Archive for the 'Web' Category

What’s that? A bandwagon? That I’m not on?

Monday, January 26th, 2009

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time recently thinking about communications and how to keep in touch from distant lands. There’s no shortage of possibilities, there may be far too many.

Since Twitter seems to have gone mainstream, if being mentioned by Jonathan Ross in the short time before he’s lynched by the tabloids again counts as mainstream, I thought I might jump on that particular bandwagon.

So I now have a twitter account. However I am not twittering, I have yet to tweet. I’m just not sure I ‘get it’, but it seems worth a look.

Expect some activity there at some point, mostly because I’m playing with to try and tie things together. It looks like a pretty neat service, if I can update everything in an easy way then I’m more likely to post stuff.

This may cause some odd entries to appear in places, but that’s part of the fun.

Mind Bites

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

This Flickr set is a nice group of research snippets set against interesting photo backgrounds. It’s a pretty nice set to flick through both for the pictures and the information. I particularly liked:

brainstorming dilutes ideas

You can also view the set via a funky (if slightly annoying) flash viewer at the creator’s website:


Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

I get comments. Mostly they’re spam (you’ll notice a new Spam Karma 2 footer showing how many have been eaten.)

But sometimes I get surprising comments.

Remember my post about Aspray a couple of months back? Well, it’s now got an interesting comment on it, a snippet:

We at Aspray were very distressed to read the article ‘Why Aspray sucks’ and especially concerned for the person who had experienced such awful service from the company.

It is both unacceptable and inexcusable that they should be treated in such a manner and as the Marketing Manager based at the Head Office I can only apologise and reassure this person that we will be looking seriously into this matter.

You can read the full thing here. They also contacted me personally saying more-or-less the same thing. I should find out the results of the investigation and I’ll try and post what I can in the forthcoming bathroom saga wrap-up post.

But first, kudos to them. For either having the sense to search the internet for references to themselves or, if they were tipped off, for handling it the way they did. Their response is all someone could hope for, no cease-and-desist, no request to remove the content, just a well thought-out response that doesn’t attempt to avoid or deny the reality of my experience and it includes a promise to investigate further.

There are multi-national companies that could learn from that level of customer service and marketing expertise. Just the few minutes that it took to make contact with me has dramatically shifted my opinion of Aspray.

Well done.


Saturday, August 4th, 2007

Today marks the start of my 33rd year on the planet (making me 32 to save you thinking it through). You might expect that to have some effect on me, but no. I’ve pretty much ignored the relentlessly ticking clock of age since my mid-twenties. When people ask how old I am my mind thinks “around 24” while my brain desperately tries to work out what the right answer is.

Still, it’s a good excuse for a piss up. So I’m off to see what’s on at the festival.

Just to reassure you that being a year older hasn’t changed me, here’s a bonus rant. From the terms and conditions here:

Before providing a link to our site you must seek our permission. To do this, email Louise with details of the URL to which you wish to link and the URL of the page on which you will be displaying the link. We do not permit the display of our web pages in any html frame unless we have expressly authorised this.

What. The. Fuck?

You idiots. You’re supposed to be making it easier for people to link to your site, you want more visitors, even if the site is worse than last year.

Listen here’s a online-sales basic principal for you: You want to encourage links. As Yoda might say “links lead to traffic, traffic leads to ticket sales and ticket sales lead to profit”.

Even ignoring the monumental stupidity, and the complete unenforceability, of that clause it’s just not how the world wide web works. World wide web. It’s a web. With links. You twats.

Fortunately people either don’t know about the clause (I didn’t until festbitch bitched about it) or everyone ignores it. Or maybe everyone else already e-mailed and asked permission.

But I didn’t. Fuck ’em.

I will monitor my mailboxes, both real and virtual, with glee whilst awaiting my cease-and-desist letter.

The Internet is for cats

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

The three of the top five most e-mailed stories on BBC news right now:

Cats. Which tells me that that all you need to get the attention of the majority of Internet users is a picture of a cat. Or porn. But mostly cats. Feel free to make a dubious Thundercats reference here.

