Blog Archive

27 December 2006


And so it came to pass that Christmas was over for yet another year. The family was visited, the presents were given, the food was eaten and the drink was drunk (as was my grandad).

My Christmas was probably pretty much the same as yours, so I won’t bore you with the details, but for any of my visitors who aren’t from the United Kingdom – around 75% of you according to Google Analytics – Danny Sullivan made a great post on Christmas day about a British Christmas and how it differs to an American one. Oh no he didn’t! Oh yes he did!

It’s generally a pretty accurate post, he’s seriously wrong about one thing:

“I wish it could be Christmas every day-ayyyy, blah blah blabby blah...” is either the name of a song by Slade or just the chorus. I don’t really care. All I know is I’ve heard the song for years, every Christmas, and it has to be the low point of the British Christmas experience. Never hearing it again would be a Christmas miracle.

Rubbish. Christmas without Slade would be like Christmas without that big fat guy in the red suit and white beard. However wrong Danny may be though, he’ll never be as wrong as Chris Riley. Everyone knows that Fairytale of New York is one of the best Christmas songs... ever!

Anyway, now that Christmas is out of the way I can look forward to having Teppanyaki with some friends on Friday, our New Year’s Eve Eve party on Saturday, spending New Year’s Eve drinking cocktails with some more friends on Sunday and then having the family round on New Year’s Day! And I’ve got to find time to make my list of New Year’s Resolutions too!!!

There just aren’t enough days in the year...


18 December 2006

New Gadget: Nokia N73

Finally. After around three years of having a crappy old Nokia 6100, I’ve gone and got myself a new phone! And since Orange wouldn’t give me any sort of deal on a handset upgrade, unless I cancelled my contract and started a new one – which would mean me losing my number – I’ve decided to move to the 3 network.

Nokia N73 The Nokia N73 is one of their new 3 X-Series handsets, giving me unlimited access to Windows Live Messenger, unlimited Skype to Skype calls, unlimited data transfer, web surfing and mobile mail. Of course, when they say unlimited, they actually mean that it’s limited to fair use, which means some quite reasonable limits are in place. It can also do loads of other fancy shit, like download files from your PC using Orb and let you watch your home TV using a Slingbox.

The phone’s got Yahoo! Go stuff installed all over the place because they’ve got some kind of deal going with 3. Don’t worry though... that doesn’t mean I have to be unfaithful to my Google! I’ve already bookmarked the mobile versions of Google, Gmail and Google Reader. And I’ve also installed the Gmail and Google Maps mobile applications from rather than, which only seems to offer Google search if you visit it from your device. I’m just missing Google Talk now. (Anyone know whether or when that is likely to be available?)

To be fair to Yahoo!, I was pleased to see that the phone’s capable of talking to Flickr directly, meaning I can upload the photos that I take with its 3.2 megapixel camera straight to my Flickr account!

Who knows, maybe you’ll see me moblogging (or even movlogging) in 2007!

Labels: , , ,

5 Things You May Not Know About Me

Robert Scoble’s done it. Danny Sullivan’s done it. And because Philipp Lenssen blog-tagged me, I now have to tell you five things that you might not know about me. (Of course, whether you already know these things depends on how well you know me...)

  1. I am a 1st Dan black belt in Shotokan karate. I obtained this when I was just 10 years old but haven’t trained for the past 15 years or so.

  2. At the age of 14, I took my French GCSE exams – that’s one year earlier than most school pupils in the UK at that time – and I achieved a grade A.

  3. Before computers started to dominate my life, my time was mostly spent being involved with various music and drama groups. I’ve been known to play the piano, keyboards, trumpet and guitar. (And I’m planning to go back to playing my trumpet and guitar on a regular basis again in 2007!)

  4. My Internet nickname between around 1997 and 2000 was mysticbelly. (And if you’re really interested, you can even take a look at my old website that I never finished...)

  5. My fingers and toes are a bit double-jointed, meaning I can bend some of them backwards until they practically touch the back of my hand.

Trying to think of five things was pretty difficult actually. Maybe that means everyone knows everything about me already... I dunno. Anyway, now I’ve done, I’m blog-tagging:

Whether or not they’ll bother with this stupid game is another matter entirely. I know it’s the kind of thing most people (including me!) can’t really be bothered with...


