Archive for July, 2009

The fox’s bushy tail

Nice. Makers of Firefox addons are now allowed (officially) to ask for donations. I have a hunch this is all part of the increasing need for major developers to collect a happy band of roving talent around their offerings, as a relatively free market for small ‘widget’ style apps hots up. On the Mozilla site, […]

Dead motherboard

Yerk! After 3½ years, a dead motherboard/CPU! After tinkering in vain with the CMOS battery / motherboard jumpers, I bought new kit from my local Maplins — a new motherboard plus a new faster CPU and faster RAM. My PC is now tootlin’ along fine. And de-dusting the CPU fan every six months is now […]

Voyage to the Moon

Google adds the Moon to Google Earth… “Just click the planet button on the top toolbar of Google Earth, and choose Moon. You’ll be flown to the Moon, at which point you have all the usual Google Earth controls”

My other blog

For those interested in academic publishing and academic search, I’m now also blogging a lot over at my JURN blog.

37% unemployment in Birmingham

New and apparently official figures for the unemployment rate in Birmingham… “37 per cent of adults of working age in the city do not have jobs” This compares to the peak of 76,000 unemployed (around 18 per cent of the working population) in August 1931 in Birmingham, during the Great Depression. Although the two figures […]

Monkeying around

My kind of fiendish puzzle-game… “By pressing a button, the game will give up to three tiers of hints. The last tier reveals a massive yellow arrow and the complete answer to whatever you’re currently doing.”


A Ning site, West Midlands Amb:IT:ion Digital Opportunities Network, for… “West Midlands arts organisations who proactively consider digital development as key to artistic, operational and business sustainability.” Yorkshire and the North East also have near-identical Ning website for their Amb:IT:ion schemes. Two Arts Council reports have just been published on the website, as part of […]


We’re more than half way through the year, so I’ve reversed the order of my West Mids events in 2009 listing. Three fab events coming up soon, assuming you’re not on holiday in August… 15th August 09. Multipack big day. Jephson Gardens, Leamington Spa. Multipack are the group for web producers and designers in the […]

Show off

The Art News­paper has undertaken a May/June 2009 survey… “a growing number of exhibitions are being cancelled because of the recession. We have identified over 20 important shows that have been axed (or, in a few cases, postponed) later this year or in 2010. Our list almost certainly represents the tip of the iceberg. Many […]

Picture pods

The excellent Lensculture adds 40 audio interviews with photographers. And talking of pictures, Pictaculous gives you a colour palette based on the picture you just uploaded. Could be useful for colour-coordinated Autumn clothes shopping, as well as for designers.

Transactional art

Ooops. The Head of Finance at the Dutch equivalent of the Arts Council has run off with all the cash. Still, it could be worse — they could have found a £100-million black hole in the culture budget. Like our own DCMS just has.

Search Amazon Listmania! lists

I made a new search engine to search Amazon’s Listmania! lists. You can simultaneously search user-created lists on Amazon websites in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, and use all the usual Google search modifiers such as intitle:keyword — making it far more useful than Amazon’s own deeply-buried Listmania search option (which only searches your nation’s […]


How to make the University of Birmingham sexy? “To the cognoscenti, the original redbrick university may have one of the loveliest campuses of the Russell Group and its finances may be rudely healthy, but it remains unfashionable in the minds of students.” Free JSTOR access for all alumni might be a small part of the […]

Mac flasher

Terry Grimley gets a quick peek inside the half-refurbed Midlands Arts Centre.


I’d have to rack my brains to remember when I last saw a new search-engine that I was more than mildly impressed by, but Spezify has just launched with an impressive and different take on delivering search results. It’s primarily a visual search-engine aimed at designers and creatives, but also slips in relevant text and […]

Birmingham’s Victorian Architects

Birmingham’s Victorian Society is preparing for a book launch and symposium on 26th September 09. Birmingham’s Victorian Architects, is not yet available for pre-order on Amazon, but apparently it’s a survey of “26 architects who defined Victorian Birmingham” and has been designed by Oblong in Yorkshire. Talking of which, a well-made new blog celebrates Victorian […]

Furnishing stories

The V&A has an interesting-looking free exhibition in London, Telling Tales, on now and set to be a key part of the London Design Festival in September 09… “This exhibition explores the recent trend among European designers for unique or limited edition pieces that push the boundaries between art and design. […] all inspired by […]

The height of paranoia

Kent Police arrest a photographer for being “too tall”.

£44.97 for Windows 7

Windows 7 is now on pre-order in the UK — while stock last (Microsoft has set a cap) — at a bargain £44.97 (for delivery in three months). I’m very pleased with the Windows 7 RC trial version, and would never go back to Vista or XP now. Update: it seems it was worth staying […]


I’m always interested to read about games that try to break with “the videogame look”, such as Okami, MadWorld, Patapon, etc. Limbo looks rather elegant. It’s a b&w silhouette-style platformer game, which appears to have been in development since 2006, and which is apparently pencilled in for a 2009 release.