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This is an old page from Rod Begbie's blog.

It only exists in an attempt to prevent linkrot. No new content will be added to this site, and links and images are liable to be broken. Check out begbie.com to find where I'm posting stuff these days.

Entries for week beginning January 13, 2008

January 19, 2008

Move Over, "Meerkat Manor" | Newsweek

Bizarre tale of a plagiarised nature article appearing as dialogue in a trashy paperback romance.

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January 18, 2008


CD Purchase: Magnetic Fields - Distortion

A Bit of Fry and Laurie - "Mystery" song

Classic bit of early Hugh Laurie musical brilliance. (Also worth seeking out on YouTube: his version of Hey Jude)

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AOL adopting XMPP aka Jabber

You can now log into your AIM or ICQ account using Jabber. They’re not yet doing server-to-server, but it’s surely just a matter of time.

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January 17, 2008

BBC - Press Office - Ashes To Ashes

Ashes to Ashes (the 80’s Life on Mars follow-up) is starting the first week of February, and everything about it sounds bloody AMAZING.

“What’s been your favourite scene to film?” “That would have to be when we were on a speed boat going under Tower Bridge carrying machine guns. Say no more.”

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DeBeers Settlement

If you bought any diamond jewellery between January 1994 and April 2006, you can become part of the class action and apply for a share of De Beers’s settlement. Depending on what you bought (and the number of people who apply for their share), you could get around 30% of the purchase price back!

Yahoo! OpenID

Yahoo embraces OpenID, acting as a identity provider for now, and promising consumption to come. Unfortunately, it uses the new OpenID 2.0 spec, so I don’t know of a single site where you can use it yet, but hey! It’s a start.

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Occam's RazR > An Ounce of Prevention

Avoid being Rickroll’d with this anti-rickrolling firefox plugin. A great example of Firefox’s extensions making the internet a safer place to be.

January 16, 2008

forre.st | storage

Graph of storage per dollar, based upon hard drive prices scraped hourly from NewEgg. 500Gb drives are the sweet spot currently, at $0.18/GB

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Design Police | Bring bad design to justice.

“Please do not use Word Art™” Should make a set of these for code reviews. “Use spaces, not tabs”

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Exclusive: The Cruise Indoctrination Video Scientology Tried To Suppress

Hard to watch without remembering his interview scenes in Magnolia. “When you’re a Scientologist, and you drive by an accident, you know you have to do something about it, because you know you’re the only one who can really help…”

SimpleDbIntro - boto - Google Code

My SimpleDB account got enabled yesterday, so I’m looking forward to getting stuck into it. This looks like a handy Python library for accessing it (and the other Amazon Web Services)

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DCU: PC Deposit – Deposit Checks from Home

Awesome upcoming feature from my credit union: Pay in checks by scanning them on my home PC. Hooray for banking becoming less paper-driven.

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My Friend Flickr: A Match Made in Photo Heaven (Library of Congress)

US Library of Congress + Flickr == FTW! LoC uploads photos from their collection to Flickr, sharing them with the world, then Flickr users can update the metadata, improving their usefulness. Everyone’s a winner.

January 15, 2008


CD Purchase: Original Soundtrack - Juno

January 14, 2008

Shelf - jerakeen.org

Cool prototype application by Tom Insam which monitors your foreground application in OS X, and tries to provide you some context by matching it to someone in your Address Book. It’s early days yet, but decidedly cool (and written in Python)

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BusySync 2.0

BusySync 2 will synchronize between Google Calendar and iCal in both directions. Unless Apple announce this exact feature at Macworld, I’ll be buying a copy forthwith.


Conference/celebration of internet memery, being put on at the Berkman Center in Cambridge in April. I love the fact that registering to discuss webcomics and LOLCats has resulted in my first ever charge of my credit card by Harvard University.

The Raw Story | US drafting plan to allow government access to any email or Web search

Been putting off joining the EFF? Now might be a bloody good time to break out your chequebook. Anyone know of a link to the original New Yorker article on which this scare-story is based?

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Jellyvision: The Jack Principles

“The Jack Principles is the first set of comprehensive guidelines for designing, writing and performing for an interactive conversation.” Great reading if you’re developing software for humans.

Giz Banned For Life and Loving It: On Pranks and Civil Disobedience at CES

Dicking around at CES? Fine. Slightly amusing, even. But dressing it up as “journalistic integrity” or “civil disobedience”?! Horseshit.

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Happy Birthday, Sheriff George!

Another social software village I’m a member of: Basset hound owners on Flickr. There’s a great community forming of basset owners commenting on each others’ photos, and here, celebrating the birthday of another Flickrer’s dog!

Pistachio: Twitter is my Village

Great post by Laura “@Pistachio” Fitton. Exactly sums up why Twitter is so lovely: “For a contrived, weird and techy way to communicate, Twitter’s “passive conversation” fosters very natural, gradual relationship-building.”

Amazon.com: HD DVD will still win

Fantastic reading: HD-DVD fanboys in denial on Amazon discussion boards.

Amazon.com: Toshiba HD-A3 HD DVD Player

Desperation play on Toshiba’s part? They’ve dropped the price of their entry-level HD-DVD player to $130, which includes two movies, and a rebate form for five more. Even knowing the format is doomed, this is tempting me.

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xkcd : ROBOT9000 and #xkcd-signal: Attacking Noise in Chat

An interesting way to moderate IRC chat: Only allow unique new sentences to be spoken.

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January 13, 2008

Techdirt: Hasbro Sues Scrabulous For Being Too Scrabble-ish

This could be interesting to watch — In my social network, Scrabulous is *the* killer Facebook app. If it were to disappear, would it hurt Facebook?

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2007's Worst Wii Games

Thankfully, I was completely unaware that any of these games existed — I had to do a quick search to make sure they were real, and not created purely for the purposes of this article!

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I Got What America Needs Right Here | The Onion

Jimmy Carter op-ed piece from The Onion. “You better get down on your hands and knees and kiss Jimmy Carter’s rosy-red Georgia-peach-picking ass and beg me to run your fucking country again, because there’s no way I’m ever gonna come to you fuck-knobs and politely ask you if I might please be a presidential candidate in your precious fuckin’ election.”

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Interesting looking tool which is a cross between Quicksilver and Terminal.

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CD Purchase: Kylie Minogue - X

Late Night Tales

CD Purchase: Fatboy Slim - Late Night Tales

About This Site

This is an archive of groovmother.com, the old blog run by Rod Begbie — A Scottish geek who lives in San Francisco, CA.

I'm the co-founder of Sōsh, your handy-dandy guide for things to do in San Francisco this weekend.