# Tuesday, 21 December 2004

Questions I don't know the answer to..... 1 to n

Labour to focus election on economy.  LONDON (Reuters) - The Labour Party will make Britain's economic strength the central plank of its election campaign next year, a move seen by critics as an attempt to escape the negative impact of the Iraq war. [via Reuters: Top News]

Britain's economic strength. This one has been worrying me for quite a while for a couple of reasons, I've asked around but don't get answer and both things have recently come up in letters to or articles in The (London) Times:

  1. GDP Growth. GDP growth figures from NOS include growth in Goverment spending (and are, as I understand it, the figures quoted by Gordon Brown)...
    1. How long has this been so?
    2. Since government spending has grown and is forecast to continue to grow, what is 'real' GDP growth (i.e. is there a valid meaning of 'real' GDP that is different to the current definition and what is its value).
    3. If the impact of government spending growth on GDP is significant, what happens when it stops?
  2. Employment. Private sector employment has fallen by 112,000 so far this year, public sector employment has grown by 115,000; the pubic sector is "making-up" for the private sector losses.
    1. If Gershon is followed through and the public sector starts adding to the employment fall rather than taking away, do employment numbers start entering 'free-fall'.
    2. If the difference on 'people in employment' surveys is only 3000, how come the claimant count has gone down by significantly more?


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# Thursday, 16 December 2004

Send a cow, or chickens or perhaps some bees

I have a brother who has, essentially, nothing and wants for little. I have a brother-in-law who if he wants for anything it is way, way, way out of my wage scale. So, after a succesful experiment on the brother last year both will be getting cards from Send a Cow - live stock for life.

Send a Cow is a charity that enables poor farmers in Africa to become self-reliant by providing them with livestock, training and advice. We work with some of the most vulnerable groups in Africa, including children orphaned by war, families affected by AIDS, and disabled people.

If you are still looking for an Xmas gift, recommended.

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Old speakers die

The hi-fi has been sounding a little odd recently but due to furniture arrangement was not geting a lot of use anyway. However, yet another rearrangement led to the playing of the Pretenders as it should be, i.e. LOUD. This was followed by some more gentle stuff that was sounding a little like the bottom had fallen out if you get my drift. Further investigation revealed that vitrification seems to have set in; I'm afraid the 27 year old Goodmans RB20s are no more. They've been around and seen a few things those speakers.

Replaced by a pair of Kef Q3s, and jolly nice they are too.

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The kitchen sink

He also outlined his vision for the BBC, saying it should focus on areas such as music, drama, comedy, news and currents affairs and interactivity.  [via BBC NEWS | Entertainment | TV and Radio | MPs support licence fee for BBC]

I must ask if there is anything they are not going to focus on, errr, thinks, ahh, sport and ooh, this is a good one, history and documentaries in general unless 'current affairs' and of course science, but then they 've ducked that one for years. But what I really must ask is what is meant by that loverly phrase 'interactivity'

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# Wednesday, 15 December 2004

Blunkett Resigns Your

Blunkett resigns: Your reaction.  David Blunkett has resigned his post as home secretary. Send us your reaction. [via BBC News | News Front Page | UK Edition]

No, I'll say it here: Hooray! (on the grounds that he passed a whole number of thoroughly unpleasant acts of parliament that gave too much power to the executive without having to refer back to parliament; both while he was at education and the home office).

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# Tuesday, 07 December 2004

Its cute, its simple - like everything when you know what you are doing.

Remote control CSS.  ... a  few days ago Russ at WebGraphics received a comment about “a TV remote control” being an example of an interface that was impossible with mere CSS and no JavaScript or Flash. He responded with this remote control example. ... it’s really just a navigation list with a cute graphic around it. After many other similar comments, Russ responded with a far more impressive example. Now I’m impressed. [via The JavaScript Weblog]

Cute(ish) and sort of simple though really is just absolutely positioning a load of images. The point (I presume) is that this renders/can be made sense of by other types of browser (e.g. readers). As it is, it really needs to be put in a more sensible frame.


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# Sunday, 05 December 2004

Smart Clients

Smart Client again.  
 [via Microsoft WebBlogs]

Not quite sure what they mean by 'device adaptability' but otherwise I'd say Zeepe is slap bang in the smart client space - now (and has been for a while).

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# Friday, 03 December 2004

Ooooooooh, yooo-hooo - there's one over here.

On-demand apps demand a richer browser.  

.... We clearly need more advanced widgetry to help us deal with a range of data types and to guide us through sophisticated interaction scenarios. [via Jon's Radio]

Personally, I rather like this bit from the latest (beta) incarnation of Zeepe:

<zeepe:notifyicon id="tray" src="images/imunch.ico" tip="MeadCo iMunch News Aggregator and Browser" 
ondoubleclick="onDoubleClickTray()" >
   <menu id="traymenu">
      <menuitem text="Exit" title="Exit the application" oncommand="AppExit()" shortcut="Alt+F4" />
      <separator />
      <menuitem text="New Feed..." onCommand="NewFeed()" />
      <menuitem text="Options..." oncommand="onAppOptions()" />
      <menuitem id="domunch" text="&Update articles now" oncommand="startMunching();" />
      <menuitem id="shownewitems" text="Show &New Articles alert after update" oncommand="UpdateShowNewItemsAlertOption()" />
      <menuitem id="shownewitemsnow" text="Last alert..." oncommand="ShowLastAlertBox()" />
      <separator />
      <menuitem id="hide" text="&Hide When Minimized" oncommand="UpdateHideWhenMinimizedOption()" />
      <menuitem default="true" text="&Open iMunch" oncommand="onDoubleClickTray()" />

But then again, I am biased since I wrote the code. But that little lot above, in addition with a bit of glue javascript provides a tray icon that behaves like the one with Outlook 2003. Depending upon your view of the world the above is, or is not, HTML. What is clear is it is 'markup' and what is also clear is that with Zeepe it can be included within a DHTML page giving you a 'richer browser'.

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