50 Worst Game Titles of All Time

I have stopped even thinking about blogging because I'm now too into Digging, especially now the new Digg 3.0 is out.

Digging is a bit like blogging, but more interesting unless you yourself are feeling really interesting, which, when there is so much other interesting stuff going on, isn't that much.

But anyways, just so you, my loyal fan (It was a great weekend, by the way, notwithstanding your drunken tiff), don't think my Internet is down, this has some good moments in it:


Its a summary of the 50 worst computer game titles of all time and some of the commentary is super-great.

(I'm not actually sure that all uses of the comma in this post are strictly adhering to the Queen

This is Very Funny and Very Scary, 45 Mins

Ahhh the joys of Google Video.

Rob Newman may hold the Guinness World Record for the biggest comedy show ever, he and David Badiel filed Wembly Arena. I never really liked him when he was in his early carear. He seemed smug and way to Oxbridge. I always liked his comedic buddy, Badiel - whose brother I have met twice, oh yes, in those kind of circles.

So Rob Newman, who might be my new hero of the moment, hasn't been in the limelight for a long while. It looks like he has been looking at the world through smart, cynical and very open eyes.

If you have 45 mins to spare then watch this video in your browser:


It will educate and anger and maybe even make you wet yourself with laughter. There are not many 45 minutes I know like that. The last one I remember was in Mexico City in 1992 and involved a a badger/chupacabra hybrid. Zona Rosa anyone?

Cut Copy Paste and the Keyboard Waste

My keyboard has a zillion keys I never or hardly ever use. Remnenats from the days when compuiters were used just by boffins (Notably in the pre-nerdalal in era).

Some keys actally predate the electronic age in their fucntion, for example, why do we have a key that locks away rolled velum manuscriptsin this day and in this age? It is one of the only keys that only has one fucntion....

A key when you want to pause for a break, is that needed?

And there are keys for all manner of characters that just dont belong in the ascii lexicon of any normal person. Do these all need homes of their own? Really?

But what strikes me is that the keyboard has no keys for those three most common of tasks, Cut, Copy, Paste.

Am I missing comething here? (And dont gimme the ctr+v etc speil)

Futureblog: How my husband discovered my affair.

Sorry I haven’t been posting for ages, its been a bit of a nightmare:( Last week my husband found out that I had been having an affair for the last two years. The dust hasn't settled and we are in mediation, my mother hates me, my brother called me a "Harlot" and Jeff is devastated. As you know we have no kids, but nonetheless, eight years in its looking all over.

I am angry. Jeff is angry. We are angry with different things.

Readers of this blog will know that four months ago Jeff had a mass noted in his left lung during a routine work medcheck. It was small, about the size of an almond, but there where it shouldn't be. He went for some more tests, all paid for by his private insurance, and they found that is was cancerous. They would need to operate and give him some reparative stem therapy for the damage. We were assured that everything would be OK, and on the cancer front it was. A month later it was gone and the damage close to being repaired.

We both felt very lucky.

The day Jeff got the final all clear he also got a paper letter from his private insurance. It started off talking about the success of his recent treatment, etc etc. Then, on the next paragraph it was stated that:

We have evidence that you have been undertaking in activities that contravene your insurance declaration and, under agreed terms of your policy, we will be investigating this evidence further.

It went on with a load of legal talk and recommendations that seemed helpful and friendly. Jeff and I were shocked and couldn't think what they could be talking about. He called his lawyer, who liaised with the insurance company and, a few days later, gave us the low-down. Once the claim was made the insurance company went into "automated refutation" mode. Bots and engines owned by the company tried all they could to disprove the claim. Its how it is nowadays, I guess.

They found a face that looked 93.3% matched to Jeff in someone’s public Goggle album. It was a picture taken on Cay Caulker two years ago. The lawyer got us a copy of the photo in question. The man in the photo, that they said was Jeff, was hidden away in the background on a trestle table in a dimply lit bar or restaurant. The photo was just in an album of some German holiday makers.

In the photo the man was smoking, like people do from time to time on holiday. That was all they needed. The bot sent out the paper letter and the ball started rolling. It transpired that because the facial match was below the required 98% threshold (stipulated by the insurance company) they needed to do more investigation. Jeff’s lawyer said that even if it was 99% match a digital photo couldn’t be evidence without a locked watermark.

