John Walker's Electronic House

Author Archive

Rum Doings Episode 172: They’re Bubbling Like Fermenting Sauerkraut

by on Sep.30, 2014, under Rum Doings, The Rest

In our 172nd ever Rum Doings, our topic is what is, considering all the cracks, isn’t it now time to admit that paving stones are a noble failure which should be abandoned?

We talk about how microwaves enhance baby learning, Nick’s food fight with a primary school, and John’s disgust with the awfulness of Doctor Who.

There’s then chat about American late night talk shows, British attempts at them, and then some TV and book recommendations.

You are of course required to leave a review on iTunes. Thank you to everyone who has – there are some extremely generous comments up there.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Leave a Comment :, , more...

Poor Old Newspapers – Technology Vs A Sex Scandal

by on Sep.28, 2014, under The Rest

Today the Sunday Mirror has a strong scoop. A male freelance journalist, posing as a young female Tory activist, managed to hook a Tory MP into sending explicit photographs of himself, and trying to arrange to meet ‘her’. The journalist then gave this story to the Mirror, who contacted the MP – he denied ever having heard of ‘Sophie’. So they contacted Downing Street with the evidence, who promptly released a statement saying the MP was stepping down immediately.

But ho boy, if a story involving technology isn’t a tricky pickle for the UK press to cope with. The conversation between Brooks Newark and ‘Sophie’ began via Twitter, moved on to Facebook, and then eventually to texts. However, the photos they exchanged were sent via WhatsApp. Here’s how that’s been understood by today’s newspapers, trying to hop on the scoop.

Here’s the Mirror’s front page headline:

(continue reading…)

Leave a Comment more...

The British Press Isn’t Much Fun

by on Sep.16, 2014, under Rants

I genuinely don’t understand the motive of the British press’s front page coverage of the tragic death of a couple of British backpackers in Thailand. I don’t compile this to prove any point, or even know whose point it would prove. I just find the phenomenon deeply peculiar. A man and a woman have been killed, but apparently one seems to be of more interest than the other.

(continue reading…)

2 Comments more...

Rum Doings Episode 171: Into Isolation, BABY

by on Sep.10, 2014, under Rum Doings

In our 171st ever Rum Doings, our topic is what is the chromosomal configuration of Kate’s zygote?

We talk about the nature and consequences of political criticism of art, at quite some length, especially how it relates to gaming. This meanders onto talk of our continued struggle with the pink and blue nature of childhoods, and a brief detour into baby having.

We’re such grown ups that Nick’s daughter starts school this week, so we chat about that, and then our horror at how young everyone is. No one is allowed to have been born after 1985.

You are of course required to leave a review on iTunes. Thank you to everyone who has – there are some extremely generous comments up there.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

8 Comments :, , more...

Rum Doings Episode 170: What Are You Like With Liver?

by on Aug.22, 2014, under Rum Doings

In our 170th ever Rum Doings, our topic is, um, wait, we’ll get there… paint shades!

We discuss how wine tasting is finally proven a sham, John’s terrible aggressive shaving, evil cats, and a bit of Ferguson.

We rename the Mid-West, and decide America needs more sea. And we think how to get rid of the short.

You are of course required to leave a review on iTunes. Thank you to everyone who has – there are some extremely generous comments up there.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

4 Comments :, , more...

How Internet Hate Mobs Work, And Why It’s So Insidious

by on Aug.20, 2014, under The Rest

In the wake of another really horrifying social media attack on a few individuals – some I know, some I don’t – I find myself needing to process the way it works. The awfulness of what is done, and just how frighteningly proficient are the organised attackers.

In this particular story, an angry ex-boyfriend has made public a huge screed of personal information about his former girlfriend, along with a long list of accusations. These accusations crossed my path when they included claims that someone I employed had behaved inappropriately. There was no evidence provided for these claims, and indeed no examples of the suggested corruption have ever existed. I assume much else was untrue or twisted too, but it’s absolutely none of my business. What I was in a position to know about, I knew was entirely false.

Yesterday the woman involved had her Twitter and Tumblr hacked, her personal information including phone numbers, family phone numbers, street addresses and PayPal information made public. She has received unending abuse on all channels, including to her personal phone and address. People close to her have received similar abuse. People who have made it clear they are against the abuse have received small fractions of the abuse too. There is, without question, a huge amount of abuse to go around. The thing is, it’s not from a huge number of people – they’re just exceptionally good at making it look as though there are.

