Laugh at Your Mistakes, It Annoys People

Laughing at your mistakes and moving on without regret is the right way to live.

It annoys the living daylights out of most people who don’t ‘believe’ in failure and nurse grudges.

Which is yet another reason to laugh and move on IMO.


“At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, the late Kurt Vonnegut informs his pal, the author Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel Catch 22 over its whole history. Heller responds, ‘Yes, but I have something he will never have... Enough.’” 

Facebook’s Desperate Smoke Screen - Study Hacks - Cal Newport

The 61% ownership of Facebook by Zuckerburg is a problem. In my mind, he has poor personal qualities to be a leader. He repeatedly stole ownership of the business from co-founders, he has limited emotional capability and I’m reasonably sure that he has limited understanding of the real world. Where real = people, politics, society etc.

Soros began with the social problems, noting that social media companies “deliberately engineer addiction to the services they provide,” acting like casinos that “have developed techniques to hook gamblers to the point where they gamble away all their money, even money they don’t have.”

George Soros isn’t a model of social good, but the points are valid.

This move is not purely an effort to confront Facebook’s problems, it is, I suspect, in large part a desperate attempt to distract the media and public from the social issues that Facebook knows it cannot resolve without inflecting serious self-harm.

In view, the widespread disengagement from Facebook is systemic. The platform offers value for a while until people realise that better options exist elsewhere. In effect, you use Facebook for a while until you get bored with it.

I’m bored with it. I think many other people are too.

Facebook’s Desperate Smoke Screen - Study Hacks - Cal Newport :

What is a hero ?

“Do you know what the definition of a hero is? Someone who gets other people killed. "

the three hot trends in Silicon Valley horseshit – Freddie deBoer – Medium

Enjoyed this immensely, clapping along with the narrative and nodding so hard I got a headache.

Beautiful writing too. Dead jealous, as they say

2002, Friendster: At last, a way to connect with friends on the internet! 2003, Photobucket: At last, a way to post pictures on the internet! 2003, Myspace: At last, a way to connect with friends on the internet! 2004, Flickr: At last, a way to post pictures on the internet! 2004, Facebook: At last, a way to connect with friends on the internet! 2005, YouTube: At last, a way to post video on the internet! 2006, Twitter: At last, a way to post text on the internet! 2010, Instagram: At last, a way to post pictures on the internet! 2013, Vine: At last, a way to post video on the internet! 2013, YikYak: At last, a way to post text on the internet! You get the idea. An industry that never stops lauding itself for its creativity and innovation has built its own success mythology by endlessly repackaging the same banal functions that have existed for about as long as the Web.

the three hot trends in Silicon Valley horseshit – Freddie deBoer – Medium :

My Thoughts on iPhone 7 2016


Background: Our household buys one new iPhone a year and then passes them around. This year I get the iPhone and I not really happy. The total cost is much higher than previous years and the headphone arrangements is really poor.

  1. No wireless charging Why not ? No, really, why the HECK not ?
  2. Not cheaper The model I’m planning to purchase is £100 more expensive than equivalent model from last year. (iPhone 7/ 128G). Thats nonsense, it should be cheaper or at the very least same price.
  3. Proprietary Wireless AudioApple has introduced (AFAICT) a proprietary system for wireless audio between handset and headset because Bluetooth is broken. No one is holding the the IEEE to account as a standards organisation. Why isn’t Apple making an open standard that anyone can use ?
  4. Mandatory Wireless headphones I’m not basically opposed to removing the headphone jack. Apple could have seeded the market first by announcing new wireless audio this year. Then remove the socket in a couple of years when wireless headsets exist so I can treat them like a consumable.
  5. Expensive Headphones entry level price on the proprietary wireless headphones is US$159 (AppleAirpods or BeatsX). Thats not cost practical by any measure I have. It also represents 15-25% of the purchase price of the phone.
  6. Accessories sales are hidden costs I see them as consumable items. Quality isn’t a mandatory requirement. Digital music quality is compromised at source, balanced in production and sound is always subjective. Must have cheap headphones that can be treated as consumables.
  7. iPhone colours don’t matter. The majority of people use a case to give some protection these expensively fragile things. (I don’t think I’ve ever seen an iPhone without a case)
  8. Camera improvements meh. Nice but limited value. I don’t take photos to look amazing to other people. (Yes, I know some of people care but I really wonder what your motivations are)
  9. Other hardware better CPUs, force touch, etc etc. All about inline with competitors so expected. Nothing really exciting. No doubt Apple does it better but that is built into the price and its expected.
  10. Extra storage Finally. 128G as the mid-tier option. Sure, power efficient flash storage is hard but this is overdue.

