Art of writing dating profiles

Sad Staff Robot is sad.

There is a lot to be said about dating profiles… Some are much worst than others (and I’ve seen some very bad ones)

Just the other day I saw one where the question was, 6 things you couldn’t do without… She wrote (and I quote) $$, $$, $$, ££, ££ and ££. I mean really, no wonder she was 76% enemy!

Of course it really depends on what your after, but rather than point out some of the crazy profiles I’ve seen, Tom Morris has given a nice overview of the mistakes people make, beyond the usual spelling and grammar stuff. Actually on OKcupid you can make edits to peoples profiles, so I guess I’ve made a few edits to other peoples profiles which have been accepted. Anyway…

Although I’m not sure if Tom is actually suggesting I do this for my own OKCupid dating profile? Maybe he should rewrite mine…?

I’ve also helped copy edit people’s online dating profiles. And I’ve seen plenty of crap online dating profiles too. These hints are derived from some of the stupid shit I’ve seen.

  1. Basic spelling. You are a 36-year-old and you talk about how you want to go out for a “coughie”. What’s that sound? Oh yes, the sudden penile deflation of every man who actually finished primary school. Grab a dictionary, grab Google, grab Wikipedia, whatever. You aren’t writing a dissertation, you are writing a few paragraphs. There’s no reason not to get the spelling accurate.
  2. You aren’t a teenager anymore. I’m not one of these people who gets all huffy about teenagers writing “im” and “cu l8r” and all that in their texts. But if you are old enough to have an OKCupid profile, you are old enough to not write in textspeak. Do all that stuff your English teacher taught you: spaces after full stops, commas between items in lists, apostrophes, the capital “I” in “I’m” and “I’ll” etc.
  3. No LOL. “I like beer lol”: I saw that on a goddamn profile. You are laughing out loud about the fact that you enjoy drinking beer? LOL is fine in chat. It’s not fine in your profile. If you’ve written something that’s actually funny, you don’t need “lol”. And if you aren’t saying something funny, “lol” won’t make it funny.
  4. This one’s for the straight guys: yes, I get it. Saying that you are a “vagina inspector” or a “trainee gynecologist” is what you consider hilarious banter with the slack-jawed cretins you so affectionately call “mates”. Well, I consulted my friends with vaginas and they tell me that you probably won’t get any pussy if you put that crap on your profiles. In addition, you make all men—straight and gay—look like horrible, insufferable wankstains. Just sayin’. Don’t say sexist, racist or homophobic shit in your profile: ignorance isn’t attractive to anyone, it just makes you look insecure. There’s a time and place for moronic banter—actually, no, wait, no there isn’t. Grow the fuck up and read a book.
  5. You don’t need the abbreviations. Yes, you might be seeking some NSA S&M with a 24/M/UK GWM. (Aren’t we all?) There are circumstances where that kind of thing might be appropriate (hookup sites) but on a dating profile, you don’t need all this clutter. You are trying to find a human being, not a home cinema system, even if you are only going to, err, tweak their Dolby Digital Surround for one night only.
  6. You are from California, not “california” or “cali”. Proper names need capital letters. Go on, you can take the time to write out the full name of the city. “London” not “LDN”, “Atlanta” not “ATL”. See previous point about abbreviations. Abbreviations are bad enough, dumb abbreviations have no place in your profile.
  7. Cut the lists out. I saw a gay guy’s dating profile recently that had a section heading with a list of items, each suffixed with “= turn off”. On this list, he had smokers, heavy drinkers and sex addicts. Okay, there’s no problem with having preferences (although wanting men who aren’t sex addicts might limit the pool somewhat), but if he had written a paragraph instead of a list, it would come off much better: more like a human wrote it and less like it’s a warning sign next to a parking meter. When there are negatives you want to exclude, rather than making a list of turn offs or forbidden characteristics, write a short paragraph trying to turn that into a description of what you do want. Like “I want to meet people who don’t smoke, don’t drink to excess and can think about things other than sex.” It still comes off a bit weird, but a lot less harsh and checklist-ey than writing a list.
  8. Match your text to your picture. I saw a hilarious Grindr screenshot recently of a big ol’ dick pic (Grindr is not known for subtlety) with the words underneath “Not seeking NSA”. Sorry, what, you’ve got a picture of your dick as your profile but you don’t want no-strings attached hookups? Are you shitting me?! Work out what message you are sending with the pictures and then make sure that what you are writing doesn’t contradict that message.
  9. Don’t attempt poetry. You will probably suck at it. And because of the Dunning–Kruger effect, you’ll never know quite how much you suck at it.
  10. Don’t get over-romantic. Again, you will probably suck at it. Don’t talk about wanting a partner to “complete” you, unless perhaps you want an inflation fetishist who knows the Aristophanes passage from Plato’s Symposium off by heart.All the spiritual shit about wanting to live forever together with flowers and rainbows and ponies everywhere? Cut that right out. You’ll probably be telling me next that you want to tune into my fucking chakras. No, no, the point is showing that you are a nice, non-psychopathic, down to earth person, the sort of person who you’d like to share a drink or a meal with, not that you are desperately seeking a missing puzzle piece from your self-indulgent personal development plan.
  11. Show, don’t tell. I’ve helped people I know write personal statements for university applications. Dating profiles are more personal, obviously, but the rule applies. People go on about how they are “passionate” about something: opera, reading, fondue cookery. Whatever. Don’t tell them that, show them that. What do you do? How do you do it? Where do you do it? “I’m passionate about windsurfing” becomes “I’ve gone windsurfing at places X, Y and Z”. “I’m really into music”? Yeah, so is everyone. Talk about the bands and genres you like and talk about how you are really excited by this band’s new album or went to this other band’s show.
  12. Get someone else—preferably someone who can write—to read it before you post it. Yes, yes, you are embarrassed to tell your friends that you are using online dating… well, get the fuck over yourselves, 21% of Americans do it, it’s not like telling them you are gay (oh, wait, actually, if you are using the phrase “throbbing hot rod”, they might suspect something). Anyway, if the are going to judge you, at least you’ve given them a legitimate reason to judge you, namely your terrible grammar. If you can, get a friend of the gender it is aimed at to read it.

