Private Private

Reading time: 2 mins
Continuing the terrible titles, this is a take on Catch-22, for no particular reason other than being able to play on the word “private”. Think yourselfs lucky I didn’t choose the schoolboy route and go with “Show us yer privates”. Oddly the only reason I’m writing about this is because Twitter is currently dead, if it wasn’t then my comment on the issue would’ve been something along the lines of “@plasticbag – nice pic on BBC website! And don’t some people get in a tizzy sometimes..”. At this point I should probably explain that I’m talking about the recently opened Fire Eagle service which “… stores information about your location. With your permission, other services and devices can either update …

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Conversation V.I.P.s

Reading time: 4 mins
Revisiting an old post over on the Cherryleaf blog, where Ellis was prompted to ask “Can technical authors be part of ‘the conversation’ in the connected Web 2.0 world that’s emerging?” (excuse the paraphrasing). As a long-term blogger, and someone who believes that there are many tools in the Web 2.0 world that can and should be embraced by technical communicators, I immediately started thinking about this. It’s taken until now for me to distill my rambling thoughts into something coherent. Mainly because it’s a fairly open-ended topic, and because his post includes several questions: If we are going to be part of the conversation, will we be let in? What would make people do that? Once we are in …

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Google Gadgets

Reading time: 1 min
Those nice people at Google have opened up their ‘homepage gadgets‘ and you can now use them anywhere. Excellent, I could have the latest Scottish news headlines zipping across the page, or maybe a game of hangman for when I post something you find boring, or perhaps the phases of the moon just be all spiritual like… Or not. Whilst it’s very generous of Google, I would hope that people show a little restraint. The multitude of eyesore-tastic widgets and scripts that abound in blogs is already something that constantly irks me. Ohh the moon is in the third cresecent, ohhh my horoscope says I’m about to die, ohhh the weather where you are is awful…. I DON’T CARE!! Don’t …

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Flock this

Reading time: 4 mins
The name of this site —Informationally Overloaded— isn’t just a witty title. Firstly, it’s not that witty, and secondly it’s becoming increasingly true for many people. There are two things you can do to counteract the growing feeling of “I must be missing something” that I’m sure some of you can identify with: Turn off the computer (obviously not right NOW) Streamline your online habits The first cure is the most obvious, and something I’m trying to do as much as possible these days. If the computer doesn’t NEED to be on, it’s not. Not only am I saving electricity/energy, I’m also reducing the temptation to “just check my email” which inevitably leads to “just checking some sites” and from …

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Just one more

Reading time: 2 mins
Hands up everyone who’s played Tetris. Hours I spent, flipping blocks round, shuffling them left and right, until my hand would cramp and the buttons of my GameBoy start to wear down. One memorable train journey down to London gave me the opportunity to play for some 6 straight hours and I could hardly move my thumb for days. You should’ve seen the high score though! Anyway, I’m a bit too busy to play many games these days, and I certainly don’t have the time nor the patience required for something like Tomb Raider. In fact, my game playing has evolved to the point where I much prefer a good “pick up and play” to anything that requires time or …

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The Gentleman Stalker

Reading time: 1 min
Ladies, a question. You are walking alone at night, you are on a fairly quiet street, it’s well lit, and cars go by every minute. A man is walking about 20 feet behind you, and has been since you turned down the corner into this street. Now, if I’m that man (I’m not saying I’m a stalker, although I could be, in fact I could be stalking you RIGHT NOW. DON’T LOOK OUT YOUR WINDOW!!) Ahem… where was I? Oh yess.. so I’m that man, walking to meet my wife, and I realise that you may think I’m following you. There is something about the way you keep looking over your shoulder whilst pretending to be glancing at the house …

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Virus Alert

Reading time: 1 min
MyDoom Virus starts to hit. “Post this on every message board you can find. Get the word out. If you have a friend or family member who does not understand how to operate an anti-virus, please check that they are updated and protected. If you know someone running anti-virus on an e-mail server, please tell them to turn off the bounce feature.“ I received this virus 8 times yesterday, 10 times last night, and … (just checking…) 5 times since 3 a.m. this morning. The best piece of advice is (and this is not new!): DO NOT OPEN ATTACHMENTS FROM PEOPLE YOU DON’T KNOW!

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Sounding better

Reading time: 1 min
Cast your mind back to the mid-80s and early mobile phones. You remember them, big clunky, and not exactly ‘mobile’ really. As time moves on, they get smaller, and the technology in the phones improves. Nowadays the size of a mobile phone isn’t really the issue, more the features and gadgets you get with it.. does it have a camera? does it have a built-in radio? The unsung advance is, naturally, in the area of most importance – the microphone. This has undergone radical improvements since those early days, with background noise hardly noticeable, and the pickup area (where you talk) refined to capture every nuance and subtle intonation of the speaker. Marvellous things. What this means is YOU DON’T …

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Soon to be announced

Reading time: 1 min
Details are coming to light about more government schemes to follow on from the recently announced course to help people learn how to send text messages. The courses are aimed at the same sector of people and cover a range of diverse topics. Exact details have yet to be confirmed but the following a rumoured to be include: Remembering which side of the car the petrol cap is on.Programming your video – You DON’T need to call your 5 year old niece to help!Appreciating noise – Joining the MTV Generation.Shortening your attention span – addon to previous course. More details are expected soon.

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