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November 24th, 2008

Today I am most amused.

As you know, I strive for balance in my journalism, striving to find a middle road between the various extremes of advocacy and evangelism. So it was a sad day when I was accused of being a "paid shill for Microsoft" when I interjected some facts into a heated irrational discussion a few years ago. The resulting imbalance in my writing karma has stayed with me, leaving me unrooted and, well, unbalanced. Most un-zen.

But time was on my side, and I have been restored to balance.

Last week I posted a little rantette to our blog at IT Pro, pointing out some, err, problems with the way Microsoft was rolling out its much vaunted, and much promised, browser-upgrade for its mobile devices. Nothing unusual, really.

Then I got a comment, one that cancelled out the age-old remark. Yes, I am now apparently a "hitman hired by el Jobso."

Oh joy! All is right with the world.

Or is it? What of the free software movement and its relationship with the proprietary world?

A "volunteer for Ubuntu" really doesn't seem to have the same sort of ring to it...


Joy of Internet Radio

We’re listening to Seattle favourite The Mountain in our London office. We set it up on the Sonos we use so we can share control of the playlist, although mostly I drive it from the iPhone Sonos controller. And when I hear a new song we like, I pull up Shazam on the iPhone and ask it what we’re hearing. That’s three neat tools working together…


Attack of the inaccurate blurbs

I just finished reading the rather fun Radio Freefall by Matthew Jarpe, a respectable slice of post-cyberpunk rock-and-roll SF.

It's a good book, and one I'm happy to recommend to all and sundry. However, I'm not so sure about the cover quotes, which describe it as a book that displays the "bloodlines of Heinlein and Varley". Sure, there are aspects of the two in the work, and after all Heinlein did sort of invent the rock SF sub-genre with "The Green Hills Of Earth".

But there are much closer antecedents, and much better comparisons in the blue-collar Grateful Dead-tinged SF of Allen Steele's Clarke County books, or John Shirley's A Song Called Youth trilogy - or (and I worry that I seem to be one of the few that have read this) Bradley Denton's superb slice of musical alt-history Wrack and Roll.

It's easy to imagine Aqualung standing alongside the Bastard Child, building a lunar colony, and the Snake Vendors sharing a billing with Blunt Instrument.

Just not with Rhysling...