Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Tweet?!

Image representing FriendFeed as depicted in C...Image via CrunchBaseHappy Halloween, just as the creativity was evident on International Talk Like A Pirate Day, many of the sites I follow have got in on the act today (Twitter anyone?). There was the usual offering from Google, renowned for their logo designs and also to name but a few Yahoo, Microsoft, Popurls, and FriendFeed all were in on the act.

FriendFeed continues to shower us with goodies, the team recently updated the Rooms to include the room search and enhanced the Friendfeed application on Facebook. Now FriendFeed wants to make it easier for you to share your activity, or should that be noisier for your Twitter followers. This latest update allows us to publish directly to Twitter and instead of relying on an external URL shortening service like TinyUR, etc they have rolled out which directs to FriendFeed.

You can publish all your public entries, all your public comments, or both. You can also choose to publish entries from all your services or only share the entries from specific services you've selected.

It has proved to be popular but also noisy, I have disabled the feature for the time being mainly because of the noise and duplicates. When @replying to a Twitter message it is sending two updates to the service which although is my fault shouldn't be happening. Also with no character count it's difficult to know when your message is going to be cut short.

I would also like to see a tick box under each comment box because then I can disable/enable without having to navigate through the Accounts page. Overall it's a great feature to have available but I want the ability to be more selective instead of spamming Twitter. For any requests let the developers know in the FriendFeed Feedback room.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

There can be only one, or not...

The OpenID logoImage via Wikipedia
Wikipedia: OpenID is a shared identity service, which allows Internet users to log on to many different web sites using a single digital identity, single sign-on, eliminating the need for a different user name and password for each site. OpenID is a decentralized, free and open standard that lets users control the amount of personal information they provide.

An OpenID is in the form of a URL. This URL can be the domain name of your own website, or the URL of an OpenID identity provider. When you log in with an OpenID, you have to log in to the identity provider for validation.

It has been a good week for the shared identity service OpenID, on Monday, Microsoft announced that all Windows Live users would get an OpenID account, and Google has now announced it's plans for open support. We now have OpenID, Facebook Connect, Y!OS, Microsoft, AOL and Google all offering support which is great but is it really that open?

Now that all the big companies in identity management are involved surely it will only be a matter of time before everyone adopts the standard. The thing is that there isn't a standard, no set structure that everyone has to follow as no one owns the identity solution. The average Internet user has no idea what OpenID offers;

One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all, and in the darkness BLIND them.

That's right blind them because with no standard the big companies are just going to consolidate their users, raising the question where is the openess?

Take Google who announced their support for OpenID, okay it’s open but unlike both Yahoo and Microsoft their implementation of OpenID doesn’t actually work like the standard says it should… Instead they're using their own version of OpenID that is incompatible with everyone else. Confused? I am as well and that's why I am more excited about Facebook Connect which as I see as being the best thing for OpenID.

According to sources Facebook have set a high standard with their offering. As well as making it possible for users to register for a site by using their Facebook account and without disclosing any personally identifiable information. They also give the website access to the user's news feed and enabling viral distribution of content and activity through the feed.

My only concern with Facebook Connect is the increase of phished accounts, Facebook is a trusted and recognized brand and who is to say mockup sites aren't going to take advantage by using the login process to obtain credentials.

For any company, using Facebook Connect doesn’t solve all your problems. The primary downside of using Facebook Connect is that you don’t get access to personally identifiable information of that user. I want to have access to a user’s email address so I can contact them in the future. Unfortunately Facebook prevents that. If you want to read more on this check out my article from July about Facebook Connect as OpenID without email. [Source]

There is a long way to go until we have a true OpenID standard, stay tuned as this looks like it will go the distance...

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Into the corner you must go!

LONDON - OCTOBER 29:  Russell Brand stands out...Image by Getty ImagesAfter 27,000 complaints were received Russell Brand has resigned from his BBC Radio 2 show over the Andrew Sachs incident. Jonathan Ross was also suspended by the corporation for his role in the affair. He has also apologised through his solicitors Schillings, the presenter said the prank calls were a "stupid error of judgment".

The media have really got their weight behind this and although it is disrespectful it doesn't require this much attention. I have listened to the recording on YouTube and although it is disappointing that they took it to that level there is no need for it to be played out this much.

