Friday, 26 June 2009

New research on why high sugar foods can be linked to heart problems

Ok, so there's new research that show's exactly why high sugar foods can be linked to heart problems.

It's not the first time that I've heard of this idea. Not sure yet whether it's 'proven' but it would be no real surprise. Particularly given the glucose transporters role in diabetes and arguably other illnesses this just explains how our bodies ability to deal with carbohydrate defines in many ways our cardiac health.

Just thought I'd share this since it's a fascinating find. I also notice that none of the research considers how activity may help our bodies deal with this reaction to high sugar foods. That's ignored while either cutting out these foods or using drugs is preferred. Maybe I'm wrong but I feel that's a little biased.

Native code in Android applications

A friend just passed on the news that developers will be able to program with native code in android applications. This means that if it's necessary to use native languages like c or c++ then it will be possible to do so.

That's quite a coup for openness and freedom on the Android platform me thinks. I'm not a c programmer but I can see how it will help those applications written by people with these skills.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Does illness help form our likes and dislikes?

I just had an idea but I don't know how to express it. So if you'll bear with me I'll trace back where it came from and then see if I can make any use of it.

Many of us have experienced a time when we're ill and ate a certain food that we liked and ended up disliking the food. I remember eating some dates once around the time I was ill with a stomach bug or something. Ever since then I've not touched a date. They now seem revolting. I had the same experience with a certain brand of cider the first time I got really drunk. Loved the stuff beforehand, can't stand it now.

Just now I started to wonder how much experiences like this may shape us and whether it's worth understanding it a little to learn how to lessen the impact. Ok that's a few assumptions in a short space of time but I could imagine that atleast one or two of my hangups or dislikes could be attributed to this kind of conditioning. If the hangups lead me to avoiding good things like dried fruit or maybe certain vegetables then, over years, it could actually impact my health.

I don't have the time, or backgroun,d right now to go into this but I feel this idea may have legs and atleast explain, atleast in part, why we all have things we dislike or avoid that could actually help us in our daily lives.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Google Books may reach a deal with authors and publishers

I like the idea of browsing books online. Using all the amazing search features we now have. Not having to leave my desk. I hear Google has reached a deal with authors and publishers. I hope this is the start of being able to search all of this knowledge. For it all to be available to everyone. Not just those with access to the right libraries etc. Pay for what you need, check it out before you buy. All that stuff.

I seen Google books as a 21st century libary and I've been wondering how libraries got started in the first place with all the copyright and licensing issues. I'm sure what Google is doing is similar in some way to what had to happen for the libraries to start.

It's only for the US at the mo. Here's hoping it grows for all of us soon.

Download youtube videos on Android

This post is gonna do 2 things. It's a test of the blog.gears approach for posting to blogger from my mobile phone.

It's also a notice that you can easily download youtube videos as mp4 files on android phone to play at your leisure

Ok, just noticed the first snag in this blog.gears approach. Can't easily do links. Maybe I'm just gonna have to post from my phone and review when I'm at my machine.

Just published the article. Was up on blogger in a flash. Forgot to add the title. Easily fixed it and republished. Now I'm on my pc I've just changed the url to a link. And voila. A simple mobile post. Feels like I've got more options now.

edit 25th June
Just found another way to do this if you're interested. Basically enter the url at

edit 27th October
Tried both tips an it no longer seems to work. Boo. don't know if the donut update or a youtube thing. Big shame. Found a fascinating video while at work. don't have time to watch it so wanted to save for later but can't guarantee connectivity then.

My guess is that Google has had to prevent downloads to prevent copyright infringements and the associated lawsuits. If I'm wrong and there's a fix please comment.

Actually. It turns out I was doing all this within android. When I tried on my desktop pc it seems to work fine. Shame would be neat on the phone. Anyway my android G1 is also a standard usb drive so I'll just copy to it. Easy.

publish to my blog from my android phone

Was wondering how to publish to my blog from my phone. Need an app to do it. I have set up mail2post so I can email new articles. That's fine but I can't embed youtube videos, gmail doesn't allow html source editing as far as I can see, and can't add labels, so I can't organise the posts when writing them. This isn't a bad option though. Just looking for something that's perfect or almost perfect.

