Popular venue The Point to close

The Point, Cardiff BayThe Point Cardiff Bay Limited, trading as The Point have today filed for voluntary insolvency.

The popular live music venue and club night host has been open since 2004 and has been largely successful, despite being located away from the city centre.

Since opening The Point has played host to many popular artists and bands including the Stereophonics, Cerys Matthews and Feeder. The venue also played host to the popular fortnightly rock night Bogiez, which moved there from The Engine Rooms.

The venue closed in late 2008 to undergo soundproofing after complaints from neighbouring residential buildings.
The bill for this work, in addition to factors owing to the current economic climate have made it necessary for the directors to file for insolvency.

This is not the first time that this venue has been hit with problems. It was previously known as MS1 until 2003 when insolvency brought about a buyout by a partnership that was to become the Point Cardiff Bay Limited. 

Future gigs and events have been cancelled and ticket holders have been advised to contact their credit card companies for refunds, this unfortunately will not cover customers who have paid for tickets using debit card or cash who will unfortunately lose the money that they have spent on tickets.

There is currently no news on whether scheduled gigs and club nights will be moved to other venues.

Mental healthcare facility rebuild must go ahead

Whitchurch Hospital - New outside
Full-scale models of en-suite rooms planned for the rebuild of Whitchurch Hospital that is due to go in front of the National Assembly Government for approval in a months have been unveiled to the public.

The proposal lays down costs of £118m to completely rebuild the hospital at Whitchurch which has stood for over 100-years. Some of the proposed features include:

  • £68 million to be spent on the Cardiff inpatient hospital
  • Single room en suite accommodation over two floors
  • Access to unspoilt parklands, courtyards and garden areas.

In a press release they say “Whilst the care given currently is of a high standard, the old Whitchurch Hospital is no longer fit for purpose”, which is a statement that I would whole-heartedly agree with.

Anybody who has made a visit to or had a stay at the hospital will be able to tell you that it does feel exactly like the hospital from “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest”. The hallways are gothic, cold and wide open. The wards are barn-like rooms with high ceilings and nothing but a curtain to separate one person from the next, very much like normal hospital wards. A set up that is not typical of, or beneficial to, modern mental health treatment methods. It really isn’t the most therapeutic of places to be, especially when taking into account the condition of the patients who use the service.

I have stated previouslythat provisions for mental healthcare within the NHS do not go far enough and should be given higher priority. This is a golden opportunity for the National Assembly Government to show that they have a commitment mental healthcare and wellbeing services and to bring sites up to standards that would compliment 21st century psychological treatments.

We’re all criminals


This is Filesharer.org, launched in protest of the Pirate Bay trial by the Norwegian political party Rødt(Red), it allows visitors to upload a photo of themselves to be displayed on the website, outing themselves as filesharers and thus criminals, making the point that these so-called criminals are normal everyday people.

Starting a war against the Pirate Bay is probably the most stupid course of action to have been taken yet by the recording and motion picture industry. The website has already once been attempted to be taken down but Swedish law has prevented this, why try again when the law hasn’t changed?

Closing down this one particular website, albeit one of the most popular, will not show any significant decrease in the number of files being downloaded using the BitTorrent protocol. With other large directories, such as Mininova or BtMon still to be disposed of (this Pirate Bay trial has taken 2 years to come to court) it will be a long time before BitTorrent sites are gone. And if they do all miraculously disappear, they will just go underground.

Digital files can be copied and transferred an infinite number of times, so as long as they exist, someone will engineer a way to continue this chain of copying and transferring.

If there were an infinite stockpile of food somewhere which we all knew existed but were being told ‘There is no way to get to it’, somebody would spend night and day trying to find a way. When you consider the sheer number of people that have share this interest, it is inevitable that they would succeed. The same theory would apply to file sharing.

Fab Mash?

Fab Mash signShopfitting began at the beginning of this year on the site of the former Roadhouse takeaway on Caroline Street that was closed down last August due to rent arrears. Initially I was not very interested to know what it was going to be, as it would likely be another fish & chip shop, however, a sign went up last Friday that has made me wonder if I’m wrong.

Fab Mash? Sounds like a great idea to me. I love mashed potato! If it is what I hope it is and they get the combinations right, eg. a selection of different gravies and sausages (perhaps even cheesy mash and pies?) I’m sure this could be one business venture that would take off, especially being sited where it is.

Since Wok to Walk took off with phenomenal success last year I no longer doubt that Cardiff is afraid to try new things and ‘Fab Mash’ could do very well. I live right next door, so, if they let me know when it is I’ll be there on opening day without a doubt!

This was also Tweeted
See all ‘Fab Mash’ tweets

Update 19/02/2009 @ 13:00 –

The paper has come off the windows and the door is open. Looks great inside. I popped my head in and asked if they were open, but no joy. They are opening next week. Staff training today?

Fab Mash storefront

Update 20/02/2009 @ 14:30 –

I have been contacted by Fab Mash! They have set up a Twitter ID and inform me that they are opening on March 1st.

Microsoft Virtual Earth: Big Update.

MS has updated Virtual Earth, their equivalent of Google Maps, with new satellite and birds eye imagery for the first time this year, and it’s a big one, ~100tb in fact. The new views of Paris, France, are a treat for the eye. They are very sharp, of excellent quality and the obviously taken on a bright sunny day.

Palais Du Luxembourg, Paris

This update also sees the first incorporation of satellite views from DigitalGlobe since Microsoft agreed a license with them in October last year. DigitalGlobe have had a partnership to provide Google with their mapping imagery for many years.

Of all of the mapping tools available, MapQuest (which doesn’t cover the UK so well), Multimap, Google Maps, Streetmap (UK centric), I find that Microsoft Virtual Earth, even though it is not the most widely known, is my personal favourite.

Reasons for this include my love of the ‘birds eye’ view,  images for which are taken from an airplane specially equipped with cameras and the ease of integration with the .NET framework.