Thursday, 31 May 2007

Anarchy in the social media

Ha, welcome to the party, pal!

One great article that recently caught my attention was over at mashable, concerning chaos within the social media, online communities, static-anarchy in an online space, freaks with keyboards, weird wired times.

The article is detailed and informative but doesn’t seem to get into the grit of these actions, these weird call to arms taking place over the internet, a movement spawning from an online space in a space – for all intents and purposes – that doesn’t actually exist, it’s a bunch of 0’s and 1’s.

One classic example is the Digg revolt of 2007, concerning a certain code that was deemed illegal by some company, somewhere. Digg quickly took down any stories pertaining to the code, for fear of being sued and taken out by the Mega-Turbo-Compu-Corp type organisation that owned it, or at least was threatening to sue.

This is where it gets interesting though, the Digg users fucking hated that, they ‘revolted’ against the establishment, against the people who were responsible for running their community, they didn’t give a shit if the community went down, as long as it was open, they fought for their freedom, to post whatever they wanted in an online community that was built on a system of open sharing. THEY FOUGHT WITH MIGHT, THE MIGHT OF THE GEEK.

And they fucking won-n-all, 24 hours after Digg said, ‘we’re taking this down because we’re worried about legal implications,’ the founder of the site said something like, ‘fuck it, if we’re going down we’ll go down with the users,’ which was a real turn up for the books. And now nothing seems to have happened about the whole situation anyway.

It’s a space where users have true power, because, in a lot of cases, and I hope more in the future, the Kings listen to their people and know what their people want in a truer sense than in real life. There’s a great saying by Plato that goes something like:

“There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers become kings in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands.”
Plato - Ages ago

Now, okay I might be getting carried away where, but the examples we’ve seen, with the likes of Facebook and Digg, have seen the need for change, and have taken on board the revolt, the opinion of the user. Granted there’s no lives at risk, and it’s all done behind the safety of a keyboard, but big things are afoot, and these are interesting times. There’s nothing more hedonistic to myself than freedom, and use technology to propagate and explore the concept of freedom is just totally outstanding.

Jump in with ideas and thoughts on the whole situation.

More tomorrow.

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

All good things come to an end

As part of a blogger relations programme from TalkToshiba, I was recently given a Tecra A8 Toshiba laptop to handle for a week or so, test out and finally put down my thoughts on.

And after a week I can say I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, whilst not the lightest or most compact lappy in the world, it’s a good size and of quality build, the sort of build that’ll make sure the only reason you need to get a new laptop is because three years down the road, the spec needs updating, but you’ll always have your backup there.

I took it around to various places, the local coffee shop, even to a cider festival in Wales, to make sure I wasn’t left out of the loop. After pairing it with my N95 it still rocked and I managed to grab my emails. Whilst the spec on the one I had wouldn’t exactly tare up some of the latest graphically heavy games, it did the job for what I needed it to do, and because of the mid-end innards, it kept the weight down to bearable.

Probably the three most important aspects of a laptop, as far as I’m concerned, are the keyboard, battery and the screen, all three of which I’m pleased to say do the job well. In fact, after getting used to the slightly ‘positioned-right’ nature of the keyboard it was a pleasure to type away at, the monitor had a nice contrast and handled even high-definition divx playback to a reasonable degree and the battery lasted for hours, on highest brightness setting.

Anyway, I have to run but, they’re good lappys, if you’re after something that’s mid-end, good build and reliable, I’d recommend them. The only bad thing was the amount of heat it pumped out, making it slightly uncomfortable on the lap after an hour or so, but you tend to get that with most laptops.

I enjoyed the experience, technology allowed me to have a good time and put a smile on my face, which is after-all, the point of reporting on this blog, and I loved the fact that because I am a blogger companies like Toshiba value my opinion and ability to affect people, perhaps more than a magazine or TV advert could. Interesting times, I might talk more on this later on.

More later.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Fahrenheit 451 and the birth of the Ebook

Guy Montag, you ain’t even going to get close pal, there’s people doing your job for you, idiots with agendas, think they’re proving a point when all they’re doing is looking very, very silly.

Take this chap, Tom Wayne, he amassed thousands of books in a warehouse during the 10 years he has run his used book store, Kansas City, Missouri, now he’s decided to burn then all because people aren’t buying them. That has to be the most ridiculously stupid thing I have ever heard, and I’ve heard some serious cock flow out of ‘got kicked in the head as a child’ idiots.

