Paul Chambers in Twitter airport bomb joke trial

Theres lots of fuss about Paul Chambers who was upset about an airport who mentioned about wanting to blow the place up.   See #twitterjoketrial or #IAmSpartacus for those wanting to look up on Twitter.

Its true people should have freedom of speech, but in all honesty, writing things on Twitter is like wearing a hat with velcro letters stuck on it, only write things you are happy to make public.

Now a large proportion of the Twitter community are defending this chaps actions as ‘freedom of speech’    I think this is daft.  If you write something that jovial that might be misconstrued as a threat to a country’s borders in a communication medium which is public, you are really asking for trouble.

Prolific Twitter Stephen Fry has offered to pay the fine for this chap.  Seriously Stephen, when you were a comedian and actor you were terrific, but when you go on Top Gear and announce one of your favourite apps for your mobile device is for having casual Gay sex with strangers then I kind of lost respect for you.   Keeping your nasty habits to yourself please.  Plus this man seems to spend his whole life in Twitter, and where as I like Apple’s products, the clique that use them as little electronic security blankets really quite pathetic and silly.   Please Stephen, get back to good television and British wit, oh, and get back to doing another Blackadder again.

This might mean using some common sense and not updating statuses about yourself when you are upset or angry about something, do something sensible like phone up or better meet with a close friend when you want to rant about something when you have a bad day.

Location based services online and your privacy

Privacy eh?  Its spoken about in the media how we should be careful what we share online, but it seems the general public, whether they are casual or regular dabblers in social media, including those who use IT at work, put their fingers in their ears and just say “La-la la la!”

Something that concerns me is Facebook now have this new feature where you can report where your current location.  This could be quite useful if you find a friend is actually only a few blocks away in a pub somewhere.

iPhone users have been doing this sometime now, with strange apps like Foursquare and Gowalla.  The rest of non-mobile web can see their Facebook/Twitter feeds filled up by spam posted with annoying things like “I just bcame mayor of XYZ pizzas & co.”  or “I am in my mansion”   The first one sounds like some kind of board game, with the user with portable device in the outside world, being a counter on a board like monopoly.  Putting links to a google maps of your house and when you are out of your house really isn’t very smart.

Teenagers make up a large proportion in Facebook of course and now I have seen a couple of young people do the same with posting maps of their homes.

Us IT people are quite likely to be targets given that the chances are we own a lot more technology in our homes, already there have been incidences of burglaries, where Facebook was used to scope out someone and when they were not in their house, we are talking not hackers, but any average thug who can use a browser who could have an anonymous Facebook profile, add you and make you his next target.

Long before social networking, about 7 years ago, a friend of mine with is own IT business he runs from home was the victim of a serious armed robbery in which was taken by two masked individuals in his own car, he had a sharp object put against his neck, maybe a knife but might of only been a screwdrivers, but had a lot of IT equipment taken from his house.   They drove him in his own car to a cashpoint and made him take money, and left him out in his own street, gone with car, IT stuff and cash.   I don’t know where they found out his address, but the chances of this kind of thing happening again I fear could be more frequent.

I use my Gmail profile to share pinpoints of locations both the UK and Israel.   You can have several sets of groups, the UK ones I used to share locations of the hospitals buildings I worked in Southampton, these were not available publicly only to some of rest of the team I worked with, this was not their IT dept’s official policy, its just something I used to make working easier especially as I was not familiar with Southampton and it meant finding and driving to sites easier.   The ones I have here in Israel I also keep private, just ocassionally share with friends when they want to come round and need to find my house.

I am all for sharing experiences of where I have been to and hearing from friends trips, but isn’t it time just to get sensible with how much we share?

Apostle Paul on twitter

Was thinking the other day, about Twitter the hugely popular way of making a commentary of life events, things in the media and often how celebrities get followed and current news events get shown.  I was perhaps a bit mean with my earlier writings thinking it was a bit naff, but lately I was thinking about someone who told me that maybe the Apostle Paul in the bible was the world’s first blogger, so imagine in Paul was on Twitter too, it would be interesting to see as one of the first followers of Jesus who brought Christianity to the gentiles, travelled around various corners of the Mediterranean and got put in prison a few times, how his tweets would of looked like….

SaulOfTarsius I’m outside the Sanhedrin with my fellow Pharisees.  Today we are stoning some guy called Stephen.  #MyBenjaminTribe #MyRomanHomies

Feel the urge that I need to do some writing for some reason.
sent via Papyrus

SaulOfTarsius Sorry not been online for a while, crazy week.  Only just got my eyesight back

SaulOfTarsius Had serious meeting with the boss.  Put me straight about some things.  #Salvation #FoundMoshiach

SaulOfTarsius Thanks everyone in coming to my baptism, it was a nice day

SaulOfTarsius PS YHWH told me to change my name from Saul to Paul.

SaulOfTarsius @Ananias, thanks for relaying what I needed to hear.

SaulOfTarsius Follow my new active account at @ApostlePaul

ApostlePaul Now in Damacsus.  Had some help to get there whilst my sight returned #Damasq #Asyria

ApostlePaul Praying with my new friends @SimonPeter and @James #Apostles

ApostlePaul Writing a book, I am going to call it Acts. Got a feeling, it will be one of many.

