All posts by Ben

Why Twitter DM sucks right now

For the whole time I’ve used Twitter, I’ve had my account set to public, and had open conversations with other people. I’ve also had private conversations via Direct Message (DM), with close friends.

While we privately chat about all manner of things, sometimes this is used to send URLs between each other that we don’t want the rest of the world to see. We might be chatting a job offer I don’t want to advertise publicly, a website that is especially good or bad, but is only of interest to one person, or something that some might deem offensive that I know one good friend will find amusing. We might be discussing a radio feature we’re thinking about, or some part of an upcoming podcast. And this is where Twitter now sucks. We used to be able to chat away, share web links aplenty. And then Twitter made some changes, and it just doesn’t work anymore.

I’ll go “hey did you see this in the news yesterday?” and dare to try and include a link to a website like which twitter then blocks. And what does it block? Loads of stuff. And it doesn’t block it intelligently like Google Chrome does. It blocks it like a moron. Like the worst kind of Internet filter, randomly deciding that the Huffington Post (US) site is fine, while the Huffington Post (UK) site is too evil to be allowed. The Mirror is ok, the Metro is ok, the Daily Mail is ok, a website of my own that makes podcasts – parkandgardner.com – no? Why not?) Continue reading Why Twitter DM sucks right now

Amazon Kindle vs Nook pricing

A while ago, I bought a Nook. The e-reader that is/isn’t/is/isn’t being discontinued, if you read the technology news. At the moment, apparently it ISN’T being discontinued, although the basic model is no longer being sold in the USA.

I own a Kindle as well, but until recently I haven’t done much reading on either device. In the last few weeks though, I’ve got back into books a bit, and it reminded me there’s a post I’ve meant to write on here, for ages, that I haven’t got around to until now, about the quite large price differences between the Kindle store and the Nook store. Continue reading Amazon Kindle vs Nook pricing

Unlocking Nook books? No?

I currently own both a Kindle and a Nook.

One of the few selling points of the Nook over the Kindle, is that you can download books from places other than Nook’s store, AND that Nook books you download could be read on other e-readers. So if you got fed up with the Nook, or they stopped making it altogether, (which seems to suggested in the technology press every other week is just about to happen), you could buy a Kobo, and move all your books to that.

Except you can’t. By default, Nook books are locked, so attempting to put them on another device, requires an unlock code. A bit of searching, I worked out the code, and all was fine. A few months ago, I had this sorted, but now it no longer seems to work for newly purchased Nook books.
At time of writing this, I still seem to be able to download Nook books I bought a while ago, but a test 29p book I bought this morning just doesn’t have the options.

How it used to work:

A lot of places on the (frankly rubbish) UK Nook site, take you round and round in circles, giving you the option to “download” your orders, but actually just sending them to your devices again, so forget that. Continue reading Unlocking Nook books? No?

Las Iguanas, Bath

Last night, I went to Las Iguanas for the first time. A member of staff asked if we were celebrating anything, early on. And we are. My girlfriend’s birthday.
We didn’t think anything more of that conversation,

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and then we got this free between main and dessert.
It was very tasty – we might order that if we come back again. But what is it? We scoured the menu and couldn’t find it.

Me: “That was delicious – what was it?”
Staff: “Oh – it’s actually from Sainsburys”

Bit awkward. Hats off though – it was a nice gesture. More than earned a tip with this and the rest of their friendly attentive service.

P.S. Also, good having a menu that is probably 50% vegetarian (there is a full A4-sized vegetarian menu that is the normal menu with meat ones removed). Enormous amount of options for my girlfriend while I can still have meat aplenty.

Readability vs Instapaper vs Pocket + Kindle

For the last month or so, I’ve been trying out some read-later type services. I’ve been a user of Instapaper for ages, but a few things made me start looking elsewhere, coupled with just wanting to try out some rivals.

A few months ago I bought a Kindle, and one of the things I thought might be nice, is that I could save articles during the day (mostly from what people are discussing on Twitter) and then get the service to send it directly to my Kindle – basically providing me with a daily digest of stuff I didn’t have time to read fully when I saw it to start with.
I start work early, can’t really use my phone while I’m at work, but then finish early. So a nice daily personalised newspaper delivered early afternoon would be perfect. Continue reading Readability vs Instapaper vs Pocket + Kindle