It’s the electronic age buck, get with the fucking programme, this Tom Wayne is burning his books in protest at ‘the death of thought in America,’ and whilst some stats do show less people are reading for pleasure today than 15 years ago, the inlet for most people’s reading these days is their net presence, and who ever heard of anything good being said on the net? It’s primarily a news source and reading today’s news is anything but pleasurable, I wouldn’t say more than 50% of my reading is pleasurable, I read books, but I read tonnes and tonnes of news and pure information.

Anyway, I’m tired beyond belief after a very heavy weekend spent drinking copious amounts of cider and getting itchy legs, so I’m cutting this short. I just wanted to throw it out there, people have said for getting on for decades now that the book will die out, I personally don’t think it will ever happen, eBook readers are generally rough around the edges, the contents of what people read might change over time, definitely what will be the sort of catalyst that will be the paper book’s death knell.

I do enjoy the fact however, that I can walk around with my Lliad, light, compact, perfectly balanced brightness, and carrying thousands of novels. Outstanding.

Technology, reading, hedonism? Not necessarily in this situation. Shame.

More tomorrow.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

The spotlight on Jack: Connected in the 21st century

HA, my alter ego Jack Rawstone has been reborn over at the site that launched a thousand pale white boobies, that’s right, Suicide Girls. He was / is a peculiar beast that Jack Rawstone, a man of might and panache; he turns heads, strides with a purpose and is never undone, not by any fucker.

I’ve been looking over the old blog posts I made on there - I'll transfer them over to hear when I have the bandwidth - a couple are tragically funny, case in point below:

"Whenever I go down to London there are bad crazies on the streets. We found a club where it was 70p a drink, I went in with £35 which would have given me the opportunity to buy 50 drinks. This was a mammoth task as I'd already hit the Wild Turkey hard, having 6 doubles in a pub around the corner from the club before hand. But I persevered and almost made it, I only drink doubles so about 20 drinks later, on the most foul of whiskey, I got kicked out of the club. I lost my t-shirt, split my head open on a wall and continued to stomp around in my Punisher vest like a wild animal pissing off the most of London."
- Jack Rawstone MARCH 11, 2005 @ 06:49 AM

And some are fairly serious:

"For the first time I became an actuated self facilitating media node. This bascially meant my laptop came in time for the trip and I wrote up the Hatebreed article on the train down, which I thoroughly enjoyed."

- Jack Rawstone MARCH 2, 2005 @ 04:05 PM

I make the point in the above statement that I’m ‘a self-facilitating media node’ which comes straight out of the Nathan Barely book of quotes for cunts. At the time I had a vague idea of what it meant I guess, but today, I’m more and more that person, but in the least possible cuntish sort of way, and I’m fairly proud, in fact I fucking love it.

Whilst I rock along between countries or just home and the office, business or pleasure, I stay constantly connected, constantly in the loop, uploading, writing, never miss a thing.

It’s brilliant, my Nseries N95, almost everything I need, the only thing holding it back is the physical screen size, and that’s because it’s a mobile device anyway, it’s meant to be fucking small. But it’s ace, I was recently in Paris, had no idea how to get around, but once I slid my N95 open, turned the GPS on, I found my way around no problem at all, it even got be back from Mont Martre to my hotel one late boozy night. So, it’s my connection, it’s my GPS, digital camera, podcast recorder and downloader, MP3 player, and a whole host of other things that keep me in the loop. Combined with my N800 for travel, it’s even more awesome as the screen on the N800 is big enough and with a decent enough resolution to do pretty much whatever I need on and offline.

The point I’m trying to make ladies and gentlemen, is that as the likes of Intel introduce the thinnest laptop in the history of the world, those of us in the loop, rushing forward with the devices and technology to back us up, can do whatever we want whenever we want. Geotagged content, a 3G net connection tethered via Bluetooth to your UMPC, and you’re rocking for whatever you want, and it’s consumer based, not yellow pages, not some bullshit advert or a list read out by some fucking tool at the other end of a 118118 call.

It’s from someone who has been there, done it, taken the picture, geotagged it, written the review, put the address in and recommended it to the social web, to us, well to me at least anyway.

Hedonism is deriving pleasure from the things around you, and if you are a ‘self facilitating media node’ you can do that, I know I do, instantly, without bother, and in perfect style.

