The Anonymous Widower

Good Omens For Mr. Biden

This extract is from today’s diary in The Times.

The election of Joe Biden, despite the twitterhoea tantrums of the toddler in the Oval Office, continues a correlation noted four years ago by the writer Brydon Coverdale between American presidents and the sequence of Mr Men books. Donald Trump is the 45th president and the 45th Mr Man is Mr Rude, an easy fit. No 44 was Mr Cool (Barack Obama) and No 43 Mr Cheerful (George W Bush). Going back further, the all-action Teddy Roosevelt has the same number as Mr Strong and Ronald Reagan shares his with Mr Brave. Grover Cleveland, the only president to return to office after being voted out, has Mr Bounce. Now at No 46 comes Mr Good — and the correlation may continue. Coverdale writes: “I wonder if the 47th being Mr Nobody means the next president won’t be a Mr.”

I like the correlation and also the new word; twitterhoea.

It will be interesting to return to this post for the US Presidential Election in 2024.

November 10, 2020 Posted by | Computing, World | , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Driver’s View Of Waterloo Re-Opened International Platforms.

I assume it’s a driver, as the Tweeter of this message has Driver in the name.

The feeling of space on the re-opened International side at London Waterloo is a small joy. Now it needs shops and a little vibrancy; still feels a touch clinical. But it’s getting there.

Criticism of the new platforms seems a bit thin, although some have said, it took Network Rail, a long time to get a plan together.

I wonder what the RMT think of the new platforms.

After all, the extra capacity will allow more trains to run, which will surely mean more staff.

February 12, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

No One Is Born Hating Another Person Because Of The Colour Of His Skin Or His Background Or His Religion

The quote is from Nelson Mandela and according to this report on the BBC, after being tweeted by Barack Obama, it has become the most liked tweet.

This is said.

It may be President Trump’s communication tool of choice – but it’s a tweet by former President Barack Obama that has become the most liked in Twitter’s history.

When someone writes a book on the most important tweets of this decade, I do wonder how many of Trump’s tweets will have been much liked, by those who don’t have a dead-end agenda!

As to myself, I was certainly brought up by my parents in the spirit of the title of this post, but with perhaps two exceptions.

  • My father wasn’t keen on Pope Pius XII, as he believed he’d not done enough to help the Jews and others during World War II.
  • My mother was from a Huguenot family and wasn’t that keen on Roman Catholics.

I don’t think either would have been pleased if I’d married a practising Catholic. But as a confirmed atheist and humanist for as long as I can remember, I don’t think there was ever much chance of my marrying anybody with a serious religious conviction.


August 16, 2017 Posted by | Computing, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Police Workload Due To Social Media

According to this article on the BBC, social media crimes are at least half of all frontline Police work. Here’s the first two paragraphs.

Complaints originating from social media make up “at least half” of a front-line police officer’s work, a senior officer has told the BBC.

Chief Constable Alex Marshall, head of the College of Policing, said the number of crimes arising from social media represented “a real problem”.

I’m not against reporting these crimes to the Police in any way, but I do think that this is a rather large load on the Police.

As a programmer, who has worked in data analysis for many years and as I feel I understand the Internet very well, I do not feel it is beyond the wit of programmers and companies to create a robust and trusted Internet-based system to deal with all the annoyances of the modern age.

Obviously, you could still go to the Police directly, but if say forwarding an offensive message to a semi-automated system had a sensible outcome, you might find this less trouble.

There are very few things that because of my physical and mental make-up that can be said to me as abuse. Although, I do get fed-up with some spam messages that seem to come to me every day. But I can understand how some people  get offended and need their tormentors stopped.

I believe that a well-programmed system could handle much of the abuse and unwanted messages we get. If it became trusted and the sanctions it had taken against persistent nuisances were respected, people would think twice before sending offensive messages.

It might even stop crime and disrupt terrorist networks. As I write this, it has been said on the BBC, that you can follow what is going on with ISIS in Iraq through Twitter.

But then politicians don’t understand the power of technology and especially don’t like being bypassed by it. So we are more likely to see draconian laws on social media.

June 24, 2014 Posted by | Computing, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Does She Use Twitter?

They’ve just had the Reverend Jane Twitty 0n BBC Breakfast.

Does she use Twitter?

