The War in Iran

Aug 13, 2005 | | 0 comments |

B*sh went all retro today and suggested the use of force to get Iran to drop its nucular ambitions. Apparently, he's not only a liar, a warmonger and the worst President ever, he also has alzheimers. Because everyone else in the world still remembers how successful Iraq has been because of the American use of force. I know people who don't believe B*sh will get away with it again, but I also know 51% of America is stupid enough to have voted this retard back in. My guess ? He'll overrule UN sanctions (again) and use unneccesary military force (again) to invade a country (again) but won't actually declare war (again).
It's like a scratched fucking record......and the senate, the house and 51% of the public here will probably let him do it - AGAIN.

Lets hear it for free music.....

Aug 12, 2005 | | 0 comments |

So if you read my blog at all, you'll know I'm a big fan of Armin Van Buuren's "A State Of Trance" radio show, which I pull off the net every thursday, much to DI.fm's annoyance, and in defiance of the RIAA. Well thanks to the fact that I still can download this stuff free, people are making money off me. How?
Armin keeps track lists of all his mixes on his website. I hear a track in his mixes, check out the track list, then google it. This has so far led me to 4 new sites : EDM Digital, ATS Digital, Audiojelly and Beatport. From those sites I've been able to buy various tracks from 99¢ up to £1.49 depending on the site. I have those mp3s on my hard drive now, the artists have their slice, and everyone's happy. And all because I pull DJ mixes off the net for free.
I'm a bad bad man for grabbing free music off the net. I'm so bad I must be one of those there tur'rists I keep hearing about.....

MIRT your way to work.

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This is pretty neat. Here in America, traffic lights can be "affected" by mass transit and emergency vehicles. This is nothing new - in Europe, buses and emergency vehicles have had inductive-loop transponders for years. The difference is in America, the system uses infra red. Extrapolate : can you build a powerful TV remote control that affects traffic lights ? Yes, you can. Mobile Infra Red Transmitters use IR, not radio, so the FCC have no jurisdiction over them. You could buy one from themirt.com for $250, or build one yourself for $20 with plans on i-hacked.com.
I stress could because B*sh snuck The Safe Intersections Act into the the transit bill he signed on Wednesday, so now its illegal to own or sell a MIRT. Apparently, if you believe the stuffed shirts, MIRTS present a "threat to national security"... (!)[Gerald Donaldson, senior research director with Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety]
Technically though, it's not illegal to make one. MIRTS are basically IR strobes with one frequency for buses and another for emergency vehicles.

So our thought for Friday this week then :

BA suspends all flights to and from Heathrow

Aug 11, 2005 | | 0 comments |

This is interesting. Gate Gourmet, the catering company who supplies BA at Heathrow, have gone on strike today. Heathrow baggage handlers, loaders and bus drivers have also walked out in sympathy. As a result, BA have cancelled all flights in and out of Heathrow until 18:00 BST tomorrow. It's on their website, but I'm counting the seconds until CNN manage to somehow link this with terrorism.
(BA Linkypops)

The Universal Truth about oil and petrol prices.

