Thursday, December 31, 2009

Movies Will Never Be The Same After Avatar

AvatarsImage by brtsergio via Flickr

I thought that an Avatar was a computer generated representation referring to the personality connected with the screen name or alias, of an Internet user. Apparently it's much more than just a Mii, 3D graphic or custom signature as I discovered when I took my children to watch the movie Avatar..

Avatar is a 2009 American film that is a science fiction epic, written and directed by James Cameron. The film is set in the year 2154 on Pandora, a fictional world in a distant planetary system. Humans are engaged in mining Pandora's reserves of a precious mineral, while the Na'vi—a race of indigenous humanoids—resist the colonists' expansion, which threatens the continued existence of the Na'vi and the Earth-like Pandoran ecosystem. The film's title refers to a genetically engineered body called an avatar, that looks and functions like a Na'vi body, but is controlled remotely by the mind of a human.

What do I think and more importantly what were the children's reaction to this almost three hour movie? Incredible, in 3D this was amazing and I feel that this is the benchmark now! As Mike Arrington states movies will never be the same after Avatar. Like the iPhone in the mobile world, this movie disrupts an entire industry. I’m going to go see it again next week at an IMAX theater with a date and I may take my children at the weekend again! You need to experience this movie..

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Forty Hours Later

ClockImage by Caucas' via Flickr

Communication tools are everywhere, I began reaching out in the 90's through the Internet. Participating in conversations through email, chat rooms and instant messenger clients. Although dial up speeds weren't significant the Internet provided an outlet for discovery and interaction!

Then the introduction of mobile phones, SMS and MMS meant that we could interact with friends while not confined to a personal computer or telephone. The communication tools continued to evolve and blogs, social networks and digital media provided an outlet for everyone to share, interact and network with peers. Now the mobile Internet has merged the online experience enabling constant connectivity through email, instant messenger, social networks and media. Why is it then that I still have problems contacting my brother to arrange anything?!

Received a notification that his band were playing at a local venue and figured that I would participate. I arrived and waiting around as the warm-up group played but there was no sign of him. Eventually I departed but later found out that I missed an epic night! Anyway from conversations with friends that night /via the iPhone; Facebook Chat and SMS, it became apparent that all that we should be saying is give peace a chance. During the Vietnam War, in 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono held two week-long Bed-Ins for Peace in Amsterdam and Montreal. With New Year's Eve approaching a fortnight wasn't practical but managed to experience the Bed-In theme. I'm now suffering withdrawal symptoms from the sheer volume of movies watched!
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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Bowling, Paintball, Boxing Day?!

Why so serious?Image by laverrue via Flickr

Christmas was immense, I believe I managed to avoid being recorded on Christmas morning. It's not about the early morning video capturing!

We watched previous footage recently and our youngest brother has changed the most over the last few years and it was hilarious!

I haven't changed much other than hairstyle differences, I still portray the demeanour of a seventeen year old, who knew?!

Everyone really appreciated the gifts that were exchanged but my parents won Christmas. They presented us with the gift of Paintball which is going to be amazing!!! With everyone together we decided that the Nintendo Wii was required. The highlight, especially for my son is that whilst playing Wii Sports he managed to take out every single pin in bowling! He hasn't stopped reminding everyone!! The children have now returned to their mother for a few days and I'm heading to my brothers to watch a movie because everyone is being too serious! That's all about to change...

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Gift Of Giving!

Christmas EveImage by joedawson via Flickr

A time for giving, a time for getting, a time for forgiving and for forgetting. With all the preparations complete and synchronised with a certain schedule, it's Christmas!

We have to salute Cliff Richard, although forgetting shouldn't be taken out of context! There are many aspects of 2009 that shouldn't be forgotten!

It's been a definitive year, I have made friends, participated in adventures and emerged with credibility! The only real disappointment being a certain little person that we're not able to see anymore. Breakups are always difficult but the outcome could have been better, just a brief encounter would have been appreciated, especially as it's Christmas!! Anyway the
Christmas formalities with the Stockings, Minced Pies and 'Milk' for Santa were greeted with beaming smiles from the children! Their enjoyment makes the weeks of preparation all worthwhile, they're all I want for Christmas! This year is my Christmas with them so can't wait to see their faces in the morning. After the photo session, I embarked on a brief reconnaissance mission to celebrate Christmas Eve with friends before departing at midnight to collect my brother and retire for the evening! Happy Christmas everyone!!

