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May 30, 2004

NotCon - Progress

Last night I sat down and wrote out a list of interesting soundbites and points to add into the notcon talk.

So that's another hour added to a talk that was already running at 45 minutes, and needs to be cropped down to 15.


Posted by Tom Dolan at 09:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 28, 2004

For those of you who are still dazed after a bank holiday sunday all-nighter...

My Uncle's very very very cute animation peppa pig starts on uk channel five at 7.30 on monday morning.

There's also a lovely trailer to watch on the main peppapig.com site.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 02:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

NotCon: The Game Is Up...

So, it's official. My talk Shit, I'm a Manager has been accepted for NotCon.

I'm speaking on the same stage as Brewster Kahle, Cory Doctorow and Bill Thompson.

Suddenly the 6th June feels very very close.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 11:58 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 24, 2004

Go Jasper

The icing on the cake of reading the work of Jasper Fforde is the daft photoshoppery he puts on his site.

This is from the "spot the deliberate mistake" competition.


His new book 'Something Rotten', sadly in hardback for us pauper recent-parents, is out in July in the UK.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 03:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 21, 2004

Euan's been nobbling again...

Larry Lessig is talking about Creative Commons as part of LIFT

Another date for everyone's diary!

(Though I'm increasingly concerned that by the time I've done all the work events I have to go to, I've got no time left to meet friends for fun and fun alone. :-( Is this normal for someone in my newly be-kidded position? And for how many years will it last?)

Posted by Tom Dolan at 03:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 20, 2004

I know where I want to have a party now

Last night, mum went to the Scholastic Publishing Summer Party at the roof terrace of the Royal Opera House.

The pictures and clips posted on Achuka's Blog are just wonderful. And you can just see the back of mum in one of them.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 05:03 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 19, 2004

essential Panther security fix - via boingboing

Posted by Tom Dolan at 11:29 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 17, 2004

Worth waiting for

I am posting this from bed.

Welcome back Wifi.

(And thank you Maplin)

Posted by Tom Dolan at 10:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Intellectual Sartory

[god knows if that is a word, but pressing on...]

As I left Oxford Circus this morning I saw a tourist in their early twenties with his girlfriend. To be honest I only notice him because he had Matt Jones' hair. But he was wearing a dark blue t-shirt that made me think. Printed, in faux urban, faux stencil, faux poor, faux distressed, lettering was the large message in block capitals


That's a nice piece of design, I thought. And then thought again.

What if it actually *was* the property of Guess Jeans?

CDs seem to be slowly turning into the physical embodiment of a software licence - a token that grants you the right to listen to the music. (Under certain, rapidly diminishing, conditions)

Perhaps this piece of clothing was actually the same - the right to wear their logo, to parade their intellectual property as part of your life? If it can be done with one medium with huge financial turnover and vested (sorry) interests, why not another?

You'd better be careful that you don't start wearing that Calvin Klein t-shirt in bed - you could be violating the terms of use. If you'd wanted to do that, you should have bought a Calvin Klein *nightshirt*!

So the lesson is simple - keep reading the text surrounding the washing instructions carefully, and any item of clothing posh enough to have one of those dangly booklets attached to the sleeve - beware!

Posted by Tom Dolan at 09:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 16, 2004

Ah, tits.

They say you don't miss it till it's gone.

My little Belkin Wi-Fi point has gone, and so I'm typing this on the old beige G3 in the studio, rather than on a sofa or in bed.

The ironic thing is that, when I realised it was broken, the first thing I did was reach for the powerbook to search out a replacement...

Posted by Tom Dolan at 09:04 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Although the individual bits are rather simple, it takes someone with Simon's particular brand of intuition to work out how to send live tv via iChat.

Should one want to, as a hypothetical thought-experiment, obviously.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 09:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 14, 2004

The cutest SMS ever

Daisy has survived
her jabs. She was
immensely brave. The
nurse was so
impressed she gave
her a sticker. We
chose a dinosaur.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 11:06 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 13, 2004

NotCon (temporary, nay interim) Smugness

I have just submitted some proposals for talks at NotCon.

Hurry up and get yours in too! Euan, PaulH, Yoz, MattL, XPT, Marv, Skip, JamieC, PaulC - come on. You have 36 hours left!

Posted by Tom Dolan at 04:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 12, 2004


...to Piers Beckley who now has representation over in LA.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 10:55 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Drawing the Line

After a fair bit of consideration, I think I'm probably not going to be going to the Loic Lemeur blog meetup thing.

