Can I has Internets?

Every now again I find myself stopping and thinking… what did we do before we had the Internet? How did we find stuff out? Did we even bother to find stuff out, deciding that spending a lifetime of research in some dusty old library wasn’t worth the answer to which kitten is cutest? Now, when someone asks you something you’re not sure about you can generally find an answer within a few minutes – one second for the search, two minutes to an hour to work out which of the 100,000,000 links you got returned are telling you the most trust-worthy information. And now not only is it textual information, but finally visual and audio information are free to be searched, found and shared – as with my last post about Daedelus, where I unfortunately didn’t have a video of his box of lights but within a few seconds I found someone else’s to save me a few hundred words of description. Or maybe even a thousand or so.

All this is not a replacement for human interaction and conversation, but that can be quickly found on the internets as well. Again, one second for the search, two minutes to two days to find someone you trust, then one to two years to get rid of the embarrassing disease (if ever). Out and about in conversation with folk you meet, be it through the web or through more traditional means, how often do you wish you had access to the internet to help your conversation along or prove a point? And now you can, with the iPhone and other Internet enabled mobile devices. Or should you be suffering from a lack of face to face conversation those same devices can allow you to call friends, text people or just play games to distract from the beckoning void of loneliness. Whatever happened to just getting drunk and passing out? Another traditional art lost to the world.. unless it would make a good video for youTube, in which case it will live on forever.

So is the internet a good thing? Enabling us to move rapidly forward with our lives and goals without the endless flustering about trying to find things out. Or is life all about that finding out, so we’ve lost something important that we constantly try and reclaim elsewhere? Perhaps we’ll find it if we search on the web.

In Rainbows We Trust

Radiohead’s new album ‘In Rainbows‘ is due out soon – 10th October to be precise. What’s especially interesting about this album is that Radiohead are asking us what we want to pay for it – no, really.

Whatever happens this will certainly be an interesting experiment. Radiohead are, I suspect, getting paid directly for all the money paid for the download as they recently completed their contractual obligations to EMI with their wonderful last album ‘Hail to the Thief’. They could be the first of many of the major bands to reject the record company middle men and work directly with fans, something normally the domain of the startup bands on mySpace.

Today’s Horoscope: Communication is Less Blocked

Well after almost a full day of no Skype, the wonder peer to peer telephone app, after their mysterious unexplained outage it looks like most people can now log on again. It’s slow to sign on right now though and it’s not letting me make some profile changes, so guess not all is good in the woods. However this whole event means we now know more about the Skype ‘heartbeat’ page.

In most likely unrelated news, my website host is having their own issues, so at the moment Matt Hobbs is fine (ie, here) but is Useful is unavailable. They claim it will be back up soon, but it’s already been down since 9pm last night so that’s now 12 hours.

Hmm… maybe the whole internet just has a 12 hour cold or something. Makes you appreciate the value of a good sysadmin person!

If the Internet was trying to take off from a treadmill…

Every day I’m amazed by the power of the Internet – to connect, inform and empower people creatively. Then there’s the ability it gives you to see quite how dumb people can get… Witness this post from yesterday’s NYT online. The question is simple: if you put a plane on a treadmill, as big and wide as a runway, and the treadmill runs in the opposite direction to the wheels as fast as the wheels are running – then will the plane take off? The answers being put forward are quite amazing. Apparently the question is not so simple as it might first appear. I mean. What if the treadmill breaks? Or surely the wheels don’t make the plane take off – it’s the engines, so it doesn’t matter how fast or not the wheels are going.

Oh. You want to hear my answer? Hmm. Well it’s quite obvious: the treadmill would be arrested and shot under the PATRIOT act (most likely for carrying a water bottle or farting), and everyone on board the plane would be taken off and searched. Then the plane would take off later, with the evil treadmill’s masterplan foiled. Yay!

No really. That is what would actually happen. I have a Physics Degree, so I know. For those of you who want to work it out for yourselves – here are some useful links:

Ps, 3 points to the first person who makes a video mashup of the Ok, Go! video and a plane trying to take off…

But if you’re me, who am I?

After many years of wondering who actually own I’ve finally found out. Matt Hobbs. Now this is an assumption, as the pages are actually devoted to Matt and Nicky’s wedding (no mum, I didn’t get married and not tell you, it’s someone else) but at no point could I actually find mention of his surname. The conclusion is pretty obvious though isn’t it? It transpires that this wedding actually took place in Sandhurst, not that far away from where I used to live in Camberley (about 5 miles), so the guy obviously doesn’t live that far from my old family home.

So what I hear you say. Obviously ‘Hobbs’ is just very common in the south of England. Well no. Last time* I checked on Google for ‘Matthew Hobbs’ it returned 10 pages of results, and another 10 for the shorter ‘Matt Hobbs’. Most of these pages are actually in America. So the chances of the other Matthew Hobbs that bought the domain living that close was pretty slim. Guess it must be me from a parallel universe…

In the meantime I shall have to sit comfortably at, which in itself is pretty darn strange as I haven’t paid Network Solutions for 4 months now. Go figure.

* About 2 seconds ago for the sake of this blog-note.