Friday, December 31, 2010

London, Somerset, London, 29 & 30-12-10

London to Someret, 29-12-10
Alisha Rules The World - Alisha's Attic
I Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet - Gonzalez
Never Do A Tango With An Eskimo - Alma Cogan
Don't Stop Believin' - Glee Cast
I Love You Always Forever - Donna Lewis
I Think I'm In Love With You - Jessica Simpson
Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt. 1 - The Flaming Lips
I Can Talk - Two Door Cinema Club
Quiet Life (7" Version) - Japan
Where's me jumper - Sultans of Ping
Paper Planes - M.I.A. (XL)
Don't Cha - The Baseballs
Skinny (Radio Edit) - Lo Rider
Baby Loves Me - Eels
Give It (Radio Edit) - X-press 2 featuring Kurt Wagner
Tramp - Otis Redding & Carla Thomas
I Want You To Want Me - Letter To Cleo
Fancy Footwork - Chromeo
Bad Karma - Ida Maria
Superstar (Radio Edit) - Aeroplane
Look At Me (When I Rock Wichoo) - Black Kids
One More Time - Daft Punk
Get It Get It - Girl Talk
Moving to New York - The Wombats
If Loneliness Was Art - Allo Darlin'
Cauliflower - Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip
Golden Skans - Klaxons
How To Make Gravy - Paul Kelly
This Momentary - Delphic
All Night Garage - Joe Cornish
Baby (feat. Ludacris) - Justin Bieber
Rollin' (Ballad of Big and Rich) - Big & Rich
Electric - Melody Club
Dance The Way I Feel - Où Est Le Swimming Pool
A Bit Like You - Wubble-U
Rio - Duran Duran
88 Lines About 44 Women - Nails
No Social - The Shortwave Set
Charlton Heston - stump
Oh Lori - Alessi brothers
I Want an Alien for Christmas - Fountains of Wayne
It's Not Over Yet - Klaxons
Last Christmas - Jimmy Eat World
Shake It - Metro Station
My First Kiss - 3OH!3
iPod Xmas - Hello Saferide
Must Be Santa - Bob Dylan
Animal Rights - Deadmau5 & Wolfgang Gartner
Monster - The Automatic
Hungry Like The Wolf - Reel Big Fish
Big Wave - Jenny and Johnny
Birdhouse in your soul - They Might Be Giants (TMBG)
I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You - Black Kids
Have Yourself A Bitter Little Christmas - David Ford
Promise This (Mayday's Drum & Step Mix) - Cheryl Cole
Drunk Girls - LCD Soundsystem
Girls Girls Girls - Sailor

Somerset to London, 30-12-10
Won't Go Quietly (Radio Edit) - Example
Ugly Woman - The Mighty Bomber
Honky Tonk Badonkadonk - Trace Adkins
I Am Europe - Gonzales
Forget You - Cee Lo Green
Dance Floor - The Apples In Stereo
Just Like Christmas - Ingo Star Cruiser
Untouched (single) - The Veronicas
Seems Fine - The Concretes
Write About Love - Belle and Sebastian
Lonely Pup (In A Christmas Shop) - Adam Faith
Ruby - The Wurzels
Christmas Must Be Tonight - The Band
Give Him A Great Big Kiss - Shangri-Las
Who's That Chick? (feat. Rihanna) - David Guetta & Rihanna
Bitty Boppy Betty - Pink Martini
You're Moving Out Today - Carole Bayer Sager
Jessie's Girl - Rick Springfield
If I Can't Change Your Mind - Sugar
Secret Smile - Semisonic
It's Hard To Be Humble - Mac Davis
Green Light (Radio Edit) - Roll Deep
Video Killed The Radio Star - The Buggles
Your Hand In Mine - Liam Frost & Martha Wainwright
Beaches & Friends - French Horn Rebellion Vs. Database
A Bar In Amsterdam - Katzenjammer
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - Slow Club
Santa Claus Is Comin to Town - Joseph Spence
Christmas All Over Again - Tom Petty
It Takes A Muscle - M.I.A.
Rose Garden - Shad
Bleeding Love - The Baseballs
Love On A Mountain Top - Robert Knight
Everything's Gonna Be Cool This Christmas - Eels
Punching In a Dream (Single Version) - The Naked & Famous
Too Shy - Kajagoogoo
Nature Boy [Edit] - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
A Christmas Song - Shawn Phillips
Derezzed - Daft Punk
We Will Become Silhouettes - The Postal Service
Goo Goo Muck - Ronnie Cook & The Gaylads
She's So High - Tal Bachman
Hot N Cold - Katy Perry
All I Want For Christmas Is You - Mariah Carey
Your Love Is My Drug - Ke$ha
Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt (single) - We Are Scientists
You're Not Alone - Tinchy Stryder
Hey Ruby, Shut Your Mouth - Ruby and The Party Gang
Joy To The World - Aretha Franklin

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Luke 1:26-45

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David.

Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favoured woman. The Lord is with you”. Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.

“Don’t be afraid, Mary”, the angel told her, “for you have found favour with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end”.

Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin”.

The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age. People used to say she was barren, but she’s now in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God”.

Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true”. And then the angel left her.

A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honoured, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said”.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Comic Sans Appraised

Amusing and thoughtful site that focusses on the history, use and misuse of this much maligned font, along with a selection of free alternatives.

Thanks to Julie for the link

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Knife Sharpening Essentials

SFGate reports: [edited]

Eric E. Weiss sharpens knives for restaurants and caterers, and operates a booth at three weekly farmers' markets...

"I sharpen knives in two ways, one freehand and one with a jig that I've modified to suit my needs. A jig holds the knife like a clamp and it's attached to my table. It's like having a third hand, especially helpful with big knives."

"You should definitely be using a sharpening steel - the tool that comes with any knife set - every time you're done with your knife. Hold it straight up and down on your table. Start from the heel or the guard, depending on your knife, and draw it straight down at a 25-degree angle. Two or three times either side is all you need. More than that, you start removing your edge."

"Dishwashers are my No. 1 nemesis. People seem to think that any knife can be put in a dishwasher. But in fact it's like sandblasting your car in order to clean it. The knife is banging against the basket, getting chips, nicks, dents, dings. And if the knife has any sort of quality steel to it, the dishwasher can remove the edge in two, three washings."

"Some people think dull knives are better than sharp knives because they're safer. Wrong! You're pushing and exerting much more pressure on a dull knife. So when you finally break loose, in most cases, your fingers are in the way. A sharp knife will give you a clean cut. Skin cut from a dull knife is essentially torn skin and takes longer to heal."

"People ask me, "How complicated can it be, sharpening a knife?" As complicated as it is to build a good car! That's an exaggeration, but meaningful. Metallurgy has come so far just in the last 20 years that, compared to what used to be three, maybe four types of basic metals used, now there are 50-plus metals used for knives."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Robot Headphone Splitter reports: [edited]

A robot can be an especially helpful fellow. This little silver guy wants to facilitate the groove in your friendship and love. Turn up the jams and share music with a friend thanks to his mad earphone-splitting skills.

Compatible with any device with a 3.5 mm headphone socket such as MP3
players, PDAs and computers. Eyes of the robot are the headphone sockets. Includes key chain attachment.

Price: $14

Friday, December 17, 2010

Word Lens

Engadget reports: [edited]

Augmented reality and optical character recognition have just come into their own, beautifully intertwined into an instant translation app for the iPhone. Download Word Lens, pay £2.99 for a language pack, then point it at a sign and watch as it replaces every word with one in your native tongue.

We just gave it a spin, and while it's not quite as accurate as this video claims, it's still breathtaking to behold - especially as it doesn't require an internet connection to do any lookup. Sadly, it only translates to and from English and Spanish for now. Still, Babelfish, eat your heart out.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nikon D7000

Digital Photography Review have published an in-depth review of Nikon's latest 'pro-sumer' DSLR.

Precis of their conclusion:

"In most respects, the Nikon D7000 is an excellent enthusiast's DSLR. The camera produces great image quality in most shooting situations, and it shines in low light, providing (just about) useable images right up to its ISO ceiling of 25,600."

"Ultimately, the D7000's specification is hard to argue with. A newly developed, 16.3 MP resolution sensor, 6 frames per second continuous shooting, 1080p full HD video and an abundance of customization options place this camera firmly into the semi-pro segment of the market."

Price: £1200, including a 18-105mm lens.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Board Game Remix Kit

Board Game Remix Kit reports: [edited]

Liven up your Christmas by remixing the boardgames in your house to make brand new games.

The Boardgame Remix Kit works with all the great family favourites. It's got twenty five games that you can play using the boards and pieces you've [probably, Ed.] already got.

