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Summer Fun Food Drink and Gear - BING Bots suck - Chapter 20 · 18.08.10 by colin newell and their out of control spiders. You suck!Misfiring Microsoft search bots at have been hammering my site so much lately I had to put an HTACCESS block on them – not to stop the site being overrun with their crazy spiders… but to save my pocketbook.

Looking at my detailed web logs, it appeared that I was being scanned by “20-30 bots every few seconds”, appearing much like a denial of service attack.

The IP addresses of the bots – Had almost 90,000 hits on my website yesterday – came from – the culprit in Redmond.

Those people are not only incapable of developing a stable operating system; VISTA or Windows 7… but also, they haven’t a clue about running a search engine.

So guess what?
You’re blocked!

Microsoft gobbled almost 8% of my monthly web bandwidth in one day – thanks a lot folks.

Now piss off.

Colin Newell is a Victoria area resident, food writer, blogger and multimedia engineer – when he is not working at a local University, he is on the hunt for the perfect cup of coffee…


Summer Food Fun and Drink 14 Six years later and a re-launch · 28.07.10 by colin newell

Who is writing a book on global microfinance for Bloomsbury, puzzle maker for the New York Times op-ed section, travel writer, Forbes Traveler, author of Who Hates Whom, a pocket guide to global conflict outlining more than 30 of the world’s active wars and hot spots?
He is a former writer for CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – season 3 in which yours truly had a minute writing role – and a freelance writer for the show “Bones”…

Deep breath…

Bob Harris new online experience in 2010

And a consulting producer for El Pantera, Mexico’s top original action series, former AP award-winning nationally syndicated radio commentator, former on-camera presenter for the TLC series Mostly True Stories, and a winner of over $350,000 in cash and prizes on Jeopardy! and other quiz shows…

He is Bob Harris of Los Angeles California and I have been his web specialist since 2004!

In the last couple of weeks we have been doing a soft launch of the new online phenomenon. Bob, in the upcoming days, weeks and months will add to the nearly 1600 articles on the classic website.

And integrate the other social media elements of Bob’s life into one great big shiny experience; Twitter, Facebook meets Web 2.0

Enjoy Bob’s website – and let me know if something is not working quite right.


Summer Food Fun and Drink Chapter 5 Working with Wood at Camosun · 30.06.10 by colin newell

Download the Fine wood-working schedule here – Camosun-Woodworking-Summer-2010.pdf | We spoke with Betsi Davis ( at Camosun in the Continuing Education dept. about some of their fine wood working courses for the summer of 2010. There are a few of the courses that are in jeopardy of not happening owing to enrollment minimums not being met.

Two in particular are “ Veneering and Inlay” course and the “Wood Carving Level 2” which are never offered outside of the Summer Woodworking Institute in July.

I have attached the pdf brochure for the courses. Let’s get the word out.

Attached a handout on our Woodworking Summer series of courses as requested.

Betsi says… “As you now know, we need to meet a minimum number of students to run any course and by sharing this information with you – and having you share this information with your colleagues, we could possibly meet the minimum requirements for those upcoming courses that we discussed.
Again, thank you for your input and your efforts!”

Betsi Davis – Administration
Trades & Technology – Continuing Education
Camosun College – Interurban Campus


Rites of Spring #28 Technology of our undoing - broadband over power lines · 29.05.10 by colin newell

Broadband over internet noise - what a stupid idea this isMy day job is in multi-media design, modernization, implementation and blah, blah, blah…

…in the educational environment. In my case UVic.
(so)Give me a classroom or lab with a black board and a piece of chalk and I will give you video data projection, infinitely variable lighting controls, high speed internet, web-casting and sound so crisp you would swear it’s live.

because in the year 2010, it’s easily to learn when you have all the tools.
And this applies to the home as well.

I have a PC workstation for audio production and a MacBook Pro for doing the stuff I am doing right now… a very high speed internet connection… and Wireless-N that I do not even use. I like my cat-5 wiring if at all possible. It is secure… and it’s reliable as gravity my friends.

