Browser Wars

I've done what all self-obsessive types (read blogger) do and I've been checking my stats. The first thing I couldn't help but notice is the gradual drop off in visitors since my all time high of hosting the Eastcliff Richard news with link from his site. That's fine, I never expected to get as high a rating as him anyhows and at that time the whole blogger network was on fire. We've calmed down alot now (in some cases almost stopped) but the stats still reveal some other interesting figures. btw, if you do have your own blog, the guys I'm using are pretty neat for tracking your hit counts.

The thing that I found most interesting is the relatively high proportion of Firefox users who visit this blog. The internet average is approx 80% Internet Explorer, 15% Firefox, 5% other - probably made up mainly as a combination of Mac users or whichever browser the odd Linux user prefers e.g. Konquerer. On this blog the average daily rates see-saw 50-50 between IE and Firefox. I expect this is because bloggers are a little more tech savvy than the average web user.

As I've said before, firefox is uber cool, but it's not the only alternative browser out there. Another good one for PC users is Opera. I used this a bit before firefox came out, but the free version (what's the point in paying when you already have a free one with IE) always had built in banner ads. I really do hate banner ads. Opera has now removed these, probably funded by is expansion into the handheld markets. Your likely to be using an opera based browser if ever you use the net on your mobile (a good use of net on the mobile is Windows Live Hotmail, which means you can email through WAP, you could even email your blog post with the auto email publish tool on blogger).

So I've been trying out Opera for the PC. It has some very neat functions. Firstly, it's has a very clean and minimal interface which means a large viewing window. It has the tabbed browsing which we all love about Firefox, but it deals with it differently. It saves the history of tabs from when you last closed it, which is neat. Opera also has RSS built in. Infact, it is a very good browser, but it's not as easy to modify as Firefox. Another major problem is that man of the new ajax sites don't support it (see the webmail webmail webmail post) so alas, though I will say it's better than IE6, it's not as good as Firefox.

Here I am, banging on about Firefox, Firefox, Firefox. But you can't keep an old dog like IE down. Enter IE7 beta. The first thing I'll say is... "what a firefox rip off", even down to the re-styled logo. The boys at Microsoft have clearly seen that the are seriously lagging in the browser department. The new explorer is neat, they've included tabbed browsing (hurrah!) and they have also now included RSS feeds capability. The RSS has been approached differently though, rather than headlines with links that you get in FF, it's a separate page which loads the whole feed like in Opera (you can get a FF extension that does the same if you like). Also included is the little search-bar in the top right which is an invaluable tool on the fox which makes the return to IE6 all the more difficult. So IE7 is a huge leap for the explorer range but will not be shipped as standard till the release of Windows Vista, which will be next year for us home users. Though of course they will hold a degree of browser market share due to users lacking the technical knowledge to change and of course those who fear change, I think that more people are getting tech savvy.

Considering the gap of 5 years between version releases, I find it difficult to think that a monolith like Microsoft will be able to keep up with smaller browser developers like Mozilla's Firefox, as has been shown with Microsoft's ambivalence to browser improvements since beating Netscape in the original browser war and subsequently being caught with their trousers down. But Microsoft is resilient, though they don't have the advantage of being able to employ their bullying techniques, they have shown time after time that they are an irresistible force. We shall have to wait and see what the outcome of this new browser war is.

Some linkage:

Firefox download - http://mozilla.com/products/firefox

Internet Explorer7 beta download - http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/downloads/default.mspx

Opera download - http://www.opera.com/

posted by SkinOfStars @ 5:23 pm, , links to this post


Some fun stuff on the net

I've been with the girlfriend for the past few days and we've been looking around at some fun stuff on the net. We started with something a friend of mine from college told me about called Hard Gay from Japan. Here is a YouTube link (I won't embed it, though you can do that with anything from YouTube). It's pretty crazy what they can get away with over there. Hoooo!

From that I took her to some old classics that everyone should check out at some point. Many of these are flash, but you'll get the links at each site if your missing the nessecary flash plugin.

badger badger badger - One very addictive song, part of the weebles collection.
angry alien - Bunnies re-enact films in thirty seconds.
salad fingers - Disturbed cartoon series.
rather good - Rather good videos

Thats about as much as we got through as I've got her addicted to myspace now and she has to make regular checks on that. Anyhows, I've gotta roll as I've revision to do.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 1:30 pm, , links to this post


New Government Tagging System

The word on the street is that there is a new government tagging system that's been put into place to help other motorists spot bad drivers. Apparently the new system will involve drivers who have been spotted as being a potential hazard being required to have a flag attached to the side of their car. The government directive has chosen the well known St Georges cross flag as the primary marker to be used so as to be clearly identifiable. Particularity bad drivers will be required to have two flags. So if you see anyone with these tags attached to their car, be sure to steer clear.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 5:05 pm, , links to this post


Never happy with what I've got... a Google post.

