Are Movie Studios now Restricting when Films can be Reserved?

It has been well documented in the US that one thing movie studios have been demanding in new rental contracts is a time delay between films being released for sale and being made available for renting, based on the frankly bizarre theory that if they stop us being able to rent a film for a …

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LOVEFiLM and SMS Spam

One thing that consistently annoys me is when seemingly reputable companies decide for some reason that the rules on unsolicited marketing communications, that is to say, in the United Kingdom, the snappily titled “Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003“, don’t apply to them for some reason. The latest organisation to suddenly conclude it …

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Important Information

Apparently my bank had some important information to share with me. I know this because they put an extra page in with my statement headed “Important Information for you” which I reproduce here: I wonder how many million of those they’ve just sent out…

Rails Warning Fail

Recent versions of rails 3 have started spitting out a new deprecation warning: String-based interpolation of association conditions is deprecated. Please use a proc instead. So, for example, has_many :older_friends, :conditions => ‘age > #{age}’ should be changed to has_many :older_friends, :conditions => proc { “age > #{age}” }. Now call me confused if you …

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City Labels in OpenStreetMap

In the second part of his critique of OpenStreetMap Justin O’Beirne discusses various issues surrounding labelling of cities in OpenStreetMap’s cartography, specifically in our default mapnik rendering of the US. The issues he highlights can be broadly divided into two categories: problems with our stylesheets and rendering technology; and problems with our data, and in …

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The Mystery of John Unwin’s Diary

Two weeks ago I travelled to Saltaire with my uncle to hand over a number of items of historical interest from my grandfather’s papers to the Saltaire Archive. The most significant item in the collection was a personal diary for the year 1897 which carried an inscription on the flyleaf of “John Unwin, Fanny Street, …

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