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Gavin McGinty
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Gavin McGinty

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The difference 5 years makes...

5 years ago, Nick Clegg stormed the first pre-election Leaders Debate in the UK, bringing the Lib Dems back from the brink of obscurity to become partners with the Conservatives in the coalition government.

This time round it's the Scottish Nationalist Party leader Nicola Sturgeon whose debating skills won the crowd (as demonstrated by her prominent photo in the lead story on BBC News website today).

These are exciting times in British politics. While I don't necessarily agree with the policies of the SNP or UKIP, I like that they are able to spread the political divide. I'd much rather we have a parliament that reflects a broad spectrum of opinion, and has to work across parties to achieve coalition (in most cases edging towards the centre), than have a narrow two-party system that forces moderates to the extreme. 
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Nicola Sturgeon appears smarter, more insincerely opportunistic and more patronising to her fellow person than most politicians. She will go far.
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The BBC was 100% right to let Clarkson go*. 

But I am sad that BBC's Top Gear is no more. This article does a great job of summing up why  http://www.sbnation.com/2015/3/25/8286741/top-gear-dead-jeremy-clarkson


* they didn't fire him, they just decided not to renew his contract which was up this year. This presumably means he doesn't lose any money and the BBC avoids big distracting lawsuits.
A fool always crashes the car
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This is awesome, and makes perfect sense. In the same way that electric cars generally have a small motor located right beside each driven wheel, rather than one big petrol lump in the middle sending power elsewhere through complicated mechanics.

As the article states, current battery technology doesn't really solve the range-v-weight issue, but there's also promising progress there. Fingers crossed battery improvements will intersect with this design becoming reality in 10 years time, and the whole thing will actually work.
 
NASA's testing its far-out electric plane concept
NASA's set to test a wing concept it says "may herald (the) future" of electric planes, but it almost looks like a joke -- it has one-third the wing area
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We have an electrician due - I'll just pop it on his list :)
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The best Onion articles simply take mainstream press rhetoric and crank it up an extra 10%. Well, ok, maybe a little more than 10% - but not much more...
NEW YORK—As a major winter storm continued its advance toward New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio advised residents Monday to make peace with whatever higher power they call God, for all shall meet their death in the coming tempest.
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Hands down this is the best new wearable we'll see for years: http://www.leatherman.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-leatherman-Site/en_US/Blog-ShowPost/?p=705
Online shopping with the leader in On-Demand eCommerce solutions.
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Well it looks a good piece of blokes kit to me and if comes in useful now and again ,job done
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Wow. Wowowowowow. Woweeeeeeewow.
 
Who ordered adventure on the rocks? Drink in this vertical view of climber Tommy Caldwell hanging 1,200 feet up the Dawn Wall of El Capitan. Photo credit of the century to Corey Rich → goo.gl/R2e4v1. 
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This is exciting news, it's a very good book ripe for being made into a great movie.
 
Steven Spielberg will direct the 'Ready Player One' movie
If you read through Ready Player One and thought its virtual gaming world deserved a first-class movie adaptation, you may just get your wish. Deadline
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I've never really thought about it before, but there's definitely a style of music that fits go-pro action films, which this article neatly summarizes. It also has some awesome go-pro films embedded (and some distinctly average ones, but that's the whole point :)
February 23rd, 2012. Electronic violinist Lindsey Stirling uploads the official music video for "Crystallize" to YouTube. Two days later, user "riley lux
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Please Don't  Rush Out To Buy An Apple iWatch...
...or why wearables aren't yet ready for primetime.

Last November I took the overnight flight from San Francisco to London. I was, ahem, towards the front of the plane. But further in front of me were two Apple execs returning from Cupertino to London. And in the lounge I overheard one of them crowing about the iWatch he was bringing back with him. The only thing that stood out of that conversation though: he'd got it that afternoon, and it was already running low on battery.

Sadly this squared with my own experiences with Android Wear. I bought an LG GWatch pretty much as soon as it came out, to try it out. Karly has a Moto 360 which I've also played with. And I've seen lots of Googlers using various devices. The truth is for smart watches to succeed they need to be both: (1) truly beautiful jewelry that you would want to wear on your wrist at all times; and (2) sufficiently long lasting that you don't have to charge them for more than a few hours once or twice every week. 

I'm sorry to say that currently no smartwatch ticks both of these boxes. 

The various Android Wear watch designs have proven, fairly conclusively for me at least, that only round watches are truly beautiful enough that you would want to wear them as jewelry. I'm sure plenty of folks will buy an iWatch at first because it's hip - but I doubt many of them will still be wearing them in 6 months when they are ubiquitous, and they are actually looking for something that looks nice on their wrist. My own experience with Android Wear devices suggests that even the prettiest watch band in the world can't fix an ugly face. 

