Blogathon 27/13 Twitter!











Twitter, in the last 24 hours, has given me two brilliant pieces of information.

The first is an answer to one of those infuriating ‘What is this piece of music?’ questions, that haunt our consciousness, from time to time.

I recorded a clip of the earworm (because I knew where I could lay my hands on a few seconds of it, where it is used as a brief soundtrack on a 56-year old cartoon, that I was able to find on YouTube.

Then I downloaded the music-finding app ‘Shazam!’, and played the clip in, and waited for Shazam’s! music databases to do their thing.

Except it was more a case of ‘Shazcan’t!’, because the music-finding app was more rusty than trusty.

It failed to find it.

So I took the few seconds-long clip I had, and recorded an Audioboo.

Then I put a link to the Audioboo recording out on Twitter.

The tweet was picked up by @thoughtcat, who retweeted it to his followers.

And within minutes three of @thoughtcat’s followers – @TGG303, @newviv, and @AnyaMaj – had come back to me, with the information that the brief few seconds of recording belonged in Wagner’s Tannhäuser, where it can be found in both the overture and the choral sections (where it is better known, in the latter, as the Pilgrim’s Chorus).

How’s that for a top-class service?

To (almost) round yesterday evening’s excellent Twitter experience off, within moments of getting the information I had nipped over to Amazon and downloaded the Tannhäuser overture.


The other thing that Twitter did for me, last night, was to answer the frequently asked question, regarding the final scene of the film Inception.

The ‘was it real or was it all a dream’ question.

Yes, I have the answer.


Tell you?


Maybe tomorrow?


Oh, the 56-year old cartoon?


Blogathon 4/13 Twitter!

A little while ago the lovely Chloe wrote ‘Why Tweet‘, a view on some of the benefits of using Twitter.

This isn’t that kind of article.

This is just a look at some of the funny – and serious – Tweets that I’ve bookmarked, for various reasons, but chiefly because I like (and occasionally agree) with the messages they contain.

I’ve deliberately mixed up the funny with the sarcastic with the ironic with the pointedly political.












Blogathon 3/13 NewTech!

I have a new toy!

Yes indeedy, the Tablet generation has a new member.

I have finally managed to beg, borrow and/or steal the 32gb version of one of these:





A Nexus 10.




It’s very early days in this fledgling, but hi-tech relationship, but so far things are pretty comfortable.

I’ve installed the same applications on the Nexus 10 that I run on my phone (this blogpost is being typed via the very nifty WordPress application, using the SwiftKey virtual keyboard).

My two laptops have become exclusive to video and audio editing/production, whilst the Nexus 10 has become the primary Internet workhorse.

Because I migrated all of my audio, video, and text-based files and projects on to my NAS, just over a year ago, the Nexus 10 has access, via WiFi, to 1.5tb of multimedia data from anywhere.

One new development is that I’m also using the Nexus 10 as a Kindle.

So I have all this highly portable tech.

Shame I’m mostly using it for Twitter.



which actually sounds, when I read that title back, just a little – you know – BDSM-ish…

So I am en-route to Texas.

This means I’m sitting at Heathrow waiting for my United flight to be called. Or it means I’m actually sitting in an aluminium tube at 33,000ft. Or it means I’m desperately trying to kill the horribly-long layover at Houston. Or it means I’m actually in Austin, but haven’t got around to updating this blog yet.

I’ve thought long and hard about how I’m going to play the social media thing while I’m at South by South West (or #sxsw if you prefer the Twitter tag for it).

Muso-related output will, I have decided, go straight on to the This Reality Podcast website. This output may be text, video, audio or a combination of all of these things. There will also be muso- and SXSW-related tweetage on the podcast Twitter account.

This blog will carry random Texas-related text, video, audio or a combination of all of these things. And possibly non-Texas-related thoughts too. There will also be random tweetage on my personal Twitter account.

And that’s it.

The bad news is that I may have to cut short the visit, as I have been offered a contract, but it is a contract term that I start work on Monday 19th March.

This means that I’m probably not going to be able to make the Softball game that I was going to get slaughtered play in.

Oh well.


Friends met and unmet

People not on Twitter won’t get this.

Because Twitter is a real-time/near-real-time communications medium, it is remarkably easy to establish relationships with Twitter ‘friends’.

I have been on Twitter since 31st March 2008. Since then 345 people have found and followed me and, because it is a social network, I have (usually) followed them all back.

Social, it definitely is. A network it is too.

I have gone on to physically meet *counts quickly* 40-ish Twitter friends and, without exception, they have all been lovely people.

Yesterday evening I drove in to London, because one of my Twitter friends had been taken ill, whilst at work, and had been admitted to UCL Hospital for tests.

I pitched up outside UCL at 6.15pm and waited in my car, listening to music and, erm, Tweeting, Texting and receiving updates on his progress, as he moved through the medical system.

I’ve had enough hospital admissions to know that medical staff are reluctant to discharge someone from their care, and have that person set out on a significant public transport journey home.

I thought that if he was allowed home, he’d need a lift. It was that simple.

About 9.30pm he was moved to a hospital ward and I was invited up for a chat. I accepted and yes, we physically met for the first time and we chatted about many things.

