RRR – Melbourne-based internet radio

RRR, a Melbourne-based radio station which has been recommended to me (thanks, Richard!). Haven’t had chance to listen yet, but will probably check it out over the weekend… :-)

Gimboland gets an RSS feed

Paul Novarese appeared out of nowhere and said You don’t need comments, you need an RSS feed! (Score:5, Insightful)

How right he is. Suiting thought to deed, I got to work, and a mere half hour later, we proudly present the Gimboland RSS feed! Thanks for the thought, Paul.

Now to go and register it

Happy Birthday Alice and John

Happy Birthday Alice Dickinson, one year old today! Card is on its way… :-)

And yes, happy birthday Mr Peel.

Dave Gorman’s got a new show

Dave Gorman’s got a new show, though that teaser page is pretty piss poor, imho. Anyway, w00t!

Does Gimboland need comments?

I’ve just been told that a) Gimboland needs a comment system and b) Gimboland is boring. Hmph.

Actually, I agree.

As to a), I’d like a comment system but neomorph, the software powering Gimboland is homegrown and deliberately lightweight – so whilst it’s a nice idea it probably ain’t gonna happen soon. Comments and feedback are welcomed by emailing me, though (address link in sidebar).

As to b), well, hmph again I guess. :-)

I’m listening to John Peel right now if that helps bump up my interest rating (probably not – and probably even less so if I tell you I’m doing it over ADSL on a Linux box using xmms – ahead, geek factor 10, etc). Damn it, that man is a genius. Normally with Radio 1, when there’s music playing I wish they’d stop it and talk, but then they talk such utter shite that I wish they’d just shut the fuck up and play a record, at which point the whole grisly cycle begins once again. But with Peel, the music’s often amazing, and constantly interesting, and when he talks it’s poetry on toast. Always a pleasure – Peel and Pig, we salute you.

Happy birthday for Friday, by the way.

Water wars

Water wars [robot].

There’s a lot of tension between India and Pakistan, but water is one of the things that has not caused too many problems. That’s because of the Indus Water Treaty, one of the world’s most successful negotiations of water conflict. If that conflict had not been settled through a treaty, there’s no doubt that they would have been at war long ago.

Rivers like the Yellow River or the Colorado don’t make it to the end anymore. And the Yellow River is a very ferocious river. To understand that that river dries up before it reaches its end is almost unfathomable.

Becoming a stone monkey

I went climbing at the Welsh International Climbing Centre last night, as I’ve done on most Tuesday evenings since January. At last I’ve found a sport I enjoy – and it only took 27 years! My climbing’s definitely improved since I started (as you’d hope), and I can now comfortably climb routes that had me frozen in terror and indecision in my early days. A hell of a lot of it is just confidence – knowing that you probably can make that move, and also that if you try and fail, the rope will hold you. Probably.

Having said that, I’ve still got a long way to go – in particular I haven’t led yet and haven’t climbed outdoors at all. I’m probably moving to Carmarthenshire soon, so the plan is to join a climbing club over there and get to know the Gower peninsula and the Pembrokeshire cliffs, I guess.

Anyway, just thought I’d update the world on my climbing progress. Normal service will now be resumed.

This looks good.

Chess is fun – oh yes

Chess Is Fun. Most of the chess sites I’ve seen have either covered the real basics (ie the moves the pieces can make) or have lived in the realm of advanced strategy. I like this site because it introduces basic strategy – fundamentals which every player should know such as “knights belong in the centre, and in holes in the pawn structure”. I suck at chess, but maybe if I study this and play a bit more, I could improve…

Ultimate Hitchhikers

Ultimate Hitchhikers [rivets].

This amazing species definitely goes to the top of our hitchhiker list with 12 SRDUs (Sock Removal Difficulty Units).

Hamster buspass frenzy a-go-go

Hamster buspass

True error

A true error.

The Internet Mah Jong Server

The Internet Mah Jong Server, allowing you to play Mah Jong in real-time with other humans around the world. [girl]

Buy something that’s been to the moon

Check the price tag.