Don't Do Crowdchat

I'm often invited to participate in Crowdchat sessions on twitter. The answer is always no. Here's why:

  1. I have found my followers complain about the pointless chatter that Crowdchat creates.
  2. 140 characters limitation makes Twitter a frustrating discussion platform.
  3. High levels of unfollowing when I do CrowdChat™ sessions
  4. I will unfollow people using Crowdchat because they clutter up my feed. If I don't like it, why would I participate.

What I Think Is Missed

The majority of people on twitter have low levels of engagement. They don't use it much and haven't taken the time to work out how it works. They are unlikely to see or interact with your content regardless of the content, they will tend to passive consumption and quit the app.

Lets leave discussions of demographics out of it (older people struggle often because they learned IRC, many people aren't used to being social and public etc etc)

The most important followers are those who are completely engaged with your account. They see most of your activity and engage with it. Those are the key people in the graph. Anything that drives them away from you is a death blow to your growth.

My view

In my view, Crowdchat (and other  noisy twitter activities) us  brand suicide and received as twitter spam by the very people who are most engaged with my content.

Simple rules for using twitter for marketing:

  1. Don't make tweets for the sake of it. If you have nothing to say, then say that.
  2. Be useful. Point to valuable content, be helpful, be useful.
  3. Be targeted. Keep your themes consistent or people won't pay attention.
  4. Start conversations don't have them. You can't communicate in 140 characters.
  5. Repeat tweets at long intervals is fine.
  6. Write well. Tweets should be written in advance and look for nuance, errors & misinterpretation.

Crowdchat is antithetical to this approach. Its spammy, noisy, unfocussed and basically shows that you hate the people who follow your account.


Warren Ellis on Proof Reading in MS Word

I hate Microsoft Word. I loathe it with an special passion I have for things that never work, bugs in commercial software, and the fact that I have to use the worst software because "lowest common denominator" always wins.

Dammit mathematics how come you rule everything in my life.

Proofing NORMAL, the novella.  Proofing, these days, involves opening a Microsoft Word file, clicking on Review and then screaming and poking randomly at buttons until the comments and edits from the copy editor and the production editor are revealed. And then finding one of them has put their comments in a pale blue that is essentially invisible.

So you lose time to fashioning a little voodoo doll and then smashing it with a hammer and then burning it.  Also you get to put in your own comments replying to their comments, so, by the third hour of processing the manuscript you're basically Charlie Sheen on Twitter. I even used #winning as a comment somewhere during part two.

From a Orbital Operations newsletter by Warren Ellis (the writer)

Dd I mention how much I hate Microsoft Bloody Word ?

10 Types of Networking Sh*t

The Ten Types of Networking Shit:

  • Spanning Tree
  • Cabling
  • Getting paid jack
  • Security
  • ITIL
  • Routing
  • Vendor
  • Change
  • Knee deep in


Set the Bar Low, Be A Winner


A motivational poster to cope with technology vendors.


Technology Evangelist

Saw this, instantly thought of people who call themselves “technology evangelists”


CIO Cancels The Project

The engineer is getting on with the project and the CIO cancels the deal.



You Can Never Be Lonely On The Internet

You can never really be lonely anymore.

The Internet is always here to criticise you.

you can never really be lonely anymore the Internet is here to criticise you

Dress Sweat Pants - Pinstripes Make It WTF

So, sweatpants for $120 ?

Rich kids and their money.

Hat tip to @beaker



Kitchen Hack - Slicing Salad Tomatoes

Oh yea, so going to use this tip.

Rather be the King of Good Enough instead of Prince of Perfect

I said this. It was pretty good and worth saving here.

etherealmind Rather be the King of Good Enough instead of Prince of Perfect. 80% result for 20% of effort is the right answer 80% of the time.

