One reason we don't like photos of ourselves is that they're not what we see in a mirror, writes Nick Denton. A photo shows us how others see us, a mirror shows this in reverse.
The answer: TrueMirror, which I stumbled over late one night whilst walking home - stop by and take a look if you're in the neighbourhood, there's a TrueMirror in their shop window for you to try.
Just like a pet, electronic devices are becoming used to their owners. But sometimes they get the wrong idea - examined in this article on personalisation gone awry. A similar thing happened to me when I sold my TiVo to a friend; he inherited my peccadillos - and then had some explaining to do to his wife.
My Tivo Thinks I'm Gay [Wall Street Journal]
I love San Francisco. Sure, it has its faults, but for a small town it has a great deal to offer. Not being from round here (and few it seems truly are), I feel as qualified as any to be objective about its good and bad points. SF-bashing seems to be fashionable these days, and I just can't seem to hold myself back any more either. Though I'm glad to be home at last, it doesn't take long before something happens so that I feel the need to vent:
San Francisco is small, but doesn't seem to realise it. It has a big ego, as people with above average but below outstanding skill often have - possibly due to sibling rivalry with LA. But the thing I hate most of all is its politics. Never have I seen so much political posturing and PC self-righteousness expressed across the board along with so much introspective navel-gazing. Naively, I expected a world-class newspaper here - but the main newspaper here seems to think a cat up a tree in Oakland is more important than war in Russia, and this is symptomatic of local thinking - it's always local. Joke political agendas have always been put forward in many places, but here they seem to get taken seriously. And now the Democratic party have chosen to shoot themselves in the foot by choosing a San Francisco Liberal as their leader. How is this meant to appeal to the rest of the country? At this time more than ever it's important to put a nationally credible alternative to the current administration ahead of preaching to the local choir, as noted in this enlighteningly realistic article in this week's Economist.
Perhaps this should serve as a lesson in the perils of vanity-based directed evolution - the BBC's view on the many faces of Michael Jackson.
Operation Enduring Freedom is in the House.
Here we go again.
More shady deals from the UK government.
How do you get invited to Downing Street? Do you a) hold a referendum in which 98 per cent of you vote to stay British, or b) blow up British soldiers, policemen, politicians, members of the Royal Family and the general public for 30 years? The answer would seem to be b.
Here's an excellent list of eight bad internet laws and the people who supported them - just so you know how to use your vote tomorrow.
I'm in England, being Best Man at my friend's wedding, and there is nothing more intimidating than having to give a Best Man's speech. Plenty of my friends in the audience have done so before, and done so very well, so expectations are high. I have plenty of material, but I've been slapped with a strict non-disclosure order on certain prior events by the bride - so no jokes about overlapping relationships, or anything else remotely scandalous, sadly. Besides, there's plenty of work to be done apart from speaking, but that speech looms large as the Thing That Must Be Done, Done Right, and Right At The End. So I bought the books on how to do it - and they're simply awful. Then I found some great advice in The Oxford Union Guide to Successful Public Speaking:
(1) The Best Man's speech is the easiest speech you'll ever have to give: the audience want you to succeed, and they're drunk - you can't ask for more from them. Most likely, you're on after the boring gushing Father of the Bride speech, so you're not even first, and the audience will laugh at any light relief after that.
(2) Forget all the stupid books on one-liners and sample speeches - they are of no use. You do have plenty of material on the person in question - you're most likely known them for a long time - so carry a small notepad with you and the stories will come to you. (You should also poll the guest list for more - they'll be keen to help too.)
(3) Shorter is better - if all else fails, all you really have to do is say something nice about the Bride and Groom, tell a quick story about his past, give the standard thank-yous, read out any telegrams if there are any, and finally toast your friend and his new wife. It's really not that hard - so relax, speak slowly and clearly, use little notecards with cue words and key phrases on - they really help, don't drink too much beforehand, but catch up immediately afterwards!
These simple guidelines worked well for me - except for the anecdote about the amazing girl I met - but that's another story...