It’s here. I’ve been waiting for as long as I can remember for the moment where my life becomes completely digitized. It’s a switch on an unprecedented scale where the advantages of leading a digital life blow away that of any analogue system. It’s also a switch that certainly doesn’t come overnight, and it’s a switch that must fit with your personal lifestyle.
When I was at school, teachers demanded a paper-based system whereby you handed in sheets of paper, exercise books filled with homework, and completed final exams on paper. Everything I seemed to do involved paper, yet by the time I’d reached my final year of A-Levels, aged 18, I’d concluded that paper-based systems had been completely holding me back. Without a digital device, it’s incredibly hard to look up a spelling, perform a calculation, find the definition of a word, record and playback a lecture, create beautiful documents and presentations, find information, get help with a problem. Without a digital aspect to learning and studying, you’re completely and utterly limited.
A couple of years ago I uploaded a 20 minute video to YouTube explaining how to solve the Knapsack problem using dynamic programming. In the video I used a Python script which was written by Pete Sutton and can be downloaded here. I hope this continues to help students understand the dynamic programming solution to this problem!
Since setting up this blog I’ve never be totally clear with myself what the purpose of having a personal blog would be. Perhaps on the one hand it should be to ramble about some of the things I’m interested in, or perhaps it should be to explain something to people, or maybe it should be a place to showcase some of the projects I’ve undertaken.
Another reason for setting up a blog might be to try and generate some additional income via advertisements, which is why this blog contains a couple of Google Ads on some of the pages. Now I don’t get anywhere near enough visitors to this site to generate anything decent from the website. In fact, I think the last time I checked my Google Adsense account I had only generated a couple of pounds in total! So when I received what seemed to be a genuine offer of placing an advertisement on my website for a decent amount of money ($130) I was of course quite keen on the idea.
The email I received claimed that all I would have to do is write a blog post about anything that I wanted (a minimum of 250 words) that contained within it somewhere a link to one of their client’s websites. They said that the content must be unique and not taken from their client’s website, and that I didn’t even have to directly mention or discuss their client in the blog post (which for my case the client was the website PartyPoker.fr).
After Googling the text of the email online, I found other site owners that had been made the exact same offer and had gone along with it and had indeed been paid within 48 hours of placing the ad on their blog (as the email claimed they would). So I thought to myself, “why not?” It should only take a few minutes to write a simple post that contains the link and I’ll see what happens!
I’ll be sure to edit this post with a little update to let you know if I was successful or not.
Update: I received a reply stating that this blog post wasn’t really what they had in mind. I didn’t think it was really for me to be creating a “fake” blog post advertising online poker.
This evening I walked to the coffee machine at work to refill, and on my way up to the machine I most unexpectedly alarmingly slipped on the floor, almost fell over backwards, and crashed into the kitchen side. My toes were rammed into a wall, causing one to bleed quite badly and my back was jolted. I staggered to one side and looked around to examine the floor. There was a pool of water that was lit in a certain way that made it completely impossible to see as you approached it!
I thought afterwards that Health and safety conscious employees may go ballistic about something.
My reaction was to grab some paper towels and mop up some of the water, and then to put a series of plastic cups on the floor in a semi-circle around the pool, so that it was clearly visible to anyone who may come along next. Knowing that the cleaners would clear everything up the next time they came around, I made my coffee, left the area, and got on with my evening.
For typical office environments, I don’t think there’s ever any need to make a bigger deal out of health and safety than that.
After watching another amazing season of The Apprentice, with enough new tasks, lessons to be learned and humor, we witnessed the climactic final of a series that tragically hadn’t been well enough thought through.
We were reminded by the ever-inspiring Lord Alan Sugar at the start of every show this season that “this is not a job”. Instead of receiving a six-figure salary, in this season the candidates were competing for an investment of £250,000 into one of his or her business plans. The idea being to use the show’s influence to inspire entrepreneurs throughout the country to start up their own businesses despite these tough economic times. Lord Alan Sugar, a keen Labour supporter and friend of the ex-prime minister, Gordon Brown, have been keen voices calling for new business ventures as the best way to work out of a recession. The whole idea of this season was to support this concept.
Yet the way the concept was executed was deeply flawed…
The new Medal of Honour game, to be released this October, has hit the news with its plans to allow players to take the side of the modern-day Taliban in the conflict against US forces. When I heard about this gameplay I was shocked. I have always been a firm defender of video games content, whilst political figures have voiced their ill-informed opinions that violent video games cause damage to our society. But this time, EA Games has crossed a different boundary. They’ve crossed the boundary of respect, turning an active war into a piece of entertainment, and giving players the opportunity to play as some of the most evil people in the world, shooting at our own troops that are out there right now.