And secondly, I just don't think most people are interested in charging two devices every day. Certainly my experience is that - as much as an Android Wear device is convenient - it's not essential enough to remember to charge it every day, and put it on every day, and hope it lasts the day. Ultimately, a device has to be significantly adding to my life over and above what the smartphone is already doing to justify the additional "mothering" time I spend on it. And for me, smartwatches aren't there yet.

Also, I quite like having my wrists free http://xkcd.com/1420/ :)

So for all of you with iPhones, who will watch the iWatch announcement this week, and feel the urge to rush out and buy one: take heed from someone who has tread that path before you... and think seriously whether you really need the latest shiny shiny...
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More seriously, I totally agree with your point 2), that battery life is the real kicker - but there are wearables which manage the "couple of times a week" thing. See Pebble for instance.

As far as 1) is concerned, I don't buy the beautiful-jewellery argument, at least in my case, because my favourite watch is still my Casio DW-M5600 even thought I'm not wearing it much right now due to flirtation with various smartthings. More important is:

3) It should Just Work.

My G-Shock is solar powered, it keeps itself accurate via radio across large chunks of the world, and it's so robust I don't have to worry about it getting damaged (after the nuclear holocaust, the giant mutant cockroaches which will be the only remaining life will be wearing the DW-M5600 to know what the time is). Smartwatches need to get to that level of it-just-worksness before they'll truly take over the world, and right now they're a fairly neutral value tradeoff (terrible battery life, large size, and highly limited functionality without a network connection or your phone working vs. infinite battery life and just working)

I think it's fairly obvious that the Apple Watch will have the same lousy battery life as Android Wear devices, but I'm not sure I'd read too much into your anecdote as it's quite possible the dude you overheard had only got the thing that afternoon and therefore hadn't had a chance to charge it properly yet...
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Fascinating geopolitical issue that arises from the smallest grain of sand.

Signapore has grown in size by 20% in the last 50 years, thanks to sea reclamation projects. And having run out of its own sand years ago, is now the largest importer of sand. But of course, with every grain of sand that finds its way to making Singapore bigger, it is in turn making the exporting country smaller, causing nationalist problems. Amazing stuff. 
EVEN on a quiet Sunday morning, a steady stream of lorries trundles along the broad, pristine and otherwise deserted streets of Punggol Timur, an island of reclaimed...
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I swore off transatlantic flights with US carriers a few years ago: the planes were decrepit (United 747 in-flight entertainment in economy was a projector screen at the front of the cabin - what century is this?); the cabin broken, dirty and uncomfortable; and the cabin service fluctuated between tiredly incompetent and downright hostile.

For various reasons I'm flying American today to SFO (via JFK), and it looks like the US carriers might have turned the corner. American's new 777-300ER planes (currently running LHR-JFK / DFW / LAX routes) are excellent. Great seat, up to date entertainment, and onboard wifi (I'm posting this from the middle of the Atlantic). 

It's not perfect - the cabin service still needs work... but based on this flight I'll at least consider AA (on the right legs) back in the mix when booking flights.
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I hope at least the cabin service continues to verge on downright hostile. They have some standards to maintain, after all.

My favourite American Airlines moment was a flight back from Boston - we were in the (remarkably cramped) bulkhead row with.. probably a 2-year-old at that point. Before we departed the captain got on the PA to welcome people aboard but also to point out that "I see from the manifest we have a number of children aboard, so please remember this is a Boeing 767, not a playground". Way to make parents feel welcome.
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Lots of US commentary this week about the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1000 lashes. A terrible story for sure. But let's not be blind to injustice, wherever it is.
 
Special Report: The ground-breaking memoir of a current Guantánamo inmate which lays bare the harrowing details of the US rendition and torture programme from the perspective of one of its victims is to be published next week after a six-year battle for the manuscript to be declassified.
Memoir serialised by Guardian tells how Mohamedou Ould Slahi endured savage beatings, death threats and sexual humiliation
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  • Google
    2007 - present
  • Pinsent Masons
    2001 - 2007
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Lawyer with geek tendencies. Father with childish tendencies.
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
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Bransgore
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San Francisco - Ayr - Glasgow - Dublin - London - Zurich
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Gavin McGinty's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Why is this song used in so many GoPro videos?
www.engadget.com

February 23rd, 2012. Electronic violinist Lindsey Stirling uploads the official music video for "Crystallize" to YouTube. Two days later, us