Came across a post explaining how to enable google gears for blogger. Wanted to try it as much as it's a very innovative use of gears and cos it might solve the main problems. Fascinating idea.

Head up display for Android phones

You've guessed it. Now I have an Android phone, every other post is gonna be about it. That's just life I'm afraid. It's also cos I think it's going to be a very innovative platform that brings us truly into the 21st century. The iPhone is brilliant but, for me, not innovative enough because it's too tied down.

I just got a glimpse of a kind of head up display for Android phones that's now available in Holland. I've heard about it for a while. What you can do is switch to camera mode and point your phone at a shop, bar or similar. You'll see details about the venue you're looking at such as the price of beer, contact details, opening hours etc.

That trial is only available in Holland but I've also heard about a similar approach being used at Wimbledon this year offering info about a court when your point you phone at it. You can find out who's playing. The score. whoi's playing next. Check out the video at

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

The iPhone app store business model

In researching my previous post on Opera Unite I came across a fascinating article on the Apple iPhone and the business model behind it. It's a fascinating insight and shows very much how Apple have planned their strategy before diving in.

I think it's great that a strategy has been devised and that it enables business to charge for their work on the web. Every one's gotta get paid. I've no problem with that. I blogged it cos I'm figuring out what I think about Apple and the iPhone. I think it's a fantastic piece of kit. It's opened the worlds eyes to the potential of mobile devices and it's put a single operating system and form factor in place so it's easy for every one to know exactly what they're getting and what it should do.

That's great but it's also very controlling, or lowest common denominator. As a developer I know that my life would be a lot easier if I just had to code for one browser, one screen size, one spec. But then that would mean that all users would have to adjust to their device. I believe the device should adjust to the user.

So I'm still not convinced about the iPhone because I feel it's designed as a way to make money first and a way to help users second. Fair enough, Google is using Android to make money too. But I feel their open approach allows me more control and that they're the guys to put my needs first and money second. All I mean by that is that they work hard to give me what I want. No matter what it is. So they work on flexible solutions. They aren't as polished as apples but they're designed to mould to me not the other way around.

Some one mentioned that it doesn't feel right to charge money in the google market place. While that's a no brainer in the iPhone store. That could be true at the moment. But as I said everyones gotta earna living somehow and open source isn't always expected to be free. Just open. so I think I'm just waiting to see if the revenue stream side of things is going to be as well thought out for Android as it is for the iPhone.

It shows just how good Apple are at benefitting from their innovation and good strategy. It's obvious they'll be around for a long time to come.

Opera Unite. Is it all it's cracked up to be?

Ok, started the day reading a post suggesting you could Host Your Own Facebook With Opera Unite. That sounds cool. I was thinking it is html 5 web server in a browser support brought to Opera. Wow, finally a major browser picking up from Google Gears. This is the start of a revolution. That's what I was thinking.

So I did a little research. Just curious. Watch a little you tube demo

Cool. Different to what I was expecting, but interesting. Asks a lot of questions like would I want to leave my machine running? but it could be a great idea.

An article asks Is Opera Unite a revolution, or is it just the fat lady singing?. After reading that I'm feeling a lot less inspired. The limitations implied by the video are also brought up here. So lets see what Oopera have to say for themselves.

The Opera Unite developer's primer follows on and basically sounds kind of locked in. Maybe I'm just biased toward Google Gears but opera's effort doesn't mention local storage. It implies you'll always be connected to the web and really just seems to push a web services model. That's fine but I can't see why I'd develop for this solution when it seems quite proprietary. There's no mention of HTML 5 or any other standard.

My one test for most things is whether it will fit with any current or future standard. Google, I feel, work with standards and encourage them. That's why I like them. I'm not certain Opera do. Shame. It sounded good at first

What's coming for mobile networks?

