Bog Roll ::

It's Not Magic, It's Work!

29 Jun 2009

To Bing For

Recently Microsoft replaced their also-ran web search engine MSN Live Search with an all new Google beating search engine called "Bing". Their old search engine wasn't actually that bad, it's just that no body used it, so along with a redesign they came up with a new name that they thought would be more catchy.

Just like Google they want Bing to enter normal language and for people to use it by default - gradually pushing Google into the same obscurity as Netscape, Stac, AOL, Yahoo!, Real and countless other companies that MS decided to destroy.

So here we go with some examples of how to use "Bing".

  • To Bing for - to look in vain
  • I Binged it - I looked and couldn't find it
  • I've been Binged - I've been swamped with irrelevant commercial data

and so on... The old MSN Live engine wasn't too bad, sometimes it was even better than Google but no one used it. Considering this is Microsoft's nth go at search it's sad that it's actual worse than it's predecessor...

28 Jun 2009

Strawberry Jam

Yesterday we went to a local PYO farm to collect fruit for jamming. As much as we love redcurrant jelly we decided to skip it for this year and try something new - so I spent £15 on mostly strawberries.

Strawberries are terrible to jam, they are low in pectin, high in water and (in the shops in the UK) low in flavour. If it were not for the national obsession with them, no one in their right mind would bother with them...

I decided to use the recipe of Francis Miot, who is some top French jam maker:

  • 700 g strawberries (fraises)
  • 350 g redcurrants (groseilles) - you are supposed to remove the pips with a goose quill but we skipped this...
  • 200 g water (d'eau) - it seemed an awful lot but it did turn out okay
  • 1/2 lemon (citron décongelé) - ideally frozen and defrosted
  • 800 g sugar (sucre blanc) - does not need added pectin
  • 30 ml red wine (vin rouge) - we skipped this as we don't drink wine

The method is his standard method. First heat the sugar, water and lemon (squeezed juice and whole fruit) up to a full boil (121°C), then you add your topped and halved strawberries and (deseeded) redcurrants and bring back to a full boil. You then boil on full heat for 20 minutes before potting into hot cleaned jars as normal.

For best flavour do not add butter, remove the scum with a slotted jam spoon instead. Don't soak your fruit overnight in sugar as it draws out too much water - or so Mr Miot says.

We started with 2.1 Kg strawberries and 1.05 Kg redcurrants and yielded 13 (full) 370 g Bonne Maman jars. This morning we opened a jar to test - VERY GOOD!

21 Jun 2009

Poppy Fields

We went for a bike ride this morning. One of the fields we went past was a lovely shade of lilac and full of Opium poppies, (presumably) grown under license for British opiate production.

If the Daily Mail knew this kind of thing went on in rural Hampshire they'd be up in arms, worried about the youth of today getting high and ending civilisation was we know it. Apparently you don't get much opium from the poppies so you'd need to inject an awful lot to get any effect - hence the industrial scale of the production.

20 Jun 2009

Perl Blogs

For historical reasons I maintain two separate Perl blogs as well as Perl content on this blog. As I've been doing a lot more Perl at home and work of late I thought it best to update things.

I've blogged on use Perl; for a long time, but frustrations with the interface and the development of better syndication technology makes it less important to me and many of the people I follow.

The Perl is Alive site is a newer site, which I'm blogging on at the moment to help it grow. I need to add some more articles to it as well.

13 Jun 2009

Welsh Wales

Just got back from a cracking week's holiday in Cymru (Wales). Contrary to popular opinion in England, the Welsh people we met were very friendly and it was very sunny and dry all week...

04 Jun 2009

Keep Law Out of Science

SAS Libel

We can't have lawyers muzzling science. He may or may have not made a valid argument against them, but in science you argue your case you don't litigate.