Paper jam

Paper jam – superb.

Goodbye Mike, hello Shauny

I got bored of Mike Swaine not updated his page for nearly a month, so I removed him from the sidebar. I never read Slashdot anymore, so I removed that too.

Those particular darlings have moved over to make room for Found and What’s new Pussycat?. Welcome aboard, boys.

Goin’ to Mexico

Do you know the way to Santa Fe? [rivets]

Wanker’s Corner

Wanker’s Corner, Oregon. [popbitch]

There must be more than this

It’s an absolutely beautiful day. I should be walking on a hillside, or climbing a rock face, or jumping out of an aeroplane with a parachute on my back, or swimming in the sea. I should be walking a dog. I should be wearing shades. I should be wearing shorts. I should be with the one I love.

Instead I’m sat in an air-conditioned office whose windows are obscured by blinds. Nuts.

Out viz a bang?

Out viz a bang, ja?

Yurts and furniture from the festival

A couple of bits from when we went to WOMAD, which I hadn’t got round to including here yet:

Yurtworks – Mongolian yurts, made in Cornwall, available to buy or hire in a number of sizes. We went inside a sixteen-footer at the festival and it was niiiiiice – very comfortable, very relaxed, and huge. Yurt holiday on Bodmin Moor, anyone?

Desirable Debris – handbuilt furniture using reclaimed matierials, with the tagline “Screws & Glue The Only Things New”.

The Daily Adventures of Mixerman

The Daily Adventures of Mixerman, which as Andrew at nullzilla describes it (and I can’t do better), is a secret web journal maintained by an anonymous sound engineer working on an album with a major-label-signed band, and showing just how fucked up things are in the recording business. Fascinating.

Insightful quote: And anybody that thinks I should blindly skip through life satisfied at being unproductive so-long as I’m being compensated for such activities, isn’t considering the negative effect that lack of accomplishment can have on the brain. The act of accomplishing nothing other than wastefulness is both exhausting and debilitating to the soul. And while in the short term it may be self-serving to my financial well-being to participate in such unproductiveness, the resulting waste only serves to sicken me.

(Quick link to last bit I read).

Galan, a modular synthesiser for Linux

Galan, a modular synthesiser for Linux. Had a quick play this morning and it looks pretty groovy, full-featured, etc. Nice.

Oblomovka, the weblog of Danny O’Brien

Oblomovka, the weblog of Danny O’Brien, of Need To Know fame.

The Zope honeymoon has passed

Just because Zope is written in python, doesn’t mean it’s as fun to use. :-/


I found Biff! Wunderbar.

I’ve had this conversation with Julie, I’m sure. Well, the latter part, anyway.

Sadly, not that much there – just a taster. Enough to make me add some Biff books to my Christmas list, anyway. :-)

While I was looking for it, I also came across this short but amusing page about Last Kiss, which seems similar in some ways.

Steve Bell online

I went looking for an online version of the Biff cartoon that appears in the Guardian, but didn’t find one (yet). I did, however, find an archive of the excellent Steve Bell‘s work.

Just what is the penguin/dragon relationship here?

From this distance, it looks like a dragon riding a penguin [robot]. Given time, it may turn out to be a penguin riding a dragon.

Psychic phone lines – fun to work for?

Interesting and short look at working on a psychic phone line [rivets].


confideinme.com – people confess their secrets to the rabid web at large [wotever]. Sweet!


My girlfriend recently made up a new word to describe a less-than-attractive woman: “hoofer”. Use it where you might also use “minger”, for instance. Try it out: it’s suprisingly satisfying.

Urbanoids – java Paradroid

Urbanoids – java Paradroid [ntk].

How many inches of what?

I received spam today whose subject line was: How many “inches” does it take to satisfy a woman in bed? Upon inspection, it seemed that yes, the “inches” in question were indeed the ones you might expect – so why the quotes?

