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Sun, May. 31st, 2009, 04:59 am

It used to be that when it got to be the early summer and I stayed out too late, I'd be horrified by the morning light.  We'd ruined the coming day, Jo would shout at the starlings "SHUT UP".

Tonight, last night, I was at Wax:on at Leeds University Union, which was my place of work up to yesterday.  It was highly recommended, but in the event completely shit.  Never mind, we were able to get on the guest list.  Today, yesterday,  I've been working out what I'm doing with my redundancy money.   Since I've managed to land a new job (subject to three month trial), I should be alright.  Also I've been bottling my home brewed beer.  It should be good.

Right now there are aeroplanes starting to cut vapour trails through the virgin cloudless blue, and the world is completely silent as the sun rises above the skyline of Leeds.  It's deeply, deeply beautiful, and I feel glad to be seeing it.  Who cares if tomorrow is ruined, who cares if it's the end of a bad night out, on the heels of another bad night out.  Right now, listening to music and having a drink with the gf, it's beautiful and I'm properly, truly,  happy.

I intend this to be the last proper update of this journal.  I may start blogging elsewhere, if I do then I'll link to it from here.

Tue, Dec. 9th, 2008, 03:30 pm
Complaint to Virgin Media

Annoyed at the whole IWF/Wikipedia thing, I just sent this email:

Dear Sir / Madam,

I'm writing to you to complain about Virgin Media's handling of the the current row over Wikipedia's page on The Scorpion's Virgin Killer album. As you will be aware the page is being blocked as a result of it being put on the Internet Watch Foundation's blacklist.

I have been researching this issue a little, and like many of your customers, I feel extremely aggrieved by the way that Virgin have handled this situation. I realise that the initial decision was made by the IWF, not by Virgin, and I understand that Virgin have reasonable reasons for using and supporting the IWF, however there are several ways in which Virgin should have acted better:

  1. The page was blocked by a transparent proxy that does not use the X-Forwarded-For header. This has made it impossible for Wikipedia to tell between users who are not logged in, meaning that anonymous editing is inevitably impossible (one vandal ruins it for everyone). There is no technical reason for this to be the case (other ISPs appear to have managed) and I would like to be assured that if this should ever happen again, Virgin will have remedied this.
  2. When visiting the blocked page, the proxy server returns a blank page, with a "200 OK" status code. This is wrong, clearly everything is not OK, and it's hard to see this as anything less than Virgin Media lying to their customers. At the very least the proxy server should send an appropriate error code, and return a message explaining that the page is blocked as a result of being on the IWF black list. Visiting Wikipedia discussion pages on the subject quickly shows the level of confusion that existed when the block was first put in place. Hiding things without explaining why or even acknowledging that they're hidden is not acceptable in a free society. Again I would like an assurance that this will be remedied in future.
Beyond these technical issues, I can't help but question Virgin's willingness to unquestioningly enforce the IWF's judgement even now that it's clear (as it must be) that they have made an error. Surely you should be able to correct the this for your customers. In a competitive market of ISPs, I think I should be able to use willingness to employ common sense as a criteria for selecting my supplier. I hope you will confirm that you haven't abdicated that ability to the IWF completely!

As the Internet becomes peoples primary means of communication, private citizens need to be able to have a relationship of trust with our ISPs. I hope you will restore my trust for Virgin Media by demonstrating that you understand why these issues are important.

Yours Faithfully

Peter Russell

Fri, Jul. 20th, 2007, 11:22 am

Meredith Brooks may have been a poor man's Cheryl Crow, but sometimes that's what a poor man needs.

Wed, Jun. 6th, 2007, 06:40 pm
Facebook

At the insistence of many of my friends, I've signed up to Facebook.

Now what?

As far as I can tell, it's simply LiveJournal, but without the journals.  No less pointless than Orkut.

I mean at least MySpace has those bloody annoying music things that all play different things at the same time.  They're annoying as hell - a fucking terrible idea, but at least they're something!

Update
:
Oh, apparently they do image hosting.

Thu, Oct. 19th, 2006, 05:16 pm

I used Google code search for the first time today. It really helped me out :-)

Thu, Oct. 5th, 2006, 09:24 pm
Are you bored? The way you've got me down I feel like your whore.

Going to be in Cambridge for the Saffs on Saturday.

Anyone else coming?

Tue, Aug. 1st, 2006, 10:19 pm

Russell's law of war:
If a conflict has been going on for more than one generation (i.e. people are fighting in it who were not born when it started), then it will be impossible to win by force.


Received a letter from Blockbusters today saying that I had fines outstanding because I returned some DVDs late. Only it didn't say that. What it actually said was You have made use of the Extra Night Option, which apparently is a service that they do where you can keep films for as long as you want, and it costs you £1.95 a night. Kind of like a fine.

A website that Qustom were doing the back-end for went live today. It says at the bottom of the page Best viewed in IE 4 and above at a minimum screen resolution of 800 x 600 pixels. I wasn't working on it, but I apologise anyway.

Mon, Apr. 3rd, 2006, 12:59 pm
April fooled

Woke up on Saturday morning this weekend to find a text message on my phone:
Dad has won the big premium bond prize
mum

This got me pretty excited, I looked on the website and, as I suspected, the big prize is (pinky in corner of mouth) one million pounds. So I tried to phone Mum back. In my excitement I got the wrong number once, then didn't get an answer. It was brilliant news, because it meant my parents would be able to stop worrying about their pensions, and they'd be able to support themselves through their retirement without any problems.

It took a few hours before Nicola remembered that it was April fools day.

I also got suckered by the wireless extension cord on ThinkGeek, although in my defence, when I was shown it by justtom, it wasn't yet the first in my locale, and I was sent a link straight to the page, rather than seeing it on their front page. Had I seen the Grow Your Own 1-up Mushroom kits and USB tanning studio, I might have caught on a bit faster.

Given that it's now the 3rd, and these things are still on their front page, without any sort of comment explaining that they're hoaxes, I think it's fair to say that April Fools has come and gone, so they're the fools for carrying on.

Mon, Mar. 27th, 2006, 04:51 pm

I know very well where my passport is.

I keep my passport in the shoebox of Things of Sentimental Significance. If for any reason it's not there, it is almost certainly at the front or back of my expanding file of Important Paper, but it won't be in the file, it'll be in the shoebox, because I remember putting it there.

And if it isn't in either of those places, then it must be in the pile of paper on top of my toolbox that belongs in the file but just hasn't made it's way back there yet.

Failing that, it's probably in my sock drawer, or one of my desk draws.

Or down the back of my chest of draws? Under the bed? Under the wardrobe? What about the living room table? Tucked behind the u-bend of the toilet?

ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Update: Of course it turned out to be in the shoebox, I just hadn't looked hard enough. Shame that I've moved the entire contents of my bedroom onto my bed in the process of looking for it. Looks like I'm sleeping on the floor again tonight.

Mon, Mar. 20th, 2006, 11:58 pm

According to pyramidbattery there are two types of people in the world : Those who don't find me funny, and those who are fucking mental.

She did laugh while she said it though.

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