Category Archives: Culture-internet

Marian Call. House concert in Chandler 23 Jun 2010.

Filed under Arizona, Culture-internet, Marian Call

Here’s a hint.

I am so late doing this I’m practically ashamed.  E.G,   The house only holds about 40 people and , well you think hell 40 people that’s easy Probably so easy that telling everyone would lead to a lot of disappointed folks which I’m still aiming for:)



Marian Call delivers whimsical Alaskan folk funk for the Coffee Counter-Culture. She sounds a little like Joni Mitchell & Regina Spektor raising the child of Jason Mraz & Erin McKeown. Call’s sound is always soulful, honest, and clever, loved by all types — computer geeks, church ladies, teenage thugs, NPR listeners, and urban hipsters worldwide. Marian is currently touring all 50 states and hopes to play for you soon — find more information at

If you like what you hear  then how about hearing it live, like two days from now?

Reading Cyrano

When we originally requested a house concert it seemed plausible. laughably in hindsight, that we could accommodate this at our house.  Thankfully friend and  fellow fan Mandi stepped in to save the day and for this Phoenix and surrounding areas  all you have to do is leave your house on a Wednesday night and come out for live music. 



mandi  AT

For details on where to go, what to bring and how much fun you are going to have.

Threadsy. The most useful aggregator I’ve found to date.

Filed under Culture-internet, Sites of interest, Social Media

Over the last couple of months I’ve been playing with many an aggregation tool that aims to let you make personal dams in the torrent that’s laughingly referred to as a life-stream.

I’ve fallen in the Atlantic,in large rivers and streams in the past and have to say that one is certainly not manageable without assistance.Sure you get the life jacket that keeps your head above water as it flows around you but you can’t actually do much but sit back till someone pulls you out. 

To help pull me out from my info addiction the nice people at streamy and have offerings which seek to provide a nice paddle with which to beat back the creek of crap we’re exposed to daily.

The one that apparently does the least, on the surface,is my current favorite.
Threadsy is in the lead with it being a constant presence on one monitor while I just dip into the other two. It’s interesting as Threadsy started out doing less than the other two offering but it does it so well.It also solves a very real problem that the mainstream users haven’t encountered yet, they probably won’t encounter it till more of them actually use FB and Twitter in their daily lives.   

Threadsy , pardon the sewing puns, seamlessly brings together the contents of tweets, Facebook updates and your mail account. I don’t have to chase many windows around to see, reply to tweets, post status updates, see incoming mail.   Nothing revolutionary that alt – tab or the amazing Firefox extension Foxtab couldn’t do for you but it’s the thread part  of the name that makes this so useful.

Most of the interesting stuff in twitter are links to images, videos or pages that obviously make no sense to a human when a URL shortener is used, no mind , i get a preview of each item, can play video in place,see the image, reply to or make a comment on the tweet/ update and go about my day without closing out a pile of windows each time curiosity gets the better of me,about 10-12 seconds.

When I open up a mail, tweet or update the author panel to the side shows me the services they use, their latest posts, tweets, images. Single click. Yum!

Plus it has Meebo chat built in accounting for just about any messenger service you’d care to use.  Aggregating the streams is one of those  emergent/ obvious things ( has to be I thought of the same damn thing way back) but execution is everything and so far these software tailors have provided this Emperor* with an impressive suit of  new clothes

*Much in the same way Joshua Norton was

hey iPhone video can we hear you now? Owle Bubo lends an ear and a stabilizing hand.

Filed under cellular, Culture-internet, Podcasting Tech, Social Media

Anyone that improves sound capture, stability and control of the main function of a camera ( the amount of lighting getting in) are friends of mine, at least in the Facebook sense.

Owle, not a Pixar sequel, is an acronym for Optical Widgets for Life Enhancement  housing that allows you to add additional lenses, an inbuilt mic,add lighting and stability to your iPhone 3gs which markedly improves real time video gathering  while remaining hand held portable. Why write what you can see

It’s pretty obvious  how much the viewer stands to benefit from this platform ,YEP  that’s the viewer. Local company too   : )

I’ve often thought of the iPhone as being a glorified controller that just happens to make phone calls.

Cloudy with no chance of data. Like many super heroic efforts sometimes the Sidekicks suffer.

Filed under Culture-internet, Social Media

Danger, Danger  Will Tmobile get away with giving two months of free service for losing all of your data?

I’m not a fan of clouds , other than flying through them, when it’s the sole method of storage. User’s of the Sidekick have found out that the distance between back up and fuck up is a little more then inconvenient. 

How would you like this mail from a service you PAY for ( It would be easy to bitch at 2.0 companies that have lost my data but realistically I got what I paid for) 

We recognize the magnitude of this inconvenience. Our primary efforts have been focused on restoring our customers’ personal content. We also are considering additional measures for those of you who have lost your content to help reinforce how valuable you are as a T-Mobile customer.

