Messages from the Grave, Music at my Funeral.

I signed up with this site It costs a pound or 2 dollars/euros.

The idea is that you write messages and set instructions just in case you die, unexpectedly. Then if you get "hit by a bus" the site has a number of smart and esoteric ways to find out if you are dead and it will action your messages and instructions.

So for example, I can write a letter to my wife, upload a video for my kids and send postmortem emails to friends and other family. But it raises the question, how far do you go? I would quite like to send a message to some old school friends, but would they be freaked out? I have a friend from uni called Toby who I aint seen for years but I could probably get his email. He lives far away and we were always more "real time".

But imagine if on a Saturday morning he got an email or letter:

"Hi Toby

Its Me, if you are reading this then that means I have died unexpectedly and, I hope, dramatically. So I just wanted to say that....

.... I wish you a good life and it was great knowing you...


Would he be happy? I think probably. Not happy that I was dead but that he got a little personal message from me, after death. I would like one from him.

But then it gets sinister. I have another friend from my childhood who turned out to be a racist bigot homophobe who I no longer speak with. Should I mail him postmortem and call him mean names?

This site is weird in that extends ones possibility to have an effect after death. I love that concept.

In the FAQ onsite there is a big description of how they will prevent what would be horrendous false positives. At the end of the day they are hedging their bets that ,in their savvy net-using demographic, not many members will die relative to user numbers. This way, they claim, they will be able to afford to not action any postmortem instructions until a human has confirmed the death. I guess its true that they dont want their members to die because it costs them. Not a job I would like, but in a site like this, someone has to do it.

In one of the sections you can specify songs for your funeral. I won’t say the ones I have chosen, but one is "Peaches En Regalia". So, If I die and that is not at my funeral, please hunt down this site's owners and sue them for my pound back.

I am Google’s Bitch

I have just this moment moved 133 of my Writley documents to my Google Account. Work stuff, Blog stuff, writings, notes, my book, short stories, legal contracts, CV, poems and top secret recipes for inedible foodstuffs.

Its time for a stock-take as to what Google now has under my account:

  • All of My Mails. (Gmail)
  • All of my photos. (Piccasia Online)
  • My spreadsheets. (Google Spreadsheets)
  • My browsing history and book marks. (Google Browser sync plugin for firefox)
  • My notes (Google Notebook which is getting bigger)
  • My search history.
  • My Writings (Writley)
  • My Calendar (Google calendar)
  • My Address, Credit cards and Work Details (We use Adwords and Adsense at work)
  • This Blog (Blogger)
  • My newsgroup searches and posts.

There is probably more, stuff I don’t even know about me.

Should I be worried?

Here is my reasoning: For Google to survive long term it needs to preserve trust absolutely within its account holding community, ergo, be more than scrupulous.

This is the relationship, I think, in a nutshell:

“You let us manage and analyse all of your information. We will advertise to you more effectively (for both parties) than if we didn’t have this information. In return, we provide a system that increases the benefit to you within an integrated whole.”

No company on the planet needs to be trusted so much by it's users than Google. Not even the church. And for that reason, I am trusting them until I have reason not to.

Review: SPV M3100

The SPV M3100 is the Orange badged version of the latest HTC Smartphone, and its is a beauty.

I had the XDA Mini S a few weeks ago and took it back because of call quality. But this phone is awesome.

  • It hasnt crashed.
  • Its fast.
  • The Wireless is great.
  • The secret slide out Qwerty keyboard a godsend.
  • The 2Meg camera is surprisingly high quality.
  • It has a jog wheel.
  • Voice dial is instant.

I have it in a Proporta case which works really well as a combo.

Sometimes in one's tech life you reach a plateau where there isn't really anywhere higher to go, at least not there and then. I think I'm there now with this phone.

Two weeks in and I want for nothing except free data, eternal batteries and more of everything.

Reminisces: Last Night's Wig

Last night Mark and I were Drinking in a pub. A bad punk cover band was on. (This is two punk references in this blog in less than a week. I am SOOOOO not punk...) .

I was standing at the bar waiting to get served. Mark pops up and asks the question, with volume and clarity:

"Would you ever wear a wig?"

I thought about it..... for a second or three...

"No." I replied, and turned back to the bar.

Then we both noticed him starring at Mark. The guy besides us. The guy who looked angry but unsure what to do. The guy with the most obvious and ill thought toupee this side Elton John's worst bad hair day.

We didn't say sorry. We didn't say anything. We walked back to the stage area and hid behind a pillar to laugh like naughty school boys.

