stop right now, thank you very much etc.. etc..

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well, the moment i’ve been half dreading, half awaiting is finally here. the spice girls – possibly the only band ever to have been officialy disbanded by a change of tense – are to reform:

The Spice Girls, who burst on to the music scene with “girl power” and attitude in the 1990s, have reunited for a world tour, their Web site said on Thursday.

“Hey everybodyWe’re back Can you believe it!!” Ginger, Sporty, Posh, Scary and Baby Spice announced on their Web site.

The Web site said the group had come together for a world tour and provided a link for fans to buy tickets in 11 cities across the world starting on December 7 in Los Angeles,
the girls come to londons o2 areana on the 15 december

check out the offical site for details about the tickets!
http://www.thespicegirls.com

maybe it will be wonderful. it should at least be fun.
and yet somehow i fear the worst…

particularly after i saw their most recent publicity photos…

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the best thing about the spice girls was always their wonderful cartoon image. a band you could recognise in sillouhette!
now we have a bunch of disparate women all competing with each other to be seen as the one who has changed the most in the last 10 years.

posh has hit the (bleach) bottle again. and the chicken fillets by the looks of it.
ginger spice? more like grenola spice.
baby looks cute if funereal.
the only thing scary about melanie brown is her disgustingly cheap looking satin skirt.
i left mel c for last because…
..good lord she looks fantastic! melanie chisholm in maybe-best-looking-spice-girl shocker!?!

i know i won’t be able to resist, and i can’t help but be interested but still i worry….

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watch the press conference video from bbc news

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how dirty girls get online

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courtneylove.com is finally back online!
and very pretty it is too…
a lot of sections such as her blog and the forum are still ‘coming soon’ but there is rather excitingly the full version of ‘dirty girls’ to listen to.
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since i can’t get the iphone yet

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believe it or not i’ve never actually had a mobile phone contract. actually that’s a slight lie i had one for a while that my parents gave me as a graduation present but i found it too expensive to maintain along with my landline.
i’ve never really been into phones. despite being a geek and a bit of a gadget fiend the whole phone thing has kind of passed me by. until now i have never actually bought my own phone but have had a sea of gifts and cast offs from friends and relatives incomprehensible that i didn’t have/use one.
i think a combination of the fact that i’m at home a lot and that most phones i owned were not that pretty and a bit of a faff to operate has always put me off.
then recently my mother-in-law very kindly donated my her motorola razr which is the first phone i’ve ever felt attatched to. once i souped it up with a little pink diamante cover (it was blue) it became the first phone that i actually enjoyed as an object – but i still found the interface ugly and a bit clunky to use.
up until now i’ve just been pay as you go – which basically meant i never paid and didn’t go! however it’s becoming increasingly uneconomic to rely on my current landline package because it excludes calls to mobiles which are more and more of the calls i have to make. plus monthly contracts are fighting over each other for customers and so are much more reasonable now.

so..

..i’m going mobile. at first i was going to get the nokia e62 which i’ve seen in the flesh and is very cool in a geeky sort of way. i’m not so into how it looks but it is funtionally pretty much a pda.
but then i found the prada lg
-oh my gosh –
i’m so excited i can hardly speak.
the browser is a bit shit (no more shit than other phones though) but apart from that it really is as close i’m going to get to the iphone for the meantime.

sexy. black. touchscreen.

bring it on!

bebo vs myspace

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i think we all know where i stand on myspace right? so it’s only fitting that i was an early adopter to the new social networking upstart bebo. after an initial honeymoon period of thinking that bebo was simply the bees knees i’m now becoming more aware of it’s weaknesses as well as it’s strengths. and as for myspace? well, they have been making some forrays in the right direction and it would be churlish of me not to accept it’s place on the web. it is an incredible force in self-promotion and marketing and has a virtual stranglehold on the music industry online.

so, myspace or bebo – let the battle commence…

BEBO

    basic ethos
    aimed very squarely at the younger of the younger generation it is really only intended as a means of connecting with people you allready know than of meeting new people (and will frequently remind you of this when you add new friends)
    so, not so much a social networking site as a .. social .. site.
    also has a rather gratingly conversational tone (“sign in Automagically for 2 weeks”) but then as a wordpress user (“howdy, marilyn’s shampoo”) i’m used to that.

    6/10

    typical user profile
    lower end of teens. female. chavvy.
    this is a 100% bona fide, copied and pasted, queen’s english mangling profile blurb:

    hey lol wel im sylvi n i go ta grey hi!! im 13 n i liv n KUMARA!! yep i no haha iv got lotza gr8 m8eez dat i wuv lotz! i luuuv plaen netbal n swmn @ tha gud old race wif zeena valee aubyn n rubez! umm…. i hav a big bruva, jake n datz bowt al i can fink ov ta ryt haha um if uya no mee pleez ad me az a fwend coz i accidently deletd ma old bebo so i pwobly wont have ya az a fwend yet lolz wel fanx 4 luukn @ mi gr8 bebo!! xXx

    they are also big on this rediculous font that looks halfway between greek and elvish. and is completely impenitrable.