January 30, 2014 Posted by | Computing, World | | Leave a comment

The Problems Of Twitter

We have had a lot of stories in the past few years about people being abused on Twitter and similar sites, such as this report about Stan Collimore.

I have been involved in a few studies about malicious calls in the past with BT and have a small amount of knowledge. For instance, those that abuse usually target someone specific like an ex partner or employer or they might do the opposite and tend to target a range of people.

But there is always a pattern, as people are creatures of habit!

I also did some work years ago with project management software to see, if it were possible to fill in the blanks on an activity, based on other activities in a project and the words in the description. Techniques of language recognition, weren’t that good in the 1980s, but I believe that it is now possible to make a better fist of it.

Twitter messages are a string of a few words and I believe that computers can now get the flavour of what is said with a bit of help.  After all Google often gives you what you want in a search, that is full of spelling and typing mistakes.

So let’s say you get an abusive Twitter message. By flagging it to Twitter, they should be able to automatically determine if the contents fits a typical abusive pattern, based on the words and the tweeting profile of the sender.

An automatic warning would then ensue if it was deemed necessary, followed by deletion of the account, if the abuser persisted.

I obviously don’t know the thoughts of Twitter, but I’m absolutely certain, that an automatic system could be developed based on technology that works well in other areas.

The trouble is, any system like this is against the American rules on Free Speech. But it probably would be acceptable to many of those who have suffered abuse.

January 24, 2014 Posted by | Computing, News | , , | Leave a comment

Beware Of Angry Tweets

According to this article in the Daily Mail, an analysis of Twitter messages from rail passengers has shown that South West Trains are the least popular train company.

I took the company yesterday to Portsmouth Harbour in order to go to the Isle of Wight and I have no complaint about them, except that for First Clash passengers, they are the meanest.  On a similar length journey to Ipswich, I may not get many perks, but at least I can get a free bottle of water or a coffee.

I know it’s not much, but it’s the thought that counts.

I wouldn’t choose the company, if there was an alternative, except that Waterloo is a better station for me than say Victoria.

Perhaps though companies should take more notice of what is said on sites like Twitter!

August 16, 2013 Posted by | Computing, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Twitter Abuse Is Part Of A Larger Problem

I don’t actively use Twitter, although I do post things occasionally, but I never look at what people say and don’t follow anyone.

I whole-heartedly condemn those who abuse others on the site or in fact any other site. As Mary Beard, someone who has suffered lots of abuse and threats, has just said on television, I think that abusers should face the full force of the law.

In some ways, Twitter abuse, is part of a larger problem in Internet usage. It seems that immediately some people pick up a phone or get to a keyboard, they feel they must send something inappropriate. But these people wouldn’t generally walk into their neighbour’s house and call them something unpleasant or say show a beautiful picture to someone who was obviously blind!

And it’s not just in personal life, that this happens. I get plagued by unwanted e-mails, trying to sell me a car leasing deal, from companies all over the country. I don’t particularly care and always unsubscribe, but the same companies keep sending them. If I was a driver, I certainly wouldn’t buy anything from any of them.

There is an old maxim about treating people, how you would like to be treated yourself. It would appear that this goes out the window, where the Internet is concerned.

If you abuse a dog, you can be banned by the Courts, from keeping one.  Perhaps, people who don’t use the Internet courteously should be banned from having a mobile phone and denied a broadband connection.

August 5, 2013 Posted by | Computing | , , | Leave a comment

Sexist Tweets

There have been two big stories lately about two women ; Caroline Criado-Perez and Stella Creasey being abused on Twitter

I have never abused anybody knowingly on Twitter and I condemn the abusers unconditionally.  Although on the other hand some of the things I’ve said, might have provoked a rabid response from certain classes of bigots. I have removed the odd message saying what I said was rubbish, but there has been nothing I have not found honest comment.

I will defend some men in particular, by saying that there are quite a few good men out there, who know how to treat a woman properly.  I hope I do, as I did manage to keep my half of a relationship going for over forty years.

It’s not difficult! You just need a bit of give and take!

July 29, 2013 Posted by | Computing, World | , , | Leave a comment

Ed Balls and Twitter

You can read what you like into this story about Ed Balls handling of Twitter.

I would just ask one question.  Would you like to see this politician in charge of the economy?

April 27, 2013 Posted by | Computing, World | , , | Leave a comment