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Face The Music

Great action posterImage by net_efekt via Flickr

After what I can only describe as an adventure, it was time to face the music! Extreme sports are now my favourite! The first person to reach the North Pole may have been an engineer in the American Navy named Robert Edwin Peary but I managed to travel to Chatham.

An attempted flood accompanied by intoxication and travelling against the elements through severe weather conditions all because the lady loves Milk Tray!
Then through communication breakdowns and difference in opinion, it's back to work to restore normality!

The reaction to our conduct was expected but there weren't any serious consequences other than to be more composed in future. The period before the festive break has been busy and I'm definitely excited about the holidays. Anyway the final few days before Christmas have always been a relentless battle to conquer the stores and eliminate those that stand before the holy grail. I have managed to complete the objective before schedule this year though which has provided a relief! It also means that I'm able to plan activities over the festive period! There will be many...
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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Do Not Pass Go

12 monkeysImage by fmg2001 via Flickr

"There's no right, there's no wrong, there's only popular opinion" -- Jeffrey Goines

The average perception is dictated by popular opinion, I'm sure that everyone acts through experience or better judgement! Any action or behaviour that doesn't correspond with accepted standards of conformity has to be raised before the institution. Thou shalt not question Stephen Fry! Popular opinion doesn't mean that your judgement or what you believe is incorrect.

Many believe that throwing a newborn child into water will instantly enable the child to swim. How many people have actually seen this? Chances are that child won't become Michael Phelps and instead will struggle and eventually drown! Don't believe everything because popular opinion isn't a code..

A code of conduct, which is a set of rules outlining the responsibilities of or proper practices for an individual or organization provides only guidelines. It's not like programming language, when a function has been entered incorrectly and nothing works. We're open source, what drives us forward is the ability to learn but we need to be proactive not reactive.
"Wait! You have to take me to shore. According to the Code of the Order of the Brethren..." -- Elizabeth Swann

"First, your return to shore was not part of our negotiations nor our agreement so I must do nothing. And secondly, you must be a pirate for the pirate's code to apply and you're not. And thirdly, the code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner." -- Captain Barbossa

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Got To Be Starting Something

Rave is KingImage by pokpok313 via Flickr

We're going to have a party! Tonight presented the annual family Christmas event where relatives travel to my parents to celebrate and reminisce. Unfortunately the weather conditions meant that there were unexpected cancellations but the showcase was both enjoyable and enlightening!

Shame that there wasn't full attendance but it was great to share an accord with new additions and partners. With it being Christmas I had other commitments which required that I departed earlier that anticipated! Admittedly I was still recovering from the work Christmas Party but I'm an adrenaline junkie and driving through the winter conditions provides an incredible high. This wasn't without cause though because I had to assist friends that were stranded in the snow! Note to self, purchase a plough for any future expeditions!!
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Friday, December 18, 2009

This Is Why I'm Cold!

It was inevitable that there would be incidents at the Christmas Party. Especially considering events that have materialised in the past when a free bar is involved. I'm disappointed that I retired early, although it was probably the sensible option to be fair. Not that I have any recollection of this departure other than friends assistance in detailing what occurred. Basically after consuming Vodka, Gin and bottles of red wine I decided that it was time to escape. Without reason I ran and fled on a bus, for what reason I don't know.. 

 My night then started around 11:30PM because that's when I realised that I wasn't in Kansas anymore. Instead I had arrived in Chatham, everywhere was covered in a thick blanket of snow and I was near to hypothermia. For whatever reason, I had chosen to leave the restaurant without almost every possession, including a wallet, umbrella and most importantly a coat! Wearing just a shirt I obviously hadn't thought my actions through and due to the weather conditions I was stranded in outer Europe (sound familiar?). Thankfully the parents International Rescue were able to assist but were delayed due to problems on the motorway. I was frozen but a local hero provided a coat and warmth, admittedly I was tempted into his vehicle to survive but it was a strange experience. When his partner arrived at the collection point I specifically heard her state "Who the f*ck is this?" I'm that guy! Eventually I was rescued but I have had to cancel my subscription to life today because I have wandered too far from the yellow brick road.....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Do Not Try And Bend The Spoon

FocusImage by ihtatho via FlickrPicture the scenario, I'm employed by the largest financial services provider globally and to celebrate the year and the festive period we have our annual Christmas Party. All regions and employees associated with our business software, website, guidance and subscription-based services were in attendance. Everyone had gathered around the customer service department eagerly anticipating the speech from the Managing Director. The speech usually summarises the progress we have made as a company, highlights our achievements and sets the tone for the Christmas Party proceedings! Plus the entire company are presented with a gift to show appreciation for our efforts. We prepared for the speech and the organised activities ahead by introducing Smirnoff Vodka to the afternoon. It was the music that defined the whole afternoon though because the playlist really set the tempo. Featuring the latest Drum & Bass including the new single from Sub Focus, the Miike Snow Black & Blue (Netsky remix) and Zed Bias Neighbourhood 09 (Logistics Remix). It set the tone for what would become a memorable night...