The insurance company needed to prove with close to certainty that Jeff had been smoking within the last 5 years, and they were like a pack of hyenas in pursuit of this. They got subpoenas from wimax providers, google, yahoo, ISPs. Even from his work; things like the cams that overlook the outside foyer. We were pretty sure no humans were involved in this. The various bots and engines sent messages and requests to each other. And as it all rolled out, we were kept constantly updated with emails. Trust me, until you have been involved with this kind of process you have no idea how clever and frenzied it all is.

Jeff was in such a panic. He talked about having to mortgage the house, sell the car, downgrade this and that. All in all it was a time filled with as much, though not the same calibre, tension as the cancer scare.

They must have looked through zillions of images and cams, checked millions of store records for a purchase of cigarettes. They found nothing and the claim remained intact. We were ecstatic and feeling the luckiest people two times in as many months.

A fortnight ago I was watching "Deal or No Deal" on my specs and he came in with a frown like I hadn't seen. He was holding a printout.

"What do you make of this?" he asked, handing me the paper.

I took the specs off and started to read the paper. It was from "Cavendish Detection". I looked at it for a moment, confused. Then I read it. I couldn't believe it. I read it again. I don't have a copy of it but it in essence it said

"Dear Mr Sills, we have found evidence that suggest with a high degree of reliability that a person or persons close to you have been partaking in actions that we feel you would think are dishonest... bla bla bla.... If you would like to see this evidence please contact us....bla bla bla.... and pay $5,000...."

My world melted right then, but, after lying to him for two years, I lied some more and just said something like, "Its spam or 414". I don't know why I lied but it was too late, really.

That night I went to their website, Cavendish Detection. This despicable company is one of the new pre-emptive detective agencies. I didn't really know about them until that point, but, my god, I hate them. So should you!

Employee fraud, adultery, child illegality. These bastards it seems would analyze publicly available information and find "dishonesty" wherever it could be found. They then go to the parties concerned and sell them the evidence they have found. Despicable. You should go read the news on these companies, they should be illegal. I may be an adulterer, and I will carry that guilt with me for ever, but these bastards have no right to cause the trouble they do.

Jeff couldn't sleep and my lie became bigger, day by day. I’m so sorry. For a week he would say thing like "Maybe its Kalvin and the club money?" or whatever. All the while I was pretty sure that it was me and my affair that the bastards had the evidence on. I tried to play it down, and I’m sorry for that too, but after week of sleepless nights, Jeff decided that he would pay. Jeff always equates cost with clothes and for him this was just "a couple of pairs of shoes".

I didn’t know he was going to pay right then, but on this Saturday night, he got out of bed and paid the bastards. They obviously sent him a media file. This was all the evidence he needed. He didn’t wake me, he forwarded me the mail and, when I woke up on the Sunday, he was gone. I’m sorry Jeff.

I didn’t open his mail until lunch time. He wasn’t answering my calls, his GPS and messenger was off. I was in a panic. I opened the media file and went through the professional presentation. I was thinking there might be a photo of Mark and I checking into a hotel, or holding hands as we walked down the street in Prague. It was none of that. No soap opera style revelation.

I met Mark at a my cousins barbecue about two years ago when Jeff was away on business. We clicked though nothing happened for, like, four months. I met him a few more times that summer. We started private messaging each other (Which the bastards couldn’t read) and it grew from that. We were in it for the excitement, for the illicitness. It was that illicit buzz that kept it lasting so long, I guess. (Mark is also married).

Together we took all the precautions we felt we would need to keep our affair secret. But it wasn’t so. Our private messages remained private, but the bastards presented Jeff with a chart of the timings of these messages down to the second. You could see nothing what was said but that so much was said. The same with email timings and access points, did you know they keep all this?

It was shocking the detail they went to. I will never forget there was a gvideo of a cat falling into a sink that was pretty funny, I saw it and private messaged it to Mark. It was there in the bastard’s report, that this video had been watched by both parties within eight minutes.

The evidence never named Mark (I don’t even know if they knew who he was) but they did show that whoever it was wore size 12 shoes, aftershave and liked to watch lez porn vidcasts… and so on.. and on.

As the presentation rolled on and my dignity slipped away there was hope that I could pass this off as an “online fling”. An indiscretion, nothing more. But then there started to be the real world connections, and these were my final damnation.