16/04/2014 16:19

Freak Shows, Shopping Malls and IT Conferences

Sometimes you realise that you are surrounded by “your people” and you think just how weird nerds are. You might even discuss how we live in a bubble that unreal and not part of the real world.

Today I’m at the a shopping mall in the UK because the Nearest Apple store is here. My palace of productivity has taken damage when my 27" Thunderbolt stopped responding. Despite double helping of nerd testing, the screen was blank and off to the Genius Bar I go.

The mall is one of the few really big ones that exist in UK. The idea of human warehouses disguised as “points of sale” hasn’t really taken off with British culture. But I digress.

Jesus wept but this place is a freak show. Who let humanity in ? I thought I was weird carrying a 27" display wrapped in a blanket with GEEK printed all over it but I’ve got nothing on these people.


I’m running back to my injured palace of productivity to shelter. I feel less like a freak for being nerdy and chastised in my hubris that I am just another meat puppet in a world full of mediocrity.

Oh, yeah. When the Apple guy plugged in the monitor to a test machine, it worked just fine. First time in fact. Plugged it into my MBPr ? Worked fine. What did I learn ? I’m sure something was wrong because I couldn’t see the Thunderbolt bus in the System Information - none of the Ethernet/USB ports on the back were working.

So now I wait. They are going to do some soak testing and we will see.

Programming Joke

The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”

The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.

Rest Rooms and Body Lotion

Body Lotion in the Mens Room.

Whats up with that ?



Google Pigeon People

I admire many forms of eccentricity (except sport). These people have way more fun than I do.



Google Maps

Funny: Shady URL Shortener


“Don’t just shorten your URL, make it suspicious and frightening.”



[caption id=“attachment_2114” align=“aligncenter” width=“537”]Don't just shorten your URL, make it suspicious and frightening. Don’t just shorten your URL, make it suspicious and frightening.[/caption]

Fox Tossing

From Wikipedia : Fox Tossing

Ummm, OK.

Fox tossing (German: Fuchsprellen) was a popular competitive blood sport in parts of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, which involved throwing live foxes and other animals high into the air. It was practiced by members of the aristocracy in an enclosed patch of ground or in a courtyard, using slings with a person on each end to catapult the fox upwards. It was particularly popular for mixed couples, though it was hazardous for both the tossed animals and the people launching them. Sometimes the terrified animals would turn on the tossers, and the outcome for the tossed animals was usually fatal.

My life is suddenly incomplete.

Fox tossing would take place in an arena, usually either created by setting up a circle of canvas screens in the open or by using the courtyard of a castle or palace. Two people would stand six to seven and a half metres (20 to 25 feet) apart, holding the ends of a webbed or cord sling which was laid flat on the ground. An animal such as a fox would then be released from a cage or trap and driven through the arena, across the sling. As it crossed the sling the tossers pulled hard on the ends, throwing the animal high into the air. The highest throw would win the contest; expert tossers could achieve throws of as high as 7.5 m (24 ft). On occasion, several slings were laid in parallel, so that the animal would have to run the gauntlet of several teams of tossers.

7.5 metres ? Tremendous. Seriously, computers look really dull compared to this.

Video: Geek Therapy

I have a new favourite series on Youtube:

“Nothing I do will be good enough for you geeks” “Sorry, we have standards”.


OED - Crufty

Oxford English Dictionary has the word “crufty”. I find this inspiring.

crufty, adj.

[‘Of software: poorly designed, esp. unnecessarily or unintentionally complex; containing redundant code.’]

1981 CoEvolution Q. Spring 29/1 Crufty, poorly built, possibly overly complex. ‘This is standard old crufty DEC software.’

1984  J. Varley in  S. Williams Hugo & Nebula Award Winners from Asimov's Sci. Fiction (1995) 178 Routines so bletcherous they'd make your skin crawl. Real crufty bagbiters.
2005  C. Stross Accelerando vii. 332 There's lots of crufty twentieth-century bugware kicking around under your shiny new singularity.

Video: Pushing 40 - "45 Is The New 15"

As someone who is feeling his age in the last few months, this made me laugh.