Google offer some great services. They have expanded well out of the remit of a plain search engine, but it's still their search engine service that I like to use most.

I like to have a google account and one of the neatest parts of that is the alternative homepage. If you have a google account then try this - http://google.co.uk/ig

Once you're there and signed in you can modify what is included on the page. Try something like this: Top left click 'add content', a little sidebar slides open. You can modify what sort of jazzy stuff you want displayed. Then you could try something like this: in the little sidebar copy and paste this into the input field that says 'search by site or feed' - http://artsandelbows.blogspot.com//atom.xml

Then as if by magic, there are the latest headlines from your favourite local arts blog on your customisable page. You can do that with any of the local blogs as well as any other site that has a RSS/XML feed. Oh yes, google.co.uk/ig is set as my homepage with a couple of my favourite feeds. Web at a glance.

So here is what I'm not happy with. I can do all sorts of funky stuff like that, but why can't I add my favourite google searches to this page like the images or froogle ones that are default? How hard is that going to be for them magic webcoders at google? My main searches are google scholar and google books. Why do I have to go to the 'more...' section every time and pick it out of a list?

posted by SkinOfStars @ 10:34 pm, , links to this post


Webmail Webmail Webmail

Further to the last post about Windows Live Mail v Gmail.

I know many people like to use POP and IMAP email through a client like MSOutlook or Thunderbird. Of course I've used these myself and see many advantages, quick loads, offline reading etc. but there are huge advantages in using webmail. Thanks to always-on broadband, most of us have a constant internet, so we no longer need to quickly connect and collect. The long suffering problem for webmail though has been slow loading of pages for each and every message you want to look at. But thats been changing thanks to the new services being provided by the likes of Google, Microsoft and Yahoo and their implementation of AJAX scripting. I wanted to get a good look around these new webmail services what the best is.

I started my webmail days with the then wonderful hotmail (I guess it was AOL, but they suck, so I try to forget about that). I've now been wooed away by Gmail (google mail) thanks in large to super smooth loading, simplicity and nearly 3GB of storage. There are also firefox extensions and other apps whereby you can use all this space as online storage thanks to a good third-party API implementation. This 'beta' has been spreading on invitation only for quite a while now and is proving very popular.

So hotmail have countered with Windows Live Mail - you have to click the 'try beta' by the title at sign-in. They didn't support firefox at first, then they did, now they don't again. Most of you will still be using Internet Explorer (God help us!) so this won't be too much of a problem, but even in IE it still uses up to much header space with banner ads. This means the whole email package is squeezed into the bottom half of the screen. They also fill up the right side with banner ads, this is all leaving little space for the serious business of email. Still, it does feel like using outlook express and is fast.

So the third contender for the crown is yahoo!. I've signed up with these guys a few times before, this time to use their messenger service (please o' webgod, when do we get a universal messenger?) but as always with them I've found the whole experience heavily ad laden. The whole 'beta' webmail experience though was a hell of a lot better than Windows Live. They even have they neat, if not pointless function of dragging and dropping emails into the trash. Also, it all works fine in firefox! All in all, it's not too shabby.

Conclusion as to which is the best? Gmail by a head and shoulders. It has so many more innovative functions, eg grouping replied to emails, tagging rather then putting emails in folders, integrated googletalk. Also, the discreet text ads that you hardly notice and certainly don't interfere make Gmail a winner.

If you want a gmail invitation, just mail me through my profile and I'll send you one.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 6:36 pm, , links to this post


Gimme some skin

With the wave of new bloggers, welcome all, I've noticed that we are getting some serious skin/theme repetition. So I've made a little effort and got myself a new one to which I made some minor mods. Hope it isn't too difficult for anyone to look at or read from.

Elsewhere on the circuit, seems someone has had the neat idea of listing all the local blogs in one independent spot. So if you haven't already, get yourself over to Thanet Blog List and see if there are any you have missed.

