[IWE] Saturday Miscellany

Peter Whysall iwe@warhead.org.uk
Sat, 4 Oct 2008 09:22:56 +0100

VP debate: Biden won by a nose. Palin's still thick as week-old=20
porridge. The folksy, twee routine is unlikely to cut much ice with=20
Messrs Putin, Sarkozy, Cameron, Ahmadinejad et al, should the=20
unthinkably stupid happen, and America fucks it all up by electing this=20

UK politics: Brown's so utterly desperate, he's recruited one of the=20
only credible politicians left in the Labour Party - Peter Mandelson.=20
The problem here, of course, is that Brown hates Mandelson with a=20
passion; Mandelson backed Blair over Brown when John Smith died in the=20
90s. This is Labour. Old grudges die hard. Oh, and Mandelson's had to=20
resign twice in the past because of corruption allegations. Niiiiice.

Music: New albums in my library include:

Ashtech, "Walking Target" - chilled-out ambient dub reggae. Probably=20
not a lot of help in the gym.

Peaking Goddess Collective, "Organika" - This is one for you, Mr=20
Anderson. It's along the same lines as some of Shpongle's less=20
sample-y, more instrumental stuff. Also probably not a lot of help in=20
the gym.

Monolake, "Hong Kong (remastered)" - A lovely album, end-to-end.=20
Starting off with the single best rainfall sample I've ever heard,=20
through some laid-back, mellow soundscapes with just enough percussion=20
to maintain texture and interest.

Aes Dana, "Aftermath" - Long, luscious swathes of electronic=20
diaphanousness. There are 5 tracks on the album. The album is 50=20
minutes long. These tracks have room to breathe.

C.O.N. Sequencer, "Strange Planet" - Absolutely 100% Not Ambient.=20
Crunching guitars and pounding basslines over some pretty bouncy trance=20
make for an album that /is/ good for the gym.

The Orb, "Okie Dokie It's The Orb On Kompakt" - Well, the thing is, I=20
don't think that The Orb ever really topped "The Orb's Adventures=20
Beyond The Ultraworld" and "U.F. Orb", recorded back in the 90s. This=20
album would be fooking brilliant if it was anyone else. But it's not.=20
It's The Orb, so it's only average.


There's not much wrong with Apple Mail, but I don't really like its=20
message threading.

So I'm playing with a client called GyazMail, which seems to have a=20
decent feature set, a nice interface (although use a bloody Cocoa font=20
picker, not The Giant Font List From Hell, please), is pretty quick,=20
and threads messages the old-fashioned way. It's not free, but at =A39=20
it's not exactly pricey. I'll see what I think when the 40-day trial=20

Delicious Library 2 continues to delight and amuse me.

I am utterly bastard stuck on level 61 of Droid Assault. A giant=20
assassin droid with a hyarge laser keeps killing me.


America Unchained by Dave Gorman is a fascinating and entertaining=20
account of Dave Gorman's attempt to drive coast-to-coast across America=20
without giving any money to The Man. Recommended.

Pies and Prejudice by Stuart Maconie is a marvellous and rather=20
emotional look at The North. Of England, that is. Americans reading it=20
will be like "WTF?" (Box probably excepted), but I thought it was=20

V for Vendetta. I've seen the film, and thought it marvellous, but=20
always let my snobbery about "graphic novels" preclude me from reading=20
it. Mistake. Big mistake. There's nothing childish or simple about this=20
book, which is considerably darker and more detailed than the film.=20
Watchmen is now on my Amazon wishlist.

Phone: I'm a couple of months into my iPhone 3G. Still loving it. For=20
real-world, day-to-day use, it's the best phone I've owned yet. The=20
software improves with every update (unlike my Sony Ericsson, which=20
has, since the last software update, taken to deciding, from time to=20
time, that the SIM in it is unregistered. At random, unhelpful times.)=20

It's feature poor (I dunno about this in real life, but if you make a=20
big tick list versus a Nokia S60 or a WM6 phone, it is), but then I=20
don't know anyone with a Windows phone that (a) makes women go "ooh,=20
let me look at your phone" *and* (b) has a dynamometer in it so that=20
your blokey mates can record their lateral G-forces as they wander=20
round the pub. Plus, the email client is tops. It remains to be seen if=20
time and ubiquity will render the iPhone as naff as a Razr, but hey ho.

Weather: well, Autumn has arrived with a bump. It's cold, wet and=20
miserable here. Last Saturday, we were walking the dogs on the beach=20
and wishing we hadn't brought our coats. This Saturday... well. Welcome=20
to the UK. The weather does this.

Enjoy your weekends.