There is much more that can be said but maybe best left for another day’s Relationships 2.0.

Serendipity and the Creative Collision

Get Lucky the book

Listening to Thor Muller on Triangulation

Thor Muller is Co-founder of Get Satisfaction, a startup delivering “people-powered customer service for absolutely everything.”

Fascinating discussion well worth listening to…

Thor at one point talked about creative serendipity or as he described creative collision. Leo or Tom mention some place where all the directors have to spend a certain amount of time together in a space. Then Thor talks about co-working type spaces as great places for creative collision.

In agreement, this is what I identified a while ago with my decision to work out of the Northern Quarter every Friday. Not always but most of the time, I’m slightly inspired by listening or watching people go about their own lives. Its a lot like watching certain people’s twitter streams. As Thor says its not directly applicable to work but in the end it points towards ideas and solutions.

Get lucky which is the title of Thor’s book actually fits very nicely with Derren Brown’s experiment last year.

The funny part of this all is, this is all about applicable to dating…

At the very end Thor talks about attraction and projection, how do we draw chance events to ourselves… Or how we draw our intentions to the world.

Am I saying dating is a creative process?

No or maybe not… but exactly, but the same factors can really help your career and confidence which changes the way you look at the world and the way the world sees you…

Demand your data from Google and Facebook

Data Portability logo

Tim Dobson sent me this over twitter for my consideration

Tim Berners-Lee says demand your data from Google and Facebook

World wide web inventor says personal data held online could be used to usher in new era of personalised services

Absolutely…

Seems people have forgotten the work which took place during the late 00′s as one of the founders of the Data Portability group (which still exists by the way). The group was made up of quite a few people all over the world and we successfully convinced the likes of Yahoo, Plaxo, Myspace, Google, Facebook, etc to take data portability seriously.

The turning point was when Robert Scoble tried to take his contacts out of Facebook and into Plaxo. Interesting to see Tim Berners-Lee finally getting the point.

Although to be fair he goes much further thinking about a standard way to export data.

Right now both Google and Facebook have export features and each one is very different in structure. I personally regularly export my data from them every month along with my wordpress and others. I find Google’s Data Liberation centre the best because it gives you control across the board, but then again Google do have more data from me. But right now its all just for back up purposes.