What if they’d really meant to include the quotes? What if the “inches” weren’t the obvious inches, but some other inches? What might they have referred to? And yes, please tell us, how many are required? :-)

Klein bottles

Klein bottles – nice! [rivets]

These are the finest closed, non-orientable, boundary-free manifolds sold anywhere in our three spatial dimensions.

Santa: all I want for Christmas is a Klein mug. :-)


Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! [rivets]

JDEE – java and emacs

If I am ever required to use Java, I may find the Java Development Environment for Emacs (JDEE) useful.

Leonardo Dicaprio as Alexander The Great?

Leonardo Dicaprio as Alexander The Great? You have to be kidding…

Afghan anti-American backlash has begun

There’s an anti-American backlash brewing in Afghanistan, which is worrying aid workers who feel the lines between military and civilian operators have been deliberately blurred by the former [robot].

“I have banned all coalition forces from my compound and will not meet with them in public,” a Western humanitarian official told me in Kabul. “If they want to contact me, I tell them to send me e- mails. I will meet them only in certain public authority offices. Yes, of course we are worried that people will mistake us for the military. They have these ‘humanitarian units’ and they ask ‘how can we coordinate with you?’ but I refuse to co- ordinate with them. They simply have no idea how to deal with the social, cultural, political complex of life here.”

Penguin prostitution

Old but good: Penguin prostitution [popbitch].

Music slump ‘not caused by piracy’

Music slump ‘not caused by piracy’.

Record sales are down 15% in the US, but Massachusetts-based outfit Forrester Research, which surveyed 1,000 American online consumers, said it saw no evidence of decreased CD buying among frequent consumers of digital music.


I went to see local band Smokehand last night, not because I’d ever heard of them or was a fan, but as a friend-of-a-friend thing. Anyway, they were superb and very unusual – sleazy, jazzy, dark, and yes, smoky. :-) Will definitely be keeping an eye and an ear open for these boys.

Homeland insecurity & Schneier

Homeland Insecurity – a looooong but very worthwhile article looking at security visionary Bruce Schneier and the plethora of “security measures” being introduced in the U.S.A. [null]. The base message is, surprise surprise, the whole thing’s screwed up.

Think I might subscribe to Crypto-Gram, Counterpane‘s monthly security newsletter…

The Wizardry of Id

The Wizardry of Id – very interesting techie examination of development of 3-d gaming technologies in the hands of John Carmack [robot].

ICANN shenanigans

Succinct overview of recent ICANN shenanigans: Internet overseer takes wrong path on accountability.

Search proxy now has dictionary and thesaurus

Finally added decent dictionary and thesaurus options to the search proxy in the sidebar. Of course, I’m the only person who’ll ever use them, but hey, that’s Gimboland! :-)

Division by three actually possible

Division by three (Conway & Doyle, 1994).

In this paper we show that it is possible to divide by three.

… A proof that it is possible to divide by two was presented by Bernstein in his Inaugural Dissertation of 1901, which appeared in Mathematische Annallen in 1905; Bernstein also indicated how to extend his results to division by any finite n, but we are not aware of anyone other than Bernstein himself who ever claimed to understand this argument.

… Indeed, we’re somewhat doubtful whether large natural numbers (like 80^5000, or even 2^200) exist in any very real sense, and we’re secretly hoping that Nelson will succeed in his program for proving that the usual axioms of arithmetic — and hence also of set theory — are inconsistent. All the more reason, then, for us to stick with methods which, because of their concrete, combinatorial nature, are likely to survive the possible collapse of set theory as we know it today.

Quorn not so groovy after all?

This is the first I’ve heard that Quorn has a questionable health record. It’s been available here in the UK for years, and I have to say I quite like it. Hrrrmmm… [via robot]

The tragedy of Canada

The tragedy of Canada.

Hell sweet hell!

Another comic to read, although there don’t seem to have been any new strips since April: Hell Sweet Hell.

Nice: Satan’s video-dating attempt.

The walking forest machine

The Walking Forest Machine [rivets].

