Personal: Sunday’s Scribblings

November 24th, 2002 by Richard Bairwell 4 comments »

[Pot Noodle]Hmm, it seems to be a slow day for bloggers today – of all the 15 entries currently on my BlogRoll, only Ain’t Too Proud to Blog and Ciaran have updated their blogs today: and they were at 3.15am and 9.19am respectively. Com’on guys – it’s the weekend, give me something to read :)

Whilst I still have no idea who Kim is, I did speak to my green-eyed southern friend (GESF) for a bit which brightened up my day. We had a good laugh, but I didn’t appreciate her blowing a whistle down the phone line to me! Ouch! We couldn’t talk for long though as we were both in the midst of making dinner- but I’ve got to remember the 19th of December as I’m going to send her a birthday card, Christmas card (for her and her flatmate) and presents: but what exactly, I’m not sure….

Apart from that, my parent’s came round this morning for their fortnightly visit (getting me out of bed as per usual :( ) – and apart from discussing Crimbo and them muttering that my house could be cleaner (yep, I’ve let it “go” a little bit: but I’m going to start really cleaning in the next few days when I get time) not much was said. I’ve just a list of 7 new DVDs to order from Amazon.co.uk for them – thank goodness Amazon still have the “free delivery” offer on!

Oh – also went down the shop to try and grab some more chocolate, but they’ve ran out of the special offer stuff at the moment (it’s actually 200g bars for 85p), but I grabbed a few other bits and bobs whilst I was down there which is good.

And I’ve also found time to make a couple of minor modifications to my blog – the webcam now appears in a funky pop-up window, a thumbnail of the webcam appears on the front page (before it used to be just the “main” image resized – at around 50K, but now a little script generates a nice bandwidth-friendly 4K thumbnail), and I’m trying to put a little “icon” type image to the top-left of each blog entry to try and help break-up all the text. Any comments if people like/dislike this practise would be welcomed :)

Anyway – gotta go now, my big dinner is nearly ready (I’ve only had a Pot Noodle all day today so I’m hungry).

Spam: SpamCop Statistics

November 24th, 2002 by Richard Bairwell No comments »

[Spamcop]Well, it’s now been a week since I started using SpamCop in a ‘paid for sense’ to report unsolicited email that I’ve been receiving, and the statistics are quite scary. In a recent deluge of spam, I got 245 messages – of those I report only 16 of them to SpamCop (6.53%): and that’s just about average for me. Exactly a week ago (give or take a few minutes), I “purchased” 25Mb of SpamCop usage, I’ve now only got 22.6Mb left. That means my “average usage rate” is 3.93 bytes/per second or 10.2Mb a month or 123.9Mb a year.

Now, remember that I only report an average of 6% to SpamCop, that means that I get around 65.5bytes of spam per second, 3.83Kb per minute, 230Kb of spam per hour, and 5.53 Mb of spam per day. That’s a lot of crap in my mailbox :( Now to escalate that up to a yearly figure and I receive around 2.02Gb of spam! Sheesh! That’s over 3 CDs full of spam. Take in to account all the bandwidth and storage fees – PLUS my time spent sorting through it all (you could also include the SpamCop reporting fee) and it does add up: so much for the spammers excuse that “you shouldn’t complain as it doesn’t cost you anything”….

Oh yes, and because of an article on Slashdot, I’m now CC’ing most of the reports I send to SpamCop to SpamArchive. I don’t know what they are planning on doing with all the spam that gets sent to [email protected], but at least they’re getting lots of it now :)

Now, if I could only get my hands on people like Alan Ralsky and Laura Betterly (two big time spammers) *grr*. If any spammers (or, if you must, “senders of unsolicited commercial or bulk email”) are reading this: I DO NOT buy ANYTHING that has been advertised via these methods and I DO report it to your ISPs. Please stop wasting my time, your time and your ISPs…

