Windows desktop replacements

Good to hear that Linux founder Linus Torvalds “Still wants the desktop” for Linux. I’m currently looking at Linux + WINE, and also the interesting reverse-engineered ‘open Windows’ ReactOS as future desktop OS replacements for Windows circa 2015.

Out of Bounds

Jon Bounds’s guide on how to avoid students in Birmingham, during those heady 21 days before their bank account is drained by iPads, rent advances, textbooks, their local Bargain Booze, and posting boxes of washing back home.

Two-year videogames production degree

A new two-year ‘intensive’ videogames production course, in Birmingham: B.Sc. degree in Interactive Entertainment (Games Development).

Frothy coffees

Ah, London. The great coffee, the wi-fi so strong your coffee spoons vibrate with it. Or perhaps not…

“Why bother going to all that trouble to shield a coffee shop from Wi-Fi when pretty much the whole of London E1 and E2 postal codes have been successfully achieving exactly the same thing for the last few years through sheer apathy?”

The whole coffee shop concept is so ripe for re-invention, with the aid of technology, these days. And cats.

Pods in Brum

UK Podcasting Conference 2014 in Birmingham on Saturday 16th August 2014. Hotel La Tour, Albert Street, Birmingham city centre.

Out of the box

The race for local TV in Birmingham is up in the air, as the winner has gone bust before even launching the service.

Shake, edit, and roll…

Microsoft fixes amateur camera-shake with its new HyperLapse. Disney unveils a bot that can auto-edit footage from multiple social cameras (aka “me an’ my mates”).

Google Public DNS

Does your ISP have crappy or censored DNS resolving? How to switch your ISP’s DNS server to use Google Public DNS, in Windows.

Face it…

For every action, a reaction. Face-recognition privacy-invasion spurs new youth fashion looks that defeat facial recognition technology.


Latest Microsoft update totally destroys Office, Publisher

What the hell is happening at Microsoft? They have totally botched yet another update/patch, making Microsoft Office and Publisher un-startable. Their advice: open the Office program you can’t open, and update from there. Seriously? Or… just completely reinstall the software. /Sigh/



B-Side Brum: 150 long-list

B-Side Brum, the long-list of 150 tracks. No Terry and Gerry, so here they are with Reservation on Spotify. It’s a slow burner, the real singing starts around 3:30.

Rise of the bots

Our Work Here is Done: Visions of a Robot Economy, a new free ebook from the UK’s NESTA. PDF only: no bot can yet convert it to .mobi format for Kindle ebook readers. Which is kind of ironic. Or hopefully, depending on your point of view.

For the chop

“Algorithm automatically cuts the boring bits out of videos”. Godzilla now a twelve minute short…

“According to the fashion and the time”

Coole job in ye Midlands: Digital Innovation Programme Manager, at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford–upon-Avon.

Zeppelin relaunched

An excellent summary tribute article on Led Zeppelin (fronted by Robert Plant, from West Bromwich) to celebrate that the albums…

“Led Zeppelin,” “Led Zeppelin II” and “Led Zeppelin III” have recently been given deluxe reissues by Atlantic Records


Out the Windows

Microsoft’s patches appear to be getting even worse. Their most recent update has broken Microsoft Office for thousands of users. Perhaps it’s just as well I’m not getting them (I’m one of many not able to install the Windows 8.1 KB2919355 update patch, so Microsoft is no longer updating my OS for me). Seriously, Microsoft… after decades of being loyal to Windows, you’ve lost me with Windows 8 and then the Windows 8.1 update farce. I may be grudgingly looking at Windows 9 (or more likely at good ol’ Windows 7) next summer. But I’ll then be looking for a totally new OS with my next purchase of a desktop PC — it won’t be Windows.

The New Cultural Data Revolution

A one-day free event in Birmingham on “The New Cultural Data Revolution“, on Big Data and cultural institutions and groups. Loadsatickets currently available.

[Hat-tip: Chris Unitt]

“Use the Universal Translator, Spock…”

Microsoft is set to bring real-time audio translation to its audio/video chat application, Skype, by the end of 2014.

Survey off

Superb design, instantly ruined by a stupid survey pop-up that loads within milliseconds of you landing on the page. The sooner we have pop-up blockers that can reliably blank all this “oh, oh, take our survey!” and “take a look at another article, before you’ve finished reading this one!” cruft on magazine and newspaper websites, the better.


Better, a plugin that just bypasses the graphic design / ads / surveys / videos altogether, and just goes straight to the clean Instapaper version.

Break the frame

The great bard of Northampton is on the job of making open source, open access comics, with a little nudge from some of NESTA’s Digital R&D Fund dosh…

“we are assembling teams of the most cutting-edge creators in the industry and then allowing them input into the technical processes in order to create a new capacity for telling comic book stories. It will then be made freely available to all of the exciting emergent talent that is no doubt out there, just waiting to be given access to the technical toolkit that will enable them to create the comics of the future.”