Pyrenees training 2009

The past four days have been awesome, since I have been cycle/triathlon training with Richard from work, Gaunty who we swim with and his mate Nick.

The Pyrenees are beautiful and while we knew we were in for a tough time with a few big hills, no one really expected to be staying at the bottom of a hors catégorie climb in Col du Tourmalet. Round the corner was the Col d’Aspin too which has featuredin Le Tour de France 66 times. So the climbing was awesome, tough, beautiful, painful, challenging, sweaty and required a lot of determination. Continue reading “Pyrenees training 2009”

Quick Response Codes (QR codes)

Today I went to the Technology for Marketing and Advertising show with little expectations, however I ended up in the Mobile Internet seminar. This is where I found that QR codes (which I had briefly investigated last week for a work pitch) are already usable and being used in the real world (although they are old news in Japan and China I hear – they are even on McDonalds wrappers there).

Example QR code.

The above is an example code – use it and I’ll know when you do because it is a text message to me, telling me how modest (awesome) I am. All automated.

The programmes I installed to test the QR codes on my Windows Mobile Orange SPV E650 (aka the HTC S710) were the i-nigma reader and the Quickmark reader both of which work really well if the QR is large enough (anything over an inch in print was fine – screen worked better but that defeats the object!).

The QR code can include all manner of information – popular uses I have seen include sending direct to mobile web pages, auto dialling phone numbers, short texts and even full sms messages with number and message! If you want your own QR codes you can create them for non-commercial use on the kaywa web site. hey also have an excellent reader on there, just one not compatible with my phone at time of writing.

So I will be pushing for these codes to be used more in my line of work and looking out for them and using them when I see them. Apparently current uses include on “Lost” posters, on the labels of England shirts and The Sun ran a piece on QR codes when they printed a code in the tabloid back in December.

Now I’m off to make QR code t-shirts – and you won’t know what they say unless you’re as cool as me and my phone!QR code

London’s burning!

So we had an interesting view from our offices today, about 12:10 we saw a massive plume of smoke coming from East London, as you can see below it was quite large:

East London Fire

This is taken from Chelsea Harbour, about 12 miles away from the site of the fire. I used to cycle past that road on my way to work from Leytonstone. I don’t think anyone will be injured as the area – disused warehouses right next to the A11 (and very close to Hackney Marshes and the old Eastway Cycle circuit) – is pretty much deserted ready to build the Olympic park. Google maps shows where exactly:

View Larger Map

It looks like the BBC and police don’t think it’s anything but a large warehouse which is a good thing!

Read the BBC report on the fire.

Fear of heights? Don’t go here then!

Grand Canyon West Skywalk


That is one high glass bridge. Having been to the Garnd Canyon I know how impressive it is near the edge, but actually standing over the edge is probably a completely different matter altogether. As I’m not a massive fan of heights, this will definitely be a thrill if I ever make it back to Arizona. The skywalk just out from the top of the canyon at approximately 4,000 feet, much much higher than even the tallest skyscraper so it really is an impressive piece of engineering.

There’s more information on the wiki page