Google Reader and IE 7

I’ve started to use Google Reader recently and when doing a bit of lunchtime feedreading at the office noticed that IE 7 on XP doesn’t honour the
<pre> tags in post bodies. FireFox does. I can’t believe that I’m the only person to have noticed this, but a cursory google around the subject didn’t come up with much – a few list and forum posts without much followup. Do so few of the tech-minded feed-reading public use IE 7? Maybe it’s just a reflection of my poor googling skills or lack of patience. And while I’m on IE 7 vs. FF, I’ve also noticed that some of Microsoft’s own websites render far better in FF – parts of the revamped Technet pages for example. Try increaing the font size in IE 7 and watch what happens.

I wouldn’t really care except that we don’t support FF on the office network and as a senior admin I feel that I should follow policy on this. I do have FF installed for testing purposes (sorry, Brian) but I sort of feel I should stick to IE under most circumstances. Also, Google Reader is the only way I can see my own blog from work – we use a fairly fierce filtering system that currently bans personal websites amoung other things and it seems that the whole of is unavailable.

Actually this leads me on to the delicate subject of blogging and the workplace. I’m not sure if many people at Renishaw really “get” blogging, so as a rule I’m going to avoid talking about work here. I certainly won’t be blogging from work. Every so often I’ll no doubt touch upon things like today, but I’m going to draw a line for the time being. This still leaves me with plenty to talk about though, as there’s far more to my profession that what I currently do on a day-to-day basis. Plus there’s the interweb, and all the other trivia I like to think and blather on about, so hopefully my self-imposed restrictions won’t grate to much.

Stanton Drew

After the rain and wind yesterday we were glad to awake this morning to clear blue skies and sunshine. Just right for another trip into the countryside and – you guessed it – more photos!

We didn’t go quite so far today, just about eight miles or so outside Bristol into the Chew Valley. We took a pleasant walk through the fields around the village of Chew Magna and stopped at an even smaller village called Stanton Drew to take in the standing stones.

[A single stone standing at an angle in front of a large tree];

The place must have been an important site around five thousand years back (give or take a few centuries). There are three circles and a variety of other arrangements in the area and a geophysical survey by English Heritage has shown that the megaliths were only one part of a larger complex including a surrounding henge and over four hundred pits – Stanton Drew was an important place rivaling Avebury in size.

[The north-east circle seen from within the Great Circle];

Now cows graze among the stones. Although we don’t really know what the circles were used for they have the atmosphere of a sacred place, like a great church or a tomb, and they are commonly thought to have been part of the ritual life of the stone-age people of Britain. People bring their own interpretations. I always find myself wondering what will remain of our culture in five millennia and who will wander among the remains, what they’ll make of us.

A suggestion for Al

Al’s a friend of mine who works in the music biz. He tells me to make alternative suggestions when I imply that the mainstream music industry have a pretty screwed idea of how to market their product in the age of the internet. Fair enough. A guy called Mark Cuban has an articulate set of suggestions I might just send him a pointer to.

Can the music industry cry wolf any longer?

This is the only industry in the world that can see thousands of its retailers close, reduce the number of products it sells via cutbacks in artist rosters and albums released, cut back marketing and promotional dollars and then blame a reduction in sales on someone or something other than themselves.

That big bad boogieman of piracy is blowing down everyone’s house. The poor music industry. Except of course that there is nothing more than anecdotal proof that Peer to Peer networks hurt music sales, and to counter those, there are studies and anecdotal evidence that the sampling opportunity that P2P networks create actually help sales.

(Via Scripting News)