I also like keeping my bits and bytes contained within copper cable if possible. Not adverse to wireless… as long as it’s wireless-N or better. Which is secure as heck after all – low power. It’s safe. And nobody gets hurt, right?
Well, there is something that has come down the pipe (more popular in Europe than here) that is scaring the crap out of me – not for what it does to people or creatures – but what it potentially takes away from us… our ability to communicate.

It’s called broadband over the power lines or BPL and it uses house wiring for distributed ethernet. God knows who designed this stuff. It has the capability, ironically, of seriously interfering with existing digital radio and TV and old style AM and FM radio – impeding our ability to communicate with each other and enjoy our high tech lives. Now that is genuinely ironic wouldn’t you say?

The boxes (shown above and sold at COST-CO) are made in China and they are shit. Some colleagues and I are investigating an interference report from the area around Beacon Hill Park in Victoria – some 4 city blocks wide! And it is likely one of these little peckers (shown above). From some of the intelligence that we have gathered, people are buying these units at COST-CO and then returning them shortly thereafter – not because they don’t work… because they do – but because they are difficult to set up.

Wireless-N is tried, tested and true – sets up easily and does not interfere with any domestic or terrestrial radio or data services.

Now imagine that you neighbor down the street buys one of these boxes and your audiophile set-up is screwed… or your HD TV is now replete with interference lines or inexplicable odd behavior – and don’t think for a second that because it’s digital it is immune to interference – cause it ain’t.

So think about this: One device (shown above) and 4 city blocks wiped out.
How wiped out? I listen to CFAX 1070 AM in Victoria and the offending box (or something like it – we are not exactly sure it is this particular unit) actually interferes with a 10,000 watt radio station.

This should concern us.


Rites of Spring #16 - Gadgets - playing with the Clever Coffee Brewer · 16.05.10 by colin newell

Clever Coffee Brewer - #4 filter drip methodOn a brilliant Spring day in Cobble Hill, British Columbia I drop into The Drumroaster Cafe (owned by Patricia, Geir and Carsen Oglend – arguably the coffee masters of Vancouver Island)

I am enjoying a Chemex pot of an exotic single origin coffee and one of Patricia Oglend’s marvelous baked creations when Geir suggests… “Want to roast some coffee?”

Do I?

Within minutes we are in the roaster room firing up a 60 pound Deidrich coffee roaster – It is a gas powered drum roaster that I have a passing familiarity with – but Geir plays it safe and assumes (correctly) that I need some hand holding – good thing because we are about to play with hundreds of dollars worth of coffee over the space of a half-hour or so.

During cooling cycles he pulls out this wonderful little coffee maker – it looks like a Melitta #4 coffee filter holder… with a twist. It has a spring loaded valve on the bottom that stays closed unless the coffee maker is sitting on top of a mug.

So. When one is brewing coffee by a.) dropping in a gold filter or #4 paper filter and b.) Putting some fresh ground coffee into the filter and c.) adding some water directly off the boil into the filter – and then counting down about 2 minutes…
and then placing the Clever Coffee Maker onto the mug – which opens the valve which allows the coffee to flow through into the mug.

Sure you could do this with a regular #4 filter holder (like the Melitta) but you have no brew control other than the grind of the coffee and your ability to finesse the right amount of hot water into the basket at precisely the right rate. This is called Brew dwell – and no, I did not just make that up.

The Clever Coffee Maker is clever for several reasons. It allows for a degree of French press type immersion and allows you to control the amount of time the ground coffee comes in contact with the water.

Clever? I would say brilliant!

And at $20 (Tax-Incl.) dollars for this delightful little coffee gadget, I would say…
Get smart and get the “Clever”. Want more info? Visit the Drumroaster online.

You can get your own Clever coffee brewer from The Drumroaster Cafe on the Island Highway on Vancouver Island at the Cowichan Bay turn-off – visit in person or contact them on their website online.

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