UK technology trains of thought...

Friday, October 28, 2005

Peak Gas

Vital Trivia » Blog Archive » UK Gas and Electricity Crisis Looming

It seems that Peak Oil may not be the biggest energy issue we need to panic about. This well researched article points out a few things I didn't know:

- North Sea gas has already peaked;

- We are in for a cold winter here in the UK;

- If gas shortfall hits 10%, we will lose electricity (although I don't quite understand this part...);

- The UK gas system is based around 'just in time' delivery;

All in all, we could be facing imminent problems. It sounds like although there are initiatives to combat the problem, such as building large storage facilities... that isn't necessarily going to solve the long term problem.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Binge drinking

Most do not keep track of what they drink and insist they are not binge-drinkers. Many think it will have no effect on their health. | Society | Under-25s in denial over binge drinking

Is it really true that drinking habits have changed so drastically? I see people a couple of generations older than me drinking a lot more than the government definition on binge drinking (8 units, effectively 5/6 glasses of which or 4 pints of beer).

As someone pointed out to me the other day, is it binge drinking if it's planned?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Social software for the masses

DontStayIn is the place to plan your clubbing calendar. Our army of spotters are busy taking photos of clubbers at the hottest parties in your area and throughout the world. If you've had your photo taken, you can look through our galleries to find it.

Home - DontStayIn

Much as I love DSI it really has a lot more it could add, functionally. It is the only social software I have really seen non-techies embrace - and combines the functionality of a successful collaborative social calendar (something rarely seen) and the sort of photo sharing / subscription to events / tagging that flickr does.

If I go to an event, up to several hundred people will be taking photos and linking them to that event in the calendar. The site alerts (via email unfortunately) you of anything tagged with your username or an event you were at.

There is also forums, chat, dating etc. However there is no RSS feed. Going to a large event such as SW4 on Clapham Common guarantees you unwanted notifications of photos you won't be in. Lots of them, clogging up your inbox :(

There is also no way for me to link with my friends, unless I do it manually. There is no integration with existing social networks - even anything as basic as scanning csv's of emails. MSN integration would be awesome.

Plus, why do I have to go through a double upload process for photos. Can't they read my flickr feed?

Maybe it's because of the simplicity that the hordes are using it.

ID cards supplier briefing

The Home Office's ID Cards project team have released a presentation and questionnaire to their supplier group to keep the motor running before Royal Assent in Q1 2006.

Whilst there are lots of smaller suppliers involved in the process, it is unlikely they will get much of a look in. The tender will go to a combination of the following: EDS, Capita, Logica, IBM, Accenture.

Given the ailing HMRC project, Logica and Accenture are a little disadvantadged. EDS is also constantly under threat due to the tax credits fiasco which throws doubt on it's ability to implement the supporting business change capability along with technology - although they do have the Oyster cards project under their belt, giving them good experience. They have recently confirmed their interest.

Accenture also has a current project recieving negative attention - specifically the NHS IT programme. Perhaps Capita are the only ones there whose sins (Criminal Records checks) may now have been forgotten...


Flock Developer Preview is now available. I've installed in on both my main machines and it looks rather cool... It is basically a firefox branch with integration with blogger, and flickr - as well as UI features designed to make social software more integrated with the browsing experience.


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