The next step which Tim hints at is the ability to transform and import the data in a standardised way. To be honest its something we (data portability group) talked and thought about, but we were maybe a little too early. Now seems about right to think about the interchange of data more than ever.

There has always been space for startups to be brokers and transformers of the data. Someone like ifttt.com could make a killing in this space, specially if they start charging for use of their pipes (something I suggested while doing the xml pipeline stuff). Could make a nice sustainable business

 

The HTC One X reviewed

HTC 1x

People have been asking me for a review of the 1X phone since I mentioned getting it last Wednesday.

This won’t be a complete review because I haven’t really gone through the features and the like yet. To be honest I only just moved everything across and set it up on Friday. Engadget has a complete review too…

Thoughts…?

The HTC 1x is seriously an amazing phone! But it does have flaws…

Right off the bat, the battery life is poor. So far its lasted just over a day before needing power. Because I’m use to doing this for my old HTC Desire, I tend to be not far from power or armed with some kind of USB cable. What bugs me is the HTC 1x doesn’t have user removable battery meaning I can’t carry around a spare battery like I know some of my friends do for there phones.

I’m hoping the battery life won’t get worst because if it does then, wow! I know some of you are saying, well what do you expect for a quad core phone? And maybe your right, but coming from a single core its a small shock, specially on a brand new phone? Update – Looks like there might be an unofficial fix

On the other side, it charges extremely quickly. Which means my Powermonkey thing should keep it powered up when no plug or usb is near.

The size of the device is just right for my large hands, but what scares me is its so bloody light it feels like I could crush it. Worst still I keep checking my pocket to make sure it hasn’t fallen out because I’m so use to feeling weight in the pocket. Its so light I was able to put it in my shirt pocket while shopping the other day and almost forget it was there. There wasn’t even a noticeable weight in the pocket, although you could just about see it because of its sheer size.

I can’t explain to people how light it really is…! Compared to my desire it feels like half the weight and compared to a iphone 4 it feels much lighter. A iphone owner said it feels cheap based on its weight. But feeling how strong it actually is, I would disagree.

I was lucky enough to get the black 1x not the white one and to be honest it truly looks the business. Everything is beautiful about it, including the micro drilled holes for the speakers front and rear. The multicolour led is pin sharp meaning you can spot it from across the room but also makes my HTC desire’s status light look like a 60w bulb.

I have noticed it get quite warm when charging first time, not noticed it getting warm since.

The sheer size does mean your typing with your phone a lot but its fine with it. Although I’d like to have a decent keyboard as the HTC sense one is pants.

It does come with Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box which is really strange. I’m so use to Android 2.3 gingerbread it feels odd coming away from it. On top of that, I’ve gotten a little use to Android 3.2 honeycomb from my Samsung Tab 7+. So I’m in that strange cross over point between all the different versions. For example not having a menu key is bizarre and I keep wondering if I’m missing something.

Photo to unlock seemed like a joke, but I have enabled it and when in decent light it works very well. So well I wasn’t even sure it was working correctly. I tried holding a picture up of me and it didn’t work btw. Mainly because its so quick and if it doesn’t recognise you or the conditions are bad it switches over to the pattern lock in seconds. Google really made the whole thing work extremely smoothly!

Software wise, I’m very tempted to root the phone and put stock ICS on it! Everytime I look at the HTC sense desktop it winds me up that I can only have 4 icons in a row! On my Desire with a much smaller amount of screen resolution I could do 5 or even 6 under cyanogenmod 7. The HTC 1x has a incredible resolution (yes it looks incredible!) but its wasted because HTC limit its capability. However there are some good things about HTC Sense 4, including Dropbox, Evernote, Flickr, etc support (although I still had to download the actual apps?). I was also happy to see the ability to use as a USB drive, Wifi Hotspot and USB tether device put in by Orange. Although I’ve not tried the wifi hotspot with my Kindle or Tab 7+ yet (which was the sticking point before and is now…).

Ice Cream Sandwich has some amazing features including the ability to track exactly how much data each app is using over a month. You can even set your limits which is handy for those on lesser data plans.

