Tuesday, January 30, 2007


On the earlier theme of too much affluence I see a book has been published and once I’ve got rid of three books I recently purchased I might buy it.
(Boring cover tho' isn't it?)

Sell yourself

Somewhat fascinated by the young man from Australia who is selling himself on the internet, it’s an interesting idea a step further than all my life for sale (on ebay).
Another source of interest in the story is that the guy who is said to be a philosophy graduate appears to be virtually illiterate (here’s his web site – perhaps I’m being hard?) and is somewhat confusing described as a Socialist and also as an Entrepreneur – The TV show could be good anyway.
Radio PDA
The new PDA I have (HP 2970 -I’ve sold my old one on ebay so that’s okay) is impressive, I’ve managed to get real player loaded and can use it as a live and on demand radio next will be trying to tie to my phone and perhaps more..
The other amazing thing is the memory expansion costs, I've ordered a 2GB SD for less than £20 - no wonder floppy discs are no longer selling

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Semi detached

I’ve just bought Griff Rhys Jones’s book Semi-detached (a half price bargain at Watersones just £4.00), I’ve only read the first chapter so far but it seems somewhat evocative of a lost age. Children used to be able to get up to all sorts of mischief and I wonder if the modern British child still has these opportunities. Things like going to Jerry Shirley’s country house and creating havoc, wandering around a USAF airbase and doing things you shouldn’t in Woolworths. I hope that kids are doing things they shouldn’t it’s the way you learn the things you should do (or how not to get caught).
Having the book has also meant I can’t get the Manfred Mann single out of my head.
Two further thoughts on modern life
The modern world – acquisitive and dislocated
1) Acquisitive
This is meant to be a value judgement but seems to me that as we (the ‘comfortable’ many in the so called developed world) now have reached the plateau of consumption and we’ve moved from consumption to acquisition as a goal in itself, there is now recognition of this and (of course) academics are of course mining it like crazy.
2) Dislocated
Progress has been about leverage – mechanical, electrical, electronic, computational and biological. The gains have been at a price, modern life dislocates you in time and space, you work away from where you live and holiday in foreign lands. Celebrity involves and consumes, the unreal appears hyper real the real is traversed at speed in a mood of panic – the modern challenge is how to enjoy advances without paying too high a price.
And playing on the reciva radio.
Ain't gonna bump no more (with no big fat woman) by Joe Tex, a joyous record from a great artist whose mastery of the microphone stand remains unrivalled (watch the video). RIP Joe.
And let's all support the petition for Sir Ringo - I've been a trifle ambivalent to such things before - I hope it works.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

this week media stuff

The TLA might interest games but actually it’s Public Service Publisher in this instance.
Interesting developments around non commercial broadcaster this week with OFCOM suggesting a non traditional broadcaster, based outside London and getting £50m per year.
Questions are
1) How is it run/constituted? Some thought is that the money could come from the part of the BBC licence fee that is being used to provide support at digital switchover to the vulnerable (old and poor who can’t cope or afford the switch) .That is once switchover is completed.
2) Does it carry advertising (sponsorship would seem to be a funding model that is not yet heavily exploited in the UK)?
3) Why?
OFCOM suggest it’s for a 'hole' that the market doesn’t fill, I’m not so sure the hole exists or will exist by the time the body is agreed.
C4 Sale back on the agenda?
Repercussions around C4’s CBB continue and Gordon Brown who suffered the fallout while he was in India is known to be in favour of at least considering a privatisation, it could be on the Agenda when/if Gordon becomes PM (what does Ed ball's think?) seems like an easy win for the treasury coffers. A change at the top of C4 might be needed to steady nerves and at least improve the sartorial level there.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

media week- top stories

C4 sale?
The furore around Celebrity Big Brother has meant that there is once more talk about a possible sale of Channel 4, this may be an over reaction to one particularly unpleasant programme but the management at Channel 4 has not managed the situation well. OFCOM will be undertaking a look at the channels future and by making heavy investments channel 4 has distorted its financial position to indicate that it is having problems that it is not, while moving into radio and other non-core areas (themed lifestyle exhibitions spring to mind).
BBC licence fee
Although the BBC did not get all it had asked for the licence fee settlement is far from a disaster, there’s no danger of channels being shut and the management can try and contain some of the worst excesses that are part of the organisations culture. The change at the BBC continues with BBC resources expected to be sold this year along with earlier sales of Technology (Siemens) and Presentation (Red Bee) this has represented a move from the traditional state broadcaster to something much closer to a Commissioner/Publisher model (like Channel 4).
Today’s newspapers indicate that Bskyb may be losing its current CEO, James Murdoch who having got both HD and Broadband rolling out could be in the frame for a move to the USA, he’ll need though to be around to deal with the likely ramifications of the investigation around Sky’s purchase of a large part of ITV.

And on the Vinyl
Today a very influential LP is meandering along as I type Brian Eno's 'Ambient 1: Music for Airports' - not a Desert Island type Disc but nice to have playing along in a non-threatening way.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Interesting Media Stories

Couple of items I’ve noted of late ..

Bskyb and ITV

There’s a theory that Sky’s long term interest in ITV is for the production side of things Endemol has shown the sort of value that the market is putting on content and Sky does suffer from being a publisher of second or third rate programmes (some would say) – if ITV could secure it’s sure fire winners it might be interested in doing something (perhaps) – as the Times says this would be a long term play.

and ..

