Buying Stuff Online

Okay, a small confession here. I really am apprehensive about buying online. Although I’ve used the Internet for seven years now, I only started buying online in the last twelve months – I trust the security on the server but I don’t trust the webmasters at the other end. Far more exploits have been made by hackers getting into a web database of customers’ details than have been done breaching SSL protocol.

This evening I ordered a new book from Amazon, and was very slightly concerned that they’d kept my debit card details in a database for future reference. This is something I personally am not keen on at all. All the other shops I’ve dealt or worked with (eBuyer, 1DO3, Ghoulnet, Virtual Names) have not saved my details but instead asked for them again – something which I have no second thought about. However Amazon have kept my details online in a large database with huge value to a hacker.

Perhaps I’m paranoid – please let me know what you think about all of this – I’m sure somebody of Amazon‘s size have their interests vested in keeping their software up-to-date and patched but still they are a potential attack point and, if anything, more likely than the other sites I mention.

I guess I’m going to have to get used to this online buying business though…..

Windows and Memory

Okay don’t laugh (some do) – I still run Windows 98. I run it on a fairly high spec computer (1.5Ghz Athlon, 512MB RAM, etc…) but it astounds me how much memory it uses on bootup – within two minutes, running Winamp and WinMX pushes the system up to 600MB RAM used already!

I keep considering getting something like XP – you can at least switch off all the graphical effects if you don’t want them and its obviously four years more advanced than 98. I may then also get another half gig of RAM (’98 doesn’t like >512)….

I dread to think what the memory requirements for something like Palladium would be….

Royal Institution Lectures

The Christmas lectures this year look quite interesting. I make a habit of watching the lectures every year (last year was Kevin “Captain Cyborg” Warwick), and this year the theme is about molecules and chemistry. Starts Boxing Day at 11:05am on Channel 4.

Meanwhile Gareth Gates is on the new comedy and light ents station BBC 7 right now. I know his covers are laughable but it’s only funny for so long (unfortunately I think they’re serious about playing it all….. argh!)


I think I am cursed with “do whatever I shouldn’t” disease. Keep thinking to myself “go to bed early since you have to be awake at 7am….” so every night this week I’ve gotten to bed at 2.30am – d’oh!

Lighter subject: Avril Lavigne tickets arrived today for the Brixton gig in March. yay! 🙂

Even lighter note: I went and ordered that mini DV camera from Firebox in the end. It’s arrived and I’m quite impressed. For £130-odd it’s a good piece of kit, and amazingly dinky! Was having fun playing with video editing today….

Russian Ark

Russian Ark is a movie shot in a single, 87-minute take using one steadicam and a cast of thousands. Certainly a miraculous feat compared to previous films, although when compared to theatre performances where they don’t have the luxury of edit, retakes and a narrow focus of attention you have to wonder whether this is just a minor transition.

Flash Clock

A bit like humanclock this one: it’s a clock that’s updated using video footage of somebody erasing the previous number and writing the new one…. actually it just makes more sense if you see it here. Very novel approach!

The Sandstorm Effect

What is it with this current obsession with the ‘sandstorm’ effect jeans that loads of people seem to be wearing nowadays. I know it’s “the in-thing” and “current fashion” but I don’t get the motive to spend goodness-knows-how-much on labels with jeans that look shoddy and in desperate need of a clean.

Can somebody explain?