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Lee’s Daily Blog

Archive for June, 2009

Random: Who Is The Stig?

by on Jun.21, 2009, under Random

top-gear-the-stigToday (Sunday 21st June), Top Gear returned to our screens for a brand new series. The big hype about this episode though was that it was rumoured that the person who fills the role as The Stig would be revelaed.

Before this episode, several newspapers had name The Stig to be Ben Collins, with the BBC not commenting either way on whether this was true.

About half way through the program, The Stig was seen to remove his helmet and for his identity to be revealed as Michael Schumacher.

However, since the revealing, a lot of internet speculation believes that Michael Schumacher is not The Stig and it was in fact a publicity stunt.

Even the BBC’s own news story didn’t seem too sure:

The seven-times Formula 1 champion dressed as the show’s famous driver and removed his helmet during an interview with presenter Jeremy Clarkson.

But it is unclear whether he really is the Stig or whether it was all a stunt.

Clarkson jokingly pretended not to recognise the German driver and asked him his name, before shouting to the audience: “It’s Michael Schumacher!”

Do you think Michael Schumacher is The Stig. Personally, I think he is one of a few drivers who fulfill the role, but leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Is Michael Schumacher The Stig?

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Photo: Air at Alton Towers

by on Jun.20, 2009, under Photos

This post is for Tuesday, 16th June 2009

This week’s photo was taken at my recent trip to Alton Towers and is of Air

Air at Alton Towers

Air at Alton Towers

This was taken towards the end of the day (we got on the last but one car before closing). What I like about the Air queue is how close to the track you can get – you could almost touch some of the cars as they went past.

Being a coaster which puts you into a ‘flying position’ it does mean you get the unusual views of people lying on their back which this photo pictures quite well.

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iPhone OS3.0 Podcast Update

by on Jun.17, 2009, under Technology

I’ve just upgraded my iPod touch to the iPhone OS 3.0 software at the unfortunate cost of £6.

The main thing I’m waiting for is push notifications for applications – in particular for the Remember The Milk Application.

As a podcast listener, I have noticed a nice small update which seems to have been missed so far. When listening to a podcast, there are 3 new buttons available:

  • an email this podcast – to send a link to the podcast
  • a ‘Rewind 30 seconds’ button – incredibly useful if you missed the last bit due to an interruption
  • A speed adjust button. I personally, wouldn’t make use of it, but I know a lot of people like listening to things at double speed (especially with audiobooks)

Now I just need to wait for the application updates…

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Random: Be Careful What You Ask on Twitter

by on Jun.15, 2009, under Random

Twitter SpamThis post is for Sunday 14th June 2009

I learnt this afternoon that you need to be careful what you ask on Twitter.

I’m currently looking for an online backup service. Plugging in my external hard drive just seems too much effort and I don’t do it nearly often enough. I’m hoping by automating an online backup, I don’t need to worry about it quite as much.

I decided to ask for suggestions on twitter, hoping a few of my followers may come up with something. I got a couple of responses back, but also a handful of spam messages.

I first got an @leesto reply from the @cloudberryman account mentioning their service. Now at this stage, this promotion worked reasonably well. It got me to look at their website and I’d now heard about their service for the first time. However, I then got spammed by a further 2 accounts – @AmazonS3S3 and @hashwindows , promoting the same site. To make things worse, upon clarifying something to one of my followers, I got 2 more spam messages from those accounts.

What did this result in? Apart from spamming me and causing me to write this blog post about it, it has also cause me to compeltely discount their service I may possibly have gone with. I don’t like spammers.

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Mario Theme Played on Bottles

by on Jun.13, 2009, under Technology

I saw this video and thought it was awesome. It’s the mario theme, played on bottles, but using a remote controlled car:

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Photo: Oblivion at Alton Towers

by on Jun.09, 2009, under Photos

This week’s photo is of Oblivion at Alton Towers

Oblivion at Alton Towers - About to go up the lift hill

Oblivion at Alton Towers - About to go up the lift hill

The photo above was taken whilst walking along the queue to get on Oblivion itself. It’s one of those views that you don’t see very often, but looks very impressive with the climb up the hill that the car has to go.

