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Quentin Stafford-Fraser's blog

Last Build Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2017 17:36:10 +0000


Swing Low

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 17:34:33 +0000

The song of most small birds just sounds like a stream of tweets and whistles to us, but if you slow them down, you can get a wonderful feel for what’s going on. Here’s a nice compilation of lots of them. I like the little wren at the beginning, the (rather quiet) skylark at about Continue Reading

Head case

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 16:04:23 +0000

Prof. Guglielmo Tamburrini posed an interesting question in a talk this afternoon. Imagine a self-driving car faced with the option of having to hit one of two motorcyclists. One is wearing a helmet, and the other isn’t. Should it aim for the helmet-wearing guy, to reduce the risk of loss of life? Philosophers must be Continue Reading

Italian transport

Sun, 10 Sep 2017 16:40:34 +0000

I’m at a conference in Modena, the city of balsamic vinegar and Enzo Ferrari.

Love in Paradise

Wed, 06 Sep 2017 09:45:42 +0000

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about my sadness that the Lovefilm by Post service was being discontinued, since nothing offered by the streaming companies could really compare with it. Well, I’m delighted to say that my friend Phil Ashby pointed me at Cinema Paradiso, which offers an almost identical service, and may even Continue Reading

Tristram Shandy on blogging?

Sun, 03 Sep 2017 09:15:51 +0000

Little boots it to the subtle speculatist to stand single in his opinions,-— unless he gives them proper vent:— It was the identical thing which my father did;— for in the year sixteen, which was two years before I was born, he was at the pains of writing an express DISSERTATION simply upon the word Continue Reading

Pied Piper

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 11:59:30 +0000

Every time I read something by Nevil Shute, I realise that this is something I should do much, much more frequently. He is truly brilliant, yet I have, so far, read only a few of his books. The latest one is Pied Piper, which I’ve just completed in the unabridged audiobook version read by the Continue Reading

An unusual four-wheeled electric vehicle

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 17:21:08 +0000

What better way to carry a bicycle than in another bicycle? A few months ago, I enthused about the electric cargo bike that I had tried out at a local shop. Being without a car for a little while, I started looking at them with more interest, and I discovered that the awfully nice people Continue Reading


Wed, 16 Aug 2017 08:37:44 +0000

We are amongst the many people mourning the impending departure of Lovefilm by Post – the DVD rental service which was absorbed by Amazon a few years ago, and which they recently announced would close at the end of October. A few years back, I looked at the list of our past rentals, and it Continue Reading

Quote of the day

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 07:57:32 +0000

Hadn’t come across this one before, from Albert Einstein: If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?

Renovation Opportunity

Sat, 05 Aug 2017 22:20:52 +0000

Cley next the Sea, Norfolk

Preparing for the cybercrime of the future

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 21:24:17 +0000

My friend Frank helped organise what looked like a great event at the Computer Lab recently – called Cambridge2Cambridge, it’s a joint initiative between us and MIT, and they’ve done a splendid video about it. More information here.

Slowly getting the hang of this…

Sat, 29 Jul 2017 18:35:29 +0000

Since I last wrote about electric unicycles, I’ve commuted in to work a couple more times, and have used it to zoom around the West Cambridge campus in search of decent coffee. I still only get to play on it for about 15 mins per week, but it’s good fun!

Geek quote of the day

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 10:51:56 +0000

Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand. — Kent Beck

But soft, what light…

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 20:52:06 +0000

Some of the wonderful windows at Binham Priory, Norfolk