In the messages, pre-recorded and broadcast on Radio 2 late on Saturday October 18, the pair alluded to Brand having had sex with Sachs' granddaughter, Georgina Baillie. [Source]
Chelsea returned to winning ways this evening although I still haven't seen the goals. The live game tonight was the North London derby and I watched that with my children who like me were hoping that Arsenal would drop points. We love Arsenal because they didn't let us down and even leading 4-2 in the 90th minute they must have been teasing us as they conceeded two late goals to finish the game 4-4. Liverpool are still clear at the top but over the last few seasons Chelsea have become used to keeping pace with the leaders, can Liverpool withstand the pressure?

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

PDC Announcements..

Image representing Windows as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseLots of buzz circulating about Microsoft this week as there are big announcements coming out of the Professional Developers Conference. What with Windows 7, Azure, Surface, Xbox 360, Live Open ID and Office all generating a lot of discussion across the blogosphere.

Looking to gain momentum after the lacklustre response to Windows Vista, the next Windows operating system does sound like it has potential. Why they don't launch as Windows Vista SE (Second Edition) though as technically it is still Vista but with some extra features. What's great is that if an application or device runs on Vista, it should run on Windows 7. Here are a few of the new features;

  • The New Windows Taskbar
  • Jump Lists
  • Aero’s New Moves
  • Unified Search
  • Fewer Annoying Pop-ups
  • HomeGroups
  • Device Storage

Windows 7 also includes a new version of Windows Media Player. As well as a refreshed user interface there are new features as well. Announcing that Office 14 will be available online has delighted a lot of people, so dubbed as Office "web" a few sources have referred to it as a Google docs killer. It will be interesting to see what browsers it supports but it's definitely going to prove to be popular.

Microsoft and Netflix also announced this week that they will begin streaming high definition content straight to the Xbox. Take into account the launch of the New Xbox Experience [goes live Nov. 19 to every console owner] it's going to be another strong Christmas period for the platform. They are going to start with only 300 high def titles, but surely that will increase considerably. Personally I am looking forward to just picking up Gears of War 2, if I haven't got this by Christmas then please someone take note!

Overall the announcements are huge and are going to impact on a lot of people. Debating whether to get a Laptop/PC myself I may just hold out a few more months and partition a system to run both Vista and Windows 7 beta when it's made available. Hopefully I will be able to get involved through my Xbox contacts. Speaking of the Xbox, streaming high definition sounds great and it is looking likely as insiders have been saying recently that the Blu-Ray format is destined to become a videophile niche...

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Old Habits...

The East Stand during a match in 2006. The cos...Image via WikipediaArrived in work today and instantly my colleagues picked up on my haircut, I told them that the reason I look the way I do is because Chelsea finally lost their unbeaten record - Emo. We lost to none other than Liverpool as well and it was another dodgy goal but they have a habit of scoring them, just ask Jose! It was going to come to an end eventually but 86 games unbeaten in the league at home is going to last a long time and is a record to be proud.

As well as watching Chelsea lose to one of their main rivals yesterday we also went to the cinema to watch High School Musical 3. I wasn't expecting that much from the third installment as the reviews weren't that convincing but probably because they were written by a person not from the target audience. My daughter has been raised on these movies and she informed me after the viewing that it was the best of the series and that she couldn't wait to pick up a copy to watch every night.

Returning them to their mother was awkward as she was having dinner at her parents as part of a family gathering. Her parents invited me into the house and we got to speaking about life in general. Conversation was forthcoming but what made it awkward was that the children's mothers partner was also there. I don't think that either of the partners there were too overwhelmed at my presence but what can you do. I spoke with the Grandmother for a few minutes and then left them to carry on their proceedings!
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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Don't Mind Me

In case you're looking closely at the photos and wondering about there authenticity, you are right it's not Vampire Weekend playing at the Forum! In fact it's not even the support band as it's a group playing above a bar that I happened upon by chance.

Our travel to the venue was eventful but my night really started once we made our way out of the tube station. 'Tickets, buy or sell' became my theme for the night. Staying true to the amount I had set myself I soon found that none of the touts were prepared to send anything in my direction. Deciding to up the ante with my price at least they were prepared to now have a conversation but after walking back and forth and trying to charm a cheap ticket they soon became hard to come by so I made my way to a bar playing live music.