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Google And Facebook Launch URL Shorteners FAIL blowfishImage by bpedro via Flickr

URL shorteners have become an important business in the age of microformats and 140-characters. In the beginning TinyURL which launched in 2002 provided all that was required to get control.

The popularity of TinyURLs influenced the creation of at least 100 similar websites. Initially Twitter automatically translated long URLs using TinyURL. As of 2009, replaced TinyURL as its default shortener of links longer than 26 characters. is now the market leader but is that all about to change as Google and Facebook have entered the link shortening space! Facebook’s was uncovered by Inside Facebook and then Google followed up with the announcement of, which is now part of the Google Toolbar and Feedburner. Although announced a 'pro' version of its service are Google and Facebook out to take out

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Not Twelve Days But Pioneering The Future..

Google Android mascotsImage by niallkennedy via Flickr

We're familiar with the Twelve days of Christmas but not many anticipated the twelfth day to involve Google employees tweeting about Google Phones. According to sources the Android-powered Google phone was handed out at an internal meeting!

It's times like this that make me wish that I was a Google employee. I have wrote about the company frequently these last few months! The potential, the direction and the services that Google provide and are pioneering. As we begin another decade it's certain that the company will be a major player in how we interact through the Internet and more...

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

He Moves In His Own Way...

DancingImage via Wikipedia

A short period of time during which an opportunity must be acted on or missed is usually referred to as a window. Not that short periods of time are the preferred option! After attending the Club NME Christmas party at KOKO, I was fragile and still recovering but proceedings dictated the activities.

Apparently sleep, although attempted yesterday in various forms of technicolour was required it had become almost irrelevant. I would like to emphasise that almost would eventually prevail and the inevitable outage would occur. Anyway, before that I arrived in Bexleyheath to celebrate the birthday of the partner of my sibling. They have been together forever and as well as being a great guy he has a formidable social crowd. The night was enlightening especially a conversation I had with a friend which provided immense detail! Although, just like all good things that have to come to an end, as the clock struck and the evening finished I had already promptly made my departure...
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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ou Est Le Camden Town

KokoImage by william_hines via Flickr

Club NME was the destination again tonight for the Christmas party at KOKO, calling on the talents of Delphic and Ou Est Le Swimming Pool for live sets before tearing the wallpaper off and getting the dancefloor pumping courtesy of Mikey Four and Ed Wilder. The journey there wasn't too memorable other than a Bambi incident where I ended up soaked with the contents of one mixer. I was ready for the proceedings..

Arrived at KOKO and without printed proof of the tickets I had purchased I had to provide confirmation through GMail. The ever important accessory, the iPhone enabling entry to night clubs since 2008. Inside the atmosphere was inspiring and everyone appeared in high spirits. Christmas has that affect on people it seems! After the live performances, the majority of the evening becomes vague! Managed to acquire a 'festive card' from and a considerable amount of advertisement material before attempting to obtain directions to Narnia. Wasn't happening! Eventually arrived at Charing Cross and decided to indulge in the finest cuisine. It's not a miracle we needed but McDonalds wouldn't let us think so..

Then the inevitable twist, predictable although not always understood because first you set the scene and then the mood. We salute the relevance of Sebastian in these intriguing circumstances! The scene culminated the evening for many participants, whilst the incoherence combined with the finest Swedish import since ABBA gained international popularity created an emphatic finale! Garçon, could we have the desert menu please? Unfortunately, this proved ineffective in the establishment and we were escorted from the premises once another group began to reminisce to the Ke$ha anthem. As we absconded I found a small room which presented an opportunity but then after a potential situation we headed to our awaiting chariot. ABBA sounded in the distance but as morning approached the noise turned to the melody of sheep and we were asleep...

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

All Your Base Are Belong To Google

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase

Google have definitely unveiled some fascinating new releases and updates recently. The Christmas schedule of project management, parties, activities and adventure has meant that I haven't been proactive with documenting what's been announced!

