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Pete Martin

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US/UK Extradition Laws Now Giant Game Of Kabaddi [Dec. 2nd, 2007|10:14 am]
This article from The Times has been doing the rounds on various blogs. In short, it's legal in the US to kidnap people on foreign soil if they're wanted for crimes in the US with the Typical Response to International law: We don't think you understand. We're the fucking United States.

Now, the normal response to to this delightful bit of news is one of slight horror from everyone. Since we all know about the current US administration habit of calling people terrorists and locking them up in Cuba with the reason of "TAG! You're out!".

Anyone knows the rules to Kabaddi? This is now how we do things now:
You can send your snatch teams, but if we can catch them before they can escape, then they're out of the game.

And you have to keep saying Kabaddi within one breath the entire time.

So, whilst we're at it, I'm making a list of United States citizen we'll be coming after. Ready? Go. KabaddiKabaddiKabaddiKabaddiKabaddiKabaddi...
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Evening Braindump [Nov. 15th, 2007|10:40 pm]
* Researching Intangible Heritage, its relationship to tangible heritage and what museums can do about it. So far my research has told me that simply gathering together the merger scraps of knowledge about this would probably constitute a serious paper in the field.

* My eye's twitching. Not that funny-tickling twitch, no, my lower eyelid has cramps.

* "Epathy" (as a "mix of empathy and apathy") is just silly. And wrong.

* London tomorrow to dick around museums in the vain effort of... research I think. I don't know.

* I now have... six ways to post to twitter available to me. Life's not too short. Still no decent one for my phone.

* Looking at a assisstant curator job in Canada. Is Ontario nice?



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Fuck your Hallowe'en [Oct. 31st, 2007|10:22 pm]
I'm inside. Outside I hear screaming and moaning. Good God, I say, society has finally collapsed. I knew we couldn't be this close to Southampton without being one of the first to feel the brunt of the inevitable.

Trust me. Go to Southampton on a Saturday. The end of civilisation in this country won't be about savage gangs tearing the place down. No. It'll be about the shopping trolley, the forty plastic bags and the five-children-each-with-two-in-a-buggy.

But no. I look through the haze at my watch to see it's Hallowe'en time. Nobody seems to put the ' anymore.

Why is this event so much bollocks? Case in point.

On top of that, I've seen a "swirled-face" mask.

I weep for humanity as I hid behind my walls armed with every bit of wood-with-a-nail-in-it that I could find.

If you get this. Send aid and nurses. I'm still dying and time is short.


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FaceBookSlamShut part II [Oct. 28th, 2007|04:51 pm]
Been playing with a few new apps. And started a new group, Swindonauts. I feel it may turn into a better ning site though...

Just want to say something about the last facebookslamshut post: I fucking called it and Microsoft pipped them to the post

Before I was looking at the ultimately useful apps that provided connectivity between the other sites I use, (Still awaiting a LibraryThing app), and avoiding those I felt had no greater purpose. This time I kicking around some things that have caught my attention but still avoiding those sticker-trading ones (Pirate, zombies, ninjas, gardens, fisktank etc.)

Wikimono is the first to try Wikis within Facebook, taking the definition of a wiki as a multi-editor document. I'm sure there is some use for it, but I've not really thought of one.

Very few ideas have spawned so many offshoots as Twitter. Whilst they have an official app to go with their official use, Twittervision ("where are you?" as well as "what are you doing?") has integrated into facebook, making it all more mobile. I do wonder how well Facebook would stand up as a travelog.

If only I wanted people to know where I was...

There's a lot of activism on Facebook, from using Groups as a petition to the Causes app which try to add some comradeship to the usual guilt-trip approach to donating to charities and NGOs. Their even a sticker approach.

One I found surprising is Greenbook, which promises CO2 reduction through some kind of sponsorship. I love how pre-2.0 this all sounds, that somehow digitalising something will make money and be successful. All credit to them as they seem to be trying really hard and adding other eco-aspect to it will help.

SuperBadger, on the other hand, is digitalising something that's time-consuming: Writing letters to important people. I love how they do this in the form of a sticker. Instead of clicking a person and having your Buxom Wench Novice Vampire "bite" them for blood points, this sends a prewritten email for "sett" points. Delightful.

Since Facebook has it fair share of decision makers and politicians, I think this idea is really good. I personally see a greater value in this app than advertising its Christian roots. In fact, I would strongly suggest changing that page. I believe in preventing climate change and ethical trade because it appeals to my sense of justice, not because I want to join "a global network of local churches" to "release [people] from material and spiritual poverty" and "raise up 1 million radical disciples".

Because, frankly, that's scary language.

Right, I'm struggling to find any more useful ones. I'm going to play Batman.






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Data Transmission for Satellie Winchester [Oct. 24th, 2007|05:31 pm]
Swindonaut Pete Martin reporting in with the first part of an ongoing transmission.

