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Jan. 30th, 2008

little me

Adding GPS data to photos with Nokia Location Tagger

Nokia Labs has just released a beta Location Tagger application for Symbian phones. It's functionality that they're going to be eventually rolling into the main software but for now is available as a separate download.

Basically if you run Location Tagger, when you enter the Camera mode the software boots up the GPS and adds in your location data to the EXIF headers of any photos you take.

By way of illustration, I took the following snap last night:

Leicester Square Empire

If you click through to Flickr, you'll see that they've detected the embedded geodata (on the right hand side) and provide a little map of where I was standing when I took it!

You can even get Flickr to provide a feed of geotagged photos in a format you can feed into Google Maps.

There are obviously privacy concerns if you forget and leave it on, but the current software shows you when the GPS is active and turning it off is simple enough.

It seems a very cool thing to have in future phones, and for now it's a fun toy to play with when taking pictures of (necessarily outdoor) public events.

Nov. 28th, 2007

little me

Microformats let you take control of your data

I use iCal on the Mac quite a lot now - I've got my basic diary in there plus a feed from Facebook of any Events I've RSVPed to, a feed of Last.FM gigs I'm going to and a list of UK bank holidays I found somewhere (incidentally this is why I think it's much better when people organise things via Facebook!).

The whole lot syncs to my phone and helps me compensate for my terrible terrible memory. One thing that was missing, that I can never remember, is the fixture list for Crewe - I'm always being surprised on a Tuesday when the results come in and we've played.

I searched around but couldn't find an iCalendar feed for the fixtures anywhere. There were plenty of web pages with the list but nothing I could subscribe to, so I decided to try and build my own.

The technical details after the jumpCollapse )

Nov. 7th, 2007

little me

Gigs - Mark Kozelek and Super Furry Animals

Ah Mark Kozelek. You can probably tell from the number of times I blog about him that I basically go and see him every time he plays, nowadays. I remember mocking Nathan for going to both dates last time he did a couple of nights in a row, but nowadays I'd probably join him.

This time, he played Shepherd's Bush Empire which isn't my favourite venue normally. Paul was very disappointed that the tickets were seated, but it turned out the whole gig was! They'd put seats in the stalls and there were very few people up in the circle. Mark seemed a bit surprised by the low numbers ('there had better be a Jose Gonzalez concert down the road') but the smaller crowd really helped make it a bit more intimate.

The set list was great, mostly Sun Kil Moon stuff rather than Red House Painters. People kept calling out requests, which seemed to annoy him. A lot of things seemed to annoy him, actually. There were signs up saying no photography 'at the request of the artist' and the downstairs bar was closed during the gig, similarly at his 'express request'.

He's a grumpy old git but I think that's why I like him.

Super Furry Animals at the Roundhouse

Roz and I don't go to many gigs together because our musical taste doesn't overlap that much, so going to Super Furry Animals together was a nice treat. I'd not been to the Roundhouse before and was quite curious to see what it was like (and where it was - we only knew vaguely so just wandered along Chalk Farm Road for a bit).

I love SFA but have lost track of them a bit and only gave the last couple of albums a short listen. Luckily the set was stuff from their whole career. I remember Golden Retriever getting a great reception and Receptacle for the Respectable having the weirdest low analogue sounds I've ever heard, that made my stomach feel a bit weird.

So the gig was ace, but getting out of the roundhouse was a nightmare! There's one main staircase to the doors and people were all crammed together trying to get out, shuffling towards the doors for about 15 mins. God knows what would happen if there was a fire!

Sep. 23rd, 2007

little me

Recent gigs- Gossip, The Wombats and The Holloways

A couple of gigs from the last couple of weeks.

Read more...Collapse )

Aug. 29th, 2007

little me

Curriculum Vitae

I've posted my CV on my site.

I'm not frantically looking around for work, but if someone cool is hiring and wants to swoop in and offer me a job I may be interested.

I decided to do my CV in HTML this time. Firstly, I do so much web stuff I actually find HTML/CSS easier to control than bloody Word (frankly, I never learnt to use it properly). I'll probably bung up a PDF at some point and may also put up a word doc if I find a sensible way of converting it without losing all the formatting.

Doing it as HTML gave me the opportunity to add in a bunch of hyperlinks, which is useful when pointing to work examples, and also to mark it up in hResume, the microformat draft for CVs.