BTW, in case you wondered, we failed miserably at the quiz on every round except Harry Potter. Though it did seem that everyone there has read the books except me, so we weren't the exception.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 1:17 am, , links to this post


End of an era

Thats right homies, it's come to an end. Tonight is the last quiz night at the Churchills, the coolest night in town where you'll find all the cats. This week all the rounds were picked by lasts weeks teams, so will include such topics as WWE, Harry Potter, Quantum Physics and my personal favourite Corronation Street.... actually, I don't know anything about any of them but I do like the real ales! It'll be a damn fun night and if your the worse one there, they give you chocolate! whoop!

posted by SkinOfStars @ 2:47 pm, , links to this post


The scoop nobody wants

Sorry to say guys, but I have the scoop that nobody wants but we kinda expected. Eastcliff Richard has quit. I've been in email contact with Eastcliff Richard and he's detailed a list of reasons why. Here it is in his own words:

Kevin asks,
"Whats happening dear fellow? You have closed down your blog."

Richards reply,
"Several reasons dear fellow:

1. I'm having a prolonged sulk. Er, no, that's not it.
Let's start again.

1. Things have got out of hand recently, and I'm not
happy with the turn of events. The blog was meant to
be satire and humour, not argy-bargy, and all I was
hoping to do was have a bit of fun, and maybe make one
or two serious points by sugaring the pill. If other
people found it amusing too, all well and good.

I'm afraid I mishandled the Ram Skate business with
our precious Dr Moores. It's very hard to get 'tone of
voice' across in the written word. I was trying to
keep the debate on a banter level, clearly I failed,
and now everyone seems to have ended up with a bad
case of sense of humour failure.

2. When I started ECR I was genuinely hoping that
other, more alternative blogs would spring up, and
that's happened, which is great. I think it's about
time for me to hand over the baton.

3. There's been such a clamour of people wanting to
know who I am, or who think they know who I am, that
people are pointing the finger at anyone and everyone.
The kind of stupid but scathing nonsense I write is
generally best served up anonymously, there'd be
little point if someone actually did find out who I
am, so I'm getting out while the going's good!
Besides, I wouldn't want to wake up one morning and
find my cliff top mansion burnt down, would I? There
are people like that around here, as I'm sure you
know.

4. TDC is letting Thanet down badly, it could be so
much better (go get 'em, Tony!). Sorry, that's not a
reason, just a political point.

So there it is, the party's over, but it was good, if
a little odd, while it lasted. Good luck with Skin of
Stars, do keep me abreast of hair developments so that
I can recognise you if I ever wander over to
********** for a pint of the Gaddfather's finest.

Please feel free to publish this if you want
(hopefully a bit of a scoop for you). Remember, don't
let the b*st*rds grind you down! I did, and now my
legs are teeny tiny stumps.

Yours

ECR

P.S Sorry about all that Michael Caine stuff when you
had your flash mob. At least you took it in the spirit
it was meant!"

Well there you go fellow bloggers. That's the scoop nobody wanted but alas we have.
Let us keep on blogging, I know I certainly will.

So long Eastcliff Richard. It's been fun.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 12:10 am, , links to this post


Please come back, all is forgiven.

Eastcliff seems to have sunk into silence. His blog is now sub-titled 'Closed due to unexplained fire'.
The blog comments have been turned off. The word on the circuit is that he's thrown in the towel. This is a dispointing outcome to the furore over over the last week or so. Eastcliff has inspired many new bloggers, including me. His blog provided a central point for these new bloggers and frankly the much needed comical relief from all the dull bloggists, again including me. I wonder how well this new breed would do without that. Lets hope this is only a temporary haetus and we can get back on with the serious buisness of ridiculing Thanet.


On that note, I'll introduce a new blogger who is probably the youngest yet at 17.
margatedobson.blogspot.com

posted by SkinOfStars @ 5:29 pm, , links to this post


A sweet musical find

The nice thing about doing oonagi is that whenever gigs come up and I'm putting together the info I have to listen to all the music. There is so much music around now that is so accessible that it's difficult to know where to start. Or infact, you may just get total music apathy and refuse to listen to anything but your Elvis collection.