It wasn't bad but it also wasn't Vampire Weekend so after a couple of songs I made my way back to the venue, through the smoking area as security weren't watching and into the Forum. Result! Although I only managed to catch the final four songs, Oxford Comma FTW and a great cover of Everywhere but it was well worth it and at least I didn't throw money away to a ticket tout. That said I wish I had paid the money because from what I saw they were amazing live and so were the crowd vibing to the music. I will make sure that next time I book well in advance because I don't want to be caught out in the cold again! Managed to take a couple of photos from the concert and I have added them to the event Flickr slideshow. Some good photos available there as well!

After the Vampire Weekend concert we headed to Temple, here we met up with some friends at a Uni bar and the music played here was enough to convince me to return again. They played a great variety of songs and artists that I listen to regularly on my iPod so I was able to let out a serious bag of shapes on the dance floor. There were all sorts of creatures of the night there including a Russell Brand clone who must have taken ages doing his hair. When I return here I will remember to get the name of the place and also take some photos, there are some on Facebook circulating and I expect more will surface over time!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Jim Bob, just where do you think you're going?

Originally I was only meant to pick up some football socks for my son this morning but instead I walked out of the sports store with the full Chelsea home kit. He was overly thankful, he went on to play well and hit the post but was prevented from any real opportunities as a boy on his team would not pass the ball.

During football I phoned the children's Grandfather as I am after tickets for Vampire Weekend at the Forum and he has a lot of knowledge in this field. My partner and her friend already have tickets as her friend works for a marketing company and these are offered as incentives/promotions. I have been trying to locate tickets through the obvious sources but haven't been successful.

I was lucky with Fall Out Boy as I managed to get tickets late for Wednesday but with this being a much smaller venue I expect availability is limited. I am left looking to try and obtain one from the touts outside the venue but I don't really want to be paying overly inflated prices. He told me to just head to the venue and I should easily pick up tickets on the cheap [£10]..

After football I had to leave my daughter at Pony Club, which she didn't mind, whilst I picked up my partner from the salon where she was having her hair cut. It was like a relay race as we arrived back at her house, Baby was there with her father returning her after their morning together and the Boy and I had to head straight back to Pony Club. There was no dropping of batons as we made our exchange which highlighted our professionalism :)

Curiosity got the better as we drove by his partners car as not met her before and probably won't to be fair. She is a figure in our complex situation though, which is unique in that it has a lot of coverage across several families. Maybe I should organise a Christmas meal for everyone involved although this will resemble something along the lines of The Waltons on acid!

Friday, October 24, 2008

I am Samson

'Samson and Delilah,' by TintorettoImage via WikipediaThankfully it wasn't Delilah that cut my hair tonight as I didn't really want to lose all of my strength but I do feel slightly different. I decided that I would have a drastic cut as pre-cut it was getting dangerous, always blowing across my face and obscuring my vision. It's any wonder how I haven't run someone over, walked off the platform into the path of a train or ended up a tree somewhere.

After searching through multiple images I finally selected a cross somewhere between Pete Wentz and Zac Effron. Arriving at the salon, I felt as though I had completed a homework assignment as I produced several images that I had printed out as examples and then gave my presentation. If only I had produced a laptop build and brought over a PowerPoint presentation... Too extreme but the way I see it is that your hair says a lot about you as a person because if you don't make the effort it is going to be on show. Images are currently visible on my Daily Mugshot profile and with Saturday night out with friends you will see a few more photo's filter through I expect!

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Thursday, October 23, 2008


Fall Out BoyImage by joedawson via FlickrThe Fall Out Boy concert last night was really good, we missed the first support act but we were on the Arena floor when Boys Like Girls made their way onto the stage. Both my partner and I thought they were wicked although not quite sure what to make of them spitting into the air only to catch it in their mouths again. Impressive, I guess!

Their song Hero/Heroine was the one for me as I like the change in tempo, Pete Wentz joined them on stage for the final song which was greeted with the expected cheers and screams.

After the stage was cleared there was a break while the Wembley staff prepared the stage for Fall Out Boy. During this period music was played and I so have to go to an Arctic Monkeys gig as hearing them playing through the speakers got myself and many others moving to the beat.

Eventually the lights dimmed and the band took to the stage, Patrick Stump and Pete Wentz exemplify everything about the band but it was Joe Trohman's hair that stood out the most for me as it is HUGE. I half expected a flock of birds to fly from his hair once the first few chords of Thanks Fr Th Mmrs came through the speakers.

They really went through the classics as well which was great although they included I Don't Care from there upcoming album. Below is the full set list although what isn't included it the love that they showed to Kanye West as they covered Love Lockdown and also American Boy. Both sounded wicked I felt and even though different genre's they made the songs their own.

