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mark gormley: the next big meme?

Written: 10:11 on January 20, 2009  |  By: jon  |  MORE…
Can you hear that? It's the internet gearing up, rumbling and creaking into motion. A new meme is stirring.

"The Uncharted Zone" is the most important music show along the gulf coast, according to the website. It appears to be hosted by the eccentric Phil Thomas Katt, a Tommy Vance-esque front man (for those that remember the VH1 Rock Show), and it features music videos of unsigned acts. Sounds relatively normal, right?

Right. That is until you peruse the current Top 25 charting singles. At the time of writing, Walter Weyburn holds the coveted number one position with the seminal Walk On By. Observe.

Despite holding only positions #5 and #11 this week, I wish to draw your attention to Mark Gormley, a local singer/songwriter. Tall in stature, with a whispy mop of ginger hair and an excellent mustache, Gormley is here to take the internet by storm. All his videos (which appear to be directed by 'Katt Productions', which I imagine is Thomas Katt's company) are Gormley on green screen. He shuffles nervously as the angle changes wildly, and video is played behind him. His shrill voice over the top of acoustic guitar, or harpsichord. Simply beautiful. Possibly the funniest of the lot, however, is the 'intense' "Without You", a rock anthem if ever I heard one. The dirty guitar riff perfectly compliments Gormley's voice, whilst the video shows a (passably) attractive lady walking alone in various locations (emphasizing the 'Without You' lyric)!

It apepars we're not the only ones fascinated by Mark Gormley; Coilhouse have run a post about this fine fellow as well. Be sure to check his related videos for more musical excellence.
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dovka twitters

Written: 00:32 on August 14, 2008  |  By: anthony  |  MORE…
For those of you that haven't noticed the wonderful side-bar app that Jon coded, we now have a nice little Twitter streamer. I also thought some nice links would be in order, feel free to follow Dovka-ers on our many adventures, in our many acres as we drink from many toilets.

Anthony (_parable)
Jon (_jon)
Ethan (1p5v)
Liam (_yen)
Johnny (JohnnyDubble)

Some other interesting twitters I follow:
Mars Phoenix Lander - First person perspective on the Mars Phoenix Lander, neat idea.
Thursday The band Thursday has a neat studio journal, unfortunately every album they've released since Full Collapse has been a disappointment.

Although, according to this, UK users can no longer receive SMS updates. Poor fellows.

Some other great sites I frequent:
Official Ubuntu Forums - A great resource for all things *buntu.
Deezer - Online music streams, great for work.
OpenDrive Access your hard-drive from anywhere.
Today's Big Thing - Whatever the latest internet video-fad is.

A more complete, and actual blog, post to follow.
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Written: 22:55 on June 19, 2008  |  By: johnny  |  MORE…
I would like someone to explain why this would make me want to buy Diet Coke more:

That commercial boggled my mind. I was waiting for the punch line and it never came…no wonder I like Pepsi better…
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insane super mario world handsfree melody

Written: 17:08 on May 07, 2008  |  By: jon  |  MORE…

I am speechless. Here is an absolutely insane medley of video game and anime songs overlayed by timed sound-effects from Super Mario World on the SNES. The crazy thing is, whoever has done this has gone and developed his own level (I assume via ROM hacking) which is completely hands free. Mario and Yoshi flow through this magical world bouncing off all sorts of blocks and shells to recreate the highlights of the backing track.

Weighing in at around eleven minutes long, it really must have been a labour of love. I had to post it as Mario is a strong favourite here at dovka, and I've never seen anything quite like it. It is quite fun to try and identify the songs in the video. I definitely heard a bit of Mega Man in there, some Final Fantasy and bizarrely a song by IOSYS. Have a listen, it is well worth it!
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blog spam, captchas and ways around

Written: 10:45 on April 25, 2008  |  By: jon  |  MORE…
I really really hate blog spam. I get so much of it as well, despite all my little modifications to the forms such as adding a simple arithmetic 'CAPTCHA' (I didn't want to go down the image route because I find them intrusive) and testing against known spammy URLs. We even have an XML-RPC service checking the comments. Yet they still get through. How?

Interestingly, a lot of the comment spam I have been receiving lately contains spammy qualities, but the content (i.e. the the links that they are trying to embed) are useless. They are all made up of a random composition of URI-legal ASCII characters, with a '.com' suffix slapped on the end. I've been trying to think of a possible reason why this is happening. My first thought was that somebody was using my blog as a 'test bed' for some automated posting software, using my form to help the bot 'learn' how to overcome my CAPTCHA (solving the problem would be very easy once a human told the bot what to do). It seems viable, although I'm unsure why somebody would bother with my blog. It isn't really read heavily, has no 'subscribers' per se, and doesn't rank highly in google for many common search terms.