So in putting stuff together this week I came across Peggy Sue & The Pirates that are going to be playing the Lido this week. I know everyone is pirate mad at the moment, so it was only going to be a matter of time till a name like this came along. The music though is stripped down cool. A couple of girls doing their vocal thing with some rhythmic guitar backing. I like it lots. Music doesn't have to be complicated to be cool, musicians don't have to rip the fastest solo on the planet or create the most obscure song structure to be cool ("I love that timing drop from 13/9 to 7/8, maaaan"). Check out PS&thePirates to see what I mean.

If your looking for new music in your own vein, then there is a great site called pandora.com. This is party of the Musical Genome Project. You just enter and artist or a song and it'll play you stuff from other bands that you may like. It's very good, though it does only let you try a limited number of searches (or stations, as they call it) before you have to sign up. Sign up is free but you must be located in the US. A quick search through wikipedia for US zip codes is a good work around for this. I think I located myself somewhere in Alaska.

Happy hunting.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 4:44 pm, , links to this post


Homeless Charity Event Marred By Image

Cripes, the Scrine Foundation (a local homelessness charity) seem to have got themselves in a bit of controversy over the flyer for an upcoming event at the Pharmacy Gallery, Margate. The charity is normally sooo careful with their associations, but they seem to have been caught out a bit here with upset at unnecessary depictions of Nazi subjected humiliations. This is a shame to been caught out like this as it's such a worthy charity that deserves all the help and support it can get.

More details of event with the original post and discussion @ Arts & Elbows

posted by SkinOfStars @ 3:32 am, , links to this post


A drunken Monday

I went round to Bills tonight. I've known him since I was brought to Thanet from Coedpoeth and was placed in Christ Church junior, which was then on Royal Road but is now on London Road. We went to secondary school together and is probably the person I've known longest. Tonight we jammed. He's got a new electronic drum kit rigged up through his computer which, which I actually managed to play some beats on! Of course, the playing got worse and worse the more beers we drank, though I noticed how much more I grooved.

We spent time wandering through the wiki funny vandalism list. I only found it while doing the previous blog-post and I've found it terribly addictive. Through this I found an article on the geek language leet eg my name: k3v1n c4rm0dy. Bill was stunned that I didn't know what this is, he can be so geeky sometimes. The thing that I thought is was very useful for is coming up with passwords. I often use phrases for passwords which include numbers, eg 5greenbottles, but it's nice to have a good technique that avoids actual words which is vulnerable to a brute force password scan, see my googlepages link to see a screeny of the result of this type of attack.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 2:05 am, , links to this post


Winky

I'm sure all those of you who use the internet on a regular basis must know wikipedia. The online encyclopedia that is written and moderated by it's users. I'll admit to being a bit of a community obsessive, so the concept of wikipedia suits me just fine. As I'm sure we've all heard though, wikipedia has been having some problems, most famously of which is vandalism. Though this has always been a possible problem, it comes to light more and more as the reason people don't use it. It's a shame as the site self moderates well, with most mis-information being reverted within 2mins (IBM research, 2002).

Alas the more people that use the site, the more bad elements there will be. Earlier this year the Capitol Hill servers had to be banned during an investigation to profile adjustments of public figures. The UK parliament servers also had to be similarily investigated for such profile grooming. Infact, profiles are probably the most vandalised pages on wikipedia, along with the entry on cheese. There was a recently famous example in which two radio one DJs vandalised each others profiles on air, I don't think that is a good example to set. There is a list of funny vandalisms that have been kept for interests sake and there is also list of regular vandalised pages, if you want to know whats most likely to be dodgy

Still, my faith remains. When me and my ma hit the Telegraph Saturday general knowledge crossword and get stuck, the first port of call is always wikipedia (or winky, as my aunty calls it). Pages that are almost invariably safe are the scientific and technology pages. I doubt anyone but the geeks look at those pages, so that keeps me happy. Another page thats safe? My article I did on Manston village earlier this year. More than you ever wanted to know about a small village in the ass-end of Thanet

posted by SkinOfStars @ 10:56 pm, , links to this post


Blogger Comments

Geeks aren't dumb and on blogger they have found a very useful tool to improve their own sites Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The tool is that many bloggers, like myself, allow un-verified anonymous comments. All the geeks have to do is write a little bot that goes round to all these sites posting comments like 'your blog is the coolest I've every seen >>'. The little angle brackets look nice and innocuous don't they? They are links to a site. Maybe the site the link points to has malicious script on it (the ones I've included just go to oonagi, so it's safe). More likely it's just a link. Here is where the SEO comes in. The more people that link to your site, the higher it ranks on search engines. So what are we supposed to do? The last thing I and many others want to do is make people log in to comment. Blogger does provide you with a tool of your own though. Word verification on comments. A funny little graphic where you just have to re-type the words. I'm afraid that's what I've had to do. It's an annoyance, but alas a necessary one.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 5:38 pm, , links to this post


