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2009 has been a bit of an up and down year, all told, but I think I'm ending it better than I started, and I'm hoping that's what's important.

I read a lot of books - my target was 36, and I got past that. Next year's target will again be 36, but I'm going to try and read more non-fiction (new Sook notwithstanding). And I'm definitely going to try to read less Stephanie Meyer in the new year. Heck, if I could unread Breaking Dawn, I most definitely would.

We moved buildings at work in October (if memory serves): overall, I prefer the new place to the old, if only because we're squirrelled away somewhat, which means fewer walk-in distractions. Colleague H and I have been assigned a full-on project for the new year, which could well take some getting into, so I'm expecting January and onwards to be pretty busy.

DVD-wise, I've obviously discovered The Wire, which is seriously, seriously good. I've yet to finish either Battlestar Galactica or Prison Break, and I have the first five seasons of Lost waiting to go through too. As for Flash Forward, though, I think I'm going to give up on that one.

I don't really remember too many notable films. Coraline was OK, but nothing compared to the book. The Star Trek reboot was certainly watchable, but not ground-breaking. Avatar, ultimately, disappointed. Was there a stand-out film this year?

I've just received a 'Happy New Year!' text from a number I don't recognise... have at least returned the good wishes, but I hate it when that happens!

Anyway, have a good New Year, all you people! Hope 2010 brings you all things good! :D
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No sooner than the the Sidekick fiasco starts to dim in the memory, we learn that a T-Mobile employee passed on customer data to other networks... Not good.

I'm feeling kinda linky: awesome industrial photography by Edward Burtynsky: check out, particularly, the Oil series (not exactly uplifting, I confess, but good, all the same).

The imminent end of the year traditionally heralds listing frenzies as magazines try to capture the essence of the past twelve months in music or whatever, but the end of a *9 year means that they can do the same for the whole decade. Stereogum has been collating the various efforts, so you don't have to: a list of lists, so to speak.

More lists over at Total Film, where they post a totally non-contentious list of the 30 killer closing lines from movies.

It's been a tad breezy in Blighty these last few days: as proof, I offer this Beeb story about kite surfers jumping over Worthing Pier.

It's been a while since I've moseyed on over to The Torygraph, but I should frequent that place more often, as this collection of wildlife photography demonstrates. They also tell us about a French hotel where you can live like hamsters... Whoa, that's like high-concept (can you imagine the pitch to the bank for the small business start-up loan?)...

You've possibly not heard of Eric Roche - he was a guitarist famed for his precussive style of play, but sadly died waaaaaaaaay to young at 37. He explains how he builds up his technique in this vid here, and as an example, here's his rendition of Drives Me Crazy. I saw him live once, at Music Live at the NEC in Birmingham, and it was just mind-blowing that one guy could induce an acoustic guitar to produce such an incredible array of sounds...

Another boundary-pushing guitarist who's tenure on this earth was all too brief, was Michael Hedges: here's his take on Drives Me Crazy, which is a verily different interpretation, but the post-chorus guitar solos are mad :D He also does an an excellent cover of that ubiquitous Bob Dylan song... And here's a different version, this time with hair!

To close, Oli Lemieux training trampoline wall Dralion Cirque du Soleil. Impressive. Most impressive.
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I've just received some SMS spam, from shortcode number 85066.

Now, I rather suspect it's linked to me logging my wish to remain ex-directory as explained here, and does lend credence to my suspicion that 118118 was actually a sneaky way of harvesting verified mobile numbers from the masses.

However, I may simply be leaping to conclusions, and it could just be sheer coincidence that shortly after handing over my mobile number to them, I suddenly start to get spam...
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Hmm.

Have just been forwarded an email by a colleague that purports to alert one to the compilation of a mobile phone database, 118-800.

Said site claims that they will remove you from the listings, should you wish to be ex-directory, and to do so, you need to click on the 'Ex Directory' link at the top of the page.

They then text you a confirmation code that you have to enter on the website, to prove that you own the phone.

I'm not wholly sure how legit this information will prove to be - it could be a massive fishing operation to collect verified mobile numbers to then sell on... so I shall let the reader be the judge of whether or not this is for them.

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