Aug 10, 2005 | | 0 comments |

America is quickly coming to grips with the Universal Truth about oil prices : they never go down. Similarly, anyone who thinks they'll ever see less than $2 a gallon at the pumps again is sadly deluded.
The oil companies here have cottoned on to the way things are done in Europe now - put the price up at the pump the instant a barrel of crude goes up, but take weeks if not months to knock the odd cent off here and there after the price goes down.
In the current world of petrol and oil, you can assume pretty safely that the refining / processing costs remain about level. So do the supply and delivery costs. In other words, the only real variable is the price of oil itself. And here is where Americans must learn to complain because nobody is doing the maths any more.
Here, the tax on petrol is flat-rate - a certain number of cents per gallon federal and state. So when the price of a barrel of crude goes up, the maths is really simple.
A barrel of crude is 42 gallons. If the price of a barrel goes up by $1, the price at the pump, assuming everything else is equal, should go up by 2.3¢
That all assumes all 42 gallons get turned into petrol. In reality, less than half of it does - which makes the price rises and maths even more out of whack. One barrel of crude makes roughly 18 gallons of petrol, 9 gallons of fuel oil, 4 gallons of jet fuel, and 11 gallons of other products. ie. only 42% of the barrel ends up as gas, so its fair to say that a $1 rise in the price of a barrel ought to only put the pump price up by 0.9¢ Or to put it another way, since summer last year, the price of crude has gone up by nearly $30 a barrel. The price at the pump should have gone up therefore by 27¢ In fact its gone up by over 50¢ - nearly double the amount. Which does rather explain why BP, Texaco and Exxon all reported record profits in the last 12 months. Time for the Americans to learn another new word : PROFITEERING.
The other thing which Americans don't seem to understand is that "President" B*sh is the reason for all this pain. He invaded Iraq on a lie and turned the middle east oil market hyper volatile. He creates subsidies and policies which favour the rich and favour the oil companies. And he is the person who won't allow more refineries to be built to up the American refining capacity. The oil is there, but B*sh is driving the price up, blaming OPEC for it and then neatly sidestepping the fact that the US simply doesn't have the refining capacity it needs. This all leads to artificially inflated prices, which consumers end up paying because they need their cars (which B*sh knows), and the results are massive profits for the oil companies, who coincidentally all contribute rather conveniently to the B*sh family and campaign.
The circle of lie.

George Orwell, step up to the plate.

Aug 9, 2005 | | 0 comments |

This is truly truly scary. The government back in England are preparing to test new high-tech license plates containing microchips capable of transmitting unique vehicle identification numbers and other data to readers more than 300 feet away. The point of the test is to see whether microchips will make number plates harder to tamper with and clone, said U.K. Department for Transport spokesman Ian Weller-Skitt.
Bollocks.
The point of putting RFID chips in numberplates is so that the government can spy on your every move, toll you for every road you drive on, and pull even more cash out of your pockets for the heinous and intolerably evil offence that is "speeding" (which as any educated person knows, is not the cause of most crashes).
Man I'm glad we left England. Tax upon tax upon tax, with surveillance increasing every day, and now a maniacal transport minister who seriously believes people will believe his excuse for wanting to track every vehicle.
Wired story

Discovery returns - but to California.

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For the first time in the history of the Shuttle program, NASA has had to land a Shuttle at Edwards AFB in California. This is good news for the crew of course - they landed safely and when I got up this morning, NASA TV were showing live shots as they were all wandering around under the shuttle chatting and looking happy.
It's not so good news for NASA though. They now face the expensive and tricky proposition of getting the old 747 carrier aircraft into good order and flying it over to California to pick up the Shuttle and bring it back. It'll be interesting to see, of course - I don't think NASA have never had to do this for real. Only with the original glide tests on Enterprise and the odd flight back and forth to Palmdale during flight testing.

A State Of Trance - singles ?

Aug 8, 2005 | | 0 comments |

In an idle moment today, I searched Google for a track that cropped up on Armin's A State Of Trance some months ago. The track was "The Sum Of Your Fears" by Amalgam. Very indy, nobody's heard of it. Except, it seems, EDM Digital. Not only have they heard of it, they have it for download for $1.50. Not only that, but they accept PayPal so I don't need to send any c/c info to yet another site. Not only that, but they have a ton of other singles that Armin has used in his mixes over the last year or so. Kudos to EDM Digital then, and there'll be more buck-fifty downloads coming my way shortly. This is their main index. Until then, I'm off into my headphones....♫♫♫♫

Shuttle delayed.

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Low cloud and low visibilty meant NASA have pushed the return of the Shuttle out by a day. Its due to land tomorrow now. They're talking about the New Mexico and California divert sites too because the weather forecast for the Cape tomorrow looks a bit dodgy too. That would be a first - they've never landed the Shuttle anywhere other than the Cape, despite having the capability to do so.

WiFi is fun.

Aug 7, 2005 | | 0 comments |

I got an el-cheapo WiFi adapter for the laptop today and within a couple of minutes of getting it home had it on our network. WiFi is fun. I'm blogging on batteries across our home network now - completely wireless. Although with the laptop on my lap, my nuts are cooking nicely....