Second Saturday

The end of the first week of my new blog. Been an interesting experience bouncing round these blogger networks. Made a nice change from the immaturity myspace. Went to the girlfriends in East Grinstead last night, made her get a myspace, you can find it here and ask her to be your friend if your so inclined. For all it's annoyances, everyone has a myspace so it's a bit silly to avoid it. It's like saying 'we never needed roads before', well, kinda like that. Of course, it's mainly filled with under 25s and the under 25s at heart. The blogger networks seem to be more old dudes (could do with some dudettes) and I'm not sure exactly which catagory I'm fitting in these days... actually, I've been alot happier blogging than myspacing, so I think I know which one I am.


The oonagi webcast 5 was the first to recieve a vote on the site... 1 star out of 10. Not too hot but what the hell, I ain't gonna let others negativity get me down. Alas, one thing that will slow me down is the essay due in on Monday and the huge amounts of revision I have to do for my exams coming up in June. Think I'm gonna try to re-focus with an image makeover, out with the mo-ho and goatee, in with the..... grade one I expect.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 4:17 pm, , links to this post


High drama.

Oh the excitement of the internet! Drama at every turn. It seems ram-skate has declared that he won't post again on Cliff Richards blog over a furore of loose lips. What is Tricky Dicky going to do now??? Especially now he's admited to being the most infamous president of all time, surely he needs his shady associates to help gather info on any possible 'opponents' to avoid any challenges, or worse still..... impeachment!

Will this in future years become known as 'Eastcliffgate'? Will ram-skate become know as 'deep-scroat'? Guess we'll just have to wait for the next thrilling installment!

posted by SkinOfStars @ 12:28 pm, , links to this post


Every morning, same routine.

I hear a god awfull noise. I ignore it, it should go away. It doesn't. I'm roused so I lean over and click it, that'll make it go away. It works for what seems like a couple of seconds (9mins). Repeat process until suitably late for any appointments.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 9:22 am, , links to this post


Webcasting on oonagi

I know it's popular to call webcasts podcasts nowadays, but I'm not tempted to jump on the bandwagon. For a start, I don't own an iPod and I never play them on iPods (I usually use songbird, a neat open source media player). I've also found that other people think you need an iPod to play them. So I'll tick with good old 'webcast'. When I get round to sorting out my syndication, I'll call them 'syndicated webcasts'. I know, I'm old fashioned, but what can you do.

My latest one on oonagi (webcast no.5) got picked up by the Cliff Richard on his blog. Good of him to mention it, also good of him to point out that sound levels are a bit screwy. I've been having this problem quite a bit. In line with my open source addiction, I'm using Audacity. This is a very neat audio recorder along the lines of the proprietary SoundForge. You would hope that by webcast5 I would have sorted this out. Still I'll plug away. The main problem I've been having with it is amplifying the talking parts without it clipping. I've tried using the compressor, the clip remover, the peak smoother and every other plugin with 'er' on the end. Finally I resorted to going through each bit with the pencil tool and shifting each little wave manually. That wasn't fun, there must be another way. I'll play with it some more and hopefully figure it out.

Me and Jim had lots of fun doing the last one and we're already talking about the next. Jim want to interview Duncan, our local celebrity trumpeter (who is mentioned on the cast). My main aim is just to play and talk about local bands. A nice dream for the future is to do videos of the bands live and to host them.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 5:41 pm, , links to this post


Planning a pub crawl?

I just found a rather useful site with a directory of all the pubs and bars in Thanet, put together by the Thanet Camra Association. I'll see you all on the streets for lager-vomit spotting.

Bottoms up!

posted by SkinOfStars @ 1:15 am, , links to this post


My computer got a cold.

As a nice treat this evening I picked up a worm for my computer. I was on a public wireless network, but only visiting safe sites; bbc, blogger etc. Bit of a shame really as it meant I had to do the decent thing and disconnect from the network and scan my computer to remove all traces. Internet security is a tough one, even if your a security obsesive like me. Still, I find these things quick and remove them quick. I picked up a common piece of malware the other day called 'winfixer'. I'm sure many of you have experienced this one. A quick search around the security zines and I found a tool called VundoFix to remove it. But for the general user, you should really only need two key pieces of software to keep you safe.

