Cannot download files from msdn

Yesterday I was trying to download some images from msdn and had a couple of hours of pure frustration. My downloads were getting to 99% and then freezing. When I tried to pause and resume or shutdown and restart the downloads started from 0% and did the same thing again. The quickest solution to the problem was to use google chrome to download the files. Using IE meant the site was insisting on using an active x control – and it was the download plugin that caused all the issues. I tried all the commonly googled solutions to the problem but they didn't Help I find it kind of funny that I had to use google chrome to fix an issue on microsoft.com. Of course I could have probably found a way of fixing it by messing with my IE options, but in truth I couldn't be assed.

 

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The history of things

Items, as well as people have a history – the T-shirt i was wearing in bed last night was brought for my by the mother of an ex -it was made in brazil, and has travelled. Sometimes i think it would be really interesting to know some of those places some of my things have been.

The best curry i ever made – i put in a packed lunch box then accidently left it on the bus! I wonder what happened to that – sure it ended up in the bin… but where? who found it? Some of the things we take for granted come from all over the place. The iPad that I am working with at the moment has components from all over the world in it – to meet mass production requirements of such a device means companies like apple has to rely on people doing long hours for minimum wage. Having lived in a third world country I can honestly say its hard to even perceive the benefits that we take for granted in countries like UK or Sweden.

On the flip side though I wonder what would happen if such things didnt exist. The minimum wage Chinese guy working on an iPad takes that job for a reason – it strikes me he/she doesn't have much choice – so in a way they are fulfilling a need. Those conditions are undoubtably terrible but what would happen if those options were not available? Would that person starve? Could China support all the people who need to live off the land? In some quarters China has been hailed as the new India and its economy is booming. I cannot help but wonder how much money is going back to the people and improving their way of life because to be honest industrialization seems to be taking its toll on Chinas landscape – if it carries on any semblance of the pre industrial era will be lost. Wealth of a country doesn't inherently tell us anything about how well it's people are treated because wealth even in communist countries is not evenly distributed to all.

Every gadget we have is made of parts which can come from many places. Every part has a history. If you start to look at it every device we own, even the clothes on our back are the results of thousands if not millions of people – in my jeans a different company probably makes the thread to the denim- that company probably uses machines with thousands of parts, each part originating from a different company, with its own people, if you follow it back further the dye used is probably made by another company – ad infinitum.

Once upon a time companies used to only sell things that they made from their own hands and in som parts of the world that still happens. Sadly the fact the world is a smaller place now we have tech like the Internet and cheap flights – to survive companies have to more and more compete in the global market place. Small shops increasingly shut down to make way for bigger ones. There's a quote in a movie Time Bandits – made by the character “Evil” – he said “god doesn't care about digital watches” and goes on to make a speech about technology. The author basically implies technology is evil, and it's an interesting point.

I love my gadgets; technology has undoubtably played a large part in how many of us live our lives. Personally I don't think it's evil – to me evil implies an intention, and technology like everything else in this world has pros and cons. Choose your evil – mine has an apple on it! :)

 

Siri… What are you wearing ?

Ok, I admit I find myself actually using Siri – it's accurate. I've compared it's functionality to a couple of similar apps available on android and nothing comes close to the accuracy of Siri or the range of things I can do with it. There's a world of difference between British English and US English when it comes to Siri understanding me. Some of the types of things I get Siri to do most often are

  • Set an alarm for 630
  • Set a reminder for 930…eat something
  • What is 75% of 140?
  • What is 50 dollars in Swedish crowns?
  • Where is rhona mitra?
  • What's the temperature?
  • Will it rain tomorrow?
  • FaceTime Lloyd Richardson
  • Send a text message to Cecilia B – are you going in tomorrow?

.. I know they are not complex tasks but Siri makes me do them quicker and easier. I also saw there is a Siri button on the keyboard which means voice recognition for all apps. Cool! I thought Siri would be a fun gimmick that would wear off after a little use. It's not.

The original pitch for the muppet show

I found this online – Jim Hensons original pitch for the Muppet Show. It made me laugh! It seems like even Henson had to pitch his ideas once!

 

 

Understanding heart rate

I got this info from heart.com as my heart rate has been a bit high during excercise.

Maximum heart rate that is safe is fairly easy to calculate:

WOMEN: 226 – your age = age-adjusted Max HR

MEN: 220 – your age = age-adjusted Max HR

So for me max heart rate is 180. For weight loss I should be getting my heart rate between 60-70% of my Max HR (I kind of laugh because I was training at 100% until Glen pointed out it was a bit high. My rate should be between 108-126 and I was exercising at 170-200. So in terms of cardio I need to slow it down!

It reccomends on that site that I should do 30 mins a day, 3 times a week! That would have to be non gym days – we will see how that goes!

