Thursday, 31 July 2008
Webware is a useful service to subscribe to. Overnight there were about 6 items of news2.0 to look at. This one caught my eye:
Online travel communications retailer Telestial has just launched Travel Journal, an online service that automatically creates an online trip journal based on the location of the user's phone. Using a special SIM card that triangulates the user's location using cell phone towers, Travel Journal automatically updates in more than 100 countries.
Full article at: Webware
I hope we see more of these useful features being added to mobile phones. Obviously, the difficulty is receiving mobile phone connections in the wilds. Something that SPOT recognised, and so set up their own system to negate that issue.
You can, of course, send your own email link to your blog, and have it appear as a flag on Google Maps (see earlier post). With GPS hardware appearing in more and more mobile phones, the search for the killer geo-application goes on. But it will be difficult to sell an application to the outdoor community whilst signal coverage is so poor. But, who cares about it? It is good to get away from people texting about problems at their work and how rubbish tv is.
One solution that I heard of to taking the world with you in your mobile phone was that the wife gave him a pay-as-you-go SIM for his phone. Work didn't know his new number, but he could call out if he needed. He had a great time painting watercolours in France.
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
Here's another sign that Earth2.0 is screwed up. I go to look for an appropriate video clip for Darren and stumble across a Colplay video hosted by Capitol Music of YouTube. It tells me in a pink bar "this video is not available in your country". A band from London can't be played in the UK.
I investigate further, and find that I can see their main page, but clicking links merely returns me to their homepage. Capitol punishment indeed.
What a joke this Web2.0 is turning into. If some legal issue means I can't watch a video, don't waste my time by displaying the channel in the first place. I don't want to see their stinking badges or adverts. If you're a dinosaur, go and play in the nearest tar pit, and let the mammals get on with trying to use the tools that technology is providing us.
Oh, and here's the link to the Coldplay tune. Enjoy it if you can. Tough squidgies if you are in the UK.
The recent comments race has been won by "version 8", the googleData feed. In 2nd place was the Atom feed, "version 2". The more observant will have noticed that I removed other versions a few days ago.
Although some were fast to collect the data from Blogger, the relay via RSS to the user was slow. E.G. when using Yahoo!'s "Pipes", I could refresh the program after writing a comment, and the code would show it on the screen (along with the previous comments), however the delivery from Pipes, via RSS, to the blog page was slow. Checking with other bloggers via text, and via other browsers, I got the same story.
As I mentioned here recently, there was no reply from Google/Blogger to the causes of these delays, and I can only surmise that it is volume of traffic causing it. Sometimes it took 3 hours for the sidebar element to pick up notification of an updated comment. Sometimes less time.
This all started when Blogger failed to notify me of new comments, and then I noticed how long it took for updates to appear in the sidebar element. In the end, to see who had left recent comments, I resorted to watching the number of comments change below the blog post. Hardly a 21st century solution. So the search started.
And now, to end with a quote from Mr Adams:
"we have normality........ anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem"
source info - what a shame that the Guide's warning is covered over by the BBC's guff. Says it all about the respect that megacorporations have for the customer. Go on, panic, the BBC wants you to! Now, where did I leave my towel?
Yup, back to normal. My faith in Web2.0 megacorps has been shattered by this, and another recent event. But life goes on. Who cares. Earth2.0? No thanks. It'll be filled with management consultants and telephone sanitisers...oops. Play the closing tune, Satchmo.
All the fault of AktoMan who done it at 8:32:00 pm
All the fault of AktoMan who done it at 12:30:00 pm
All the fault of AktoMan who done it at 10:50:00 am
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
I lament here the passing of the Met Office's webcam scheme.
Started in an age before Web2.0, they provided a 360' view of the land around a few chosen weather stations. Over the years the numbers dwindled. And today, a prompt reply to my query told me that the scheme had become commercially unviable and had been withdrawn.
The few English and Welsh cameras had been withdrawn over the years, and we in Scotland had been the beneficiaries of the remainder. We could point people towards glorious sunsets, snow clad lands and the occasional Met Office subby coming to do some maintenance work. Viral advertising for my homeland.
