Gareth’s Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

Kevin Smith talks. A lot!

Posted by garethwatkins on October 14, 2009

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing Kevin Smith on stage at the IndigO2. It’s tricky to catagorise what exactly I saw in any way more useful than to describe it as a Q&A session. Which sounds considerably duller than last night’s experience.

Essentially Kevin Smith stands on stage, tells stories, answers questions and entertains the venue. And as simple as that sounds I found myself in complete awe last night as I realised that while I may well be able to stand on stage for the 3 1/2 hours (unbroken!) that Smith did, talking and answering questions, I would probably lack the one thing that made last night work: humour. I just don’t think I could be funny, erudite and entertaining in the way Smith was throughout. But I’ll tell you what…if I ever find myself in the position where I can go on tour just talking about the things that have happened in my life I sure as hell would.

Kevin Smith does, admittedly, have a somewhat obsessive legion of fans (another thing I’m currently lacking) who not only watch his films, but read his comics, read his books, listen to his podcast, read the transcripts of his podcasts and follow every keystroked message on his Twitter account (@ThatKevinSmith). And then there are the ones that are really obsessive. And, following his opening soliloquy to the suicidal toilet that suffered at the girth of his heaviest frame, those fans were first in line to ask the questions. And there were some well-researched questions asked, backed by a knowledge of their prey the likes of which Paxman can only dream.

It’s actually irrelevant what was asked, or what Smith said in response. But rest assured it was detailed, amusing and laced with creative vulgarities. Which is exactly what one expects from the director. We hadn’t turned up to see Cliff Richard after all. I was astounded there was actually anything left to ask the man that recently completed a Twitterthon of 24 hours answering questions.

The most bizarre thing of all is that it’s possible I actually learned a few things last night. A fact that worries me slightly. But the most important thing I learned was that if you ever get a chance to see Kevin Smith in one of these Q&A session do everything in your power to attend.

And take a cushion, there’s no interval.

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Posted by garethwatkins on September 17, 2009

I had been hoping to knock out a big steaming braindump tonight, but in the last 36 hours my Hotmail account has been hacked. The password has been changed and I can no longer access it. The same is true for my Facebook account.

Now I can live without Facebook, although it does mean I may lose touch with a few people. Those that seem to have forgotten that email exists and works perfectly well. Or those that haven’t quite yet grasped Twitter’s superiority. Losing the Hotmail account is a little infuriating though.

While I rarely use Hotmail as my main email address with friends, preferring my work account due to their sensible approach to email in the workplace (essentially, don’t be a twat) and it’s ubiquity in my (week)day to (week)day life. I do use Hotmail as a place to send myself messages from work so that I can access the information anywhere. It’s like my braindump before I dump the edited brain on here. It also contains things like my itunes e-receipts, membership information and other miscellaneous but handy rags.

And that’s where the real concern comes in.

Is there enough information in there to initiate credit fraud? Can my financial information be traced enough to be stolen? And, more importantly, does this compromise friends “working for our government” in foreign countries who only know this email address?

These are all questions that will be answered one way or another in time. Just how much time now depends on Microsoft and Facebook and their customer services departments. Both have been contacted via (work) email and both have responded with automated messages. And I understand this response, I really do. Most people who use the internet are idiots. That fact simply has to be true as most people are idiots.

So I politely furnished them with the information they required to confirm that I wasn’t an idiot (confirmation of self help steps taken, IP addresses, etc.) and I now await a response. Microsoft say I should have one within 24 hours, Facebook aren’t as specific. Mind you, Microsoft’s email also purported to be from “Max” in an attempt to convince me that I was dealing with a human. They should probably have just signed it off D.A.R.Y.L. It would at least have demonstrated some real human input somewhere along the line.

With this new-found zen-like peace, separated as I am from a segment of my social network, I have time to reflect on the emotions I’m feeling about this intrusion. I’ve been burgled before and never particularly felt my privacy had been invaded. Luckily, the burglars that have been at my stuff have never been ones to leave a “signature” behind. I think what has consumed me most, mentally, in relation to this is the question of “why?” Not an existential, “why, Lord, oh why?” but a logical understanding of the motivation.

The burglars wanted my stuff because they thought some of it might be worth a few quid and there wasn’t exactly a high level of security to prevent them from getting at it.* But they had no idea of the contents of my email account and my Facebook stuff isn’t really hidden as little is on Facebook. A thought which leads you to consider more vindictive intent. Was I targeted specifically?

Chances are that I’m not the focus of an internet scam, but a small fish just big enough to get caught in a large net. But what if I’m wrong? Who would want to hack me? The best I can manage is that it’s related to a programme I’m connected with through my job and a potentially unwise relationship stemming from that. Something it’s clearly best I don’t discuss at the moment and isn’t really that interesting in the first place. Or…Derren Brown is setting me up to be the star in the grand finale of his current Channel 4 series.