I just heard that Huawei and TeliaSonera have acheived the world’ s first LTE mobile broadband connection. That's great news. I've been wondering what is in the works but wasn't too clear. Apparently this is the 4g network solution to surpass the current 3g versions.

Anywho I thought I'd read a little about it. I Googled and found a definition and also that it's not the only next generation wireless network solution. Wi-Max is in the frame too. Ok, I've known about Wi-Max for a while but didn't realise that it was a technology that could be rolled out across vast networks. I found someone arguing that Wi-Max is the open version to the LTE closed version which I find an interesting point. It's fascinating to see that, repeatedly, in just about all markets there are competing closed and open solutions.

As the technology improves the problems with closed solutions seem to become more apparent. Network speed and bandwidth are set to be the big problems of the future in the online world. How long will it be before the open solutions win enough votes where it matters?

Monday, 15 June 2009

The mental side of healing

In recent weeks I've been watching a very close friend go through a really traumatic problem with his back. I'm happy to say that most of his troubles in this area are now either over or past their worst. I just want to share with you what the problem was and how he dealt with it in just 10 weeks!!!

The purpose of writing this blog is as a case study. To talk about something that I still find hard to believe but know it happened. There's medical evidence to back it up. MRI scans etc. He fixed a severely herniated disc in record time. He was supposed to have a limp for the rest of his life but he can now walk fine. Even jog along.

It's stories like this that teach us so much and so we both wanted to pass this on to anyone who can learn from it.

For personal reasons I'm keeping his identity private along with the dates. I've changed his name to John for ease of reference. It's worth mentioning that I've included almost verbatim the response John sent to me to put on the blog. The changes were merely to his name and personal details and to shorten the account slightly. So make of it what you will

One day John woke up with terrible pain in the lower right of his back which continued all the way down the back of his leg. John suffered excrutiatingly painful spasms whilst trying to move. Later that day he called NHS direct and was visited by a GP. The GP initially thought it was a pulled or torn muscle and simply prescribed him with very powerful painkillers.

A few days later, the pain became worse and John lost all feeling in his right leg and right foot. He was then visited by his GP who then arranged for him to be urgently taken to hospital.

Four days later, he saw a specialist at the hospital who carried out an x-ray and an MRI scan to determine the extent of the damage to his back. The tests showed that John had a herniated disc (L4). The initial pressure and nature of how Johns disc herniated, had resulted in damage to his sciatic nerve, which is why his right leg and foot were numb and could barely support him whilst standing.

The specialist showed John the MRI as he informed him of the damage. The disc itself was almost completely herniated and in the specialists opinion, there was an 80% chance that Johns right leg would never return to full health and that he would walk with a limp.

Over the next month, John set out to heal himself by using postural alignment exercises that he had found in a book called pain free, by Pete Egoscue. However, extremely minimal, if any, progress was being made if any. In addition to this his personal circumstances took a turn for the worse. All these challenges, left John feeling very depressed and he came to a real "rock bottom" in his life.

It was at this point where in deep prayer, that John came across a realisation. He decided he would meditate and try to access his inner healing power.

He then began meditating once before bed and first thing in the morning. During meditation John talked to his mind and asked it to heal his back. He then visualised the tear in his back healing. During meditation, if he felt any anger or resentment toward his current situation, he used that energy to fuel his healing process.

Within a matter of days John was able to walk better. Then over the space of 2 weeks, the feeling in his right leg and foot returned and he was able to walk large distances. At present, John is still in the healing process. Despite this he has managed an 8 mile walk and performed many physical activities that according to his specialist, "he shouldn't be able to do".

John sent this account to me a week or two before the 10 week MRI scan. At this point he stated
At the point of writing I have achieved in 2 months, what doctors thought would have taken years and even then, for other patients, the MRI clearly showed a "permanantly" damaged sciatic nerve.

10 weeks after the back pain presented John then had another MRI scan. He was waiting with baited breath for the results. At the time Johns back felt much healither but he couldn't be sure whether any real healing had taken place.

