Daily Archives: May 15, 2006

One Big SL Weekend

On Friday night I read on the BBC News website that the One Big Weekend concert was going to be run simultaneously inside Second Life, on a private island that BBC Radio 1 has hired for a year. I knew I was going to be pretty busy this weekend, but this was such a great use of the Second Life technology that I knew I wanted to at least drop in for a while.

The first problem was finding the event. I couldn't find it in the Event pane in Find within Second Life (turns out this was probably because I'm incompetent at searching). Luckily I managed to find more information at New World Notes, and more at Wonderland, and got a link to the island.

I spent much of Saturday morning failing to get on… it kept dumping me off to a snowy region due to lack of capacity. In the end I decided to have "one last try" at getting to the BBC island, and eventually got to the right server about lunchtime.

sl-onebigweekend

When I did get on, I clicked the purple globe to start dancing, and was able to pick up free headphones and a radio. It turns out that there were also free glowsticks and t-shirts, but I must have missed them. Couldn't stay for long, as we had to go out.

NB my screenshot is pretty lame… you can barely even make out my avatar (and he's dancing like a girl, which doesn't help)… there are some far better ones at Wonderland, and of course also at eightbar.

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Best newspaper story of the weekend

The Times carried a story this weekend about how a London cabbie accidentally got interviewed live on BBC News 24 about the Apple Computer vs Apple Corp court case. When I read the story, I laughed. Now I’ve seen the video, I’m cringing! How awkward.

Apparently the real expert (Guy Kewney) was interviewed on a BBC Radio 4 programme on Sunday and was asked about traffic and cab fares, as a counterbalance – smart.

Google Maps no good for navigation

I’d like to make the observation that Google Maps absolutely sucks as a route planner.

I’m not sure how popular this suggestion will be, but let me tell you why I think that way…

This weekend I needed to drive from Farnborough to Walthamstow, and after that on to East Croydon. I confidently expected to get to Walthamstow by driving clockwise around the M25 and heading into London on the A10 towards Enfield. Google Maps wanted to send me into London on the A40, and across on the North Circular.

  1. There’s no way of selecting particular types of road as a preference over others.
  2. There’s no way of telling Google Maps to route around / avoid areas.
  3. There’s no way of selecting average speeds, fuel costs, etc. (although this is arguably not necessary)
  4. The printouts are awful. Truly, truly terrible. It doesn’t even print out the line along which you will be travelling clearly. There’s so little control, it makes me want to weep.

Microsoft AutoRoute (I’m still on AR 2001, haven’t upgraded to MapPoint or anything newer) not only chose my expected route on the way there, but got the costs, timing, etc. virtually perfect, and also let me print out clear maps at a variety of levels of detail. I hate being indebted to Microsoft software, but in this case, it is clearly better.

Of course, if my TomTom satnav had arrived last week, as Expansys told me 3 times that it should (!!!), then I wouldn’t have been in so much agony in the first place…

Oh, I also discovered that the cross-city route from north to south London via the Blackwall Tunnel is a terrible way to spend a Sunday afternoon in May. 2 hours to travel 10 miles. Should have gone back out to the M25 and followed it round clockwise, but I decided to go with the Autoroute option…

Racing photography

I just came across an article on shooting F1 racing events.

Alpine stars

One of Ola’s friends is one of the top motor racing journalists in Poland, and knows Robert Kubica, rising star of the BMW Sauber F1 team. Last year Robert was driving for Epsilion Euskadi in the World Series by Renault. We were lucky enough to be able to watch the Donington leg of the tour, providing me with my one and only opportunity to far to try my hand at shooting a motor racing event. Check out my set on Flickr. I really need to add some more of the shots.