Fall Out Boy Setlist Wembley Arena, London, United Kingdom 2008

As I stated yesterday I uploaded my photo's to Flickr and using machine tags have linked them to the event calendar for the concert. I have also added Flickr to my Zemanta preferences so that now when I type, recommended images from my Flickr account are displayed. It works well and instead of adding the entire batch you can view the images from the Fall Out Boy concert here...

My overall impressions from the concert were that the band produced and didn't disappoint. Rather than play new material that the crowd wouldn't be able to vibe to they played the fan favourites. The banter between Pete and Patrick was funny with Patrick continually playing the guitar when Pete tried to address the crowd.
I thought that the guitars with lights were impressive although the photos don't show this very clear. At the end Pete was chased around the stage by a technician as he tried to prevent sound equipment being damaged before eventually jumping into the crowd. Boys Like Girls were also good and I will be making sure to check out their other material.

Thanks for the memories as it was a great night!

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sugar We're Going Down

Image representing Flickr as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBaseMy children are at the age where they are full of curiosity, asking questions about anything and everything. I had to explain to my daughter yesterday the procedure for breast enlargement, I think I detailed too clearly as her face looked horrified. She couldn't understand why anyone would go to such lengths. If a child can get the message then why do so many women opt for the procedure.

It begs the question, what extent people are prepared to go to with their bodies with the aim being perfection? With technology advances and new procedure's being introduced all the time it does make you wonder. An RSS feed I came across earlier mentioned that LED's are the new botox! Whatever next!

The children brought around their school photo's so I am currently trying to work out how many and what sizes are required. It works out a small fortune with the individual, combined and class photo's and I have only two at school. For families with loads of children it must be a headache but the upside is they do make great gifts to send to relatives.

Tonight we are going to Wembley Arena to see Fall Out Boy, feeling guilty as Baby isn't too well
but she has medication so hopefully it won't be too long until she is better. My partner was reluctant to come at first but her parents are to look after Baby for the night so she is in capable hands!

I am looking to upload my photos to Flickr and use machine tags for the first time. This is something I discovered when I added the concert to my calendar as by adding a machine tag it links back to the event on and also batches them with other photos uploaded that were taken at the concert ( attendees). This in turn I am hoping will feed back through to my blog using Zemanta which is the plugin I use to suggest related images and articles. We will see how this works out tomorrow!
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

hello... hello...

FriendFeed FaviconsImage by Thomas Hawk via FlickrHaving been active on FriendFeed recently you will have seen a steady flow of updates rolled out to the masses. The development team have now just added a few new services. The site has evolved significantly since I first signed up to stream my online presence and interact with like minded people. One aspect of the site that has always left me wondering is the inclusion of Facebook as other than the application it didn't import anything.

That has all changed now as the two sites are now speaking with each other 'hello... hello...' FriendFeed now imports status updates, posted items and notes on the flip side the usually inconsistent Facebook-FriendFeed app import seems to be regularly updating from FriendFeed now. Apparently the echo chamber doesn't duplicate and I am yet to see or see anyone commenting on problems experienced. The full list of new services includes;

I am really liking Twine, it basically offers a way to keep track of your interests, collect and share bookmarks, notes, videos and other content. It learns as you use the site and suggests Twine's and people that are relevant to your interests which works well. Haven't really tried the other services yet although I am sure if there becomes a need to I will in due course!

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Monday, October 20, 2008


Clock in Kings Cross railway stationImage via WikipediaCan feel winter slowly moving in now, even before the clocks change the days already appear to be getting longer. Waking in the morning and leaving my warm bed behind makes me feel like such a traitor. To be fair the spare room at my parents is nothing special, it does require a lot of work but where I am staying at my partners regularly the plan is to get some money saved.

If you can save it is a good time to put some money down although if you listen to the government they reckon we should spend like there is no tomorrow. 'What crisis?'

With the clocks changing this weekend I am sure that it will really disrupt my already badly synchronised body clock. Forget time zones as I think I would only really be fully operational on the moon!

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Break the ice

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseAnother enjoyable weekend of sport, was hoping that after Chelsea won 5-0 with an impressive performance against Middlesbrough that the teams around us would lose ground. It wasn't to be but hopefully with our next match being against Liverpool we will be able to put some air between us and the rest.

