Archives for category: BBQ

I managed to crowbar mowing the lawn in between the showers yesterday while waiting for Daughter & Mrs G to get back from the hospital (Nothing to worry about). To be fair it hardly needed it what with all the warm weather we’ve had of late, but a least it’s tidied the garden up.

I do love an empty Sunday. A full english brunch is on the cards and if the wether turns to rain, which it’s looking like it might, I may finally get to see the last instalment of “The Silence” which I was raving about earlier in the week. For various reasons we didn’t get to see it on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. We did get to see a few old friends last night in the form of C’s 40th birthday bash, which was a BBQ and drinkies at their house up north….

I could say more but I can’t and that brings me nicely to my subject today: Fixing Social Networking (or SocNet, which is the phrase that I’ve coined and is now copyrighted to me 😉 ).

The undisputed king of social networking is Facebook. With over 400 million regular users, 50% of whom check in every day, there’s no denying it is all encompassing. That said all is not well in the kingdom of the book of faces. In recent years it’s security and privacy policies have come under scrutiny and they’ve had to make significant changes, but while these things are concerning they’re not the elephant in the room which Facebook are ignoring.

The big problem is who your Facebook friends are. For example, it might seem like fun to be Facebook friends with your boss, that is until he/she sees what you’ve been up to with your Facebook friends from the pub. This is the tip of the iceberg, and its an iceberg that the unsinkable Facebook is sailing straight towards. These two social groups (pub & work in our example) are non existent in the world of Facebook, and this lack of ‘friend granularity’ is what will lead you to post less or be far more selective about who your Facebook friends are based on what people may or may not learn about you. As you acquire more friends in more social groups you’ll be using Facebook less and less.

The fix is obvious and is simply a case of grouping your friends together in their respective social groups so that the right people see the right things and not the wrong people seeing the wrong things. The groups will have to be able to crossover because (in our example) you might be the type of person who spends time in the pub with your boss. It’s a function that’s not in place today, but you can bet it’s being worked on, if not by Facebook then by google (Google Me) or someone else who has their eye on the SocNet throne.

Worse still for the SocNet owners, this problem is by no means exclusive to Facebook. Twitter, Foursquare and any number of SocNet sites all suffer from the same basic failing. So in fact, what were faced with is not something that perhaps Facebook can fix or maybe even should. Ownership of this metadata about your friends (your relationship status to them) is something that is unique to you and you should take responsibly for and thus be able to manage.

I think your contacts is where the action is really at and we should look closely at the vCard, CardDAV (or similar) standard. Here’s the ifs that could make it work:

  • If your contacts were all in the cloud
  • If your contacts held SocNet data (ie: pub, work etc)
  • If your contacts held SocNet membership data (ie: is a member of facebook, twitter etc)
  • If your contacts auto synced to your local device (smartphone, PC etc) that would be nice too.

Then each of the SocNet sites could (after your approval) interrogate this data and manage your posts accordingly. Of course you would still have to mark which of your social groups can see your posts, but you would have a finite list based on your contacts metadata that you own.

All the tech to do this exists today. The question is who will be first to tie it all together and make it work? Whoever it is, let’s hope they get it right and then I can tell all – at least to the right people.

Mrs G and I had a fairly leisurely day planned for Saturday doing not an awful lot. A wander into town to pick up Wednesday’s copy of the local paper (because there’s an article featuring Daughter in it) proved fruitless as we discovered the newspaper office is closed on the weekend. Not much happens round here that’s newsworthy obviously.

Picked up a couple of birthday cards for forthcoming celebrations and on the way back to the car I was surprised and humoured to see a longish line of people in a queue outside the O2 shop. I’m fully aware of the O2 shop queue due to son having stood in it on Thursday for the iPhone launch (which incidentally meant that the back of his head also appeared in the local paper), but this time, there was another familiar face. Auntie S. There she was dutifully queuing up to get herself one. We stopped and chatted for a while only to find out that the O2 store had around 50 handsets in stock. 50!? Really ?? I’d already decided not to bother until at least a couple of weeks, when I figured the stock levels would be replenished, but to hear that they have them again already – was quite a surprise. Needless to say – I joined the queue.

Having now procured, this also meant I could finally save Mrs G from her Samsung thing, and get her on a decent phone instead. After a few grumbles and gripes we soon had her all set up and now she’s a convert too. Thank god that my tech support mantle can be laid to rest for a while.

BTW – Last note on the subject – they really are all they’re cracked up to be. The fastest phone I’ve had the pleasure of using. Video calls with Son have been a blast already even though for the time being we both have to be within a WiFi hotspot. For me personally, not a signal drop out in sight either, although I have heard the talk. I’ve also heard there’s an imminent fix for it in the form of software – this I do find surprising, but it’s not a problem for me at the moment either way.

On the flip side – terrible news from the badman that he is without the necessary drugs to sustain him. I wish I could tell him there was an “app for that” but alas even that wouldn’t help him as he’s also smartphone-less. The best he can hope for is to buy pre-ground and save himself from certain dementia.

So then to Sunday Lunch – obviously the football (more on that in a moment) was the most important thing, so a BBQ at BBB’s house was the plan. He wanted some help getting set up, so I scooted over early so that we could hang the 40″ TV on the garden wall and install shade where appropriate, fill the pool and chill the beer. As a build up to the game (and to be honest this should almost be the law whenever England play Germany) we watched “Escape To Victory” with Michael Caine, Pele & Sylvester Stallone – Fantastic stuff. For the BBQ, Mrs G and I bought this, just like chicken…

And then of course there was the football, which is just too depressing to think about too much. I know it would be easy to say they were crap. But actually they weren’t crap (to start with). I know it would be easy to blame Cappello, but everyone was doing that after the first two games, then after the third and we got through, everyone was saying how great a manager he’d been by showing some real passion. He may have made some “odd” choices in team lineup’s, but I’m sorry, it’s just not his fault.

