Jibble News Archive

News Archive for 2004-06.

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Slashdotted again

Well, it looks like I got slashdotted for the second time in a few months. The server went a bit wibbly for a few hours, but that was eventually taken care of and Ben has mirrored the KiteCam video clips.

It was a conversation in an IRC channel that led to the idea to put the KiteCam page on the intarweb:

<dmc> Paul: stick the avi up somewhere. open a paypal account and advertise for donations. I'm sure if you can get the ball rolling you could get 300 quid from idio^H^H^H^H sympathetic punters
<Paul> oooh, clever idea :)
<dmc> if you get more than 300 quid I want the difference in royalties :)

And the donators are certainly sympathetic (while I am the idiot for doing something so stupid in the first place). The KiteCam fund has broken through the 100 barrier now! One kind chap donated $40! I am overwhelmed by everyone's generosity. To be honest, I wasn't expecting the page to generate any donations, but there was nothing to lose in trying. I guess the slashdotting helped a bit :) I'll be sending thank-you emails to everyone who donated.

Some good points were made amongst the slashdot comments, along with some not so good points, such as:

If it rendered it unusable... then what did they use to get a picture of it?

Like, duh. Someone else's camera?

The good points generally raised the question of why I used such an unsuitable kite and such an expensive camera when a cheaper one would have been better. Well, I already had this camera, so going out and buying another one would have cost me money (don't forget I'm a poor student). And I already had the kite. As unsuitable as it may have been, it was there. And no, I can't afford a helium balloon just yet :)

And the good news(?) is that I have other plans for aerial photography, this time using some less expensive equipment... I'll be sure to make another web page when I get round to trying it.

27 Jun 2004 - 9:42:33 BST
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Commercial Licenses

You can now purchase commercial licenses for the software offered on this web site via PayPal. This will make transactions swifter and more secure.

The software remains dual-licensed, so free use is still possible under the GPL license. However, the commercial licenses offer other benefits, such as being able to use the source code in your own proprietary applications and priority technical support.

20 Jun 2004 - 23:50:19 BST
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KiteCam update

I'm a bit disappointed with the response to my appeals for donations to buy a new camera. It rocketed all the way up to 7.60 within a day, but now it's sort of frozen! Thanks to everyone who's donated - I can nearly afford a disposable camera now! :)

I passed Dixons today (a highstreet electronics retailer in the UK) and noticed that they were offering 50 off a new camera if you traded in your old one. The notice said that the traded in camera would be destroyed immediately, so I asked if I could trade in a broken camera. I was told, "It has to be sort of working." That's bizarre. Surely it won't matter if they are going to destroy it? Anyway, why do they destroy it and then give you 50 off? Weird.

20 Jun 2004 - 20:51:49 BST
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Don't try this with your camera...

Yesterday, I broke my digital camera in a quite spectacular fashion. Fortunately, I did manage to salvage some good photos from the day. Please consider donating to my KiteCam Disaster Fund Appeal so I can try it again some time :)

16 Jun 2004 - 15:47:05 BST
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Looking for a Job

My days of being a research student are numbered, so I'm now actively seeking full time employment. If you have anything to offer, please contact me. Ideally, I'm after some kind of research-based or software engineering job. I'd prefer to work in the UK but will consider other places. Have a browse around the site to see what kind of things I'm good at.

14 Jun 2004 - 18:38:08 BST
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NotCon Social Network Animation

Apologies for the delay, but I've finally made the animation of the PieSpy output from the NotCon conference.

notcon-divx.avi is a 15mb download and lasts about 3.5 minutes. You will need the DivX codec to play it. It's quite pretty towards the end.

If you can't view the video, there are some nice still images:

The conference IRC chat was also logged by LogBot here

12 Jun 2004 - 21:05:23 BST
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Gmail Invites

I have a number of Gmail invites to give away. If you want one, let me know why I should give you one :)

12 Jun 2004 - 20:13:15 BST
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SimpleFTP accepts InputStream argument

SimpleFTP now accepts an InputStream and a filename as an argument to the stor method. It will upload whatever it reads from the InputStream and store it in the current working directory with the supplied filename.

12 Jun 2004 - 15:09:35 BST
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NotCon IRC Channel

NotCon '04 will be held on Sunday 6th June 2004. NotCon is "an informal, low-cost, one-day conference on things that technologies were perhaps not intended to do."

The official NotCon IRC channel is #notcon on irc.freenode.net.

1 Jun 2004 - 14:34:48 BST
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Big Brother IRC Bot

A friend of mine has used PircBot to relay the latest Big Brother (UK) news to an IRC channel. This is great - we can keep track of the latest Big Brother events while in the office.

You can see the bot in #BigBrotherNews on irc.freenode.net.

1 Jun 2004 - 11:06:15 BST
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