Inconvenience in the street lawyers thesaurus  sounds a little more like negligence:)

Own your own data or lose it and three years later win a class action suit, with 100k of your “friends” that gives you a month’s free service but only when renewing your contract for two years.

You Tube XL. eXtremely Laughable. Pay no attention to the pixelated man, with out of sync sound , on the screen

Filed under Culture-internet, video

You Tube XL,  the merging of the living room set with the  Oh wait, that’s  not at all what it is. It’s a skin that looks pretty when shown on a large screen.  Yes it shows You Tube content on a large screen, like having a really big monitor.  
Shame the compressed video and even worse audio depredations on most of the content make this a non starter.  Small crap x screen size = larger crap.
The digital TV transition has been “traumatic” enough for people but I’d like to see it go further.There’s a lot of spectrum going to waste,off hours, 24-7 on religious channels,  and I am wondering why we can’t use that as a channel to record our programs in advance for later watching. Yep it’s Tivo but not as we know it.Seems odd to limit the transmission to real time recording for most content that really […]

April and Changing minds.

Filed under Arizona, Culture-internet, Demon Haunted World, Freedom

It’s been rather quiet around here lately. I admit that my formal ahderence to grammar has been quixotic, at best, my attempts to rectifying this situation  results in posts that sound like material I want to read. Maybe that’s why so many people vlog?

The differences between UK and US grammar are apparently slight enough to not catch the same break that people learning English as a second language are allowed.I’m realistic enough to know that  it will have a nominal effect on the reason that I began which neatly segues into my next point.

Is anyone still naive enough to believe that the powers that be just need a well crafted note pointing out were they are deficient and how they are hurting people will change their way?  Hardly.  In short they are not your audience.

Unfortunately that leaves the public.

Oh wait Is anyone still naive enough to believe that the public  just need a well crafted sitcom showing  were they are deficient and how they are hurting people  by refusing to take ownership of their lives?   Hardly.

In short they are not your audience.

Much easier to remain quiet.

A new entry to my cynics dictionary. locavore

Filed under Arizona, Culture-internet, rants, reality

Locavore:  food so expensive that you can’t afford private transportation.

Shazam at the good old hockey game while performing as a cellular wizard

Filed under Culture-internet, reblog

We’re all wizards now.    A C Clarke’s often cited,paraphrased or mangle quote is appropriate for many of the daily tasks we take for granted.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.’ 1972 A. C. Clarke Lost Worlds

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve found that walk up magic and showing people how to get the most out of a cell phone leads to the same reaction. ( the latter is far less likely to get you  burned as a witch in some of our undeveloped  3g areas)

 Shazam is one of those apps that is cooler than a cold man’s  cold bits  during an Alaskan  Mr Ice Pants festival.   For the last  few months  I’ve been trying to find out the names of a couple of songs that are played  at the  good old hockey game. Both tracks  have no music ,  have really short hooks and one could safely classify them as being graduates from the " bleep bleep thump"  school.

I’d sat with an iPhone in my pocket  game after game while forgetting I had the means to do so with me. Loaded the shazam app from the stadium wifi,  awaited the song to come on and set it to capture.  This is not an easy capture.  That’s a PA  with  cheering and pervasive  clapping   but Shazam was  able to determine most of the songs under these conditions.    Just load, lift and listen and it does the rest on your iPhone or Android device and you can save it for later, or buy it  now.   My god a  business model on the mobile web what a wondrous age we live in!


That’s still not the interesting part.  Why did it take so long to put this 2+2  together?   Turns out it was an ambiguity that I could live with but my  wife always  kept asking about.. "what song’s that"   is a problem that’s harder to live with.

Locating the good apps quickly then  finding out what is, and isn’t useful , could be a second career,  a really badly remunerated  second career.   So best make it a hobbyto find out what your friends regularly overlook  when relating to the net  and   with your  best Carnac the magnificient impression  hold the phone  to your head and proceed to  amaze.

Why spend the time?  Most of the coolest apps  work when   you have an audience,  heck  in that  stadium of 11,000 people only  2 were logged in on the  two presence services I use. In general  I feel like a "boy and his iPod dog" wandering the  desert , Phoenix  looks pretty much looks like  distopic sci fi anyway so it’s not too hard to play along.

December Round up Go Daddy party, blogging and moobies!

Filed under blogging, Culture-internet, General

My Personal blogging has been quite light over the past months. I’ve found that most of the items I want to “chip in” is sated by  commenting on them  via Google Reader  and  quite frankly there are better written  blogs on every subject apart from that niche category..  “what does an internal exile  that escaped Scotland to come to the USA think about the weird customs ,practices and beliefs of his adopted nation”   which is , regardless of grammatical heresies ,  the authoritative  source for what I believe that I believe at the moment.     It may look like a list of things  Hal thinks are stupid especially when voted upon but  I assure you that the 18 , 26, and 30 year old me didn’t keep the same list so the next time you  batter someone on the head with an opinion     keep it around  a  decade or two and see if that idea really stands up.  Where I am not in error, though these are rare and happy events,   relates to  illogical ideas.  E.g when people ask me to keep something the same but change it  I don’t see how any restatement of their request can lead to a “happy” answer.  