So would I recommend this phone to other people? No I wouldn’t. Its a dream phone for many people but its sheer size and the battery issues make it hard to recommend. I would say the HTC One S might be a better phone for those more sensitive to battery power and size.

HTC One X and Dropbox up a tree…

Today I finally received my HTC One X from Orange. I swear I will do a full review once I find sometime to really set it up and play with it. But generally I’m mighty impressed with the weight and the size isn’t so big.

I’ve not really had a chance to set it up except throw in my google accounts and get dropbox working… Nice that it was built in from the get go. And I happy to get this email from Dropbox…

Hi Ian,
Congrats on becoming a Dropbox Guru! We’ve awarded you 23 GB of bonus space for the next 24 months! You now have 75.75 GB of space. Thanks again for supercharging your HTC device with Dropbox.
Enjoy,
- The Dropbox Team

That is a nice ton of space, I’m sure I can find something to fill the space with… I’ve already started syncing my Mixes across…

Kevin Rose interviews Kevin Systrom, founder of Instagram

I assume this was recorded during or just before Facebook decided to buy Instagram?

Very interesting interview like most of the Foundation interviews.

Kevin Rose and Instagram founder Kevin Systrom sit down to chat about Systrom’s growing up with computers, his time spent at Stanford, and landing an internship at a startup destined to be worth billions. This ultimately led to launching his own startup which is now 15 million users strong and one of the fastest growing social networks on the planet!

Some things Cory Doctorow said recently

Portrait by Jonathan Worth 2, credit Jonathan Worth, link to http://jonathanworth.com

Cory Doctorow’s agreements are usually pretty powerful but recently these two have had me reaching for the sky…

The Coming War on General Computation (the video is well worth watching… along with the transcript)

Techdirt breaks it down…

So today we have marketing departments who say things like “we don’t need computers, we need… appliances. Make me a computer that doesn’t run every program, just a program that does this specialized task, like streaming audio, or routing packets, or playing Xbox games, and make sure it doesn’t run programs that I haven’t authorized that might undermine our profits”. And on the surface, this seems like a reasonable idea — just a program that does one specialized task — after all, we can put an electric motor in a blender, and we can install a motor in a dishwasher, and we don’t worry if it’s still possible to run a dishwashing program in a blender. But that’s not what we do when we turn a computer into an appliance. We’re not making a computer that runs only the “appliance” app; we’re making a computer that can run every program, but which uses some combination of rootkits, spyware, and code-signing to prevent the user from knowing which processes are running, from installing her own software, and from terminating processes that she doesn’t want. In other words, an appliance is not a stripped-down computer — it is a fully functional computer with spyware on it out of the box.

Cory on “User uploads to YouTube hit one hour per second” (worth reading the whole thing)

A common tactic in discussions about the Internet as a free speech medium is to discount Internet discourse as inherently trivial. Who cares about cute pictures of kittens, inarticulate YouTube trolling, and blog posts about what you had for lunch or what your toddler said on the way to day-care? Do we really want to trade all the pleasure and economic activity generated by the entertainment industry for *that*? The usual rebuttal is to point out all the “worthy” ways that we communicate online: the scholarly discussions, the terminally ill comforting one another, the distance education that lifts poor and excluded people out of their limited straits, the dissidents who post videos of secret police murdering street protesters.

All that stuff is important, but when it comes to interpersonal communications, trivial should be enough.

The reason nearly everything we put on the Internet seems “trivial” is because, seen in isolation, nearly everything we say and do is also trivial. There is nothing of particular moment in the conversations I have with my wife over the breakfast table. There is nothing earthshaking in the stories I tell my daughter when we walk to daycare in the morning. This doesn’t mean that it’s sane, right, or even possible to regulate them

And yet, taken together, the collection of all these “meaningless” interactions comprise nearly the whole of our lives together. They are the invisible threads that bind us together as a family. When I am away from my family, it’s this that I miss. Our social intercourse is built on subtext as much as it is on text. When you ask your wife how she slept last night, you aren’t really interested in her sleep. You’re interested in her knowing that you care about her. When you ask after a friend’s kids, you don’t care about their potty-training progress — you and your friend are reinforcing your bond of mutual care.

