Dunbar’s Number

This morning, I am thinking about Dunbar’s Number, and my LJ friends list. I have noticed of late that there are an increasing number of people on my list whose journals I don’t read, because I simply don’t have the attention span to concentrate on them as well as everyone else’s, and in fact, that this is carrying over, and I am interacting less with other journals that I might like, because they’re getting lost in the churn.

So a question: should I
a) set up a default view?
b) have a cull?

If a), would you prefer to know if you were on the default view or not? I have not hitherto set up a default view, because I feel it’s kind of hypocritical to describe someone as a “friend” (god, how much simpler would things be if LJ hadn’t used the emotionally loaded term) and not read their journal, but then, as I’ve just admitted, that’s what I’m doing at the moment anyway. But one way round that hypocrisy might be to be open about who’s journals I am reading. Would it break anyone’s heart to discover that while I do consider them a friend, I don’t read their journal very often? Would that be better or worse than a Friends List cull?

Dear god, but I over-think things sometimes. Maybe I should just arrange to have 75 of you shot. That would simplify matters…

Capsule Book Reviews…

As is probably obvious I’ve given up on weekly book and album reviews, mostly because I’m failing miserably on the album front.

Still, here’s a catch up on what I’ve been reading, just to prove I’ve kept to better than one a week, and so I’ve got a record for later in the year:

Non fiction
Cities by John Reader
A book about the history and growth of the city. Not a specific city, just cities generally. A bit academic for on-the-bus reading, but I thought it was interesting. When I have some time, I’m going to re-read it again and try and absorb more this time.

The Subterranean Railway: How the London Underground Was Built and How It Changed the City Forever by Christian Wolmar
I like the tube. I like it’s history, because it’s full of the sort of quality Victorian mad bastards and Men Of Vision that you just couldn’t make up.

A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
The account of a former child soldier from Sierra Leone. Very, very good indeed. Ths single best book in this batch of reading material, in fact, and one I strongly urge you to seek out.

The Devil’s Home On Leave by Derek Raymond
I am utterly fucking ecstatic that someone is bringing Raymond back into print. This was the only one of his Factory novels that I hadn’t read, and it’s as good as all the others – black, horrible crime writinf of the finest, most damaged kind.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
And here’s the much less good kind of crime fiction – a trash potboiler that I’m astonished anyone could turn into an entire TV series, but apparently they have. I’ve seen a few episodes of the TV show – they struck me as badly written, and over exposited. The novel’s first person perspective is a bit more forgiving, but still, this is just more serial-killer-cool that the like of Hannibal made popular. It’s entertaing enough, but it’s not actually good, you know?

Altered Carbon
Broken Angels
Woken Furies
Market Forces
all by Richard Morgan
A rare thing: good (or at least enjoyable) cyberpunk writing.

Just so’s you know…

My home internet is down again. Changing ISP in the middle of this week ought to fix it, but until then, I can’t promise anything like reliable responses to emails or other things, as the only net access I’ve got it at work, where I am about to vanish into a black hole of spreadsheets and financial reporting for the next month, as one of our clients prepares for the Christmas period.

If I owe you email, or a response to anything on-line in general, I’ll try and get to it when I can. Sorry.

[Jobs] Yet again…

This hasn’t worked in the past, but y’know, still worth trying.

We’re looking for a Senior PHP Developer at my place (in London) right now. Realistic cash, nice, laid back working environment etc. Does anyone know any/Is anyone reading this a really good PHP programmer who are looking for a change of job? PHP5 is a must, as is a familiarity with MVC design patterns.

Please, please, pass this around…

Got There In The End

It’s been about two years since I worked on it, but it looks like the Sanctuary Music Licensing website has finally gone live. Not likely to be of much interest to anyone that’s not looking to license music from Sanctuary’s catalogue, but it’s quite a nice little site, with a lot of nifty little features, and well, I’m always happy to have a bit more CV fodder available to the public.

Diseased Marketing

My absurdly hardworking chum Alex de Campi has just been rather badly shafted my a marketing agency. You can read the full story of how Moodia and BoggleIt.com shafted a bunch of hard working people for yourself.

I personally find this particularly disgusting, because Alex, being the terribly conscientious person that she is, is determined to pay the people she worked with, even though she wasn’t paid herself. To which end she’s selling a prized painting, by one of my favourite artists, Wright of Derby. I can only imagine how heartbreaking that must be. If I could afford the damn thing, I’d buy it myself.

I mention this so that everyone is aware that Moodia are a bunch of cunts, and BoggleIt.com are a shitpot operation that appear to exist only to scam the terminally stupid. It’s among the most contemptible practices of my industry, this notion that it’s OK to not pay freelancers if for some reason, you don’t like their work. I’m pleased to say that I have never, and would never work for someone who did that. If a freelancer does the work, they get the fucking money. If you were worried about the standard of their work, you should not have commissioned them in the first place.

I’m also willing to bet hard cash that Moodia will have charged BoggleIt.com for the “account handling” time incurred in the commerical that they don’t like, and haven’t paid for.

<a href="http://www.alexdecampi.com/2007/04/boggleit-saga-when-in-doubt-shaft">Moodia</a> are a bunch of cunts, and <a href="http://www.alexdecampi.com/2007/04/boggleit-saga-when-in-doubt-shaft">BoggleIt.com</a> are a shitpot operation that appear to exist only to scam the terminally stupid. <a href="http://alexdecampi.livejournal.com/64695.html">Here's the full story about how they shaft talented hardworking freelancers</a>.

Oh For Fuck’s Sake!

We are already at the point of the year where it is sufficiently hot that my main PC shuts down through overheating if it’s asked to do much graphics work. Last year, it managed OK unless it was doing 3D stuff, like playing games. I could bear that. This year, it now packs up when trying work with Photoshop.


I’ve got Photoshop for the Mac now, so I can work with that, but what I don’t seem to have is any good software for browsing RAW files. iPhoto seems to believe that I don’t need another RAW editor, despite the fact that it’s own RAW tools are pitifully bloody inadequate. Anything I instruct it to open in Photoshop, it converts to a jpeg, first. As if I was done working with the RAW. Which I fucking wasn’t.

a) can anyone tell me if there’s a setting I’m missing?
b) if I’m not, can anyone recommend me a free RAW browser for the Mac?

Birthday gifts…

While I have no wish to seem either greedy or ungrateful for what I have already recieved, because I am neither (belated thanks to everyone who bought me gifts – I had in fact cunningly saved the amazon slips, to thank people individually as and when the books came up in the weekly rotation, but then I tidied up, and now I’ve lost them, so I can only go by memory, and there are a couple that I cannot remember so if I fail to thank you when your gift comes up,I apologise), I was going through my amazon wishlist today to itdy up post-birthday, and noticed that there were a couple of items on there that are listed as purchased, but which have not yet arrived.

So, if you bought me either “Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall” or “The Subterranean Railway”, then a) thank you, b) I apologise for spoiling the suprise, but I figured a fortnight was enough time to allow for Amazon shipping late, and c) from a purely practical point of view, if it’s not too much trouble for you to check: does amazon claimed to have dispatched these things to me? If they do, you may wish to harass them/claim a refund…