Lewis Hamilton having started on pole successfully made the first corner and went on to win the Chinese Grand Prix. He now heads into the final race in Brazil seven points clear, exactly the same as last year but looking a lot more competitive. Surely this will be the McLaren drivers year!

Tonight Techmeme mirrored the Billboard chart, no Mike Arrington hadn't released a number one hit instead he had covered the story that Britney Spears is now on Twitter. She or rather her people have pushed the Britney brand into the social media scene with a blog and the ability to link up with Britney on Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, and Twitter. This development has really created a buzz because someone of Britney's calibre is a huge draw to the service and no doubt there will be a rush of fans looking to befriend the star and communicate with the star and her people.

It will be interesting to see how this develops over the coming months. Raising the profile of Twitter is great but I am hoping that this won't lead to the service ending up like MySpace. The amount of noise, spam and misuse there led me to delete my account. I have faith thought and I have added @therealbritney as a friend and I have also got @stephenfry and @johncleese that I can count as close contacts :)

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Exit Music, Turn Left...

Children know how to create an awkward situation, the plan was for me to collect them from their mother but that changed just as I was about to leave and I had to head to their Grandparents. Arriving my son was ready to go but my daughter had decided that she wanted to stay there. No real complaints there as it was her decision but it was the return that created drama. After watching my son chalk up another goal and really put together a good performance we headed back to take my daughter horse riding. I was also instructed by their mother to keep them both with me and from conversation with him there wasn't a problem.

After speaking to their Nan briefly he went off on one in the car like a rocket exploding, driving off felt like I was taking part in an elaborate kidnap and made me feel really useless. Still he calmed down, explaining to me that he only wanted to tell her about his goal he had scored. Nice one! Horse riding went well as my daughter went for a trek away from the usual area and she really enjoyed herself. They stayed with me for the duration of the day, although I had to leave to head to my partners uncle's 60th birthday. Their mother collected them later that night and when I spoke to them they both sounded tired.

The party went really well apart from a minor incident that took place outside as some children tried to gate crash the event. I sent them away from the upstairs entrance and shut the door and then for some reason they all started fighting with each other and blood ended up everywhere. This didn't cause too much concern inside as everyone continued with the party and danced the night away. When we left there was no sign of any of the children although we did pass them further down the road. I thought London was bad!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Get your teeth into it..

Teeth (film)Image via WikipediaLast night I watched the movie Teeth and what a strange movie it turned out to be, the acting wasn't strong but the plot was really out there and had me flinching a few times. Not wanting to spoil the enjoyment head down to your local video rental and grab a copy, it's an experience trust me...

The majority of articles I read are from Tech sources and the industry seems to be strong with updates and improvements to sites and applications. Even with all the uncertainty surrounding the Global Markets there is always activity unfolding from the feeds I subscribe to in Google Reader.

The FriendFeed updates I wrote about yesterday and also the improvements I added to the post. Today we have Flickr, Yahoo, the usual iPhone and Android rumours and the news that Microsoft are interested in Yahoo again although I have a feeling everyone has had enough of that story from last time to warrant too much coverage.

I have only really noted the stories of interest to me but there is a lot of activity which for me shows stability. Even with all the uncertainty it doesn't look like that is affecting the industry too badly but no doubt the squeeze will be felt. In areas other than just laying off staff as it's not having a negative impact on productivity that's for show. This is the same for my company as our products look strong and I see our Credit package being stronger than ever with the way it works. Anyway, just though I would get this out there! :)

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

We're Live...

Image representing FriendFeed as depicted in C...Image via CrunchBaseFriendFeed the lifestreaming site that I use actively has just received a new feature which enables users on the site to see updates in real-time. Instead of refreshing the page constantly, now you can pop-out a page for any area of the site that you want to follow and keep up with the discussion and feeds imported.

I have bookmarked the Real-time Home feed view and have it loaded into the sidebar so that when tabbed browsing it's still visible. An update on the FriendFeed blog details the following~

This is accomplished by a technique called long polling, where our server doesn't respond to your browser's request until there's something it wants to send. This is great because we can show your FriendFeed faster using far fewer requests than before.
This is really great for live chat, blogging and for example with the Presidential Debates and is referred to as "Noise on Steroids" by Robert Scoble who is an active user on the site. By adding the "/realtime" directory to any page you will get the live feed produced and also noted is that you can embed a real-time view of a public room on your own blog or website which is great.

