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Something for the weekend?

Walking home on Friday night, I was thinking about the kids game where someone writes something on a bit of paper, folds over the top so only the last line is visible, then passes it onto someone else to continue. This soon evolved into the usual infinite monkeys/infinite typewriters/producing Shakespeare thinking, and it occurred to me that if someone writes a great introduction to a story but a sucky second chapter, why shouldn't someone else come along and write a better second chapter?

Our software isn’t good enough!

How do you convince 400 million users to upgrade to your new office suite? Well, why not tell them that the last 'essential upgrade' you flogged them a couple of years ago wasn't quite as good as you said. Hoorray! Here's my favourite quote from the run up to the MS Office 2007 release, from a BBC news story.
"One of the biggest challenges... is to fight that perception that old versions of software are good enough," said Microsoft's Chris Capossela. To "fight the perception?"

Nice work, Home Office

How lovely: "Hey! We've released a load of extremely sick and dangerous people into society. Er, can you help us find them?"


In other news, oh no.

Microsoft feeling the heat?

The Playstation 3 launched last night, and immediately sold out. Many are already on Ebay, and at least one has already sold for vast amounts of money. So it's not much surprise that today someone showed me their copy of the free Metro newspaper that gets handed out to commuters around the UK, pointing out that Microsoft had taken out a little bit of advertising.

Winning the lottery

The EuroMillions lottery draw for this week now has a jackpot of £120,000,000 (over $200,000,000). No one has won it for the last eleven weeks, which is why it's rolled over so much. Now, the chances of winning that jackpot are 76,000,000-1, and tickets cost £1.50 each, which means it costs £114,000,000 to be guaranteed to win the jackpot. The basic result is that you win £6,000,000.

Useless whimsy

We are right at our deadline at LXF Towers, with only a little bit of fiddling remaining before we can all gather for a constructive retrospective debrief of the magazine production process (in the pub). So I thought I would use my time productively by pondering why life hasn't turned out as frequent reading of the collected works of Astrid Lindgren when I was a child promised it would. Specifically, if life was how it is portrayed in children’s books…

Every fifth person would be a fireman.
Most meals would involve jam.
On any given evening, you could find schoolboys outside on go carts.

Back to school

I've decided to study a course at the Open University. Not because I'm looking to change jobs (sorry, Nick!), but just to broaden my horizons a bit. My first degree was in computer science, and I've kinda focused really heavily on that for... well, forever basically. And I still find it interesting, challenging and about as exciting as a mathematics field can get. But I'm looking for something completely different, so I've chosen to do a literature course.

MikeOS 0.30

Is here! New features include a command-line interface, more string handling system calls (os_string_compare, os_string_strip and os_string_chomp), better build scripts, and a multiple-choice dialog box. I've also split up the kernel source code for easier editing -- initialisation, system calls, DOS compatibility and the CLI. Oh, and there've been heaps of small fixes and cleanups too. Check out the glory of the brand new CLI in action:

Japan + Firefox advocacy = ?

For many other brilliant (and occasionally disturbing) images, visit

Totemo ii desu ne!

An IT director responds to Oracle Linux

Some 19,000 of you have read our first look at Oracle's Unbreakable Linux, and you may remember we were rather negative about its chances. However, we run a lot of Oracle internally here at LXF Towers, and our IT Director - Avi Abadi - disagrees with much of what we said in that article. So, in an effort to make it look like know what the word "unbiased" means, here's his response to Oracle Linux:

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