Firstly, anti-virus. I will not at any point ever recommend Norton. It's crap. Not only is it not very effective, but as the most common piece of 'protection' it's normally the first that virus writers try to circumvent. Personally, I use AVG free edition, which did a great job for me tonight, as it has in the past. Though it's not 100% (what is?), it is very effective with all but the most obscure virus, trojan or worm. Another good free one is Avast home edition. I used to use this, but changed for no real reason other than AVG gives me more info. I like to know what my computer programs are up to. Paying for one should get you a better product, but I'm not recommending anything here as the two previously mentioned are effective enough for home users. I might mention though that McAfee once struck a deal with an adware company to let their software through for a certain fee.

Secondly, anti-spyware/adware. I'm happy with my ad-aware SE personal by Lavasoft. Another free one, but does have some payable upgrades. I have tried others, for example, InfoWare's SpyRemover, but most of them have a habit of telling you that you have malware, but ask you to pay for removal. Ad-aware is a tried and tested classic who, like AVG and Avast, have large business divisions which subsidise free home use and ensure an up to date database.

Many people would recommend getting an additional software firewall. I won't. Use the windows firewall and if you have anything like a router, use the hardware firewall. Software firewalls have raised all sorts of furore in security circles. They give a false impression of control by giving the user a allow/dis-allow pop-up every time they go to use a program that uses the internet. Also, because firewalls are deeply embeded into the system themselves they are good targets for an attacker, as the worm 'witty' showed.

All in all, so long as you get your windows update every month, keep your anti-virus and adware up to date and run regular scans, think about what websites your using, you should be able to stop your computer from getting a nasty cold.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 10:59 pm, , links to this post


Bit of an update.

Well, here I am at work. It's a hard life. Though I'm not sure what I'll do when the laptops battery runs out as I'm just sitting in the corridor and there are no power points.

I've updated the sidebar bit of this blog, seeing as I'm getting a bit more attention than I expected. Additions include:
Thanet Life, our alternative newspaper;
Living Room Sessions, a slowly updated blog by some friends of mine who do radio shows at their uni of Roehampton;
Big News Margate, Margate info with attitude;
Nethercourt Notes, a man who spends alot of time on the Ramsgate westcliff, presumably because it's the furthest away he can get from Richard while staying in Ramsgate.

I've also included a link to my googlepages. This is free webspace that google is giving away. The space doesn't allow you to use ftp at the moment, so it's a bit crap if you want to use it to host your own website, especially as you have to use the monkey-proof layout editor. But it is useful for storing files to externally link to as they give you 100mb space. They also have some neat widgets if your prepared to take the risk and use the 'experimental features' in the settings. The widget you'll find on my one? None other than pacman. So if your really bored, you can go play that.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 8:39 pm, , links to this post


Busy busy busy

Well, I've been using the google calendar and I now have a visual representation of how bloody busy my life is. I think I have a gap in there somewhere and within moments it gets filled. I think it was just nicer being busy and not noticing. I'm still not figured out quite how to let others view it without puting it on my own webspace or the other user being a google account holder. Sure I'll get that soon enough though.

I'm off to go work the door for a tonights football at the student club. Thank God I don't have to watch it!

posted by SkinOfStars @ 7:49 pm, , links to this post


Blogs are more effective than emails.

I can see the ripples of each post sending waves across the internet. The last post gets el'oonagi listed on Thanet Life (though in the blog section, guess it does look more like a blog these days) and a post or so before looks like it's going to get us a free BBQ from Eastcliff Richard. So long as he doesn't assume another name and declare himself winner of his own competition!

Anyhows, for any of you ale drinkers out there, there is a great one down the Churchills at the moment called 'Waggledance'. It has settled nicely and I highly recommend it.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 4:39 pm, , links to this post


All in one night!

Cripes, I make one post yesterday on the anonymity of Eastcliff Richard and all of a sudden I'm splashed across not just his blog, but I'm listed on the Thanet Life blog too! What happened??? Not even oonagi is listed there.

