Daily Archives: Sunday, 29th Apr 2012

That’s a good idea…

The latest bit of lunacy in the ongoing international sport thingy[1] has gone beyond silliness and petty bullying[2] into the realms of insanity. BBC News reports that the authorities are seriously considering siting surface to air missiles on top of people’s flats. Now you don’t have to think too hard to come up with reasons why firing missiles over heavily populated areas might not be an altogether good idea, such as where all the bits of the missile and whatever you’ve fired it at will come to earth, but the excellent Charlie Stross has given it a bit more thought, and covers it quite nicely, so I’ll pass you over to him:

Olympics 2012: A Bruce Schneier Moment

Oh, and Richard Wiseman has a possible explanation, that makes as much sense as anything:

[1] As I mentioned last year, mentioning the thingy by name might get me into trouble. And according to the Grauniad, it’s got madder since then.
[2] Thugs Private security staff have been trying to prevent photographers on public land taking pictures of venues

Flash Crash – A fix of sorts

I’ve recently been having a problem. Playing videos on YouTube has been making Chrome get upset. It gets a few seconds into a video, then the Flash plugin (oddly described as the Shockwave Flash plugin, but never mind) crashes. Restarting the browser, clicking heels and whistling tunes backwards didn’t improve things at all.

A bit of searching turned up numerous articles suggesting that this sort of thing was normally caused by a conflict between Chrome’s baked-in Flash plugin and the separate one installed for other browsers, and that some value of cursing and disabling one or other of them would restore normal behaviour. Well, I tried that, and it made no difference.

Figuring this would go away in some future Chrome update, I reverted to Firefox, where exactly the same thing happened. So, what with the weather meaning I’m not stepping out into the wilds of Wales today, I took the time to do a bit more digging. I found reports from other people having crashage[1] issues with various browsers, which does sort of point the finger very firmly in the direction of Adobe’s latest Flash update.

My digging did lead me to something that seems to work for YouTube, but won’t help for any other Flash crashing issues you may have.  If you have a sufficiently equipped browser, you can get YouTube to present videos in its “experimental” HTML5 format. I enabled that, and I’ve been able to watch videos that were crashing previously. Give it a try if you’re having the same issue:

YouTube HTML5

Adobe are apparently investigating this issue. A better result would be for everyone to stop using bloody Flash because it’s completely rubbish.[2]

[1] Most words can be improved with the addition of “-age”
[2] Quite apart from its memory and CPU hogging tendencies, it leads to websites being developed that look pretty but are very hard to use, what with them not letting you use the  back button or bookmark pages.

Stuff Report – 29 April 2012

It’s a lovely day for not going anywhere. Howling wind gusting up to speeds of “where did that house go?”, rain, temperatures more appropriate for February[1] and all that kind of thing. Lovely.

Your picture for today is of one of the Bristol Harbour ferries. They’ve got a nifty network of these, which seems like a good idea, as they cut out some quite long walks.

Harbour Ferry

Harbour Ferry

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Aperture: ƒ/6.3
Shutter speed: 1/160s
Focal length: 47mm
ISO: 100


[1] This is the weather getting back at us for that warm period earlier in the year. I think somebody’s applied a randomiser to the British weather. Err, a more powerful randomiser than the one that normally delivers random weather.