Clothing

I like to watch the world. Theres a lot going on in it, and many people out there wearing many different styles of clothes. Clothing and fashions these days seem fairly far removed from the past – the whole fashion industry is about creativity not functionality – functionality in clothing used to give different parts of the world a very distinctive style but the world is getting smaller and thanks to things like the media cultures influence each other, and collide. It isnt totally about style – guys wear trousers, girls wear skirts (forget the scottish). It probably comes from thousands of years back – bearing children in a skirt would be a lot easier than in trousers. As time goes on, social values change and girls wear less and less – or is that just a testiment to global warming? How our kids are dressed has also changed – I saw a documentary a while back where some parents were campaigning to get a high street store to stop selling mini skirts for 6 year olds – kids are being forced to grow up earlier and that's also reflected in fashion. Hell even the size of clothing in general says something about how fat and lazy we have become (though I am losing wieght !)

Clothing doesn't just keep us warm any more, it makes a statement about who we are, and how society is changing. Its interesting to take a look at clothing from the last few hundred years and to think on the question “what do those clothes say about the society and the place they come from?”

 

Diet – week 2

So week 2 of the diet is over and it's been an education.my progress has of course slowed down. I have had a few beers in the last week, and still managed to lose weight which is pretty cool. The calorie counting is still happening, and I can eat anything I want as long as I plan for that – Wednesday I had 3 pints of beer without gaining anything. There have been one or two days where I have seemingly gained weight (100grams). Both of those times I was under my calorie intake for the day (in fact since I started I have never been over it). Water wieght I think is most likely the reason – and bathroom habits. The daily fluctuating interests me as I am trying to learn more about myself; I am not loosing sight of the fact that the weekly loss is more important than the daily loss. Once I had lost 5kg my diet planner suggested I recalculate my daily intake – it's now gone from 1900 to 1400 per day, and my loss is slowing down. I wonder if I should be eating more! If I eat to little I know the body will flip into survival mode making loss almost impossible. The human body is a complex thing!

 

Timelord Victorious

The quality of this isn't amazing but then this music was never released. It is to my mind though a very beautiful piece of music. Enjoy!

 

 

Appohollic!

I am a bit of an appohollic and I admit it – it's cool to browse the AppStore on the iPad and to buy new stuff even if sometimes I already have an app to do a job. 7kr to keep me out of trouble is a small price to pay. And most of what I get there does cost 7kr. I don't like buying apps over 50kr, and my average spend per month is 70kr. It's not a habit that is out of control.

Apple did well with the AppStore and with iTunes – making it so easy for people to find music and apps has definately paid off for them. I don't really use iTunes for buying paid music though – I originally kept my old mp3s in my iTunes library but now it is empty on my iPhone because surprisingly I really like spotify. I say surprisingly becuase you only rent your music there and I have never been a fan of renting anything. Spotify is cool yet I am thinking of maybe dusting off the iTunes library a bit – why?

…Becuase of Siri – Siri knows about iTunes and can play music from it – Siri can't play music from spotify. I am hoping that the Siri API is,made available and used by dev, because Siri is starting to change how I work. It can set reminders really quickly.

My only gripe is the British version of Siri only had a guys voice, silly I know. I can switch to American English but its amazing how that impaired its ability to function. I do like apple still, even though I don't agree with everything they do. But Australians out there (you know who you are) – you won't annoy me by saying your android phones are better, becuase I will say the same thing as I have been saying about this kind of tech rivalry since I was 10 (BBC vs Spectrum) – they are both good in their own right, each have their own pros and cons, so deciding what is best comes down to what your taste is, and what you want to do. It's a personal thing, I love android too, but am not such a fan of Windows phone – not because the tech is bad but in my case I don't like the Microsoft look and feel. So don't try to wind me up :) it won't work!

First week of dieting – the update

So I am a week into my diet. Today is my first formal weigh in. I have been checking my weight daily but really should only have a checkpoint once a week. So my progress week 1 – I've lost 3.9 kilos! I realise the beginning of a diet you tend to loose more but it still feels pretty good.

My first thoughts on this diet, compared to my last attempt a couple of years back

  • It's really important to have the 6 meals a day to speed up metabolism. It was hard to organize my day so I could eat every 3 hrs, but the fact I was eating often made me feel less hungry
  • Mydietpal is an awesome app – iam getting to see my carbs, sugar intake etc which helps my customize my meals
  • It is ok to eat what u want sometimes if you adjust your day accordingly
  • After a while you start to know how many calories things have. It becomes fairly intuitive.
  • The trick to exercising is to start easy!
  • Weight definately can fluctuate a bit for not much reason – yesterday my calorie intake was better than on any other day, but for the first time, my weight went up – by 100g.

I drank more water than I usually do yesterday and I suspect that may have had something to do with it. Taking a weekly perspective is definately a better move than looking on a day to day basis – though I will Continue to check my weight daily it's the weekly numbers I will really look at. I will try the military fat calculator again.

Mydietpal only does a few graphs but here's the progress so far. The diet started on the 28th and I had expected to lose 1kg this week. My calorie intake hasn't been below 1200 and was typically around the 1600 mark. It's a gym day today. So far I am satisfied with my performance.

 

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