OK, straight to the point. Here it is. The Virtual Observatory Status Blog.
Its the creation of my colleague John Taylor. He works like me in the Virtual Observatory (VO) world, a software engineer on the VOTECH and AstroGrid projects. He produced a monitoring service called VOMon for VO services. This is very handy for techies but of zero interest to end-users. He also publishes changes through an RSS feed and an associated blog set up at BlogSpot. The result is a blog but not as we know it Jim. Its maybe the kind of blog educated robots would find titillating gossip. But for 98% of carbon based life forms its less fun than chewing your own foot off.
Of course I need to point out that we all hate John, because not only is he young talented and good looking, he is now leaving us to work for Google.
I could also point out that some VO geeks would claim that there are some real blogs by VO project members that are even more boring. I could. But as a responsible manager of course I won’t.
We tend to think that its easy to make astronomy fun, but John proves it ain’t always so. In similar vein, its worth remembering that the webcam at the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope on Hawaii was once named “World’s most boring Webcam”. It was either pointing out the window .. and the result was kinda .. well, black … or pointing at the observing astronomer, resulting in a still image of an astronomer typing at a computer terminal, refreshed every two minutes with slightly different finger positions. Gripping.
Here is a Guardian Article with some more recent boring webcams.
(There is a slightly better range of JCMT cams now …)