Thankfully Rob Diana has summarised each feature released and provides them with his views on what we can expect from Google in the future.
Look at these announcements and you will see three common themes. Mobile, Local and real-time. Even the analytics release has a lot to do with these themes. ~ Rob Diana
I agree totally with his views and that Google have shown a large part of their hand for 2010. With these services and the continued developments through Android and Chrome OS, Google couldn't be in a stronger position!
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Monday, December 07, 2009

Google Realtime Results

light speedImage by james_drury via Flickr

The realtime vision for the Internet has been regularly discussed across the blogosphere. Twitter Search emerged as the template with relevancy being core. The ability to identify trending topics and discussion became an important method of discovery.

Google have acknowledged this and now launched Trends which have officially left Google Labs. This new realtime search will work on both Android devices and iPhones immediately. “The importance of relevance has gone through the roof as the amount of information out there is growing. Relevance has become the critical factor” Singhal notes from the Realtime Search Event in Mountain View. Below I have embedded a video of the realtime results in action:

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Sunday, December 06, 2009


Carousel at Hyde Park "Winter wonderland&...Image via Wikipedia

Set between Hyde Park Corner and the Serpentine over six weeks. Winter Wonderland is the perfect day out for family, friends and colleagues to delight in the magical atmosphere of London this Christmas!

I travelled there with my children to participate in the festivities. There's plenty available to keep everyone occupied but it comes at a cost because even though it's free entry everything requires tokens and the food and drinks were quite expensive.

The rides were impressive, the one attraction we were most interested in was the ice skating but when attempting to purchase tickets we were informed that we had to wait several hours. With the rain starting to fall and Oxford Street tempting us with the stores and restaurants we jumped on the bus and waved farewell to Winter Wonderland! After visiting several stores, hunger pounced so we travelled to Nandos to finish our adventure. Winter Wonderland is definitely worth experiencing but I would advise to book ice skating in advance because it appears to be very popular!
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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Who's Your Mate?

DÉJA VU !Image by Color-de-la-vida via Flickr

A déjà vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix. It happens when they change something..
It's rare that I share the company with my children's mother, the person that provided the two most beautiful people in my world.

Last night though was an occasion, it wasn't formal either like the school meetings or doctors appointments. Instead I travelled to meet some friends and there she was celebrating her sister's birthday!It was enlightening, I managed to participate in their celebration although I know that she doesn't approve of my demeanour.

Afterwards, I travelled towards home but then redirected to another location. I was only here briefly because I objected to the conversation and decided to retire for the evening! I thought that I had abandoned the umbrella, I was mistaken though because it managed to return..
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Friday, December 04, 2009

How To Meet And Influence People!

FRANKMUSIKImage by Caesar Sebastian via Flickr

Tonight's entertainment was to be Vincent Frank known professionally as Frankmusik, who is a British electropop musician. Arrived at Camden Town after watching England drawn to face the United States, Algeria and Slovenia in the group stage of the 2010 World Cup. Well impressed with that and needed more involvement than Disco Stu!

The destination was Koko (formerly Camden Palace) which I have fond memories about from my youth! Considering that Frankmusik was for over 14's this was definitely a journey down memory lane and I envisioned Carnage! I still required a ticket for the show and wasn't confident as I arrived in the area but managed to secure one after a brief interlude at Burger King! Anticipation building I entered the venue and ended up laughing too much at the underage syndicate decimated by what I can only describe as stigmata. Permanent marker applied to the hands corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus! Thou shalt not consume alcohol this evening my lambs!

After several visits to the bar with the arrogance of Mr. Bean I became well involved with the proceedings. Introduced a variation of clapping to some people although I think they responded just for humour purposes! Beatboxing was a popular theme for the night and even Vincent Frank participated to the delight of the crowd. Not a piece of me though!! The Frankmusik set list featured many of the well known tracks including; Better Off As Two, Confusion Girl, When You're Around and Boyfriend. Wasn't too sure about the new track but overall I was well impressed with the entertainment. Afterwards I had the opportunity to attend the Skins Party but decided to travel home although I regret this decision now!

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Open Web Is An Urban Myth!

Road Closed Ahead signImage via Wikipedia

Silicon Valley Watcher recently raised concerns about the open web and our data. The topic being social networks and third-party applications that want permission to aggregate our activity and publish through their services.

This is achieved through publishing an application programming interface (API) that specifies how other programs access our data.