TV: Have I Got News For You

November 24th, 2002 by Richard Bairwell 1 comment »

angusdeayton.jpgFriday night’s (repeated last night) episode of Have I Got News For You was the best yet since Angus Deayton was “forced to leave” after “tabloid revelations” about his personal life. Whilst I must admit I feel that people’s personal life should be personal (unless _they_ decide parts of it should be public) and whilst I think what was revealed about his personal life wasn’t too horrific (ok, he _did_ have an affair which is bad – but working in the “media business” and taking cocaine: hardly front-page news is it?) it did make his position on the show a bit “uncomfortable” as it did seem to be more about “take the mickey out of the host” rather than “take the mickey out of the news” (which is what the show is about IMHO). Admittedly, he was _in_ the news, but you cannot have a satirical news quiz that it mainly about satirical jokes at the participants expense.

For exactly that reason, I felt it was such a bad idea to have Anne Robinson (of The Weakest Link and Watchdog fame) hosting it. Paul and Ian just took p–s out of her background with Robert Maxwell. However, I felt that this week’s host John Sergeant was practically ideal for the role – only thing I didn’t like was his voice was a little bit too deep or slow for my liking (I’m still trying to figure out exactly what it was that made his voice sound “off”, but…). Personally, I wouldn’t mind John becoming the show’s new permanent host.

Oh, and I think it was also the first time I heard reference to a certain magazine. Basically John (hosting the show) said to Ian (one of the team captains if you didn’t know) – “Let’s try and keep things accurate shall we?” and Paul retorted with “You do realise you are talking to the editor of Private Eye?”. (a certain Ian Hislop is the editor of that ‘esteemed organ’ and, yep, I am a subscriber).

And I also caught Wobble and Bob on MTV last night – be warned that all the TV guides and teletext say that it’s on at 21:55 – but it isn’t. Since the show is only around 1minute long, but the guides are setup for 5 minute intervals, it’s more like 21.58 – when I settled down to watch the very first episode “Pie!” I did get worried that they had cancelled/moved it, but it came on just before Jackass (and I’ve already seen “Jackass – The Movie“, but a review of that will be coming after the long promised Harry Potter one…)

Game: Insaniquarium

November 24th, 2002 by Richard Bairwell 20 comments »

[Insaniquarium screenshot]
*sigh* It’s been ages since I’ve played the Java Insaniquarium Fishtank game. Basically, in the game (written by those folks at “Flying Bear Entertainment”) you’ve just got to feed your fishes and get them to grow up. Once they reach a certain size, they start dropping money which you can use to buy more food, buy more guppies or buy egg-shells (once you’ve got 3 pieces of egg-shell you move onto the next level). Sounds simple – but once you get onto the harder levels and you’ve got around 15 guppies, 5 carnivores, various star catchers and then 2 damn aliens come along – things begin to get slightly tricky…

Books: Whoo! I influenced Gretchen!

November 24th, 2002 by Richard Bairwell No comments »

[Image of Gretchen Pirillo]It seems I’ve managed to influence Gretchen Pirillo (whose husband Chris runs LockerGnome and who appears on the USA TechTv show Call For Help) on which books to read. She asked for suggestions, and I suggested she read some of Robin Cook‘s books: and she got “Abduction” from the library. Yea me! (even though I haven’t got that particular book). Now I’ve just got to get her to link to my blog like Neil/totalxsive has somehow made Chris:) Oh – I do read all three of their blogs anyway so…

Just for the record, the Robin Cook books I have got are as follows: “Acceptable Risk“, “Blindsight“, “Brain“, “Chromosome 6“, “Coma“, “Contagion“, “Fatal Cure“, “Godplayer“, “Harmful Intent“, “Invasion“, “Mind Bend“, “Mortal Fear“, “Mutation” and “Vital Signs” and I’ve also got “Sphinx” and “Vector” on order – so if anybody was thinking of getting me any of those for Christmas, DON’T – get me another book or something (hint hint) :)

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