And “US cat ‘predicts patient deaths'”, really:

Oscar has a habit of curling up next to patients at the home in Providence, Rhode Island, in their final hours.

Whilst you could have so much fun with that (“Here, distract Jimmy while I slip this tuna into his pocket”) I’d think the first thing I want to do is get rid of the bloody cat. It’s got to be a little distressing when he stops his ’rounds’ and starts eyeing up your bed …

And anyway isn’t “US cat ‘harbours deadly virus'” or “US cat ‘secretly smothers patients in their sleep'” more likely?

Because cats can’t ‘predict patient deaths’.

Because cats aren’t psychic.

Dogs are.

Why sucks …

Friday, June 8th, 2007

They’ve outdone themselves.

They’ve actually introduced new bugs into the this year.

You may recall that last year I ranted about the dismal state of the Edinburgh Fringe website. Pretty much everything I said then still applies although the examples and the links obviously don’t work the same. More of that in a second, first we have to address their brand new-for-2007 screw-up.

The title of the site, shown in your bookmarks and at the top of all the pages is “ : official site of the edinburgh festival fringe”. I’ve only just noticed the trendy lack of capitals on Edinburgh, woo. But anyway you’d expect just tapping into your browser would get you there … just like last year … no?

Not likely. Try it, you’ll get a 503 error. Oh no, the site must be down. Nope, they’ve just committed one of the worst web sins around — you need to put in the www. I hate that.

It’s that sort of touch that screams “professionalism”.

To be fair, I imagine that’s just a launch screw up that’ll be fixed soon but it’s not a great start, is it? Edit: And it’s fixed. Only took ’em four days. The ranting after the jump still applies …

Fringe Programme

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

The fringe program goes live tomorrow with tickets on sale next Monday.

Check tomorrow to see if the fringe website gets their act together and launches a glitzy new web doodah for this years program.

Or just a site that’s half-way usable and not horribly broken.

Or a site that’s just not more broken than the previous year.

But don’t hold your breath.

Green Ears

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

If you live in Edinburgh you may have noticed little green ear-shaped signs attached to lampposts around the Leith area. There’s one at the bottom of Leith Walk, outside the Mermaid chip shop, above the sign talking about the drinking ban in the area.

If you’re like me you’ve probably thought “A green ear, that’s a bit odd, I must find out what that’s about” and then promptly forgot about it once you’re ten feet further down the road. But fate has intervened and I found the answer while idly surfing in an effort to avoid work.

The answer, it seems, is [murmur]:

[murmur] is an audio documentary project that collects and presents stories set in specific locations in Edinburgh (in this instance, throughout the area of Leith), as told by the residents of Edinburgh themselves. Ear-shaped [murmur] signs bearing a telephone number and location code mark the places where stories are available for listening. Use the map to find the story locations, and then use your mobile to call the number, enter the location code, and listen to [murmur] stories while you explore the space where the stories took place.

and just in case you think there’s some sort of premium phone rate scam going on:

Alternatively, you may also listen to the stories on this website by clicking the red dots on the map.

Interesting idea, I’ve listened (via the web) to the foot of Leith Walk one and it’s someone reminiscing about their childhood and what the area was like. Interesting, but not terribly ground breaking. I’m surprised they haven’t gone all Web 2.0 and allowed people to upload their own anecdotes but I guess they’re it’s more an art project than a web doodah.

Still it’s worth listening to if you don’t know much of the history of the area. And if you were confused by the green ears, now you know.

Better than nothing …

Monday, May 14th, 2007

Couple of links in place of a decent post …

First various subway systems around the world, all reduced to just the overview and shown at the same scale. It’s a pretty cool overview and you can guess where stuff has evolved and where’s it’s been planned in advance.

And, here’s a nice little blog considering What if…, I particularly like Doggie Dinners and I can’t believe it’s not Glastonbury.


Saturday, March 17th, 2007

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

I think the Savage Chickens have captured the spirit of the day.