ApostlePaul Oyvavoy… Has it been ten years I have been speaking the good news in Damascus now?
via carrier pigeon

ApostlePaul @Barnabus thanks for the invite to Shabbat, look forward to helping your congregation in Tarsius.  #Tarsius #Nicetobehome

ApostlePaul Went and rebuked Elymas the sorcerer whilst staying Cyprus.  Also got a Roman soldier following Christ.  #Paphos #Κύπρος #Cyprus

ApostlePaul Leaving Cyprus to go on a mission trip to Asia Minor tomorrow, looking forward to it. #AsiaMinor

ApostlePaul Was a pleasure to stay with you #Lydia G-d bless.

ApostlePaul Myself and @Barnabus are off to Jerusalem meet new Christians #Judea #ישראל

ApostlePaul Spending 18 months working in Corinth with @Silas and @Timothy #Κόρινθος #Greece plan to see Ephesus some point soon.
via Greek post office AD52

ApostlePaul In Jerusalem in prison.  At least I escaped from being killed in the temple.   #depressed #WhatAboutRightsOfRomanCitizens #CaesareaJail

ApostlePaul said to the soldier today ‘is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?’ I’ll put that in Acts 22.

ApostlePaul Out of Jail.  Roman bureaucracy takes a long time, its only taken 18 months.. But Governor Felix has let me out today.

ApostlePaul Off to Malta.  The Lord told me this ship really isn’t safe and I dont like the look of those clouds, or how choppy the sea is. 😦

ApostlePaul Ship got wrecked.  Oh well, Maltese people offer unusual kindness though. #Malta

Please note, biblical extracts are very approximate and locations are probably not in chronological order.

Why Twitter = Twaddle

Some people who know me know I don’t like Twitter.

I have an account and its really only to promote this site, on some people I follow occasionally something could be interesting on IT, the middle east and various other topics that interest me.   Often Twitter is used as a casual way of running commentary of your life, as below:

MrXYZ – The number 7 bus is 6 minutes and 24.54 seconds late

about 2 hours ago
On my Texas Instruments scientific calculator

MrXYZ – I am putting on some trousers
about 3 hours ago
On the web

You also have people following VIPs, with people such as Stephen Fry who are the most followed people.  Stephen is absolutely brilliant man and a genius of acting, speaking and writing, one of the absolute legends of Britishness.  Its no secret he suffers from depression, but I think if you are going through something like this, its better to phone up or see a close friend and spill out what’s troubling you rather than write it online, like what happened recently when he ceased using Twitter for a short while due to he perceived as being people mocking or being unkind about something that was troubling him.

Gowala is one of the pointless add ons I see with iPhone users I see, “I am in blahblah pub” or such and such a place, as if anyone would ever care.

I don’t have an iPhone I only have a fairly simple clamshell type handset, mainly because where as I just need to make calls, I used to like the Voice notes feature which used to be on almost Motorola handsets in the last 10 years or so, press the side button where you can record your voice (including in a call)  and then set it to a alarm message, which was a brilliantly simple feature which needs a minimum of button pressing to keep something an important reminder, sadly my current now two year old V8 phone doesn’t have this.   I would quite like to have some simple version of Google documents and Gmail, seeing as I like to type notes and access to brief writings of things to do on any computer anywhere on the internet, with this I have more or less dumped my need to use Microsoft Office or Open Office now, or remember which of my work or home PCs or USB sticks I saved something on.  For this reason I might opt for Android phone at some point in the future.  The iPhone is a very slick and well designed piece of kit, I am not knocking it, its just I don’t want to pay £600 for 18 months worth of ownership for a phone, be it, by a contract or pay as you go.

Because of the portable, update from on the toilet or anywhere nature of Twitter, people may write things when they are angry, emotionally damaged or drunk, this could lead to writing things you later regret and at worse could cost a relationship or career.

I quite like blogging.  Twitter has meant a few people I have seen that used to blog, don’t bother any more and only put small snippets of the things that interest them on Twitter instead which is sad.   One of the things I like blogging as articles stay there on the internet indefinitely, so a helpful how-to on doing something I have learnt or want to share with the rest of the world, the ethic the internet should be; sharing what you know and learn what you don’t.  With articles of Twitter no one cares what you wrote yesterday, and I am not even sure if old tweets can be found with Google.

Like Facebook its often a vehicle to spread rumors and weighs on peoples naivety with the huge potential to spread scams and spam.   For instance today, as its April fool’s day, apparently numerous fake stories ended up on some newspapers as fact.  I also sometimes worry about those short URL type sites that condense web addresses into something brief that make it fit into the limited amount of space for a tweet, this could send you to something quite unsavoury or dangerous.

I think its likely the Twitter will get replaced by something better and will probably fade away after a couple of years or so.

Maybe an analogue version of Twitter would be to wear a hat and put some velcro letters on about what you are upto?

The only thing I do like about is purely to point people towards a more detailed writing about something, a free taste of a more detailed piece of information.

Using WordPress is a template for my blog I have mixed opinions on.  Its great that its free and has many different features to edit and change things how you like it, its not at all standards compliant, and changing the the layout of your blog often makes formatting go screwy, what’s in the draft layout is not always what you get in the final published result.  There’s also Blogger (owned by Google) and some other ones which are also free, and good as a ready to run way to blog without needing web developer background.  I like to call this freeze dried web design.  You use your own creative knowhow to write the content and there is a pre-fabricated template to put it all together.

I like and deeply hate Facebook at the same time as well, but that’s for article another day.