If that’s not enough reason to defend the trivial, consider this: the momentous only arises from the trivial. When we rally around a friend with cancer, or celebrate the extraordinary achievements of a friend who does well, or commiserate over the death of a loved one, we do so only because we have an underlying layer of trivial interaction that makes it meaningful. Weddings are a big deal, but every wedding is preceded by a long period of small, individually unimportant interactions, and is also followed by them. But without these “unimportant” moments, there would be no marriages.

 

 

A age which seemed improbable a few years previously

Today I have reached a age, which seemed improbable a few years previously.

I have made it to 33 years old today and I’m very happy to still be alive :)

The fabric of time and space is still a mystery and the string which binds us is still somewhat invisible but becoming more visible everyday. I’m still amazed at how we can inspire each other, even in the depths of despair and such harsh misery. Taking and making opportunities is still very high in my consciousness. I’m very comfortable in my own skin and feel a level of serenity with my abilities and character flaws.

I share my birthday with many people including my late grandma, my cousin Daniel, my old friend Ted and many more people I know.

I’m hoping Orange ship my new HTC One X and I get a good chance to play with it today (unlikely I know). So I’ll be doing not much today, maybe spend the whole day reading and listening to people in cafes around the Northern Quarter. Maybe I might go do some shopping or go for a wonder with my pacemaker. Ether way, I’ll be saving up my total enthusiasm for Saturday’s Roller Coaster rampage and the night of cocktails which I’m sure will follow…

Inspiring media with Touch

connecting people

If you’ve not seen Touch your missing out. According to Rachel Clarke its already on Sky and not far behind its American showing either.

“Touch” is a preternatural drama where science and spirituality meet in which we are all interconnected. The show follows a group of unrelated characters. One of these is Martin Bohm (Kiefer Sutherland), a widower and a single father who is haunted by an inability to connect to his mute and severely autistic 10-year-old son, Jake. Martin has tried everything he could do in order to reach his son, but at no success. To spend his time, Jake has cast-off cell phones, disassembling them and manipulating the parts. This allows him to see the world in a different way entirely. Martin is visited by social worker Clea Hopkins. She insists on doing an evaluation of the living situation. Clea sees Martin as a man whose life has become dominated by a child he can no longer control.

Touch is seriously great and really seems to fit with inspiring media which is really coming into focus right now.

Last year the film The Tree of Life was released and caused a little stir. Its one of those films you either love or really hate…

Likewise, Touch will be one of those things you either love or hate. A few people have already said they loved the pilot episode but now its going nowhere fast. I can see what they are saying but I’m usually so wrapped up in the episodes it doesn’t bother me. Tim Kring is also the kind of person who tends to come good with well thought out layered narratives.

Or at least I hope…

Touch does (ironically) touch the current zeitgeist of our hyper connected times.

It all fits with my own thoughts… Slide 48 onwards in the TEDx Manchester talk the story of me and a great tune I’ve been loving for a while, the string which binds us by Arnej

Welcoming the App Bazaar

App Store

I know theres tons of blogs and views beating up Android for its different device capabilities and how un-developer friendly it is (sure I blogged about this before?) but I’m calling ball on it all. Ok I’m not a developer but frankly opportunistic developers/people are seeing the beyond this whole fragmentation debate and thinking theres lots we can do here.

Being a free and open kind of guy, I draw lines between Apple/Microsoft’s app stores and Cathedral, Android/The Web and the Bazaar/Market. Yes I went thereEric S Raymond on your ass (not literally of course)

Amazon just recently celebrated their first birthday of their own app store, which you can install alongside Google’s market I mean play store (I can’t be the only one who thinks this sounds like a Durex thing?). There were reports that the Amazon store was actually making the developers using it more revenue than Google’s play store. This can be seen as a good and a bad thing, but for me the choice is a good thing. Google set out give people the choice in a over protected market and they have achieved some great things, including opening the door for other companies to make a tidy business.

A long time ago I gave a thumbs up to Boxee for doing something similar. This is old hat for GNU/Linux for example which has had the ability to add repositories from anywhere you trust (or don’t trust, even!). For example I’m a fan of OMGUbuntu and Webupd8, both which run their own repositories or if you prefer app stores as such.

