Monday Meal: The canadian army makes war to the mentally sane people

I’m not sure why, but the Sunday Roast has become almost a repository for all my research links lately. I think it’s time I resurrected my del.icio.us account! (Or tried Magnolia again – so pretty). For now though I’m just going to throw those weird social computing/archaeology/wiki/you-WHAT-now?! links that have caught my research eye into the mix with the rest. I will try and flag them up so those of you on the lookout for fun over brain stretching can give them a wide birth, but they are worth a read even if you’re not feeding your research beast like me.

And mine isn’t even an official research beast! Damn Neko and her suggestion that I just do some reading on the side…

Anyway, this is a “Monday Meal” for reasons already enumerated (and check out the comments on that post, btw, for a great tangent into English literature versus language). If you’re curious, the exam went ok(ish). I had to write a letter to my brother about being a governess. Well, I like writing, I have a brother, and I’ve read Jane Eyre a time or ten, so that bit went fine! The analysing of what I’d done was a bit ropier, but then it always is. I got quite attached to my little governess. She had a back story and everything in my head so I could write a convincing letter.

Just a pity we weren’t getting points for originality ;)

News Stuff

Anyone who has had the stupidity to ask “how is it going at work Cas?” lately has already been on the receiving end of my IT rant. Let it just be said that I’m not surprised at the findings of this report.

Skoda have been running an awesome advert lately for the Skoda Fabia where they create the car out of cake… BBC News has a great breakdown of it.

What happens when a mother joins Facebook (thank the lord I’m safe from THAT horror – it was bad enough when my brother commented on Bright Meadow!)

Now I’m a tech-savvy kinda gal. I know enough tricks to get XP to sit up and beg. I can code a semi-decent website out of the ether. I’ve even been known to wrangle the odd bit of Python into a half useable wiki. But show me a VCR and I just can’t get it. No matter how many times she shows me, Moose still always ends up programming it. Digital cameras used to be the same, but I’ve got my head around them now. Not much gets past me in the digital world (at least once I’ve had half an hour to sit down with it and break it in peace and quiet) so I’m in two minds about this NYT piece. So they stress that there are ways to make gadgets ‘women friendly’ other than making them pink but… why do gadgets HAVE to be women friendly? Surely if you make a gadget easy to use it appeals to BOTH genders equally?

For those of you who need two platforms, the new release of Parallels is sounding even better.

Not to be outdone by the Germans who are content with pushing people down the autobahn whilst safe inside a car (google some combination of Smart Car and Autobahn for the story), the Americans have to push a man in a wheelchair.

There’s been a Cabinet Office report that calls for the opening up of public data. Yay and all that jazz, though bad choice of post codes as an example. Post codes are NOT public data. They are proprietary property of Royal Mail and boy do they make you pay for them!

From around the Web

I think it was Rich on Facebook who clued me into this one – the London Book Project is a great idea for spreading good literature by leaving copies of books on the Tube and seeing who picks them up. It’s enough to make me want to go to London to see if I get a book! It reminds me of the backpacking hostels I’ve stayed in over the years that had bookshelves filled with books previous backpackers had left behind. The books were there for you to read whilst you were in the hostel or to take away with you on your travels if you so wished, but the unstated understanding always was that if you had a book you’d finished, you left it at a hostel for someone else to enjoy. You passed it on. A great philosophy :)

It turns out, Farenheit 451 is not about censorship after all, but about how television is killing books. OK, so Ray Bradbury is the author so we should listen to what he says, but is it also up to us the reader to bring our own meanings to books? Isn’t that why Shakespeare has survived so long, because we keep bringing new interpretations to the text?

But yeah, I found that interesting.

Got a large wall you want covering in a huge poster, but can’t print bigger than A4? Worry not! The Rasterbator is here! (And try typing THAT one ten times fast whilst drunk ;) )

A brilliant video explaining RSS in plain english (via Nils)

I think I’ve asked for these before, but nothing happened, so I’m asking again: can I have these Tetris fridge magnets please?

Doing some background reading on Wikipedia, I came across a few interesting pages (and can I take this opportunity again to state how much I *loathe* MediaWiki and all it’s demon spawn?):
Wikipedia: Statistics
Active Wikipeidans

Photosynth has crossed my radar a few times lately – the first time in a room of some very excited Archaeologists, bless their little cotton socks, it was like Christmas had come early – and now they are collaborating with the BBC. If you haven’t heard of Photosynth, it’s a tool to create three dimensional representations from flat photographs and… OK, so that doesn’t sound very sexy, but TRUST ME, it will get your geek on.

What are YOU doing in December? (I might be pretending I’m still an Archaeologist ;) )

Movie Goodness!

I Am Legend – I read the book a month or so back. Short, but full of spine tingling terror, and I suspect on future readings it will be even better/worse. This could make a bloody good movie, though I’m dreading a ‘Hollywood’ ending.

