Oh my god! Webcameron, you have got to be kidding. The latest propaganda tool from the conservatives is the 'personal' video blog of their illustrious leader. Extra homely realism is provided with him washing up and background screaming children. I'm sure there was always an unspoken rule of not using your kids as political tools, but this man is really pulling out all the stops. They've clearly tried to stop it from seeming to be a propoganda by branding the whole thing in pink, but the videos are so obviously staged. Little clipped references to recycling, etc. This is clearly aimed at the YouTube generation, but frankly its all a little sickening, especially when you think about the amount of time and money that must have gone into the programming and building of it. Its not based at blogger, thats for sure. He goes on about how 'shaky' it all is (cue cameraman wobble, or is that cameronman) and to top it off with true web2.0 aspirations, its not just called webcameron, its Webcameron BETA! I mean, really, does he think we were born last week?

posted by SkinOfStars @ 2:44 pm, , links to this post

I've been having problems with the painfully slow internet service we have here in halls. I've been trying to download a personal copy of delphi from the manufacturers (free for educational), but my download speed is the sort of rate I haven't seen since 28k dial-up! The main problem with this is that it has a tendancy to pause for long periods and then timeout. Thats not something you want on a 50mb file thats halfway there. So being the very frustrated bunny I am I decide to grab it on a torrent. Though this is normally a very effective method for picking up large files it makes little difference here. Well, there is one difference I found it makes. It gets you banned from the halls network. I had to remove all p2p software I had on my machine before they would let me back on! I was only doing it for educational purposes!

Seems I'm not the only person who has been having problems though. My neighbour has found that with the continual connection his computer is turning itself back on in the middle of the night. I said I wasn't sure why but I found out today from one of my lecturers. It seems microsoft will remotely switch your computer back on to gather information in its own time. The cheek of it!

posted by SkinOfStars @ 4:00 pm, , links to this post

Thanet Life seems to be under threat. If you are a Thanetian and want to have your own say in a well read local site on local matters, then please go there with an open mind and volunteer your services.


posted by SkinOfStars @ 11:25 pm, , links to this post

Today has pretty much been my first lecture. I had one yesterday in human communication, but frankly that was a condesending insult, so I will just count this one. Today I learnt my first bit of the pascal coding language and wrote my first program. To be honest, i didn't really feel like I had learnt it as it was more copying than anything, but its a start.

The main problem I have had though is getting a copy of delphi (the programming enviroment) for myself. I finally managed to pick one up on this thread via polish site. Still setting it up at the moment, but all seems fine. I really wanted to have a version that worked in a linux enviroment, but it seems they stopped developing that some time ago, so I guess I will have to leave that and come back to the tux when I move on to C & Unix in the next semester.

I will say though, its great to be learning again, even if alot of it goes over my head :)

posted by SkinOfStars @ 7:15 pm, , links to this post

This week has been damn crazy. I seem to be missing loads of messages by leaving the msnm on, so if I've missed you, I'm sorry. I'm having to follow two programmes doing the combined, so when I see the guys from the comp soc, I don't know as I'm mainly based in Harcourt. I'll have to just leave notes on the wiki or something for now.

So far as the Thanet crew goes, I guess its time I was removed from the Thanet Blog List. Hopefully whoever runs that will note this, as well as the guys who are commenting themselves in on the primary listing post.

Get back soon I hope.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 3:18 am, , links to this post

Thought I'd give my blog the overhaul since my life is experiencing the same. I'm now staying at Harcourt Halls at the Westminster Institute at Oxford Brookes. Its still freshers week at the moment so not a lot of studying is going on. On the other hand, a hell of a lot of drinking is going on. I've only discovered one local ale so far called Village Idiot. The brewer is a Wychwood spinoff and the beer is a classic summer pale. I'm sure with a bit of hunting I'll find some more. Though I've picked up the freshers vibe I'm not strictly following the classic fresher trail for this town. I'm not doing all the set evening activities and I've no intention of going to the fresher ball. Instead I've found myself in a group of older, though perhaps not wiser students and we've been hitting local bars and clubs. Tonight though is maybe going to be a bit quieter with a casual night at the campus student union bar. I'll come back later and tell of the probably more serious aspects of academia and my intened covert operation of sneaking into Oxford University proper to check out the more affluent side (I hear their halls are furnished with antiques).

posted by SkinOfStars @ 9:00 pm, , links to this post

I was recently lucky enough to have a private invitation to the Gadds brewery. I knows the guys from my time at the pub (finished that today, whoop!) and after they heard me banging on about their stout they said I could come up and see their place at work. I learnt alot about brewing while I was there and got a far better understanding of not only the methods for brewing ales but also the ale industry as a whole.