The visible man is also a big story today, he’s put his entire life online because he thinks the FBI are following him, it just goes back to what I was saying about being open, and the social media, let everyone see, and the government is double fucked because not only have they got no excuse to fuck you over, but everyone else can see that’s the case. BINGO.

More tomorrow.

I enjoy zombies, they make me rich

Just a very short post tonight, after the match and a skin-full of cider I’m in no particular mood for anything but water and sleep (even though sleep is only for sleepy people).

The posting that I call into question tonight, is that by Gizmodo - they’re not in any place to comment, they’re a bunch of geeks in a drawing cupboard somewhere reporting on the gadgets of the world - but they do raise the fact that now there’s an attractive attachment to one’s glasses, yes the Teleglass T3-F glasses. A little thing that lets you watch TV all the time, where ever you are, whatever you may be doing - hedonism, technology? quite possibly, although...

Well fuck done, bourgeoisie, you’re trying to keep up, you fill the airwaves with regular bullshit, you’ve tried to implement it into people’s mobile phones, and now finally you’ve got it directly in font of their eyes, literally.

HEY, keep them down, that’s what I say, as long as they’re preoccupied with whatever bullshit is being broadcast, they’re working the chicken lines that gets me my tasty spiced bucket on my weekend hangover, and lets you pass any bullshit laws you like. Just please make sure you’ve got the reality TV, world record braking, adverts and other generic cock that’ll keep the dogs down.

OH, but should I be touting, shouldn't I be trying to make sure that everyone wakes up, isn’t that what blogging, web2.0, the social media is all about? Well perhaps, but let me make take my stake first, and then, when everyone else catches up, I should be in some sort of position to start it all over again…

SHIT DID I JUST SAY THAT? Fuck, no I meant everyone wake up, read books, vote, stop reading the mass media, consume the social media...arh fuck, I've been trying to tell them for years, fuck them if 'they' are happy, it'll be fun to watch 'them' wake up.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Big brother’s watching, but who cares?

I certainly don’t care a fuck if he is; everything I do these days is completely out in the open and public. Okay I might have a few vices that I’ll make a half-hearted attempt to keep to myself, but they’re nothing that I wouldn’t talk about if asked, or if the conversation turned in their particular direction.

Anyway, it’s a major point these days, especially here in the UK, just how much we’re being watched by Big Brother, the dystopian figurine of George Orwell's classic, 1984. Fucking cameras everywhere, infringing on our privacy, well I’ll tell you something now, I go out of my way to try and tell people what I’m doing all the time, and still would be if ‘he’ wasn’t watching. I’m not doing anything wrong, at least most of the time, and if it helps keep fuckheads and other sociopathic monsters out of my life, then all-the-better.

The point was raised today from an article I saw on Engadget, now alongside the countless static CCTV cameras that litter the streets, apparently here in the UK we’re getting flying drones to record us from the skies, WOOOoooOOOOOO0000OOOO! But what the fuck? Only dirty shitbags out of the loop would say that’s a bad thing.

Take myself for instance, I have two blogs, this one and a portfolio website containing pretty much all the writing I’ve ever done that I’m half proud of. I have a Flickr page where virtually all the images I take go, I have a Jaiku account that microblogs everything I do all the time. I have a facebook that contains my workplace, telephone number, the books I like, the music I listen to, the friends I keep, even right down to what quotes I enjoy and publicly displays conversations I have with my friends. I have a Myspace that plays host to my deviant alter-ego character Jack Rawstone, and I have Digg and accounts on which you can see all the news I enjoy reading and other interests I have.

I don’t have a private life, it’s all online, and I couldn’t be fucking happier, because I’m immersed in a revolution and finally have a title I can give myself when my grand kids ask, ‘What were you all those years ago granddad?’ |And of course my answer will be;

‘I was one of those bloggers kids, one of those in the loop, living life right on the brim of technology with a great grasp of what was going on in the world, and not through editorialised, weighted bullshit, from the people around me and across the globe.'

And they’ll answer;


So let big brother watch, he’s certainly not on the prowl for me, and if he is, here’s a call to arms, come on down, let us have a little play and see what happens. I’ll get my hamster powered paper shredder on the go to get rid of all those vital documents, and set up my ElectroPlasmaLaser that’ll zap you into a vapour. HA. Fucker, you wouldn't get me that easily.

