On Sunday we had a lovely purple and red sunset, so I decided to wander around town trying to find a good point to photograph it from without there being too many houses in the way. Luckily I discovered a small park and an allotment, so managed to get some nice pictures.
I'm really loving the 300D...
Debian GNOME Policy
I've finally made some changes to the Debian GNOME Policy and commited them into Subversion. A HTML version of the document is available here. This release has some fairly large changes, such as recommending the use of dh_gconf and dh_scrollkeeper, removal of the Nautilus view's section, a final rewrite of the gtk-doc section, and probably several other changes I've forgotten about. Everyone involved please read it and mail comments to the mailing list.
Devil's Pie "Mystery Boxes" 0.8
Devil's Pie (everyone favourite window manipulation tool) 0.8 is out. This release is full of new features thanks to many contributed patches, so grab this now and have fun.
- Bring back --apply-to-existing, so you can work on existing windows
- Add maximized_horizontally and _vertically to the resize action (John Russell)
- Add an execute action (John Russell)
- Add an opacity setting action (Guido Boehm)
- Generate decent matcher/action documentation at build-time from the source
- Check that regular expressions parsed correctly, fixing a common bug
- Less compile warnings
I finally did it: Straw has been orphaned. Hopefully someone will be able to pick it up shortly and ensure it's in a fit state for Sarge.
NP: O, Damien Rice
NP: The Doct Of The Bay, Otis Redding
CSS Nightmare Garden
NP: Best of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
A Free JVM?
Quick post: some very interesting stories of a Free Java VM are flying around the web at the moment...
NP: Rush Of Blood To The Head, Coldplay
Today a web site I wrote the backend for went live. The MoodMixer for E4 generates "relaxation tracks" that are thinly disguised as advertising for that day's television (or was it the other way around?).
It's a nice mix of Python, sox, and lame, with the speech systhesis done by AT&T's NaturalVoices after discovering that festival is pretty good at sounding like a robot but not great at sounding even vaguely like a human. 115 people have used it so far, and from looking at the logs I see that everyone in the world but me has a Hotmail account.
NP: Urban Hang Suite, Maxwell
Kilroy-Silk Splitting The Splitters
Today I hear rumours that the orange-skinned Robert Kilroy-Silk is going to leave UKIP and form a new Euro-sceptic party called Veritas. As a voter who thinks that Kilroy-Silk is a complete twit and most of UKIP deserve to be slapped, I think this is a tremendous idea! Previously people who were gun-totting Euro-sceptic Daily Mail readers voted Tory. Then UKIP came along and started to steal the hard-core voters, scaring the Tories into complete pandemonium and rarely seen action. Now if Veritas actually exist, get funding, and take off, that vote could be split three ways. Of course the Tories have a rather predictable set of policies (Tories cutting taxes? Surely not!) so this should be quite an easy task... Brown for PM!
NP: Zwischen zwei und einer Sekunde, DJ krill.minima
Straw: Moving On
Spooky: just as Juri announces that he is giving up as the maintainer of Straw, I started looking for someone to take over maintaining the Debian packages. Between switching to Bloglines and being a lax maintainer of late, the guilt has been building up every time a bug report came in and I've finally snapped. I'll file a formal RFA next week, but if anyone wants to take over then mail me.
NP: Bueno Vista Social Club
Life Is Great
Recently life has been excellent. I've a job I enjoy doing, work I find interesting, and have possibly the best boss in the world.
NP: Out of Season, Beth Gibbons and Rustin Man
My Life: The Opera
It's been a while since I've blogged (if I say this any more I'm going to setup a macro for it) and since it's one of my New Years Resolutions to blog more (sadly I neglected to blog that, not a good start) I thought I best get on with it. Christmas and the New Year was good, the first event was the Opened Hand Christmas meal at Rasa in London. Overall good fun with excellent food, despite an absolutely hellish journey home. Next was First Christmas at my mother-in-law's house, where we stayed from Christmas Eve for a few days with lots of good food and wine. Then on the 28th we went to my mother's for Second Christmas, where there was yet more good food and wine (and photos). I'm starting to get worried about my waistline post-Christmas, and am refusing to weigh myself for a few weeks so that my piecepts have a chance to go...
For the New Year Dave and Allen came over, for what started as a very civilised buffet we prepared during the day, and rapidly turned into a drunken discussion of great music, Cranium, the relative merits of the old Trivial Pursuit verses the new, and standing to sing Auld Lang Syne for some reason. Incriminating evidence is available if you think you are brave enough.
After Christmas, with my redundancy payment burning a hole in my pocket, I joined the Digital Gang and bought a Canon EOS-300D for the (effective) bargain price of £485. I totally love the camera, as I've had a EOS-300V I felt at home straight away. The quality of the pictures is great and thanks to the 1.6 multiplier on lenses my 50mm f1.8 becomes a pretty nice 90mm portait lens, whilst the 28-90mm from the 300V now goes up to 144mm. All I need now is a bag to put it in and a decent flash. I've started to put some passable photos online in my gallery, which will grow a lot faster now that I don't have to spend time scanning photos.
As some people may have guessed from the title of this article I've recently seen Jerry Springer: The Opera. The magical BBC aired a recording of it on Saturday night, to a chorus of mass complaining and demonstration. Somehow 47,000 people knew, before they saw it, that they would be offended by the blasphemous content and swearing, some reports claiming 8000 expletives in the show. It turns out that this ludicrous number was taken my multiplying the number of expletives in the show by the number of people saying them, so if the chorus swears once that is 27 expletives. And as for blasphemy... yes it satirised Christianity but if an organisation can't take satire then it needs to take a long hard look at itself. To be fair the Church of England publicly stated that it doesn't think JSTO was blasphemous, but that didn't stop people getting carried away, first with TV license burning and now sueing the BBC for blasphemy. Get a grip people. Satire is a form of criticism, albeit in a comedic form. If you can't handle criticism, what are you so worried about? Is Jesus swearing and admitting "I'm a bit gay" really worth all of this?
In other news, I was pleased to see that legal music downloads exceeded single sales for the first time, in the last week of December. Really this isn't a great surprise and was bound to happen at some point: when singles are primarily bought by teenagers, and a song can be downloaded for £0.79 from the iTunes Music Store but costs £3.99 in HMV, it's obvious where the tech-savvy teenagers (that's probably most of them) will go. Even better news is that sales from downloads will be included in the official singles chart. After so much demonising from the record companies, downloading music is finally hitting the mainsteam.
NP: Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Herbaliser