guitarist > writer > coder

July 11, 2014
Comments Off on Sims in microwave, ditch the plastic, and prostitute yourself quick

Sims in microwave, ditch the plastic, and prostitute yourself quick

Wrote this in reply to an email from someone who had received a “cease and desist with your illegal downloading of pirated content belonging to a big company” email. Posted here in case it can be of help to anyone else. Written on my mobile, so it’s just the bare essential steps to take.


Only just seen your email, sorry. You’ve lost some time but there’s still hope.

  1. Sims out of your mobile and stick them in the microwave. Turn it up to Sunday roast and hit start.
  2. Drop your kids off at school and say goodbye. If they’re normal looking / semi intelligent, they’ll be fine, so don’t worry. Let them go. If you haven’t got kids, skip this step – don’t wing it with anyone else’s.
  3. Dig out your back up passports. It would be easier if you ditched your wife, but hey, not always easy, so if she’s coming, so be it.
  4. Baseball caps on for the bus journey to a train station you’ve never used before. And off to the nearest port. Cash tickets all the way.
  5. You’re counting on getting to the continent before the net closes, and by taking a boat and staying away from airports you should make it. Don’t talk to anyone. Even your wife. So many people slip up here.
  6. Bonjour! Welcome to your new life. Ditch all your credit cards, burn those passports, and hit the streets – you and your wife: prostitution is an equal opportunities employer. And you’ll need a lot of cash and quick: you’ve got a long journey ahead of you and it won’t be cheap.

Nerd Republic salutes you.


July 10, 2014
Comments Off on The police seized my light bulbs this morning

The police seized my light bulbs this morning

The police seized my light bulbs this morning. At 4 a.m officers from the serious crime squad broke down my door and my smart LED lightbulbs dutifully switched on, allowing London’s finest to see where they were pluck them all from their sockets in a matter of minutes.


I was forced to switch on my dumb bedside lamp to read the warrant they thrust at me. Blah blah they had the right to seize my lightbulbs and download the bulbs activity logs, recently bumped up from a 24hr rotation and deletion cycle to a 12 month retention cycle by legislation rushed through by our surveillance happy government.


One way to try and break my alibi; perhaps I had thought to program my TV to switch on and play a football match to prove I was at home, but had I remembered to tell my lights to switch on too?


The coppers left and my kettle asked me if I wanted tea as I stumbled bleary eyes into my kitchen and threw the warrant onto my table, which scanned the warrant and uploaded a copy to a server. My kettle had detected five people in the flat – me and the now departed police – and filled itself with enough water to make five cups.


“Judas,” I said, and my mobile rang Julian. I pulled the phone from my pocket and cancelled the call. He was the last person I needed to speak to right now.


Crypto weakness in smart LED lightbulbs exposes Wi-Fi passwords

No Emergency! Stop the Data Retention Stitch Up!


July 6, 2014
Comments Off on Floyd Farland – Citizen of the Future

Floyd Farland – Citizen of the Future

Floyd Farland

Floyd Farland


My son reading Floyd Farland Citizen of the Future for the first time reminds me how much I loved this looping SF tale from Chris Ware. Not that I had connected it with Chris Ware of Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth, which I have but never got into. Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth isn’t my thing in story or looks.


Floyd Farland has a distinct style that works perfectly for the story, far far removed from Chris Ware’s current style. A stark simple black and white approach, like that of the look of Frank Miller’s Sin City. But Chris Ware began with this look and moved onto a cleaner colored “designed” far far removed from Floyd Farland’s, a change highlighted by Jon Adams re-imagining of the cover in Chris Ware’s current style…


Floyd Farland cover by Jon Adams

Floyd Farland cover by Jon Adams

I’m also surprised at how much copies of Floyd Farland Citizen of the Future are going for on Ebay – £30 – £40, or £175 for a mint copy!? But if stories of Chris Ware buying up and destroying all the copies he can find are true then I guess the price would be pushed up…


Kirk reading - Floyd Farland Citizen of the Future

Kirk reading Floyd Farland

Glad I still have my copy and glad it’s being read, even if it is no longer in mint condition (when I got my copy of Watchmen signed some years ago Dave Gibbons – and Frank Miller, who jokingly offered to sign it as well to piss off Alan Moore – were surprised at the state that was in. Not battered so much as read).


Update 2014-07-20:


“We, as fans, have developed an unhealthy attachment to the physical object of comics that is almost unique to this hobby. There is no more apt phrase than “fetishizing the physical” to describe this fixation on keeping the comic as pristine as possible. Even to the degree that some comics have come polybagged.