The results were simply astounding. The MRI showed that not only had substantial healing occurred but where, 10 weeks before, the jelly inside the disc had begun oozing out of the disc and the disc itself had started to collapse. The latest scan showed the jelly back inside the protective casing of the disc and the disc itself had rebuilt it's outer wall providing much more structural support than before.

This was proof that the regained health that John had felt reflected actual health of his lumbar discs. Naturally John was over joyed. He is now well on his way to full recovery. He's been analysing why the hernia happened in the first place and is convinced it's down to a general neglect of his body, particularly his core. To address this he's putting activity back on his daily routine and looking for things to do that he enjoys that push him in different ways to build a strong core and back.

So, in summary, whether you believe in meditation and inner healing powers is up to you. I'm interested in the idea that believing something is possible, is essential to making it a reality. There is evidence of mental practise actually firing muscles and nerve fibres so why could it not have some kind of impact on injury and healing. Whether the impact is direct in terms of sending blood and nutrients to the recovery site or in-direct by helping you gain control over the situation, giving you a positive attitude and helping your body work around the problem, get back on your feet and do the necessary recovery work. I can't say. That's for the scientists to figure out.

What is fact is that an MRI scan showed the presence of a severly herniated disc and then just a few short weeks later showed an almost completely healed disc. That isn't up for debate. That really inspires me and questions a lot about what we assume about recovery.

I hope this account inspires you as much as it did me.

edit 20090807 09:44
Turns out it's not such a crazy idea after all. Or atleast this isn't the only example of such an amazing thing happening. I've just read an article and reprogramming your genes through reprogramming your mind. Talks along similar lines as this post. Interesting.

edit 20091208
Looking at this again I still feel the basic ideas are sound. So how could you re program you genes with your mind? maybe your mind can write dna code? It could be possible but I can envisage more straightforward solutions that evolution may have developed.

The idea that every cell in our body has exactly the same DNA doesn't sit well with me. I've blogged about this before, since viruses and other things can change the DNA structure in any cell at any time. I do believe that our DNA may degrade over time and this would lead to problems.It makes sense that  evolution would give us a way to figure out what DNA should be present in a cell and what shouldn't. There may even be methods to correct the DNA.

One simple approach is to get rid of cells with damaged DNA but what if the cells that create new cells have damaged DNA. Then you've got a real problem. So either the DNA of these core cells is protected vigorously, many of these cells are produced so when a damaged one is found it is removed with another created to take its place. Or, which I feel is more likely, there is a mechanism by which the original DNA structure can be figured out.

Being an IT guy I know about RAID technology. It's a technical term which just describes the ability to restore a set of information when there isn't one complete copy in one place but there's enough information from a number of sources to rebuild the original information. I'm talking about RAID for cells. If we can do it in computers then maybe cells can do it. If so this describes a truly advanced healing process for the fundamental blueprint for who we are.

If this we the case then all we need to do is create the conditions in our bodies that promote this. I'm increasingly leaning toward being regularly active, physically, mentally and spiritiually,  to get our bodies used to restoring themselves. And also creating inner calm. finding ways to keeping external stresses external. Never taking anything too seriously. that kind of thing.

If you do these things then you'd create, in theory, an optimal restorative environment. Then, using raid for cells, we might even be able to reconstruct damaged DNA in our most important cells and be able to correct mistakes introduced by normal use and daily stress.

Again I'm theorising that the biggest healer is active R and R. No surprise but the way I'm envisioning it does surprise me.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Introducing Android Scripting Environment

Yep, you guessed it. It's android time again :-). Just had to note here that an Android Scripting Engine should be coming to and Android powered device near you in the very near future. Apparently Python, and a set of languages I've never heard of before, are going to be included.

the point being you'll be able to write stuff for android on the phone itself on the way to work before you've even booted up your pc. How cool is that.

