Solve my Mystery Geocache

I’m headed to Cork, Ireland for a week and a half, so there’ll be little or no posts, check twitter @wafitz for updates.

Currently I’m sitting on a car ferry from Fishguard using wifi@sea – via satellite, pretty cool.

In the meantime, we just published a new mystery/puzzle geocache. To be solved at home then searched for at night following a trail of firetacks.

See if you can solve it here:
GC2A3MP">geocacing.com listing
Mystery journal

Why I Still Use Facebook Despite The Issues

Over the past year I’ve agonised over keeping my Facebook account, but everytime I’ve considered deleting it I’ve come to the same conclusion – the benefits of having one far outweigh the benefits of not having a Facebook account.

Big Brother is Poking You

Let’s start with the negative shall we? First is privacy – Facebook is infamous for dicking around with users profiles and privacy settings. It should be on the tip of every Facebook users mind that what they post in private today could be on the front page of The Sun tomorrow. It’s something I’m concerned about and it’s likely if Facebook did not give me some measure of control over my privacy settings then I’d definitely look for an alternative.

Farmbook

Second, Farmville (and it’s ilk). Seriously I don’t mind if you want to raise your virtual tomatoes with your virtual seed that you bought with your virtual cash that you paid for with you real money. However, why does Facebook feel it’s important that I should know all this? I don’t care, I don’t want to know about your gold egg, your new apartment, your lost Koala, your bean crop or anything you spend mindless hours filling the bank account of some company you’ve never even heard of.

The Great Unwashed

Thirdly, popularity. Yes I appreciate most will not understand this one. Let me try to explain. When I joined Facebook it was little more than a listing site. You could post photo’s, a profile and maybe there was a few extras I don’t remember. Then a couple of years later came the MySpace refugees – and with them they brought their ugly profiles and ubiquitous junk plugins. OK so I was a Facebook snob, I never got into MySpace and I’m glad – I feel less dirty for it. Yes the MySpace crowd ruined Facebook – but I will admit I played some of the games to start with, I took part in the stupid polls and apps that desperately scream “define me”! It’s not something I’m proud of.

So why stick with Facebook despite these issues? Read on…

Continue reading “Why I Still Use Facebook Despite The Issues”

Street Angels and Pastors on Twitter

Watford Street Angels

Some of you may be aware I volunteer as a Street Angel in Watford, so lately I’ve been taking an interest in similar initiatives happening throughout the UK. I have now compiled a list of those that are active on twitter: street-pastors-angels.

As far as I’m aware, there are two names for the same thing: Street Angels, or Street Pastors. We ‘patrol’ the streets on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights usually between 10pm-3am, looking to assist those who are unable to assist themselves – people who are lost, have had too much alcohol, stranded or calming potentially violent situations. We don’t police, we leave that to the real police who we are in contact with, it’s more about non-judgementally serving the community.

I am unaware as to how many towns and cities have Street Angels or Pastors, the initiative is largely sporadic with no central coordination – which mirrors Christianity itself – there is no need for central figures or departments when you have the Holy Spirit.

Watford Street Angels are not on Twitter, but they are mentioned on Watford Chapliancy website.

If you are a Street Angel or a Pastor and your team has a twitter account, please leave a comment below and I will add you to the list!

Twitpic from the Command Line in Linux

I’ve just put together a short script for automatically taking a webcam pic then uploading it to Twitter.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking, no I don’t know why either. I had help from other places that I found through googling. Here it is in case you want to try it out:

#!/bin/bash

# Script to automate posting of webcam images to twitpic

IMGDIR=”/location_to_save_webcam_pics”
STAMP=`date +%m%d%Y_%s`
IMG=”$IMGDIR/”webcam_””$STAMP”.jpeg”
USERNAME=”twitter_username”
PASSWORD=”twitter_password” # Don’t forget to escape special chars with “\”
MESSAGE=”Webcam snapshot, `date`”

# Take picture from webcam
TAKE=`streamer -o $IMG`
echo “$TAKE”

# Upload to twitpic using curl
curl -F “username=$USERNAME” -F “password=$PASSWORD” -F “message=$MESSAGE” -F media=@”$IMG” http://twitpic.com/api/uploadAndPost

I really need to find a way to post code on blogger. The next step is that this script can be added to a cron job and made to feed random pics at intervals.

I’m now trying to think what other interesting things I can send to twitter from Ubuntu?