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So I have not posted for a while, but the last week I have been reading up on ‘Thorium Energy’ and it has me thinking; why o why have we not got this technology. Because we should!!

Thorium energy is a little like nuclear but nothing like nuclear at the same time. Its clean leaving only 1% waste compared to 99% for uranium, its safe no melt downs, it could be cheap once its been delevloped, its green(ish) more so than coal and oil that for sure, its sustainable(ish), it’s abundant, its a high-Density source (½ Oz. Thorium could run 1 American’s life for 1 decade), unlike solar, wind, wave/tide, geothermal which are all Low-density (my analigery:- think of trying to heat a room with computers, you could but would need 20 or 30 computer all running at the same time, low-density! Thorium would be the small but powerfull heater in this analigery). Thorium can provide the HUGE qualnties of energy the world needs which solar and wind just cant do without taking over vast areas of land which is something we dont have. BUT it needs to be developed which mean time and money.

A little history of the technology:- Orginally back in 40’s/50’s when nuclear technology was first developed Thorium was one option along side Uranium but it was shelved as Thorium could not be used to make weaponry as Uranium and Plutonium can. To watch a short video about Thorium energy on go here.


I should add this technology does work, from the ’50s through the early ’70s a US scientist called Alvin Weinberg tested the technology at Oak Ridge, USA, and made a working prototype. So why has this technology not been developed? Poloatics and cold war with USSR lead to uranium-fueled reactor. Why has the technolgy still to this day not been developed? I can only think the Oil and nuclear industrys and politisions have had a good ride making stupendous piles of money and they don’t want it to rock the boat. I could try make out a conspiracy theory but I wont all I will say is if the goverment wont spend and the oil/nuclear companies wont spend how will this techology get developed? Why its simple China or India will develope it and sell it to us for a large price (if they sell it). But there is another option the people could stand up and say no, we want this technolgy we need this techolgy! This has already started in an open source kind of way (power to the people). There are some good people out there working hard to promote this technology as every few people know about it at present. Here is a short list of some of these people I have read about the last few days (in no particular order).

Prof Robert Cywinski – Founder member of the Thorium Energy Amplifer Assoication (Thorea)

Kirk Sorensen – Ex Nasa scientist who runs the energyfromthorium blog which has a twitter and facebook page.

Baroness Worthington – Founder of which discusses climate change. The Baroness helps spread the word of the good ship Thorium in the house of lords and her twitter account.

These are just a few of the names that have poped out while reading about Thorium but there is also an alliance of scientist calling themselves thorium energy alliance.

If you worry about the carbon based society we are living in and wonder what will be left for our kids generation (because I do). Then you might ask yourself what can I do to help I am not a scientist, well that is the question I have asked myself since finding out about Thorium energy and the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR) and the best answer is to read up and then spread the word. ‘Like’ the energyformthorium facebook page, tell your friends about it. If you hold a position in the education system promote adding Thorium to school and university courses which do not discuss the topic, we will need a generation of scientist the understand the technology. If you have a blog site that gets lots of hits or some other way to get the word out. Or if you have money you might consider contacting one of the persons above to see if they need funding, I have not doubt that money will be one of the main issues holding back this technology.  


So I was interested to see how stamp duty and trading charges work as a percange of each deal depending on the size of the trade. This table showing H&L total costs of trading.

HL Vantage Service (all accounts) Online share dealing (per deal)
Amount of deal (£) Charge stamp duty @ 0.5% [x2] (£) Charges buy and sells (£) Total charges (buy + selling + stamp x2) Charge as % of investment (%)
Low end 10 £9.95 0.05 19.90 £20 200
High end 499.99 £9.95 2.49 (4.99) 19.90 £24.89 4.97
Low end 500 £14.95 2.5 (5) 29.90 £34.9 6.98
High end 1,999.99 £14.95 9.99 (19.98) 29.90 £49.88 2.49
Low end 2,000 £19.95 10 (20) 39.90 £59.9 2.99
High end 3,999.99 £19.95 19.99 (39.98) 39.90 £79.88 1.99
Low end 4,000 £24.95 20 (40) 49.90 £89.90 2.25
High end 19,999.99 £24.95 99.99 (199.98) 49.90 £249.88 1.25
Low end 20,000+ £29.95 100 (200) 59.90 £259.90 1.30
High end n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

Note this examples is for use when considering quick trades (in and outs). Its does not take account of any holding charges (annual management charge).

This table assumes you are buying and selling (online) within a price bracket i.e. you are not buying £499.99 of shares and selling £1999.99 of shares.


So I have had this problem a few times when exporting from illustrator as a pdf, this hair line shows where the bounding box would show around the edge of objects.  Its just a fustration and it always seems to happen on a deadline! Now I used to use the PDF/x-1 format when I was having the problem.


