Archive for October, 2011

OSX Lion

Monday, October 31st, 2011 | Reviews, Tech

I recently updated my MacBook Pro to the new version of OSX, Lion.

So far, I’m not overly impressed. Firstly, when I upgraded Finder totally broke itself. It added a number of documents to the devices bar on the left, which I couldn’t click on, but because they had a long filename they would expand the devices bar all the way over, so every time I opened a Finder window I had to drag it back.

They’ve also got rid of Spaces which allows you to have multiple desktops. They’ve replaced this with Desktops, which is basically the same thing, except that you can only tile them horizontally, whereas before you could set up a grid and scroll each way. Desktops is quite good because you you can gesture from one to the other, but I Miss my grid.

They’ve also taken Dashboard and moved it onto it’s own Desktop which is annoying because the only time I use Dashboard is when I need a calculator, and I need it as an overlay because I want to input some figures which I’m currently looking at.

Some of the new gestures are quite nice, but I now need to use five fingers to show my desktop, which is quite a difficult gesture to perform. I’ve also noticed that it’s just not quite as fast as Snow Leopard and the new full screen apps system just isn’t as seamless as it is in Microsoft Windows. Finally, there are just a few bugs too that need working out, especially with the new scrolling system.

Other than that, it has some quite nice features. I haven’t used Launchpad or Mission Control so I’m not too fussed about those, but gesturing between Desktops is good and being able to turn wi-fi on and off without being prompted for the admin password is good. Unfortunately, if that is all I have to say about a brand new version of an operating system, it’s a bit of a poor show.


One Life: Ethics

Sunday, October 30th, 2011 | Humanism

Last week, myself and Elina headed down to One Life for their session on Ethics, to explain to all the young people why they are wrong. As expected, most people there argued that morals were subjective, so I put forward the case from Sam Harris’ excellent book, The Moral Landscape, which I will be blogging about shortly.

Introducing SocietasPro

Saturday, October 29th, 2011 | Foundation

We’re pleased to announce a brand new open source project which we are launching, SocietasPro.

SocietasPro is a community group management system which allows you to easily manage your society or community group. It’s currently under development and once finished will feature a members database, mailing list, events system, blog, content management system and more.

The project is open source meaning that anyone can see what we have done and take inspiration from it. We’ll be supporting the project with financial investment, technical resources and developer time. You can keep up with the project’s process here, and you can also follow the project on Twitter, @SocietasPro.

Worfolk Lecture 2011: From Rutherford to the LHC

Friday, October 28th, 2011 | Events, Foundation

Last month, we announced the Worfolk Lecture 2011, as the second annual event since we established an annual public understanding of science lecture last year.

This year’s talk was delivered by Dr David Jenkins and was entitled “From Rutherford to the LHC”, looking at the last one hundred years of atomic research.

Sheffield Skeptics in the Pub

Thursday, October 27th, 2011 | Events, Humanism

Last week, Sheffield Skeptics invited me down to present a talk on Ray Kurzweil, and his book The Singularity is Near.

I’ve been to the group before to see Richard Wiseman speaking and they’re a really nice group. They’ve now become so popular that they’ve taken over the main bar at their arena and have a great projector setup and sound system.

The talk went quite well from the feedback I gathered, I took out a lot of the more technical site that was originally in the talk when I delivered it to Nottingham Skeptics in the Pub in July, so I think I’ve got it about the right level between factual and not too technical now.

October Wendy House

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011 | Life

This month’s Wendy House happened to fall on Viv’s birthday, so following some pre-drinking where we finally got to use the shots roulette wheel, we headed to The Old Bar for some birthday cake, before heading into Wendy House.

October Skeptics

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 | Foundation, Humanism

This month at Leeds Skeptics in the Pub, we welcomed Dr Andrew Rae presenting a talk on “Dealing Reasonably with Irrational Fear.” The talk turned out to be fantastic, probably one of the most interesting we have had this year!

Si’s leaving do

Monday, October 24th, 2011 | Friends, Life

With Si heading down south like a coward, we recently headed over to Little Tokyo for a meal.

Having asked for a knife and fork last time and been provided with kid’s chopsticks, I decided this time it was best to take my own, just in case. Luckily I ordered the steak and that comes with a knife and fork, so problem solved :D.

Elina is back

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011 | Life

Hurray :D.

The Battle for Los Angeles

Monday, October 17th, 2011 | Life

Recently, I had to pull out of the opportunity of a lifetime, to go and work in Palo Alto, in the heart of Silicon Valley, due to health issues.

It was undoubtedly one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. Not least because I had already paid for Elina’s flights and as a Yorkshireman, the idea of not being able to obtain a full refund on anything I’m not going to use makes me feel physically nauseated.

So, the war is on. I promised myself I would take Elina to Disneyland (and by that I mean I promised myself a trip to Disneyland, and Elina would be there too) and by god I’m going to get there somehow.

I’ll see you in Anaheim.