Reminisces: News Years Eve Erection

News Year's Eve in 1992. I was 21 and I had my girlfriend of the time staying at my parents house. Tina. My first ever girlfriend.

My parents were out at a bash. We were expecting them back late.

So... there we were. Young lovers under the duvet of my single bed. Kerrrrnnnnoooodling. Naturally, I had just taken her way past 7th heaven and into the high echelons of total sexual bliss when there were lights in the drive. PANIC!

I got dressed so fast into my jeans and shirt, I guess forgetting underpants and socks. Slightly flushed, I led the way. Descending the stairs just as the front door opens. I am at the bottom of the stairs. Tina is behind me.

"Happy New Year Mum!" I say, kissing her on the cheek.

"Happy new Year Dad!", I say, shaking his hand.

The immortal words (Thanks to's eternal backup policy) follow from my father:

"Happy New Year Mathew. I think you had better put that away."

The four of us looked down to see the glistening shaft of my all consuming embarrassment.

Reminisces: My first punk rock and roll concert.

My Dad's musical taste pretty much stopped at the White Album. They had a slight augmentation when my cousin Adjoa brought him Bob Marley's Exodus on cassette at some point in the 70's. Nonetheless there has never been much diversion from the "movement of Jah people picking up the rice in a church where a wedding has been" sphere, ever since.

In 1978 I was 7 and my sister was 9. The tune of the year was Ian Dury's "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick" which my dad loved. It had the quirky out of the blue quality that dads and pub punk rockers the world over were digging.

So, My Dad though it would be a great idea to take me and my sister to see him in concert at The (local) Coliseum.

Like most major or first events in ones life, I can remember this well. the excitement, the anticipation, the weeks long build up (I seem to recall it being an Xmass pressie). We got there way too early. We hung around amongst the punks and the rockers and a bunch of people who knew my dad but didn’t expect him to be there. Equally they didn’t expect two gappy kids to be there; getting primed for the mosh pit. We checked out official Ian Dury merchandise (I can picture to this day an analogue square wristwatch with "Blockheads" written on the watch face).

Perhaps there was a band before. I can’t remember. But I do remember the moment when Ian Dury And The Block Heads came on. At the time I didn’t appreciate that the lead singer’s punk swagger was the result of childhood polio but, with backdrop of smoke and the lights and the crowd, this was momentous.

He didn’t start with "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick". He didn’t start with a song. He started with a story. A long drawn out diatribe. I just did a quick lyric search for it but couldn’t find the song. So, to paraphrase five minutes of live punk rock and roll into one paragraph of typo-laiden Blog:

He came home from somewhere. He walked into his house. He looked around. He went into his bedroom. There was a woman on his bed. She shouted - I don't swear in this Blog so this is a quote – She shouted, "Fuck Me!".

I remember looking up at my dad. He looked concerned. This wasn’t what he was expecting and it certainly wasn’t what me and my sis were expecting. Where were the comical references to Tiger Bay and the Sudan? Where was the Franglaise and the addictive foot-tapping-beat?

We didn’t stay much longer. We definitely didn’t stay to hear my Dad’s favorite song of the decade.

That night held the moment that I knew there were things and events outside of the adult world
I was familiar with.

Review: XDA Mini S Smartphone

I have had more handhelds than the most dedicated Onanist.

The first I ever owned was a little Casio clock/calculator that I brought in Ocean Terminal in Hong Kong. It was 1980 and as well as getting a device that could tell you what day any date fell on I learn t a valuable lesson about shopping around from my dad.

After that I was hooked on the handhelds... Psions… Psions… Palms… Pocket PCs, Smart Phones and then last week I got an XDA Mini S.

The specs of the device were pretty fricking funky. The Slide out keyboard, neat WiFi, Tocuh Scren, Windows Mobile 5 operating system, in theory all you need for your mobile life.

But tomorrow I'm taking it back to the shop because, much as it is feature packed and well designed and nice on batteries and OK on the eye the quality of the phone calls are DIRE.

DIE with an R in the middle.

I have ordered a SPV with the same formfactor and sliding keyboard and that comes Monday. I hope the call quality is not in the two-tin-cans-on-a-bit-of-string quality.

Do not ever get an XDA Mini S, unless you are deaf and mute, then its great.

I am shocked by how bad these guys are dressed.

I haven't been much of a one for Blogging about other websites, but this is just really freaky. I have no idea where they got those clothes from or who dressed them but I think its pretty fair to say that they are all in need of a makeover BIG STYLE.

Since the collapse of comunism there has been much in the way of fashion-schism, but I never ever thought it could get this bad.

When will they learn that you can NEVER mix NYLONS.

God save us.