At the moment these are things that interest me.

Mobile web,     the kind of world that emerges when  resources are too costly to move people to and from places of work,education  as a matter of course,  educating our toddler, thinking of alternate ways to make a scrapyard profitable and dare I say green?     Locating items which are truly innovative and not just this year’s restatement of the past with  a couple of features , aka  the marketing departments mega pixel effect were more is better, cough bullshit.

Go Daddy Christmas party.

Last night  saw Joan Jett at  the companies  Christmas Party, aka Go Daddy.   We got home around 1am and bought her last CD,   Sinner by Joan Jett  which made up for  the other two acts Sinbad  ,  the last syllable is devastatingly accurate,   and 38 Special ( I was ignorant of their oeuvre ) and  I had to leave my own   38 special at home  this being a work event and there being drink and all:) 

We also had to forgo hearing Patrick Lauder    sing the national anthem at the Coyotes vs Redwings game , for which is were we would have been  barring the party, but instead  had  Lillian Garcia   sing which , no offence to Patrick,  is physically prettier but   he wins out on overall delivery 🙂   Still Lilian was really good  and way better than the  usual  histrionic warbling  and  3 or four notes when one would do  from singers that may have  the impression that singing the song’s more about their performance.   Yep I’m glad nowadays when the longest held note contest is a separate event:D.  

That’s  all very cool  but what’s even  better is the message  given by our CEO, Founder and lover of things two wheeled and  European  , Bob Parsons who,  after riding  up to the podium on a Ducati let us know that we  had our best year ever,  are  not an example of the kind of company, institution that  promoted dud loans, built too many car or houses.  The company gives a lot of time  , via staff, and money   to charities and this is the annoying part coming up. Since when do you have to justify success in the USA?    Understand I am not getting at those justifying but the people asking the question in the first place. 

 Many companies curtailed their  parties because of the   business climate and  to them , I say  hum bloody bollocks bug to you.   The number of staff to  cater, provide entertainment, services etc   that’s money going to real businesses, same with the shoes,    clothing and other accessories.   The money that the staff won    guess were most of that is going too?       I don’t often post on work related items because  it’s a difficult balance  to not come across as a gushing fan boy  which as anyone that knows me  would find hard to reconcile with my  cynical daily demeanor.  The latter is a relative scale   , seriously in the UK  I was pretty much on the optimistic side:)     So celebrating two thousand people, their families  and the charities, venders and stores  that benefit from Go Daddy’s existence  is something that should NEVER be apologized for at any time  and certainly cheered my holiday up.The laser and fireworks finale would have been  perfect toddler material but it pleased my inner toddler greatly will post some pics as they come in.


[The views expressed on this website/weblog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Go Daddy Software, Inc.]

Oh I nearly forgot..   moobies!

More crap on the unimportant crap. The e-how rather than the why of Indian terrorist attack

Filed under Culture-internet, Demon Haunted World, Media mayhem, You have nothing to fear

I know the name , least what’s widely believed to be,  of the first "murderer" that was outrun by radio  Dr Crippen. People like to tie the new  with the  very very old  but usually it’s in the other direction E.g  look at how these infernal machines are aiding those with malice in their mainframe to carry out. 
Would driving a  car get the same attention?  How about using a camera? Is it more newsworthy if it’s silver halide or CCD that captures the  image?   Radio type   or something else?    Oo let’s scare people with  VOIP  not only  does it not let 911 know where you are (rtfm)  it’s now enabling decades old dispute in a new manner that’s just so so so hard to have envisioned prior to its adoption.
VOIP is not the challenge  it’s made out to be here.  Impossible?  Impossible to intercept    surely some mistake unless there’s a whole load of forgetting about India’s tussle with Rim. India wanted to monitor the Blackberry network and got that concession.
I’m also  rather  less impressed with stories on how  highly trained they are.  I must  be missing something here since shooting a passive crowd    and lobbing grenades  at the same time in different locations doesn’t seem to be on my list of hard to conceive plots. 

"Definitely they were trained,” said a masked officer of the force.

”Not everybody can fire AK-series weapons.

”Using such weapons and explosives, it is obvious they were trained somewhere.

