Web roundup 11.07.14 – Online apps, Indi documentary makers and Usenet!

I tweeted recently that there was very little to interest me in the world of technology.  Has tech reached its peak? – No I think its more a case of everyone trying to cash in on the tried and tested idea’s that are selling well.

Please don’t talk about Google Glass, I’ve already voiced my concerns about that piece of tech and unless you want to be branded a Glasshole by future Twitter generations, I’d suggest you keep your Glass enthusiasm to yourself.

Money might not buy you love (or so the song said) but over in the UK it can change laws.  It’s surprising how easily the UK can change them for a chance of the F1 racing to have a go in London.  You think cyclists are a hazard or pain on the road? (or conversely if you are a cyclist and think cars are) you’ve not seen anything until the noise and road closures of formula 1 go to the UK’s capital.  But since money is involved, the relevant laws preventing such races are easily changed.  Want change in law? Show them the money.

Keeping the topic in the UK. The UK is apparently rushing through laws for data retention and collection from ISP’s in an effort to support their intelligence model.  The same intelligence model that had offenders allowed into the Palace, given awards by the Queen and had them spending Xmas with a Prime Minister.

Moving on to discoveries on the net, I’ve found a few very good online emulation apps….great for ChromeOS users, but equally as great on whatever platform you run.   The great thing about these online emulators is that they come with a library of games all ready to play.

NesBox is an emulator for a few of the 16bit consoles of yesteryear:

NESbox is an emulator of NES, Super Nintendo, Sega Mega Drive video consoles, built on Adobe Flash technology and it can only be run directly in your browser’s window.

The Unreal Spectrum Emulator (ChromeOS) is a fantastic emulator of the old 8bit computer many of us know and love.  It also has (as far as I can tell) a built in complete catalogue of Spectrum titles.  Plays in full screen too! Hours of enjoyment!

The Beautiful Game

During the World Cup I promised Twitter I would not be spamming my timeline with my passion for Football.  I’ve mostly kept to that promise (thanks to the excellent social networking site SportsYapper) but I must take this opportunity to highlight an Indi Documentary team – Hard Lines Films and if you are interested in Football they have recently released an excellent documentary on Sunday Football.

Sticking only briefly with football (for fear of losing readers) A new(ish) project and Sunday League team Reality FC are going to be running what I can only describe as a sort of “Big Brother” type football show.  Viewers will get to help chose tactics, players and the matches will be available on Youtube.  They have already released a series of episodes with match highlights of the 2013/14 season and I think this project/team is going to be something very special. Visit them on their Youtube channel and show your support!


I’m on month 2 of using an HP 14″ Chromebook exclusively for my computing life.  Everything is going very well and I’m finding myself just as productive (if not more so) than when I use a desktop rig.  Since Google services are very important to my work, there’s nothing better in regards to integration than a ChromeOS device.   If you a looking for a laptop, I suggest you take time to consider what it is you actually want to do with it and consider a Chromebook.  The 14″ screen on this HP means its comfortable to use for more than just a travel device and it will sit very nicely as a main device for anyone not needing a fully fledged rig.

I think Usenet for discussion is mostly finished.  Take a look at any of the discussion groups and they are filled with insults and banter between participants.  This behaviour has gone way beyond trolling as the only people frequenting these groups are those who have been involved in years long disputes and the essence of the original conflict long since lost.  Usenet does not offer any “breaking news” Usenet isn’t a place either the mainstream or “big names” go.  So now it exists as a battleground between those who cannot let go of a dispute which has run for many years.

I think the final nail in the Usenet coffin will be when the RIAA and similar manage to lobby government in order to shackle the binary newsgroup providers.  I cannot believe the companies that offer access to the binaries don’t think that people will be downloading copyrighted works, after-all if you take a look at the discussions, there’s nothing there worth a membership.

It will be interesting where these Usenet regulars go after Usenet, certainly their behaviour wouldn’t be allowed to run for years on any of the mainstream social networks, so maybe like the humble BBS sysop, they will be placed in the history of computing as a footnote some time in the future.  The world has moved on.  It maybe be the height of “geekyness” to work in the command-line, but the rest of the world has moved on.  It maybe seen as being “leet” to post in a newsgroup discussion, but nobody is listening, nobody but the few other people who refuse to let go of yesterday.

It shows how uninteresting tech has been over the last few months when I have to fill an article with talk about Usenet.  Here’s hoping to something exciting soon.


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