Discover your Political Compass

I am a sucker for personal analysis: What kind of thinker are you? How well do you work in a team? etc etc. This kind of quiz can be used for professional purposes (such as the Myers Briggs tests) to understand the make-up of an organisation or team or for entertainment (I’m thinking of quizzes in magazines such as Cosmopolitan here).

Anyway, I came across a new puzzle, that expands on the traditional right/ left political description. It is called the political compass and it you too can take it on-line. I had some sneaking suspicions about where my politics lay. Boy, was I wrong.

In the spirit of a secret ballot I am not going to publish my political compass, but I can say that although I had some sneaking suspicions about where my politics lay, boy, was I wrong.

I have no idea if my score on the political compass is good, bad or indifferent. But it sure wasn’t what I expected. Either that or I am reading the numbers all wrong.

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Facebook Application Overload

Hard to believe amongst all the frisbee throwing, vampire chasing and general waste of time and space… but there are some cool applications running on Facebook.

The problem is that is not clear what Facebook is… but maybe that is the point. Different people use it in different ways- but what happens when “friends” are using it differently? Does the added stress of one person conspicuously ignoring another’s request to be a pirate or whatever indicate a deeper incompatibility?

Or maybe I just got ground down by the number of invites to install a new app.

Contents of a Library

In the past an extensive collection of books in a library was a sign of both education and wealth.

Today a library will more often be made up from DVD’s and CD’s as well as books; but with the availability of multi channel TV on Demand, Video rental (from stores or on-line), iTunes and music sharing what do you really want to buy to put in your library. I propose that the DVD’s  that we buy fall into 1 of 2 categories:

  1. Movies/ TV Shows that we truly will watch many, many times. Typically these will be children’s films (because kids will watch the same film again and again and again) or guilty pleasures that we use as comfort food. Basically anything by Pixar, Disney or Dreamworks falls into this camp.
  2. Movies/ TV Shows that we want other people to see on our library shelf.  You might not ever get around to watching these DVD’s (you definitely won’t watch them often enough to justify the cost you paid) but they show that you are familiar with Truffaut/ Shakespeare/ Welles etc etc. I know that I will never watch the original version of ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ often enough to justify the price I paid for it (not least of which is because it scared the bejeezus out out me) but it sure do look good on the shelf.

And sometimes, just very occasionally we get a DVD that falls into both categories. And when you do, it makes you very, very happy.

A smarter man than I

Or at least a more well known man than I: Tim O’Reilly (the man credited with coining the term “web 2.0”, which should put me right off him, but I’ll get over that) is less than impressed with OpenSocial. And why is he less than impressed? If I understand his post correctly, it is because OpenSocial fails to do exactly the things I wanted it to in my post on the subject:

  • Single data entry
  • (User) Control over the flow of information

This may be a case of data and solution architects having requirements that the application functionality can’t deliver. But that doesn’t mean that the requirements are wrong or should go away. So we continue to wait.

Ear worms

Ear worms (as defined by KFOG) are those songs that get into your head in the morning and are still driving you nuts when you go to bed. Basically anything by Mika falls into this category.

But I had a pleasant one the other day, by a band from the 90’s that no-one remembers now: Londonbeat. The song was called “9am (The Comfort Zone)”  and it was just really nice. A nice ear worm.

 And now you know the word to describe that tune in your head.

One funny, one not

There has been too much geekery going on. So tis time for something to think about and something to make you laugh

The funny one: Things I hate about Powerpoint Don’t be freaked out by the dutch surrounding it, the video is a better quality than that available on YouTube (but isn’t everything)

And the worrying one is an update to “The most terrifying video you’ll ever see”. Now called How it all ends

Hey, at least it is not all about IT

Just when you’re thinking things over

The world is not black and white- it is much more beautiful than that.

Which unfortunately means that for many questions there is no single answer. Like a simple one: Which aggregator do you use?

My choice has been between Yahoo and Netvibes (though there are many more): Netvibes looks cool, Yahoo is the “safe” choice. And here comes the problem: The basic feeds that people want (Reuters, BBC, The Register etc) are available to all aggregators because they use RSS/ATOM. But the really cool feeds lock you into a particular aggregator.

And here is my rant (and a particular example): I want to display sports scores from my favourite teams all aroung the world- NHL (Calgary Flames), MLB (Chicago Cubs), NFL (da Bears), NCAAF (Michigan), Premier League (Arsenal), Premiership Rugby (Gloucester), County cricket (Kent), Italian Serie A (Sampdoria) etc etc. This functionality exists in both aggregators, except it doesn’t.

Yahoo used to provide me with all the north american scores and some of the european ones, but their most recent revamp has removed all the feeds from north america (it still recognises that I have selected some teams, it just won’t display the scores). I guess they assume that because I (now) live in the UK I must have lost all interest in sport outside of Europe. Netvibes is reliant on RSS feeds available to it and the only one I can find only supports the north american scores.

So, I can get most of my scores (still not all) but only by looking in two places. Surely this is what the net was supposed to solve? We live in a distributed world, so how do we provide the information to support the inhabitants of this world?

Because we aren’t doing it right now. Well, not properly anyway.

(BTW I still don’t know which aggregator is best)