2018 Holiday Message

Merry Christmas or whichever winter light festival you and your loved ones choose to celebrate, and a Very Happy New Year, dear Hypothetical Audience, see you all in 2019 to continue our adventures!


On Tumblr & the Woes of Automoderation

So it looks like Tumblr is royally screwing the pooch (possibly bad choice of words) over this “blanket ban on adult content” thats going on over there right now, which seems to have left the site determined to drive a wedge between the service and it’s user base. While the circumstances are different, somewhat depressingly this has revealed its routes in a trend that is common across the modern social media orientated internet, and is simply a new reaction to an existing problem.

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On Continuing

Excuse me a second as I blow the dust off my blogging engine will you? Ahem. There we go.

Hello, hypothetical audience, it has been such a long time hasn’t it? I figured, since this fully armed and operational… I mean URL’d up blog is actually getting some intermittent content from me once again I might as well hammer keys to circuit board and actually blog again, but more on that later. First, since it’s been such a long time since I did this outside of fiction, how are you all?
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On the 2015 Election

The fix is in, Hypothetical Audience, the ballots have closed and the votes have been counted, the 2015 UK General Election has come to an end. The results? For me, at least, down right disappointing. Despite opinion polls to the contrary, things went the Conservatives way, allowing them an actual majority this time around, meaning 5 more years of David Cameron in power, but this time, with him having actually won, no other party involved to get in the way of his schemes. As someone who’s been pretty much opposed to most of the coalition government’s goings on since 2010 this has not been the result I was anticipating. Not in the slightest.
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On Left-Handedness

Have you ever noticed how much odd crap is ascribed to being left-handed, Hypothetical Audience? I sure have, by virtue of being left-handed all my life (at least as far as I know), and I can tell you the amount of things it’s assumed I can and can’t do, or must have to do differently, based on handedness alone by people of the alternate persuasion is vast. In both reality and fiction these range from the every day mundane, such as needing special scissors with the blades swapped around, to the oddly specific, like only a left-handed could have committed a murder because they can only hold knives in one specific hand. It’s a very strange bit of collective ignorance that afflicts a surprisingly large number people and one that’s probably worth commenting upon.
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On Election Fever, 2k15 Edition

The five years are up, Hypothetical Audience, the playgrounds have emptied, Westminster’s head mistress has sent the children home again and, as is traditional, our country has reverted to a state of anarchy until we all manage to sort this mess out amongst ourselves. Yes, that’s right, it’s General Election time again here in dear old Blighty, so roving gangs adorned with garish rosettes are harassing innocent bystanders again. Given how the previous one was a total bust and resulted in essentially an unelected head of government taking the reins, this one is kind of important. Unlike the last one, however, things have changed substantially on the UK’s political landscape over the last half-decade, and the traditional “Big 3” parties no longer have the kind of influence over people anymore, and the minor parties can actually make a difference now. For better or worse. If you hadn’t guessed over the previous postings here (and certainly if you ever read my twitter feed) I am a very political person, so have been watching developments very closely indeed.
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In Short: The Apple Watch

Before we start, I’d like to announce a slight change to the continuing adventure that’ll be ongoing until easter at the very earliest. Du to a personal project I am embarking upon, I won’t be having that much free time to write until roughly the middle of April. Rather than go on hiatus, which I feel is A. Boring and 2. slightly disingenuous to whatever hypothetical audience I actually have, I thought I’d just make the weekly post far shorter, like a few paragraphs only, until such time I regain my free Sundays once again. Enjoy!

This time last week Apple had something of a shindig over in the USA to parade their latest shiny wares in front of us. As someone who’s used Macintoshes all my life, pretty much, I generally keep an eye on these kind of things to see where the company is going. And trot out a new Mac they did, and shiny it was indeed. But that wasn’t the focus of the event, oh no, this whole bash was predominantly to show off Apple’s entry into the Smart Watch market. Ho Hum.

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On Skeuomorphism

Last week I embarked upon a brief aside into my professional world of Graphic Design, dear Hypothetical Audience, by casting a critical eye over the web design at the Guardian, and to follow up I’ve decided to talk a bit about skeuomorphism and the recent trends for “flat design” in the tech areas in recent years. So everyone’s up to speed, skeuomorphism is essentially when something has been designed to resemble something else, usually meaning a device replicates the look of a previous object that fulfilled the same roll. A brilliant example, and one I. going to talk more about, would be computer note taking programmes that have lined paper textures to emulate the note pad you would have used to have owned. They were incredibly populer towards the end of the twentieth century and whilst have been on something of a decline the last few years are still very much with us.
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On The Guardian’s New Website

Terribly sorry about missing last week, had a busy weekend punctuated by a bout of the dreaded lurgi, so didn’t really have the time not inclination to write anything. Could have sworn I’d scheduled a General Failure, but apparently not. Normal service resumes now! No, not now, then!

While I mostly fill my internet space with nerdy ramblings of varying consequence, dear Hypothetical Audience, out there in the horrible, depressing meat space we all occupy known as reality I am a Graphic Designer by trade, specifically one trained in layouting and typography. Given how we are pretty much surrounded by items of design, it’s pretty hrd to switch off the senses hammered into by your training in the creative industries, meaning you constantly analyse the world around you. To that end, I’ve decided to spend the next couple-or-so blogs talking about the world of Graphic Design. This week I thought I’d look at The Guardian’s new website. After about a year and a half of “beta” appearances randomly throughout the site it finally became the norm a couple of weeks ago, and if I’m honest, it’s not that great. I don’t mean it in a “They Changed It, It Sucks, Rabble Rabble” way either, some of the design decisions are ones I don’t particularly understand, and really don’t gel well with a major national and international news source.

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On Smart Gadgets & Their Internet

Early last month over in Las Vegas, USA, the Consumer Electronics Show happened, allowing tech luminaries to hawk their latest goods to the world. I find this time of year fascinating, not generally because of what the big corporations bring to the table, because that is often the same old stuff updated for the latest cycle. No, what always interests me the most, dear Hypothetical Audience, is all the odd and/or crazy crap the smaller companies show off. Every year the various fringe companies seem to want to top one another for weirdness vaguely relating to whatever tech trend was going around the office a few months previous (well, that and fakes of big name products but thats a post for another time). This year it seems home automation is the buzz word du jour, and we’ve had a veritable glut of random items that are designed to integrate into the “Internet of Things” idea that’s been floating about for the last few years, all usually with the “Smart” prefix attached. Which is usually an indication that the device performs a task that doesn’t need to be smart at all.

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