Social Experimentation: Revenge of the Mutant Splat Gore Friend (or Lover)

When you’re in love with a beautiful woman, it’s hard
When you’re in love with a beautiful woman, you know it’s hard
(And if it isn’t there’s always help from the medical fraternity in pill form)
- Dr Hook (with additional lyrics by me)

One reason I recently gave up Facebook – again - was the revelation that Facebook had been conducting social experiments on its user base in 2012 to see if they could influence people’s moods by manipulating their timeline.

It’s just been revealed that the dating site OKCupid has also been running experiments on its users, running tests on “bad” matches to see if people would still get together despite all odds saying they normally wouldn’t.

To be fair, dating is a massive experiment unto itself.  I’ve found there’s no real specific pattern other than possibly interests and hobbies – but even then, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you will (or won’t) make a good partnership.

For example, I’ve met women with very similar interests but we’re nevertheless absolutely not compatible.

Many dating sites claim they have the a specific matching algorithms that produces the best matches.  But I’ve certainly found (certainly from e-Harmony in that with a match you both could almost the same person, but God help you if you’re divorced) that it really doesn’t matter.

In order of success: (5 dates, a few more casual contacts) – one of the most popular dating sites out there.

Encounters Dating (1 date, 1 cancelled, a few casual contacts)

e-Harmony (0 dates, half a contact (until they found out I was divorced).  e-Harmony appears to be a Christian based organisation and as such divorce seems to be frowned upon. Consequently when I came to mention it in my correspondence with potential matches, people ran away screaming – okay, not literally, and come to think about it, possibly not figuratively either ,but they sure as hell don’t seem to like divorcees in any event.

I found that Encounters tended to put me in touch with more older women than around my own age; e-Harmony offered more matches around my own age, and was similar.

My point is that it’s rather odd to think that looking at tinkering with people’s emotions on social networks such as Facebook seems creepy, but not on dating sites where it’s one great bundle of potential emotional turmoil.

And it’s rather an odd thing.  I personally don’t think ANY algorithm can be used to create the perfect match.  There are too many factors that come into play.  But if OKCupid can do it – good for them.

In the mean time, I’m definitely not ready to go back to any of those sites.  Indeed, I’m perfectly happy being single for the time being.

2014-07-28 13.00.52

It’s rabbit season! No, it’s duck season! No, it’s Clarkson season!

Photo (above): Top Gear studio audience car park, also moped certification test area amongst other things.

What drives me completely mad is that it appears to be open season on Jeremy Clarkson.  Sure, he’s somebody that’s courted some controversy with some of his comments over the years, but he hasn’t committed any atrocities.  We live in a free  and open society, and until he commits treason, Clarkson isn’t the most evil man on TV as some of the media is making him out to be.

When I watched the Top Gear Burma special, the “slope” comment went completely over my head.  If anything, it referred to the rickety-ness (should I use the word rickety in case it offends people? I was considering slant, but again, it’s probably an offensive racist word to some) of the bridge (bloody hell, that’s a racist term – I deserve a good flogging).

It takes many people to make a TV programme.  Many.  And from watching Top Gear being filmed from my office, I can assure you that there are a lot of people involved in getting this programme to the screen.

If there were ANY racist overtones in the material, this would have been picked up somewhere along the line and dealt with accordingly.  But apparently this went over the heads of everybody listed in the end credits, everybody involved in the programme not listed in the credits, and a lot of other people at the BBC before the programme went to broadcast.

Yet, it’s apparently racist.

Now that Ofcom has incredulously declared that Top Gear Burma Special has breached broadcasting guidelines, the press are having a field day with it.

The Times tablet edition reports on the Ofcom ruling and states in great detail about the incident concerned.   In case anybody actually missed the “offending” piece, The Times has THOUGHTFULLY REPRODUCED THE ENTIRE FILMED SEQUENCE for you to enjoy over and over again so that you can become outraged all over again, or if you haven’t seen it yet, just outraged.

Of course, I’m going to be a hypocrite now and show you what I mean (but I don’t reproduce the video, which is what I’m getting at):

If it's racist, why reproduce the video concerned?! Should Ofcom slap The Times and any other media entity that reproduces the clip?
If it’s racist, why reproduce the video concerned?! Should Ofcom slap The Times and any other media entity that reproduces the clip?

Media hypocrisy.

They delight in reproducing everything that made the so-called offence offensive.   I can name many news organisations that would do exactly the same thing.  They delight in reproducing the offense. They want you to remember it.  Forever.

There are days I think the world has gone mad.  Ofcom should be ashamed of themselves for pandering to stupid people.

Kill it with fire!  Or try turning it off and on again.

It’s that time of year again! Happy SysAdmin Appreciation Day and a Error Establishing Database Connection to you all!

Here’s Bing Crosby to sing SysAdmin Appreciation Day classic tunes:

“PHP scripts roasting on an open fire, web designers nibbling at your toes..”

Kill it with fire!  Or try turning it off and on again.
Kill it with fire! Or try turning it off and on again.

Payment methods accepted for SysAdmin Appreciate Day gift giving:

Cake, beer, beer, cake, pizza, cake, beer, beer, more beer, pizza, beer, the entire box set of Battlestar Galactica, beer, or if all else fails – money.

2014-07-25 12.37.57

OS X Yosemite Sam public beta is here – apparently the rootinest tootinest OS from Apple yet

“I’m givin’ ya one last chance ta surrenda!”

When Apple announce their forthcoming new operating system OS X Yosemite at WWDC 2014, the first thing that came to mind was the Warner Bros. cartoon character Yosemite Sam.

Images of a short hot-tempered cowboy sprung to mind, with similarly Sam-ism dialogue boxes popping up if the user does something wrong.

Nevertheless, OS X Yosemite is allegedly due to be released (for free) in October, but for now users can download the first beta of the new operating system to help Apple improve the OS prior to release.

From the screenshots I’ve seen, Yosemite is bringing OS X much closer to the look and feel of iOS.  It also seems very reminiscent, in some ways, to the original first release of OS X (10.1).

I’m still in two minds because I love tinkering with new stuff, but at the same time because I use my Macs for work purposes I need stability.

In other words I can’t really afford to be running OS X Bugs Bunny right now.

On the other hand, I have a good set of Time Machine backups.

Oh the decision!


Something to cheer me up at the end of a lousy day..

As you may already know, I am a HUGE Studio Ghibli fan.  It is perhaps the finest film studio in existence.

Hayao Miyazaki, the finest writer and director of stories in, perhaps, ever (although not to dismiss Ghibli’s other writer/directors who are also superbly talented – one only has to watch Grave of the Fireflies to realise this – through floods of tears; it’s one of the most superb and most saddest films I’ve ever seen).

Having had a lousy, lousy day at work (which appears to be the norm at the moment – I come home very irritable having often been angry throughout the day), I discover that Studio Ghibli’s original soundtracks are now available through iTunes UK!


Alas, these are not available through Spotify or other streaming services as yet (at least that I can see).  But nevertheless long sought songs and themes are now available to buy individually or as albums.

This makes me very happy.

I do all my best proof-reading after I've hit the "Publish" button..