I haven’t even began to play with some of the repos in XBMC yet, but I remember seeing quite a few for Boxee which were all aimed at providing p0rn and nothing else. And to be fair its a business model which I could imagine would work very well. Certainly something Google and Amazon may not want in their own stores, but theres certainly enough demand to warrant its own ecosystem (like it or not). The same is very true of the darknet stores such as the jailbroken Cydia store.

Plex media server ups the media server game

plex media server screenshot

Plex has always been on my horizon as its part of the future change in home entertainment, however Technicalfault shared a link to a blog post from the Plex media server team.

In this aint your grandfathers DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance), the Plex media server team (PMS) outline why the inclusion of Plutinosoft’s fabulous DLNA SDK, makes PMS the best DLNA server.

The result (besides a lingering scent of cologne and flowers) is the world’s best DLNA server. No, really. I’m not prone to hyperbole. This DLNA server can do things that no other DLNA server on the planet can do. And the coolest part is that with this new release, all the content served up by your Plex Media Server is now accessible by an insane amount of new devices, including ones that may already be in your homes (your LG washing machine doesn’t have DLNA? Send it back!)

So somewhere between all the hype and banging of chests, there might be something interesting…

I’ve never bought into the Plex way of doing things mainly because XBMC works for me. Plex although based on XBMC favors a ecosystem which seems to be about streaming from the server to their client. But reading the news about the PMS beta, I thought maybe I could use it on my server instead of using UPnP servers like Ushare and Mediatomb. I had just build my new server and had not yet installed a UPnP server yet. So after twelve47 sent me a link to the ubuntu beta, I installed it and tried it out.

My first thoughts is it won’t change much of the way I do things at home. I haven’t created a Plex account and frankly the ability to do transcoding is pretty much lost on my setup. I tend to watch 99% of things on my XBMC box in the living room. I do have another XBMC box in my bedroom room but I tend not to use it much (although this changed recently when I replaced my desktop machine with the XBMC box). So now I listen to my podcasts in the morning using XBMC…

XBMC does actually have a DLNA server built in, so I was interested to see which one is most standard complaint or works with devices around the flat?

UPnP and DLNA from a early time years ago has always captured the imagination. When I had my Nokia N80 work phone, I tried to get DLNA working, and for the most part it didn’t quite work. You could see the devices, but for the most part the services wouldn’t be compatible. When Microsoft added DLNA to the Xbox 360, things started looking up. Interestingly the Playstation3 has always had it.

This is also why I find the whole Apple Airplay such a joke because as usual, apple make it simpler (as they do own the ecosystem and the products) then claim it as there own (or at least there fanboys do). Funny enough XBMC now even supports AirPlay.

You could see the XBMC UPnP server but not actually stream anything, or even browse. So I was interested to see if this would be be any different with PMS?

For music… I can tell you its better than the XBMC UPnP server, as I was able to stream music without too much of a problem. This has never quite worked with XBMC UPnP server but PMS handled everything just fine.

However for Video what surprised me was the fact XBMC UPnP server and Plex Media Server could both stream my whole movie and TV collection without too much hassle. Obviously work had been done on XBMC UPnP since I last looked at it. I guess Plex does have the upper hand on the Xbox 360 because of the transcoding, but as default it down samples my glorious multichannel audio down to stereo, which seriously sucks for me. Couldn’t see at a glance where to turn on AC3/DTS comparability in Plex. Pictures is another area which XBMC UPnP server seems to fall short, while Plex was able to handle my complete collection without breaking a sweat.

So with the Xbox 360 sorted… I tried the other device which I’ve been playing with, the Wifi UPnP enabled Picture frame I picked up very cheap a while ago. Unfortunately although it did see the Plex server, it couldn’t do anything with it…

Although it didn’t work, the interesting part of the Plex Media Server is the ability to get down and nasty with DLNA and a XML config.

DLNA is a rather broad and flexible standard, and different devices interpret the standard in different ways. Some by design, some due to device bugs accident. This makes it impossible for a media server that supports DLNA to provide a one-size-fits-all implementation of the standard. Instead, the server must adapt to different clients by recognizing them and changing its behavior accordingly. A client profile is the basic unit of information that Plex Media Server uses for this purpose.