MIPS Technologies is optimizing Android for its architecture

Been reading a lot of android stuff lately. Given it's my latest toy you shouldn't be that surprised. Any way I was encouraged by a report that the company behind many industry standard processor architectures has made android work with their architecture.

In english I take that to mean that Android has now been taught how to play with the big boys and has a bright future ahead. I was also pleased to see the comments MIP made about Android. It's probably all back slapping stuff but it stil inspires me.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

GPhone with battery that keeps on going

It appears the new batch of android based phones may have a much better battery life. I've just got my first gphone so this is going tobe one of the main issues. I've ordered a spare battery. I was happy switching batteries in my previous phone so it should be fine here too.

Still I would love to not have to worry like this guy is talking about. Going for days without recharding. That would be a dream

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Ted Talks: Bill Gates on supporting teachers

I also listened to this talk last night by Bill Gates. I had to post because I've felt for a long time that teaching is one of the toughest professions there is. It has always struck me how little support and coaching teachers get compared to the challenges they face.

I went to a comprehensive school so we had kids from both the bottom and top of life and it always struck me how certain teachers got great results and others didn't. I noticed the lack of support for those newbie teachers or those finding it difficult. That's not to say they were treated terribly. Just that I don't think people really appreciated how many skills you have to have to be a good teacher and how much support you need. 

That said, with a supportive and nurturing environment any teacher can be fantastic and that's important because I'm very thankful to the exceptional teachers I had because I owe them much of what I have achieved. 

I may have already posted about this but I wish the education system would be designed so that teachers could easily support each other. The older and more experienced support the younger and less experienced, have places to air issues and get advice and feedback. Just work on basic communication and collaboration approaches so everyone gets to benefit and teaching becomes a really fun friendly profession to be in. That's what Bill Gates hints at in my view and why I found his talk so inspirational. It covered something I've been wanting for a long time.

This talk covers two topics. The first is about curing malaria which is crucial to helping many of the poorer nations. Any thing that can be done would be fantastic. The second talk which is what I want to focus on is about how we can support and nurture teachers to provide the best education system for them. We hear about some schools that already have great systems in place an achieve fantastic results. 

Ted Talk: Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity

I just listened to this talk last night and felt so inspired I just had to share it.

I love to embrace my creativity. Without it my life and work would just be monotonous. I love this talk because it's about how to love the creativity you have and nurture it always.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Dalvik VM: How Google Android gets around Java licensing

So my android based google phone is on its way via ebay. Been looking into the Android architecture to remind myself why it's truly groundbreaking. Then came across a fascinating explanation of how google appears to have avoided horrendous licensing problems with java for mobile and got a version of Java's Standard Edition code into android by using the apache harmony project.


Fever: Is it a natural way of getting used to things?

I like to understand our bodies in the context in which they're designed to work. That's in an ecosystem where they're constantly figuring out how to thrive in an environment that's forever changing.

We can all see the big changes but I'm really talking about the tiny ones like new viruses and bacteria spreading around. The 20th century brought cleanliness on a mass scale so our bodies didn't have to get used to protecting themselves so much against microbial and viral invaders. That's the theory and we all got used to being healthy pretty much all the time. Yet it's also possible to argue that our bodies have got lazy because they are trained to fight off these invaders. I'm wondering whether it's this very cleanliness that means our bodies fail to build up the natural resources that others in less developed parts may have. 

On the other hand I'm also wondering that the ease of travel throughout the globe that we now enjoy means that any one of us is exposed on a very regular basis to any number of foreign invaders. Take the current swine flu epidemic. Working at the OU I sit across from someone who just came back from Mexico during the outbreak. True they were 500 or so miles from where it occurred but I could easily see that someone fromt he infected area could have travelled through the area my colleague was in or even been in the same airport. 

Taking this further most if not all of us are only a few degrees of separation away from someone who has been in a foreign land and could pick up foreign bugs. These foreign bugs could therefore easily trainsfer to our native lands and spread very quickly. 

