Speedy, originally uploaded by rutty.


I went to get Ruby out of bed after her lunchtime sleep and she was rolling around in her cot like a little acrobat while giving me some cheeky little smiles through the bars. I tried to get a photo but she’s too fast for me!


Chish & Fips

Chish & Fips

Chish & Fips, originally uploaded by rutty.


Friday is fish & chips day more often than not. A proper British dish – tastier (and healthier) than most other fast foods.

We don’t get scraps in Nottingham, not like oop North. There’s nothing quite like having some lovely crispy fried fat on your chips



Glow, originally uploaded by rutty.


cwd1841 ~ Magic Hour Re-redux – In photograhy, the Magic Hour (or Golden Hour) is the time right around sunrise and sunset. Please take a few minutes to read this article on the topic. Your assignment is to take a photograph that takes advantage of this magical time of day.

I hadn’t really had time to put much thought into this CWD assignment but this view just presented itself on the way out of work. Beautiful sky after sun-down. I have a thing about lamp-posts so used one of the ones from the car park to add interest.

The Testing Planet

My job requires me to test. I like to test – puzzles intrigue me and I love digging around in an application looking for ways to break it.

Wires I don’t blog about it much but I’m a software tester. I’ve previously described myself as a “systems tester”, and this is true too as all the applications I test are part of a bigger system and are sub-systems themselves. My job is in a “whole system” test environment, in that we have a mini hardware network which we manage with our OSS applications. I test the OSS layer, although we inevitably have to know a bit about the hardware beneath it all.

It’s a varied job and I really enjoy doing it although the way that we test seems different to many of my testing peers working for other companies. I’ll be needing a new job soon (due to redundancy at the end of September) and I’ve been keeping an eye on the testing scene (surprisingly, there is one!) and we’re really only touching on a fraction of the techniques available to the modern tester.

For instance, I’m very much a manual tester. I’m aware of some test automation tools and the needs for it but I’ve never used them, nor had the chance to try them out. It seems that nearly everyone else out there is busy writing test scripts in arcane programming languages, while I’m prodding about a screen with a mouse and keyboard following instructions written in word documents. We seem to have a software development approach that is very “waterfall” in nature, in that the software appears like magic and we inevitably find lots of bugs. Some areas have attempted some agile techniques but this wouldn’t necessarily suit our test purposes as we’re essentially running validation and verification tests at the end of the development cycle.

I don’t want to be disadvantaged in the testing jobs market. I have over twenty years experience in the telecommunications industry of which the last ten I’ve spent exclusively testing. I have desirable testing skills but I do lack experience in some testing techniques that our company hasn’t seen fit to introduce.

These are the reasons that I’ve become a member of The Software Testing Club. It’s a social network for testers and I’ve found all sorts of interesting posts about testing in general, testing applications and techniques. There’s an excellent RSS feed for external testing blog posts (including job vacancies) and they’ve just published their own newspaper called The Testing Planet.

It’s an excellent attempt at a journal for testers and the PDF is free. Go and get it if you’re into that sort of thing like me.

Links for July 26th

AI: Thanks, Assholes.

This afternoon I would like to send a special thank you out to Jenny McCarthy, Andrew Wakefield, Meryl Dorey, Age of Autism and anyone else who encourages parents not to vaccinate their children. It’s just so great what you guys are doing. You’re so warm and fuzzy with your adorable plea to “green our vaccine” and your desire to hold our hand while you, “help the children.” All of your worthless advice is based on your oh-so-cute and imagined mommy instinct, bad science, fear mongering, conspiracy theories or apparently just a plain old desire to f*%$ shit up for the rest of us and now all your tireless work is paying off. You have helped to create a whooping cough epidemic the likes of which we have not seen in 50 years! Way to go. Give yourselves a round of applause.

Sunday Sacrilege: Unorthodoxy

I saw something wonderful at a science fiction convention a few weeks ago. At these events, people often put on odd and extravagant costumes, and I saw one rather obese young man who’d made a minimalist choice: he’d come as one of the Spartans from the movie 300, which meant he was standing in the crowd wearing a red speedo and a bright red cape…and nothing else.

