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June, 2009

  1. Petrol Prices

    June 30, 2009 by Daniel

    Stupid petrol prices
    Noticed of late that they are creeping up a bit, far behind us are out 88p days and they’ve broken the £/litre again. So I was wondering like the graphs of stocks and shares, what a petrol one would be like?
    I get emailed every so often where the cheapest petrol station is and how much is going for, so I sorted through the last years worth, plonked it into a spreadsheet and voila:
    petrol_prices (1)
    Rising very sharply of late isn’t it?
    This is for my area in Manchester. Petrol prices can be very localised so it may not necessarily correlate for you.

  2. Crowdsourcing: The Smartest way to get an answer?

    June 26, 2009 by Daniel

    Just a quick thought, people are advocating crowdsourcing all the time now, but how smart is a crowd? Does it depend on your crowd as to how good your answer is? And should some crowds just not bother asking?

    Wikipedia: Smart Crowd, but lot’s of noise.
    Facebook: Limited to your friends, so depends on how smart they are.
    The Guardian: They crowd sourced their reviewing of MPs expense documents. Was is successful, should they journalists have just put the time in themselves?

  3. New Compy

    June 24, 2009 by Daniel

    So after going on 18 months of wishing I got a new computer. It’s been quite a saga – frst of all following the mac rumours of the Mac Mini being killed off, then Apple said that they weren’t going to followed by not updating it at MacWorld but finally announcing it on 3rd March 2009, adding USB ports a Mini DisplayPort and Firewire 800. If I’d have had the cash around it would have been instant.
    However, I wanted to get the LED display with it. Rightfully Dave questioned me on this, it’s a lot of cash for a screen but this is where the Mac fan in me comes out to play havoc with finances – it’s so pretty. Kate had decided the same and we thought well we shouldn’t get one without the other and so we’ve waited til we could afford it.

    Now my laptop is still going quite strong, almost a second wind since installing Leopard on it which I recently found out will be it’s final resting OS since Apple won’t be supporting the PowerPC processor in OS X after this release. Believe it or not, this is not the first machine I have maxxed out on OS updates – I took my Macintosh IIci up to Mac OS 8.5. But the single most important reason for getting the mini would be iLife, especially iPhoto so finally we could get creative with our wedding pictures.

    So far it’s working well, Skype looks beautiful on full screen and works well with the built in iSight & Microphone and the Mini is surprisingly powerfull. I’m currently looking at ways to remotely see what’s happening at home with the iSight by a command-line “room-shot”.
    I’ve got all of the Music loaded into iTunes now and have been syncing our iPod’s with it (last night I took the bullet and synced my iPhone with it too). It’s currently in a temporary location as we plan to be moving house at some point (but that’s a whole other blog post).

  4. If you were a Banker, where would you park your Rolls-Royce?

    June 24, 2009 by Daniel

    Don’t really know why, but this tickled me this morning:

    Before going to Europe on business, a man drove his Rolls-Royce to a downtown New York City bank and went in to ask for an immediate loan of $5,000.
    The loan officer, taken aback, requested collateral and so the man said, “Well then, here are the keys to my Rolls-Royce.”
    The loan officer promptly had the car driven into the bank’s underground parking for safe keeping, and gave him $5,000.
    Two weeks later, the man walked through the bank’s doors, and asked to settle up his loan and get his car back. “That will be $5,000 in principal, and $15.40 in interest”, the loan officer said. The man wrote out a check and started to walk away.
    “Wait sir”, the loan officer said, “while you were gone, I found out you are a millionaire. Why in the world would you need to borrow $5,000?”
    The man smiled. “Where else could I park my Rolls-Royce in Manhattan for two weeks and pay only $15.40?

    (via varadinum)

  5. Transformers

    June 22, 2009 by Daniel

    Transformers 2 Poster

    Transformers 2 Poster

    Saw this at the IMAX last night, was a good end to a very hungover day. We were aiming for the 1800 showing but it was sold out, so we bought tickets for 9, went home for some food and came back (god bless the printworks free car parking).
    I have to say I did enjoy it, I didnt think it was amazing though – a bit too long and action heavy for my taste, I get a little fatigued sometimes. I can’t put my finger on the other problem whether it was an IMAX thing, a Michael Bay thing or a Transformer thing – that when the robots are fighting and it’s all fast and blurry i’m not really sure what i’m supposed to be seeing…

    As mentioned Sunday was a hangover day, we hadn’t planned on drinking so much on Saturday – just to go to the pub for the Rugby, but we just ended up staying out. We explained to Liz what the Lions were and why they’re so special. Was a good fun time even though they lost (but hey there’s always the next test) with some trouble that’s been brewing for a while but the less said the better really. To say the least some stale air was cleared.
    So there’s a lot of bad things in my world at the moment, but there’s a lot of really good things that are pulling me through at the moment. Obviously i’ve not mentioned half the bad things here but i’m hoping to be able to talk about the good very soon.

  6. Awesome Weekend

    June 8, 2009 by Daniel

    Just before bed last night I was summing up the weekend and was concluding that it was probably one of the best I’d had in ages. I managed to squeeze practically every activity I enjoy into it.

    We went to see some Rugby, England v Argentina – my first actual game at Old Trafford which was a very impressive place and an enjoyable game. We picked up Justin and Dave met us there (but only just in time for kick off!!)


    We saw friends, ended up staying at Justin’s place chatting till waaaay after a time we could pick up food from a supermarket on a Saturday night, so ended up getting a Pizza from Peter Pan’s in Cheetham Hill, back in time for recorded Big Brother and a bit of Veronica Mars before bed.

    On Sunday we had a nice morning in together and then headed up the M66 to the shops and cinema where we saw Angels & Demons – which I think was better than expectations. It was entertaining and there was some beautiful reminders that Rome would be a nice place to go and visit. Jury’s still out for me on the Vue cinema up there – it’s a bit more expensive than the AMC in town but it’s just so easy to get there and park etc.

    In the evening it was a nail biter on TV on three fronts, i’ll leave the importance order up to you but there was the Apprentice final (shocked by the result), Big Brother non-housemate eviction (right person went IMHO) and the European elections (also quite shocking in many ways).