Although the objective is to provide an open experience, competitors will always seek to restrict their competition. We saw this recently when Facebook acquired FriendFeed had access to the Twitter firehose terminated and replaced with a slower version.
Open APIs are a key foundation of Web 2.0. Yet this whole industry is being built on a very shaky foundation, one that can be closed at any moment.
Providing open industry standards that succeed is difficult because there is money in proprietary systems. Look at the success that the App Store has experienced recently for Apple as an example. It's the traditional way money is made in the computer industry.
Why should Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Microsoft, Salesforce, Google, or any other company with a valuable data stream, promise to give open access, to anyone, at anytime?
As mentioned competition threatens the entire Internet because proprietary systems or a closed web will restrict innovation and compromise the open vision! An urban myth is generally untrue but sometimes one that is merely exaggerated or sensationalized, are social networks and Web 2.0 applications in that territory?

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Monday, November 30, 2009

What Happens When You Sleep?

Paranormal Activity - 00219Image by Daniel Semper via Flickr

What happens when we sleep? I'm presuming that for the majority we recharge, characterised by total or partial unconsciousness.

Not for Katie, a student living with her partner Micah who claims that a presence has haunted her since she was a child! I'm referring to the Paranormal Activity movie which presents the story of a young couple "engaged to be engaged" who have a dangerous presence in their house.

Presented from the perspective of Micah's video camera, purchased to capture the paranormal activity. This means that without any ambiance, the ambiance in the cinema is the people that choose to be loud and provide spoilers! Damn them! Paranormal Activity is worth watching although I wasn't impressed with the finale, there is an alternative ending apparently which attracts my interest. That I'm sure will feature on the DVD/Blu-Ray release and I would suggest this as a purchase/rental for when you're alone..

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Three A Magic Number?

Ke$haImage by stevegarfield via Flickr

When I woke up in the morning yesterday I wasn't really feeling like anyone famous! Fast forward 24 hours and I definitely have a Sean Combs demeanour!

I had brushed my teeth with Vodka and left for what became an eventful night! The agenda was to discuss pedicures on our toes and the boys blowing up our phones. Actually the conversation centered around tattoo's and the Hills. The later obviously being for the purpose of humour, but you knew that right?!?

There were unexplained photographs although I'm concerned that there wasn't a shoe perspective as isn't that the standard?! I managed to misplace another umbrella but it could have been worse especially had I travelled to Brighton and returned home with many unaccountable items. That scenario was reserved for anyone that travelled south for the weekend. Personally I felt that Newcastle should have been the feature but I wasn't in any position to make decisions as the curtain came down and I awaited the view from the afternoon..
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Saturday, November 28, 2009

One More Time

ArtImage by joedawson via Flickr

The morning started with a telephone call to inform me that the children wanted to attend their activities. I had arranged this prior to receiving the reminder! After a journey through the Enchanted Forest I received an update that they weren't feeling too well and had decided to stay home.

I sense a conspiracy!

With no alternative arrangement for the short term I travelled to the Gym. It's all about the Saturday morning workout! There's always the usual suspects from the week in attendance and it would appear I'm in this category as well. Received the expected telephone calls and also the unexpected which always becomes colourful!

Anyway, tonight I'm scheduled to participate in a 'girls night out' who knew?!

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Friday, November 27, 2009

East In The East

93 Feet EastImage by Caffeinehit via Flickr

Another week resigned to the archives, the buzz term in the office appears to be stakeholder management at the moment! I have heard this a few times recently and today I had to provide a presentation about all the excitement.

It was impressive and had Paul Daniels attended he would have liked it, not a lot but he would definitely have liked it! I decided that I would reward the achievement with a new haircut. Who doesn't want to look silky smooth, without referring to the Paul Mitchell handbook though I opted for Tony & Guy's!!

Arrived full of anticipation and although there was a delay to the schedule, the silky smooth look was magnificent and thankfully I wasn't too late for the rendezvous. The dinner arrangement wasn't disrupted because it was organised for later in the evening. Made impressions at several bars around Hoxton and Shoreditch before arriving at Pizza East which I thoroughly recommend because the food and service were excellent! After cocktails at Beach Blanket Babylon Shoreditch we headed for 93 Feet East which always provides a great night of entertainment! Weren't disappointed either as we really enjoyed the music and the dance moves on display were exceptional although I felt that my 'crab' received the most acclaim! The evening ended by trying to make people yawn but this didn't work too well!!!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

You're Everywhere

Foursquare Vancouver GirlImage by 6S via Flickr

Location based services, utilizing the ability to make use of the geographical position of mobile devices, continue to gain momentum.

