This May the UK will holds it's second ever national referendum. The issue is to change the current first-past-the-post "FPTP" voting system for parliament for an alternative-vote "AV" system. I am in favour of voting reform and while AV is not the best system I do believe it is better than the current FPTP system. As a consequence I am supporting the national Yes To AV campaign. Two weeks ago I distributed "Yes To AV" leaflets in my neighbourhood.
Today the "No to Fair Votes" people sent their very glossy leaflet via the Royal Mail. Either they can afford to pay to post their message or they don't have any volunteers to rely on.
Yesterday we biked over to Hartley Wintney to have a look at their community orchard.
We biked out of the village and took the Harrow Way to Clarken Green where crossed the B3400 and looped through Oakley to join Pack Lane into Basingstoke. We dodged the nasty Basingstoke traffic to Hackwood Road where we joined the A339 for a 100 m until we turned left onto Tunworth Road which we followed to Mapledurwell, then we took the Greywell Road to Greywell. From Greywell we took The Street and Deptford Lane to Odiham. After Odiham we went out on Farnham Road to join the A287 for a 100 m when we turned right onto the B3016 London/Odiham Road which took us all the way to Hartley Wintney.
Other than the Basingstoke traffic and the dreadful road surface on the B3016 is was a very pretty trip there and we arrived in time for a picnic lunch at the orchard. We took lots of pictures and had a good look round, before our return trip.
We came back a different route. Our of Hartley Wintney we took West Green Road towards Mattingley, then the B3349 Reading Road before turning right into Cowfold Lane going to Rotherwick. We then took The Street (different one...) Ridge Lane and Newham Lane to skirt round Tynley Hall. We arrived at Old Basing and followed another The Street through the village, onto Redbridge Lane to a very badly signed bike crossing over the A30. From there we went through Black Dam and negotiated the rest of Basingstoke's dreadful traffic back onto Pack Lane and then home.
A very pretty bike ride, except Basingstoke, and mostly good surfaces and good traffic levels. There were the usually nasty BMW/Audi drivers, but overall not bad at all for a sunny Sunday. Round trip ~74 km, ~20 kmh-1, max ~48 kmh-1, and 3:40 h of rolling time.
It's been a while since I reported web stats for my web server. A lot has happened since 2009. Google has thrown a lot of effort at pushing their Chrome browser, Microsoft have eventually woken up and released a half decent browser - though only for their new operating system, and Mozilla have radically updated Firefox.
|Browser Engine||2007||2008||2011 to date|
It's fair to say that MSIE has lost a catastrophic amount of market share. While IE9 is generally considered a good browser, it's limited to Windows Vista and 7, which still don't have much market share, relative to Windows XP. All the competition make their browser available for Windows XP, so many Windows users are clearly voting with their feet and using another browser than the one Microsoft provide.
Mozilla seems to be doing very well with Firefox. Version 4 hasn't been released long enough to show up much in these statistic but as in previous years most Firefox users are using the more recent versions, suggestion more upgrade loyalty than IE.
Opera continues to hang on, it clearly hasn't made the break through they would like, but it also hasn't disappeared without trace.
Finally there is the amazing khtml/web-kit family of browsers. In the past this was just the Linux/KDE browser Konqueror, but more recently Apple use it for Safari and Google based Chrome on it. Most of these hits are from Chrome (7.6%) with Safari picking up the balance (3.8%). While it's clear that Safari has gone up, more than doubled, Chrome is clearly the winner in the new browser stakes.
It's a pain* getting a venue for a LUG meeting. You need power, Internet connections, somewhere to park cars, proximity to usable public transport, and it needs to be in the right place in the county.
In the past we have used the University of Southampton, which was easy to arrange as it was done for us by a staff member who was also a LUG member. It's an excellent venue and has been the home of the LUG for many years, however we lost our last staff LUG member last year and that means we have been reliant of students. In all honesty our student member have been great, but they don't have the same rites on campus as staff, they go home during the vacations and they keep completing their studies!
Last Saturday we had a meeting at the University with a new student host. Attendance could have been better but the meeting went very well on a technical front, and we should be okay there next month. The hope is that I can get enough students involved so that they can share the responsibility around and cover about 6 months of the year. For the other 6 months we can visit other locations such as IBM or shared meetings with Surrey.
I'm hoping that with this month, next month and the following months booked, there should be enough stability for talks to reappear in the calendar and re-invigorate the LUG. I've already been "volunteered" to give a talk on video connectors...
* Actually it's not that bad, people do keep offering venues.