Question; If you were in the middle of a pandemic which was killing people, destroying the national economy, sapping the wellbeing of the entire population and condemning the elderly to endless solitary confinement, who would you NOT put in charge of your major UK health strategy?

Answer; The Baroness Dido Harding of Winscombe, who is now responsible for the UK government’s ‘Track and Trace’ system in her capacity as head of a body wittily known as ‘NHS Improvement’

David Black, Track and Trace. Stay Elite.

It really does seem that you can’t keep a useless person down, if they have the right connections to get into another job.

I’d forgotten that Dido Harding was the CEO of Talk-Talk when they were revealed to have suffered a data breach leaking details of many of their customs, resulting in a record fine.

The current bunch of imbeciles currently pretending to be the UK Government are merely the culmination of a long tradition of promoting wealth and connections ahead of any actual talent or capability.

I got an email update from the folks at SomaFM, the multi-channel Internet radio station that I’ve been listening to on-off for going on 18 years. (Full disclosure: I’m also a regular supporter of theirs.)

One of the news items that caught my attention was this:

Due to a recent court decision, TuneIn Radio is removing a lot of stations (including SomaFM) from their radio directory. This mostly affects people using Google Home Speakers, but if you have one of our mobile apps, you can still ‘cast to speakers with no issues.

If you’re on Sonos, we recommend you install “myTuner” which gets all the SomaFM stations. You can add them to your Sonos Favorites from there.

This only affects people in the UK using TuneIn Radio.

I’m guessing that the court case in question is this one, that was ruled on at the end of last year. Oddly, I can’t see any announcement on TuneIn’s own website about them culling stations from their UK radio directory.

So now I have to juggle multiple radio apps on my iPad — BBC Sounds for all the national BBC radio stations, SomaFM’s app for their channels, and TuneIn Radio for everything else (for now.)

Oddly, the BBC’s decision last year to pull their stations from TuneIn Radio doesn’t appear to include their local stations, or the BBC World Service. Given that their reason for doing so was access to listenership data, I find this surprising.

I guess I’ll find out sooner or later if TuneIn is removing access to any of the other UK stations that I occasionally listen to.

I’ve been ordering stuff from Amazon UK on-and-off since 1998, so it’s fair to say that they have a fair amount of information on my preferences. Or rather, you’d think that they did…

Sadly, I’ve come to the conclusion that, in my case, Amazon doesn’t know nearly as much about me nowadays.

Continue readingAmazon Dot Clueless

Old people and their computers in lockdown

This video really chimes with me, as someone who helped their parents get to grips with using computers, email, social media, etc. from 1999 onwards. And it has been great seeing how older folks have learnt how to use technology to stay connected during the pandemic.

I’m now at an age where I’m more aware of how that technology sometimes fails to adapt to the needs of those whose eyesight, for instance, isn’t as good these days.

It’s not just down to younger folks to teach their elders how to use technology. It’s down to designers, coders and manufacturers to make that technology more accessible. Not just for the elderly but for anyone whose mental or physical condition makes it harder for them to use devices, apps or websites.

(Hat tip to Miraz Jordan.)

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m following several of the folks from Micro.blog through their RSS feeds which I’ve plugged into Inoreader.

One of the folks I follow just posted the following on their Microblog regarding my post:

Seeing people go is always sad. Micro.blog for me is helping me strike a balance between lightweight blogging and more heavy duty stuff on my main blog with WordPress.

My biggest problem with splitting my blogging between shortform and longform was that, initially, I was going for the low-hanging fruit of shortform blogging, with the result that my longform blogging pretty much dried up.

Part of the reason why I migrated all of my writing from Micro.blog back to here was to force myself to blog here, whatever form that might take. And for the most part, that worked out well, even as I was continuing to post stuff through the Micro.blog app.

However, then I got caught up in trying to hook this WordPress-based blog up to the IndieWeb so that I could get comments from Micro.blog to show up here. That worked, mostly, but was also adding a lot of baggage under the hood, and slowing my site down as a result.

So now I’ve stripped things back down to just the basics, enough to do what I need this blog to do. That also means having the fewest steps between me and a finished blog posts.

Your mileage may vary, of course. 🤷

After much consideration, I’ve decided that I won’t be using Micro.blog any more with this site.

I’d already switched over to using this site for all my short-form blogging late last year. To their credit, Micro.blog make it very easy to export your posts in a form that can be then imported into WordPress, and I was able to back-fill all those posts into here without too much trouble.

More recently, I’ve found that I’ve been opening the Micro.blog apps on my Mac and iPad less and less. I now follow a lot of the folks from there via their blog’s RSS feeds, which I find a much better experience for me. (Shoutouts to Holly Honeychurch, Martin Feld, Patrick Rhone, Colin Walker, Art Kavanagh, Miraz Jordan and Adam Tinworth in particular.)

I have no issues with Micro.blog itself, and I applaud the work that Manton, Jean and the other members of the team who’ve grown the service since its successful Kickstarter campaign several years ago. It’s just that my needs have changed, and Micro.blog is no longer a good fit for me.

With that said, I can highly recommend it if you’re looking for somewhere with less noise and a better overall tone than Twitter or Facebook, particularly if you’d prefer not to have adverts shoved in your face at every turn. Yes, it’s not a free service, but the costs are pretty reasonable, particularly if you’re interested in venturing into podcasting. (I have several podcasts that originate from there in my podcast app of choice, Overcast.)