12 December 2006

GAM and Fiji: New Google Services?

(This is another one of those non-posts, but I figured I’d make it anyway so that when these new services are eventually unveiled, I can say that you saw it here first!)

After noticing the Google Online Assessment and Google Workplace service codes went live recently, I thought I’d check to see if there were any more new Google services out there.

So, this is what’s new:



I would guess that “GAM” stands for something – like “Google Ads for Magazines“ or whatever – but the fact that it’s not fully spelt out makes it look a little suspicious...



This is even more cryptic. Neither the service code or the service name that’s being used in the login screens give any clues what this could be – unless anyone’s ever heard of a Project Fiji...?

(And if it makes any difference, is one of Google’s internal subdomains.)


Also just added to my list of Google Account Service Names are a few services we already know about but that have only just surfaced as Google Accounts services fairly recently:

Sorry for the lack of gossip, but that’s all I’ve got right now...


8 December 2006

Google Online Assessment and Google Workplace?

Back in July, I posted about a few Google services that were only available in the Google Accounts sandbox. Since then, several of the secret services I discovered have been released and added to the live Google Accounts, including Google Image Labeler, Google Marketing Tools, Google Talk and Writely.

Yesterday, Christian from Googlified reported that Google Online Assessment (GOA) had also been made live and took a couple of screenshots. Google have since taken the GOA site down though.

In addition to this, I've noticed that they’ve made live yet another of the services that I discovered in the sandbox. Simply called “New Service” at the moment, its service code is wf. Here are all the usual pages:

(Note that signing up for this service won’t add it to your account though.)

When it was in the sandbox, clues pointed to this service being called Workplace. In the previous post where I mentioned this, I said:

Maybe this is the big one people have been waiting for; the one that will really kill Microsoft Office. At least, if it’s at all related to IBM Workplace it could be. I don’t know an awful lot about this, so if anyone else feels more qualified to talk about it, please go ahead. All I know is that it’s got something to do with – so that’s why it could be the killer...

Does anyone else want to guess what Google Workplace could be?

See also: Google Account Service Names (which is constantly being updated)

[Thanks Googlified and Google Blogoscoped!]


4 December 2006

10km in 62 minutes and 26 seconds

You might remember that I mentioned something about running last month. I’d just received my number for the Percy Pud 10km. That race was yesterday. (You can view the route on

Being a newcomer to running, I was worried that everyone taking part would be hardcore athletes who would leave me for dust. You can imagine my relief when I saw two men dressed in a pantomime camel costume. “Great,” I thought, “at least some people aren’t taking this too seriously.” So, imagine my horror when I saw the camel running in the opposite direction to me, having already completed the outward part of the race before I’d even completed 4km!

From the race report:

Amongst the finishers were two local athletes Stuart Maycock and Shaun Marsden who ran in a two man camel outfit and beat most of the field finishing in 40 minutes 18 seconds – a new world record for a 10km race by 2 people dressed in a 2 man panto outfit!

Well done them. Obviously running 10km just wasn’t challenging enough! Also running past me in the opposite direction was some famous guy that I recognised as being one of the psychologists off Big Brother. Turns out it was probably Geoffrey Beattie, as his name appears in the results as finishing 299th in 45:43.

Even though I was beaten by a pantomime camel, I’m still mega-impressed with my time. According to the provisional results, I came 969th out of 1130 runners and finished it in 62 minutes and 26 seconds!

Despite rumours of 70 mph winds and heavy rain (I’m not sure who started those...) the weather turned out to be pretty good and the five of us who took part from work all did really well. However, since I didn’t win, I didn’t get chance to make a speech, so here it is now:

Special thanks goes to my running partner, Rachel, who helped me through it by offering me words of encouragement when I was running too slow and shouting at me when I was running too fast. And thanks to Dr Chris Hill, who helped ease the cramp that was crippling both my legs as I lay flat out on the pavement on the way back to the car.

And finally, thanks to my body for letting my legs ache just a little bit today. Surely that’s better that having the theme from Steptoe & Son go around your head – innit?

Update: 5 December 2006 (10:17)
Some photos of the event are available via If anyone knows of any more, please let me know!

Labels: ,