What has come out of all this is the unsympathetic abuse of friends who can’t understand why I’m not yet on Gmail. Firstly, I am on Gmail, but the intention was that my Gmail account would be a business-use account (job applications, an address to give people I don’t like but are handy to know, that sort of thing). Secondly, there is nearly a decade’s worth of crap stored in my Hotmail account. If I’m shifting email accounts I’m going to have to do some tidying, cleaning and shifting – it’ll be like moving house. And thirdly, if I’m going over to Google’s email system, I’d prefer a different address to the one I currently have. But I really don’t want a googlemail address. If I’m shifting, I want Gmail. But it’s starting to look like I may have no choice but to transfer over for my own protection.

I’ll keep you updated and I’ll hopefully have a braindump of substantial proportions to offer soon. And yes, I realise that if I want the information I’m sending myself from work I can just copy the emails from the sent items on my work account and forward them to my Gmail account. I realise this because I’m not one of the idiots.

*Please note, potential thieves, security has been increased significantly – I now have guard ferrets.


As a result of the initial complaint, the reply to the automated email from “Max” and the subsequent reply to “Diane” I was emailed with details of how to access my Hotmail account. And it worked. And it doesn’t appear that any damage has been done to it. None the less I’ll be transfering my stuff to my Gmail account as fast as I can. This also allows me to request Facebook to send me an email that allowed me to change my Facebook password. I have regained access to Facebook. Now I can continue to do nothing on there.

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Braindump 01/06/09

Posted by garethwatkins on June 2, 2009

Sell your photos online.

Actually looks promising.

I read about this a few years ago and it still excites me today. Can’t wait to go and see it.

Get your ideas made.

Well that’s my child’s bedroom sorted. Will have to sort the whole child thing out at some point too.

Yes, I don’t need one, but I want one.

Unbelievable. Nice finish too.

Secret travelling eaterie. Apparently the food is far more gourmet than the name suggests.

More secrecy…a Twitter game. By invite only at the moment, but we know that Keving Rose is playing it and loving it.

Microsoft’s Bing is luanched. Early reports suggest goodness.

Google plays one-up with Microsft and launches Wave.

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Braindump 10/04/09

Posted by garethwatkins on April 11, 2009

This is what golfists do when practising. Well, the really good ones do.

Terminate yourself. Not hugely convincing, but vaguely amusing. Or, if you prefer, Trek yourself.

BBC news as it happens. I can’t say I’m entirely clear why.

It’s like speed dating. Just without the advantages of being able to see the person and massively reduced odds of bumping uglies with them.

Surely there are further improvements to be made.

This really shouldn’t have worked.

It’s like Twitter, the musical. I’m very tempted to come out of retirement from DJing and set something up on here.

I don’t really understand the Scoville scale in any great detail, but anything rated a million on any scale has to be bad, right? Just watch the video.

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Braindump 22/01/09

Posted by garethwatkins on March 23, 2009


Microsoft want to encourage you to use Silverlight, so they pay for this to exist. Genius (SFW, initially)

And for something even more SFW, some amazing melons.

There are lots of these out there, but this one has a narrative.

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Eleventh hour bonus

Posted by garethwatkins on March 21, 2009

Yeah, yeah. I know it’s technically only the second hour, but you’ll get over it.

Just seen this linked to on a tweet from @rustyrockets.

Scared the bejesus out of me.

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Braindump 20/03/09

Posted by garethwatkins on March 21, 2009

First of all, thanks to those that have commented. It’s a weirder feeling than I was expecting. having been encased in my BB bubble for so many years, I’m almost ignorant of the fact that there are those out there who go in search of the things that interest or excite them. And as a result of discovering this I’m now hugely flattered that anyone would end up here.

It’s a big dump today (pffft, sorry, I promise to grow up one day) as I’ve been off discovering real world interaction. And by interaction I do actually mean beer. I discovered it is good, but may need further investigation. Anyway, with the sounds of Carter USM’s 1992 in my ears, onwards.

Couldn’t give one?
You can now.

How many times a day?

A bat with balls! I may never conjure a greater headline.

New iphone stuff video.

Went to the #gadgetshowmob today. (hit search for a refresh)

Amusing images found on the brilliant Google Street View.

Free NIN/Jane’s Addiction/Street Sweeper stuff.

OK, let’s riot!

I promise to at least try to get something other than a braindump up over the weekend. I’m thinking maybe it’s time to unleash a recipe.

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Braindump 16/03/09 (part 2, at the end of the day, not the start)

Posted by garethwatkins on March 16, 2009

An unfortunately brief Braindump today due to an unusual event towards the end of my working day. While typing an email, my computer stopped. No BSoD. No warning. No error message. Just stopped.

For the last couple of weeks the fan has been making some asthmatic sounds, but the computer has still been running smoothly. Today, sans warning, the fan gave up the ghost and fell on it’s sword in order to save my CPU (I hope!). later, on it’s third attempt to rise, it breathed long enough to tell me it had suffered a “thermal error.” As a result, the notes for this Braindump were lost. Below are the only two links I can recall, which may make this the most honest braindump yet.

If anything is recoverably tomorrow I will include them in my next dump (fnar!).

I went with #tv, #blogger and #tech. Was tempted to list myself as a celebrity just to see if anyone would pick up on it.

One of the most amazing action films of recent years is about to be remade by Hollywood. I have no idea who you get to replace the original leads.

To explain that last point, here’s the opening chase sequence. The lead used no wires and no stunt doubles!

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