And he is, indeed, a very nice guy.

As the clock ticked on, the nurses started saying things like ‘And in the morning we’ll do more tests’, so it became clear he wasn’t going to be allowed home.

But we chatted on.

At 11pm a real-life/Twitter friend of his (who was also an unmet Twitter friend of mine) pitched up with overnight supplies for him.

The three of us chatted some more, briefly, before being thrown out by the nursing staff.

I gave the (previously unmet) Twitter friend a lift back to her home in Fulham, then headed back to Witney, getting home about half-past midnight.

I hope he – the Twitter friend in hospital – is good this morning. I hope he’s fit and hope his prognosis is excellent.

But this activity? This is the kind of thing we do for our friends, isn’t it?

Whether they’re unmet Twitter friends or not.

I unfollowed you because…

Dear Twitter Friend.

I have been following you for a while now. It’s important to understand that I only follow people who I like; I only follow people who have ‘a voice’ that I consider to be ‘a good read’ at the time I check them out, before following. In a nutshell, I follow people who display an interesting personality in 140-characters. Because that, in itself, is a challenge.

Unfortunately, though, as much as I did enjoy reading your ‘voice’ at the outset, I have now had to unfollow you.

Instead of coming back to me to ask why I’ve unfollowed you (and let’s face it, that’s a really weird thing for you to do), I’ve produced this handy, cut-out-and-keep guide that lists the most likely reasons.

I hope this information is helpful to you:

1. You engaged on one over-long rant too many
Twitter has a 140-character limit for a reason. Due to, presumably, insanity on your part, you have, in the past, tried to work around that limit by producing a series of tweets. So let me give you a heads-up. A 23-tweet, 2,510-character, 423-word rant about *anything at all* is unacceptable. There is no excuse for this behaviour at all. I strongly advise you to get a Facebook page, or a blog, and dump your rant there. Then, once you’re proof-read and corrected the content, you could put out just one tweet that linked to it. How about that as an acceptable solution? And if you do have a Facebook page and/or a blog and no-one reads it, just sit back for a few minutes and ask yourself why that might be?


2. You are guilty of the *repeated* use of incorrect grammar
Look, neither the word Tory’s, nor the word Torys are acceptable substitutes for the word Tories. The latter is correct, by the way, the first two are completely, unacceptably wrong. This *repeated* abuse of English is a crime of ignorance. Wake up! If you can’t live by the rules of the English language, you should move to another country, one where they speak a language which you are capable of using correctly.


3. You are guilty of *repeatedly* retweeting content that contains misplaced apostrophes
Look, this really is very simple. If you are unable to correct misplaced apostrophes in tweets *before* you retweet, you either don’t care about the people who receive your mutilated content, or you’re a village idiot. If you repeatedly retweet content with misplaced apostrophes you will be considered to be the latter and, as a consequence, you will get unfollowed. Live with the judgement. Or improve your understanding of the English language.


4. You treat Twitter as if it was your personal SMS service
There is, admittedly, a line that falls between a public social network such as Twitter, and a private means of communication such as SMS. But it isn’t a difficult line to find. Most of us know where it is. You, apparently, do not. You have repeatedly used the wrong tool for the job. It’s the use of the word ‘repeatedly’ there that you should pay attention to. We have all, at some stage or other, pushed out a tweet to a wider audience than it should have addressed. But working your way through your entire address book, sending ‘Merry Christmas’ tweets to everyone you know (and therefore, sending those tweets to everyone in your timeline)? Do you really consider this is acceptable? Really?


5. You are guilty of *repeatedly* retweeting content that contains the scandalous yet obvious misuse of your, you’re; too, two, to, or have committed any other crime against the English Language that even my 13-year old daughter knows better than to commit
This is a black and white situation. You have within your power, the ability to MT not RT someone else’s content. This means you can edit and correct their grammar crime, and you can do this *before* you pass his/her content on to the rest of the world. If you don’t – and once again, the use of the word ‘repeatedly’ figures large in this – you will be unfollowed.

And that, for now, is pretty much it.

So if I’ve unfollowed you in the last few days, and you feel that the reason I may have unfollowed you isn’t in this little list, please feel free to add what you believe your crime may have been, to the comments below.



Merry Christmas!

Android issue? (2)


After a l.o.n.g. phone call with Vodafone’s tech support people this morning, they threw an unexpected move in my direction.

‘It’s your SIM card. It’s so old that it doesn’t work well with the new handsets. We’ll send you a new one tomorrow’.



And wow.

Well, we’ll see how that shakes out.

Android issue?

Has there been some kind of an Android OS push?

My handset has not been right for a week, throwing out relatively minor tantrums in SMS use (but the SatNav application, which has been heavily used this week) has behaved faultlessly.

This evening I had to reboot the thing three times, and it was only after the third reboot that SMS fell in to place and started to run properly.

I did uninstall TweetDeck, force a reboot and then reinstall it from scratch.

Since then everything’s fine.

So maybe it wasn’t the phone; maybe it was TweetDeck?

Anyway, if anyone hears of anything…

Nexus One, Android 2.3.4, Kernel, Build GRJ22