June 28th, 2005

Make money from ID cards...

From The Independent.
Personal details of all 44 million adults living in Britain could be sold to private companies as part of government attempts to arrest spiralling costs for the new national identity card scheme, set to get the go-ahead this week.

The Independent on Sunday can today reveal that ministers have opened talks with private firms to pass on personal details of UK citizens for an initial cost of £750 each.
No comment necessary, I'm afraid...
  • Current Mood
    annoyed annoyed

I so need this on my car...

Living in London, I hope I'm a reasonable and careful driver. However, there's one thing I really really hate, after all these years as a driver. Even with power steering...

Parallel parking.

I live on a narrow street where most of the houses are flats (and we won't even mention the two month-old hole in the road just outside the house!) - and even with the high costs of parking, there are more cars on the street than there are spaces. Which means one thing - I have to parallel park pretty much every time, and make sure that I get the car close in to the curb. Keeping an eye on everything that's around me is a complicated thing...

...but now Nissan has solved the problem for me. Cameras all around the car are used to eliminate all the blind spots, and the resulting images are brought together and processed to form a overhead view of your car and surroundings. With it displayed using a monitor on your dashboard you can see in one place just how close you are to all the other cars around you...

Want now!

Hmm. I wonder if I could hack something together with the various old webcams in the house...
  • Current Music
    Lunar Drive - Here At Black Mesa Arizona - Stacked Up Cloud
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A fundamental difference in our fundamentalists

There's an interesting dichotomy between the US and the rest of the world in the structure of its fundamentalist Christianity. The US evangelical church is at heart extremely conservative and tends to the right wing, while in the rest of the world the evangelical movement tends to be socially activist, and tends to the left wing.

The problems seem to come from the roots of modern US evangelism. The 19th and 20th revivalist movements that formed the basis of the US evangelical church was the product of a settled agrarian society, and so was socially inclined to extreme conservatism as a result of its roots. The great wide spaces of the prairie spawned the Bible Belt and the roots of the Christian Right.

Meanwhile in Europe, the great revival movements came out of the heart of the industrial and agricultural revolutions, and produced many of the minds that formed the basis of the Labour movement (take for example the role of the young Methodist Church in the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs). Elsewhere, evangelical churches have been spurred by social injustice in all its forms - in South Africa, across South America, and in the former Eastern Bloc.

And so there is a fundamental (ahem) difference in our fundamentalists...

[See the comments for a correction from pnh. I think I need to read some more US history before pontificating again!]
  • Current Music
    Euphoria - Total Euphoria (Disc 2) - Everyday, Every Moment,
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The other day I was trying out a keyboard at a hardware demonstration. Instead of the traditional "Quick Brown Fox", I tend to type the first couple of sentences of my main novel length WiP, The Ruins Of Breakfast. They're words that sit in my head and keep escaping, so it's well worth giving them some exercise from time to time.

This time, however, I put in a paragraph marker, and went on. And suddenly I realised what was missing from the story: a viewpoint character who wasn't Anna. And then I knew who they were, and suddenly I found them pouring words onto the page.

Go me.

And go Anna's imaginary friend, who just turned out to be The Associated Press, with its myriad eyes and ears. We're going to have a lot of fun together as we surf the edges of the Singularity.
  • Current Music
    U2 - The Joshua Tree - Bullet the Blue Sky

I can see my car from here!

Google has just released Google Earth, its tool for exploring and examining satellite imagery. Best thought of as a Picasa for satellite imagery, Earth replaces Keyhole.

You can fly around the globe, and then zoom in to the detailed satellite images. I'm pretty sure I can see my car parked just down the road from our house... And the basic version costs nothing. Well, nothing but your time!

Not as deep and educational as NASA's World Wind, but quicker and a little bit more fun.

You will need a fast PC and a broadband connection to get the most out of this...
  • Current Music
    Shpongle - Are You Shpongled? - and the day turned to night
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