Is UKUUG worth it?

Omahn, I think at £40/year UKUUG is definitely worth it, if you go to at least one of the conferences each year. They’re really quite high quality and a good time is to be had at the meal afterwards too. Although due to work pressures I haven’t been able to make it to one since early 2005.

Even if you didn’t manage to get to any of the conferences, I think it’s definitely a worthy cause. As someone who’s working full time and spending money each month on pointless tat to distract myself from the constant horror and heartbreak of the world I feel it’s the least I can do really. If I was on a tight budget though and not able to get to the conferences anyway then I’d not be bothering either.

Plus you’d have to pay me to read any paper computing magazine these days!

Can this person be for real?

First read these threads:

I hope for the future of humanity that “Police_Driver” is trolling. Choice quotes I particularly enjoyed:

“Often I put the rear seats flat, this reduces weight. (Like why you crawl flat across a frozen pond so as not to break the ice).”

“The rear seat thing, It is rare that I fold them down, but it has to be said that when folded they remove a bit of weight. Vertical seats exert more downward force because the energy is focused on a smaller surface area. When horizontal, the weight is spread and so is less per Centimetre squared.”

“The tyres thing, I am aware that this is technically an offence, HOWEVER, so is having dirty windows, an empty washer bottle or a two-toned horn. Tickets for these things are going to be darn rare, and if I were to be so unlucky as to get one I would be more than happy to pay the £30 and put it down to bad luck.”

Hilarious whether true or fake, but also rather worrying if this imbecile is actually on the roads.

New ducti

My new ducti walletLast year sometime I bought a Triplett ducti wallet. It has served me admirably, but in the last month or two the clear tape on the outside started to peel back. With the underside of it being sticky it was getting fluff all on it and starting to look a bit scruffy.

I mailed ducti UK to ask if they had any tips for cleaning it (it does come with a repair patch, but I feel this is really all just show). They promptly mailed back with some suggestions, but also told me that if I posted it back with £5 then they would send me a brand new one, as part of their lifetime trade in policy!

So that’s what I did, and on Friday my replacement wallet arrived, with a free wallet chain thrown in! Thanks ducti!

Is “Chinese whispers” racist?

Here’s something I’ve been pondering recently.

Is the phrase “chinese whispers” racist?

You may not know, because I didn’t know until I looked it up very recently, that the term is a very colonial one (late 19th, early 20th century British empire) and refers to a game which most of the rest of the world knows as “Telephone“.

As far as I have been able to determine, Chinese whispers is derived from another phrase, Chinese fire drill. Chinese firedrill is named after a fire drill done on a ship with Chinese crew who didn’t understand what was going on, the end result being it all got screwed up. It basically got blamed on the Chinese for being stupid.

So when something goes completely wrong due to incompetence or stupidity leading to mass confusion, it got called a Chinese firedrill, the implication being that Chinese are stupid, and they can’t communicate clearly.

I have been using the term “Chinese whispers” all my life (though not often, as I kind of grew out of this game fairly early on) without any thought to its origin. I have never heard the game of Chinese whispers referred to as telephone before so I suspect that most people in UK would be unfamiliar with it also (similar to how we know the song as “okey cokey” but the rest of the world knows it as “hokey pokey”).

Dear Lazyweb, Can you suggest an organiser/calendaring solution?


What I’m looking for is a simple organiser or calendaring solution whereby everything is stored on a server. I want to be able to put in details of TODO items, events and meetings via a web interface (so that I can do it from mostly anywhere).

It should be able to email me about upcoming events, with a URL to the web interface to get more details.

I also want to have access to it not only via the web but also via some kind of API that would allow me to e.g. get a plain text list of events/TODOs for the current week in my shell login script.

Can anyone suggest anything?