I &heart; QuizComs

I don’t know if this is particularly British thing, but the ‘QuizCom’ has been a staple here for many years. If the term is alien to you, a QuizCom is notionally a ‘quiz show’, except that no-one actually gives a flying monkeys about the score and it’s really just a vehicle for comedy - sometimes topical, often satirical. One of our TV channels ‘Dave’ made January ‘QuizCom month’ and showed loads of them, and it’s always fun to catch.

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Don't believe Sneakers

Sneakers is one of my all-time favourite films, but it’s perhaps a wake-up call to hear what’s really required to defraud a bank these days. You don’t need to be a hacking genius, you just have to have a few Excel and VBA skills. I’ve heard a number of scary stories in the past from friends about how IT systems are _real_ly operated in some quarters of the financial sector (as opposed to the surface impression, accreditations etc), but I’m still staggered at what appears to be routine behaviour, according to this article.

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I’ve never been one for MMOs, for one I’m scared of them, what with all the talk about EverCrack etc, and for two they kinda sound like too much work. I’m not sure I want a game I can never actually finish playing. My only foray so far into the genre has been Dungeon Runners, which won brownie points with me just for sending up the whole fantasy genre in the old tradition of Bored of the Rings.

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For some reason, open source solutions aren’t that popular where I live. Historically, the UK has lagged behind the other major developed countries in North America and Europe in open source adoption, for reasons I’m not entirely clear about, but generally that attitude is changing over time, as discussed in a report issued by Atos Origin a couple of years ago (funnily enough, I worked heavily with Atos for several years in a previous job on a project that included many open source components).

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Spring eats Tomcat

Well, not quite. But if you’re a fan of open-source software for the enterprise this is pretty big news - SpringSource (who, unsurprisingly, provide services around the Spring framework) is buying Covalent, who in turn provide services around server implementations like Tomcat and Geronimo, which are of course both Apache open source projects. It will mean of course that SpringSource will become more of a ‘one stop shop’ for people wanting to deploy Spring from start to finish.

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Wii Headtracking Video

This video is a month-ish old but I’m posting it here as some discussions with friends last night indicated some hadn’t seen it yet, so I promised to post it here. Enjoy!

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I was stunned to read this morning that ABC has been fined $1.43m for showing a bare arse on TV before 10pm. They actually showed it at 9pm, which is after the watershed here in the UK, but in any case the odd bare arse shot would not usually be considered indecent here - it might get you a 12 rating at best. The Ofcom rules in fact state that “Nudity before the watershed must be justified by the context.

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I’ve never really thought about my blood pressure - I’ve had it checked fairly regularly, but I’ve never previously taken much notice of what the numbers were or anything. Recently though a friend of mine was diagnosed with pretty high blood pressure, which he wasn’t expecting at all, and has had to make a few changes to try to reduce it. So that got me thinking, and since I had to go to the doctor for a routine check-up this week anyway, I thought I’d pay a bit more attention this time.

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ZeroGear looking nice

I just thought I’d post these videos on my blog, because I’m really liking the art style on this racing game using Ogre. They only just got their first car going around the track (hence no shadows yet), but it’s looking polished already (there’s also a HD version available which shows off the artwork better): I really like what they’re doing with the character customisation too (again alternatively watch the HD Version):

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Sony’s guy in Europe has been celebrating the success of PS3 in the region since the price cuts late last year, and although he’s rather economical with the truth in places, he’s right - in countries such as France, Spain and Germany the PS3 had a particularly good XMas and New Year period. I’m not entirely sure why, but there has been quite a difference between the figures for the UK and those for the rest of Europe.

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