With this experimental view there is obviously going to be improvement needed to tweak performance and Louis Gray provides a great comparison with Twitter ;

For example, if I search for "debate" on FriendFeed: I get results from friends. And they sit there unless I refresh again. But on Twitter, not only do I get live results from the entire planet, but I get an update saying how many hundreds more results have debuted since I first entered my query. See:


Bret Taylor posted a couple of messages on FriendFeed detailing some of the changes that they have pushed through. It looks like this is going to be tweaked quite heavily until they are satisfied with the end result which is great. Here are the updates...

“Likes now included in real-time view (only the likes from people you are subscribed to directly). Refresh to see them.”

“We just pushed a change that should make it easier to comment in a fast-moving real-time feed. The updates will temporarily stop flowing in when your mouse is moving towards a comment link...”

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Connecting People

Charing CrossImage via WikipediaLast year I was invited to participate in an O2 research group and I have continued to trial services and provide feedback monthly. This evening as part of a task I was asked to attend a group discussion they were hosting at The Bell and Compass in Charing Cross so I went along to provide my opinion.

I arrived and waited at the bar for a while, attempted to call the host a few times but there was no reply. Eventually I received a heads up that everyone was downstairs, descended the stairs to the function area and began to take advantage of the free bar.

Once the introductions had taken place, there was a recap on what was expected from us and details about the usability of the website and it's features. We then got to talking about phone features including threaded messages, SMS, mobile Internet, phone usage and also we got to see the latest XDA handset. What impressed me about the handset was the Sat Nav, using Google Maps when travelling to London last week highlighted to me that a voice detailing the navigation would have been ideal. The Google maps application is great but riding alone it was difficult to be fully aware what was going on around me on the road as well as following the directions from the map.

I explained to them how using the iPhone has really evolved how I communicate, where before I would send a steady stream of text messages to people now through the apps for Facebook, Twitter etc and email I can stay in contact. Obviously when important matters are presented I would just call the person directly. As a service provider I can't fault O2 as they provide a great user experience, they listen to feedback received and through this product group they reward their best customers with the trial of new services and promotions by offering incentives.

Speaking to the O2 product/services team at the end of the session they spoke highly of their partnership with Apple and said that as well as providing an amazing handset they were also great to work with. Can Apple do no wrong?! An enjoyable evening and hopefully it won't be as long until the next event comes around!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Don't try this at home...

Jackass (TV series)Image via WikipediaTonight I met my children's mother as she returned from her friends with the children, she transferred the package [kids] to me and we went our separate ways. My children were in an active mood and they set the tempo for what was to be a funny night. We started with the usual playing of loud music and throwing shapes all over the front room. This was followed by building a dinosaur from an activity book that my son had and then I dazzled them with my art as I copied a picture of a T-Rex. We then watched some TV before I took them home to their mother.

Returning back to my parents I sat and watched TV with my youngest brother and sister and looked through some holiday photos. My sister's partner was going to be arriving there in the early hours as he had gone to a bar and whilst watching Jackass a plan started to formulate. This involved removing light bulbs and rearranging the whole of downstairs so that it resembled an assault course. My only hope is that I won't come down in the morning to find him in a heap on the floor ha ha!

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Shouting into holes

I really feel that in the echo chamber which is the World today that I am not getting the required response or feedback. It's as though what I am saying is getting lost in translation, I thrive on communication, obviously otherwise I wouldn't feel the need to run this blog as an outlet. It's served me well and the evolution process has led me to discover many wonderful things including my partner. The 'Web 2.0' era has been great and although the curtains are suggested to be coming down I am sure that there will be an encore to come...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It takes two...

Google MapsImage by aburt via FlickrMy children are growing up too fast and it's annoying as I have such limited time with them. This weekend they stayed with me but I was double-booked so they stayed at my parents both nights. On Friday night I had arranged to travel into London to meet my partner and her friend after the Ting Tings concert at the Forum. Navigating with Google Maps on my phone is to put it bluntly DANGEROUS! Will not be trying that anytime again soon! Anyway I arrived well before the concert eventually finished so as I had tuned into Annie Mac on Radio 1 I listened and waited for the concert to end. Must say I am well feeling the Worm and also Nerdstep which were played during the show. They eventually appeared and in several minds we finally arrived at McDonald's and headed back to home.

