October 2006

Good news for anyone interested in the nature and content of our universe: NASA has reversed course and decided to repair the Hubble Space telescope. For many with an interest in astronomy, the idea that this fine instrument would be allowed to fall out of orbit seemed quite mad. The refit, which should take place […]


One tip for people using Mac OS X Tiger: you can use a smart folder to speed up finding things you are working on. Here’s how:


Why is wireless networking so dodgy right now? I am not talking about typing 400 character messages into your phone with your thumbs, but about accessing something really useful with a device not physically connected to a computer network. Not to sound like Margaret Thatcher, but a big part of the answer is government regulation. […]


My fisheries presentation in Wadham is in a few hours. For those who are not going, but who are interested in EU fisheries policy in West Africa, you can have a look at the following: My PowerPoint slides (1.8mb) My speaking notes (79kb) The page on my wiki relating to this (includes PDF versions of […]


The blog has been upgraded to WordPress 2.0.5: Ronan. This is an incremental upgrade, so I do not anticipate any major issues. So many people are doing this upgrade today that the instructions page for upgrades on the WordPress Codex cannot be accessed. Good thing I remember the drill from last time. Plugins will be […]


Tomorrow begins another busy week. I need to finish preparing my presentation on West African fisheries for the Wadham Research Forum tomorrow night. While I appreciate the chance to proselytize a bit on this important subject, I am somewhat nervous about being the only grad student presenting to a clutch of dons; hopefully, none will […]


Yesterday, I read about a rather clever idea. Right now, individual homeowners (or renters) make the decisions about what kind of heating, lighting, and insulation to use. Utility firms simply sell them electricity, oil, and gas in order to meet their demands. As such, the firms have no incentive to help people conserve and, despite […]


Here’s a little bit of irony: According to BBC business correspondent Hugh Pym, the report will carry weight because Sir Nicholas, a former World Bank economist, is seen as a neutral figure. Unlike earlier reports, his conclusions are likely to be seen as objective and based on cold, hard economic fact, our correspondent said. The […]


A final reminder: the first ever “Come as Your Supervisor” Party in the known history of Oxford will be taking place tonight. Those who present the most accurate and the most amusing portrayals of our common academic superiors will doubtless earn the respect of their peers, as well as the intrepidity required to gain fame […]


After seeing that the capacity of my iBook battery has fallen by 10% over the course of four complete cycles of discharging and charging, I went and read up on lithium-ion batteries. My previous conceptions about them turn out to be almost entirely wrong. Since almost all cellular phones, laptops, and music players with rechargeable […]