photo gallery in Burn Magazine: NY-based Indian photographer Manjari Sharma invited people into come to her apartment, take a shower, and let her photograph them.

Photos mostly SFW.

The lighting on these photos is incredible. I wonder what kind of lens she uses?


F is for… Frustration

Any Xbox 360 users out there who can help me with my wireless woes? Or anyone who knows about networking stuff?

A recap. I bought a wireless ‘N’ adapter for my Xbox 360 last night as I was feeling flush and it’s a pain in the arse having to have the PC on to connect to Xbox Live. I’m having some problems though.

To sum up:

works. yay.

Xbox connected to PC via crossover cable:
works. Xbox can see PC. yay

Xbox connected to PC via crossover cable, then wireless to router:
works. Full access to Xbox live. Happy days.

Xbox with shiny new wireless ‘N’ adapter fresh out of the box:

Adapter plugged in, Xbox recognises adapter and allows me to search for wireless network. Xbox finds my wireless network, recognises it as having a WEP key, prompts me to type in WEP key.
It then shows the network SSID (hooray!), but shows it as unconnected (boo!). Light on wireless adapter flashes green, which suggests it’s trying to connect to the network.

Remove WEP protection on router, try again.
Xbox finds wireless network, promts to make sure I want to connect to an unsecured network, I say yes, then again it shows the network SSID, but shows it as unconnected. Light on wireless adapter still flashes green, which suggests it’s still trying to connect to the network.

Tried putting wireless adapter on USB cable extension, no luck. Wireless showing full four-bar signal on Xbox.

Leave Xbox alone for half an hour (running). Come back upstairs to find it has decided to connect itself to Xbox Live. YT gets all excited. Turn WEP back on, lose connection. Turn WEP off, still no connection.


online media

Times and Sunday Times to charge from June

The Times and Sunday Times newspapers will start charging to access their websites in June, owner News International (NI) has announced.

Users will pay £1 for a day’s access and £2 for a week’s subscription.

A pound? A day?

Seriously, NI just don’t get this whole internet thing, do they? I’ve no idea how much a physical copy of The Times is, but it must be around the same price. Why on earth would anyone want to pay that amount of money to get access to what is essentially a generic online news source when there are so many others out there available for free?

I know that papers like the Wall Street Journal also run a paid subscriber model, but that’s a far more specific market they’ve got going – people are more likely to pay to access that to get essential business info that isn’t available elsewhere.

Micropayments, guys. With the emphasis on the micro

On a similar-ish note, the lovely folks over at O’Reilly have been running a deal of the day on the ebook versions of their titles – $9.99 for an electronic version (pdf, epub, mobi) of one particular title each day. Now that’s a decent price point – charging a bit less than a hard copy for a pdf is missing the trick – I’d rather pay extra and get the physical book. But knock it down to $9.99 and suddenly i’m more likely to join in. I’ve bought four or five of them now, whereas I would have thought twice about picking up the full price book or slightly-less-than full-price ebook. All they need to do now is adopt the $9.99 model across *all* ebooks. 🙂

I use a combination of my HTC Android phone or just read the PDF on my laptop. Handy when it’s a programming-related title as you can flick back and forth between ebook and development environment.

Thoughts? Are you an ebook fan? What do you use to read your ebooks?

Saffy on Skye

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Saffy on Skye, originally uploaded by dakegra.

Saffy, the waggiest dog in the world, has gone to the great doggie playground in the beyond.

She was fifteen, ish. Which is… erm, lots, in doggy years.

Feels weird not to have a hound in the family. Yes, she was K’s parents’ dog, but she was definitely part of the family.

In other news, they’re getting a puppy. As soon as the breeders have one – she’d be Saffy’s grand-neice, or something.

One of the Beans (I’m not sure which) asked Grandma if they were getting a puppy ‘so it’d last longer than Saffy’.

Kids, eh?


I received a free sample of Starbucks’ new Via coffee in the post yesterday, and finally got round to making a cup tonight.

According to Starbucks’ website:

This isn’t coffee as you know it.

This is rich, flavourful coffee, made with finely ground Starbucks coffee beans. We believe this tastes as delicious as our fresh filter coffee, and all it takes to prepare is a little hot water.


Starbucks VIA™ is made with the highest-quality, ethically sourced 100% arabica beans (the same high quality as all our coffee). The finely-ground roasted coffee literally brews in your cup when you add hot water. It’s an easy way to enjoy the great taste of Starbucks coffee when you’re not near a Starbucks store.

Hmm. Colour me sceptical. I’m quite fond of Starbucks filter coffee, and that’s a bold claim they’ve got going up there.

So. Kettle on, sachet emptied. First impressions: the coffee powder is unlike any instant I’ve seen – instead of the usual granules you’ve got a very fine, dark coffee powder, finer than regular coffee grounds. Nice aroma too.

Add hot water, stir, pause, taste.


That’s really rather good. It’s not going to replace a ‘proper’ freshly-pressed filter, but it’s damn close, and is certainly miles better than regular instant. Perfect for those of us who don’t live/work near a Starbucks!

interests meme

Interests meme, with interests chosen from my Livejournal profile by my good friend, Ayoub.

He chose:



I spend as much time as possible barefoot. Shoes are fine for keeping your feet warm and dry, but once I’m in the house, shoes and socks come off. I don’t even like wearing socks if I can help it. When I’m getting dressed in the morning, socks and shoes are the absolute last thing to go on.

Interestingly, EB is exactly the same – he’ll never put his socks on until the last possible moment.

I’ll also wander round quite happily outside in bare feet, even in the winter months if I’m nipping out to put something in the bin, or get something from the garage. I just prefer getting air to me toes, I suppose. 🙂

just a second...

Our good friend David refers to our EB as ‘the Buddha Ed’, which amuses me. He’s certainly enlightened. Buddhism has long fascinated me, as has other religions. What is it, I’ve wondered, that causes people to base their entire lives on a belief system?

How can you not love mountains?
Shiel Bridge, Highlands

… especially Scottish mountains, in late autumn. The colours are just staggeringly beautiful.

I’m not sure I could live anywhere flat. I get twitchy driving through bits of england with no hills. One needs a decent bit of topography in one’s life, I feel.

As with mountains, one needs a good storm every now and again. Especially when you’re cosy and snug indoors with a nice hot mug of something.

there's a storm brewin'

Not *quite* so much fun inna tent, on an exposed field in north Wales with a force 8 blowing, I must admit.

I remember a time at university with my friend Paul – we were stood at the doorway to his house, mugs of hot tea in hand, watching the rain lash down, literally *bouncing* off the street. His other housemate was from Thailand or Singapore and was bemused by our love of the rainstorm.

Mmm, wine. Can’t seem to find a photo to go with this one, which is a shame.

I do like a nice red wine, though I’ve been known to partake of a cheeky white from time to time. Not so bothered with rose or fizz. Merlot or Shiraz for me, something nice and fruity with a big taste, to be supped with good friends, conversation and a good meal.


I may well be misunderstanding this, but to me, Zen is all about being here, now, and fully appreciating everything that is happening to you, without worrying about what is done or what is yet to be. Live in the moment. You get that with juggling, I find – the flow and energy of the balls as they circle. You need to be fully immersed in what’s going on right *now*, and tune out everything else.

I’m slightly peeved that mice ate my juggling balls. Note to self: get some more…

If you want, I’ll give you some interests to write about. Or choose some more of mine, if you like and I’ll write about them. 🙂