I've been noticing for a while now how much I feel feverish but don't actually get sick. I take the fever as a sign that my body is adjusting to something or repelling a foreign invader (virus or bacteria or something). So I ease up on my body to spare its resources and help it in its fight. That seems to work well and it's been making me wonder if this fever response is something that's important for us to work with on a regular basis. Maybe it's our bodies way of adapting to changes at a microbial level that we can't even perceive. 

So what am I getting at? I'm not setting out to prove anything. I just like to talk things out and see where they lead. But what I do take from all this is that the western illnesses we all hear about could in part be affected by the western ability for travel which encourages quickly spread of disease. Diseases which we haven't had time to adapt to and we don't have siblings and friends that may have developed a resistance which we may be able to adopt ourselves. 

Ok that last bit sounds far fetched but I've implied before that if bacteria or viruses can make us ill then they can also make us better and resist illness. It's easy to argue that the inhabitants of a village where a disease is common may develop immunity to the disease even if that's simply by harbouring viruses or bacteria that provide protection. It's basic symbiosis. 

I won't go into detail about what this could mean. Again I'm just brainstorming. But to western civilisations there is increasing evidence that many of the most serious diseases have a bacterial or viral link. So our propensity to travel that increases our exposure to every disease there is now seems like a serious liablity for which we have developed few defences. 

Coupled with our busy lives, high levels of stress, propensity to work indoors in warm inviting areas mayeb these are just a few of the reasons that could effectivly nurture diseases in western regions.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

limitation leads to limitation

I'm in the business of creating options for myself or those I deliver solutions to. The more options I can figure out or provide the easier I find it to adjust to the constantly changing envrionments I'm in.

The reason I mention limitation is that I'm quite focused on removing my limitations. That's not to say I'm expert at everything but I can do something basic in most areas. The idea being if I can achieve some thing then I'n less nervous doing it than I originally was. That means I won't shy away from it and over time as the relevant skill is practiced I become good at it and may even excel.

The philosophy is essentially a limited developer creates limited applications. I mean a limited developer in terms of limited skills, depth of experience, vision, creativity, ability to communicate and collaborate. Limited applications only work on the device and for the people they were intended for and are difficult to adapt to other situations and people.

I feel the same can be said of teachers or any other profession (or craft as I see them). A limited teacher can only teach limited things. That's some thing I  feel makes sense. I mean that what they teach will always be limited by their experience, point of view, subject knowledge and knowledge of their audience. They may also be limited in their ability to express themselves.

Ok, I'm assuming things here but I don't have the time to prove anything. And in truth it's just an opinion. I'm not saying I'm right I just feel it's a useful point to make as it explains why I'm always looking to learn. By constantly improving myself as a teacher, developer and other things I'm reducing my limitations. By progressively reducing my limitations the things I do and say become less limited and so I go from limits leading to limitations to strengths creating more strengths.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

New xbox 360 controller: A complete revolution

I was just emailed about a great new controller for the XBOX 360 game system. At first I thought, yeah right what has Microsoft done recently that's truly innovative? Then my question was answered. Check out this video!!!

For my eyes it's actually such an exciting prospect I'm waiting to hear the 'but'. I'm wondering how long it will actually take to bring this into our homes. Having sold my xbox last year because I was sick of using the standard controllers I've been used to all my 30 years I've found the wii controllers and games a joy simply because they're more interactive. 

I love the sports games most and you just don't get the sense of motion from a standard controller. But if this new controller is really as good and the games come along for it then I will genuinely be impressed. What does bug me now that I think about it is that everything is so proprietary. 

I don't think Google are perfect but I could imagine that if Google made a games console then they'd provide a controller like this and allow it to work with other games consoles, gphone and android anyone. Instead what we have is consumers stuck with the choices of the all powerful manufacturers. 

is anyone going to open up this market and really let innovation take hold. Ooh I can see I've been rattled. But then why shouldn't I be when I can see a genuinelky impressive company and product being limited to just one device rather than being made open. 

Anyway I did a quick Google on Natal the controller underlying this advance and found some interesting info. 