And the hedonism bit, oh yes, well you know, if you’re a narcissistic bastard like myself, you enjoy the openness because you like the fact that everyone is looking at you. So as I sit back with my plasma beer glass, laughing like Deniro at the end of Cape Fear with a Romeo and Juliet cigar in the right-hand side of my mouth, knowing the WORLD has access to ME, I smile and think, 'now that’s an ego-trip'.

Just a short one tonight, more tomorrow.

Monday, 21 May 2007

The lawnmower man: Reality Bytes

Fuck, I love that.

If you’re around my age, that is 23 or older, and have any interest in geekery, technology, and sci-fi, you’ll undoubtedly remember the shitflick that was The Lawnmower Man. It seems a fitting place to start for this post, largely related to the news that by 2011, 50 million people will have a second ‘online’ life, whether it be in the metaverse secondlife itself, or another one of those arenas. Instead however, of a different plane of reality engulfed by the classic ‘flying, falling and fucking’ it’ll be a commerce-verse populated by 30 something males with a propensity to jack off over tentacle rape porn, read the Onion and laugh at threads on Something Awful.

Trying not to veer too far off track, whilst you’re in your secondlife, rocking about like King-ding-a-ling, not a worry in the second world, a hedonist of our times, stuck with an information feed for pleasure, you’re going to want to have the best keyboard about, and that my friends, is OPTIMUS MAXIMUS KEYBOARD.

This thing is so super bad ass it tares a hole the size of a wind sock in anyone that dare disregard it as another piece of junk, high-geek, loner, toy, crappola. At fucking 1.5k this is no toy, it’s the future of keyboards, that's right each key is actually a mini display and you can programme it to display whatever you want. I remember when this was first leaked as a photoshop image file, everyone shat gallons, now someone’s made it, just goes to show the power of the geek.

Whilst you’re sat at your desk, not content with having the Optimus, you’re gunna need a nice cool, tasty beverage to wash whatever shit you’re eating down. And now you’ve got the perfect solution, a USB powered mini-refrigerator that’ll sit right there, with your can of Pepsi Cola.



Now, after a 24 hour stint in front of the computer, okay lets make it 48 hours, a secondlifer needs a sleep, actual human sleep, and what better place than a Transport pod created by Alberto Frias. This trippy-as-fuck mind monger will take you to the land of nod in no time, and I don’t mean that type of NOD. And a pinch at 10k, what better way to relax, by yourself, in real life, without another human? There is no better way.

More tomorrow, maybe tonight, depends if I drink.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Jesus he knows me, and he knows I’m right

Of course he does. Now, to the new blogging style and all those things I promised you, i.e. ramblings, bad commentary and cheap prose, ha!

I see things across the net all the fucking time, the difference that makes a few stand out, is that they will trigger a memory, make a spark of electricity fly to across my brain, activating some distant thought I had somewhere down the line, and they make me feel happy. I’ve always been a bit of a consumer, enjoying spending my money, and why the fuck not, I work hard enough for it.

Although I do prize a good anecdote over any sort of material goods, I also enjoy said material goods when I decide to buy them, usually on a hangover to treat myself. Anyway, in line with the point of this blog, the items I’m going to post will usually be some quality goods that are either retro in nature with a technological twist or brand new, the best of their kind, and heavily steeped in geek-like hedonism.

Now let us get off to an awesome start, three goods that I believe to be super ace, state of the art and in supreme taste. Firstly there’s the ‘Big’ styled piano mat, for the grownup child in all of us, or perhaps just the drunkard. Whoever saw Big when they were younger thought three things; firstly how lucky is he to nail that auburn haired vixen, that studio apartment is totally awesome and how fucking cool would it be to play on one of those big floor pianos?

Well now you can thanks to grandriver toys, although the image is completely misleading. The stats say it’s 6.5 feet wide, if that’s the case the girl in the image must be about 1 foot tall, either way, I want one.

Okay, now lets say you’ve got that huge ‘Big’ styled New York studio apartment, you’ve got your giant floor piano, now you need somewhere to sleep. In the movie he bunks with his bezzy mate, come the 21st century you want something a bit better, well jump straight into your Z box. I love this thing, for some reason I have a thing about rooms inside rooms, I just think they’re ace, and this is like having your own little super fort.

So you’ve got your floor piano and bedroom sorted, two more things to get sorted. Firstly how to keep cool in those Big Apple summers, well that’s sorted with this P40 Tigershark Warbird Ceiling Fan. Sure the technology isn't exactly brand new, it’s not that hedonistic per say, but it’s fucking cool, and that indeed makes it hedonistic.

