Friday 27 March 2009

Random factor, like a tractor

I fired up the MP3 Walkman this morning (no generi-Pod for me), hit 'random' and decided to document the first five tracks it played for me. These are they:
The purpose of all this was two-fold: firstly, it maybe gives an insight into me that you, (in)constant reader, may not otherwise get; secondly, it might make you think about trying to program randomness into an electronic device. Surely if it can be programmed into my erstwhile MP3 player's firmware, it can't be random?

Coding randomness - is it possible? How do you test it? Any thoughts?

Friday 20 March 2009

Work of genius

No, I haven't written much this month - it's just been a busy time, and this blog has suffered as a result. Part of the problem is that my limited "web time" has been diluted recently by building a site for a friend and starting work on another new site for myself (more of which in a future post, perhaps).

Having said all that, I did just quickly want to write something to draw your attention to the fact that Genius starts on BBC2 tonight (10pm in England, though I understand there are regional variations on the time). This is the first TV translation of Dave Gorman's Radio 4 show and, if the radio version is anything to go by, it should be excellent. The premise is this: members of the public pitch ideas that they believe are worthy of being called "genius" (geddit?) and Dave and his studio guest (Catherine Tate in tonight's opening episode) judge them by their merits, discuss their flaws, and so on. Since most of the ideas are actually fairly silly, well, there is plenty of mileage for Dave and guest.

If you'll pardon the obvious pun, this show is likely to be, ahem, a work of genius (sorry!) and I implore you to watch it. Besides, Dave is a good guy, and funny to boot.

Wednesday 4 March 2009

Last orders?

I don't have time to write much of a post today, sorry, but I did want to draw your attention to the news that six pubs are closing per day in the UK. Yes, six! The economic downturn is being widely blamed, though some are also citing the smoking ban as a factor. I don't buy into the latter, I have to say. Anyway, this alarming news makes it all the more important to rush out and drink good beer in a good pub, as often as you can. To that end, let me direct you to, where you'll find carefully crafted reviews of some of the finest pubs in the land. Cheers.