When we met we always were very cautious not to get caught. We would never share bills, taxis, flights or anything that might leave some kind of evidence that either of our partners might stumble upon. But these precautions didn’t matter to the bastards, they just went around them.

There were three dozen occasions when myself and whoever had the size 12 shoes accessed the net from the same town. A not improbable coincidence. But looking at the map in the presentation, it was pretty clear that these “connection windows” were not coincidences. I’m sorry Jeff.

Even more incriminating; there were sixteen pairs of payments over two years that were from the same vending point in a range places (hotels, restaurants, even swimming pools). These payments were separated by seconds. As a sinister knife in my side, Cavendish Detection even offered Jeff the chance for “further investigation” including the “procurement of supporting video and other evidence”. The bastards. But I guess Jeff didn’t need that. There was more evidence… so much of it, but after half an hour I just turned it off and sobbed till I slept.

Looking back now over this week in hell what I can’t get out of my mind is that all of this was possible because of the insurance claim. Once Jeff's insurance company had "investigated" his smoking all of that data was available under Freedom of Information. Someone has since told me, in another blog, that these pre-emptive detective agencies wait at the sidelines for cases like Jeff’s to be made public, then they start picking through. If those German Holiday makers had taken a picture five minutes later, my marriage would still be intact.

The real gutting thing is that the affair with Mark was a mistake and I knew this way before any of this trouble. In my head and heart Mark and I were over the moment I thought I might lose Jeff to the big C.

I don't know what will happen with Jeff and I. I’m going to go away for a few weeks so won’t be posting. I love Jeff so much, I have been a fool and I have been caught out in ways I didn't imagine possible.

Who was that twentieth century author, she said "Our actions are like ships that we send out to sea, and we don't know when or with what cargo they will return"? She was right here.

I’m sorry Jeff. So sorry.

Draft One (Unproofed)

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What is your Laptop's Thermoscrotal Coeficient?

I'm sitting with my laptop on my Lap, still running Ubuntu Linux, and I have noticed something just now. My thighs are not on fire! With XP the laptop used to get soooo hot. But now its almost chilled. In fact I may need to boot into XP for a bit just to warm me up.

Writely, baby, I just blogged to say I love you, and, I'm sorry.

Last year I fell in love with Writely. She was my kind of free and fast web-service. Ahhhh my jilted lover!!! She had the features and attractiveness that makes a guy like me melt. And boy, did she know how to function. I even shared her with my friends (With the approriot firewall).

But then, as the reader to this blog will know, we fell out. Writely became slow and sluggish, and seemed, somehow disinterested in responding.

I bumped into her again last week. We had a bit of a session together and you know what, she got back her mojo. So now we are going to see if we can make it work out. If she can stay active and stay loyal, I might even move in with her permanently.

First Days With Ubuntu

At least 5 years ago I tried to install the Linux operating system on a PC. After a morning of fiddling and reading, I gave up. It was just too much hassle.

Reading about the great advances in Linix simplicity I tried again last year with "the best for the common man" version, Ubuntu. I saw login screens and menus but, ultimately it failed.

Last week I watched a video from Digg in which Nelson Mandella explained the meaning of "Ubuntu". I don't know if he was referring to the Linux for "everyman" but he certainly seemed to know his Zulu.

I downloaded the very latest version of Ubuntu. Burnt it onto a CD. Put the CD into my drive. It loaded, right there. Straight into the "live cd". This means you can see Ubuntu working and play with it without it actually installing anything on your hard drive. Clever. It seemed just like Windows ... but different.... faster and distinct. Its hard to explain what I liked about it, but there was this button on the desktop "Install". I clicked it... and it started installing.

It did everything , it was so simple. It even made a partition on the hard drive... seamlessly and added a boot chooser.

It rebooted, I got to choose between Windows or Ubuntu. So simple. So simple.

Second Impressions

I fiddled with it for a bit after install (And I didn't go OS Blind) and then I fiddled with it some more. It comes with Firefox installed, and its the same as the Windows version. Uses the same extensions and all. I added the brand new Google Firefox Syncroniser (which absolutely rocks) and now its just automatically syncs between my laptops, home and work PCs. So, I am writing this in Writely in in Firefox Ubuntu but I could be on an XP machine.

Apart from high end games, anything you can do in Windows or Office you can do in Ubuntu. It comes installed with Open Office, email, Outlook equivalent etc etc and if it isn't installed with Ubuntu there are zillions of free programs available to be installed from within the OS (see below).