As well as smoothing out or speeding up a standard game, the kit can turn Monopoly [Monotony, Ed.] into a family poker tournament, Trivial Pursuit into a surrealist parlour game; Scrabble into fight between a wasp and a robot, and Cluedo into a zombie invasion.

Available as an eBook, real book, card set or iPhone App. For a sample PDF, click here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lunatik & TikTok iPod Nano watch straps

kickstarter+ reports: [edited]

The idea to use the Nano as a watch was an obvious one ever since the product was announced. We wanted to create a collection that was well designed, engineered and manufactured from premium materials and that complemented the impeccable quality of Apple products.

TikTok is a simple snap-in design. It allows the user to easily and securely snap the Nano into the wrist dock. It cleanly and simply integrates the Nano and transforms it into a modern multifunction timepiece.

LunaTik is designed and intended to be a premium conversion kit for someone that wants to dedicate their Nano to being a watch and the newest conversation piece with their friends. It is forged from Aerospace Grade Aluminum and then machined via CNC into its final form.

The straps are made from high grade silicone rubber and the hardware is solid stainless steel. The watch cases and straps will be produced in the same factories that produce the watches for companies like Nixon, Diesel, Vestal, and Nike.

TikTok will retail for $34.95 and LunaTik will retail for $69.95.

For an article on how Scott Wilson raised $500,000 for the project click here.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Miluira Retro Lekky Car

Boing Boing reports: [edited]

The Miluira Retro is a splendid-looking one-person electric vehicle, due to ship around March 2011. It will only go 35km on a charge at a top speed of 60km/h, and I'm sure it'll cost the world, [c.£50,000, Ed.] but you'll be the sharpest looking spendthrift on the road.

Friday, December 10, 2010

LG investigating 'quantum dot' TVs

Register Hardware reports: [edited]

LG is to co-operate in the development of quantum dot-derived LED TV displays capable of generating "brighter, richer colours" while consuming a fraction of the energy of today's LEDs.

The South Korean giant said it will work with QD Vision, the US developer of the electroluminescent quantum dot LED - aka QLEDs. The two will try to figure out how to build QD's sub-pixels into a large, flat-panel display matrix.

Quantum dots are semiconductor materials in which the electrons and positive holes are energetically confined in three spatial dimensions. They exist in nanocrystal structures made using a chemical deposition processes.

It's a tricky notion to get your head around unless you're a quantum mechanics boffin, but the upshot is that you apply a voltage to the things and they emit light. Crucially, the voltage is very low, and the light is of a very tight frequency band, resulting in very specific, accurate colours.

Combine electroluminescent quantum dot and a control mechanism and you have a QLED. QD has red, green, blue and yellow sub-pixel QLEDs that can be combined into a single, colour pixel.

Like OLEDs, QLEDs don't require a backlight, but being inorganic they are more stable than OLED pixels. QLED colours are 30-40 per cent more intense than OLEDs can produce, says QD. Since they generate light of a specific colour, they don't require filters to be placed in front of them, which, like the absence of a backlight, will allow very thin screens to be made from QLEDs. And cheaper ones too.

Indeed, QD reckons its QLEDs will not only be printable, but also able to be laid down on flexible substrates.

Thursday, December 09, 2010 reports: [edited] uses optimization techniques specific to image format to remove unnecessary bytes from image files. It is a lossless tool, which means it optimizes the images without changing their look or visual quality. reports how many bytes would be saved by optimizing the page's images and provides a downloadable zip file with the minimized image files.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Arcam rCube portable speaker system

Register Hardware have published a very positive review of Arcam's £500 high-end amp/speaker module.

Extracts follow:

"At 200mm square, the rCube is small for a premium speaker system... but, at 5kg, light it is not. That probably has something to do with the cast aluminium base and cabinet made from 12mm thick MDF."

"The touch-sensitive controls on the top of the unit have been kept to a minimum and simply let you turn the unit on, adjust the volume and activate the wireless streamer, about which more below. Everything else is managed from a remote."

"Buried in the aluminium base is a user replaceable rechargeable battery, so you can take the rCube anywhere you fancy and enjoy between two and eight hours of mains-free music. Recharging takes about one hour."

"Inside the cabinet are three amplifiers driving four speakers, two set into each side of the cabinet. That's a combination rated at 90W RMS – 35W from each mid-range driver and 10W from each tweeter – and is enough to fill even a large room with sound."

"No matter what I played on it – and I listened to everything from Nine Inch Nails to Carole King, and Tangerine Dream to Tannhauser – the reproduction was always a bright, clear, focused, taught, powerful and superbly detailed sound, that never failed to impress."

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

$1,000,000 Porsche Design Advent Calendar

GQ Magazine reports: [edited]

Each of the five in existence - one of which is available at Harrods, natch - stands at 1.75 metres tall, looks like something out of Tron: Legacy and has something arguably as good as Olivia Wilde in a skin-tight bodysuit behind each of the 24 windows.

The big-ticket items are a P'6910 Indicator Chronograph in rose gold, a fully customisable kitchen and an 8.5-metre RFF speedboat. Other good days include gold sunglasses, writing implements, cuff links and award-winning Bounce:S² running trainers so you can burn off that extra helping of Harrods Courvoisier VS brandy butter.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Tron Light Cycle: Yours for $55,000

Pocket Lint reports: [edited]

To celebrate the forthcoming release of Tron: Legacy, Florida bike shop Parker Brothers Choppers has built 10 custom-built Tron Light Cycle replicas.

The bikes are road-legal, and are constructed from a steel frame, fibreglass bodywork and a Suzuki TLR1000 V-twin engine. You get a choice between physical gauges or an iPad dock to display your statistics on the tablet’s touchscreen.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Publishers on iOS vs Android

Fast Company reports: [edited]

So what will it be, the iPad or an Android tablet? If you're a consumer, the choice might be tough. But if you're an app developer, says paidContent, the choice is simple: focus on the iPad. The reason? Google is preventing many Android tablets from embedding Android Market - thereby limiting publishers' ability to monetize.

“Setting up a paid in-app subscription is definitely harder on Android," according to Nic Newman, a tablet developer. What's more, “it’s not as obvious to publishers how they can make money easily through Android as with iPad - it’s a choice of one or the other. The road to monetization on Android is a lot more complex.”

Why is that? Because Apple is a one-stop shop: it makes both the machine and the iOS system that runs on it. Android, however, is just an operating system. Android phones and the forthcoming proliferation of Android tablets have various manufacturers.

With such a decentralized set-up, it appears that Google is trying to implement quality control. "You can have Android Market if it leads to good implementation," the company has said. Makers of Android tablets must contact Google's Android Compatibility Team in person, potentially slowing the development process.

If certain Android devices fail to earn the right to run Android Market, then consumers will likely opt for tablets that do acquire that certification - or skip Android altogether and run for the nearest iPad. It's not yet clear which side will win this battle for the hearts and minds of publishers and readers: Google-driven democracy or the Steve Jobs-led autocracy that is the Apple app store.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

'Enthusiast' compact camera group test

Digital Photography Review have published a group test of the Canon Powershot S95, Panasonic Lumix LX5 and Nikon Coolpix P7000.

A precis of the conclusions follows:

"...of the three, we're most impressed by the Canon S95 and Panasonic LX5, which combine excellent image quality with hassle-free ergonomics and genuinely compact bodies. The Nikon Coolpix P7000 turns out great images but is considerably larger and heavier, and- crucially - its poor operational speed is impossible to overlook... this makes it a profoundly unlikeable camera."

"As far as image quality... all of them are capable of detailed, colorful results in JPEG mode, and even in poor light, noise is well-controlled considering the size of their sensors... if we had to pick one camera purely on the basis of image quality we'd probably plump for the S95, for its sharp, detailed JPEGs."

"If you're looking for a genuinely 'compact' compact camera the Canon S95 is worth serious consideration. It's the smallest and least-expensive camera in this group, and it is comfortable and easy to use, as well as being slim enough to fit inside a shirt pocket."

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Orange offers iPad on the never-never...

Register Hardware reports: [edited]

Orange has announced how much it is prepared to subsidise the Apple iPad, and it pushes the entry-level fondle slab down below £200 with Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity.

You'll have to agree to pay Orange £27 a month for the next couple of years, less a couple of quid if you're already indentured to Orange. So, including the £200 down payment, you'll be handing over £848 for 1GB of data a month (plus 1GB of off-peak data).

Buy the same 16GB slab direct from Apple (£529), and pay O2 or Vodafone a tenner a month for a similar quantity of data (excepting the off-peak allowance), and you'll be paying out £769 overall - but that assumes you've got £529 burning a hole in your pocket now.