Archive for the 'Science' Category

BBC Climate Change experiement… Phew what a scorcher

If you didn’t know, the BBC is running a climate change experiment as part of a wider series of programmes addressing the issue. The experiment involves downloading a screen saver (PC only -pah!) that crunches your assigned bit of data while you’re off making a cuppa in a similar way to the SETI one a few years back. There’s more on what the experiment is trying to do here.

Anyway, we promo’d it on the homepage, and the next day we got some positive feed back from our colleagues in /science

Only two days in and we’re on 45,000 PCs, which is already 8 times the power of the supercomputer that the Met Office has! It’s certainly the biggest ever now – and people are getting very excited – and there’s months to go!!!

That’s great news. And as of now it’s up to 51,485 hosts in 137 Countries. You can see the geographical spread of those taking part on Climateprediction.net. It’s a really wide mix too. I think this is going to be a fantastic project, us Brits are obsessed with all things meteorological as this image shows…
weather headlines

Virgin and the four play plus super deal of the future

I spent an evening last week with some folk who I used to work with at Virgin.net Talk turned to the proposed four-play super deal currently currently being touted by Richard Branson and if/could/should Virgin and NTL merge. Even when I was at Virgin back in 2000 NTL were always in and out. They bought the internet side of things soon after I seem to remember.

According to this
The new company would have:
– 2.5m broadband internet customers, the largest in the UK
– 3.2m TV customers, the second largest in the UK
– 4.3m fixed-line telephony accounts, the second largest in the UK
– 5m mobile phone customers
– Revenues in excess of £4bn.

That’s not bad.

So far, so mega corp to rival Sky right? However where I think it’ll either crash or glide is just how well the different services are connected, and if it plugs into all the other Virgin brands and services. Lots of companies offer three things, (e.g. Homechoice), few can offer four plus entertainment, travel, finance and space flight. Un-used minutes on your mobile? Convert them to Virgin train miles. Plane delays? Instant free texts to your virgin mobile. Messages sent to your TV from the seat of your plane. Anything’s possible I guess. It could work in a similar way to Nectar points. At The rate things are going in ten years time I’ll be buying books from London Energy and getting my electricity from Amazon.

I met Richard Branson once, in fact I filmed him for an e-card singing Christmas Carols (music isn’t his strong point! I’ve still got a copy somewhere). Anyway, he seemed like a nice guy who was into cool stuff and up for a laugh. As last week’s Horizon (Space Tourists) showed, with him talking about Virgin Galactic. It was quite a sad programme in some ways, particularly Colin Pillinger lookalike Burt Rutan, the designer of Spaceship One. He ended the show with, “If I’d had the the courage to do this in the 70s, affordable spaceflight would be here now”. Damn you Burt! You’re the reason I’m not writing this on the flippin’ Moon! Anyway once Galactic’s up and running, Branson could be the Willy Wonka for the 21st Century and offer a lucky ticket to any premium Virgin super package subscriber, the sort of people who fly Virgin Atlantic Upper Class would be up for a space ride I think. Think of the media frenzy.

BBC NEWS | UK | Police appeal for bombing footage

Link: BBC NEWS | UK | Police appeal for bombing footage. The Old Bill are asking for people’s mobile images and video from last weeks attacks. They’ve even set up a special email address.. I wonder if someone’s pointed them to Flickr group in the post below? Not sure how useful that would be.. still, it’s been amazing how much of the images seen in the media have been taken by members of the public. What a week. A nice ‘letter to the terrorists’ here

On a lighter note.. I’d forgotten the simple joys of a dippy egg for breakfast, so put that right this morning. dippy_egg.JPG
Yesterday I photographed Brian j Ford, Food scientist, BSE expert, and author of ‘The Future of Food’. He’d agreed to be a subject ffor my entry in the Observer/seeds of change photography competition. He was about to fly out to the USA to give a keynote speech, so I had to meet him at his hotel near Gatwick. We spent the first hour chatting over a beer in the bar about science, food and life in general. It didn’t really offer much in the way of an interesting backdrop, so I suggested we take a stroll. We found a couple of useful and interesting location.. and I got of some interesting shots… so fingers crossed for that…


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These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
July 2017
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