Archive for May, 2013

Holier Than Thou Fish!

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Flicking through my local paper, I once again encountered a long standing irritation. Local tradesmen putting Ichthys symbols on their adverts.

(Here’s an explanation of what an Ichthys is )

I have one rhetorical question about this nasty little habit: What the fuck are they trying to convey here? Well, a small dose of logic is like a litmus paper for detecting smarmy here!


I shall make an assumption here. I shall assume that Johnny tradesman will claim that they are just expressing the simple fact that they’re Christians and nothing more. To which I have to gaffaw, bollocks!

What the chuff has your Christianity got to do with my dishwasher, that motivates you to declare that you’re a Christian in an advert? You made a very conscious effort  to get it prominently into the advert, so that must be relevant to how you feel you conduct your business.

Is it that you believe that Jesus guides your Monkey Wrench? Well, I don’t recall the bit in John 8:12 where Jesus proclaims “I am the light of the world, and I’ll be shit hot with your Zanussi”. At £30 an hour, the only thing I want you to be able to quote chapter and verse, is the fucking repair manual.

The most probable reason for this shoal of horse-shit invading the papers, is the “you can trust me because I’m a Christian” excuse. If I may digress for a moment. When considering the issue of trust garnered by professing religious faith, I note I have never seen a shoe and belt repairer who has a sideline in rucksacks and camping equipment, advertising with a little moon and star, to indicate they’re Muslim. But that’s a different kettle of Ichthys. What can we logically infer from this fishy statement? Is the advertiser saying they are more trustworthy than the tradesmen without the symbols? If that’s the case, do I really want such a condescending asshat in my house? Or are they saying that because they’ve found God, they won’t stick some extra bunce on the bill they haven’t earned? Well if that’s the case, I definitely won’t be having this sneaky little turd round. Why? Because what’s to say they’ve lost God again in between placing the add and my Hotpoint going on the fritz? If the only guarantee I have that the new drum belt I need won’t cost me £100 more than it should, is that you claim to have a personal relationship with a dodgy Bronze Age magician, then frankly fish-boy, you’re shit out of luck if I can find a guy in a trades association.

Now all this ‘NO JOB TOO SMALL, NO AMOUNT OF CORROBORATING EVIDENCE FOR MY HYPOTHESIS ABOUT THE NATURE OF EXISTENCE TOO SMALL’ malarky is bad enough amongst traditional tradesmen. But the computer repairs guy in the advert below really dropped my jaw…



Right Mr.Computer Fix. What makes somebody good at fixing faults with computers? It’s somebody with and inquisitive, logical and scientific mindset. When I worked at Airbus as an analyst, we didn’t have a prayer meeting prior to take off. We had shit like wind tunnels, CAD, CAM, DMU, CFD. There is one reason and one reason alone for this, SCIENCE WORKS AND PRAYER DOESN’T!


Why I disagree with +Fabien Scherschel that the new Google+ stream is universally terrible.

Monday, May 20th, 2013

1. Manual refresh is bad?

I genuinely love the fact that Google has given me back control over the refresh of the stream. Prior to the update, I would often be in the middle of a long posting, where I would want to consider the content carefully, and autorefresh would move the content downward to accommodate a new post. I found this a classic case of the interface distracting from the content, and I absolutely agree with Google, that the new method of manually accepting new posts contributes to the aim that the interface become more transparent between content and user.

With manual refresh, the content stays where I (the consumer, the most important part of the transaction at this point, I hope) put it, until I am ready to move on.

2. The variable 3 column layout is bad?

Again, I accept that this is a subjective judgement. But for me, the layout enhances my experience of G+. Before they changed it, I found myself using Facebook more than I used Google+. After the changes? I would estimate that has changed so that I use Google+ for more than 75% of my Social Web time. I think the reason for this is that G+ seems more active to me now. The screen is literally packed full of content, and somehow that gives me more reward for my scrolling effort input. Admittedly, I have occasionally found it hard to re-discover posts that I had read earlier. But I’m not convinced this is a fault of the interface, and that the posts may have been deleted, or have been suggested posts that would have been difficult to find under the old interface.

3. Autotagging is bad?

I don’t know whether Fab has criticised this feature. I don’t know whether he’s critisized the autoenhancing of photos either. To deal with both. I’ve already found the autotagging quite handy. I just gives you an instant connection to related content, and I don’t see the downside.

I think the autoenhancing of photos an excellent feature. I am utterly devoid of any artistic ability, so the automatic touching up of my photos is a blessing for me! You can turn it off if it offends you. But the suite of photo features they’ve introduced has just made it more of a pleasure and less of a hassle to use pictures with social media.

4. Hangout revisions are bad?

I’m not a complete Google schill. The confusion over what a hangout is, was plainly, a bollock dropped. But I get what they were trying to do, ie, reduce the barriers between text chat and video conferencing. What we have now is a product thats in development, purpose and branding limbo. But I can’t say that it deserves the death penalty. What do I think about this situation? I think once users understand the concept of the greater integration between text and video arenas the problem will be 25% solved, the remaining 75% will be for Google defining and tweaking their product according to user feedback.

Final Conclusion

Every time I’ve used Windows 8, I’ve found it utterly infuriating and impossible to use. However, I am prepared to accept that, a bunch of people love it, and wouldn’t want to part with it. I’ve also used every iteration of Ubuntu’s Unity interface (and Ubuntu Netbook Remix for that matter, but that’s an irrelevant digression, other than I’m specifically referring to the interfaces that are actually called Unity, not their UNR predecessors). I absolutely hated the first one with a passion, and quickly migrated to Linux Mint and Cinnamon. Nonetheless, I haven’t dismissed Ubuntu and Unity. I am still irked by what I perceive as the left handed chirality inherent in Unity, but regardless it has become more stable, more useable and less irritating with every update. Cinnamon and Mint on the other hand, has been going in exactly the opposite direction. I suspect that G+ will take a similar path. So I urge people who’ve had a similar bad start with the new direction not to dismiss it out of hand for the longer term.

Yes this means that I will have to force myself to give Win8 a fair reassessment after the forthcoming service pack. But better that than be a fundamentalist asshat.

Google IO Reaction.

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Dateline: 15th May 2013 – Google’s IO seminar.

There has been a mixed reaction to announcements made at Google’s “IO” developer conference yesterday. Those that attended the conference in person were rewarded with a Google Pixel Laptop, gratis. However this was conditional upon being able not to slip into a boredom coma during Larry Page’s whale-song-a-like-ramble-a-thon.

The division line seems to be split between those who have carefully analysed the potential technology improvements against the glitches and early adoption issues that are normal after a change process, and the commentators who seem to enjoying a good moan for the sake of it more than Debbie doing Dallas.

Fabien Scherschel, from the highly respected Linux Outlaws waded into the debate with “Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!”

Meanwhile, Ricardo Bilton of Venture Beat added the observation that “Ewwwww, it smells of poo and I don’t like it. I WANT A PONY, AND I WANT IT NOW”.

A crying fucking child getting all mardy about G+ yesterday.

A crying fucking child getting all mardy about G+ yesterday.

We asked Google to comment, but they were too busy avoiding their fucking tax bills.

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