And this is where it gets very interesting… I’ll attempt to reverse engineer my picture frame’s DLNA support so I can share pictures with it and hopefully be able push forward with the conversation I had with Jas about extending my digital artifacts out into the real world.

Anything I buy now pretty much must have support for DLNA and the ability to hack Plex to get it working with the different devices is a very good thing.

Android has some great DLNA clients and I’m already thinking about hooking up my Archos Tablet (which I’m using as a desktop alarm clock, thanks to the kick stand and my Samsung Tablet 7+) to other things around the flat. Even thinking once I get my HTC 1x (yes I ordered one) instead of selling my HTC desire, maybe I could hook it up into different parts of my flat? This is why I find the Google Open Accessory API (ADK) really interesting and a certain nod to the future…

For now I’m keeping Plex Media Server on the server, and it may find more use in the future but generally right now I’m using Samba and NFS to stream media around the flat. My hope is XBMC now on version 11 (eden) will spend a little time on their UPnP server, as it was the best for a long time.

Some of the most uncomfortable films you can watch

Martha Marcy May...

These are some of the most unconformable films I’ve seen recently… The kind of films where you can’t move from your seat afterwards or when you do, you feel like having a shower straight afterwards.

  1. Martha Marcy May Marlene
    Haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, a damaged woman struggles to re-assimilate with her family after fleeing an abusive cult.
  2. Requiem for a Dream
    The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island individuals are shattered when their addictions become stronger.
  3. Shame
    In New York City, Brandon’s carefully cultivated private life which allows him to indulge his sexual addiction is disrupted when his sister Sissy arrives unannounced for an indefinite stay.
  4. Irréversible
    Events over the course of one traumatic night in Paris unfold in reverse-chronological order as the beautiful Alex is brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in the underpass.
  5. Trust
    A teenage girl is targeted by an online sexual predator.
  6. Hard Candy
    A mature 14-year old girl meets a charming 32-year old photographer on the Internet. Suspecting that he is a pedophile, she goes to his home in an attempt to expose him.

Each film has a unique reason why they are deeply uncomfortable, challenging and unsettling but each one is a masterpiece in its own way. Certainly worth watching each at least once… I also use the words uncomfortable as the films are not nasty or sick, they linger in the air and slowly choke you. For example, Trust is partially nasty, depraved or evil, but its the after effect of seeing someone whose obviously being taken advantage of feeling pity for her predator. This is almost exactly the same for Martha…

The psychological effect Shame and Requiem for a Dream is intense and although you don’t actually see anything depraved or so dark. They both put American Psycho to total shame (although I understand American Psycho is meant to be a very black comedy). They for me also totally swipe horror films out the way. For me I could sit and watch Nightmare on Elm Street without flinching and sleep soundly. But Requiem for a dream gives me chills each and everytime.

I guess a good example is Trust vs Untracable?

The weight or attention of media

Talking to Adrian late last night… He mentioned something to do with weight and video.

Then today, I started thinking wouldn’t it be interesting to apply a weight model to films/media based on their attention required?

For example: Tinker tailor soldier spy

I have this ready to watch at a touch of a button but everytime I see it pop up, I think well I’m busy doing all this other stuff, I can’t really spare the attention right now. This is also the same for most of the subtitled media I own.

I actually had decided to watch it on my Tablet on the way into work but I’m still busy reading kindle most times.

So attention is actually the metric but its displayed in a form of weight. I know there will be a debate about the weighting of certainly films for example is Donnie Darko a heavy weight or actually quite light? I remember having debates with Sarah about the depth of the film. She couldn’t understand where me and Dave were getting all this additional detail from but sitting down and watching it again and pointing out certain parts got the points across.

Another perfect example is Primer. You could watch the film and think, oh interesting but not all that. Then someone clues you into the Primer Timeline (spoiler alert!) So how would you weight that film? Very heavy or medium? I guess the same would apply to Fight Club?

I’m assuming something like the crowd based rating system would solve the problem, plus its only a guide. The weighting could also clue you into the fact theres more to a film than you may have first spotted. But likewise the opposite is true?

Once again, you heard it hear first, go use but attribution back here please.