The Royal Mint are launching a new pound coin. It’s The most secure coin in the world according to their website. I saw it linked from BBC news. The site looks good. It’s all about how businesses should look out for the new coin and adjust their security practices. It goes into some detail about just quite how secure this coin is. They’ve obviously put a lot of thought, time and energy into the micro-lettering and latent image.

Read more →

Skint 2016

Skint is a weekend of music and dancing, with workshops, bals and sessions all run by volunteers. I’m on the committee. This year’s Skint was a joy. I am immensely grateful to everyone who came and made it what it was, which, as I’ve said, a joy. These are not the best photos in the world, but they are mine. Bundpolska Workshop. Hands up who’s here for the first time.

Read more →

Summary I want to remove the ‘favourites’ / ‘bookmarks’ feature (and then the ability to log in altogether). I would make sure that no-one lost their ‘favourites’ lists and could transfer them elsewhere. What do you think? Email me at joe@folktunefinder.com , but preferably read the whole piece first! FolkTuneFinder is used by up to 10,000 people per month. It’s enough to make me feel like it’s worth running keeping it going, and I hope I always will.

Read more →

Oak Bees

We found an oak in the corner of a field in Oxfordshire. In the tree we found a colony of bees. The bees were making the most of a warm day with an abundance of wild flowers. From the rate they were coming and going I estimated the colony to be about the size of my bees. The hollow must be a cubic foot or more. I hope they’re ready for winter.

Read more →

Conferences in 2016

I sometimes to go to conferences. Sometimes I talk. Sometimes I listen. Sometimes both. What? What?? Why? What did/will I say? PIDAPalooza Reykjavík, November 2016 Discussing persistent identifiers for research objects. To share experience and best practice about the use of persistent identifiers. It's difficult when people don't use PIDs to talk about things that have them. I still have to look for them. Here's how.

Read more →

First Honey

I’m not in it for the honey. A refrain I’ve repeated for a year and a half. Bees are the most incredible creatures. I think humans are hard-wired to find fascinating what bees are hard-wired to do. A social insect, forming colonies from which intelligent behaviour seems to emerge. An insect which, on an individual basis seems to have enough character to be charming, but when viewed in great numbers is inescapably prone to anthropomorphism.

Read more →

Another Year

I think that summer is a far better host to ‘new year’ than winter. If you’re lucky enough to be able to take time out to enjoy it, it offers a chance to stop whatever you were stuck doing for a little while and think about it. A reset, and chance to look backward on the last year and forward on the next. For me, winter is all about hard work, when everything’s an effort.

Read more →

I’m sitting on the bus writing this on my BQ Aquaris M10 Ubuntu edition tablet. It promises ‘full convergence’ so, taking it on face value, I thought I’d start typing a blog post using the on-screen keyboard at work then continue with a bluetooth keyboard once I get home.

The tablet ships with LibreOffice, gEdit, mystery ‘browser’ and Firefox which might be used to access Google Docs. But I’m not using any of those to write this blog post. I am instead using the Notes app, for reasons I’ll come to.

These are my first impressions. All of them are honestly observed, but a couple turned out to be special cases. But they were all things I experienced.

Read more →

None of the regulars I speak to at The Old Pump in Aldershot have a bad word to say about ‘hapless’ Sandra. She’s has been a well-liked member of the community since before it was known as The Old Pump, before when it was known as the Pumping Station and before that, when it actually was the pumping station for Aldershot’s sewage system. ‘Some things never change,’ they mutter into their pints.

Read more →

Winter Turnaround

I got my bees in early 2015. They seem to have a good first year, increasing from a nucleus to a full hive, eating voraciously and putting away stores. But, as winter drew in and the year came to a close, I knew that they, and I, would face the first real test.

Read more →