I also just found this review on it. Still reading through but thought I'd post it before I've finished cos already it's explained a little about how it actually works.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Training: How do I track my progress?

Chatting further with my friend we talked about the idea that you can burn as many calories experiementing with different exercises and routines as you can with existing ones.

My take is that you often burn just as much by experimenting. And since it's about mixing things up, keeping it interesting and finding what suits you it's often more motivating. so you tend to work harder. Also the body is generally most efficient at what it does regularly and efficiency is the enemy of weight loss. You actually want to be inefficient funnily enough. That's why changing things up is so important. 

The most important thing is that while there's plenty of info out there you've got to be making maximum use of every session and that means personalising everything. You aren't a carboard cut out so don't use cut out routines. Adapt it to you, your way of life, routines, strengths and weaknesses. That's the only way to maximise the impact it has on your body and your mind. 

In terms of measuring things it's only clear how best to do it once you've started doing it. That means just figure out your own way. It's also not always that easy cos it's hard to know when you've run a mile or even 100 metres. If you can measure it that can be a big help. I got a gps add on for my phone and my wife got a pedometer which measures how many steps she's done and works out the mileage. 

Otherwise  I just take a route that I know and use a map or something to figure out its distance. Failing that sometimes all I ever did was count lampposts. I would sprint for as long as I could and just see how many lampposts I had run past since they had just about the same spacing between them. I just aimed to pass more of those each session. I also begin to remember certain waypoints like road intersections where I got tired. I'd keep focusing on getting past them. The further I got past them the more improvement I'd made. 

So first off this won't make much sense to any one but you unless you've got something to measure distance. That's not a problem unless you want to compare. It's just important that you know what targets you have and have your own little markers in your mind for what you need to beat. 

To some this will be a little un scientific but for me it's just practical. Now that pedometers and other kit to measure distance is becoming cheap and usable it's less important but if you don't have any of this I just wanted to give some basic ideas about how to track what you've been doing and measure your progress as you go. 

Losing weight: Don't limit yourself by having a limited goal

I've been talking to a friend about how to lose weight, get fit etc. Each time I do this find myself explaining some concepts that I really think belong here because I feel the industry and media tell us all one thing but the evidence and in particular my personal experience tells me other things. 

On the question of whether explosive and strength work should be excluded in favour of conditioning work. I feel you can research all you like at the mo but the knowledge just isn't out there. My view is that if you increased explosive work you'd be improving your sprint ability. Doing this helps you get a faster rate of movement and thus burn more calories per step. It also puts a massive load on your system and thus a massive training stimulus. Strength work can work in a simlar way because you can carry greater loads. Anything you do when carrying a greater load increases the calories needed to get the job done. It's not all an exact science because it depends how you carry it and a multitude of factors but I'm really saying lots of different kinds of activity, training and exercise can all benefit you in the search for weight loss will also making you more capable in your day to day life. 

These things may not be considered conditioning work but I often think conditioning work is too limited. Work within your limits but make sure you keep checking what your real limits are. I remember showing people at the gym that what they thought they could squat was about half to two thirds what they could actually squat. So that's why they weren't improving much. Cos they weren't really pushing themselves. 

So use your training this time to learn about yourself and how your body works. Try different things out and keep spicing things up. I've spent years trying different things and I still find new takes on things. All this experience stays with you and helps you long term. So just don't think for the short term too much otherwise it will all end up being wasted. 

Another way to put it is that you need to regularly re establish new limits. Conditioning standards for this month  should be out of date next month. Each week you should be trying to figure out how many calories in total you're burning. Just a rough guess. It's worth knowing that for about every 1 mile you cover you burn around 100 cals. That's why you need to focus on running further for every 10 minutes running, jogging or walking you do. So increasing your top speed can help with this.

You'll quickly notice that the numbers don't seem to add up to a lot of fat burning but I don't think these are completely accurate. What I mean is that I feel there are other energy costs that we can't yet measure from running. It's a common misconception that we lose most weight from dieting. To sidetrack I think nobody considers the nutrients etc you lose through restricting what you eat and no one has fully checked the energy that's given off as heat through running and also through rebuilding your body. It's always bugged me that the only energy check done to confirm this idea is to measure the oxygen we breath in and out and assume from that what energy is used during exercise. 