There are some people I'd like to see, and some interesting people to meet, but

1) It'll mean I don't see Daisy awake this evening, and now she's sleeping through the night the window when she is awake and I am at home is tiny.
2) There will be other times, and it's not like I'm going to miss the world changing irrevocably if I'm not there.

It feels odd, after so many years of fighting to be at the centre of things, often if I didn't know why, to just let this go without having a compelling reason and having agonised about it for weeks. But fundamentally, I Just Don't Feel Like It.

(However, I must admit I am considering having a select pre-drinks at Century for a few chums if they're up for it)

Posted by Tom Dolan at 11:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 10, 2004

Welcome Rose Locke

Huge congratulations to Matt and Holly Locke on the birth of their daughter Rose Esme yesterday.

Matt's taken the opportunity to use his last bits of adrenalin-fuelled boy-time to post a list of what the web predicts for her over the next seven years. By which time, apparently the de-beaking of hens will be prohibited.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 11:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 07, 2004


Some of you may remember the infuriatingly smug, biased (and ill-informed) clip about the BBC and Gilligan from Fox News' John Gibson.

So it's rather pleasant to see him on the back foot both when the iraqi torture photos story broke and also now the wider implications are being realised.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 07:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 05, 2004

For the 8 year old in your life...

Sorry, a blatant plug here.

The latest two books, The Phantom of Billy Bantam and The Ghoul of Bodger O'Toole by the wonderful children's author Penny Dolan are now available, as they say, in all good bookshops...

Posted by Tom Dolan at 01:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Flicking Vs isn't technically Language

Fascinating Metafilter discussion about the pros and cons of teaching your baby sign language. The thread has an interesting hiccup into whether it really counts as 'language' at that point - for example:

It seems to me that if you're keen on helping a child aquire language at the earliest possible age, they should be exposed to speech by native speakers of that language. For whatever reasons, children can learn Sign earlier than they can a spoken language.

If you just want to provide a mechanism for clearly communicating some basic needs, then it doesn't really matter what you choose, as long as it is within the child's capability.

In no case, excepting in the case of something a linguist might do, would what the parents make up be a "language".

But it also contains this little bubble-puncturing gem:

I want to teach my baby to IM. That way it can reach me when I'm at work.

Thanks to Katy for finding that when she should have been working.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 11:46 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 01, 2004

More Things The World Should Know About Early Parenting

Following up on my earlier post about things that weren't in any books to prepare you for parenting I thought I'd add a couple of other things to the list:

1) Cots are large. Deciding you're going to change your mind about which room the baby will sleep in *will* involve taking it to pieces because it won't go through the bedroom door, so don't leave it till you're about to go and pick up your other half and the baby. Also, this will give you a chance to leisurely revel in man-chores involving screwdrivers for the last time in a month or so.

2) Eco-nappies. These are really expensive. This isn't a problem, but the manufacturers of the 'systems' don't draw any attention to *just* how quickly small bottoms grow. When Daisy grew out of her starter nappies after two weeks it was a suprise. When she grew out of the next size up four weeks after that we were kind of ready. If I'd paid 75 quid for each of those eco-packs I'd have been livid. [Having said that, she now seems to be pretty stable in 'midi' nappies now, so we're considering it again.]

3) Dads - paternity leave is warfare. Plan another week of holiday for about six weeks later when the hell has been replaced by pleasure.

4) If someone offers to take your child off your hands for an evening, or even for two hours, take it and go to the pub. That first bit of time where you are a couple again is sheer joy - like falling in love all over again.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 09:17 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

16 hours in.

We are told that it only takes 3 days for a baby to lose a bad habit.

"How did you spend your bank holiday Tom?"

"Being cried at because I wouldn't give Daisy her dummy".

It's going to be a long long weekend...

Posted by Tom Dolan at 09:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Suck or Suggest

As I've said here recently, I'm relearning Perl (and yes Yoz, because the client wants it, also that 'pile of shite PHP'). I'd last programmed serverside stuff in anger back in '99 and I was amazed how rusty I'd got when I was trying to diagnose some problems with a fellow blogger's MT setup a while back.

There are two projects that hang off these, one commercial and one personal, but as my childcare-costs-induced poverty looms I'm thinking that my Amazon wishlist is becoming increasingly academic. Also purchases from it will become increasingly safe - playing to already-existing tastes rather than trying things out.

So I may set up allborrowing.net - where other people (probably vetted from FOAF files) can suggest books you should get out of the library.

Posted by Tom Dolan at 09:02 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack