24 July 2005

Birmingham Metroblog a week old

The Birmingham Metroblog is now a week old and seems to be going strong. Hopefully we'll be able to keep up the momentum and maybe attract some more writers.

I've only managed 5 entries so far. One giving an over view of the Birmingham Wheel, one introducing the Council House Clock (aka Big Brum), the three attempts at Op-Ed pieces about the councils plans for the Central Library, the electronic notice boards in the bus stops finally being put to use on the 11 route and, today, an entry dealing with the new technology and access routes to services the city council have introduced and a quick look to the future.

21 July 2005

Birmingham Metroblog Goes Live

The Birmingham Metroblog has gone live.

We actually started posting entries a couple of days ago but the organisers asked us not to direct people to the blog prior to the official go live. They wanted there to be a couple of days of entries for people to see when the blog went live.

15 July 2005

Housing and Civic pride

Whilst searching for something else I came accross this very interesting, and above all largely correct, article on housing and house prices. I don't really agree with the wholesale ripping down of our towns and cities to rebuild them in a more civic light, but I do think that we need to build a lot more housing, especially social housing owned and managed by the local town/city councils and housing associations who have a mandate to provide affordable housing to those on low wages.

Ripping out the neo-slums that have arisen in the last century and demolishing the Big Blue Turd would be an excellent idea. Affordable housing (not Luxury apartments that mostly stand empty) and commerical areas where you can shop and be entertained on a reasonable budget would seem to be what is needed.

More on Corporate Blogging

I was sent a link to a report on Corporate Blogging. I've only had a chance to read a few pages so far (this entry is as much so I'll be able to find the lnk when I get home), looks fairly bland.

The report says it's fine to link to so long as you also linkl to the site's main page so here's the link.

I'll write more when I've read the rest of the article if I can be bothered.

11 July 2005

We're all journalists now

Today's Grauniad had an article about New Media and citizen reporting today in the G2 section. It was mostly about how the bomb attack last week in London seems to have been a tipping point in the media due to the way most of the reporting came not from professional journalists but from members of the public using their mobile phones to take and send in photos and video. Very often these pictures would be on the TV news within minutes of being shot.

LiveJournal got a name check (along with a coment from 'The site administrator') in a section of the article about the rise of blogs. Blogspot wasn't mentioned.

10 July 2005

This weekend

I've been installing Ubuntu 5.04 on one of my PCs (a P II 400MHz with 384Mb RAM which previously has SuSE 8.1 installed).

The install ran pretty smoothly, the hardware is pretty vanilla. Sound isn't working, it doesn't report any errors and seems to try to play the sound but nothing comes out of the speakers. That said, I've never managed to install any distro on any PC and have the sound work without a lot of fiddling and downloading of additional drivers.

I am finding that I'm having problems in that I'm having to fight the operating system to get it to do what I want rather than what it thinks I want.

I can access shared drives on my Windows XP boxes through the file browser app by entering the URI in the address box (i.e. smb://machine/drive) but it won't mount them (it doesn't have smbmount and the package manager doesn't list it as being in any of the available packages, I have all the Samba packages installed). Also whilst the installer found the second hard drive (and it would partition and format the drive) it won't let me create or mount any file systems on it. The box has a 6.2Gb drive (IDE master) and a 10.2Gb drive (IDE slave). It installed on the 10.2Gb drive to give me about 9.6Gb of file system space plus about 500Mb of swap.

The struggles will continue.

Birmingham MetroBlog

Sadly it looks like there's a shortage of people signing up to write for the Birmingham Metroblog, that or the people running the site are getting behind in checking/adding people. They said we need at least 10 contributors before we can get started.

You can apply here if you think you've got what it takes.

Not in Islam's name

Interesting article about most Muslim's fears following Al'Queda attacks.

I can't say I agree with everything in the article (I don't think that a withdrawal from Palestine will reduce the threat from Al'Queda one bit and it's clear from their actions elsewhere in the world that Al'Queda were transnational well before 9/11 and the resulting action in Afgahnistan) but most of it does seem to fit in with comments from my Muslim co-workers.

Here's some stuff about the history of Al'Queda

2 July 2005


One of my friends on LiveJournal pointed out this too me. Apparently what it's about is blogs centred around cities (or at least geographucal locations) with reports from people who live there. They're trying to drum up some more contributors for the Birmingham (England) blog.

There is a LiveJournal community blog for Birmingham, but I don't think that's what they're going for here.

Gmail Ads

I use Gmail for most of my email and, as you may be aware, when you read mail in Gmail you get a few relevant text ads off to one side of the page, that's how the service is funded. Whilst they're easy to ignore occasionally one does catch my eye or I deliberately check them just to see what ads Google has come up with relevant to that mail.

Today I got a news mail about OSHA and US congress being held accountable for the deaths of 4 workers at the Toledo I-280 bridge.

The two ads Google chose to show me were:

Hasta La Vista Arnie in 2006.
Mark Warner for President 2008.

Just struck me as interesting.

So, who is this Mark Warner person?