrusive way to give you updates on sites you visit frequently. Each time you open a new tab in FF it gives you a view similar to above – all very calmly faded in.

    I’m not sure if it’ll be something I’ll use a lot but I do like the serendipity of it as it uses FF’s Places subsystem to figure out where I have been a what I’ll likely be interested in.

    Definitely worth a play.

  • Steve Clayton

    Seriously Great TV


    I don’t watch much TV these days – my time is more likely spent surfing the web, monitoring Twitter and posting on this blog. I think I prefer two way mediums.

    However, the last 4 nights have offered some of the best TV I have watched in a long time. I’m referring to The Royal Institution Lectures that I mentioned earlier in the week. They have been showing each night this week on Channel 5 here in the UK and presented by Chris Bishop from Microsoft Research. I’ve bored anyone who is prepared to listen about them for the last 48 hours for their brilliance in making some of the complexities of computing both fun and interesting. 

    This is how computing and science really ought to be taught and I think Chris and the team just raised the bar significantly. I also love the fact that he has had the opportunity to show some of the smart work at Microsoft on products like Surface and SenseCam without it ever coming across as an advert for Microsoft. He’s also liberally referred to and show products from Apple and Sony amongst others.

    • Check out Lecture 1 for how microchips are made on silicon using rice as an example.
    • Check out Lecture 2 for some great demos of Surface that are met with gasps from the audience and if like me, you don’t really knew who LCD’s work a brilliant 5 minute practical example explains.
    • Lecture 3 has a great physics experiment where Chris risks his life in front of the audience.
    • Oh and Lecture 3 has a guest via satellite link – none other than Bill Gates.
    • Lecture 4 was all about untangling the web and though I enjoyed this one, it wasn’t as good as the first 3. Still worth a watch for some clever ways to discuss encryption on the web.

    Seriously great, great television that has me on the edge of me seat and smiling in wonderment like a child myself. Hats off to the team at MSR and RI along with Chris. Compelling and proud viewing which you can now get on demand from 5 with two more lectures to come.

    If you have time to watch this, you really ought to treat yourself. If you have kids and they have any interest in science or computing you owe it to them to have them watch it. Trust me, they’ll love it.

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