Creative Commons: Copyright evolves

sure whether to stick this in ‘Tech’, ‘Cool’, or create a ‘Just Listen
To This!’ category. Anyway. This site, including the photos, is now
licensed not under completely out-dated copyright, but by a Creative
Commons license. There’s a great explanation in the form of a comic
here or you can check out their excellent site at
In short, what it means is that I’m not enforcing every single aspect
of the copyright protection the law affords me in regard to this weblog
and the photos.

Pirating DVDs doesn’t fund Al-Qaeda, downloading an MP3 does not mean
Britney goes without Pepsi for a week, and you copying my photos for
personal, non-commercial use isn’t going to destroy the planet! 🙂 More
on copyright to come – it’s a lot more interesting than you’d think…


T-Shirt Philosophy

I’m a big fan of
off-beat t-shirts (*not* anything with some American designer’s name
printed in really-large playground-legible letters) and while there’s a
couple of weblogs that seem to cover them a bit (two excellent ones in
Jean Snow and Josh Rubin’s Cool Hunting), there’s not a whole of links out there. So I’ve added a category to TWJ.

First site to highlight: MoreTVicar.
Sells a range of different brands, including the Chunk ones (with the
Haynes car manual exo-skeleton prints), and some more obscure
stuff, like Eieio who make the
bizarre Technics-and-butterflies combination below.There’s a sale
on at the moment, too.

Pic: MoreTVicar


Welcome to London

Can’t be bothered to read Peter Ackroyd’s megalithic biography of the metropolis, but still want to be able to spout trivia about the obscure streets, strange names and unusual practices that the capital is built on? Check out This Isn’t London, a website of totally fake London history and facts…[via LMG]

“Planning permission for the London Eyeruns out next year. Remarkably, it’s been suggested that this great
tourist attraction and adornment to the London skyline might have to be taken down forever, or maybe re-erected elsewhere. So what are the other options? The wheel will be unhooked from its spindle and, thus freed, will roll around the country solving mysteries and avenging wrongs…”

Pointing North: Updated

On the subject of yesterday’s LG Qiblah mobile phone post
– it seems that the compass isn’t actually an active one. You simply
select your location from a pre-programmed list of cities, and then the
compass display’s Mecca’s direction. So it doesn’t use any fancy GPS or
less fancy magnetic forces – which precludes entertaining pirate
related text exchanges with your friends, as so:

“WHRE B YE, M8-E?”

“RRR. “

Also, I googled Qiblah, to see what it translates as. According to this Glossary of Islamic Terms, it is the direction that Muslims face when they do their salaah. It is in the direction of the Ka’bah in Mecca. Sort of a no-brainer name, really…. 


Pointing North

the developed world has been less than successful (a slight
understatement, perhaps?) at exporting democracy to
the Middle East in a reasonable manner, that doesn’t mean they can’t
have its flip-side, the free market! There was a news piece a couple of
months back on how Africa was the first continent to achieve the
sort-of commendable feat of having more mobile lines than land lines.
And now, LG are selling a special phone for Muslims, the F7100 Qiblah
. It can point the faithful in the direction of Mecca at prayer-time.
Which is actually very cool, although  slightly tacky at the same time…. Sadly, it’s not
going to be on sale in Europe – I quite like the idea of having a
compass for navigation, in a very very very 16th-century-pirate kind of
retro way… There’s more from info here, and the press release from LG here. Pic from LG. [via Engadget]


Lazing on a sunny afternoon

A very nice day on Saturday, so took a trip to Kew Gardens, and walked for miles… Always very strange when you end up in a park in London (or any other big metropolis), becuase you catch bits and pieces of the city through the gaps in the borders: a skyrise at the end of a path, or in Kew’s case, a 747 rumbling overhead (it’s underneath the approach to Heathrow). Anyway, stretched my legs and the Optio’s, and got some pretty good pictures of the Waterlillies. They’re in a special greenhouse built in 1852 and cover the inside. If Miss Havisham kept tropical plants, that’s what it’d look like.

Pentax Optio S4i – If Pandora had a camera, rather than a box

Since I work for a high-end computer magazine, Custom PC (btw, our website isn’t great, don’t blame me, it’s not really controlled by the people on the magazine’s editorial side…), I get the chance to play with some very neat gadgets. At the moment, I’ve got a Pentax Optio S4i camera, which is, as with all good gadgets, a) tiny and b) full of tricks and c) provides a home for lots of acronyms and tech-speak. In other words, 4 mega-pixel CCD, 3x optical zoom, 1.8in TFT view-screen, excellent battery life and approx a bazillion shooting modes. Have had it for a couple of weeks or so, and I’ll post some photos taken with it, because the results have been surprisingly good :D.