Using Twitter in online dating….

I was reading about Loveflutter Relaunches With A Surprising New Way To Meet Your Match: Twitter.

Once upon a time, the world’s great lovers wooed with songs and sonnets. Today, we express our deepest feelings in 140 characters or less.

Or at least you do if you’re on Loveflutter, a dating service that has partnered with Twitter to prove social media feeds are the new windows to the soul.

Originally founded in 2013, London-based Loveflutter relaunched this May with an updated approach to modern matchmaking. Like other popular dating apps, users swipe left or right on candidates in hopes of scoring a mutual match. But unlike the competition, where singles pay attention to little more than looks, Loveflutter takes appearance out of the equation.

Images on Loveflutter are blurred until you click on them. Instead, users are invited to swipe left or right based on each other’s 10 latest tweets.

Its a interesting idea and similar to some of my thoughts way back when… Soon as heard this I thought about Tweetfoxxy, which is the thing I was trying to find on the tram wifi last week.

Why VPNs are essential regardless what others say

I tweeted during a ride on the Manchester Metrolink tram but things didn’t seem to come across as I was hoping.

My main point is the image from the mainstream media is VPNs is for pirates and the darkweb. But in actual fact its part of modern day web usage.

I was trying to tweet something but needed to look for a slide presentation which I thought I had on slideshare.net. When looking at slideshare on the metrolink wifi I got a Cisco page about content filtering.

I thought this was just because some of my slides might trigger something but nope its the whole of slideshare.net.

I was pretty annoyed about the whole thing and fired up my home VPN.

Done…

Only took my journey from MediaCityUK to St Peters Square to do all this, hence the confused tweeting. Plus I couldn’t work out where the new Google assistant saves the screenshots.

Didn’t find what I thought I had on my slideshare but I did find it elsewhere, I’ll go into details in my next blog post.

 

Viewers might find this disturbing

Manchester Ferguson protest

The last 2 weeks have been difficult to take. Theres been too much I have wanted to say and so much I have wanted to do. I have been thinking and deeply worried we have taken a few steps backwards in evolution.

For me two videos have summed up so much, and I do worry they exist in spaces like Facebook.

Video one is the shooting of Philando Castile, a black man in St Paul, Minnesota. #Blacklivesmatter but you can clearly see this isn’t the case, in a city I have visited and actually enjoyed in the past.

The second video comes in the days after the EU Referendum or Brexit. It shows a racist tram abuse at 8am in the morning in Manchester.

Each person who filmed the killing and abusive attack, showed incredible bravery to stand up and put a camera in the face of such situations. If you are old enough to remember the Rodney King beating, its important to remember George Holliday who filmed the beating.

Pacemaker mix: Journey to Langworthy

A new mix which I did while heading to a friends house over the weekend (obviously in Salford). It was done while taking the tram and walking in a bit of rain. Another journey with pacemaker.

Hope you enjoy and thanks to raver_mikey for the photo on flickr.

  1. Moving Mojave – Orjan Nilsen
  2. Humming the Lights – Armin Van Buuren pres Gaia
  3. For the moment – Solid Stone
  4. Eternity (Darren Tate mix) – Orion vs Ayla
  5. Hello (Jerome Isma-Ae remix) – Above & Beyond
  6. Jump the last train (Vadim Zhukov dub mix) -Young Parisians Feat Ben Lost
  7. The Labyrinth (part one) – Moogwai
  8. Tomorrow 2006 (Jamx and DeLeo mix) – Dumonde
  9. Running up the hill (Jerome Isma-Ae remix) – Placebo
  10. Bulgarian (Signum remix) – Travel
  11. City of Light – LTN
  12. Intuition – Marninx Pres Ecco

Updated: I also included a remix of this mix using slightly different tunes but with a similar feel, called the Mediacity sunshine & snow remix. I used it as background music for my ride in the mountains recently.

  1. Breathe (Blake Jarrell Remix) – Anna Nalick
  2. Cobalt – Protoculture
  3. Eternity (Darren Tate mix) – Orion vs Ayla
  4. Hello (Jerome Isma-Ae Remix) – Above & Beyond
  5. Jump the next train (Vadim Zhukov Dub Mix) – Young Parisians Feat Ben Lost
  6. The labyrinth (part one) – Moogwai
  7. Running up the hill (Jerome Isma-Ae bootleg mix) – Placebo
  8. Rush Hour (no intro edit) – Armin Van Buuren

Uber for public transport…?

OXO Bus

Chris writes

…there’s been lots of innovation around the open data of public transport, but not of public transport itself – where are the startups aiming to disrupt First and Stagecoach?)

When I first heard it I thought well that can’t work but the more and more I think about it. It certainly can with the right data access.

I want to go to MediaCity, I’m walking in the right direction from Piccadilly and the app knows where I’m going because its in my calendar. Rather than show me a load of options, it should show me the public transport which I could catch to head the right way. As I keep walking the options change as I walk near a tram stop, a new option is highlighted but its going to cost me more and I’ll have to change more. The option goes away as the tram pulls way, leaving me with the option to wait for the next one or walk around the corner for the bus. Its easy to imagine, so why has it not happened?

As Chris indicated earlier in the post. Google now, could do a lot of this. But it strikes me as something you use in passing rather than spend lots of time looking at. The bulk of such a thing might rely on Googlemaps?

What ever happens, it will be powered by people like Opendata Manchester. Lazyweb make it so…!