Do you have a spare 10 minutes?   Ak’s are famous for their robustness when used by  irregulars, nades, baseball!  as for the explosives I  have no idea but they always kept me away from that safe  Oddly enough the  reporting in realtime that provided this alleged  edge is not considered to be an inappropriate use of technology.. weird that.
Mumbai terrorists’ most powerful weapon: VoIP phones | Computerworld Blogs

The Times reports that the handlers were communicting with the attackers using VoIP phones that made it difficult, if not impossible, for the Indian authorities to intercept the calls, or even know they were taking place.
Here’s how the Times explains it:…

Is it just my memory that lasts longer than 30 second commercials? Bloomberg is vocal the responsibilities of public figures that are not elected:)

Filed under Culture-internet, General, humor, Media mayhem, political

Don’t get me wrong there has to be consequences  for carrying a loaded firearm into a nightclub that is discharged. Like a hole in the leg, pain and maybe the end of your athletic career. Still that’s not good enough  we really have to show em:)  Shame that the  same zeal doesn’t apply to those that enforce the laws

Hospital suspends worker who failed to report NFL star’s gunshot –

Bloomberg, who has long fought against illegal gun ownership, said public figures “make their living because of their visibility. They are the role models for our kids, and if we don’t prosecute them, to the fullest extent of the law, I don’t know who on Earth we would. It makes a sham, a mockery of the law.”

One word answer…..


Part 3. Further annoyance with "it is what it is"

Filed under blogging, Culture-internet, Work


I posted on the phrase on my other blog that I would like to extirpate this phrase  from the English language or at least the workplace. Rather than do an original one I’m running a semi ok off  post.  I’d prefer people would say ” it’s this way because”  which gives an indication that they’ve looked at the issue rather than just accepted it on a prima facie interest.

“it is what is is” 

Today I heard it several more times and  it didn’t have a calming effect , quel surprise? I needed to look further into what irks me so much about this new catch all.

It is what it is” means what it means. Depending on context, it can be a statement of resignation or of defiance, but in neither case does it connote the optimistic good humor of “It’s all good.” If anything, it expresses the absence of emotion, the abdication of feeling. Although it seems to imply value-neutrality, that misses the point; it’s not so much that something is neither good nor bad, but rather that its quality simply isn’t relevant, that it’s not worth the energy to make a value judgment.

To put it another way — it doesn’t matter what you think about it because you can’t do anything about it anyway. It was in this spirit that Al Gore invoked the phrase after winning the popular vote and possibly the electoral tally as well: “I strongly disagreed with the Supreme Court decision and the way in which they interpreted and applied the law. But I respect the rule of law, so it is what it is.”

Flak Magazine: It’s All Good vs. It Is What It Is, 06.11.03


Radar, Oh really ? It is what it is… Welcome to tautology Thursday.

One of the colloquial phrases, ok  maybe it’s not just AZ but I hear it more here, that’s been annoying me is the Popeye school of    “it is  what it is” as a cover all for  ill conceived, poorly implemented or ineffable solutions that have wandered onto the radar.This verbal chaff that’s tossed up in the air , rather than  fixing a location onto the problem , obscures the problem and by the time all the flakes have landed , or given up and go home,  there’s still the small matter of a  missile  bearing down on you. As a bonus there’s now less time and fewer options to react with.  

tautology – Definitions from
1. (logic) a statement that is necessarily true; “the statement ‘he is brave or he is not brave’ is a tautology”

Even the good villains get lucky sometime: Eric Doyle aka David Lawrence

Filed under Culture-internet, media


I have been  pretty good  in my  reduction of TV over the past two years but then again I always was more in love with the radio. That’s were I first came across David Lawrence, whom I’ve previously said some very nice things about. There’s no need to change that here. What  I am happy about is that  I get to be some kinda human,  how so?   Well there’s always these nagging doubts that schadenfreude was  an inescapable part of my make up since I really do find other people’s  misfortune, specially when it’s   heading towards  Greek tragedy , amusing.   If there’s a church bus and cliff involved  I’m set for the day,  the driver swerved to avoid a tortilla   with the Image of Mary and you may have to medicate me down:)  So it’s  gratifying to see that  three people that I know well enough to have  lunch with, occasionally see working ,are doing so well for themselves based on 


 working  at what they love, yeah that  old cliché:) . More important though I think about the only sane  advice that I regularly hear within new media  is nicely laid out here.  The source ,  someone else I admire,  seems to have the same qualities  which kinda hit me between the  “what the hell am I doing and when will I wake up” eyes:)   Anyway  writing more won’t help,  just  watch. 

From Tim Street

I knew we’ were f’ed but this is ridiculous. Bush will come on economy.

Filed under Culture-internet, Media mayhem, political, rambling



23 squidoo An 8 armed action hero.

Filed under Culture-internet, humor

Ok it’s an octopus but you can’t tell your cephalopods  from a hole in the ground  and your attitude, quick frankly , towards the cuttlefish stinks.

So just shut up and enjoy this animated appetizer  ink his way into the history books.

Via Found on the web