It wasn't all work work work though. They were decent enough to give me and my accomplice Jay a taste of their latest batch of East Kent Pale Ale (EKPA) from their own private bar (The Rams Head) and I'm happy to say thet it was delightfull. We sat outside and chatted about all sorts. A thoroughly nice afternoon and my thanks to Eddie and Ian for being such good hosts.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 11:59 pm, , links to this post

I no longer run Thanet Blog List. After my recent possible bias in the comments of this site I felt I needed to hand it over straight away. It has been given to another and I will not name them. They intend to develop the idea and I hope it becomes an even more usefull resource.

This Saturday I will no longer be a Thanet blogger. I expect I will keep blogging for the same reasons I started in the first place. I will probably even change my subheading :) I also expect to continue reading others, you've been fun. Hope it doesn't get too much more political (vote anyone but tory, hehe) and you all remember that life is supposed to be fun. Perhaps I'll also point out for the sake of sillyness, has anyone else noticed that Ramsgate Tourettes and Eastcliff Richard have taken a break at the same time?

Thank you Thanet, its been emotional.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 11:12 pm, , links to this post

A couple of posts back I stated that Eddie was a stout pusher... but I love him for it. The reason I said this was as simple as the statement. While I was at the jazz festival on Ramsgate seafront the other week I went to the Gadds tent to get myself another beer, but he had run out. What he did offer me though was two small unmarked bottles from some boxes he kept behind him. I asked how much to which he replied "on me". Difficult to say no to that! I guessed this was a new product that he was testing the ground with. I poured it, tasted it and found it to be the divine nectar. This dark 7% wonder was the kind of drink you only dream of! At that point I concluded that what he was doing was getting us hooked before releasing it to the public. The method certainly worked on me, I was left dreaming on when I could next get my grubby mits on some more.

Tonight I saw Eddie and quickly asked him where I could get more of his magic juice. His reply was simple; I can't. Stunned horror. Dear God, why? As it turned out, this was a test run they did to check the setup of their equipment in its new location a couple of months prior. They didn't want to do a brew that they'd feel bad not being able to sell (eg No.3), so Ian came up with the idea of a stout. Brilliant, but not 'commercially viable'.

So now I'm not sure what is worse. To have tasted it and know that I will never taste it again or, if things had been different, to never have tasted it at all. So, no longer do I love him for being a pusher, I now believe him to be a cruel cruel man!

posted by SkinOfStars @ 1:44 am, , links to this post

Seems I got somewhat busted in the BBC Kent article on bloggers as the man behind the Thanet Blog List. Many of the more savy would have guessed anyway, but its really out now, so I guess its time to discuss it.

I started the list in reaction to Cliff Richard saying he was quiting the scene after a spat with the doctor. I was concerned that there wouldn't be the central point for bloggers to rally around. I also had issues with the links being removed from peoples blogs due to personal issues. I felt the best way to resolve this was an independent list that would link anyone regardless, trusting the reader to decide what was hot and what was not.

Now we come to the problem. Not only is it not very independent now that its clear its me, but I am leaving Thanet and so feel I will have less time to hunt down local blogs.

We have a few possible solutions here:
a) Kevin continues as is and only adds blogs when he checks thanetbloglist@yahoo.co.uk once every few months.
b) Some other person contacts Kevin saying they will take good care of it and will remain impartial.
c) I tell you all the login and password for the blog and you can all add stuff when you find it. Kevin (or someone) hangs onto the email to reset any abuses with a password reset.

I personally like the third option as I'm a community thinking kinda guy, but I can see its problems.

This is up to you guys to call it as its really your list.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 12:13 am, , links to this post

Sorry, i know our local papers have the general difficulty of being able to tell their arse from their elbows, but this really is taking the biscuit! Just a couple of weeks ago they were praising a trader in Arlington shopping arcade in Margate for recruiting a group of graffiti artists to produce some quality work on the boarded up shops. Now they showing the same graffiti and calling it disgraceful! Do they have any idea what they are talking about or do they really assume that we won't remember what they said last week? Personally, I think its the local presses fickle attitudes to local events and issues that is the disgrace of this area.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 4:25 pm, , links to this post