The Nohari Window – Describe mildlydiverting

April 13, 2007

The Nohari Window – Describe mildlydiverting

I can’t begin to describe how funny I find an entirely negative, vicious and unpleasant personality test. Take that, self-help book publishers!

Radio 4 to co-produce feature film | Radio | MediaGuardian.co.uk

April 11, 2007

Radio 4 to co-produce feature film | Radio | MediaGuardian.co.uk: “When it is broadcast, Radio 4 will have a red button service for digital TV transmission enabling viewers to see the visual material, the first time the station has shown a feature-style film to accompany spoken material.”

This is very cool – and I think I might now know why my old boss was so excited about Peter Ackroyd when I last saw her.

But – uh, radio with pictures. Convergence. Or as we in the trade like to call it, telly.

It’s all good.

Dandelife.com : Story : "Lifecasting – Dandelife Streams", by Kelly Abbott

April 11, 2007

Dandelife.com : Story : “Lifecasting – Dandelife Streams”, by Kelly Abbott

Ross Mayfield’s Weblog: LifeStreams as an attention aggregator

There’s a lot of talk around at the moment about lifestreams, chronological behaviours, and new navigation and aggregation tropes. It’s something to do with twitter, and jaiku, and all of these new microblogging/presence services that are getting so much attention.

I tried to comment on Jeremy Keith’s site – but the sensible man has comments turned off, so I’ll just hope this gets picked up by Technorati.

There’s a very interesting book – The Aesthetics of Computing by David Gelernter, which covers the idea of using chronological streams to organise files in an OS, partly because it’s a much more natural, human way of remembering information. This is kind of how I feel about tagging as an organisational structure; it’s not elegant, or concise, but it’s very useful for ‘fuzzy recall’ – finding things that were a bit like the other thing, that might have been about the time that you were doing that other thing there.

As search and indexing of files within systems and the web becomes more comprehensive and useful, there’s little reason to keep the old directory strucure/file system metaphors visible at the consumer interface level. Lets make something that works the way people think, instead.

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades: Joel Johnson Returns…to Spank Us All for Supporting Crap – Gizmodo

April 10, 2007

The other week, I went in to an Orange shop to see about upgrading my phone.

I have an old Nokia – specifically, an 8310 that I have hung on to because it was the last, small phone with the old monochrome interface. It has the least number of button presses to let me make a phonecall, or send a text message. This is good. It is elegant, and does everything I need it to (appart, maybe, from taking photos – I quite like camera phones, and it doesn’t let me manage my calendar easily. Those things I’d find useful).

I also have an old nokia on an old tarrif – a very good ‘price match’ deal to an old One-to-one tarrif, that they rapidly withdrew for being too good value to the customer, apparently. My line rental is about £11, and I ususally pay about £22 all in for my calls and texts; I make few phonecalls. I never use WAP as I’m rarely far from the internets, and my phone breaks whenever I do try and use it.

Anyway, said phone is at the end of its natural life – not holding a charge, generally falling appart. I love it, but it’s not much longer for this world. So I went in to try and get an upgrade.

The man in the Orange shop on Oxford street, just west from Oxford Circus (on the southern side of the road) was called Keith. I explained that I quite fancied upgrading to a new, shiny phone, something N73, personal organiser ish. I wondered how much that might be. When he pulled up my details on his sytem, he looked up at me, and laughed directly at my face.

I’m going to move to T Mobile, I think.

Anway, I feel about new phones pretty much the way that Joel Johnson feels:

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades: Joel Johnson Returns…to Spank Us All for Supporting Crap – Gizmodo:

“You broke the site, clogging up the pipe like retarded salmon, to read the latest announcements of the most trivial jerk-off products, completely ignoring the stories about technology actually making a difference to real human beings, because you wanted a new chromed robot turd to put in your pocket to impress your friends and make you forget for just a few minutes, blood coursing as you tremblingly cut through the blister pack, that your life is utterly void of any lasting purpose.

Then you had the audacity to complain about broken phones, half-assed firmware that bricked your gear, and winner-takes-nothing arms races between the companies whose gear your bought and the hackers who had nothing better to do than try to fix it. Do you realize how ridiculous that is? Programmers with free time did more to help you get quality products than you ever did by buying the broken gear in the first place.