It seems clear to me, that the touchline/referee method for calling a goal is outdated and obviously doesn’t work. The FA & FIFA’s argument for the lack of technology is that they want a level playing field (no pun intended), whereby every team (right down to pub teams) have the same chance of scoring (or being disallowed). While this has some merit, in the modern world it makes a mockery of what is supposed to be a modern sport. Tennis & Rugby have both embraced the technology with no detriment to the game whatsoever – It’s time to put that right.

IF, and of course it’s a big IF, but IF the england goal had stood, which (as we can all see from the video playbacks) it should have, then psychologically the England squad would have been playing a different game entirely. I disagree when people say it wouldn’t have effected the overall scoreline, because quite simply a goal boosts the confidence of the team, just like a disallowed (obvious) goal dents their confidence.

Too late now though. What’s done is done and at least we don’t have to bother watching any more of it. My predictor has Argentina and Portugal in the final, but I don’t really care.

A few interesting snippets that I’ve picked up over the weekend for you now:

Anyone who’s read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (which I mentioned on Friday) will be aware that the meaning of life is exactly 42 (sorry if I’ve spoiled it for you, but you should have read it already). It turns out that the maths behind this has been expanded, and here’s the result. Magic….

I was also very interested to read that:

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) developed a software program that can detect depression in blogs and online texts. The software is capable of identifying language that can indicate the writer’s psychological state, which could serve as a screening tool. Read More

Good to know that when I’m depressed, my blog could tell me.

TED always teaches interesting concepts. Never thought I’d see this one though.

Then there’s the Rubik Cube art, which makes me want to buy a whole bunch of Rubik’s cubes and make my own: RubikCubism

For the electrical engineer’s I spotted this:

Resistance Begins at Ohm – $14.95 by Chris Murphy



So finally, back to the real world and two stories of interest.  First of all. Cash dispensers are about to start chucking out £5 notes again. Everyone runs out of fivers, so the bank of England have been making it their business to get them back into circulation. I for one am very pleased to hear this news because when I only want a fiver out of the cash machine, I only want a fiver and not a tenner.

Second of all, someone is having a crack at Facebook. Kevin Rose, the founder of “Digg” tweeted on Saturday the following: “Ok, umm, huge rumor: Google to launch facebook competitor very soon “Google Me”, very credible source”. Can’t wait to finally kill off my Facebook account. Oh I do hope there’s a super-fast hi-definition, multitasking app for that! Bring It On!

Lots of odd stuff and turning left at the lights today…..

First of all, The Johnny Cash Project. A quite amazing piece of work where artists were asked to contribute single pictures from frames of the video that accompanies one of Johnny’s tracks. The result is pretty amazing stuff, as is the man himself. I can’t embed the video, but you can watch it here: http://www.thejohnnycashproject.com/. He is one cool customer.

On the subject of music. “OK Go”, the blokes that brought you that video with the treadmills which was really good and viewed by about a bazzillion people on Youtube have done it again. This time the track is called “End Love” and the work is that of pure genius. Well, OK, it’s very good, genius might be over stepping it very slightly.


Case for the defence rests…

Watch out at the zebra crossing…. there’s an update on the iPhone story: The iPhone has completely screwed AT&T’s pre-ordering system, along with everyone else that was going to offer it. The demand (according to AT&T’s press release last night) was 10 times higher than that of the iPhone 3GS last year. So much so, that they’ve actually suspended taking any orders for them at all. Like I said yesterday if you haven’t already ordered – you’ve had your chips. Apple themselves sold over 600,000 units in less than 24 hours. They must have some sort of magic spell. Do you remember when Nokia had that?? [Nokia who?? – Ed]

And for the geeks (and me). The update for iTunes (which is inevitable when a new apple device comes along) is available, version 9.2, but if you want to do a little more with your media, then Dazzboard is a groovy little piece of middleware that helps you sync your stuff everywhere you want it to be. Follow the link for the full SP.

Finally – I either have hayfever (which I’ve never had before) or a cold which is leaving me feeling generally ugh. Still, there ain’t no grave, can hold my body down. Footie tomorrow. Come On Engerlund!!! Red light!!! STOP!

Most definetly BBQ weather today. Start off with coffee and tub scrubbing. The coffee’s great (although it’s not the OBJ). I’ve decided to finish of the Italian Espresso first, sort of saving the best for last.

The tub scrubbing is just good old fashioned hard work. It’s done with a special sort of gloop that has the look and consistency of fairy liquid. Be warned though it most definetly isn’t the aforementioned washing up soap stuff. This stuff burns a bit if you get it on your skin so you need to watch what your doing. It does a great job though and worth all the effort.

Filter and jets all go through the dishwasher nicely, although the filter goes on a ‘deep rinse’ with no dishwasher tablets. Soap in your filter causes nothing but bubbles of the wrong kind. Refilling the tub takes a good couple of hours as it’s around about 1000 litres and then reheating can take 24 hours from cold to a maximum 40 degrees C. I’ve got it set to 26 degrees for now, the weathers way to warm for much higher than this, and it saves a shedload of electricity of course.

Tomorrow is hoovering (which should correctly be referred to as vacuuming). Living the dream.

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