Computing

Rebel without a cause

07/12/2013

Do you like to indulge in drugs and booze ? Surely only boring losers would abstain from the exciting social life facilitated by binge drinking, cocaine parties and ecstasy-enhanced all-night raves. Maybe you like to gamble or play first-person shooters online with your virtual friends and imaginary foes. And what self-respecting young adult would not watch hardcore horror movies and gory action thrillers? You might even enjoy rapid-fire techno music and gangster rap.

Multinational Scroungers and Tax Dodgers

10/02/2013
Just before Christmas the British media revealed some large up and coming multinational outfits had taken advantage of tax loopholes and the wonders of early 21st century globalised trade to evade taxes. Suddenly Labour supporters had a cause they could all rally behind and win support from hardworking voters rightly fed up with high taxes and shoddy services. Let's force evil Amazon and Starbucks to pay their taxes in the UK. For a fleeting second I thought we had returned to the early 1970s when the Trade Unions and Labour activists advocated import controls and high tax rates for the rich.

All true conservatives are green

29/04/2012

I sometimes enjoy Peter Hitchens’  antidote to mainstream trendy Neo-Liberal thinking, but fear he is on some subjects in bad company and a tad ill-informed. No rational person could deny volumes of hard evidence showing the exponential rise in humanity’s collective impact on our planet’s delicate ecosystem, both in terms of our numbers (rising from just 750 million at the start of the industrial revolution to 7 billion now) and our per capita consumption.

The Bankers are bankrupt and so are we

26/03/2011

Today over a hundred thousand demonstrators will descend on Central London to protest against cuts in public spending. I can sympathise for I've joined many similar protests defending the rights of ordinary working people and against wanton waste and wars. Why, they wonder, should ordinary people suffer because politicians and bankers have wasted billions on wars and billionaire bankers continue to reward themselves huge bonuses? Unfortunately many have misdiagnosed the problem.

Reclaiming Word

If you own a computer, you probably have some form of word processor. Whether you need to type a report at work or a letter at home or maybe just a short shopping list, chances are you think you need Word or rather Microsoft Word TM . How could we possibly manage without WordArt, ubiquitous in nursery schools and on church noticeboards worldwide? Don't messages look so dull if left in a dated serif font? Isn't it just wonderful that we can highlight text in bold and change its colour? And just in case...

Old Browsers

14/11/2010

If the main body of this page has rounded corners and subtle drop-shadow effects with a stylish Diavlo font face instead of Arial / Helvetica / sans-serif, chances are you are already using a modern browser. If you see square borders and a default sans-serif font, then you should be aware your browser doesn't support the latest Web standards making the life of Web designers rather difficult. This site looks great on Android phones and tablets, iPhones and iPads, but will look rather dated in Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8.

Implementing an Ajax-like Interface: A Quick How-to

In the Web development world there's been a lot of buzz about an acronym many of us previously associated either with a brand of detergent or a Dutch football team. In a nutshell Asynchronous Javascript And XML means inserting new information into a Web page without reloading the whole page. Traditionally Dynamic HTML would use complex Javascripts to replace parts of a page with data that had already been downloaded or was based on user input. That's fine when managing small amounts of data, but if you...

Dear Macophobe Charlie Brooker

In response to Charlie Brooker's piece on Guardian Comments Free: Why I hate Macs ... Hey, I'm using a Mac and also use Linux on another machine, use Windows XP + Linux at work and have endured my fair share of woes with the various incarnations of fenestrated operating systems falling victim to viruses, spyware and persistent crashes. I also plugged in a three-button wheel mouse as I'd become accustomed to frequent right clicks in my Windows days. However, with a Mac mouse, you just control-click...

CSS Two Column Layout

If you view this site with Firefox or other browsers based on the Gecko 1.8+ engine, you'll see the body of articles neatly arranged into two free-flowing and self-balancing columns. This relies on the new CSS 3 column module , implemented in Gecko browsers as -moz-column before ratification by the W3C. Safari and Opera have introduced limited support for multiple columns and will implement stylesheet workarounds for these user agents as soon as possible. Although IE7 is doubtlessly an improvement over...

The One Laptop per Child Dream

Do children need game consoles, mp3-players, camera phones, bedroom TV sets with inbuilt DVD players? Probably not. Few cross-cultural comparisons would suggest such devices are of any educational benefit. Indeed they distract children from other forms of play and learning, bombard them with a never-ending blur of junk information and prepare them only for a world of instant gratification, in which corporate deities impart magical gifts. You will not learn how to program by playing moronic games on your...

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