Monday 30 October 2017

Rocket FM Lewes 'Talking Culture’ playlist from 30th October 2017

Here's a list of the songs I played during the 'Talking Culture' show on Rocket FM Lewes today:

The Whitlams: Thank You (For Loving Me At My Worst)
Katie Melua: The Closest Thing To Crazy
David Lee Roth: Just A Gigolo / I Ain't Got Nobody
Kate and Anna McGarrigle: Be My Baby
Paul McCartney: Silly Love Songs
Sara Bareilles: Love Song
Michael Nyman: Chasing Sheep Is Best Left To Shepherds
After The Fire: One Rule For You
Tracey Ullman: Breakaway
Peter Skellern: Hold On To Love
Mister Solo: Number One
Jill Sobule: I Kissed A Girl
Jimmy Cliff: Wonderful World, Beautiful People

Sunday 29 October 2017

Baffled at a Bookcase

...a library needs to be handy and local; it shouldn’t require an expedition. Municipal authorities of all parties point to splendid new and scheduled central libraries as if this discharges them of their obligations. It doesn’t. For a child a library needs to be round the corner. And if we lose local libraries it is children who will suffer.
Alan Bennett, first published in the London Review of Books and then in 'The Library Book' (borrowed from Ringmer library, which is threatened with closure).

Friday 27 October 2017

If you tolerate this...

Ridding our villages, towns and cities of libraries, which are essential in shaping a nation's consciousness, seems like a direct attack on the soul of the country.
Nicky Wire, from 'If you tolerate this...', originally quoted in The Guardian and published in 'The Library Book' (borrowed from Ringmer library, which is threatened with closure).

Thursday 26 October 2017

Ringmer library

My local library in Ringmer is threatened with closure, despite having moved to a new building last year. It seemed an opportune time to borrow Ali Smith's 'Public library and other stories' and to quote her correspondence with Sarah Wood about the opening of a new library:
It was a really fantastic moment in my life, in our lives, a moment of real change. The brand new building brought with it the idea that our local history was important - that books were important, but also that we were too, and that where we lived was.

Monday 23 October 2017

Rocket FM Lewes 'Talking Culture’ playlist from 23rd October 2017

Here's a list of the songs I played during the 'Talking Culture' show on Rocket FM Lewes today:

Michael Bublé: It's a Beautiful Day
Aqualung: Strange and Beautiful (I'll Put a Spell on You)
Sergio Mendes and The Black Eyed Peas: Mas Que Nada
Linda Thompson: Lonely Hearts
Thelonious Monk: It Don't Mean A Thing
Talitha Rise: Bloodfox
David Hasselhoff: Hooked On A Feeling
The Beach Boys: Break Away
Astrud Gilberto: Parade
Tom Petty: Free Fallin'
Patrick Duff: Mother Nature's Refugee
Dido: Life for Rent

Monday 16 October 2017

Rocket FM Lewes 'Talking Culture’ playlist from 16th October 2017

Here's a list of the songs I played during the 'Talking Culture' show on Rocket FM Lewes today:

Paul Simon: Wristband
Chris Farlowe: I Can’t Get No Satisfaction
Matt Dusk: Please Please Me
Techno Twins: Falling In Love Again
Juliet Turner: Toxic
Emma Bunton: Downtown
Caravan Palace: Lone Digger
Lena Zavaroni: Penny Lane
Eva Cassidy: Cheek to Cheek
Tricky: Ponderosa
Barenaked Ladies: Running Out Of Ink
Right Said Fred: Deeply Dippy
Pink: Just Give Me A Reason
Kate Bush: Hammer Horror
Cilla Black: You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’

Monday 9 October 2017

My October 2017 'gadget guru' tech from TRE Talk Radio Europe

Here's a reminder of the technology from my October 2017 'gadget guru' conversation on TRE Talk Radio Europe this afternoon:

Apple iPhone X

The new iPhone will be available from 3rd November. What's the big deal? Well, it's the display, the camera, the way it recharges and the built-in security. Oh, and the price. There are two versions; one has 64GB of memory (£999 / €1159) and there's a dearer version with a massive 256GB. The screen is Organic LED - often referred to as OLED - which is especially good for displaying colours and contrasts. This is a 5.8-inch screen, with 2438 x 1125 pixels - and the bezels on the edges have pretty much disappeared. What's also disappeared is the home button and the fingerprint scanner on the front. How do you unlock it? There's still a physical button on the side but the security part is handled by the camera on the front, which can now recognise your face. On the back is a 12 megapixel dual-lens camera with image stabilisation, while the front camera takes 7 megapixel photos. Inside you'll find wireless charging technology and Apple's new A11 chip, which is smarter and faster than its predecessors.

Google Pixel 2

The Pixel 2 is a phone that runs Google's Android operating system. It’s a direct replacement for the original Pixel, which came out a year ago. There are actually two versions – the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL; the only real difference is the size of the screen and the size of the battery. Both should be on sale from 19th October. The Google Pixel 2 has a 5-inch OLED display, while the XL has a 6-inch screen. What’s notable here is that the display can stay on permanently, showing you the time and date, message notifications and calendar reminders without you needing to press any buttons. Unlike the iPhone, there’s a fingerprint scanner for security – but just like the iPhone, there’s no 3.5mm headphone socket. You’re either expected to use Bluetooth or an adaptor that connects to the USB-C charging socket. It does, however, have a pair of front-facing loudspeakers. Both versions offer a 12 megapixel camera with optical image stabilization; price for the 64GB version of the Pixel 2 is £629.

Amazon Echo Show

Amazon isn’t just an online shop. It’s also produced Alexa, which is a voice-controlled service rather like Google Now and Apple's Siri. It works with Amazon’s Kindle tablets and also with the company's Echo loudspeakers. Alexa now has a new friend: the Echo Show. The clue is very much in the name: it can show you things because it has a 7-inch touchscreen. It sits on your table like a little television. So instead of reading you the headlines, it’ll show you the news or the weather forecast. You can check your to-do list on-screen, you can look at your favourite photos, you can even check security cameras if you're using a compatible system. As well as this, you can make video calls to other people with compatible Amazon devices - and you can play music from the Amazon library or various other online services. Price for the Echo Show is £199.99; it’s available in the UK from 16th November.

Bacon Express

We’ve talked about smartphones and smart speakers – now we’re looking at a very different kind of gadget. The Bacon Express is, in simple terms, a bacon toaster. You put up to six slices of bacon inside, you close the door, set your preferred level of crispiness and turn it on. After around ten minutes your bacon is done. After a launch in America earlier this year, it's now available in the UK for around £50.

Tuesday 3 October 2017

Designing the right incentive scheme

Some basic rules for an incentive scheme, as offered in 'Think Like A Freak' by Steven D Levitt and Stephen J Dubner:

1. Discover what people care about
2. Choose something that's valuable to them but cheap for you
3. Pay attention to how people respond - and learn from it
4. Create a cooperative incentive, if possible
5. Appreciate that some people will try to manipulate your scheme