Dec 18

Snippets 18 Dec

I’ve got all these open tabs that I need to close…posting them is the best way.

Scott Adams wants to adopt – an embryo. Does not need a lot of space (keep. it in the freezer), cheap (no toys or clothes) and no issue with a terror toddler or a truculent teen. It may just catch on.

Seth Godin puts some thought into why companies should be on the web – or why not

Q: Should every business use the internet to communicate? What are the basics of an internet communications strategy? A: You should only use the internet if you want your communications to be FAST and you want to reach LARGE NUMBERS with no intermediaries. If you can’t handle that, though, you shouldn’t try.

The decision to use the web as a communications tool can be seen as an obvious one – yourcompetitiors are doing it, so you should. But like all methods – it needs thought and resources behind it. It’s should not be done just becuase it’s perceived as quick and simple, but because it is the right thing to do.

In the same vein, Market Sherpa has 5 steps for corporates who want to blog. Although it misses out Robert Scoble’s first preferred step – read blogs – it’s a pretty accurate representation of what has been going on in a company I know, looking at doing a blog. It’s not always possible to just do things, however good the idea. A corporate has politics and lots of statekholders whose needs have to be addressed.

I see Typepad was down for a loooonnnng time. Niall Kennedy has a great podcast/interview transcript with Anil Dash about what happened. Jay Allen says what most of the operational guys were probably thinking “I’m looking forward to never having another day like that for the rest of the time I work at Six Apart.” Technology is not a panacea, it always goes wrong at the worst time. I’m convinced that some of the applications I work on know when I’m going to give a demonstration – because that is when they break.

Sad to see that John Spencer has died at the young age of 58. One of my favourite actors in the West Wing

Sir Tim Berners-Lee has a blog. After a week, it has one post and 258 comments.

Conferences: Mix06 looks like it would be an excuse to get to Vegas, a town that is on my list of places to visit at least once. I’m going to be in the US in March anyway, for SXSW. But it’s only going to happen if I get a very large windfall. The Future of Web Apps in London in Feb is far more in my price range.

Dec 18

Harry Potter at the movies

I went to see the latest Harry Potter movie yesterday. This is the first of the series that I have actually seen end to end, although I’ve probably seen all of the first one in dribs and frabs, and I quite enjoyed it. I’ve read all the books, which was just as well as the fim makes the assumption that you know the characters and the world and makes no time for introductions. The higher age rating was deserved, as it is a dark film but I think I enjoyed most the portrayal of the teenagers, with all the stupid behaviour that is so typical (“so, are you going to ask me to dance” “no”). That kep me laughing for most of the film. I enjoyed it enough to consider going to see the next one.

Dec 02

Green Day Mashups

One of my favourite songs this year has been a mashup of Green Day, Oasis and Aerosmith, called Boulevard of Broken Dreams. It’s a track from American Edit, a album of mashups from American Idol, with other artists such as Queen and even Doctor Who. The full album has been on the web for the past few weeks, until it got taken down earlier this week after Cease and Desist notices to Dean Gray who made the mixes. Which is a wasted opportunity. There was no financial gain from the creative work (the mixers asked for charitable contributions) and it gave a different audience for the original works. I’d never heard the Green Day album but I enjoyed the mixes enough to want and go out and get the original..but maybe not.

With similarities to the promotion around the Grey Album, a protest day is now being organised for 13 Dec, where the album will be made available for 24 hours for download. Go grab it when you have a chance – it’s a great set of songs.

Oct 08

Serenity Publicity

Serenity, which opened here yesterday, continues it’s slightly unusual publicity drive. The Whedon fans have always being in a buzz about it but the hype was increased in May when special screenings of the unfinished movie were provided acorss the US and in a few other countries. Leading up to the launch, there were screenings for bloggers – but they were only allowed in on the commitment that they blogged the event. Over the last week the posters for it have been plastered everywhere around the Tube.

Universal have also taken the step of putting the first 10 minutes or so of the movie online, not just a trailer. They are using Vividas, which is a very nice piece of streaming technology allowing great quality full screen videos to be delivered You get to see the screen villain, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, who, in the Holloywood cliche, has the cut-glass English accent. After all that – I think I better go see the film.

Sep 28


Terry Pratchett’s new novel Thud! is out. Always a dab hand at satire, the Discworld takes eveyday objects and gives them a twist. So now we have the imp-powered Dis-Organizer Mark 5. It’s imp powered because the world does not really do technology, but tather technomancy, using magic. (Joke spoilers coming if you read his books) .

So now, The Gooseberry offers Bluenose Integrated Messenger Service, where the imp runs really fast to the nearest telegraph station. As a full multi-media entertaining mobile device, it offers the games of Splong! (with its own set of bats) or Guess the Imps weight in Pigs. Alternatively, the imp will whistle one of your favourite tunes using the new, improved iHUM function that allows the imp to remember 1500 songs. take a read – fun books.

Sep 28

Renting DVDs

I signed up for Amazon’s DVD rental service at the weekend. SO far, so good. Set up a list on Sunday, desptched on Monday and arrived Tuesday. I guess the test wil come on the return and turnaround time, but feedback fromothers is that the service is good. It was fun settingup the list, going through lots of DVDs and adding all this stuff that I’ve not had chance to go to the cinema to see. But all I have to do is find time to watch – I’m still working my way through 24 and just received the 6th series of The West Wing.