I'm not sure what to do now. Lawrie kindly pointed out that we'd had a bit of spam via SMS a couple of days ago, so I've tweaked it a little bit. Has anybody got any ideas of more unobtrusive ways to cut out this crap? Integrating Akismet into my blog looks like the only way…
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lazy programmers

Written: 15:08 on April 17, 2008  |  By: jon  |  MORE…
Lazyness; It's something of a habit of mine. I will start coding a website and purposely leave out making the administration area just because it takes an age to write. But I've finally done it! It's only taken over a year, but in an effort to get people posting more regularly to this blog I bit the bullet and wrote some code.

What you readers don't know is that half of the reason for writing this blog is for test purposes. So, essentially you're a guinea pig within my internet laboratory. How does that feel? Pretty neat, huh. I've had to delete this blog about fifteen times now, since I'm trying to perfect the XML-RPC 'ping' mechanism that tells blogs aggregation sites around the world that little ol' has updated. I think it's just about working now. Although there is one site that is persecuting me for pinging it due to me not being of Indian decent…

Interestingly as well, it appears that 3/4 of my links out of the site are now dead! Congratulations to Lawrie for being the only link to survive! Looks a little lonesome over there now with only one link. Anybody have some recommended reading material, eh?
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bruce willis

Written: 23:17 on June 13, 2007  |  By: jon  |  MORE…
Bruce WillisBruce Willis was in the local transport newspaper "The Metro" here today. There is a set of three pictures taken from press conferences surrounding the release of Willis' new film, Die Hard 4.0. In the pictures he's tugging at the ear of co-star Justin Long whilst looking the other way. I was more concerned with the text however. The Metro reports Bruce as pratically computer illiterate! Quote: "He may fight Internet terrorists in his latest Die Hard film, but at home Bruce Willis needs the help of his young daughter to use a computer." Almost as soon as I read it I recalled a really interesting post over at Switched about a month ago. The article is about people on a film-goers internet forum doubting a guy who comes into the conversation posing as Bruce Willis. Naturally (I'd be the same), they don't believe it's really him. They don't actually ask for proof, but Bruce offers it up on a plate. And there is the result - the picture in the post (follow the link) is fantastic. I particularily like the inset picture from iChat; the reaction on the poor guys face is a mixture of "Oh my god. I'm on iChat with Bruce Willis." and "I just made myself look like a right idiot… but… Bruce mother-fucking Willis!" Bruce is showing off his tats and goofing about - It makes him seem very human and for some reason really grounds him. Seems an obvious thing to say, but Hollywood stars seem so untouchable that an event like this was great to see; it does make me wonder why it doesn't happen more often.

And so the next logical question: how many other stars browse over the same social internet gathering spots as the rest of us? Last report I heard, people like Orlando Bloom were signed up to Facebook (surely that must be an absolute nightmare - talk about friend request every 15 seconds). I know if i were an actor, I'd feverously check reviews of all my movies, and I'd probably write fake shit about other actors I didn't like on IMDB. I think the episode with Bruce sparked a lot of debate over this at Ain't it Cool News.
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what is wrong with facebook

Written: 22:31 on June 11, 2007  |  By: jon  |  MORE…
What the devil are facebook doing? They've just started allowing "developers" build inline applications using some specialised subset technologies (FML instead of 'SQL', FML instead of 'XML'). This seems like a great idea on the surface. They are some pretty decent applications popping up (like the iLike music application) but companies have been quick to jump on the bandwagon. I think the Red Bull app was one of the first ones out there. It just goes to show really. I've very hap-hazardly signed up to most of the social networking websites going (well, the popular ones anyway… I needed to join a lot of them as 'research' for my University project). Facebook in my eyes was one of the few that I can actually use as the original developer intended.

Take myspace - everybody has heard of it and it is generally a big heap of shit (code-wise). The CSS is easy to override, which means surfing from page to page A) takes hours since clueless people stick 2Mb animated GIF backgrounds in their pages. B) burns your retinas since clueless people stick 2Mb animated GIF backgrounds in their pages. Meh, you see where I'm going with this. It's terrible, and has grown so large I doubt the developers can do a thing about it. And why would they? It's hugely popular despite it's shortcomings. I prefered facebook for several reasons. It has set styles to each page: each profile is similar to the last, just the content changes. I like the fact that you're drilling into a specific format; it's both easy on the eyes and easy to find what you're looking for. The AJAX is over the top and crazy, and it works. That's great. I also love the fact it (previously) was 'invite-only' as far as you needed a college e-mail address to have an account. That really helped 'cement' the network part of the social network.