(continue reading…)

60 Comments more...

A Pointless Guide To Armstrongian Hyperbole

by on Aug.16, 2014, under The Rest

On the superb BBC1 quiz show, Pointless, I contend that co-host Alexander Armstrong perhaps a little over-effusively enthuses on the contestants’ competence after their failure. No pair of entrants appearing in the 600 aired episodes has ever fallen short of “great contestants”, no matter how fist-grindingly dreadful they may have been. This is part of what makes Pointless so absolutely lovely, in an age of quizshowing that otherwise focuses on humiliation or treachery. It’s also entirely daft.

Armstrong, who appears an all-round splendid chap, seems peculiarly beholden to a script, from which he appears unwilling to deviate. I do wonder if during his sleep he mumbles that everyone gets two chances to reach the Pointless final, or that for the remaining two pairs things are about to get even more exciting now as they enter the head-to-head. (Of course, the meandering banter between he and the adorable Richard Osman is incessantly delightful, and the primary reason to watch the programme.)

While I have no desire to see Armstrong berating contestants, and absolutely love that failure is met with warmth and cheer, I do fear that his madcap positivity is causing confusion, so have prepared a guide to what his terms practically mean:

“Great Contestants” = Really astonishingly terrible contestants, who likely scored 200 in the first round, two days running, and uttered phrases like, “The 1870s were before my time,” and, “Words ending in ‘EART’ isn’t a good subject for me.” That they found their way to the studio without accidentally strangling themselves with their own arms is of note.

“Brilliant Contestants” = Pretty poor contestants, unlikely to have displayed any knowledge, who most likely only got through to the second round after some “Great Contestants” inadvertently impaled themselves on the podium.

“Really Brilliant Contestants” = Okay-ish contestants, who knew a right answer that scored under 50. It was probably about football, which was, when they were asked what subjects they’d like to see come up, their only response.

“Properly Brilliant Contestants” = At this point the “properly” introduces the notion that there may be some credibility to their performance. These contestants potentially knew the location of a country on the planet, or the name of a film director. Where some Brilliant Contestants had said, “Well I don’t really follow politics” when asked to name a British Prime Minister, a Properly Brilliant Contestant might remember someone other than the present incumbent.

“Really Properly Brilliant Contestants” = Quite good contestants.

(It should be noted that the reason I would never go on a quiz show like Pointless is how it would immediately reveal me to be in the region of a Brilliant Contestant, as the woeful lack of knowledge I possess would be presented to the viewing world.)

3 Comments :, more...

Rum Doings Episode 169: She’s Got A Special Brain Module

by on Aug.05, 2014, under Rum Doings

In our 169th ever Rum Doings, our topic is, why aren’t aeroplane flights available on the NHS?

There is a weird audio issue on this one. It’s Nick’s fault, even though it only happens when John speaks. So apologies. On Nick’s behalf. We talk about holidays, pregnancy, and then, at some length, Israel and the coverage of the Gaza situation.

We move on to talk more generally about the filters that are necessary for parsing any news stories, and John’s plans to get rid of his baby if he’s born on his birthday. And then John’s glorious air conditioner!

You are of course required to leave a review on iTunes. Thank you to everyone who has – there are some extremely generous comments up there.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

1 Comment :, , more...

Rum Doings At Sea! Episode 168: Huh huh huh huh huh, SEVEN types of tea!

by on Jul.24, 2014, under Rum Doings

In our 168th ever Rum Doings, the topic is: should children read? Instead we complete our cruise recordings, docked back in Southampton, sitting on the sunbeds on a mostly abandoned cruise ship.

There’s discussion of correct and incorrect queuing, and then an account of the Stupidest Men In The World. For some reason John then sounds like he’s on the phone, despite having been lay next to Nick in a very sexy way, as he discusses how he has the hardest job in the world. Nick tells us about the Ukrainian barman he fell in love with, and we tell you about a very opulent meal we stuffed into our faces.

You are of course required to leave a review on iTunes. Thank you to everyone who has – there are some extremely generous comments up there.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

1 Comment :, , more...

Rum Doings At Sea! Episode 167: DOREEN! THEY’VE RUN OUT OF PIE!

by on Jul.11, 2014, under Rum Doings

In our 167th ever Rum Doings, the rules continue to be thrown into the sea. Nick is locked out of the cabin and this week’s episode is brought to you by Victoria and John.

We bring you the latest news in Disney princess dress technology, and debate the merits of 3D printing. John explains Eggheads, and then tries to convince himself he’s okay with the boat’s rocking, all in an effort to tell a story about a mean lady.

As the waves outside the window start to grow really rather enormous, we talk cable cars, and Victoria tells us about her dad’s theories on the gays.

You are of course required to leave a review on iTunes. Thank you to everyone who has – there are some extremely generous comments up there.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

3 Comments :, , more...