I should point out that this is being posted onto The Swindonaut facebook group, my livejournal (Which in turn gets put onto my facebook profile with the notes application) and anywhere else I can think to put it. I strongly suggest others do the same.


The one thing I've noticed about Winchester above that of Swindon is the sheer amount of art that pretty much lying about. A case in point is the Bollard Awareness Clinic. A simple idea of painting bollards in a wraparound style of famous artists.

(Side note: This ties in nicely to Japanese manhole covers I recently discovered.)

Can you imagine such projects in Swindon? If every manhole cover, bollard, electric box in the town centre was given to an artist to play with? You can see the beginnings of this idea with the Artsmad funded project on the shelter in Queen's Park, but I feel its not showing enough innovation. I would have demolished the damn thing. That would stop graffiti.

I'm not seeing a culture of "graffiti" here in Winchester. And by that I mean Tagging. Here, I see stickers, posters, some stencil work, bits of worthwhile things to look at. Tags seem to keep to their place. Now, is this endemic of a city with several degree-level academic institutes including one Art school all within walking distance of the town centre? When compared to Swindon's mass of pubs, overabundance of manual labour or basic administration jobs and the weird obsession with vocational courses, I say yes.

*******

Has anyone discovered if cafe culture ever really succeeded in Swindon? There seems to be plenty of places that sells coffee but now I know what wrong with them all. Marks and Spencers cafe, Cafe Roma (which has sold it soul), Starbucks, Nero, those places in the middle of the shopping centres (is one of them Boswells?) have all failed on one important factor...

Case in point: The two nicest cafes in Winchester, Cafe Monde and the Forte Tearooms, are both away from main road traffic, automobile and pedestrian. Thats pretty much it. Costa, Starbucks, Nero, all on the high street and the do their thing. Monde and Forte are places AWAY from all that running and shopping and children. Cafe culture is supposed to be places of relaxation and reflection because they are in relaxing and reflective places. Two little side streets, and thats it. Monde is next to the leafy park in front of cathedral and a few other lazy lunchtime eateries. It has outside seating as well as upstairs seating to avoid the passing trade. Forte is entirely upstairs with no chance of intrusive glances to make you feel like animals at feeding time.

Probably why I've said Bex Coffee off Havelock Square is the best place in Swindon...

*******

A river runs though Winchester, The River Itchen. It forms part of several green spots. I don't know what it is about running water, it just works.

Did I hear that Swindon will try the same but with the canals? Or did I dream it up?

No, it was real. Can't say I understand it.

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Recovering Swindonaut [Oct. 6th, 2007|03:32 pm]
For those not knowing, I've left Swindon and now installed in Winchester. The differences are staggering, but mostly boil down to my curmudgeonly pursuit of a decent sandwich, a proper cup of coffee and a varied music scene. I'm one avant-garde  performance away from a total mindgasm. Yes. Things are good.

I'm thinking of trademarking Swindonaut. Like space travellers of yore, we escape the gravity of Swindon on a satellite and report back with important data of the universe beyond. Would make a good social network.

*******

First impressions of my new phone, the HTC TyTN, are mostly positive. Became even better when I found GooSync can link my mobile calendar to Google Calendar. Only problem is the billion bits of Bacn I get now across all my communication technique. I'll never forget anything again BECAUSE IT SIMPLY WON'T LET ME.
Problem I've found is that the poor little thing falls over when pushed like the little girl riding a bike you fancied when you were 4. I hope this is solved with the new SD card to take the load of the weightier file and leaving the internal memory for swap files.

If anyone knows a decent sound recorder for Windows Mobile 5, let me know. Every one I've tried is expensive or broken.

"God, your phone's a brick!"
"Yes. A very expensive brick. A brick equal to the current price of gold. Now get away from me, peasant."

*******

Reading Warren Ellis's latest few Bad Signal posts, his third book should be a gardening/cookery book. "TRANSHORTICULTURALIST". Smell the money.





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FaceBookSlamShut [Sep. 19th, 2007|04:37 pm]
Facebook. Never before has something on the Infotubes offered such joy and hatred in one small minimalistic package.

Well, it was before people went a bit crazy with the application. But they too are a delight and a disgust.

I think I have some of the more useful applications.
del.icio.is - Put your saved links on your facebook page to share with friends. Wonderful. Bit slow and possibly not as good as facebook's own "share" function, but it's del.icio.us, which can do all sorts of extras. Would be good to replace "share" with this and get the best of both.

All of the flickr apps suck in their own little way. You would have thought flickr would have done their own by now. I use flickr photos but it lacks any automation. Would like to be the default for all pictures.

Last.fm app. Works perfectly in their typical over-engineered way. Can show just listened to or a constructed playlist.

Weirdly, the facebook status update and twitter are almost identical. But twitter is out there and statusupdate is locked inside. I would love the twitter app to totally replace it.

I hate the flixster website. Reminds me of everything wrong with windows XP default scheme. The app is another good way to satisfy my own need to tag, rate, advertise and digitally save my opinions in an attempt to have a personality on the Worldbeam.