Familiar strangers

quick

You get the tram, tube, train to work everyday about the same time everyday. You sit in the same seat everyday or at least the same rough area each day. When looking up from your tablet one day you notice the same street signs and same landscape before looking down again. When shifting your position you brush against another human. That human is a familiar stranger. She or He always seems to be sitting next or opposite you. Not in a creepy way or even stalker way, just happens your paths in life seem to overlap on the Tram to MediaCity every morning at 0935. You don’t communicate verbally but once in a while may nod or awkwardly grin at each other.

I like most people have had this before but unlike most will throw caution to the wind and just say hi or something like that, maybe make a joke about the fact we see each other everyday. There was/is a Irish lady who gets the same tram as myself and we work a couple floors apart. We would get into the same lift each morning and not really say anything. Then over months of catching the same tram and the same lift, we finally would at least smile. Can’t remember who broke the silence first (I assume it was myself) we got talking. Hellos at first and now full conversations in the limited time we had.

Interesting side to the story was having her introducing myself to the BBC writers room which led on to us creating Perceptive Media’s first drama Breaking Out. So there is clearly a lot of positive greatness in these familiar strangers around you. Maybe one reason why the coffee shop is a great implicit creative sponge.

These Familiar strangers have been known to have a great bearing on our lives, Stanley Milgram (famous for the smallworld experiments)has papers going back to the 1970’s on  that. But whats interesting recently is the same kind of research into real social networks scaled over a whole city like Singapore. And like I suspected in my serendipity post, the unintentional or

These people are the bedrock of society and a rich source of social potential as neighbours, friends, or even lovers.

But while many researchers have studied the network of intentional links between individuals—using mobile-phone records, for example—little work has been on these unintentional links, which form a kind of hidden social network.

Today, that changes thanks to the work of Lijun Sun at the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore and a few pals who have analysed the passive interactions between 3 million residents on Singapore’s bus network (about 55 per cent of the city’s population).  ”This is the first time that such a large network of encounters has been identied and analyzed,” they say.

The results are a fascinating insight into this hidden network of familiar strangers and the effects it has on people.

Amazing stuff right? Without going all Jason Silva on you, I love this final part of the post about the paper… Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1301.5979: Understanding Metropolitan Patterns of Daily Encounters

For the ordinary commuter, it is a refreshing reminder that we are all part of an important network that we know little about. Next time you see a familiar stranger, you can be sure you have much in common in terms of your spatial and temporal behaviour patterns. Why not introduce yourself and see what happens?

Yes what have you to loose? Or better still what have you to gain and share? Who knows where your daily encounters might take you…

The East Manchester line opens

Metrolink ticket

At long long last… The East Manchester line is opening to the public! But there is a preview from Friday – Sunday for residents who were disrupted by the whole thing…

The new 3.9-mile (6.3km) Metrolink line from Manchester Piccadilly to Droylsden will open to the general public on Monday 11 February – and residents will shortly be sent their free travel invitation.

Once open, it will serve eight new stops – New Islington, Holt Town, Etihad Campus, Velopark, Clayton Hall, Edge Lane, Cemetery Road and Droylsden.

Only 1 year and 6 months behind schedule! (it was meant to be open for last seasons football, aka Aug 2011!)

My yearly pass will run out soon, and I really want to know two things…

  1. Is the New Islington stop I overlook, quicker than going to Piccadilly Station?
    Currently if I’m walking fast, I can walk from islington wharf to Piccadilly station metrolink platform in just over 6mins. If I’m on my skateboard, its even quicker (specially now the barriers are down along the way). They are meant to be building a bridge across the canal, for residents of new islington but even if you cross the canal, the other side has some heavy barriers blocking your way. I’m sure someone will put a hole in the fence at some point.
  2. Which zone is the New Islington stop going to be in?
    Annoyingly Metrolink are still doing the line thing for now, which means if I want to add new islington to my ticket, its going to be another ton of money. Now would be a good time to stop ripping us off and use zones like TFL

So if someone from Metrolink would like to get back to me on some of these questions, comments should now work?

 

Is Metrolink ripping us off?

Metrolink in Manchester map

I went to the Sharp Project today for BBC Connected Studio which was great. But I noticed something with my travel there.

I have a year travel card which allows me to go between Piccadilly Station and Media City. However my pass actually says From City – To Eccles. I assume this allows me to go anywhere between Piccadilly or Victoria and Eccles. Sounds great but today I wanted to go to Central Park on the Oldham line (Rochdale on the one above, which includes lines which are yet to be finished)

As it was outside the city zone, I decided to pay for the extra 2 stops. 2.20 pounds worth of travel. I’m sure it was the same price as buying a ticket from anywhere in the city zone including Piccadilly. In fact it would make no difference that I had a year travel card (in theory)

Ok forget the cost, what I don’t understand is why there is no zones like Transport for London? Frankly Central Park is closer to central Manchester than Media City and Eccles.

The other day I went down to Cholton and totally forgot that my year pass only covers me between Media City and the City Zone. If Metrolink had caught me, who knows what it would have cost me in a fine. But to be honest I would have argued against it because frankly its a stupid system without zoning.

My thoughts is because Metrolink choose not to add zones, they are earning money from those who have spent money opting for a week, month or year pass and do happen to go other places.

Tell me I’m wrong…?

Thanks to Chris who left a comment on my Facebook with a link to this news article from the MEN.

Metrolink set to move to new ‘zone’ ticket prices

Greater Manchester’s tram system could be split into London Underground-style zones within two years. The plan is for the new system to come into force when ‘smart’ fare-payment cards – similar to the capital’s Oyster cards – are introduced in 2014.

Tram stops would be allocated to a zone depending on how far they are from central Manchester. Fares would vary accordingly – with journeys crossing more zones costing more. The proposals were due to be discussed by transport leaders tomorrow.

A view of the zones

I knew I was right…!