Sunday, 23 July 2006

Free phone calls

Something that I haven't mentioned, but have had for a while now is free phone calls to the USA, Australia, New Zealand and most of the EU.

Unfortunately, the bill doesn't include how much money has been saved, so I can't try and beat my previous $315.38 savings. However, the bill does say how much time was spent on the phone. This month was 7:39:29, at a cost of £1.09. That's about 10 minutes longer than the previous savings, but that was all done in a single weekend.

So now is a good time for me to catch up with all of you that are slack with the email. Drop me an message reminding me of your landline phone number (unless you're in the US, then mobile is ok) and we'll try and bump the next bill up by a few hours.

For those that want to know, this is the TalkTalk Talk3 plan. It's about £22 a month and covers phone and broadband Internet.

Monday, 17 July 2006

Photo Day

The last weekend in June there was a fair in the Wimbledon Common. We had a drive by the fair earlier in the day, but decided that it was too packed so went back about an hour before official closing for the night.

This photo was taken just as the last punters were on the rides. Most of the operators had packed away their equipment, so it felt a bit abandoned. It was also odd that the lights on the rides didn't get turned on until almost everyone was gone. Or why even have then on when it was still bright?

Anyway, I think this is the first full 360° that I've had on here, and I think the next one will be as well. It depends on which view of where I live I decide to show. Photos are already taken, so it shouldn't be too long of a wait.

New use for imdb.com

I've been using The Internet Movie Database since forever as a source for looking up information about movies. However I've had another itch that I thought imdb might be able to scratch but I've only just got around to finding out for sure. And it does. Nicely.

There are exactly 1,000,000,0013 movies that come out every year. Of which I'll watch about 13. Any other movies that I watch will have come out in the years gone past. Problem is keeping track of the possible gems from the billion other movies that are released each year.

Once you register with imdb they let you add any movie to a "MyMovies" collection. In this collection you can have multiple "Categories" in which to group the movies. You can also change which information is shown in each category including your rating, imdb's rating, show times, availability on DVD, VHS, etc; and can also filter the category by genre.

The default categories are set up for people who wish to catalogue their DVD collection. Since I don't have a DVD collection I immediately deleted these. I then setup three new categories; "Willing to see," "Keen to see" and "Very keen to see." I then changed the view for each so that it only showed imdb's rating for the movies and sorted by that rating. So now if I'm choosing a movie for myself I'll click on "Very keen to see" and the top movie will be the best rated one by the general public, followed by all the other movies I want to see.

There's also a special category called "Vote history" which shows all the movies that you've rated. I've got this showing my rating and imdb's rating, ordered by mine. This lets me know how my taste compares to the masses (not similar at all) and maybe some day will be tied into a "suggest a film" feature so I can find more films that appeal to me.

Final note: yes, "willing to see" is mostly filled with chic flicks for when VPM gets to choose.

Monday, 3 July 2006

Photo Day

This was our Centre Court view. Just high enough that we were in the shade all but the last hour of play.

That's A. Murray on the left hitting the net on a first serve. The two ghosts at the other end are J. Benneteau.

Also seen was R. Nadal make a late comeback against R. Kendrick. That's an upset I would have liked to have seen. Also saw Miss A. Mauresmo make short work of Miss S. Stosur. Around 5 we took a wander around the grounds catching some of the doubles action and then had a Pimm's in the members enclosure.

Saturday, 1 July 2006

Gmail Tip

Here's a tip that I've been telling people for a long while, but it still doesn't seem to be that well known.

When visiting Gmail always use the URL https://mail.google.com/. Note the 's' after the 'http'.

The number one reason for doing this is security. With the 's' in there you computer is having a private conversation with the Google servers. Without the 's' and with other services such as MSN Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail any computers near or between [?] your computer and website server can copy any email that you view. (e.g. Your boss if you're reading at work, or an identity thief looking for any personal details)

Another reason is that because the connection is private you're not subject to things such as content filters at libraries or your office. So those emails about religion and art won't get blocked as inappropriate.

Of course this only protects the communication between your computer and Google's. You still need to make sure that your computer isn't tapered with. (I'm sure Google are doing a fine job looking after theirs.)

A final point of clarification. Most sites will put the 's' in while you log in. You want the 's' even after you've signed in.