I wasn’t sure if this was real or not (I thought some of the pictures looked a little fake) but Plustech is apparently a subsidiary of Timberjack and they sure look like the real deal – manufacturers of what are perhaps the ultimate in testerone-fuelled power tools for the modern man about the forest.

The Mad Revisionist

The Mad Revisionist, a project which I fear is doomed to failure, for gullibility knows no limits [reenhead via null].

mailshots.co.uk – cheap photographic film

mailshots.co.uk – cheap photographic film by mail order in the UK. Slow site, but they’ve got Ilford XP2 for 2.45 a roll, which is a bargain in my book. Thanks, krag wad.

The classics never die

An old paradox restated in modern terms.

PJ O’Rourke interview

One for Ed: a P.J. O’Rourke interview [robot - hi Jorn!].

Good geeky t-shirt

Excellent T-shirt – if you’re a geek, anyway [ntk].

Go rocketcam!

Australian amateur rocket enthusiast mounts a wireless camera on a rocket and sends it up – groovy.


PhotoSig – another online photography forum a la photo.net [krag].

Raffle the dead donkey

Raffle the dead donkey.

Ice was invented for one reason alone

Ice was invented for one reason and one reason alone. [uknot]

Things I will do if I am ever a vampire

Things I will do if I am ever a vampire [wotever].

When I take the Hero’s True Love to make her my concubine and eternal slave I will not show her off to goad the Hero into making an attack. That would goad the Hero into making an attack.

Iraq Conflict could soon go nuclear?

Iraq Conflict Could Soon Go Nuclear [robot].


I had my first gin & tonic last night, and also my second, third, and fourth. <slurred>Cheers, Emma!</slurred>

Another fundamental security flaw in Windows

Another fundamental security flaw in Microsoft Windows: Shatter Attacks – How to break Windows.

The flaws presented in this paper are, at the time of writing, unfixable. The only reliable solution to these attacks requires functionality that is not present in Windows, as well as efforts on the part of every single Windows software vendor. Microsoft has known about these flaws for some time; when I alerted them to this attack, their response was that they do not class it as a flaw.

I’ve successfully executed these attacks against a Terminal Server a hundred miles away.


A contrarian view of open source

Superb Bruce Sterling talk: A Contrarian View of Open Source. Presumably doing the rounds, but I got it via Rich.

This guy … William Gates? He’s my age. He’s a gentleman of my generation. We’re a few months apart in age. I’ve never met him. I hate to pick on him. Really. He’s obviously a very smart man. And he’s a nicer guy, as a human being, than a lot of his competitors. But I have to pick on Bill, instead of Bill’s competitors. Because Bill physically killed and ate all his competitors.

The older Bill gets, the uglier he gets. He’s a guy riding a white horse, that turned into a runaway bronco bull, that turned into a scaly crocodile, and now, it is turning into some kind of diseased revenant. It’s like the Steed of the Nazgul, those black, flying zombie horses that explode when exposed to fresh water. That’s what Microsoft is like now.

When a crackdown comes, that isn’t the end of the story. That’s the start of a dissident’s story.


Dammit, I did forget The Big Bus. Grrr.

Yeah, Ion is niiiice

I’m starting to really like Ion.

Secrets to a happy marriage

Secrets to a happy marriage:

1.It is important to find a woman that cooks and cleans.

2. It is important to find a woman that makes good money.

3. It is important to find a woman that likes to have sex.

4. It is vitally important that these three women never meet.

Bitch! Hoe!

Bitch!  Hoe!

Python’s & Java’s bytecodes compared by GvR

Guido on Python bytecode compared with Java bytecode – interesting [python-url].

The Ion window manager

I’ve started using the Ion Window Manager after reading an article about it via Rootprompt. So far I’m really liking it, although it’s going to take some getting used to.

Ion … tries to address the navigation problem by having the screen divided into frames that take up the whole screen and never overlap.