NYC Mayor: ‘Reconcile Yourselves With Your God, For All Will Perish In T...
www.theonion.com

NEW YORK—As a major winter storm continued its advance toward New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio advised residents Monday to make peace wit

An open letter to Russell Brand.
blog.squandertwo.net

Dear Russell, Hi. I'm Jo. You may remember me. You may even have filmed me. On Friday, you staged a publicity stunt at an RBS office, inconv

The Last Policeman: A Novel, Book 1
market.android.com

Winner of the 2013 Edgar® Award Winner for Best Paperback Original! What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die soon, any

Ready Player One
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In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia

The Grand Budapest Hotel
market.android.com

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL recounts the adventures of legendary concierge Gustave H. and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most tru

The Gruffalo
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This enchanting film tells the story of a mouse who goes in search of a nut. Along the way, he is confronted by three hungry animals who thi

Google Lat Long: Go back in time with Street View
google-latlong.blogspot.com

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 6:00 AM. If you've ever dreamt of being a time traveler like Doc Brown, now's your chance. Starting today, you

John Lewis
plus.google.com

Welcome to the official John Lewis Google+ page.

The Room Two
market.android.com

Welcome to The Room Two, a physical puzzler, wrapped in a mystery game, inside a beautifully tactile 3D world. The much anticipated sequel t

Frozen (2013)
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In "Frozen," fearless optimist Anna teams up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven in an epic journey, encountering

Redemption
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Jason Statham stars as an ex-Special Forces officer who comes home from the Afghan war a shattered man. Broke, homeless and lost in a haze o

Sherlock
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Sherlock Holmes is updated for a new generation with Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role and Martin Freeman as Watson. The combination of

Netflix
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Netflix es el servicio líder mundial de suscripción para ver películas y series en tu teléfono. Esta aplicación móvil de Netflix está diseña

The World's End
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Five lifelong friends reunite to complete a historic pub crawl from their youth, and find that reaching the fabled World's End tavern will b

The Lone Ranger (2013)
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Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer star in The Lone Ranger, from Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Director Gore Verbinski. It's a wild ride of high-vel

Red 2
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Frank (Bruce Willis), Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker), and Marvin (John Malkovich) fight an unrelenting onslaught of hired killers, heavily armed

Olympus Has Fallen
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An ex-Special Forces operative and former presidential bodyguard must fight to take back the White House from terrorists who have kidnapped

Gangster Squad
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An elite police squad fights to save the city of Los Angeles from a power-hungry East Coast mobster in this gritty police-detective film set

This hotel is all about the location. If you want to stay smack-dab in the epicenter of tourist London, with the best of Regent Street, Bond Street and Mayfair high-end shopping on your doorstep, then look no further. In terms of the hotel itself though, as an officially rated five-star hotel, it's just OK. The common areas (lobby, bar, restaurant) are nice and recently renovated. The rooms are ok, and look like they might have had a lick of paint and some fresh upholstery recently. But the bathroom was looking pretty dated, and like they keep trying to paint over problems rather than fixing them. The gym is huge, and reasonably well equipped, but also a little dated and grubby. The swimming pool is also huge, and has the capacity to be stunning (huge vaulted roof etc), but is also in need of a month or two's shut down and complete overhaul. Service overall was good. If this were listed as a 4-star hotel rather than a 5-star, I'd have rated it as Good rather than just OK. But as a 5-star hotel, they need to work harder. In terms of price, it's the same story. Don't pay 5-star prices, or you'll be disappointed. But pay 4-star prices, and you'll be quite happy.
• • •
Public - in the last week
reviewed in the last week
Beautiful country house hotel with a fantastic spa. Treehouse rooms are expensive but very special. Restaurant is friendly with a delicious and very accessible menu.
Public - a month ago
reviewed a month ago
Perfect way to start a Sunday morning, and decent prices on a great selection of plants and flowers - but get there early before the crowds become intolerable.
Public - 2 months ago
reviewed 2 months ago
Amazing that a relatively small town like Christchurch has a place like this - deserves all the support it can get!
Public - 3 months ago
reviewed 3 months ago
96 reviews
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Great beer selection and bretzels, rest of food so-so.
Public - a month ago
reviewed a month ago
I can still taste it, awesome BBQ sauce.
Public - 3 months ago
reviewed 3 months ago
Great food, now the best thai restaurant in the area. I just don't understand the lunchtime opening hours though - every time I try to go it is closed, including on Saturdays?! Hopefully that's just teething pains.
Public - 3 months ago
reviewed 3 months ago