Now imagine this same young fellow at an event at your high school. It would have been brutal. I know; when I was in high school, I was a little poindexter, ostracized, laughed at, and treated like a space alien, and I was treated mildly: being even more different, being the fat kid or the gay kid or the homely kid or whatever excluded you from the Jock Clique or the Heathers or whatever ideal the majority of the student body worshipped meant merciless torment and unremitting cruelty.

Sunday Sacrilege: So alone : Pharyngula

Scientists and atheists do something that many believers find repellent: we shatter their perception of their relationship to the universe. And understandably, they don’t like that.

Whooping cough now an epidemic in California

According to a statement just released by the California Department of Public Health, pertussis — whooping cough — is now officially an epidemic in California.

That’s right: an almost completely preventable disease is coming back with a roar in California. There have been well over 900 cases of pertussis in that state this year, over four times as many as this time last year (and 600 more suspected cases are being investigated). If this keeps up, California may see more cases in 2010 than it has in 50 years.

If that doesn’t anger and sicken you enough, then this most assuredly will: there have been five deaths this year from pertussis as well, all babies under three months of age.

Joe Power, non-Psychic non-Detective: A Clarification « The Merseyside Skeptics Society

From time to time in the world of skepticism, something happens which you really don’t see coming – something totally unexpected. Often, these are positive things – like the media interest in our 10:23 Campaign, or the random discovery that comedy-legend Ed Byrne knows who you are. From time to time, they’re somewhat negative things – like discovering childhood-hero Johnny Ball thinks farting spiders are responsible for the high CO2 levels in the world. And then there are the things that are just utterly unpredictable, out of the left-field, and hard to wrap your head around.

On Friday of last week, I got a phone call. From Ormskirk police. The polite and friendly officer assured me there was nothing to worry about, but that he was looking into alleged threats of violence coming from people on Facebook. Specifically, within the group page of the Merseyside Skeptics Society. And aimed at non-psychic non-detective Joe ‘I’ll just pop to your toilet‘ Power.

The Magnetic Therapy Water Wand: A Debunking from History

the Daily Mail offered its readers, “30 ways to relieve hayfever: From pills to nasal prongs, our guide to beating pollen”.

The article is a pretty good example of everything that is wrong with health journalism. Whilst, no doubt, amongst these thirty tips there is some good and reliable advice, it is also so full of unchecked quackery, nonsense and falsehood that it renders the whole article as unreliable and useless. It serves only as an advertisement for the suppliers of the products, pills and potions mentioned.

One product caught my attention, and it faced some stiff competition from the qu chi bands and ear candles. Magnetic Therapy Ltd, a Manchester based company, is selling something called the ‘Magnetic Water Wand’.

Why the Digital Economy Act simply won’t work

With the passage into law of the dread Digital Economy Act comes Ofcom’s guidelines that are the first step toward rules for when and how rightsholders will be able to disconnect entire families from the internet because someone on or near their premises is accused of copyright infringement.

Consumer rights groups and privacy groups – such as the Open Rights Group, the Citizens Advice Bureau, Which, and Consumer Focus – participated in the process, making the Ofcom rules as good as possible (an exercise that, unfortunately, is a little like making the guillotine as comfortable as possible).

But this isn’t the last word in the copyfight – not even close. Because disconnection for downloaders will only serve to alienate entertainment industry customers

Medical advice for head-bangers

The British Medical Journal investigates the health risks from head-banging and recommends protective gear and “adult-oriented rock”

These cuts won’t hurt a bit. Unless you’re young or poor

This is only the appetiser, not even the first course, just the amuse-bouche to whet the appetite. With a hint of lip-smacking relish for the coming cuts, George Osborne and David Laws today sharpened their knives. There were no expressions of regret, not even a crocodile tear or two for the real suffering they were inflicting. That attitude may be their downfall in the year ahead.

What’s £6.2bn? A mere bagatelle, David Cameron kept saying throughout the election. It’s only a hundredth of government spending, so why the fuss?