So last night I recorded a new webcast for oonagi. This time it's a duo with me and little jim. Mainly talk with one track from Candy Sniper. It was good fun to do one bouncing off someone else so I think I'll do more like that. After that we headed down to Deviate goth club at Rainy's, Ramsgate. A neat idea for a late night metal get together on a Tuesday. Shame it was a bit dead, and those that were there were a bit miserable. I cheered some guys up by teaching them to make little paper cranes (spurred on by a conversation about my new band '1000 Cranes'), but all in all everyone was a bit long faced. Funny, goth kids are normally upbeat, bizarre as that may sound.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 1:21 pm, , links to this post


Who is Eastcliff Richard?

Been working and drinking at the pub today where I found myself in a conversation with none other than Eddie Gadd of Gadds brewery, Ramsgate. The hot topic of conversation... Who is Eastcliff Richard? Apparently the local loo roll known as Thanet Times has been asking the very same question. I was and am certainly interested to know who he is, but not at the risk of his blog. Eastcliff brings up some very good points in some funny ways and I'd hate to see trash like the Thanet Times discover who he was and get one over on him. So I will suppress my curiosity and applaud his anonymity.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 8:08 pm, , links to this post


An American NHS???

Are those guys over the pond gonna actually catch up with our good old NHS? Especially at a time when we are looking at privitising it (well, if Dave Cameron gets in). Seems Massachusetts is heading down that road with a compulsory, but cheap statewide healthcare system. Perhaps a starting point for wildfire that will spread across the country, or perhaps just a flash in the pan.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 1:59 am, , links to this post


A cheap ploy to show up in local searches

Thanet, Margate, Ramsgate, Broadstairs, Birchington, Westgate, Kent International Airport, Minster, Manston.

I know, it's a cheap ploy, but I also know that people search by their town names. These are my local towns and I'm a big fan of local stuff in general. Certainly, much early cinema was spread by the publics desire to see their own home towns on film, and perhaps to some extent the same can be said about the internet. Let us hope is remains driven in that way and doesn't blend into a bland hollywoodnet.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 12:22 am, , links to this post


My favourite Firefox extensions

"How many times must people tell us their favourite firefox extensions?"

I look at other peoples lists and sometimes I find things I don't know about, so here are mine. By the way, if your don't already have firefox (thats a web browser, like internet explorer, or the blue 'e' as Danny said to me once), then get it, give it a go and maybe drop it later if you don't like it like. I love it though. If you have it but don't know how to instal them, then just go to tools>extensions pop-up appears, click the 'get more extensions in the bottom right corner. This link takes you to the extensions website where you can pick them out and install them.

Ok, the list:
All these extensions I have given the exact name, so it should be real easy to find them. If I've missed a sitter, then please tell me.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 11:49 pm, , links to this post


Oh tell me why, I don't like Mondays....

I sing this song to myself at the start of every week. I like the song, but I think mainly it's because I have psychology class over at Canterbury College. It's an interesting subject, but it makes my noodle hurt.

In my honest opinion, I think that psychology is loved by self centred people, perhaps trying to cure themselves. In particular, I think it's girls that like to do it (thats not saying that girls are self centred). When I meet people and tell them that one of my classes is psychology I can normally guess what their reaction is gonna be based on a combination of their gender and how much they like to talk about themselves and lose interest whenever the subject is on anything but them. I will say though, today raised some interesting points. Such thoughts as, who should be on a list of repopulating the world. Lesbians and gays can be on there, because they can suppress that for the sake of mankind (hahaha). Paedophiles shouldn't, they should just have their nuts cut off! They aren't allowed the opportunity to suppress those desires. Perhaps people think that they will pass on those genes to create generations of kiddy fiddlers. Perhaps the News Of The World has more influence in this country than we realise.

Anyway, only a couple of weeks left, then it's exams. Then I'll be leaving the sunny climbs of Thanet. I like Ramsgate and Broadstairs, so I'll miss it. But Oxford should be neat.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 5:41 pm, , links to this post


Windows Live Mail Compatiablilty

As a further note to my earlier post. To be able to properly use Windows Live Mail you must be running IE6 or later. Good to see old microsoft wants to incorporate everyone!

posted by SkinOfStars @ 9:14 am, , links to this post


The problem with social sites is...

