Yesterday I went to Microsoft Reasearch in Cambridge to give one of the annual Christmas lectures to 250 students who are in their last year of A levels, I did the same last year and didn’t offend anyone so they invited me back. As usual I was really impressed by the students who have a confidence and awareness that I could only dream about at that age.
My talk was about Microsoft and Gadgets, all the things MS does OS wise that doesn’t include XP, Vista or Server 2003, so Windows Mobile, Xbox, Embedded and general industry trends, I even got a mention in for Zune. There was an interesting panel Q&A session at the end, the questions touched on the enviroment, technological progress (is it all good?) and a left fielder about ‘True Skill’ implementation in Gears of War.
I wonder why they always put me on last though?
It was sad to hear yesterday of the death of Radio 4 journalist Nick Clark. He’ll be best remember as the presenter of ‘The World at One’ and was quite frankly a broadcasting deity.
I’ll miss him.
As I mentioned a while ago Hornby have stepped in and purchased what was left of Airfix for £2.6 Million. Seems to me like a bit of a bargain but I guess it shows just how far Airfix has fallen, however it seems like a good fit and makes a useful extension to Hornbys other model related enterprises.
Let’s hear it for Ramsgate.
On hols this week and next trying to catch a little R&R and carry out some long forgotten DIY. But as Mrs C has just finished the exams for the 2nd year of her OU degree I though it’d be great to get away for a few days somewhere posh. There was only one place that came to mind as we’d been a few times before and that’s Bailiffscourt…they even let us take the hound.
Google’s recent purchase of YouTube on the surface seems a clever move by the current ‘internet darling’, the audience is huge and by association so is the advertising potential. The guys who started YouTube, Chad Hurley and Steven Chen seem have only just started to shave, pop about $100 million in their piggy banks, the VCs who invested will be chuffed and various law firms have probably glazed over thinking of the copyright bun fights about to break out over content posted on YouTube. Anyone remember Google’s attempt to index and make available books and other printed content online?
The purchase has unsurprisingly divided opinion. Some feel that Google will end up fighting constant copyright battles as everyone with a grievance about intellectual property, real or imagined, comes knocking for a payout. Some of the content may even see Google run into problems with Governements or religious groups due to it’s ‘offensive’ nature, I bet it doesn’t take too long before the Google mantra “Do no Evil” is used against them. But as some point out litigation is an occupational hazard for many large and successful organisations, so Google must know the potential stormy waters into which they sail.
Also there is the ‘cool’ status that YouTube has. Certainly for Internet based organisations it is by and large inversely proportional to commercial success so Google will have to tread carefully if they don’t want the fickle and anarchic Internet community to jump ship to some other internet site that is about to reach it’s tipping point.
Personally I hope it works for them, this kind of deal and the potential it creates forces other companies, entrepreneurs and users to think in more clever or possibly stupid ways.
Every year the IT industry decamps to Cowes on the Isle of Wight, jumps on some yachts and takes to the water to raise lots of money for charity. I went last year for the first time and didn’t make too much of a show of myself so that I was invited back this time to bring my undoubted sailing prowess to bear on the boat sponsored by my chums at O2.
Whereas last year the weather was windy and the Solent rough, hence an unscheduled reintroduction to my breakfast, this year the wind was lucky to get into double figures knot wise, but even the addition of torrential rain mid morning did nothing to dampen the crew of Sunsail 18′s spirit. We all had a great day on the water ably captained by Ben the er…Captain. We didn’t win but that was hardly the point although Nigel from O2 was keen to remind us we did beat at least one of the Orange boats.
To add to the fun and to make up for the walking pace we’d managed in the morning we all had a spin in the Windows Mobile sponsored power boat. At fifty two knots I was wondering if next year all the boats could all have similiar Honda 175s strapped to the sterns just incase.
Oh and whoever named the lodges we stayed in ‘Gurnard Pines’ has never seen one, a Gurnard that is, as the accomodation was spacious and well appointed. Gurnards do make nice fish cakes though.
Now I’m all for a little forgiveness as we all make mistakes and I for one have honed it to a fine art, not one day goes past one I don’t have a few unintended errors and every now and then commit some kind of monster faux pas. But like junk food or caffeine you can have have too much forgiveness and based upon the number of pictures I saw of Kate Moss in the Sunday supplements she is up to her shapely neck in exculpation. It appears there isn’t one fashion label that isn’t using her as part of an a campaign to push some apirational fashion item or other. And what has fuelled this turn around in the fortunes of Pete Doherty’s on/off girlfriend, who only a few months ago was photographed inhaling a line of ‘myterious’ white power? I for one was never convinced it was the contents of a Sherbert Dipper. Well in certain industries a love of Colombian Marching Powder is not seen as career limiting and of course the world of fashion spins on it’s axis due to artificial stimulants, also as London Fashion week will show the inability to keep down a decent meal is no barrier to success either.
So where did I go wrong then? Well for one I’m no looker so fashion is out (and I like my food too much) and for second my guitar playing is truly dreadful.
Just when you think small mindedness, often in guise of Heath and Saftey, has sunk as low as it can go someone comes along and trumps it. This time it’s Bristol Council who have told residents of a block of flats to remove their door mats as they are a clear and present danger or ‘tripping’ hazard. I don’t live in Bristol but I bet the fine yeomanry of that fair city have a few million things they’d like the council to do before it turns the Local Govenment big guns on the humble door mat.
Now unless you have recently arrived from some exotic planet the other side of the recently demoted Pluto, you’ll probably be aware the of the long tradition of door mats viz-a-vie their proximity to front doors, and take appropriate diversionary action when approaching an abodes main ingress point.
There’s a hand cart on its way to hell rumbling past soon. Feel free to jump on.
I can’t have been the only person who shed a tear on hearing the news that Airfix has finally gone into administration. The memories of scraping together the few pennies needed to buy a Series 1 kits that came in small plastic bags are still pretty vivid and the excitement of getting a larger kit that came in a box, well as a ten year old things didn’t get better than that! It might be a sad admission but I’ve never lost my fascination with Airfix and its compatriots like Revell, Heller and Japanese uber kit make Tamiya. I’m also sure also if it wasn’t for companies like these I’m have never tried to rebuild a 1965 Triumph Vitesse (full scale) and lost as much money as Airfix have done of late.
The demise has been put down to the usual mix of computer games, the internet, the modern need for instant gratification and the fracturing of the mythical nuclear family but it’s much simpler than that as the continued success of the aforementioned Tamiya proves. Make high quality products people want to buy…or am I missing the point.
However there might be light at the end of the tunnel, a OO gauge one to be sure, as rumour has it that Hornby the phoenix of the toy industry might be interested in picking up the Airfix name and hopefully the moulds and tooling from current owners Humbrol. And let’s not forget however that in all of this glue vapour induced nostalgia there are peoples livelihoods at stake and it’s for them that Airfix should truly be remembered.
After getting all excited and importing my old blog content I found it wasn’t as great as I thought.
So sod it.
I’ve deleted the imported entries and I’ll add a link to the Blogroll in the highly unlikey event anyone will want to read it.