Archive for August, 2006

Unconventional watches


These watches look very cool, though I guess they’re not really that practical. But then, they’re not meant to be practical and are instead a kind of commentry on the relationship people can have with their watches.

From the
Mr Jones Watches website
:

“Summissus revives the traditional memento mori – an object designed to remind people that death should be prepared for at any time. Summissus has a mirrored display that reflects the wearer and alternates the time with the statement, ‘Remember you will die”. In this way Summissus fosters humility in the wearer.”

The Summissus is the watch on the left in the picture. I guess, aside from “fostering humility”, it could also make people worry less about other things. Day going badly? Don’t worry, you’re going to die some day. 🙂

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Rachel on August 23rd 2006 in Cool Gadgetry, Technology

Young drive ‘radical media shift’

Young drive ‘radical media shift’

Sixteen to 24 year olds are spurning television, radio and newspapers in favour of online services, says the regulator’s study.

I can’t say that I’m surprised really. Most people in that age group would probably have grown up with computers and the internet. Personally I used to watch hours and hours of tv when I was younger, but in the last 4 or 5 years the amount I watch has really dropped off. Whether it’s because the content on tv has got less interesting, or because the content online is more interesting… I don’t know. The only time I really watch tv is when I’ve checked the tv guide (online of course) and there is something I want to watch on. I don’t watch just for the sake of watching anymore.

As for radio and newspapers… I still listen to the radio, but mostly in the car and the reception for the station I like to listen to isn’t that great anyway. Newspapers… perhaps on a train journey, or I’ll flick through the paper that my mum gets on Saturdays. I’ve always got my news either from television or radio, so the change to getting it online and from multiple sources wasn’t that much of a stretch. The Internet is quicker for news, especially you’d only really get a newspaper with the previous day’s news in it, rather than what is happening this very second.

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Rachel on August 10th 2006 in Internet, Technology, TV

Boing Boing – Only traitors try to make us afraid of terrorists

Boing Boing – Only traitors try to make us afraid of terrorists

The paper this article takes about seems to have a point. Terrorism is highly unlikely to kill me. I mean… I live in the UK and here we’ve had various terrorist acts from the IRA, Islamic militants and so on… but I’m still here. No one I know personally has been hurt. I’ve even visited Israel and missed being in the area of a bombing by a day. So why should I worry? Surely the point of a terrorist act is to frighten and scare people, to have some measure of control over them.

After the Tube bombings on 7th July last year, my mum was worried about me going places on the underground and on the train. I reasoned that if I was going to get blown up on the Tube, then there would be nothing I could do to stop it and so there was no point worrying and hiding indoors.

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Rachel on August 7th 2006 in War

Implication of Adoption for future generations

Generational impacts of adoption – Harlow’s Monkey

Blogger Harlow’s Monkey discusses her being adopted, not knowing her biological family medical history and how that has affected her own daughter.

Sometimes, I think my unknown medical history is the most damaging feature of being adopted.

[…]

But of even greater concern is that I don’t know if I’m at risk for cardiac problems, diabetes, cancer, or mental health disorders.

This means also, that my children will also be unable to fill out the [√] on standard medical history forms, as we recently experienced when my kids had their yearly checkups.

Again, not knowing doesn’t just affect me. It also affects my children.

I kind of know what she means, though from the perspective of the child of an adoptee rather than as an adoptee myself. While I know at least some information about my mum’s family’s medical history, I know nothing about the medical history of my dad’s biological family. This especially becomes a problem when you start thinking about illnesses that can be hereditary – for example Crohn’s Disease, which my dad suffers from. He didn’t show symptoms of having it until he was well into his forties and without a family medical history to look at, I have no way of knowing whether or not I have a similar risk of finding myself suffering from the same problem. As far as I know, with Crohn’s Disease, there is no certainty that the children of a sufferer will also find themselves also afflicted (not a great word to use, but I can’t think of a better term) but there is a higher risk of them suffering from Crohn’s Disease.

If I knew more about my family medical history, then there might be some clues as to whether I have this to look forward to in twenty years time or if I can relax a bit and not worry quite so much. I guess it would be a bit easier for my dad to find out about his biological family and their medical history being adopted within a country rather than internationally like Harlow’s Monkey.

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Rachel on August 4th 2006 in Health & Medicine

Personal data: Knowing who has yours

I just read an interview by TechDigest with one of the founders of Egg, the internet bank. It discusses the subject of who might have your personal data – things like your address, date of birth and name as well as other data that might be held by various companies.
In Britain, the Data Protection Act allows you to ask any company for the data they have on you and they have to respond to your request within 40 days. Tom Ilube, one of the founders of new company garlik, says “We decided to create a large-scale consumer-facing company that will help people understand what’s out there about them and how to manage it.” According to TechDigest:

Initially, this will boil down to a service that rounds up all the publicly-accessible data on a person, including their credit file, but also the records kept by private companies.

This all strikes me as very useful. I’m only 22 and just out of university, but I’ve been hanging out online for about 7 years and in that time I’ve done a fair amount of buying stuff online and signing up for websites and things. Not only that, but I shop in regular stores too! Now, I don’t have a credit card because I’m not yet entirely comfortable with spending money that I don’t already have – but I’m sure various companies must have information on me from my limited dealings with banks and building societies. Add to that various competitions I’ve entered over the years and there could be loads of companies that have my personal data, even though I tick the boxes that say that my information can’t be passed on to other companies. It’s all very interesting and I’m curious to see who might have data about me.

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Rachel on August 4th 2006 in Internet