What always strikes me about Oblivion is how large the track is and wide the cars are, causing the rollercoaster to stand out from it’s background surroundings. Through in the easily recognisable noise as it goes up the lift hill and I can’t wait to get on it.

As you can see, we were very lucky with the weather on our trip to Alton Towers, having a pretty much clear blue sky the entire day – sun cream was a must!

I have got a series of photos of Oblivion with the car in different places of the track, taken from different parts of the queue. Read more to see them all.

(continue reading…)

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Technology: E3 Big on Controllers

by on Jun.08, 2009, under Technology

electronicentertainmentexpoSo this years E3 seemed to be big on controllers. The main focus of these seemed to be to compete with the wii remote. Manufacturers seem to have seen how many units the wii managed to sell to people who weren’t traditionally described as gamers and seem to want to tap into this. I personally don’t think they’ll be quite as successful as the Wii as the type of game available also matters

One of the bigger announcements seemed to be the camera for the Xbox 360 which detects the movement of the whole body without the need for a remote. The video below discusses this and also contains some interesting discussion from Steven Spielberg on the role of video games.

The technology itself looks very impressive in the demos and if it does work like that when out in the real world, will lower the barrier of entry – possibly to even lower than that of the Wii. However, I’m intrigued to see how well this camera is going to work when put into all the different room environments – will it be selecting sofas as people? If someone wants to go to the toilet from the other side of the room, is it going to get confused?

Not wanting to be beaten by this, Sony released something very similar which uses two controllers which work together with the Playstation Eye – an existing product for Sony, but something which hasn’t really come to anything.

New Controller for Sony. Click to view the full size image. Within it you can see the two controllers that are held and used to generate the motion on the screen.

New Controller for Sony. Click to view the full size image. Within it you can see the two controllers that are held and used to generate the motion on the screen.

(video available at this link)

With the wii, well, um…. They released an add-on for their wii remote, but it was nothing astonishing. Most of the Nintendo announcements were software related. In regards to their controller, they announced a modification to the Wii Motion Plus, which was the development they announced last year and also a new add-on called the Wii Vitality Sensor.

The Wii Viatlity Sensor

The Wii Viatlity Sensor

“Just as we enable you to see the centre of your body balance with Wii fit, the Wii Vitality Sensor enables you to see the information related to the inner world of your body,” said Nintendo’s chief, Satoru Iwata, at the event.

(continue reading…)

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Photo: View From The Top of The Library

by on Jun.06, 2009, under Photos

This post is for Tuesday 2nd June, 2009

This photo was taken this past weekend when I was rigging lights at the top of the library for the Summer Ball this year

View Towards The Lake From Level 5 of the Library - University of Bath

View Towards The Lake From Level 5 of the Library - University of Bath

Despite being at the University of Bath for 2 years, it is the first time I had been outside on Level 5 of the library and was therefore the first time I’d seen this view – which I thought was pretty good! I think it was certainly helped by the good weather we were having that day – certainly made rigging for the Summer Ball more enjoyable.

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Technology: Up to 200 Photos in Facebook Albums

by on Jun.04, 2009, under Technology

This post is for Monday 1st June 2009

facebook-logoI’ve just gone to start uploading the photos from the past weekend to Facebook and have noticed that they no longer limit you to 60 photos per album, instead it has been raised to 200 – which has certainly made my life easier! No longer will I need as many ‘ Photo Album Part 1, Part 2….’

Does anyone know when this happened?

I wonder how long until they remove the limit completely. With groups essentially having photo albums of no limit, I can’t see much of a reason for keeping one for personal photos.

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U18 – Possibility of a Later Bus?

by on Jun.03, 2009, under University

Further to my post on the U18 Vs The Bright Orange Bus, could we be seeing the U18 making another move towards taking some of First’s business and making it more likely for people to switch.

The following was posted on the Uniconnect facebook group:

later-u18-buses

Having the buses going till 3am – even only 2 an hour, would certainly remove one of the main arguments of getting a U18 bus pass. It would also make life a lot easier for people getting home after the SU’s club nights.

All we need now is a joint bus pass between the two services.

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