Saturday touched down at Dawson studios residence early and after the usual fandango, my Son scored two goals and my daughter went off to Pony Club to save the World. The last time my Son scored a couple England went on to win by a margin and that was to be the order of play for the Three Lions as we rolled Kazakhstan over 5-1, not feeling the booing for Ashley Cole as he made a mistake to pave the way for their strike. Why?! Leaving the children for the second night in a row I went out to celebrate my friend's 30th. The night was a great laugh some of my friends are the best dancers ever. I came home early wanting to rise for the Formula One.

Watching the race [twice] it was eventful but not worth the early wake up as it was a bad race for Lewis Hamilton. Not only did he flat-spot his tyre into the first corner, he also had a collision with Massa which led to him having to let the whole field pass, received a drive-through penalty and had to pit due to the damage to his car. All this in the opening few laps, Massa received a drive-through penalty as well but he was able to recover leaving Lewis well out of contention and Alonso to win his second GP in a row.

My children had a birthday party in the afternoon so after making them beautiful they went off leaving me to evaluate the race with my brother before collecting them and taking them back to their mother. We so need more bank holidays as feel like I am spending more time at work lately and not enjoying the quality time enough when with those that matter! Now cloning that would work...

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Hurricane Coming?

Image representing Robert Scoble as depicted i...Image via CrunchBaseThe global economy continues to look uncertain even with the Government's bail-out package trying to halt the decline and restore confidence in the market. It's looking increasingly like we are on the verge of a global recession as markets are in freefall.

By lunchtime the FTSE 100 was down 332 points at 3981.8, losing £105 billion in value at a rate of £250 million a second. This was on the back of overnight losses on Wall Street and in Asia. London City workers today warned that the financial crisis will get worse before it gets better.

Robert Scoble has a good post that reflects the situation well titled “Sky isn’t falling” blogger says. He sees this
this like a hurricane moving across our economy, and that what happens in a storm? Some trees topple. Some stand tall. I like this analogy, no one knows what the full extent of the current situation will be but we need to be vigilant.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Will Code For Food!

A tag cloud with terms related to Web 2.Image via WikipediaMany bloggers are signalling the end of the Web 2.0 era, the doom and gloom of the economy, the worries about funding, fail rate, cutting staff etc. The evolution of the web, the most recent boom of the Internet which has brought around some great innovation is it really the end?
We’ll look back in later years and think of this most recent boom as the Web 2.0 period, when we were wowed by the magic of user generated content, copyright violations on a massive scale, and neat little widgety things that used Javascript and Flash to turn web pages into pretty close equivalents to the old desktop apps. Of course there were other evolutions as well. Advertising technology has advanced steadily, particularly in tailoring ads to an individuals needs, and tracking them properly. This is the period that social networking as we think of it today was born, and we’ll never be rid of it in our lifetimes - TechCrunch
There will be casualties in this economic downturn, there will also be growth and positives to learn as well! Highs and lows are naturally going to take place as part of progression and learning curve. So the Web 2.0 bubble may have burst but the Internet has evolved to a tool that many of us can't live without so the innovation will continue. Purse strings may tighten but once the ship has settled then there will always be areas for improvement!

Will code for food, definitely! On a lighter note, I finally released the blog/community pages I have been building at work to integrate with out Intranet and initial opinion is good. Although expanding the comments to cover other areas of our Intranet including the FAQ pages I think will prove to be the most practical! That way during calls our customer service department can spread details of updates and best practice to benefit the whole department!

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

You have exceeded the limit...

Facebook has determined that you were using a feature at a rate that is likely to be abusive. Before you were blocked, you were given a warning to slow down your use of this feature. For example, if you were blocked from sending friend requests, then we determined that you were adding new friends too quickly. Please note that these blocks can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Unfortunately, we cannot lift the block for you. Please be aware that further abuse of such features can result in your account being permanently disabled and removed from the site

I received no advanced warning, just a message to state that I had been blocked from importing notes which was harsh. The problem appears to be the imported feed/RSS from my blog which isn't being accepted by Facebook's Importing feature. When it did eventually decide to work, Facebook imported 25 notes and then I received the message that I had been blocked from using the feature.

Obviously it's a mechanism in place to stop abuse but there was no way for me to appeal and also this should not occur when it's the social networking site that set the 25 limit anyway not me. The image below shows where I enter my Public URL to import to the site, no intentional abuse on my part and no real details on how long this is expected to last!

UPDATE: Block appears to have been for 24 hours as it is working now!
~ 10th Oct '08

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