Why I stick with Apple

16 04 2008

I’ve always known Microsoft didn’t really have their finger on the cultural pulse but this video surprised even me (well at least the 15 seconds I managed to watch before cringing into a huddled ball in the corner of the room anyway).

It’s all particularly painful as I rediscovered Bruce’s live version of Tom Wait’s “Jersey Girl” this morning. That song never gets tired.


Dilbert and the Monty Hall problem

15 04 2008

Just read an interesting post on thedilbertblog.com about the Monty Hall problem.

Basically, it goes like this; imagine you’re on a game show and on this game show you have three doors to open. Behind one door is a new car, and behind the other two there’s a goat. You choose a door, and before you open it, the host (who knows what is behind each door) opens another of the doors to demonstrate there’s a goat behind it. 

Your choice is whether to stick with the door you’ve chosen or to switch. Which is where this gets interesting…

Most people’s logic would suggest that you now have a 50/50 chance of the door you’ve chosen having the car behind it but this is not true. According to statistics there is now a 33% chance that you have the right door, but you have a 67% chance of it being the other door.

I couldn’t get this at all but I saw a nice explanation on Wikipedia which has cleared it up. So now I get it.

Sort of.

As if my brain wasn’t frazzled enough today…

My letter to Neil Burkett, CEO of Virgin Media.

15 04 2008

Sent this this morning.

Dear Neil

I have been a loyal NTL/Virgin Media customer for the last five years and have, until now, had nothing but praise for the speed and value of service offered by your  company and its predecessor. I work in  IT and media and consider your broadband service to be a vital and valued service in my daily life.

  Thus it is with great sadness that I read your uninformed, disparaging and offensive criticisms of the concept of net neutrality and your intentions regarding Virgin Media and your future plans to “put any website or service that won’t pay Virgin a premium to reach its customers into the ‘Internet bus lane.’”

  Your attitude (“Net Neutrality is ‘bollocks’” – is this appropriate language for a prominent CEO?) and your demonstrated understanding of the principles that have made the Internet the economic powerhouse it has grown to be are very disappointing.

  Net Neutrality is, I concede, a somewhat conceptual controversy and I also concede that the current economic environment make the idea of premium content appealing. However, this argument is flawed; the Internet is valuable because of its breadth and its democratised base of information and this egalitarianism has led to the growth of internet phenomena such as YouTube, Facebook and Wikipedia; cornerstones of the modern online experience.

  Conversely, I would argue that recent attempts to create a network which favour content from larger players at the expense of the little guy have created such dismal failures as the Compuserve and AOL systems of the mid 1990’s, the failure of WAP to engage the public’s interest at the beginning of this decade and the anaemic level of content many mobile providers provide for online surfing (compare the average level of online content use on mobile service provision with the massive take-up offered by the iPhone).

  People like the Internet because it is free, because their opportunities for exploration are vast and they can do what they want in a way that is hard to compare with any other electronic medium that preceded it.

  Virgin Media has a reputation as an innovator and pioneer in the broadband service it offers its UK customers and your exclusive access to the cable system means you have much more to offer. You can use this potential you have to offer your customers the service we want and keep us happy, or you can squander our trust in order to make a few short-term content deals. The choice is yours but I urge you, let history be your guide.

  I wish you well.


Toby Jones.  

ITV kills episode of ‘Pushing Daisies’

15 04 2008

It’s this kind of shit that is killing ITV; they’re too f***ing dumb to see it. Bear in mind this is after they got 5.7 million viewers for the first episode and these days ITV are lucky if they get 5.7 viewers.

Oh well, that’ll be more customers for BitTorrent then.