Word of the day: resile

I was reading a story in the Guardian about the British government’s reaction to the latest IRA announcement*, and I read: “No 10 has never resiled from its view that the IRA was involved in the bank robbery”

resiled?! What’s this? Is the Grauniad** up to its old tricks? Apparently not: to resile is, inter alia, “to abjure: formally reject or disavow a formerly held belief, usually under pressure”. Dates back to 1520-1530, from the French resilir and before that the Latin resilire, to spring back. Same root as resilient. And I’d never seen it before. Neat.

* The IRA is throwing a hissy fit because it was caught robbing banks, so it’s withdrawing its commitment to decommission its weapons. Makes perfect sense….?

** I think it was Private Eye that dubbed the Guardian “the Grauniad” on account of its frequent typos.

Trackback blogspam

This morning, starting just after midnight Eastern, somebody started spraying trackback pings at my blog – about 150 so far, still going. A few weeks ago, while tweaking the template for the front page, I’d added a list of the last five trackbacks. I just got rid of that, so now (as far as I can see) there’s no trace of the spammer’s sites or addresses anywhere on geoffarnold.com. Hopefully this will persuade the bots to ignore me as an unprofitable target…..
[UPDATE: 2/3/05] Another burst of 50-60 pings this morning (on top of the 250 in this current plague) provoked me into doing what I should have done all along: install Jay Allen’s MT-Blacklist. It was amazingly easy. No excuses…..

Back to basics

After my recent rant about the lamentable state of the US cellphone market, I calmed down. What am I really looking for? I’ve already got a decentadequate digital camera; I’ve got a Bluetooth mouse, so I don’t need to use my phone as a remote control for my PowerBook (plus I won’t always be using my PowerBook – more in a week or two). I need a basic cellphone that has decent battery life, good signal reception, good audio, and an easy UI. I use the WAP! portal! to! My! Yahoo! a lot, so decent GPRS (EDGE) is a plus. Oh, and I’d like a usable hands-free solution, rather than that earbud-on-a-string that always seems to get tangled in my seatbelt.
So today, after my Nokia 3650 spontaneously powered off for the umpteenth time, I picked up a Motorola V551, along with a Motorola Bluetooth headset. Let’s see how it goes. I’ve noted one annoyance already: Motorola and Apple don’t agree about Bluetooth, so to use iSync I’ll have to get a cable. And when I select silent or vibrate mode I’d like a really clear indication of this in the external display. But on balance, I like it. It feels right; menus are mostly clear; the multimedia stuff is ignorable; the screen is dazzling; predictive text entry is a little easier than I’m used to; IM and email is a snap. The battery claims are impressive; we’ll see what reality is like.
Oh, yes, I did have one more criterion: that the price be low enough that if the perfect phone comes along tomorrow I won’t feel like a schmuck.