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.



All licensed, all welcome

Hello! Welcome to my weblog, The Wired Jester.

TWJ – almost the same acronym as the Wall Street Journal, so hopefully that will confer some authority. Or maybe not. No, the name was mainly chosen becuase I do like Jesters and Fools. The most famous Fool is the strange and melancholy one in Shakespeare’s King Lear. He’s the King’s constant companion, an observer, a comic and responsible for some lovely, strange speeches. Goneril, Lear’s daughter, isn’t exactly fond of him, and moans, early on:

Goneril: Not only, sir, this your all-licens’d fool,
But other of your insolent retinue
Do hourly carp and quarrel, breaking forth
In rank and not-to-be-endured riots.

And this has exactly what to do with a weblog? Well, I like the idea of “all-licens’d” – the idea that, at the court at least, the Fool was the one who could say whatever he liked…

TWJ isn’t about any one thing in particular, and it changes as time goes on: at one time or another, it has been about T-Shirts and books, but now it’s more about technology. It’s always had my photos on it, although I now use Flickr for that. At some point I also want to start collecting links to the articles I’ve written over the past few years as a journalist.

I should of course note that this website reflects my own opinions, and not those of my employer….