(this is where I lose the non-geeks)

Hopefully this will mean it'll be easier to add to aggregators, the timelines of the different job/education positions are marked up as hCalendars and all the contact details are hCards, which in future will make contacting references etc. a lot easier.

I did find a few problems when marking it up, which I'll no doubt talk about on the microformats mailing list - the main one is that currently there's no way of indicating the 'present' as an end date of a calendar entry so it's hard to mark up your current job.

Jul. 9th, 2007

little me

Bright Eyes at Shepherds Bush Empire

Bright Eyes at Shepherds Bush Empire

On Wednesday we went to see Bright Eyes at Shepherd's Bush. I'd recently seen them at Glastonbury so was pretty sure what to expect, but was still quite surprised by the size of the band.

All wearing white, they managed to have strings, woodwind, keyboards, 2 percussionists and even a little brass section. Most of the material was from the last album, Cassadaga, which to be honest hasn't grown on me as much as the others.

The light show was pretty cool - it was all done 'live' by a chap near us at the sound desk with a projector and a bunch of different things (glitter, water, ink, bunches of cable, acetates, Etch-a-sketch) that he manipulated live to produce some weird psychadelic effects.

Paul and I were both waiting for the older stuff, and although most of the gig was great I'd have paid the money for the rendition of The Calendar Hung Itself alone.

I'd forgotten how nice the Empire was, it's just the right size for most bands. At this point I've pretty much decided to see Bright Eyes whenever they play, but I'll be hoping they visit Shepherd's Bush again.

Jul. 8th, 2007

little me

The perfect crime

The perfect crime
Balls is there a camera!

Jun. 26th, 2007

little me

Glastonbury 2007

Well, I'm back at work after getting back at 6pm last night, I'm bloody knackered! The whole festival was amazing - the mud and rain didn't dampen our spirits at all, and the toilets weren't too bad.

We (davebushe, Nathan and I) went up Wednesday for a change, thinking we'd get the drop on everyone, and the place was rammed! I think it's wednesdays from then on. Wed/Thurs we mostly spent seeing the non-musical sights around the festival and, like, sitting in the stone circle and feeling the vibes. Man.

There are a few music things on, so we popped into a number of little tents to see what was going on. The Silent Disco was excellent, although possibly I was already enjoying myself a little too much at that point (see below).

Silent Disco

People keep asking who I saw, so I've gone back through the listings and think this is the lot...

Friday:

Pyramid stage

  • Guilty Pleasures Featuring The Tor Dogs & Special Guests - amazing stuff for an opening act! It was 8-9 singers from various bands (Magic Numbers, Charlatans, Madness, Elbow) doing covers of cheesy classics (Total Eclipse of the heart was good).
  • The Cribs - didn't think much of them.
  • Modest Mouse - Johnny Marr is a genius, and the songs are cracking too.
  • The Automatic - played the songs I liked off the album, and even through in their cover of Goldigger that they did on the Radio One Live Lounge album.
  • Bright Eyes - I always like Bright Eyes no matter what. The band were all dressed in white, and there were a lot more of them than I remember (certainly they didn't have a string, woodwind and brass section last time I looked). Seeing them again next week!
  • Super Furry Animals - brilliant stuff, played all the songs we were hoping for.
  • Rufus Wainwright - only caught the end, including him duetting with his sister and an elaborate dragged-up rendition of a Judy Garland number.
  • Arcade Fire - maybe the best thing I saw, I was completely overwhelmed by the size of the band and the scale of their sound.
  • Bjork - I could appreciate that this was ace, but was a bit far away so didn't entirely get into it. The laser show was impressive!

Saturday:

Mud

  • The Pipettes - I can see why people like them, but it's not really my thing.
  • The Guillemots - Pretty good, I suspect I'd have liked them a lot better if I knew the songs as well as all the people singing along near me!
  • CSS - Absolutely ace. Dave thought they were rubbish but Lovefoxxx's many multicolored outfits made up for it.
  • Klaxons - They were a bit shambolic due to being drunk as anything, but were still pretty anthemic.
  • Maximo Park - Maybe the best live experience of the festival, Paul Smith is an amazing front man.
  • !!! - In the intimate venue of the Glade they were great. I was annoyed earlier in the year because I had to drop out of a !!! gig because I was jetlagged - this made up for it.
  • Rodrigo y Gabriela - One of Nathan's picks, but I really enjoyed it! Two duelling flemenco guitarists playing things like Stairway to Heaven and Metallica songs.

