Political Correctness Gone Mad

I’m all in favour of being nice to foreigners, but I think that it’s all gone too far myself. We are now being so nice to people from other countries that we are making life harder for decent, hard-working British people. For the last few days, every time I go to http://www.google.com or http://www.myspace.com, the stupid interface talks to me in French. Just because I am in France. Well, I think that this is just wrong. These websites should be in English everywhere. If the French want to be spoken to in their own language, then they should click a button or set a preference or something. Anyone know how to stop these and other sites stop being clever and doing the wrong thing while trying to do the right thing? Originally published on my old blog site.

Nancy by Day

Talk over; it went okay, I think, and I got a reasonable number of questions about some of my more provocative points, which is nice. I think that the talk itself could have done with a more clearly demarcated set of conclusions than it had; it needed a little more work and thought, but I just haven’t had the time recently to do it. Afterwards, I went to the workshop on accessibility. It was interesting, although it reminded a little of the microarray section of ISMB a few years ago; everyone was comparing their system to the gold standard (a system someone else came up with a few years previously). Unfortunately, I was too tired to pay real attention, so I left after the coffee break, and walked a few kilometres back to the hotel, in need of fresh air. Nancy turns out to be a ple…

Nancy by Train

Today I am heading of to WebDIM4LS in Nancy, where I am giving a talk. Although I am really looking forward to the conference and the talk, it has been stressing me out a fair bit. I like writing talks, getting slides together, working out a good story—I hope that I have achieved it in this case—but things have been really busy at work, especially with the end of term coming up. I’ve found myself really pushed to find time to write it. In the end, I finished writing yesterday (that’s a saturday!) at 8ish. I’m travelling to Nancy the whole way to train, using Eurostar. I’d left it all rather late in booking travel, put managed to get tickets the whole way. It’s very expensive; >£200, plus Newcastle to London at another $100. I think I could ha…


Well, RSSFwd works pretty well, but it’s often has a really slow interface which can be a pain if you want to change, for example, from HTML to normal email. So I’m giving RSS2Email a go. No support for OPML unfortunately, but it seems to work otherwise. Originally published on my old blog site.

6th Time

Oops. Just realised that Windows installed onto D, rather than C. So, yet another reinstall on monday. This is harder work than you might hope. I’ve installed windows maybe 40 times. It shouldn’t be hard. Originally published on my old blog site.

Closing Down

The two marks of being middle class have to be an overriding concern with house prices and strongly held opinions on the relative merits of supermarkets. I find myself distressed to write this post, therefore. I’ve been a big fan of Out of this World since I got to Newcastle. The small, packed high organic shop that was here when I arrived re-opened last year as a bigger, more spacious place. Of course, it had plenty of terribly worthy food; food that you could eat with a clear conscience but without that much enjoyment. But it also had a lot of great stuff; the fruit and veg section was pretty good. The dried fruit and nut selection probably the best that I have seen. I was particularly fond of the dried mango slices. Today, however, I’ve found that it is shutting down. I …

Reinstalling Windows

On my fifth attempt to reinstall windows now. Keep on managing to get something wrong — getting the hard drive partitions backwards or whatever. Also the on the disk format option it has "do you want me to do it quick, or to take ages". I keep on getting the wrong one and there’s no way to stop it. It even tells you "Windows will now format you life; Press Enter to continue" before it starts. And YOU CAN’T GO BACK! IT’S FOREVER! Hmmmm. Originally published on my old blog site.

Proof at Last

Yes, people do actually read this. Daniel Schober today wrote to me to point out an error in my post about bio-ontologies. I did a life blog, on a computer resting on my stomach while not jumping up and down chairing the session. I reported Daniel’s post as "11:51 Daniel Schober is not describing efforts to standardise…" I’ve now fixed the "not" to "now". Oops. Originally published on my old blog site.

Stress and Video's

I’ve been thinking about new mechanisms for teaching for a while; a post from Savas spurred me into thinking about it more; basically, I’ve come to the conclusion that lectures are boring for both the students and the lecturer. I was thinking to replace them with some funky form of website; rather like the ones that I do for practical classes, but with more content and less working through. I asked my students about it. About half of them thought it was a good idea, half bad. The main concerns were whether it was going to be more work and more time sitting at a computer reading a website. Good points both. I think that the more work concern may be misguided, though, as it’s based on the amount of stuff they learn in the practical classes; it’s nowhere as much as …

Virgin Arrives

Just got cable fitted. This is the second attempt; first time the engineer didn’t show up, or said he did, but didn’t try phoning or anything. Wasn’t too bad, although took quite a while and I couldn’t use my existing extension line as I hoped. Think he should have vacuumed the floor afterwards, though, and was not best pleased to find that he left wall staples on my bedroom floor; would have been more than not best pleased if I had got them in my foot. All seems to be working, though. Just unplugged my fan, and plugged in my office heater. Winter is here. Originally published on my old blog site.