I wont try and explain what its like as an experience, if your curious download it it from Ubuntu.com and slap it on a CD to see for yourself. But these are some key points:


  1. XP File System - I cant seem to access my windows hard disks. I don't know if me or if this is possible but it sucks right now. I have had to migrate all of my files using a pen drive. Maybe I'm a klutz but this needs to be solved.
  2. Fonts - I don't like the fonts but apparently you can have clear type like in Windows.
  3. Graphics - The resolution for the display isn't as high as on Windows, but again, I think that's a driver issue I should be able to fix.


  1. Its free and open source - this has to be the future. Given the choice between A and B where A=B and A is Free I think you would chose just like me. Ubuntu is to Windows what Fair Trade Organic Vagetables grown just down the road are to genetically engineered mass-produced-grown-in-a-vat on the other side of the planet vegetables
  2. Application Installs - So many applications that are easy to install. The application installer user fullis like I tunes.... you don't need to visit any websites, its all done for you. You want a game: You see all the available games and install the ones you want. Same with any application. I was really impressed by this.
  3. WINE - I have some programs in windows that are written for windows and I use them daily, Password managers and other "portable apps". In a matter of seconds you can install WINE (Windows Emulator) and run these apps. Its a life saver for small but useful things you need.
  4. Easy - Its easy to use. I think easier than Windows. It seems to be more.... guiding.

Why would you move to Ubuntu from Windows?

You are sitting reading this on your desktop that came installed with Windows XP. You have all of your documents and applications and media and... all that Jazz. You know it works with your digital camera and your printer. Its what everyone else you know uses. Why should you change to Ubuntu?

I think you shouldn't.

There is no point moving from a system that is working well for you.

There is a high chance however, that you will move to Ubuntu at some point in the near to middle future.

When will you move to Ubuntu?

  • When your in the store and there is the Dell with Windows Vista on it that costs $200 more than the one with Ubuntu on it.
  • When workplaces realise that they can a) be more secure and b) save thousands upon thousands with little or no loos of functuionality pr productivity.
  • When your friends start using it and selling you its virtues.
  • When rather than upgrade you insert the Ubuntu CD and go that way. When you friends start using it.
  • When Google adopts it as its operating system of choice. The idea, often mooted, that Google will develop it's own Operating System is preposterous when there is Linux, especially Ubuntu. Web Services need an operating system. Web services are the future.
  • When you try it out using the Live CD. Safely install it and use it occasionally but increasingly because you know, and everyone is telling you, that Windows is a dying operating system.

Ubuntu vs Windows

Given the choice between A and B,
Where A is better than B,
and A is Free
I think you would chose just like me.

I have gone down the you tube


Its a collection of video gems 'midst a substantial amount of dirt.

I saw this today and consider it the funniest 20 seconds in this history of humanity.

It also prompted me to upload this vid of my first daughter from 3 years ago.

Futureblog : Have Bots made my life better?


My first teacher was one of the first teaching bots. So you could say I grew up with them. Her name was Jenny and she assisted me from the age of 5. I can remember her now. Head visual, 2D OLED - her 3d cartoony face. I can remember how she looked, exactly.

Depending on the lesson I would communicate with her in voice, or on a hard-keyboard. We didn’t have ineyes then. Tap tap tap. It made a clicking sound like crickets in the summer. Tap tap tap. I can’t remember my real first teachers name... maybe Mr Styles. Something like that. Back then you always had a real teacher in school, even if it’s a state school. Imagine a class of kids listening to a real teacher and talking in text to a bot all at the same time. Tap tap tap. That’s a whole lot of crickets.

I knew that in some sense Jenny was different. Not real. Not physical. But I guess I didn’t really understand what Jenny was. She was someone who marked my work, answered some of my questions and was always there, at home, in school, in my messenger and phone, on my Mum's tablet. You should check out a wiki on how they decide which bot is good for which kid. Its pretty amazing. Even at nursery they are monitoring the kids to get some kind of psyc for your MeID.

After Jenny was Betty Maths. I can’t remember how old I was exactly, but we had moved from Dallas, so I must have been seven+. Betty Maths was my first specialist bot. She really annoyed me. I can see myself now typing to her in messenger and not liking her. I knew she wasn't real but I didn't like her still. Like, sometimes you don't like a friend’s dog. Betty Maths didn’t stay long on my screen. Slagbot.