What a shame that, unbidden, Visit Scotland did not step in and say "Lo, it shames me that we can not show off our land in this way", and pass on some coins for the upkeep. But that is not the way the world works, and we were lucky to have enjoyed such a service for so long.
From you, sweet Scotland, there comes forth
a cause to sing your praise across the earth.
In the meantime, TrafficScotland have some cameras watching the roads (and even some outside the Central Belt!). They aren't 360' views, and you can't just look up and stargaze. But it's better than nowt.
All the fault of AktoMan who done it at 12:28:00 pm
All the fault of AktoMan who done it at 9:28:00 am
All the fault of AktoMan who done it at 6:22:00 am
Saturday, 26 July 2008
New edition of Trail was delivered today. For a reason that I won't go into, the phrase "jumping the shark" came to mind.
Thursday, 24 July 2008
At the weekend, I had a bit of a problem with the laces of the TNF Hedgehog trail shoes. They kept coming loose.
Looking online, someone suggested that it was the round-section laces.
I have now copied the lock-lace from my Inov-8's and this site. I'll buy some flat laces if this doesn't work. I picked up some blisters on the outer sides of my feet - I reckon from the shoes working loose. Great grip on the shoes.
I wasn't sure what this was an advert for. Perhaps Albarn's Chinese opera project?
Nope, it is the Olympics. There are more details on Monkey at the BBC site. I'm sure I read the tales at school, but all I can remember is the great Japanese tv series. A rebel who escorts a Buddhist monk on a mission, fighting demons and corrupt people on the way. Hmm, I wonder if the BBC will be told off by their political masters for upsetting the boat?
Yesterday I failed miserably to get the hand of the Mountain Laurel Design Spinntex Mid tarp-tipi that Dawn has given me. Helped by the extendable pole that I got from Darren for winning the last caption competition, I needed to head back to the drawing board.
This is what it should look like. I'll need to sort the peg ties. It was a nice afternoon in Duthie Park anyway.
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
Alternatively, the news from the Outdoor Trade Fair in Friedrichshafen can be found at L4TO, where I'm failing to get enthused by a new Primus Eta stove (heck, if you remember the last time ... when I eventually had the chance to buy it, I took my money elsewhere, keeping my Primus stove and tiMug cookset). Roman found the Heatstick, and it looked good ... until I saw the size and price. But this is just the first incarnation.
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
- Gayle & Mick
- John H
- non-bloggers, Martin (big thanks for all that driving) and John,
- and people we met on the way, FB & DW from OM.
As well as reading other people's opinions, thoughts and takes, this is where I find out what happened to Mick on Sunday morning. By the time I rolled out of bed, their tent was gone and the others said that he had been ill in the night and Gayle had tabbed it off to get their car.
No diabolical hounds seen - though one was seen happily playing with a skull (book).
4 days without checking the Net. My main email account downloaded 159 spam items straight to the bin, leaving some YahooGroups and private messages to read and follow up.
iTunes to refresh after listening to some podcasts on the journey.
No messages from eBay or the offending seller. Bidding ended, and my photo was still there, advertising the person's tent. Used without my permission, non-attributed, and used to make the person money. So, I posted on the eBay community (where I expect a reply of "tough luck"), and contacted the buyer (where it'll probably end up in their spam box):
In the sale that just ended, the seller used a photo of my Akto without my permission. I'd contacted both him and eBay about it, but nadda. I hope it all goes well for you, as the Akto's a great tent (google me at AktoMan), but I thought I'd set the record straight.
Washed out kit last night, and I've rest still to unpack and air. I've started to reply to some of the new comments and emails.
But, importantly, catching up with Friday's "The Now Show".
I've a pile of notes to work through, and the blog posts from the weekend to go back and update with photos. As well as Dawn's tarp-tent to play around with.
Monday, 21 July 2008
I've just listened to a podcast where the idea of "leave no trace" was seen as restrictive. The speaker sees humans as part of the environment as was happy to "leave positive trace". So, what's a positive trace, especially where you don't own the land and are sharing it with others. Are permanent firepits positive or negative? Each person has a different idea. This weekend 10 of us met on Dartmoor and had a good time, i certainly didn't feel restricted by making sure i left no trace. I could have left some land art or totem carved on a sheep's skull, but it would not have been to everyone's tastes. Even weaving a wicker man with Tall Martin's tent inside would not have been seen as positive by everyone. Especially Martin. No, we can each argue over what we think is positive improvements, but i don't own land and i pass through the environment like a shade, just like ancestors before me, at the whim of laird or chieftain. A mere footnote in the history books, the crofter, sailor, tiller of land, infantryman or driver. No pyramids or holidays to the likes of us. The least we can do is leave no trace on the environment as we pass its care on to the next generation.
All the fault of AktoMan who done it at 10:22:00 am
All the fault of AktoMan who done it at 7:26:00 am
All the fault of AktoMan who done it at 6:08:00 am
Sunday, 20 July 2008
Off the Moor and into a Little Chef. More details and photos to follow. No trace left, but plenty of happy memories and thoughts to mull over and action. Job done.
The MiniBullDesign Blackfly3 meths stove works well. As ever, a high centre of gravity makes it very important that the base is stable or secured in place.
Gayle was taken by the GSI cup and bowl that I got from Sarah. I like it too. It stores the makings for tea and coffee, and the shape allows it to be wedges into spaces in my pack. I heard from the others that Mick had taken ill in the night, and that Gayle gone to get the car to drive him out (link). John H had headed out for a family commitment, and BPC John headed away early too.
Geoff soon packed up and headed out.
Leaving Martin, Martin, Alan, Darren and myself.
We left no trace of our being there.
We walked along the side of Great Nodden, Coombe Down, Lake Down and past the Sourton Tors before arriving at the West Devon Way.
But the cafe was closed, so we said farewell to Alan and Martin (who were staying out for another night), and we three headed back to Martin's car as he drove the long miles back east.
With an extra 11.6km (7 miles) under our belts that day, and some strange things to see on the way.
Saturday, 19 July 2008
So many similarities, so many differences. Wild ponies. Rocky outcrops on top of hills. Weather as changeable as back home. More info later.
Up into a damp day. I was using the OMM mat to save space in my pack, but some dampness formed under it.
Collected water from the river, and breakfasted as the early starts were heading out.
Later, we would head up the same valley. Some ponies would come into view just round the corner, and it was strange seeing them in places where I would expect to see sheep.
We reached the base of Black Tor, and Geoff and John parted company with us, after John examined my new TNF Hedgehog trail shoes, and then promptly dirtied them. This gave Darren a snap for his new caption competition.
We followed clear animal tracks up to the Tor. Swinging around the grazing ponies, it seemed strange that they did not start moving away from us. I'm not familiar with the behaviour of these fine-looking animals, so wondered if they were merely tame and used to humans.
Maybe they were, but it might be down to these two young 'uns hiding in the bracken, a short distance from the ponies.
After this, Martin blazed a trail up the shoulder of the Tor and we found shelter in the rocks to discuss the rest of the day's trek. I can't find some destinations on the map, and Martin points out that there is a different Black Tor near a different reservoir. With the right map section opened everything makes sense, and we head off towards Kitty Tor.
Darren and Martin head off Black Tor
We're heading to the ford and near where the sun is shining on the right side of the valley.
With the clouds coming in, we head off the hill and through a bracken-covered boulderfield. Trekking poles are useful to prod ahead and find out if there is any footing in front, or just a gap.
We get back down to the valley floor, and head to the Sandy Ford where we can cross the river. I use the lunchbreak in the rocks to dry my feet and socks after the river ran over the top of the shoes.
After examining the hi-tech military installation and weather reports at Kitty Tor, it is tracks almost all the way.
As we near the end of the day's walk, Darren goes crazy and takes an interest in the local produce.
Arriving at Nodden Gate, he goes off to find the pitch. As Martin and myself arrive, we see Mick, Gayle, Alan and Martin arriving from another direction. A comical race develops, refereed by Darren, who had started pitching his tarptent before coming back for us.
A pleasant relaxing evening is enjoyed in the Fox & Hounds, and back at the pitch.
Taking the 'easy' route, we had only trekked 12km (7 1/2 miles).