Now not only do I have to keep up appearances on Facebook, share what's happening on Twitter but I also have to check into places of interest, restaurants and bars! Everyone is going to know that I check into plenty of bars, is that a good thing?!

I have interacted with location based services for a while and I still think we're yet to see the killer app introduced. I feel that Foursquare and Gowalla are close to realising the potential, but would like to see services pushing towards a standard! I rate the ability to publish to the Facebook newsfeed, to-do lists, history/stats, the ability to upload photos and I would also like the ability to interact with friends and their activity.

With Facebook Connect, the option to publish to the newsfeed encourages friends to participate. I have noticed several of my friends now using Gowalla since I began publishing my activity and I'm sure this will continue to increase in popularity. The to-do lists on Foursquare are a great method of discovery, I have spoken to friends about this and they're intrigued so it's definitely an attractive feature.

Being able to provide historical data and statistics obviously has advantages, location based services potentially could offer coupons and promotions and it's all about the freebies!

Providing the ability to upload photos, allows us to add our identity to the location. Whether it's to capture the moment or to just upload something random, it's personalised! Finally interaction is primarily why I contribute to social networks so providing multiple layers for communication enhances the usability and likelihood that the service will become widely adopted!

What features would you like to see introduced?

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Should Microsoft Be Scared?

Chrome OS and SkydriveImage by niallkennedy via Flickr

The Google Chrome OS has generated significant interest across the Internet and anticipation continues to build with the open source Chromium OS available! From what I have read, Chrome OS appears to be an evolution of the Chrome browser. The operating system has been designed to provide web applications with the full functionality of desktop applications.

Every application will be a web application with data backed up to the cloud. What's impressive is that should anything happen to the hardware we will be able to log into the cloud to retrieve the cached data!

The Chrome OS strategy comes down to services, servers, security but what interests me most is the Chrome version of the iTunes app store. Apple have shown what can be achieved and no doubt Google will experience similar success and profit providing third party applications through the operating system. I have predicted that next year will be strong for Google with Android but Chrome OS also has the potential to be a game-changer. I'm intrigued and will follow developments with anticipation. What are your views?!

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Because They Sparkle

Bella and Edward, New Moon kissImage by GeekMom Heather via Flickr

New Moon, the Twilight sequel, eclipsed the record for a single-day opening at the North American box office, and has also achieved one of the biggest weekends ever in terms of overall ticket sales.

New Moon continues the dangerous romance between high school student Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and 108-year old vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). Making being pale desirable, intense intimate moments with the couple barely able to kiss without consequence and with the accident prone Bella there's never a dull moment in the Cullen residence.

The story starts with Bella concerned about her age, at 18-years old she's definitely pushing retirement. I'm not going to reveal too much but after she's nearly eaten at her birthday party at the Cullen house, Bella is devastated by the abrupt departure of her vampire love, who decides that being with him isn't the best lifestyle choice. After falling apart, her spirit is rekindled by her growing friendship with the irresistible Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). Suddenly she finds herself drawn into the world of the werewolves, ancestral enemies of the vampires, and finds her loyalties evaluated.

Film analysts and the blogosphere have been particularly critical about the underlying message from the movie. A professor of gender studies even views New Moon as an anti-feminist film that reinforces gender stereotypes to a "scary" extent. I enjoyed the following perspective from Skepchick which highlights the areas in a great context -
The messages behind Twilight? Be weak, let your man protect you. Be careful, don’t get him angry. If he hurts you, it’s your fault. Abuse is part of life. Accept it. If he really loves you, he’ll try not to hurt you but don’t be surprised if he does. You probably deserve it. You are nobody without your man, so don’t bother trying. (Skepchick)
Overall I really enjoyed the movie, which has a decent soundtrack as well. This may be a film full of gender stereotypes—testosterone-driven male aggression, females who pine away over lost loves, boys who fix motorcycles and the girls who watch them but it's werewolves against vampires and it's fun! New Moon has actually made me want to read the other books in the series. I want to learn more about the wolfpack, hunt the woods in tight-fitting denim shorts and get ripped from eating giant muffins!

Werewolves appear to be a popular choice at the box office recently; XMen Origins presented the Wolverine story and the trailer for The Wolfman looked impressive. I'm full of anticipation for Eclipse and if anymore villains are introduced we may see the Mystery Machine and Scooby-Doo make an appearance! Let me know your views in the comments..

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