Listening to other people’s headphones

In which I hear tsh tsh tsh tsh tsh.

We no longer seem to be able to surround ourselves in silence. As I sit here on the morning train all I can hear is the ambient “tsh tsh” noise you would associate with a ride on a locomotive. Except the “tsh” noise does not come from the rhythmic chatter of the tracks as the wheels pass over them, but from the sound of the numerous headphones leaking noise into the carriage.

I’ll do a quick survey, of the three people’s music I can hear I’ll see what brand of headphones they are using. So we have Apple, Apple and oh yeah, Apple. It seems the bog standard set of ear speakers you get with your iDevice have an aural seal factor of zero. I’m surprised that anybody who uses them finds that any sounds reach their inner ear as all they seem to do is leak treble and bass into the surrounding soundscape.

As a community we need to decide if this is something we tolerate?
Continue reading “Listening to other people’s headphones”

My email address history

In which I lament my @hotmail and become embarrased by @yahoo.

Do you remember your first?I remember mine, it was 1998 and was the first time I had even thought of doing anything like it. For most of us it was something special, a life changing experience. Some people have stayed faithful to theirs while others, including myself, have flitted and flirted with many others until they finally reach a stage where they feel the need to settle down.

Yet there I was, about to enter a whole new world. As a street urchin once told a hyper-sexualised princess it was a dazzling place I never knew. A hundred thousand things to see, shimmering, shining, gleaming. Sat there in my bedroom I decided that I was ready, it was time to become a man. On that fateful 20th century night I signed up for my first email address.

My email address history.

The first email address I had was a bit odd, for some reason the football club I support had decided that to be involved in this new fangled internet it should offer a version of webmail their fans could sign up to. As a result for a while I had an @acmilan.net address. At the time I thought this was pretty cool, but quickly learnt that not all addresses were permanent. Within a few years they had closed down their service and I had to look elsewhere.

Continue reading “My email address history”

PC Wizard made me smash my computer

In which someone tries to use my computer against me.

I’ve just had a scam call from some random company called PC Wizard letting me know that there are some files causing my computer to run slow, and because they are kind and altruistic they would help me to fix it. I am so lucky, here I am with a computer that is barely able to run The Witcher 3 on high settings and can only just get Skyrim to run with a few hundred mods, because the computer International Rescue has fired up Thunderbird 1 (let’s be honest…Thunderbird 2 was always the best one) and found out that my computer is not as fast as it should be.

Let’s be honest, the moment they started speaking I knew its a con. Firstly how can someone else tell me computer has problems without even looking at it and secondly they are going to either do something illegal to my computer or charge me for it. If you ever have a call from a company claiming that your computer or internet is running slow then just hang up. Also tell your friends and relatives to do the same, especially if they are not very computer literate. They prey on people’s unfamiliarity with computers to trick you into purchasing their wares (or possibly worse – installing a virus to steal personal data) and it’s very easy to confuse those who are not technophiles.

The con works in this basic way, you get a call saying something is slow with your computer and you think “why yes of course it is, I always think my computer isn’t as fast as it should be”. And then they start to do their snake oil salesman tricks on you, let me show you how…

Continue reading “PC Wizard made me smash my computer”

The supreme internet overlord

In which I rewrite the rules of the internet for everyone’s benefit.

Followers, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. I come to bury the Internet, not to praise it. The nonsense that men post lives after them; The good is oft interred with their likes.

I propose therefore that we unite and arise. Arise, Followers of Geek Ergo Sum! Hit counts shall be shaken, drafts shall be splintered! A post a day… a red day… ere the sun rises!

Let today be the beginning of a glorious new era of the Internet as we rally together and form the United Nations of Bloggers, and it is with great  reluctance that I have agreed to this calling. I love the internet. I love the Republic. Once this crisis has abated, I will lay down the powers you have given me, but for today I shall lead UNoBs.
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Artefacts of the modern world

In which we visit the Museum of Today.

Welcome Ladies, Gentlemen and AI’s to the opening of the Museum’s 21st Century Wing. I know you are all curious as to what life was like on Earth before the Orca-War of 2079 (damn you science for finding a way for the Killer Whale to walk on land) and our new exhibition will reveal some fascinating insights into the life and culture of the early part of the millennium.

I’d like to take some time to highlight some of our, well highlights, from our collection. As you know the volume of early millennial artefacts is quite large thanks to the quantity of “land-file” sites around the globe where we used to store all our possessions in large piles of what we believe were called g’harbage. So without further ado lets move into the technology exhibit to examine how these primitive humans used to exist. Continue reading “Artefacts of the modern world”

Encarta

Before the internet there were libraries, and before Wikipedia we had the Encyclopedia Britannica. Yet for a few short years between the two we had Encarta.

It seems strange now that we would use a cd-rom for answers to any questions on science, history or geography. The growth of Wikipedia and it’s mass of information on subjects as varied as obscure wrestling stars, tall buildings in Kazakhstan or legendary Welsh Kings has spoilt us. We no longer have to research or use and index. A simple Google search replaces the need to cross reference anything.

No citation needed

At the start of the home computer boom in the 90s nobody had yet thought about using the, ahem, “wisdom of the masses” to crowd source a trove of knowledge. Very few people even had a basic access to the internet let alone the infrastructure to be able to collaborate. This was still Web 1.0.

Before the internet there were libraries, and before Wikipedia we had the Encyclopedia Britannica. Yet for a few short years between the two we had Encarta.

It seems strange now that we would use a cd-rom for answers to any questions on science, history or geography. The growth of Wikipedia and it’s mass of information on subjects as varied as obscure wrestling stars, tall buildings in Kazakhstan or legendary Welsh Kings has spoilt us. We no longer have to research or use and index. A simple Google search replaces the need to cross reference anything.

 

No citation needed

At the start of the home computer boom in the 90s nobody had yet thought about using the, ahem, “wisdom of the masses” to crowd source a trove of knowledge. Very few people even had a basic access to the internet let alone the infrastructure to be able to collaborate. This was still Web 1.0.

Continue reading “Encarta”

Breaking up with dating sites

Being something of a geek I prefer my social interactions to be a bit more software rather than hardware driven. Virtual communication frightens me less than the face-to-face interaction the human race has depended upon for millennia. In most cases this is fine, modern technology facilitates this semi-hermit way of life. I can speak to friends in bits and bytes, but there is one area of social interaction that is hampered by this lifestyle choice.

Dating.

Thankfully the internet (as usual) has come to the rescue, and given us the gift of online matchmaking. There is still somewhat of a stigma around this, but in one way it provides a service to people like me. In my pre-Mr-Mrs-G days I tried most of them, and found them all to be terrible. All they did was destroy my confidence and make me feel even more alone.

Looking at the sites available it is easy to see why.

Being something of a geek I prefer my social interactions to be a bit more software rather than hardware driven. Virtual communication frightens me less than the face-to-face interaction the human race has depended upon for millennia. In most cases this is fine, modern technology facilitates this semi-hermit way of life. I can speak to friends in bits and bytes, but there is one area of social interaction that is hampered by this lifestyle choice.

Dating.

Thankfully the internet (as usual) has come to the rescue, and given us the gift of online matchmaking. There is still somewhat of a stigma around this, but in one way it provides a service to people like me. In my pre-Mr-Mrs-G days I tried most of them, and found them all to be terrible. All they did was destroy my confidence and make me feel even more alone.

Looking at the sites available it is easy to see why.

Continue reading “Breaking up with dating sites”