After all the excitement we spent some time up in Trash City, drinking in a 50s-style diner and dancing to some early rock-and-roll.

Sunday:

Nathan at Manics

  • The Holloways - Roz likes these so I persuaded the others to go along. Was impressed with how tight their playing was.
  • Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly - I find him a bit over-earnest but the songwriting is good and the instrumentation lush.
  • Dame Shirley Bassey - from where I was standing, she was rubbish. Possibly further forward was better but the Pyramid stage had sound problems all weekend.
  • Manic Street Preachers - fantastic! As you can see above, Nathan protested all the newer songs by facing away from the stage with his fingers in his ears, then danced like a loon anythime anything from or before the Holy Bible was played.
  • Moya Brennan - didn't recognise her from the billing, but turns out she was in Clannad and played a few of their songs. Was nice and relaxing to sit in a tent out of the rain.
  • KT Tunstall - I'm not a massive fan but got up close and she's very good live.
  • Billy Bragg & Guests - popped in for a song and found myself thinking trade unions were the way we can save the world. It wore off after we left.
  • Chemical Brothers - we caught 2-3 songs while on the way to the next act. The light show looked amazing but I've never really got into dance acts on the main stages, I think they work better in a tent.
  • The Gossip - the John Peel tent was crammed for this, we were on the edges but the energy in the room was amazing. The finale where Beth jumped into the crowd will stay with me for a long time.

(photos courtesy of Dave's Flickr, I need to get mine developed because I was rolling old-skool).

Jun. 2nd, 2007

little me

Recent gigs

I've been to a few gigs lately and not mentioned them, so here's a roundup. They've vaguely linked anyhow.

Mark Kozelek at Union Chapel

Mark Kozelek is one of those people I'll just go and see any time he plays. I can't claim to be an old-school Red House Painters fan like Alan, El or Nathan (who all go to the gigs too) but the last few years I've retrospectively consumed his back catalogue and am now a bit obsessed. I seem to have dragged Paul (more about him in a second) into it too so we have a decent crew going along to each gig - Paul wrote up some of his throughts up here.

Union Chapel, in Islington, is a fantastic venue to see this sort of act. Churches are after all designed for performance of a sort, certainly they're based around communal experiences, so it makes sense that it's a space that works well for a few hundred people all paying attention to one man with a guitar. The lighting was fantastic and really added to the mood (see blurry photo above). We've already booked tickets to the next gig, in October!

Paul Goodwin at the Portland Arms

I travelled up to Cambridge to see the aforementioned Paul Goodwin play one of his infrequent band gigs at the Portland Arms. It wasn't a particularly organised affair - Paul did the door himself for the two support acts (who were both very good) but at some point realised he'd not be able to do it while being on stage at the same time and just wandered off, leaving me and Niall to fill in.

The gig was good but Paul didn't seem to have that much fun, he'd spent the whole time going on about how the last gig had been amazing so maybe it just seemed less good in comparison. He said afterwards he wants to do it again, so that's something to look forward to.

Modest Mouse at the Albert Hall

Rosamond and I got tickets for Modest Mouse at the Albert Hall largely they're one of the handful of bands we both like, and neither of us had gone to the Albert Hall for a rock gig before. Mark Kozelek was actually the reason I got into Modest Mouse, because his Sun Kil Moon album 'Tiny Cities' was composed of reworkings of Modest Mouse songs.

Unfortunately I booked rather late, so we were perched up in the circle. I'd read that if you're in the circle you really need to be on the front row, so we ended up looking down on the stage from over the performers' left shoulders (see photo above).

It was a bit of a thrill seeing Johnny Marr play live, and as seems to happen a lot with bands I'm iffy about, I recognised a lot more of the songs than I expected I would. Alan was sitting in the stalls in front of the stage and reckoned the sound wasn't much cop but from where we were sat (behind the PA in fact!) it sounded ok to us.

So that's the recent gigging activity - I've got Bright Eyes booked in July and will be seeing a lot of stuff at Glastonbury too.

Apr. 11th, 2007

little me

Australia: Brisbane and O'Reilly's

Oh, I haven't told you about Australia yet, have I? I'd better get on with it before the memories fade away.

Quite a long entryCollapse )

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