Category Archives: Musing

iWatch rumours

I wonder if Apple realise just how much expectations are mounting regarding the launch of an iWatch? When I first heard about it, I loved the idea and the prospect without having a clue what it would do (a bit like the daughter of a colleague who asked for an iPod for Christmas and when he asked what she would use it for replied: “I dunno, I just want one”).

Now, a few months on, my expectations are higher. I want it to look like this:


And I want it to monitor my health and fitness, act as a heart rate monitor at the gym so I can exercise optimally, measure my activity during the day like a Nike fuel band, and interface to Google maps so that I can glance at my watch for directions instead of walking along holding out my smart phone.

Maybe all of these expectations will be off the mark – in which case, someone else will benefit from all the marketing that’s going on and Apple will lose out.

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Science Jokes

These science jokes popped up on Flipboard today – some really good ones:

@PopSci I was going to tell a joke about sodium, but Na.

— Ian Haygreen (@IanHaygreen) March 24, 2014

@PopSci Being absolute zero is 0K with me

— Бeн (@benmhancock) March 24, 2014

@PopSci heisenberg is pulled over. “Do you have any idea how fast you were going?” asks the policeman. H: “No. But, I know where I am.”

@PopSci Higgs Boson walks into a church and says “you can’t have mass without me!”

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Book Review: 1000, Gavin Robertson

1000This book was pretty ordinary, which made me wonder how often you can accurately identify a rotten book within the first chapter? If you have a good prediction rate, you could save valuable reading time for better books. A give-away from this book was the amount of the story that was told via dialogue. Whole chapters without any narrative. And another flaw was the lack of emotional depth – much is made of a “Famous Day” that Kay and Simon spent together – so why not, you know, actually put it in the book. It needn’t even be at the start – tuck it in further down the book – but don’t leave it out completely!

Now, I think I would have given up on Free Fire too early, because that turned out to be pretty good. On the other hand, this book was poor and the only reason it escaped two stars was due to a much improved final couple of chapters.

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Unusual solutions to avoid a breaking change

In the 1990’s and early 2000’s, I spent a lot of time travelling between London and Yorkshire. Much of that was spent driving on the A1. I recently repeated the journey and was taken aback at the lack of roundabouts (yes, this national 70 mph trunk road was regularly interrupted by roundabouts) and I missed Grantham Services, my usual halfway stop (being on a roundabout, it used to be convenient and hard to miss).

Happily, the services are still there, it’s just that they moved the motorway:

Grantham used to be built on the A1 southbound, with a roundabout to the north allowing northbound traffic to access it and a loop road back to the roundabout allowing them to get back. Recently the Highways Agency brought the A1 to the west of this interchange, with the old road becoming the southbound sliproads and a new bridge being constructed for northbound traffic.

In other related commuter news, London’s Docklands Light Railway recently solved a problem with short platforms by moving the station:

The station was constrained by sharp curves at both ends and could not therefore be further extended on its former site. The DLR’s plans to operate 3 car trains on this line therefore included the relocation of this station some distance to the east.

Incredibly, they built the new station and dismantled the old one without any disruption to the railway!

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