Wednesday, 30 December 2009

The interface with Facebook

Take a look at and compare with

I started to use in a moment of idleness today, and was quickly connected to a link (off a friends page) of great interest. The view from is the Facebook of a year or two ago, and has all that is required to connect, and no more. I have lost contact with at least one aspect of the my friends' Facebook activity modes with the current interface (at

Progress? Not really, just plain feature bloat.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Lager as a metaphor


Lager one of two main types of beer; the other being ale."

Real Ale in the UK is still a minority drink, compared to lager. The bland taste, the almost freezing temperature and the standard quality are tempting; complex tastes, room temperature and variable quality are avoided by the majority. In the past, only ales would have been available, and mild was drunk since it was low in alcohol.

Don't get me wrong. I drink lager as as well as real ale. In Spain I was surprised to find the "Alahambra" brewery, and drank the beer in Granada, a few steps from the brewery.

What bugs me is the uniformity and the standards. Our culture is now very homogeneous. We like the look, so that singer has to be an attractive young woman to succeed. Everything, from politics to shampoo has to fit the brief, whittled out of focus groups.

Your face has to fit. And if doesn't, then you are in trouble....

In Farenheit 451 the state is trying very hard to make all people the same, to reduce variance. Books are likely to make people think, and be different. Hence, all books are burnt.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

A Hypertext Journal

'A Hypertext Journal' - the WWW as Live Interface by Nina Pope & Karen J Guthrie was a prescient piece of work by two artists who travelled to the highlands of Scotland, "... equipped with laptops, modems a digital camera, video and audio equipment."

The journals of Dr Samuel Johnson and James Boswell, who travelled round Scotland in 1773, formed a kernel of an idea.

The interactions, the record of the journey and the "blogging" of everything were novel in 1996. In 2009, Dopplr, Twitter and FLICKR perform the same tasks. To take part, Internet Relay Chat sessions were arranged (in other words, a series of "tweets" were exchanged)....

As Peter Ride points out "...through their open dialogue with the artists, the audience become participants, there is no presumption that the audience is in a position to control the direction of the project."

The Web, version 2.0, already existed in 1996, well at least Somewhere....

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Den Tod erlebt man nicht.

"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.
Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched C-beams glitter in the dark...
near the Tannhauser gate.
All those moments will be lost in time....
......Like tears in rain. Time to die"

Roy Batty in Blade Runner

Did Roy Batty know the moment of his death?

Monday, 9 February 2009

A new shorthand for

A new shorthand has emerged at

When a user re-blips another (say user Fred112233) then a user can add the following: de @Fred112233 where the "de" means from that user. It also means thanks!

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Numbers, in Fives and a one-time pad.

Just been listening to a few minutes of recordings from The Conet Project....

The groups of five numbers are messages to spies in the field, transmitted on short wave frequencies. The message could only be revealed using the agent's one-time pad.

And hence are now meaningless....