May 11

Airplane Announcements

On my recent plane trips, tbere were a couple of nice comments made by the stewards/hosts (or whatever I’m supposed to call them); one by accident, one on purpose.

On the way out, the announcer made an unfortunate anatomical mixup. Instead of asking us to tighten our seatbelts over out hips, we were supposed to contort ourselves and fasten them over our lips.

On the way back, the announcer was French, with a pronounced accent. In the regular plea to get the plane to actually listen to the safety announcement, he’d developed a tactic. “listen carefully, I shall say this only once”. The British onboard laughed… the rest of the plane looked at hte British and wondered what they were on, never having being subject to the cultural phenomenom that was ‘Allo ‘Allo

May 09

Army of Zombies

What does this say about Telewest customers? The BBC are reporting that nearly 1 million Telewest addresses have been blacklisted as the many of their customer machines have been utilised by spammers. Telewest are reported to be helping the customers gain back control of their machines.

May 09

PSP2 – screen changes colour by date

I mentioned earlier about the PSP having a pink screen. Apparently that was only an April issue – the screen changes colour based on month. Dave Taylor is listing the following colours:

May 2005: Dark Green
June 2005: Purple
July 2005: Aqua
August 2005: Sky Blue
September 2005: Violet
October 2005: Gold
November 2005: Light Brown
December 2005: Red

I’m glad – pink is definitely the wrong colour!

May 08

Holidays over

My week away is over. Spent a brilliant week in Barbados doing very little. It fulfilled the brief – diving, sleeping, eating, drinking. Little activity outside of the hotel. Which was probably a good idea since it rained every day except 2, and one of those was the day we came home. You can’t do too much sightseeing in torrential rain. I did get a few good photos and came back feeling refreshed.

Barbados Coast

Apr 28

Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me

Went to see this play last night at the Ambassadors’ theatre. Strong powerful script, great acting, leaving many with a tear in the eye. Definitely not for a light-hearted night out, with a subject matter of hostages being held in Beirut; however, there was a rich seam of wicked hunour running through it.

Apr 26

Too late

Day trip to Edinburgh and three hour delay in getting back. Stuck at the airport lounge with a laptop which has a battery life of about 20 seconds and not able to drink as had to drive when I get back to Heathrow. Long, boring evening.

Apr 25

or just too old

There’s a conference at Microsoft today on Social Computing. David Weinberger has posted notes about a presentation from 6 teenage girls and their use of technology.

It would be interesting to get a comparison with the UK usage. I’m not sure that they would necessarily believe text messaging is too expensive; the cross-network SMS has been around a lot longer here and texting is more the norm that in the US. When I work there, I have to change habits, and not assume that texts about being late to next meeting will get through!

“Blogging was big last year, but now it’s not”. As the media are picking up blogging, the week it makes the front cover of Business Week, the teenager has decided it is old hat, and no longer worth bothering about. I’d like to know what they were using – my bet is that it is primarily Livejournal and it was about sharing gossip and other teenage angst; the information sharing that is being talked about now is still gossip and opinion…but seen to be more adult ;-)

“My attention span is just too short for email. I need a rapid response.” Fast response, via phone or IM, always there, no waiting, no anticipation. No patience. Indicative of the culture that wants everything now. Then agian, if I’m online I’m the same – looking for information, And if at work or at home, I’m generally on line. So I understand this..I’ve suffered when visting parents with a machine that takes about 5 mins to boots, sort itself out and then get conencted to a 56k dialup. Too slow..I need my email now. But at least with email or web there is some time to reflect on the content. With IM..never.

But the key thing throughout is connection and interactivity. They use what their friends use, whether IM client, blogs or other types of community software. So for the tech business, it gives a model – spot the trend leaders, the conenctors, get them using the software and others will follow.

Apr 25

Growing old gracefully

Here’s a link to a T-Mobile page that is a fun way of passing the time – if I could get it to work. You upload a picture and, through the wonders of technology, it ages the photo. SO you can predict how you may look with after the ravages of time. I go this via Blogdex…given it’s still an IP address and I can’t find the link on the main site, I wonder if it is supposed to be live?

Apr 25

Wired Scotland

Looks like the Scottish Parliament is moving forward with technology – it is contracting BT to finish the provision of broadband to 97% of all households; the remaining 3% in the Western Isles being covered by a local project. (via BBC). Maybe this is one of the attempts to keep the population..the BBC were reprting this morning that Scotland is undergoing the largest depopulation in Europe.

Apr 25

Security Cameras

Due to the Jubilee line been messed up this evening, ended up going to Vauxhall to catch the train. So for 10 minutes I sat, starring at the MI6 building opposite the station. A very imposing building, minimal windows, full of cameras covering multiple approaches. Except for one, at the top of the building. I’m convinced the security team using it are train fans. As the trains went through the station, the camera kept tracking them back and forth. left to right. I’m pretty sure they got most of the engine numbers!

vauxhall.jpg

Apr 24

Camden Market

Today, I took a trip to Camden Market, seeing if I could find some clothes for holiday. In that I failed miserably (I hate clothes shopping) but did have a great time anyway. Walking round the stalls, many play completely different music, so everything clashes. A better amalgamation is from the many scents from the food stalls, all combining to make you very hungry.

speedySpice.jpg

Apr 21

Another Geek Dinner

Went along to another Geek Dinner last night at the same tapas bar as previously – food and sangria are still good. Around 10 people turned up, a few new faces again. Working out how people had heard of the event was interesting – the trails ran cold and there was a definite moment of “I can’t remember”. Like many things, it just gets wrapped into the general information flow.

After a day that involved me trying to explain RSS feeds to a cross-agency group and then having yet another talk about blogging to our Corporate Comms team as a way to increase internal conversations it was great to not have to explain things! Julian and I were dispairing a little about how many big corporations still do not communicate across sections and countries and do not use technology to unlock potential.

Here, combining wikis and blogs, for brand team communication and idea generation, storage and sharing of ideas would unlock so much. And that’s a whole different entry I need to go write.

In the meantime, Lee has some great ideas for the next 2 sessions, the first (May 5) involving a gadget session and the second a celebrity guest. Unfortunately, Andrew, the latter will not involve long boots and a leather skirt ;-)

Apr 20

PSP

I got to play with a PSP for about 5 minutes today. Much fun, display quality is superb and I can see the gaming experience will be great. But one question – why is the default display pink?

psp.jpg

Apr 19

And the pope is……

??????????? 30 minutes after the smoke and it’s still not leaked!

Ratzinger. For some reason the team decided he looked like a Senator from Star Wars

Apr 19

Firefox spreads

I use Firefox as my default browser. Makes problems when the developers we use tend to only have IE, but we’re getting there. I’ve got all of my team here using it as default as well. So it’s good to see the news from Boing Boing that Firefox is used by 38.4% of all visitors, number one in their chart.

bbbrowsersapril19.jpg

(Chart from Boing Boing)

Apr 19

Sausage attack

This is surreal…and funny. A man was driving along in Essex when a frozen sausage came through his window and broke his nose.

A unanmed spokesman said:

I feel very sorry for him – it must have been an incredibly lucky or unlucky shot to get the sausage through a moving car window. I have never seen or heard of anything like this before.

Hmmm..yes. You don’t get too many flying sausages these days.