And that’s me done for this week. I’m off to bask in the nostalgic goodness that is the original series of Battlestar Galactica (oh that hair!) and to quietly wig out at my email inbox once again. Yes, the time has come for Cas to possibly accept if you talk long enough, people will listen, but… I’m a blogger! We observe and comment! We don’t do!

18 thoughts on “Monday Meal: The canadian army makes war to the mentally sane people

  1. peroty

    I stumbled headlong into the I Am Legend trailer last night and was immediately hooked!

    I was just thinking about Farenheith 451 the other day. It’s interesting to get the author’s take on his work as we’re not sitting around wondering what he intended.

    I wish Philip K. Dick was still around to see what hollywood was doing to his stories. Some of them are ok, and some are downright atrocious!

    And the reason IT people aren’t completing things on time is probably because we’re not given 1) proper funding 2) proper information 3) proper planning 4) proper, well, anything.

    My first IT gig was a “6 month” contract for a government rollout which turned into a 12 month contract since for the first 6 months the network side of the rollout was not complete, at all.

    Reply
  2. Moose

    “My first IT gig was a “6 month” contract for a government rollout which turned into a 12 month contract since for the first 6 months the network side of the rollout was not complete, at all.”
    But wouldn’t an IT team have been in charge of the network side??

    The current bane of my IT life is an email server migration that is taking place at work. Personally I only had a minor problem when they migrated me which was quickly resolved, but most people have had a lot of problems. This means everyone is trying to call the service desk, which means if you want to report any other fault you have to sit in the phone queue for a minimum of 20 minutes before you can actually speak to someone. The IT department thought the migration would go a lot smoother than it has and didn’t bother to hire any extra support staff for the duration or put in a separate phone line just for email problems.

    Nothing against the actually IT staff who are working very hard to get it done. But somebody messed up the planning. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that moving 7000+ email accounts to a new server (while people are still trying to use them) might cause problems.

    Reply
  3. Lelia Katherine Thomas

    The New York Times obviously hasn’t seen how many males I’ve had to help with computer problems. It’s not as if it takes a penis to use a mouse and keyboard. God, you’d think they were writing from another era.

    Reply
  4. Cas

    peroty – I point you to what Moose said. Some IT guys are great (I have four who I have on speedial at work). But unfortunately the majority are giving you a bad name. And don’t even get me started on the email migration…

    Analisa – welcome to Bright Meadow and the comments :) Yes, they are both very cool.

    Leila… Rich…

    Nope. I really have nothing to say to either of you. The mental images you’ve conjured up have quite finished me for the day!

    Reply
  5. Cas

    Rich, please, for the sake of my sanity and computer keyboard – it can’t cope with many more cups of tea being sprayed over it as I giggle like a nutter – stop! Please, just stop!

    Reply
  6. peroty

    I agree, the network team is still a bunch of IT guys. In my case, all indian, on site at least, but trying to understand them and motivate them was next to impossible.

    I think the biggest issues in IT comes from the fragmentation of the industry in the name of saving money.

    Take for example the site I’m on now.
    I perform desktop support. I’m it. Just me.
    There is an IT Lead on site who deals with some of our network apps.

    There is NO SERVER TECH ON SITE. None.
    IBM has that contract. So we have to call and hope to get ahold of someone to fix anything. Then god forbid they have to come out here! (We’re in the middle of nowhere in rural central Virginia).
    I’m here through one company and a Dell technician (on paper). IBM covers the network work. And our phone support, is yet a third person through a third company.

    If we were all from the same company or *gasp* full-time employees, I think there would be a lot more loyalty towards the company, integration in our work and communication.

    I think there’s a lot of things that have been made worse by all of us being essentially pawns in the IT game, to serve or not serve at the whims and wills of the faceless manager we’re working for. (My manager is about 150 miles north of here, I’ve met him twice, once was the interview).

    But I’ll stop ranting here in your comments box now and get off my soapbox.

    Reply
  7. peroty

    Nothing against the actually IT staff who are working very hard to get it done. But somebody messed up the planning. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that moving 7000+ email accounts to a new server (while people are still trying to use them) might cause problems.

    You’ve hit another nail on the head! A “secret” about IT work is that often times, the people making these decisions have no idea what this actually entails!

    I remember being ordered to install software that we know didn’t work correctly (printing from it was completely broken). This order came down from the IT Manager in the company, who we told over and over this was broken. But she got her way, and as a result, we had lots of angry people.

    I totally agree with you that if someone would simply think these things through, email server moves, roll outs, and the like would go much, much smoother.

    Reply
  8. Married n Surly

    ““how is it going at work Cas?””

    I haven’t exactly had such an opportuinty in a long time :P

    Reply

Leave a Reply