These bots know if they are not best suited for you, it soon becomes apparent after a few moths trying to teach. Duh! I went through more maths bots than anyone else in my class, and more spelling bots than anyone else in the whole year. My bot count average at school was six until sixteen. Yea, but now I earn a quart so slam that:) My brother has a friend who was one on one in EVERYTHING. Everything. That freak works for VCK, high up, and he is more bot than bot. I guess on one and a half and maxing the perks.


I was the first year not to get a free place and OU hadn’t started properly in the US. So that was that, I was unable to study more, and got a job working for my dad's friend in a garage. I had to clean out cars before they were picked up by the owners. His garage was small but had a dedicated service bot on the line. That manbot didn’t make my life easier. Bring on…. when there was a customer issue it would tell me what to do and I would hate it. But the manager, if he ever saw me taking verbals from the bot would smile and shrug as if to say "them is the rules" and "It’s not me bossing you, its the bot."

I really couldn’t stand that job. I knew I could do better. When I was 18 OU started up properly and I was right in there. My manager at the garage said he would sponsor me to go all mechanical and all that cack. But I didn’t want that at all. So I got on OU Science and got good stats. And a year in I was getting stats with stats and soon I was getting qualifications.

Its funny but right as I was starting to roll, you know, I got all interested in the world. I had Muslim friends and knew people from school fighting in Asia and just wanted to go check out stuff that want what I knew.

I dropped out for a year and went to India and china on the gap. Promised myself and my parents id study in the gap but never did. But, when I came back I really picked up. Verged away from chemistry and science. Got my maths to 70 and computing to 84. I could have gone to a site university when I was 23 and I reckon a good one. But what was the point.

If I have kids I wont push for real teaching too much. Id rather spend the cash or tax credits on holidays or tech. I think the key is a good pear group on the courses. If they have that then, at least for me, there isn’t too much need for a real teacher. Lots of people disagree with this. Desi is spending a fortune on real teaching for her kids. Choice choice choice.

Work Etc……

Bots have come a long long way since Jenny. I still get it scary when I speak to these things. Yesterday, I had to have a full-on meeting with one of them from Endemol. I can handle aloof, but sending a bot to a screen to do a humans job is just insulting. The meeting went really well and we got the ad-space - at a great price. But I didn’t like it.

This meeting took ten mins, all voice and some ineye. If it had been onsite with humans it would have taken the best part of a morning. So yes, it was good. Your meant to think.... this pure negotiation... pure reason. No interference. Maybe it was but its just not the same is it?

Draft One (Unpublished)

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.

Google Spreadsheets

So I wrote an early review of Google Calendar (Which I am loving still) and now I have an invite to try Google Spreadsheets.

Unless you operate way higher than the higest part of the tech ivory tower, (the bit where they land the metaphorical VIP Tech helicopters) you just will not be able to get on this beta. Unless that is you enter your name in the spreadsheets.google.com thing and hope they send you an invite. I just got mine.

Sign up here:


There it is, a spread sheet in my browser. In much the same was as Gmail is email in your browser or dig is news in your browser, this is numbers, aligned in rows and columns, in your browser.

After checking that yes "=23-3" does equal "20" I imported a big spreadsheet from my personal accounts. Its an excel sheet, a big one, with lots of numbers and sheets in sheets…. and lordy, lordy, it has opened fine. There it is in my browser.

Numerically this is surely technology that people will use.

There are glitches. I'm not going to demean anyone buy pointing them out – its just out. Programmers need breaks.

The fact is that this is so close to what you want from a web service. It doesn't have the slug of Writely (now owned by Google), but its early days and scalability problems might happen. As far as in browser spreadsheets go this is the spearhead…… but….

Spreadsheets actually are not that fun to play with. Nor are calculators. So I'm bored already, after seeing that it works and can load excel files and share them.

Its brilliant, but its a spreadsheet in my browser. In fact I'm only writing this post so that, because it will be one of the first Blog posts about Google Spreadsheets, I might get some more hits to this Blog for people searching for "Google Spreadsheets" or "Spreadsheet in Browser".

That's the only reason.

Hey, at least I'm honest. I just hope the Google folk are as they now know how much my house and wife cost to run, and so much more...