Use the PDF/x-4:2007 format. This format handles transparency much better and no hair lines!

I have been frustrated as of late, it comes down to the price of cheep ‘Twisted nematic’ (TN) flat panel monitors. Because of the low price and acceptable quality for 90% of users these TN monitors have become the standard.

But for designers, digital artists and webmasters, we require a higher level of colour accuracy on our panels. The problems has always been the price tag that meant that many home users and small offices were priced out of the better quality panels.

Good news is the Dell has now launched two ‘In-plane switching’ (ISP) panels at consumer prices. ISP panels give a high higher level of colour accuracy and consistency across the panel so no more moving your head to try and work out what the colour should look like.

Enter the Dell UltraSharp U2211H (21.5-inch) and UltraSharp U2311H (23-inch) both panels offer:-

H-IPS Panel
10000:1 Contrast Ratio
8ms Response Time
one DVI-D
one DisplayPort
one VGA connectors
a 4-port USB hub
resolution of 1920×1050

They are priced on the Dell website as U2211H – £292 ($279), U2311H – £351 ($319).

Look out for other manufactures following with their own consumer priced ISP panels over the coming months, watch the space.

So for those of you who are think of trying Diigo out, this makes things better. As well as all the normal import option you can link Diigo and Delicious so when you add bookmarks to Diigo it adds to Delicious automatically.

To do this scroll down to the bottom of the page (in Diigo) and click “Save to Delicious” enter login and password and they are linked.

So I have been using Ctrl+D (Transform Again) in illustrator for many year now and love to be able to quickly copy and repeat. I had throught that it was not posible in photoshop due to its pixel nature but today I found this on

It talks about step and repeat which sounded like what I was after. So it turns out there is a transform again in photoshop and it is:-

Shift-Command-T (Mac) or Shift-Control-T (Windows)

For more info check out the link to planetphotoshop.

So I the other month I decided to start using dropbox. The problem was I like to save to my hard drive but then need to files in the office so have to save to USB key, and sure as day and night I frequenty forget either the USB key or to save the newest versions to the key.

If you dont know dropbox then click the link bellow and watch the video.

dropbox video

Why you should use it:-

1) Its free for 2Gb basic package

2) It uses less then 50Mb of RAM, most cases less then 30Mb (thats a good thing)

3) It does not use much CPU time (also a good thing)

4) It seems to upload and download quickly (will depend on your bandwith)

5) You can share files with others up-to 1Gb file size I think (bets email or sending CDs)

6) No messing around it works smoothly in the background

What you need to do:-

1) Use this link sign up to drop box and get extra free storage.

2) Enter your email, and name

3) Download a small program (12.9Mb) to your computer

4) Save your files to the dropbox folder (which works like any normal folder)

5) Thats it! or you have to download the small program on each computer you use but that really is it. Does not take more then 3 or 4 minutes to get started.


So yesterday I was working on an iphone UI design and got desk dropped by the boss and a developer. They proceeded to fire changes at me which I tried to make real time. Now this involved selection multiple layers and shifting them around. I have to say that the workflow felt all wrong at that moment and I wished I was using fireworks or illustrator so I could select and move quickly without having to use the layers pallet.


Now I was aware the move tool had an auto-select option but I have not really used it as much as I should but from now on I will. To make it even better from most other tools you and hold ctrl which will give you move tool. But also you can hold shift which allows you to select multi objects in the document window.

shift + ctrl + click objects in document window.

You need to have the auto-select option ticked and the layer or group selected in the drop down.

There is also the option to Show Bounding Box, which means you can see what is selected. You will need to select the move tool to see these option.

Well hope this helps, I know next time I get desk dropped I will be able to move multiple items briskly without having to use the layer pallet which remain the only pallet I have open 24/7. Maybe one day I will work pallet less!

For further reading have a look here.

So I have recently started to design layouts for smart phones, clearly it is a different world from web design. One thing that struck me was the resolution/pixel density seems to vary depending on the handset in question ranging from 150 to 300 ppi. While looking around I could not find any one source of data for a mix of handsets so I thought I would start at list. If I miss any (and I will) than please feel free to add to the comments section


160 ppi

3.5 inch

480 x 320 pixels


163 ppi

3.5 inch

480 x 320 pixels

HTC Touch Pro


480×640 pixels

Palm Pre


480×320 resolution,

186 ppi


9.7 inch,

1024 X 768

(132 ppi)

For furth reading you might like to see this.

You might also like to try this pixel calculator.

If you have details from other phones please add in comments and I will update the post.

So last year brought out a Mobile App on your iPhone. While still quite basic in it functionality it seems to be quite a nice start. Bellow are some images of the app.