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Reasons to despair for humanity

I must be one of the few people in London who doesn’t really mind taking the tube. Yes sometimes it’s a bit cramped, in the summer it gets hot and the upgrade along with the regular signalling problems can be a pain in the arise, but overall it’s not too bad.

However this post is not about the tube, it’s about common decency in my fellow human beings.

This story begins and ends at Vauxhall. I was standing on the tube by the doors, waiting for them to close and allow me to continue my commute home. I heard on the platform, as probably a few of my fellow passengers did, someone haugh a loogy. “I hope he doesn’t spit that onto the platform”, I thought (one of my pet peeves).

He didn’t.

Just as the buzzer went, announcing that the doors were closing, I felt something wet hit the back of my head.

Without turning round, as if nothing had happened (we Brits are good at that, aren’t we) as I didn’t want to give whoever it was the satisfaction of knowing that they had riled me I waited for the train to move off before getting out my gloves and wiping it off.

So, I ask you: why would anyone do this? I wouldn’t say I’m a particular target for any kind of attack, let alone a mucus-based one. I wasn’t dressed up in a suit. I wasn’t even facing the doors (thankfully).

What kind of human being, would cough up phlegm and spit it at someone?

I’m not angry. I’m not even upset (although it has spurred me to write this). I’m just a bit disgusted and shocked that someone would do this to a complete stranger and find it funny (they laughed, hence why I knew it was a he not a she).

Presenting TinySharp

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to write more code. And so I have. I present to you: TinySharp.

It’s my own C# implementation of code that was originally written in Ruby by Kyle Bragger (he of Forrst fame). I then wrote a version in PHP (tidied up by Kyle) but I’ve wanted to write a version in C# (since most of my work is .NET related). So I did it tonight. And I’m quite proud of my work.

So clone, fork, do whatever. If you make any nice changes, please send a pull request my way.

No I Don’t Have A Facebook Account

I don’t have a Facebook account. I’ve not had one for over a year now. OK, I have one that I use for work (no really!) but it’s completely hidden and I don’t have any friends on it.

It’s really starting to nark me off how websites don’t allow you to use them to their full extent because I don’t have a Facebook account. Take Spotify for example. I’d be more than happy to pay the £9.99 a month for Spotify Premium. But I can’t use it because you need a Facebook account to even register nowadays.

It was really brought to ahead tonight with an email from the website formally known as 4SquareAnd7YearsAgo. It’s an awesome website that sends you emails to tell you were you checked in on Foursquare a year ago. Sounds silly, but it’s sometimes fun to see what you were up to. A bit like Photojojo, which sends you twice monthly emails with photos that you posted on Flickr a year ago (I’m not posting on Flickr so much anymore as I just take a photo and upload it to Twitter). But I digress. Anyway, so I got an email saying that they’ve changed their name to Timehop and are now including stuff like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. So, I clicked on the site to move my data over and they suggest that now I have to wait they can support me.

It’s not like they don’t already have details on me from Foursquare, and I’d be more than happy to signup with Twitter instead, but it kinda makes me feel like a second class web citizen (is that the right phrase?).

Anyway, it just made me think about how many sites don’t let you sign up without Facebook. I understand why. There’s a huge wealth of data available from people who link these web apps to Facebook, and it means that you the user doesn’t need to fill out more stuff again, but come on guys! Not everyone wants to sign their data and privacy away to Facebook.

And it’s not like I’m a person who isn’t all over the web. Just google my name. And it’s not difficult to get in touch with me. Hell I have my phone number on my CV which is online and easy to search. I just don’t like the idea of having everything in one place. I like the share my online love.

So, to those people who are creating new web apps that you need a Facebook account to use, think of the 6,040,507,000 people in the world who don’t have Facebook accounts and give us a way to use your site, give you our money and do it without having to use Facebook.

It’s Christmas (shopping) Time

So I was planning on doing all my Christmas shopping online this year. So far it hasn’t happened. I’m still planning on getting some things from Amazon (18th is apparently the last day with guaranteed delivery before Christmas) but I’m pretty sure that I’m going to have to venture into London this weekend. Which I’m really not looking forward to.

Does anyone have any suggestions on where to go in London that won’t have a mass of other people (and tourists) doing the same?

How did I miss Pinterest?

I’ve always prided myself at being the one person among my friends and colleagues who knew of things before everyone else. But one site that seems to have escaped my attention is Pinterest. How did I miss this? It’s got all the things that I usually pick up on: social, bookmarks, the works.

Unfortunately it’s on invite only at the moment. I’ve signed up for an invite. Does anyone know how long it takes?

One film that they HAVE to make

Thundercats. @codingbadger tweeted tonight the Thundercats theme and it got me thinking.

I’ve always been a huge fan of Thundercats. I watched it as a small boy, and I’ve watched it again as an adult and I still love it. All the characters are awesome. It’s one of those cartoons that gives a definite message (especially since they actually have a slot at the end of the program to spell it out, like so many other cartoons of the 80s did).

There is a fake trailer on Youtube (bonus points if you can name all the movies used in it) that must have taken AGES to make (apparently the creator photoshopped each individual frame), but nothing would beat an actual film being made.

Surely I can dream, can’t I?

You must watch this

The extended trailer (link to iTunes) of what I think will be THE film of the year, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. The film is of course based on the first novel from the hugely popular Millenium series by the late author, Stieg Larsson. If you haven’t seen the original Swedish films, I suggest you do. They are truly excellent. Although there are a few bits that do not stick to the original books, they are definitely worth seeing.

When I heard that the films were being Americanised, I was concerned, but having watched the 8 minute long trailer I think David Fincher (director of amongst other films Fight Club and The Social Network) has so far done an excellent job.

If anyone is interested the release date is the 26th December. And I can’t bloody wait.

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