“Comic books began as a completely disposable medium, made on cheap newsprint and traded by fans until the books fell apart. They were rolled up in the back pocket of a kid in the city or tucked into the rucksack of a soldier heading to war. The obsession with making the disposable permanent is the key to where it all went wrong. The first time a comic was slipped into a plastic bag unread, the medium changed irrevocably. The story that came alive began to lose footing to the concern for marks around the staple.”
How The Comic Bag Destroyed Comics

c/o @PageFortyFive


June 26, 2014
Comments Off on The internet is boring…

The internet is boring…

Leila Johnston podcast with Warren Ellis in which he calls the internet boring:


“The internet is not what it was, its siloing out … I’ve no issue with walled gardens, per se. I think most internet users, given a choice, will choose a walled garden. But when content and services particularly start falling into hard walled silos where they can’t talk to each other and you can’t cross between them … it makes things duller”

And I tend to agree. The wild west feeling of ten, fifteen years ago, when you could stumble upon the weird and wonderful, such as J. R. “Bob” Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius, or read a handful of blogs each talking about different things has faded, and its easy to get stuck being a member of the audience occasionally tweeting or blogging or facebooking the latest commercial drivel.


Well worth a listen.


Somewhat related, I’m not sure how I feel about Amber McNaught’s piece on On Brands and Blogging. While its great people are getting paid to write, it does capture the changes blogs have undergone.

c/o @ProhibitionPR (!)


A more positive outlook on creating things on the interweb: You Are Not Late


August 10, 2012
Comments Off on Google: cool vs not so cool

Google: cool vs not so cool

“Should a U.S. Googler pass away while under the employ of the 14-year old search giant, their surviving spouse or domestic partner will receive a check for 50% of their salary every year for the next decade. Even more surprising, a Google spokesperson confirms that there’s “no tenure requirement” for this benefit, meaning most of their 34 thousand Google employees qualify.” – Forbes


“It’s time for Google to pay its fair share of tax. There’s nothing responsible about only paying £6 million in UK tax on hundreds of millions of pounds of revenue.” – 38 Degrees

May 19, 2012
Comments Off on (Overly serious/ernest?) Neil Gaiman addressing the Class of 2012

(Overly serious/ernest?) Neil Gaiman addressing the Class of 2012

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“But people keep working in a freelance world … because their work is good, and because they’re easy to get along with, and because they deliver the work on time. And you don’t even need all three. Two out of three is fine. People will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on time. People will forgive the lateness of your work if it is good and they like you. And you don’t have to be as good as everybody else if you on time and it’s always a pleasure to hear from you.” – Neil Gaiman


[Update 2012-05-30]
See also: Make good art as a comic (c/o waxy.org)


May 16, 2012
Comments Off on EastEnders RPG

EastEnders RPG

Eastenders RPG
Daftness inspired by NerdRepublic’s Jon Harris

Sean Slater: We’ll bury him alive.

GM: What are you using?

Sean: The shovel of B&Q!

GM: Roll 1d8

Sean: a 3…

GM: After over three hours of sweat and toil you have dug a pit in the back garden the size of a Nissan Micra.

Tanya Branning: We’ll throw Max in.

Max Branning: I’m putting up a fight!

GM: You’re unconscious. Tanya and Sean, roll 1d10 each.

Sean: A 5.

Tanya: 6.

GM: You roll Max into the pit, and he lands face down in the muddy water at the bottom with a splash. He makes sucking noises as he begins to drown in the water.

Max: Saving throw?

GM: Roll 2d10…

Max: 38?

GM: In your unconscious mind you see the face of you’re childhood sweetheart welcoming you down a long tunnel that slowly closes in around you.

Max: Crap.

Tanya: We’ll head to the Old Vic!

Sean: And I’ll order drinks.

GM: Roll 2d4…

Sean: 4?

GM: Standing, sipping warm ale at the bar you are struck by the terrifying thought that you left Max drowning in a unfilled hole in your back garden in broad daylight.

Sean: Fuck!

GM: And you’re holding a muddy shovel, dripping with sweat.

Ian Beale: Are the rest of us in the pub yet?

Dot Cotton: And am I still rolling to fix this tumble drier?

Hopefully it’s as obvious that this has nothing really to do with the BBC or TSR as the fact that I’ve never watched an episode of EastEnders.