Sites like myspace give people so much opportunity for people to say something, that nobody ever does. There is no quality content on there. People seem to think that by having a flashy layout that is all they need to do... and collect friends of course. A comment saying 'your so cool' does not give the visitor decent stuff to read. This is the sort of thing that could just as easily be done with an email and the rest of us don't have to suffer it. You see bands that do all their promotion through myspace. They go to a myspace layout generator site, pick out some colours from a little chart and tada, instant 'website'. It's easy, it's cool, it shows your slack. Worse still, music promoters will post the bands that they have playing, the venue and that's it... slack. Alot of the time they'll only use bands that are on myspace so as to make their own jobs easier. What about bands that don't use myspace???

Ok, so that was a bit of a myspace bashing, but it's not all bad. Its good that people are getting on the net and communicating. And I do use it myself, so you can call be a hypocrite. There is even a link for mine just to the right there. I just wish there was more quality content and bands made a bit more effort.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 1:05 am, , links to this post


Windows Live Mail Beta v Gmail Beta

Battle of the betas I see. Hotmail has upgraded to Live Mail in a blatant attempt to challenge Gmail. Of course, like any old web hand I have a hotmail account and I'm happy to try this out. Is it as cool as gmail? Not on your nelly! They've tried to make it too much like outlook. It lacks gmails addictive simplicity and inventive ideas and the last thing I want are huge picture ads in my mail windows. Still, it's better than old hotmail, you can't deny that. Loading up a new page for each and every action was soooo annoying before.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 2:27 pm, , links to this post


Google toys

Firstly, I'm loving the new talk inbuilt into gmail. Shame I don't know hardly anybody who uses it. Everyone I know is on msnm. Just getting people to use gmail can be difficult, the answer is 'I already use hotmail'. Damn it, I say, hotmail blows. Ah well, it's up to them I guess.

So, I've been playing with some new google toys. Hitting that magical 'more...'. I installed their web accelerator off google labs. A quick look through the blurb tells of how it can speed up your load times by pre-loading pages and running your connection through google servers. It's happy to use firefox (I wouldn't even consider it if it was for IE) and I'll give anything a go once. So I plug this baby in. Alas, I seems to make my internet connection freeze. That's not the sort of reaction I hope for out of an accelerator. It's happy to tell you how many seconds it's saving, just a shame it doesn't pass on the benefits.

I loved firefox. It's a very very cool browser. I proudly have the 'get firefox' button on my website (along with a songbird button, a media player based on the same engine) and I'm not the only one, of course. But I keep seeing peoples buttons with 'get firefox with google toolbar'. So like any web junky who wants to see al the bells and whistles I go check it out. Like with anything like this, I like to read about it first. Here is what it includes:
* Search box: It has a spell checker, but other than that, it's just a search bar and only a google one at that. Firefox already has a search bar that is modlicious
* Safe Browsing: This tells you whether you are on a phising site that has previously been reported. Personally, I wouldn't trust that anyway. Just stick to using your normal entry point to websites where you put your card details in and think about who you use. You wouldn't just give money to any old monkey off the street and ask them to go get you something!
* Subscribe to RSS: Hello?!?! I use firefox, do I not have this feature?!?!
* Use gmail as default when clicking mail links: Ahh, now that seems kinda useful.
* Google Page Rank: I always ignore this when I have to use an IE with a toolbar. I can make my own damn mind up whether a site is good. And it won't be based on whether or not someone has gone to SEO effort.
* Search for words on page: Already a function on firefox, just hit F3, and it already highlights those words your looking for.

There are a couple of other bits on it, mouse over to see a word in another language for example, but I'm not impressed. There is too little to make this worth it for firefox. Of course, if you insist on staying with IE, then you really should get the toolbar, otherwise, firefox without is cool for cats and makes me happy. :)

Also I've started to use the calendar, but that's all a bit too early days yet to see what that's like, but it does seem kinda neat. I'll talk about that after a bit more play.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 1:40 am, , links to this post


First Saturday

It's the first Saturday. Infact, the first day of a new blog. I'm sure there are 1million and 1 other blogs like it, but I want my own. I think that's the whole point. To get lost in the sea of people shouting.

I've been reading blogs for a good while now. I have some favorites. EastcliffRichard, Arts and Elbows, that sort of thing. I already have my own website called oonagi thats been going for about six years. That's kinda blogish, but is tailored for a specific topic; rock in Thanet. So I can't really say whatever I want about whatever I want there.

I'm not really a diary kinda person, but I do have stuff I want to write. So here is where it will be. If a topic is relevant, I will post it elsewhere too, but this is really for me at the moment. :)

posted by SkinOfStars @ 3:20 pm, , links to this post