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Michael Bay and his CES stage fright

By on Jan 7, 2014 in Blog, General, Technology | 1 comment

At CES 2014, Michael Bay was invited, and one presumes, paid to make an appearance on the Samsung stage at its press conference. He was to talk about a new TV and his directing work. When he got on stage, he got lost on his prompter and then couldn’t get back on track. Mostly, the Internet laughed when he made his excuses and left the stage, but one friend of mine, Nate Lanxon, suggested that it might have been a panic attack. Of course that’s true, although I don’t think it was that. Bay doesn’t really have of value to add to a discourse about technology. Sure, his films end up displayed on a TV, but that doesn’t mean he understands technology any more than I understand filmmaking. But, if it was a panic attack, does that mean we were wrong to laugh? Well, perhaps, but consider this. Michael Bay makes movies that Mark Kermode described as leering....

Publishing topless photos of Kate Middleton is assault

By on Sep 23, 2012 in Blog, General, Rant | 4 comments

Was the publication of images showing Kate Middleton topless a sexual assault? I think so. I’ve seen some people argue that, if you display your naked body in public, then you deserve to have it splashed across Euro-trash magazines. This is perhaps the worst argument for anything ever. Let’s assume for a moment that Kate, or anyone else for that matter, took the decision to go to a nude beach. This would be unwise given her status, and the constant press photographers that trail her, but it’s certainly her right as a human being. Does her decision to sunbathe naked mean that she loses the right to control where her body is seen. She has, after all, decided to display herself to those people on the beach. But, she is also able to see those people naked too. So there is, if you like, a sort of trust between them all. That trust is that they will all behave well, and...

Blocking The Pirate Bay is very, very silly

By on Apr 30, 2012 in Blog, General, Rant, Technology | 3 comments

There’s one thing that I promise will get more people downloading movies and music, and that’s blocking The Pirate Bay. Here’s why: 1) When you tell people, especially young people, what they can’t do, they usually go and do it at the first opportunity. We were all young once, I’m pretty sure we all did this. 2) Blocking a site will make it cool, desirable and a challenge to use. No one likes a challenge more than bored people with a computer, and internet connection and loads of free time. 3) Banning something gives it more publicity than ignoring it. When I learned today that a judge had ruled that The Pirate Bay must be blocked in the UK, I hit the roof. The entertainment industry has finally bought enough meetings with David Cameron to have the legislation changed in this country. We are now no longer free to browse any site we want, instead we –...

Don’t sign up for LA Fitness gym membership

By on Feb 2, 2012 in Blog, General, Rant | 143 comments

  Don’t make my mistake, learn from my foolishness. Don’t under any circumstances sign up for LA Fitness¬†membership. It’s what I’m calling “a scam”, although it may not be a scam, in the legal sense of the word. But I think it might be on the edge. Here’s my problem – and it’s not unique to me – I was offered a three day trial membership. This part is almost certainly a scam. There is no trial membership. You call up to arrange an “appointment” with one of the trainers. What happens here is, you’re given a sell. A hard sell.It is at this point that the promises, the encouragement and the dealing starts. During this process, you will be bullied in to joining. Can you get the three day pass during this time? I don’t know. I never found out, because I was bullied in to signing up. The bullying is...

Gadget Geeks: Starts Monday the 16th of January, 8pm, Sky1 HD

By on Dec 22, 2011 in Blog, General, Technology, TV | 2 comments

A long time ago I started telling people that I was going to be on a new technology show for Sky1. I had no proof of this, and really everyone was very sweet and took me at my word. Now, finally there’s actually some evidence that I’ve been involved in making a TV show, in the form of a trailer. The show will start on the 16th of January at 8pm on Sky1 HD.¬† For information about the show, visit my Gadget Geeks...

The Top Gear theme tune Jeremy Clarkson banned

By on Nov 11, 2011 in Blog, General, TV | 11 comments

Several years ago, I worked on Top Gear. I was responsible for the website, and each week I’d go to the studio to take photos and watch the recording. It was one of the best jobs I’ve ever done. Looking through some old files recently, I unearthed a version of the Top Gear theme tune that was mixed when the show got a refresh. This was around the time they moved to a new studio (a different hangar on the same airfield) and got Top Gear Dog, who was another feature that didn’t last very long. Fans of Top Gear will note that the opening titles are similar to the ones that are currently attached to the show. But the main difference is the music. Have a watch (and listen). From what I was told at the time, Jeremy was not a fan. One of the production team told me that he exclaimed that it would make them (the presenters) look like idiots. He might have used more fruity...