BBC (Website) to take Advertising

This (to me) is a right old shocker; outside the UK the BBC will start to carry paid for advertising on its much visited (and respected) website – no surprise that there’ll be recruiting plenty of advertising sales people. BBC Trust and ‘The value test’ have to come first, I hope they look at this properly.


The other thing worthy of note is this 43 (wikipedia can you tell you why its 43) – anyone who wants to take thier New year's resolutions further might care to visit – I’m going to put together something like 5; more I think is too optimistic.

In the background

Today's Vinyl playing as I type is mister heartbeak - cracking stuff from the fantastic Laurie Anderson.

Here's a link to 'Sharkey's day' from the above album- great stuff.

Don't forget that it's a worthy public holiday in the USA, it's Martin Luther King Jr's day ....

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Old records sound good on vinyl

I’ve got a couple of decks one a Dual and one a Garrard, unfortunately neither have been used for some time and having brought them out of retirement I find that the Dual’s drive belt has slackened to the point of that it’s become unusable but the Garrard GT20 is working fine and as I type I listen to a vinyl copy of Cat Steven’s Catch Bull at Four (odd title isn't it?) and it sounds fantastic, better than a CD or MP3 that’s for sure. He was a super recording artist and I wonder where the modern equivalents of such great album creators are.

E-bay latest sale

The hot new item is a rather odd radio
If you’re interested check it out

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Russell Brand Podcast if you're in need of a laugh

Russell Brand Podcast
If you’re in need of a laugh I can not recommend this podcast too highly, Russell (to me) is far funnier on radio than on TV and I’m not sure what the show is like with music; without (again to me) it’s laugh out loud and although he’s incredibly self obsessed there’s something amazingly fun about the experience of listening to him and some mates having a good time – try it and let me know if I’m wrong.


Another fun thing to do on the internet is to make your own music channel stick in a few of your favourite artists and/or tunes mix them up and you’re away, it’s part of some clever project but none the worst for that. You need to have a US zip code (to prove you’re a resident - tee-hee) here’s some stuff about it.

SellingNext up from me on e-bay will be the flash gun Canon 188A (Closely followed by the AE1 Camera).

Beatles Love

Christmas brought me four great CDs Beatles Love being amongst them – there’s a couple of cool radio programmes about this and in fact it’s part of a phenomenon which is called mash up and it’s about more than just music

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Venice and PSUs

Having had my second power supply in my PC die I'm becoming an old hand at replacing the module and I feel more comfortable with the Maplin 300 watt model I stuck in last night let's hope it hangs on until Windows Vista is in the UK shops when I may consider getting a new Laptop to use docked or in portable mode.

I seem to be sworn to secrecy on the Venice Project (TV on the PC) that I've just become a beta tester of (sounds grander than it is) at the risk of being done away with while I sleep I will say I like the 'standby' which takes you to a white dot - hopefully there'll be some more content soon and the tests will widen out.

Managed to sell my old PDA (sharp one) and thus keep in balance with respect to getting rid of stuff (I've now got a HP iPaq PDA ) - not sure what I'll offer for sale next on e-bay probably a camera or radio.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Logik IR 100

Having trialled the AE Wi-Fi Radio I was very pleased that Christmas ‘present’ed me with an internet radio the very solidly built DSG sourced Logik Wi-Fi radio. Although it has only 5 presets it’s otherwise pretty similar to the Acoustic Energy receiver that I’d become accustomed to over the last couple of months. Another review on the radio is here.
The BBC’s on demand services mean that there’s always something to listen to and as well as removing the limitations of time the receiver compresses distance so I can listen to quirky US stations as well as Lynx disco and Hong Kong radio.
The AE had arrived without an instruction manual and I did not manage to get to the bottom of why I wasn’t able to play MP3 files on my PC, after a bit of a struggle and absolutely no help from Microsoft I managed to stumble across the method of listening to these files on the Logik, it’s another great plus that means I can listen to downloaded podcasts and music I’ve copied to my PC.
The receiver points the way to what we can expect from IPTV receiver and I think the navigation for locating content although somewhat primitive could form the basis of the way to get around genres and location.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

now selling on e-bay

Ebay will be my method of selling surplus stuff through the year, here's 2007's first bargain.

Monday, January 01, 2007

The Future

Media & Tech

In the UK the BBC has backed itself into an awkward corner over digital switchover and the licence fee. This brings into serous doubt the competency of the DG Mark Thompson

The Venice Project is generating a lot of interest and has some significant backers with good track records the big battle now seems to be over IPTV.


Lib Dems – The Ming Dynasty looks likely to come to an early end with many in the party unhappy with the leaders performance, the party though has a challenge finding an experienced successor especially taking into account the curse of Lembit is not going to be easy.

The Labour government has been tremendously successful and for me part of the reason for this is what has been almost a dual leadership between Prime Minster and chancellor there’s a need for a strong balancing power to likely new PM Gordon Brown as he has undoubted bullying proclivities.

The Conservatives look likely to continue their modernising progress and Cameron is showing real mettle in this


I hope that UK citizens begin to revolt in respect to the nanny state, ID cards and increasing snooping

Highlight for me is my continued health I hope to maintain this in 2007 by moderate exercise and keeping an eye on my liquid and solid intake.

Best to all of you in your hopes and ambitions for 2007 (it makes me want to dance like an elf ).