13 December 2006

Picket video

This is a link to a flash video of a Scientology picket in London last Saturday:

John in full rant, me telling an entheta story and at the end our cameralady being politely asked to leave.

17 November 2006

My two days on the help lines

I asked my ISP if it was possible to upgrade my Broadband connection. I'm a long way from my local Exchange, so I wasn't surprised to get an Email back saying it wasn't possible yet.

Two days ago, I got a 'wrong Username or Password' message. In successive phone calls, we established that
The connection was OK.
My account was still active.
Then I noticed that my diagnostic program was saying I was connected at 2Mb.
Next phone call, we found that the engineers had retested my connection, switched me to 2Mb but not told me.
Finally we deleted my connection, carefully reinstalled it, and everything was fine. The only difference I can see is that I am now connected to a different place - 'bb4' instead of 'bb3', so either that or the reinstall was the solution.

Oh, and the next day my phone calls prompted the independent call centre assessment people to call. Did I think my ISP had responded well? I gave Orange 8/10, though if I hadn't been a geek it would have been 0/10 as I'd still be disconnected.

31 October 2006


My virus checker is AVG, my secret decoder ring is PGP. PGP 9.0 uses the same Email intercept method as AVG, so they weren't compatible. Until...
AVG popped up to tell me that it's Email checking component wasn't running. Yes, I knew, I'd turned it off. So why was it telling me? Because the daily AVG update had updated it?

I turned it on, and sent myself an encrypted message. It worked...
and then I made the mistake of playing around with settings. It stopped working and refused to display its activate button.

So I upgraded to AVG 7.5 and it's working again on default settings, so I'm leaving it alone this time. AVG 7.5 setup has a repair option, so hopefully I can use that if it stops.

Now my only minor problem is that Thunderbird won't download Email when it starts up, only by request. A PGP glitch? Some dumb ISP setting as my Email box often locks up?

20 October 2006

Exploder 7

It's happy day, testing out Internet Explorer 7 to see what unexpected things it's done to webpages...

It defaults to Medium Font size instead of Smaller at last - excellent! People will stop complaining about being unable to read the text, and thousands of websites that only look good in 'smaller' will be screwed.

It defaults to Clear Type! I guess this makes sense with CRTs being displaced by LCD/Plasma.

CSS has absolute positioning enabled! Or... only in compliant mode. I had a lot of trouble kludging one layout to get round this on IE, but unfortunately I have to leave this until everyone has switched to IE7 unless someone can come up with an 'except for IE7' hack.

So far I've spotted only one positioning difference from Firefox, but it's not an important one.

03 October 2006

Fighting good roads and fair weather

Barbara Graham just wrote this article about her experiences as a critic of the Scientology cult. If you still think this is a Church, read it. Churches don't lie to the police, harass their opponents' relatives or send private detectives to follow their friends' cars.

04 September 2006

YouTube: scientology shorts

YouTube - The Friend of Mankind (1/4)
This link leads to a selection of short videos poking fun at the cult of Scientology.

YouTube also has a series of official videos published by the Cult of Scientology such as the Anatomy of the Human Mind course. These will give you a good insight into some of scientology's pseudoscientific beliefs.

27 August 2006

Just say no to Scientology

Blogzilla: Just say no to Scientology
So there I was picketing the cult of Scientology in London when a blogger took our photograph! And posted it before we'd posted our picket reports! Is there no escaping from these guys?

It was an irritating picket, we'd booked the main Org building in a side street and the police wouldn't let us move to the main road (Tottenham Court Road) where our cult friends had set up their tin cans and Emeters for free stress tests. Still, the beer at the local pub was excellent as always and it was a pleasant afternoon enturbulating the clams.

04 July 2006

Currin Trading

Eve on-line (link on left) is my current MMORPG and it's pretty good, or so says where it's currently rated at #1. It's an SF game in which the characters are spaceship pilots, flying around mining, trading and shooting at each other. Anyone who remembers the legendary game 'Elite' will be immediately at home in the Eve universe.

My character happens to be a Trader, hauling all manner of goods between space stations trying to make an honest ISK (InterStellar Kredit). Now while Eve has a complex market system and allows electronic ISK transfer it doesn't have a banking system, so players have stepped in to fill this void with all manner of investment schemes. Some are genuine, raising capital to build space stations for example, but others are...

The most famous heist to date has been that pulled off by the Guiding Hand Social Club, a mercenary group who were hired to wreck the finances of a player Corp and stole 20 billion ISK in doing so. One player wondered if he could better this and the just published Currin Trading tells how he 'liberated' 30 billion all on his own in a classic Ponzi scheme. Fascinating reading.

25 June 2006

Accidental links

A page on my website had an image called tardis.gif. It comes up if you search Google Images for 'tardis' and since all the other pictures are photos of the Doctor's travelling machine and mine is a floor plan (albeit of the Master's Tardis and entirely non-canon) it gets hits. With the new Dr Who BBC series, lots of hits.
The hits are distorting my Stats Counters, so I changed the name. Now I have to wait for the Google spider to arrive and notice it isn't there any more....

This isn't the only mistaken hit I get. I have a webpage called 'myan.htm', a word I am quite sure I made up (Google agrees with me) but my guess is that people misspelling 'mayan', the Central American civilisation, find it and try the link out of curiosity or because they are surfing too fast.


This blog will be referring to my website 'News from Bree' and my other Internet activities. I do have a life afk as well!