I also have the usual facebook bumpf all shutdown to the absolute minimum.

Games? Scrabulous and Fantasy Football. Have to really. And they are pretty much private and don't need to be on the profile taking up space.

One more, Fluxword. A short story sharing app. Looks interesting but still very early. I could think of amazing things to do with it.

And that's it. For every good app there four-hundred crappy pointless ones that act as interactive stickers. Facebook has become the online operating-system that everyone expected google to become. In fact, some apps that that would bridge that gap would be The Future. But instead its become a refuge of old and tired memes.

Don't not worry. I will guide you. If I find something in my infobahn archeology in this time of No-History, I'll let you know.


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I Need Audio Waves to make Brain happy. [Sep. 3rd, 2007|07:37 pm]
This is how (someone could be) getting music right now.

Firstly, firefox with the greasemonkey add on, then the Inline Mp3 player Button version, which means one can sample any direct linked mp3 without having to download the whole damn thing.

There's hype machine, which more often than not offers absolute tosh on the front page but links to decent blogs with better stuff.

I've yet to fully use seeqpod, which can sometimes throw up a gem and more often than not frustrate me to the point of stabbing the screen

I often just click about Myspace, just for random factors. Finding Irish techno or Scandinavian throat singing can sometimes brighten a day. Sometimes these people offer free sweet sweet mp3s. Sometimes I use a little magic to get them...

Last.fm, whilst a nice little tool cannot make serious suggestions if it's over-engineered life depended on it. Leonard Cohen is not the be all and end all of singer-songwriting recommendations.


I use a handy little firefox add-on called Ook? Video Ook! (Bar none the silliest name for an add-on) which allows direct downloads of youtube videos.

Combined with a program called Super, you can turn .flv video files into anything else, like mp3s...

Show me tasty music now.


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Goddamn Coffee Drinker [Aug. 1st, 2007|11:51 pm]
I start pacing when I'm indoors and can't write. I've set myself (and others) a herculean task of ten short stories and sometimes I struggle. I write on this thing to keep my fingers moving and pretend I'm a social commentator.

Where do you get your ideas from?

I'm four stories shy from my quota and then I can start threatening the others with stoats to get theirs done.
That idea is simple. It's about the progressive nature of format rather than the rehashing of genre manifestos. The words just have to be of a high quality and as unique as possible. The format dictates what you can actually do with it. Look at novels, there's no single idealised format, only a bunch of guideline saying things about word count, chapter length or number of pages. Most of these are about commercial reasons, about what profits can be made and who will buy a book the size of a mattress. There are lots of variables that affect an overall formula.

Scratch all that out. Start again. The only challenge there is about marketability. Bless you people making money, but let's throw those ideas out for a second. Set a different challenge. I suppose the difference it between being told "Write about whatever and we'll see if its good" to "Write about a serial stoat torturer and we'll take it".

Given that choice, would you take the gamble or accept the bet?

I found myself not writing, so I saunter into a bar where an ex-girlfriend's little sister works and discover Swindon Town FC Manager Paul Sturrock there as well. I walk right into the back garden after ordering a coffee, slightly bemused. Serendipity can be a weird bastard. Prime location for inspiration. There are spots in Swindon where that stuff just gathers. I walk through them sometimes and it's so easy. I churned out one of the most intense thing I've ever written.

Four coffees helped though.




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Flooded Transience [Jul. 21st, 2007|08:30 pm]
To understand Swindon, you have to understand the curse of its location. It's the most North of the "South" and the most East of the "West". Swindon clings on this scape of identity, even going by "The Gateway to the West Country" when really we share very little in common with our district neighbours.

Such a location within the cracks was to Swindon's benefit. Brunel, a man heralded so greatly in a town where there is little documented evidence of him every visiting yet forgotten about in his home town of Portsmouth, brought the trains here solely on it's position between Bristol and London. The M4 follows a similar pattern. Bristol/Bath, Cheltenham/Gloucester, Oxford, Reading and Salisbury forms this big circle around Swindon, all with relatively easy access. Swindon is a town on its own.

This leads to the understanding about the general populace. Being a stepping-stone means a very transient feel about the place. A fact not made better by the increasing number of hotels appearing, and buildings that are not hotels but can be at the drop of a hat when they are sold on. Swindon is here, historically and economically, because people come and go. This makes the transport links very important.

My weekend plans came to nothing. Since my moods control the weather, it was decided nobody got to go anywhere. Sorry.

And look what happens. This Town's arteries seized up and this place damn near died. The trains took you no where and people were trapped on the roads for twenty-four hours. You can see it in people complaining about the weather. Behind that small grumble is the small sparks of a town-wide case of cabin fever. Help us. Help us. We're stuck here. We can't get away. Who do we eat first?

So those of us few who are stuck in the crack, spare a thought for us. We live here. And we haven't had any dinner.




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