Sunday, May 31, 2009

Search engine

Thank to AnaG I've found a new search engine that claims to pay you for searching. Whether that works or not I have no idea but there are other interesting features such as being able to vote on and comment on the links that come up.

It relies on Google, MSN, and Yahoo results and you can choose what weight is given to each. If you want to go and look at it, it is called Scour and I'll be interested to hear what you think about it. (The link is a referral link so I get credit for your searches. If you want a clean link it's

Sunday, May 24, 2009

OneTwoFiver has grown

I haven't been using OneTwoFiver recently and when I popped back yesterday I found it had grown. You can edit your work and share it with other people. There was a recent competition, which I missed, but when the number of members goes up to 500 there will be another one. I don't intend to miss that one.

What sent me back there was looking through my short stories and ideas folder. The two largest sources of inspiration turned out to be Evil Editor and OneTwoFiver. Which is impressive as I only found it in January.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Free book offer

It's a download, which isn't so unusual, although most of the books that are free to download are in the public domain. Little Brother was only published in 2008 but the author Cory Doctorow makes it freely available online here.

He says it makes good commercial sense and it does. I read some of it online and liked it enough to want to buy the hard copy so I could read in bed and on the sofa. It's also in line with his philosophy, which is don't punish "pirates", don't even have such a concept as "pirating", make information more freely available not less. The enemy of book sales isn't downloads, it's obscurity. That makes sense to me.

The book is Young Adult and it's about what happens in the wake of a terrorist attack on San Francisco. The main theme is how the government responds to terrorism by putting in place systems that only harm the innocent. I believe that this is true. In Britain, you can't be held in prison without due process of law - unless you're suspected of terrorism.

I found the book to be a fun read but then I like near-future science fiction, computers and teenagers. Neil Gaiman says
I'd recommend Little Brother over pretty much any book I've read this year.

I don't often recommend books but this one is worth a look and it needn't cost you anything at all.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Short is better

I'm talking about people, not stories, although there's an interesting series on why to write short stories over at Electric Spec.

If you've not been reading Mind Hacks then you may have missed this article that explains that tall people live further in the past than short people. This is because perception isn't instantaneous. When someone touches our toe the signal takes longer to get to our brain than when someone touches our nose, yet if the touches are simultaneous then we experience them both at the same time. We seem to be waiting for the later signal to arrive before perceiving the earlier one. In short people the signal from outlying areas arrives sooner so short people are more up to date than tall people.

The original article Mind Hacks draws on is here.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Feeling Grumpy

My Beloved is off on holiday today, playing tennis in Majorca. He had an early flight and I can now inform you 3.20am is not a good time to be woken up. He left at 4.20 and I got back to sleep some time later so be glad you don't live with me: today is a crabby day.

He has of course taken the camera with him so there will be no photo journalism happening in here until he gets back. What's the betting the cats decide to use all their cuteness up this week?
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