I’ve been getting more and more dissatisfied by Gnome for a while now, and in particular by the way I have to use my mouse for so much mundane navigational stuff. This may or may not be an improvement – only time will tell – but I’m going to give it a go.

So far the main thing I’m missing is “sticky” windows, in particular gkrellm – ion currently has no concept of stickiness and it looks like the author isn’t intending to introduce one, saying that it breaks the paradigm. Hmmm…

I was a bit worried about The Gimp at first – it didn’t look like it was going to be usable. However, now I’ve figured out I can put the gimp windows on their own workspace, I’m thinking it might become more usable. Just maybe.

Recording Artists Safety Guide To The Beach

Recording Artists Safety Guide To The Beach – amusing, depressing, and offensive all at the same time!

Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada

Now playing: The Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada EP by Godspeed You Black Emperor, the first CD I’ve bought in ages. On initial listening, I’d say it’s rather good. Will definitely be acquiring more by this band over the next few weeks I think…

While I’m at it, let’s have a big thumbs-up for Seascapes Of The Interior. A little birdie told them I’d mentioned them here on Gimboland, so they (in the form of Adam “Guitars, Vocals, Organ” Casey) wrote to me offering to send a copy of their demo! How’s that for service? :-) I’m eagerly awaiting its arrival, and there’s an album out soon too, apparently. Groovy.

The other thing I did today was pick up no less than seven films I’d had developed, the highlights of which I’ll be adding to the image gallery as and when (though obviously it’s gonna take a while). Subject matter: Julie’s passing out ceremony, the Lake District, the Garth (hill near Cardiff), my birthday, and Snowdonia – ie loads of it. :-)

The Big Bus

Gimbo! Forget ye not!!! The Big Bus is on BBC1 at 01:35 on Monday night (ie Tuesday morning)!!! [ntk]

Slightly creepy 3D ultrasound images

Slightly creepy 3D ultrasound images.

Earth as art

Earth As Art – more superfunky views from space [rivets].

My personal favourites: Aleutian Clouds, Dasht-e Kevir, Icefall, Lambert Glacier, Karman Vortices

Insomniacs by breeding

Cats and dogs comic - insomnia

Permalink test

Permalink test.

More Gimboland sidebar tweaking

A couple of changes in the “blogs” section of the sidebar:

Leviathan (no activity since April) -> Swaine’s World

Plastic (I just don’t read it) -> Bifurcated Rivets

Melrose Place art

Here’s an interesting one from the bookmarks. Melrose Place Art [bm].

With the ultimate goal of involving the television audience, the GALA Committee placed numerous props and set pieces in camera’s view, which were then broadcast to an international audience of millions. Although the artworks were not intended to subvert or parody the series, the characters and stories often provided an opportunity to create pieces which addressed topics like gender, infectious diseases, violence, environmental devastation and global conflict.

It’s groovy. Unlike Melrose Place.

The Monkeybagel Document

I have yet to come across a more truthful and insightful description of the job of a programmer than The Monkeybagel Document [bm].

The key phrases here are “unburdened by a requirement for architectural forethought”, and my personal favourite, “sinister grace”… :-)

Eric conveys an emotion

Many of you will have already seen this. It’s so good it’s worth a second trip, or, if you haven’t in fact seen it yet, a first: Eric Conveys An Emotion [bm]. Superb.

Bookmarks cleanup

I’m moving some stuff out of my (rather crufty) bookmarks list, which I don’t really use any more. This stuff will be designated by the following attribution: [bm], which may prove confusing since, once moved to the weblog, the link will be removed from the bookmark list. I hope you can all deal with that. You can? Very good. Carry on.

Beaver patrol

Beaver Patrol.


Valgrind: “An open-source tool for finding memory-management problems in Linux-x86 executables”.

Painting with light

Painting with light – cool photographic technique involving a completely dark room, a very long exposure, and a photographer walking around carrying a dim and focussed lamp which they point at the parts of the subject they want lit, just for long enough for it to register on the film. Very nifty.


Ploticus [ntk]