Stop buying this crap. Just stop it. You don’t need it. Wait a year until the reviews come out and the other suckers too addicted to having the very latest and greatest buy it, put up a review, and have moved on to something else. Stop buying broken products and then shrugging your shoulders when it doesn’t do what it is upposed to. Stop buying products that serve any other master than you. Use older stuff that works. Make it yourself. Only buy new stuff from companies that have proven themselves good servants of their customers in the past. Complaining online about this stuff helps, but really, just stop buying it.”

Bait and Switch

April 9, 2007

Ages ago, I subscribed to a video podcast promoting Nacho Libre, the Jack Black film. Hey, I’d just got a video ipod, vodcasts were all new and shiny, and I have a kind of a thing about wrestlers (ssh!) – what’s not to like?

Anyway, sorting through my iTunes library, I notice that the old podcast folder has changed name, and suddenly, I have a huge number of videos on my harddrive promoting Blades of Glory.

I can but presume that the feed has been… recycled somehow.

I’m not really liking the ethics of this move, if I’m honest. There’s a qualitative difference between the two films if nothing else (Will Ferrel is not, no matter how hard he tries, Jack Black; Will Ferrel is not a lot of things, in my books). I assume some marketeer has thought this up as a way of introducing the film to a sympathetic audience – hey, they’re both dumb comedies with men in spandex, right?

Wrong. Sorry, you’ve alienated me even further than the cheap homophobic jokes in the trailer already did.

Show some manners, marketeers. My eyeballs pay your wages; and in this case, so does my bandwith.

Make Lighthearted Comments, Descend to General Ennui

April 8, 2007

New at Pentagram: Scenes From a Blog

This ammused me greatly. Sometimes, in my more bitter and cynical moments, I think that trolling, flame wars, the whole caboodle is an inevitable outcome of giving a bunch of socially inept computer geeks access to an incredibly powerful set of tools that over significate and immortalise trivial social interactions.

Fasten Blogging Goggles

March 23, 2007

xkcd – A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language – By Randall Munroe

Blogging Goggles. Bloggles. Quick, market them instantly.

Ask Nicely

March 19, 2007

INFORMATION REVOLUTION

Dear Ask.

Thanks for the invitation to your marketing party, dressed in it’s ‘hey! it’s 1992 again!’ lofi graphics. I worked out the invite was from you by the red blob on the poster – what is that, a bloody thumbprint? Cool!

Anyway, I just wanted to check what time your information revolution party kicks off. Your timekeeping seems a bit off. I merely mention this because I have been on the ’15 year old internet’ that you describe for… well, I’ve been on the *web* since 1994. And I started using the *internet* in about 1990. You do understand the difference, don’t you?

I used to use your service. Then Google pissed all over it, and took a photo of it passed out at another party with a magic marker moustache – I think that that crazy Yahoo! might have drawn that one on. I used Bloglines too, until you bought it, and left it to rot. Guess whose RSS reader I use now? Hint: It starts in Google.

Your astroturfing campaign carries the unmistakable taint of last ditch desperation. You’ll never make friends at a party if you’re that fake.

So. Not. Cool.

In which the Internets perfom a miracle

March 19, 2007

We’ve established, previously, that my Dad’s 80th birthday featured, among other things, bouzouki music. Alas, it didn’t feature quite the right bouzouki music, as I couldn’t track down a copy of the right Manos Hadjidakis album in time.

Mildly Diverting: Lilacs out of the Dead Land

So – the internets have performed a miracle. A completely anonymous person posted a link in a comment on the original post about the album. It led to a download of the mp3s of the album, and just in time for Mothering Sunday.

Whoever you are, anonymous donor of Greek music, thank you so very much!

Runescape and Christianopedia

March 8, 2007

Two things of interest on listen again – Thinking Allowed on ‘Runescape’, and the Today programme discussing percieved Bias in Wikipedia

Thinking Allowed

BBC – Radio 4 – Today Programme Listen Again

Incidentally – Radio4 website, your URLs are horrible. Particularly those for the Today archive. zwednesday_20070307.shtml ? I know exactly where that Z came from. They’re bored of seeing hundreds of files starting wednesday in their (manually maintained) file structure. Dear Today website: I know that you’re in the process of redesigning at the moment. Can I suggest that you put the date first, so your files all go in nice chronological order? The day of the week makes your historical URLS unguessable without cross-referencing a calendar unless you’re the kind of idiot savant who can be told any day in history and instinctively know what day of the week it was.

Can I suggest:

/radio/programmes/today/20070307/

As possibly the best place for that day’s archive? You can put more than one page in that folder, too!