Prime Time on solicitor behaviour

Who watched? It was a damning indictment (Realplayer) of the legal profession.

None of it surprised me, even Ken Murphy giving his traditional waffly defence of solicitors said nothing that I wouldn’t expect. Of course it’s fine for the Law Society to both protect the interests of solicitors and adjudicate over their own misbehaviour.

There shall be more over on Public Inquiry.

Aside: Yet another BBC knock off. Woe is me.

X-Men 3

Cian didn’t like it, but given the comments, it seems he didn’t stay until the end of the credits to see the last scene.

I have to say I did rather like it as special-effects extravaganzas go, especially since almost none of the filming was done in San Francisco, and yet almost the whole film is based there.

If you do go to see it, do stay until the end of the credits, it is a rather critical scene.

Cian has incidentally moved to a new home over at cianboland.com.

Tom gets Slashdotted

Companies really should think about the repurcussions before they send off Cease and Desist letters.

I hope Tom’s server can handle the /. crowd! ๐Ÿ™‚

The backlash has been quite substantial, O’Reilly have responded. Tom has published the letter of their response, it’s not too nice either.

Update: It appears Twenty has written a rather nice letter to Sandra Grayson….

Cloaking device

Yet another Star Trek device makes the move to semi-reality.

The work provides a mathematical “recipe” for bending light waves in such a way as to achieve a desired cloaking effect.

John Pendry, along with colleagues David Smith and David Schurig at Duke University in North Carolina, US, have been testing suitable metamaterials for the device they plan to build.

This, Sir John explained, would consist of a sphere or cylinder wrapped in a sheath of metamaterial which could cloak it from radio waves.

“It’s not tremendously fancy, but that for us would be quite an achievement,” he told the BBC News website.

Professor Ulf Leonhardt, author of another cloaking paper in Science, described the effect for light as a “mirage”.

“What you’re trying to do is guide light around an object, but the art is to bend it such that it leaves the object in precisely the same way that it initially hits it. You have the illusion that there is nothing there,” he told the BBC’s Science in Action programme.

The work could have uses in military stealth technology – but engineers have not yet created the materials that could be used to cloak an aircraft or a tank, John Pendry explains. Professor Pendry’s research has been supported by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa).

Sony Ericsson W800i Review

After my reliable and much loved Nokia 6630 had an unfortunate run-in with a washing machine, it was written in the stars that I was destined to get a new phone. I eventually decided on the Sony Ericsson W800i, incidentally the same as Ryan’s who lauded the phone’s features.

First off is the 2.0MP camera. I took a few photos at the maximum resolution and found the quality excellent. None of the same grainy issues of the 1.3MP on the 6630. I have only taken daytime photos thus far, and have found them all comparable to photos I have taken on standard digital cameras. There is no flash, but a rather powerful light, I will test it later. Here’s a sample pic in Midleton:

W800i test

Second is the most prominent feature of the W800i, the walkman. It comes with a 512MB memory stick, and the process was smooth, I simply dragged and dropped MP3’s to the memory card, no issues. The sound quality is excellent, both from the loudspeaker and the included headset. The 6630 had a similar feature, but I always found the Nokia software fiddly and slow.

As for other aspects of the phone, the menu system does take getting used to after years as a Nokia afficiando. The space on texts uses a different button, but the predictive texts differs slightly in its use, and I found it just as easy as the 6630. The games included are substandard, but I will be getting more shortly. The screen is high-res, very clear, very bright, it also has nice animated wallpaper.

What the phone lacks is a standard 3.5mm jack for headphones. I am forced to use the Sony handsfree kit, and then attach a 3.5mm headphone to that. I have found the connection to the phone to be slightly loose, in which case the phone automatically reverts to the loudspeaker, which I could imagine being rather embarrasing if it came loose in a public place. The built in radio is fine (the 6630 lacked one), has RDS, and I get decent quality from all radio stations.

The W800i also has IR and Bluetooth (why they include IR anymore is beyond me), and I trust all these things work as normal.

Overall thus far I am happy with the switch. All I need now is to switch to the new Macbooks. ๐Ÿ™‚

United 93

I meant to blog this earlier, but has anyone else seen United 93? I haven’t seen much discussion of it in the Irish blogosphere.

I actually didn’t realise it was released straight to DVD last week until I spotted it in Xtra-vision, whereupon I instantly rented it.

And I have to concurr with the reviews I have read from bloggers in the States. It is a film done with taste and and with a rather unnatural sense of familiarity. At many points you do feel like one of the passengers, and there appeared to be various devices used by the director to hook the viewer into associating with the film. Anyone who has travelled on planes will find themselves questioning themselves, and what they would do in that position.

In some ways it is like the discussion of the Falling Man picture earlier. It is compelling to watch.

At times it is difficult to watch the phone calls between passengers and their families, but I recommend United 93 nonetheless.

Update: Thanks Simon, got mixed up between the website URL and the film title. But it is the one that was just released in the US.