Archive for the ‘admin’ Category

Admin: MWC

I am, of course, in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress (3GSM as was…). As you may have noticed, most of my output on Egypt was sent over to AFOE to take advantage of the bigger megaphone.

If anyone’s interested in meeting up, the comments are that-a-way. In the near future, I am going to have some hard things to say about getting calendar events exported from KDE4.4.4, and even worse things about importing them to an Android phone, even via Google Calendar. In the light of the Nokia/Microsoft announcement, though, it looks like I’m stuck with the ‘droid.

In other, tangential, mobile industry news, I was amused by this:

Apparently, if you drive around Alaska with a spectrum analyzer on the front seat of your car, nobody stops you. This is awesome.

It’s awesome, and it’s also true of huge nuclear reactor complexes near Bratislava, where I once did just that back in 2005. We were there to cover the switch-on of T-Mobile’s new mobile-broadband network, which was using an OFDM radio technology developed by a British company called Flarion, from somewhere in Oxfordshire I think, that later got bought out by Qualcomm. And so we all went out for a drive test in a gang of vans with tinted windows and James Bond-heavy looking drivers, with laptops and funny-looking antennas and spectrum analyzers and nuclear bomb-looking coverage maps. And nobody batted an eyelid. (I think it’s now safe to say that I borrowed my partner’s laptop, the property of Royal Holloway, University of London, which organisation never knew that it had been used for drive-testing experimental mobile networks in Slovakia…)

It was a bit different, it turned out, in Washington DC, where they had installed a radio network for the police force. There, if you drove around with a Rohde & Schwarz analyzer (about ten grand to you, sir) on your front seat, eventually the black Chevy Suburban behind you would be joined by four more converging out of the side streets and you’d end up in a Patriot Act dungeon somewhere for eighteen hours until the head of emergency services comms found out where they were keeping you and succeeded in vouching for your non-terrorist status.



Anyone going?

Admin Notice: Migration

You may have noticed that the blogspot version of TYR looks funny. The news is that we’re moving – with luck, our national nightmare of blog bifurcation and manually maintained archive links (there’s a reason the ones on TYR classic haven’t been updated in years) will be at an end.

Before this happens, though, I’d like to thank whichever bloody idiot at Google has broken the Blogger Data API, so that Blogger-Wordpress exports no longer work. This has made my life a misery for the last week or so. I’ve so far tried – the official, server-to-server migration, which doesn’t work, the horrible hack of trying to server-server import the Blogger blog into a temporary blog, then dump the WordPress export file, then upload that (12MB over a crappy ADSL uplink topping out below 100Kbps), the even worse hack of dumping the Blogger export, then uploading that to, the same thing having “converted your template to New Blogger” after Blogger refused to give me the dump file, etc, etc.

And no migration. Also, it turns out to my utter horror that the thing about not liking anything with a <script> tag – like Google Maps (although they have finally and grudgingly accepted that one) or IBM ManyEyes – exists in an independently hosted WordPress install, too. Apparently there’s a plugin. Seriously – a third party extension to stop it mangling my stuff. Shouldn’t this just be a config option so I can just turn it off? So I’m actively considering binning WP and installing Movable Type instead. Such, such were the joys.

So I’d like to apologise to anyone I’ve been grumpy towards as a result. And the blog will soon be back, better, stronger, more orange, and 50% less bifurcated. If you link to us, you will soon be notified of the new URI, and I will chase you up. Once the Neo-Ranter is operational (technically it’s operational now, just there’s nothing in it), I’m going to close comments on the other versions and eventually shut them down, once I’ve SQL-d the links so that they all point within the new blog.

Extremists. ur doin it rong

I can’t help but think this is a contribution to the ongoing debate about hero-of-the-blog Diego Gambetta’s work on engineers and terrorism. If stuff is upside down before you start the riot, fire, explosion, etc., your extremist cell could probably do with more engineers. Meanwhile, the SELF THOUGHT SPIRITUAL SCIENTIST guy next to him looks like he’s on a demo to demand that ordinary decent schizophrenics can de-compensate without the EDL lowering the tone.

Due to the 30th birthday, I didn’t cover this at the time, but there’s a really nice piece on the Bradford EDL rally and counter-demo here. “It’s the middle of Ramadan, as if we’re bothered about this lot”, indeed. And the EDL were the only people ever to decide that the Rubble Zone was a great place to hang out.

Something else I missed, except for the last 15 minutes: the Challenge Cup final. Lee Briers got the Lance Todd. Kevin Sinfield got his third runner’s up medal. He must be really desperate to escape the fate of another Loiner, Garry Schofield, who played in four finals and never won, a record.

Elsewhere: I’m sticking the boot in over at Stable & Principled again. What is it about the Blair/Gove academies that makes them so suited to influence peddling?

not stable, not principled

Elsewhere: we resume blogging at Stable & Principled.

Via Jamie Kenny, the Conspiracy’s roundup. Here’s the first comment:

so this is the biggest news me the day? Not the fact that the Guardian has endorsed David Miliband?


Creepy google searches of the week: “who writes the blog for yorkshire ranter” and “identity of yorkshire ranter”. Someone in a BT dynamic-IP pool.

Coming up on TYR this weekend – we review Richard Aldrich’s GCHQ

So, if you needed a band for a 30th birthday party…come on, or I’ll put it on craigslist….

Here’s a question for you: when you’re not reading blogs, what else do you do?