Facebook – Walled Garden

Interesting post by Scott Heiferman on the fact that Facebook, with it's own propriety application platform, is becoming something of a “walled garden”, albeit a very nice versatile and usable garden.

Jason Kotte runs with this idea claiming Facebook is the new AOL which over a decade ago attempted to create a separate internet for it's own users, you may remember seeing AOL keywords on adverts until quite recently.

The downside of these walled gardens and propriety formats become obvious if each  (Facebook, Flikr, YouTube, MySpace etc.) develops its own platform – which does a developer choose to develop for? Similarly why should a user only be able to use a useful tool or application in one part of the internet?

There is already an open platform to develop applications on, it's called the Internet… so could the Facebook application platform be a step in the wrong direction?

Office Tigers

Starting this week on BBC 4 is a four party documentary by Liz Mermin on Office Tigers, an organisation set up in India by an American company to provide office services to multinational companies around the globe. These services includes report writing, creating PowerPoint presentations, and so forth.

Liz Mermin's documentaty style has a light touch, and doesn't force any paticular political message about either the employees, many working ludricoulsy long days to join the Western dream, nor the (hyped up) American managers.

There's plenty of humour, especially around one of the managers (whose been living in a hotel room for 6 years since arriving in India) has a touch of the David Brent about him – when in his hotel room he couldn't resist showing where he did his pull ups. He's also obsessed about people wearing their ties.

I had heard nothing about this programme before hand and now can't wait to see the other three parts.


Astrology – it's nonsense

I have a friend who is always banging on about star signs when ever she meets someone. After she's found out their birthday she'll just know they were such and such a sign…. never the other way round.

But of course she doesn't believe in astrology either.  Sure people use astrology to back up (obvious) decision already made  But astrology is never used to directly go against obvious decisions – “it's best to stay put career wise this week” – would never be used as a reason to turn down a lucrative rewarding job promotion. So it's nonsense, and not ever worth mentioning, and I'm not sure why I am – but it's a “pet hate” of mine at the moment..

Astrology is possibly not something to get worked up over, however some do – see my favorite quote from the Guardian's Notes & Queries on Astrology below;

It's worse than rubbish.
Astrology is in the same class as racism, sexism, and sectarianism for
promoting irrationality and ignorance. It makes just as much sense as
dumb blonde/thick paddy/pervert gay jokes. Astrology is the easy way
out for people, as thinking is too much hard work for them. Astrologers
cynically take money from the credulous who are often the most
vulnerable in society. Those who know better and consider themselves
“liberal” by tolerating astrology should examine their consciences. Is
it right to allow newspapers to publish telephone numbers so that the
weak can be exploited? What kind of an industry can provide a
service/product that the consumer can never prove to be faulty? The
other problem is that you have to live with the *****s who believe in
astrology. If you are trying to get consensus on an issue then you may
have to struggle with an intellect incapable of knowing how to arrive
at a decision. It does not seem to be in the public interest to teach
critical thinking in schools. The risk is that the masses, including
you and me, cannot be trusted to buy the next product/ elect the same
party/ watch the right programme. In conclusion, not only is it
rubbish, but it is pernicious rubbish, and you should spurn it as you
would a rabid dog.

Pub claims Embassy status to beat smoking ban

From the 1st of July in England it becomes illegal to smoke inside public houses and bars. In fact the only place you'll be able to smoke is in your own home (in your bed, under the covers with the lights out – to paraphrase Dennis Leary). One of the exceptions to the law are foreign Embassies, which uphold their own laws governing smoking.

With in this in mind Bob Beach, the landlord of The Wellington
Arms in Southampton applied to have his pub made the official foreign embassy for the (uninhabited) Caribbean island of Redonda.

Sadly the application has been turned down (the Foreign Office don't class Redonda a country)… but you've got to admire the landlords pluck.


Ad-Aware 2007

For Windows users, the latest version of Ad-Aware is out and ready to clean your PC of spyware and other advertising and tracking components that lodge themselves like limpets to your operating system.

Adware and spyware not only send information out about what your doing (sites you visit, music you listen to), they also slow down your computer…

Every Windows user should run this software on their machine, and new version is still free. It was released on 21st June and has already had over 246,000,000 downloads….

Ad-Aware 2007 [download.com]