Monthly Archives: June, 2006

Watching your day tick by…

This is what a day looks like in seconds.

Create Time-lapse Movies in iMovie

A nice hint – I certainly hadn’t seen that option.

Show Related Posts

One of the good things about having a blog based on WordPress is that people have written lots of cool plugins for it.

Alex, at the Wasabi blog, has one called Related Entries which does a search for other posts on your blog that might be relevant to the one you’re looking at. I’ve tweaked it a bit and have installed it, as an experiment, on the individual post pages here (which you can always get to by clicking on the title of a post).

If you’re looking at this entry on the summary page, for example, click on the title and it will take you to the post’s own page, and the plugin will suggest some of my other posts about WordPress and blogging. Quite sweet!

Update – the plugin has moved and can now be found here

Dial Tune

Thought for the day…

A standard dial tone is made up of two simultaneous frequencies: 350Hz and 440Hz. As any musician will tell you, 440Hz is the A above middle C – the concert pitch standard adopted in the 1930s. 350Hz is the F just below it.

Some modern phones (such as my DECT cordless handsets) generate their own dialtone, which for some reason is at a different pitch, and mobiles, of course, don’t have one at all, but if you lift the receiver on a standard landline, you should be able to recognise the two notes.

So if you find yourself needing to tune an instrument, or set the pitch for a choir, but you don’t have a tuning fork handy, just turn to the nearest telephone!


Another good reason for using the Firefox web browser: the FlashBlock extension gets rid of most of those annoying Flash-based advertisements and shows a nice static placeholder icon on the page instead. If you actually want to see the Flash content, you can just click on it.
One click to install.

Bad to the last drop

Tom Standage wrote a great article about the foolishness of the bottled water craze. It was published in the NYT and the IHT and, a year afterwards, it was blogged here. Ah well. Better late than never.


Bumptop screenshot

BumpTop is a very pretty experiment with more ‘realistic’ desktop metaphors. The bigger and higher-resolution our displays become, the more such alternatives become viable.
They have video clips so you can see the animations.

Actually, on reflection, I think Steven Berlin Johnson may be right about this one.

True Colours

HueyMy latest toy: I’ve got a Pantone Huey, and it’s great. Such devices have been around for a while, but most of them cost hundreds of dollars.
Now I can drag my photos from one display to the next, and they stay the same colour…

John’s Inaugural Lecture

A few days ago, I had the great pleasure to be at John Naughton’s inaugural lecture as a Professor at the Open University.

For those who are confused about the timing, I should point out that while John is loved and celebrated for many things in this world, promptness is not always one of them, and his inaugural lecture came just four years after he was awarded the chair. 🙂

In stark contrast, however, he has been very efficient in getting a transcript of his lecture online, and The Social Life of Networks comes strongly recommended. The webcast will be even better.

(For international readers unfamiliar with the British academic system, a ‘Professor’ here is an honorary post granted to very few. John has been a lecturer at the OU for over 30 years and is also a fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge.)

Filofax scanner continued?

A short while ago I wrote about my desire for something that would scan Filofax pages.

Could this Fujitsu scanner be it?

US Geography quiz

It’s quite common for Europeans to joke about how unaware most Americans are of world geography and to forget that the USA is more like a continent than a country. We may know where America is, but how many Europeans could pinpoint South Dakota on a map?

This jigsaw from gives you a chance to demonstrate your knowledge of the US States, and it’s quite a good way to learn them, too.

A couple of hints:

  • This is a Flash application, and most Flash players will allow you to zoom in if you click the right mouse button. It can be useful when you’re trying to position Delaware!
  • If you’re not familiar with the abbreviations for the States, this page can help.

They have more free stuff here.

World Cup Mode

There’s been much debate here in the UK about whether the BBC is giving too much coverage to the football (soccer) World Cup. On their web site, they’ve come up with a neat solution: you can choose whether or not to put the site into ‘World Cup mode’.

It probably won’t be long before we’re able to do such things with our TVs and radios as well. The concept of discrete channels is so 20th century; soon your channels will be hierarchical. (‘Tonight I’m going to watch’). Or maybe you’ll simply tune your TV to a set of your favourite keywords…

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser