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Quentin Stafford-Fraser's blog

Last Build Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2017 22:40:32 +0000


Over the seas to Rye

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 23:41:12 +0000

Sunset over Rye Harbour Nature Reserve on Saturday evening

Holo – is it me you’re looking for?

Mon, 06 Mar 2017 17:56:31 +0000

I got to have a good play with a Microsoft Hololens today. This is an augmented reality headset: you get to see your real-world surroundings, but with computer-generated overlays. If you remember the holographic chess game in Star Wars, you’ve got the right idea, but the projections can be big and all around you, as Continue Reading

The Flash of Weathercocks

Sun, 05 Mar 2017 21:35:59 +0000

Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful. — Rita Dove A good friend of ours, Glen Cavaliero, is a poet. An exceedingly good one, in fact, and highly-regarded among the cognoscenti. Over the decades, in addition to his academic books, he has published numerous slim poetry volumes but, now approaching his ninetieth Continue Reading

Big Datum

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 09:16:31 +0000

This was in the Olden Days, when the Romans were top nation on account of their classical education… — 1066 and All That My curious mix of state and private education left me, to paraphrase Ben Jonson, with almost zero Latin and less Greek. Perhaps because of this, although I can be something of a Continue Reading

Fifteen and counting. Mmm. Talking of counting…

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 09:15:32 +0000

Status-Q is fifteen years old today. There have been times when I’ve done several posts in one day and others when long periods of silence have gone by. This last week, for example, my life has involved rather more ‘flu than inspiration. Sorry! Status-Q has never been a high-traffic site, mostly because it’s random personal Continue Reading

Dem drones, dem drones, dem high drones…

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 10:30:08 +0000

Many of my friends have expressed surprise that I don’t have a drone yet. I’m rather surprised myself, actually – I’m very tempted by the DJI Mavic Pro. So far, however, I’ve resisted. Getting a licence to fly them anywhere close to humanity, or to use them for commercial work, takes a little while and Continue Reading

The ‘power’ of the Press…

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 17:10:26 +0000

You shouldn’t, of course, believe what you read in the papers. This is a good general rule, but recently we had a rather striking example. On Feb 11th, The Times ran an article entitled, “Electric cars mean UK could need 20 new nuclear plants”. Here’s an extract, talking about a Transport for London report: The Continue Reading

The problem of improved road safety

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 00:44:16 +0000

Now here’s a downside to self-driving cars that I had completely failed to consider: An article on Slate’s website points out that the current desperate shortage of organ donors is only going to get worse: It’s morbid, but the truth is that due to limitations on who can contribute transplants, among the most reliable sources Continue Reading

But soft, what light through yonder bottle breaks?

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 22:59:59 +0000

In Cambridge marketplace, there’s one of those installations that I presumed was supposed to be art, and as I walked by I pondered all the other things that taxpayers’ money could usefully be spent on… It was labelled, so I thought, ‘Litter of light’. Yeah, yeah, green eco modern art, blah blah… But then I Continue Reading

Electrons by the gallon

Wed, 08 Feb 2017 14:06:57 +0000

Rumours emerged last year that Shell were thinking of installing electric-vehicle charging stations in their forecourts, and they have now confirmed that the first ones will be rolled out in the next few months. This is great news, though I’ve complained before that having an electric vehicle means you tend to spend more time in Continue Reading

Understanding the Presidency

Sun, 05 Feb 2017 01:04:51 +0000

At a dinner at a friend’s house tonight, we finally worked it out. Donald Trump is Zaphod Beeblebrox. For those well-versed in late-20th-century literature, a lot of things then suddenly make sense.

Storm Rider, Grantchester

Sat, 04 Feb 2017 00:05:49 +0000

Speeding up evolution

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 14:02:53 +0000

Technology doesn’t only help humans move around in new ways: This project at CMU allows a goldfish to drive its tank around the room. Now they’ve done the difficult bit, all they need to do is work out how to explain to the goldfish what exactly is going on. I fear that may still take Continue Reading

Gold, Silver and Bronze

Sun, 29 Jan 2017 20:33:29 +0000

Holme Fen