I won't go into how many levels of wrong there are in that assumption but it was what was peddled in my degree. As I see it our bodies just plain adapt and can use the energy from all sorts of sources really efficiently. We mop up and reuse some of the carbon dioxide so it doesn't show in our breath. 

Also no one has ever told me how much it costs the body to rebuild and fix cells. I expect it's a lot though considering babies and kids need so much compared to their body weight. 

Anyway I hope you get the picture. I'm just waiting til some one actually adds this up properly

Hope this makes sense. I'm just saying keep pushing your limits in all sorts of ways. Learn how to measure these limits and your training in ways that can be done anywhere. That's why I talk about calories per mile or km. You can do this anywhere and compare the quality of your training. You can then start plotting how many miles per hour you're covering and see the improvement from week to week. 

Delivering a project is like organising a special birthday

In my experience organising and delivering a project to everyones satisfaction is much like organising a dinner. Big projects are like organising a birthday or a wedding. the main point being you have to agree on a date and venue (release date), agree caterers (suppliers), figure out the guest list (target market, stakeholders etc), invite everyone and keep them updated with changes of plan up to the date, on the day and send out thank-yous ect afterwards (regular clear communication).

You've also often got to get a bunch of different people to work together and all deliver according to an agreed and often shifting timetable. You've got to accomdate all the individual differences you get within a group of people. You've got to get them to get along and work together. And if the deadlines or number of quests or something changes then everyone needs to know so they can adjust accordingly. 

Everyone has to plan how they're going to do their bit and also be able to make last minute changes as appropriate. It's just the way things work. 

I thought I'd write this simply because I think so many people think that delivering projects is a skill separate from anything that they do in their normal lives. Granted, not everyone plans borthdays and weddings and dinners but most people plan something ,a stag or hen do, a day ou  or something. We may only do it once and find it's all too much. I just want to show that projects have all the same factors. 

So if you want to figure out how to deliver a project well regardless of it's primary focus: software, educational or something else. You will find that you can learn as much from someone who organises the village fete as you can from a high powered executive. 

I thought  this analogy might make the idea of project management more approachable to many and give it a more human and less business focused image. 

Browser Javascript benchmarks

Just found out that google have provided some javascript benchmarking tests to promote their V8 javascript engine. 

Thought I'd try it on my work machine where I have chrome, Firefox 3.0.10 and IE 7.0.5730. Since all tests will be on the same machine with all things being equal it seems like a fair test. 

The higher the score the better. I thought it was really funny. Chrome got 1345 while firefox got 94.7 and internet explorer got a piddly 18.5. I've pasted the full results below. 

It makes me laugh though. I could totally believe that the tests provided promote chrome over other browsers but then I also feel thata ll other browsers make no effort to support javascript enough. I thought the gulf was a lot. I just didn't realise it was so big. In terms of providing rich internet apps this really does show why chrome is the way to go. 

I wonder when they will be providing the plugin apps ala firefox. But given how much these slow the browser down I wonder if they'll use quite the same approach. I wouldn't be surprised if the utilise the extensive javascript and gears support so apps are just coded using html and js. 

Chrome Score: 1345
Richards: 1561
DeltaBlue: 1607
Crypto: 1404
RayTrace: 1865
EarleyBoyer: 2631
RegExp: 154
Splay: 3002
Firefox Score: 94.7
Richards: 86.0
DeltaBlue: 83.7
Crypto: 70.6
RayTrace: 86.8
EarleyBoyer: 129
RegExp: 64.9
Splay: 185

IE Score: 18.5
Richards: 17.4
DeltaBlue: 14.8
Crypto: 18.7
RayTrace: 26.4
EarleyBoyer: 50.9
RegExp: 43.3
Splay: 2.59