Finally, how to make toast, grill? Conventional toaster? Fuck that. This design concept, Toasty, the toaster is only missing one thing, the ability to talk, and if it could, you know it would sound like Samuel L Jackson crossed with Bender out of Breakfast Club, too cool for school.

More tomorrow.

The man behind the curtain

That’s right ladies and germs, that man is me…well not just yet, but rest assured I’m working on it on a daily basis. It’s been two months since I last blogged, and the regular cluster fuck of a life I have has been shooting along at a rate of knots. I would like to say I have no idea where the time goes, but the simple matter is that I do know. It sits in front of a computer for a few hours a day, remembers it should be in meetings in some other parts, lies on a couch later on then convinces itself that it’s missing out if it stays there, then gets violently drunk and regrets all the thoughts of the previous day, this is repeated in regular fashion, sometimes spliced with writing, copulation, good food, golf and fine cigars.

As always I continue a battle with alcohol, the last two months have seen serious amounts of abuse in that sense, ranging from getting strangled by my boss, to getting the company logo tattooed on my arse in a drunken ‘the morning after the night before’ sort of style, to being thrown out of numerous clubs, to almost getting arrested in Bulgaria, and loads more beside, but for the large part it’s a generic wasteland of fuckupery and something I’m determined to knock on the head.

HO HO HO, fuck, like that will ever happen.

Anyway, back to the blog, I’ve decided to change the remit once again, although only slightly. It’s still going to revolve around technology and hedonism, though now however, rather than spinning yarns about my personal life that generally see me drunk and trying to implement some sort of technology to find my way home, or a good bar. I’ll concentrate on exactly what I didn’t want to do, but have inevitably been drawn into it because of time constraints through work and other projects, and that is repurpose what I see on other blogs.

Well, not right down to the last T, but to a certain extent, I’ve decided to show off some of the finer and cooler things that have come about through technology that could equip your house or heighten your status, as probably a geek, but as any well-to-do fellow knows these days, us geeks rule the world, what we say goes, and if we deem it hedonistic, it is.

The rockstars had their day, they blew it, and whilst some still chase after that, admittedly I’m included, the bright, sober and headstrong are assimilating everything and turning their backs. Hedonism today is a cool lunchbox made from Lego and 10,000 lines of code that brings out a brilliant new networking tool, or design concept, or whatever.

So, having been walking the line between ‘in the know geek’ and ‘out of the loop metal head’ for the last decade now, I’m finally trying to make the leap into Geekdome, I’m hoping this will sober me up, help me get along with my job better, maybe find a woman that isn’t terrified of me, and yet still continue to have fun. But what do I know, I’ll probably be drunk as fuck lying in a ditch by Wednesday.

Anyway, to end this little tirade of nonsense, I’m going to put down what I can only class as my first and only piece of poetry, I found it on my hard-drive in an odd sub-folder, labelled ‘TOSH-21-06-05’, I have no idea what it means, or why I wrote it, but for some reason it stands quite proud I feel.

Before the poem however, I’ll say adieu from this style of posting. I believe I’ll be posting a few images, some small time prose and perhaps a little bit of rambling from now until around August, when I move out of the house with the students, and hopefully get somewhere I feel I can really do some writing.

Sophisticated people with sophisticated lives
Champagne and caviar
Haute couture and show frocks
Busy and on the go
Grab it by the balls and shake it about

Fine art and dinner parties
Show face
Trophy wife
Self made captain of industry
Strutting and smiling
All the money in the world
Attack from the inside
A giant for the gods
Cheese on tooth picks
Pre-cut tinned chucks of genetically altered pineapple

Braces and power ties
Masonic money clips
Outstanding views
Cuban heals
Friends in plastic
Door delivered sushi
Price wars in the dark
No guts no glory.

Enough is enough
Weeping at the conquering of all worlds

Push all time aside
Make deals
Golden doors
Red phones
Real money
The big time
Crush your enemies.

Where to stand?
Time to take sides as time takes no sides

Torn jeans and bad house whiskey
Cheap cigarettes
Bad fittings
Greasy hair
Deranged bohemia
Bullshit fashionista
No shame
Crazy hell bent

Drug addled
Big thinking
Small time no one
Internet celebrity
Big fish small pond
Factory line pre-proofed generic swine
Line the street
Smile like nobody
Packing chickens

Lack of knowledge
To die alone, take it all