Like Facebook?

I don’t much. Some people think that’s a bit weird because I’m meant to be a social media person at work. You don’t need to like sheep to be a vet though, do you? In fact, if you were a vet and turned up at my farm to fix my sheep, but spent the first hour telling me how amazing my sheep was and turning away from me to check on the status of my sheep every two minutes, I’d punch you in the face.

Anyway, I reluctantly joined Facebook recently. This is ‘joined as myself’ because I did have a few made up accounts that allowed me to sit and watch what was happening in a creepy manner. I only really joined so my wife could stop having to show me stuff my friends have stuck on there – given we moved to NYC I thought I better get more ‘connected’. Urgh.

Having joined, I am constantly amazed at what people ‘like’. I also wonder whether the absence of ‘like’ means that people don’t like something, or are at best indifferent. It’s very odd and in many ways worse than I expected (

Still, with my social media hat on I should probably say that the fact someone ‘likes’ you is important in some way. At the very least it’s an invitation to contact them and show them just what makes you so likeable.

Or in my deeper, serious voice:

And for something similar: The Like-ification of 2011 | Saad. Wired.

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Design vs evolution, smartphone style

Imagine you were designing a new species. You’d sort them out pretty well, they would look really good, would rarely break down and they would do everything you could think of at the time. They may not cope well with changing circumstances, however, and their thinking might not advance at the same rate as everyone else.

If the same race was to evolve from scratch, they would look a bit weird and have a few bits which really didn’t make sense. Over time, however, they would figure some really good stuff out and would end up being better than the designed version.

There’s tons of reasons iPhone is better than Android right now, but it all comes down to closed design vs open evolution. Here’s just one example – almost all Android phones are using old software, often really old software. Not only does this make them worse, it also limits their ability to become better, as new features usually need new software.

iPhone User? 90% Chance You’re On The Latest OS. Android User? 0.4% Chance.

One day Android will be better, but for now the designed version is leading. Sadly this means I’m using a Palin of a phone rather than the Dawkins version, but hopefully soon I can switch to the evolved model.

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Why TripAdvisor is getting a bad review | Travel | The Guardian

Why TripAdvisor is getting a bad review | Travel | The Guardian.

And trip advisor also has a lot to answer for.

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Friends are rubbish

For the last few years you couldn’t move in the ever exciting world of media, marketing or advertising without some social media cheerleader telling you that experts are dead, it’s all about friend recommendation.

Well it looks like we’ve taken a good look at what our friends think and decided that, on second thoughts, we’d rather ask an expert.

Trust in friends is down, trust in experts is up. Why is this? I think it’s because you have been wrong too many times. You’ve let me down once too often. If you constantly “like” stuff then I can only assume most of it must be shit.

Essentially it’s your fault. And I can prove it here:


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Missing this level of journalism

Joanna Yeates murder: Becoming just another thumbnail on the police website? | Mail Online.

Read it. Weep.

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Anyone for a bucket of coffee? Starbucks thinks so | Richard Adams | World news |

Anyone for a bucket of coffee? Starbucks thinks so | Richard Adams | World news |

This is just what already hectic New Yorkers need, a litre of coffee to kick off the day.

As an aside, this amount of coffee is approximately one fifth of what I suspect my company’s IT dept drank before watching the Bourne movies back to back. It’s the only explanation I can come up with for the level of security imposed on the equipment I graciously allowed to use. Within strict limits, of course.


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Shooting some B-ball

Basketball is an odd game. Everything about it looks cool…

There's something about basketball that just looks cool

…and it’s a fun night out, with beer, hotdogs and chicken wings thrown in. It looks just like the movies…

It's just like the movies

…but it’s about as emotionally involving as going to the movies. A so-so sports movie, where you kind of want the likeable yet earnest guy to win but you won’t really care if he doesn’t.

It can’t be because I don’t support either the Knicks or the Sacramento Kings (although, to be fair, the Kings could literally be kings for all I know). I can watch football matches between two teams I don’t support and get involved. Unless it’s Chelsea against Man City, obviously.

It’s probably because I don’t understand the sport. I can’t pick out if there are any tactics bar running it from one end to the other and then taking a shot. I can’t get my head round the fact that you have to shoot within 24 seconds of your team getting the ball. That’s weird. I’ve read that basketball players are exceptionally fit and I can believe it, but I’m not sure why they need to be. It doesn’t look as hard work as a game of squash, for example.

And it takes so long. A game is 48 minutes of actual playing time but it took almost 2.5 hours from start to finish. They have time outs – 7 of them per team plus random ‘official’ time outs – which can’t be for tactics. A quarter is only 12 minutes – can the players not remember what they are meant to be doing for that amount of time?

It’s basically just entertainment, as far as I can see. Given how stop-start it is, I can’t believe that Americans can’t get into football because they think not enough happens. It’s hard to keep focused on a basketball game as there only ever seems to be about 5 minutes of action before it stops for at least as long.

It’s fun, I’d definitely go again but I can’t see myself becoming a fan. I don’t think Madison Square Gardens will crumble at the news, but I hope I can get more into American football or baseball.

Otherwise I’ll have to keep watching Fox Soccer. It shows all the games (like, all of them – even the 3pm Saturdays, which feels somehow wrong) but they use American sports language to talk about it (“this is a match up between two hot franchises right now, the Wanderers of Bolton and Stoke City”). It also ‘stars’ Warren Barton as a pundit. He’s not suited to the look-at-the-camera-and-lecture style of American sports punditry, and keeps shifting his eyes around nervously as if he’s expecting a court summons any second.

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