From November 2007

Mind The Gap

Rush hour Crush, London Tube
It’s called the tube for a reason!

Some hilarious news I came across tonight – Emma Clarke, the voice on the London Underground announcement system has been fired for recording and posting some spoofs on her own website. Although the site has been crippled by people trying to access it I found them elsewhere and here are a few I found particularly funny –


“We’d like to remind our American tourist friends that you are almost certainly talking too loud.”


“Passengers are reminded that a smile is actually a friendship signal, not a sign of weakness.”


“Passengers should note that the bearded gentleman’s rucksack contains the following items only: Some sandwiches, a library card and a picture of a bare ankle and is no cause for concern.”


“Would the gentlemen in the pinstripe suit and £1000 glasses who obviously works in the media, please take one step forward on to the track as the train arrives. Thank you.”

I think instead of firing her they should commission some more to be randomly played between stops – it would certainly make the hellish nightmare of tube travel a little more bearable!

Download the rest of the announcements here (n.b. some are a little risque).

Competition

And you thought careers fairs were bad where you are. Spare a thought for our contemporaries in China:

Chinese Job Fair
[via]

Now that’s competition! In a country which churns out graduates by the millions every year it’s no wonder there’s a shortage of jobs. Sustainable growth? I think not. Still, I’d give anything to be back there – the feeling of excitement and energy is incredible – these kids know the future is theirs and you can be sure they’re not going to let it pass by.

Have a great weekend 🙂

Downgraded

Last week was pretty busy with work and it looks set to be fairly hectic till the end of the year, which for me ends December 14th due to all the vacation days I have left! In the week directly before Christmas I’ve planned a short trip to Amsterdam for a couple of days – I last went their when I was 14 (9 years ago) so it will be nice to see it again and hopefully take the camera through its paces.

Recently I was helping giving my uncle some advice about buying a new computer – he showed one particular model he was looking at and I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw the operating system options:

Windows Vista Downgrade

Yep, that’s right you can “upgrade” to Windows XP from Vista for £50! I think that says it all with regards to how well received Vista has been. I have Vista on my work laptop but have just about had enough of its sluggishness and unnecessary eye-candy – I’ll be downgrading to XP or upgrading to Ubuntu as soon as I have time.

On an unrelated note, an interesting article in the NY Times:

“South Korea boasts of being the most wired nation on earth. In fact, perhaps no other country has so fully embraced the Internet. Ninety percent of homes connect to cheap, high-speed broadband, online gaming is a professional sport, and social life for the young revolves around the “PC bang”, dim Internet parlors that sit on practically every street corner…”

Unsurprisingly many young people in South Korea have developed an acute problem with Internet addiction, with people literally dropping dead from exhaustion, which has led the government to set up an “Internet Rescue Camp” as well as 100’s of counsellors and treatment programs. It’s an interesting reflection on the impact that the technological revolution has had on those on the cutting edge and you can be sure it’ll be the same in the west in less than a decade. Maybe there is something in being an analogue person

Twittering On

I think others have already said enough about the iPhone but sufficed to say it’s living up to my expectations so far. Having phone/ email/ internet/ ipod/ calendar/ photos/ camera/ maps etc. all in one slick device is very very nice. Getting it on Friday evening was an interesting experience in itself. Surprisingly, having queued on Regents Street for about an hour and a half, it only took 15 mins to make the purchase from the time the doors opened amid the crowds of cheering Apple staff (perhaps a little much!). I quickly headed home, praying not to get mugged on the way, and activated it through iTunes – a process which was surprisingly simple (my old phone number transferred directly without any wait).

The iPhone Frenzy - Regent St, London
Photo © mrgeoffb

In the past I always thought micro-blogging tools like Twitter, Pownce or Jaiku were somewhat pointless but now that I have an always-on internet device I can see some merit them. When you’re on the move you don’t have time to make long posts so short updates (< 140 characters) are ideal. Now I just need to find something interesting to say… expect a few experiments to be on their way!

Words ≠ Actions

love your earth

Looking at the submitted designs in the “Love Your Earthdesignboom competition, for artwork to raise awareness about the environment, there are some are pretty cool entries ~ in particular these two which are very simple but effective ~ the left one was the overall the winner [via].

I can’t help that worry that “being green” has become fashionable for the sake of ones image rather than the sake of the environment (no, recycling does not justify your Chelsea tractor). Climate change has certainly gone a long way up the news agenda in the past year, which can only be a good thing, but at the end of the day actions speak louder than words…

Elsewhere… Here in the UK it’s finally iDay which sees the launch of the fabled “Jesus Phone” (their words not mine!). You know where I’ll be at 6.02pm tonight 🙂

Life Mirrors Art Mirrors Life

Skyrails Visualisations

On my travels last week I came across this seriously cool new social network visualisation system called Skyrails. What I find particularly exciting about it is that the output looks like something out of the pages of Masamune Shirow’s “Ghost in the Shell” flying through the virtual noosphere. Whilst the utility of such visualisations are still questionable it’s always good to see innovation in this area and makes my own attempts look tame in comparison!

Skyrails Visualisations

Noosphere (aka metaconsciousness): Human communication and interaction may eventually advance to the stage where even conscious thought may be globalized and massively shared. This will lead to the rise of the so-called noosphere.”

Skyrails Visualisations

Life mirroring art or art mirroring life? Check out the video of the program in action here.