Now they've introduced applications, it's going down hill (in my opinion). I've had a look at developing one and it seems pretty easy, i've thrown up a couple of forms and written some FML. They've been clever with the CSS (It's parsed and sanitized so you can'd do anything crazy like on myspace) and the 'Platform' as they call it, is genuinely well thought out and well documented. But my 'latest' feed is flooded with literally tens of 'so and so has done this, and wants you to use this application' posts. If I wanted all that crap I'd have a myspace? In conclusion, overall, it's a good idea. If I were part of the facebook development team, I'd have some sort of quality control though. Implementing QC on a social networking website would probably lead to either a rebelion or something though. Code-Jocks! They'll beat you up and steal your C++ textbooks and API reference cards.
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green card lottery? wtf?

Written: 05:47 on February 10, 2007  |  By: liam  |  MORE…


This is real? I just don't understand.
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windows vista launched

Written: 14:34 on January 30, 2007  |  By: jon  |  MORE…
Windows Vista Logo
So, Microsoft finally get around to releasing their new operating system Windows Vista. I read a quick clip-out from the Metro on the train about the first guy to pick up a new laptop with a pre-installed copy of Windows Vista on it. "I really like the GUI" he remarks regarding Vista's new Aero interface, and obviously satisfied with himself that he managed to slip an acronym in. "Apple OS-X has had a nice GUI for ages, it's about time Windows followed suit". There was a small picture of him holding a generic looking laptop with a big, knowing grin on his face. Very. Irritating.

The problem for me with Vista, as a gamer, is the way Microsoft have gone about this release. People like myself that play the latest games on high-spec machines rely on new graphics cards and driver releases in order to keep our systems graphical capabilities up to speed. Traditionally there are two ways in which 3D graphics are rendered on computers. These are OpenGL, controlled by Silicon Graphics or DirectX, controlled by Microsoft (although they both do more than just 3D). Now, certain games run on both, but the majority will only run on DirectX (that's an oversight by game programmers in my opinion). The issue here is, Microsoft have turned around with this release of Windows Vista and said that DirectX 10 is only available for Vista, and not for Windows XP. This basically boils down to "if you want to play the latest games, you're forced to get a copy of Windows Vista". It'll be interesting to see how this pans out for Microsoft. In a way it's clever… but I hate being backed into making a decision I don't want to have to make.

On top of the whole DirectX issue, and we've known about this for a long, long time, Windows Vista no longer comes with WinFS. WinFS (Windows Filing System) was supposed to replace the ageing NTFS (the current standard within Windows XP) but was scrapped back when Windows Vista was still being referred to as Longhorn. I really, really liked the idea of WinFS, mainly because it was based on the idea of a huge relational database for storing files. Everybody who has worked with databases knows how quick they are… and can see the benefits. Abstraction, Polymorphism, Inheritance…it's like a Computer Scientists wet dream. With some good forethought and forward planning by Microsoft's GUI team, they could have made an absolutely revolutionary piece of software. I'm almost convinced that they've decided to exclude it so they can work on things like the Aero glass interface because of stupid bellends like the guy mentioned earlier, smiling away with his shitty Packard Bell laptop playing the new look Solitaire. As long as it "looks nice" most people don't give a shit how it works. There is something so frustrating about that.

So, yeah. Not too fussed about Vista at the moment — but if I want to play the new Halo (well, I know I'll want to play) or even stuff as forthcoming as the new Unreal Tournament (damn you, Epic) then I'm going to be forced into "finding" a copy. Otherwise, I'll be doing my best waiting for Windows "Vienna"
What is dovka?

this is a group blog run by a group of irc zealots, the prefabricators; each is a member of an exclusive irc channel on phrenzy.


here's a list of destinations that are worth visiting…


we talk about a range of stuff here at dovka:


always dedicated to the cause, the prefabricators microblog whilst out exploring the real world…

  • johnny: #thatawkwardmoment when you sit down and squish your nuts #ouch — 12 am
  • johnny: 4 and a half hours left wish I could just ignore the stupid things everyone says. — 11 pm
  • johnny: Oh it's Saturday is it? Must mean I gotta go to work — 6 pm
  • liam: I've decided Moon Colony Bloodbath by John Darnielle and John Vanderslice is a lot like living and working in Qatar.. — 1 pm
  • johnny: So the guy is announcing raffle prizes at trivia night: "it's a roots reusable shopping bag!" #worstprizeever — 2 am
  • johnny: Getting rocked at trivia night who knew it was gonna be all about robots — 25 HRS AGO

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