Posts in 2003

Team Blogging

I've been asked to introduce blogging to my place of work for a team of myself and six colleagues. Our activities are wide-ranging within the sphere of web-based service delivery and development, so the team might be described as fairly loosely-coupled. The idea is that blogging will be a potential way of improving understanding of what colleagues are focussed on at any one time. The discussion about how to implement this was interesting, and the following was decided:

Easy News Topics

Easy News Topics (ENT) is a new specification for defining topic meta-data in RSS2.0 news feeds. As the authors explain: The goals of ENT are to: 1. be as simple to implement as possible 2. represent topics sufficiently that they be useful in enabling smart aggregators (e.g. filtering, recombining feeds, etc...) 3. allow, via linking, use of more powerful and flexible standards where appropriate I have implemented some of the ENT specification into a new RSS2.

Regular Expression Library

This is a useful, searchable resource of regular expression examples. It covers expressions for validating such formatted data as email addresses, UK postcodes, dates etc. Thanks to David Gammel's High Context for this. This was previously published at and was retrieved from the Internet Archive


I've become a big fan of Channel 4 news - in terms of coverage of the war in Iraq they certainly don't take the Government/BBC line. I highly recommend a Channel 4 news service called Snowmail - John Snow's personal daily news roundup by email. It's personal tone is well suited to email delivery rather than, say, a syndicated RSS feed. Of course he could blog this stuff instead.... This was previously published at http://blog.

Waiting for the B52s to Arrive

The most disturbing news today has come from Al Jazeera, they said that nine B52 bombers have left the airfield in Britain and flying (presumably) towards Iraq, as if they would be doing a spin around the block. Anyway they have 6 hours to get here. [...] 2 more hours untill the B52's get to Iraq.... Salam Pax's blog This is compelling reading - a first hand account of daily life in Baghdad from a local blogger.

The other air war over Iraq

In November 2001, US forces bombed its Kabul office. The Pentagon said it was an accident, but some at al-Jazeera were not so convinced. But as Brian Whitaker has reported for the Guardian of London, this time the station is not taking chances. "We're giving the Americans the coordinates of our office in Baghdad and also the code of our signal to the satellite transponder," an al-Jazeera correspondent remarked. "We will try to give the Americans the whole information about where we are in Baghdad, so there will be no excuse for bombing us.

Freedom Fries

Asked about this bold new potato-naming policy, a puzzled French diplomat said: "French fries did not originate in France, they came from Belgium." Lying Media Bastards Jake has a rant about American media gone mad, and about the excessive behaviour that the current wave of jingoism seems to have inspired. Less amusing than the fries, is the story about the Florida Congresswoman who has suggested that the US government help families to bring back from France the bodies of American service men buried there after WWII.

It ain't easy being a war reporter

I am enormously pessimistic of the chance of decent on-the-spot reporting, as the war occurs. This is a quote form Kate Adie, veteran war reporter who covered the first Gulf War. She goes on to claim that the Pentagon will, as policy, target any video uplink signals which they detect, and which have not been cleared. I remember some of the highly sanitized, video-game type reporting which came out of the last last Gulf War; Kate suggests that it will be even more controlled by the authorities this time around.

Read the small print

Agressive, but fun, marketing from This was previously published at and was retrieved from the Internet Archive

Something rotten in the state of Google?

Distrust of Google is growing. A-list blogger Dave Winer says "I feel my trust was betrayed by Google,". He plans to favour other search engines when exploring the Web. Interesting article about the darker side of Google. As a heavy, and long-time Google user, this has given me pause for thought. With thanks to Matt for highlighting this on Curiouser and Curiouser This was previously published at http://blog.