    кєєρ ιт яєαℓ αη∂ тнαтš α ρяσмιšє! ι мαу вє α вιт¢н вυт αт ℓєαšт ι`м нσηєšт! šσмє šαу ι`м α вιт¢н ; ωєℓℓ уєαн ι мαу вє вυт ι ∂ση`т яємємвєя αšкιηğ αηу σƒ уσυ нσєš тσ ℓιкє мє! ωнєη ι ωαℓк ву уσυ нαтєяš šтσρ η šтαяє! .. ωєℓℓ кєєρ σи ℓσσкιηğ ¢υz ι ∂ση`т ƒυ¢кιη ¢αяє!! ι ğσт му σωη ℓιƒє αη∂ му σωи šтуℓє! ι αιη`т тяуιη тσ ρℓєαšє уσυ σя мαкє уσυ šмιℓє!! уσυ нσєš ωαηηα нαтє . кησ¢к уσυяšєℓƒ συт вυт му ηαмє αιη`т “∂ι¢к” ; šσ кєєρ ιт συттα уσυя мσυтн =)

    3/10

    functionality
    really good. no downtime or errors for me yet and pages seem to load and scroll smoothly even when stuffed full of pointless widgets.
    has a nice ‘changes’ home pages which shows you all the new stuff added by your friends (customisable as to which items it shows) allowing you to see when people have updated without having to visit each page. the downside to this feature is that if you either
    a) accept friend requests from strangers with names like
    ★〃´`)
      ,·´ ¸,·´`)
     (¸,·´ (¸*★~〃sExy BEEatch~★〃~´`)
                     ,·´ ¸,·´`)
                    (¸,·´  (¸*

    or b) have friends who are twats
    your changes page will become so rammed full of their nonsense that it will be rendered pointless.
    i discovered this the hard way when i started making free skins for bebo. it’s great to be apreciated but 25 ‘lub yr skinz’ comments a day plus all the boob shots you can handle does not a happy marilyn make.
    i now have two profiles and have to admit that it was almost worth it just for the cleansing feeling of performing the friend cull on my first profile.

    9/10

    aesthetic
    very good. users can create their own skins very easily with a combination of minimal image editing and even more minimal css. this is tutorialised nicely on the site and is a very straightforward and hassle-free process to follow. users can then keep these skins for sole use or can submit them for other users to use for free. adding a free skin from within bebo is wonderfuly simple. you click on the skin, are shown a live preview and are asked if you want to use it or not. hey presto! like shooting fish in a barell.
    not quite wordpress, but it doesn’t need to be.

    7/10

    self-promotion
    decent if you are a graphic designer as you can exploit the skins-frenzy, not so hot otherwise. bebo has made a lot of noise about aiming services at authors and musicians but a combination of a pretty poor search functions and a surprising lack of googleability cripple it as a promotional tool. bebo can, for the moment, only really work as another arm of a promotional venture rather than as your sole site.

    3/10

    twiddly bits
    lots of widgets, gizmos and whoosits if that’s your bag. of particular note though is a rather nice feature that ties up with youtube offering an intuitive way to post videos to your page.
    the up/down side of the widgetness is that you are not allowed to embedd anything anywhere else in your page (no images or videos in blog posts for example)
    in one way this is shoddy but it does also prevent the site from decending into a craptastic hellpit of user embedded nonsense.
    the only major geek bugbear i have with bebo is it’s unfathomable lack of hyperlink support.
    currently you can only add links in this

    http://upload.bebo.com/Profile.jsp?PreviewSkinId=4290569956

    format rather than with a tidy text hperlink.
    and even more annoyingly they often truncate them to this sort of thing

    http://upload.bebo.com/Profile.jsp?PreviewS…

    giving you pretty much the worst of both worlds.

    8/10

    hookability

    not quite of youtube level, but i can easily loose a good few hours on bebo.

    7/10

MYSPACE

    basic ethos
    i’m not entirely sure it has one anymore, one of the first social networking sites to go truley global it does definately encourage the networking bit. reach out and make friends and all that. bit of a hodge podge though with no clear ‘authorial’ tone.

    3/10

    typical user profile
    upper teens/20’s. female. goff.
    the tits-out brigade are definately making a bid for top place but i think the emo/sceamo kids still have them beat.

    Ok push me and shave me give me black and blue bruisus, but in the end ur the 1 who loses. I am mistaken 4 I am being Forsaken. Comfusions,illusion is behind ever door 5,6,7,8 there for i will suffocate 9,10 I will ever speak again. I’ll shall cry 2 show my emotions and leave behind my oceans. I know why you watch me fall becasue i’m nothing at all, but thats not true i haven’t given you a clue. I’ll cast a spell were you shall fall to hell. You ran away when I needed you the most,show u a littie sign of my fright……do u know what just get out of my sight. For my soul is bind and no one can find. lying down in my bed like a lifeless doll with no worries, no cares, nothing at all……………………..?

    there are a lot of good bands and artists on myspace too though, you just have to hunt them down.

    6/10

    functionality
    gah.
    slow, painful and error-filled.
    so good you can join the petition…

    2/10

    aesthetic
    hell to look at. hell to design for. just hellish, really.
    i could go on about this at legnth but… i allready have.

    2/10

    self promotion
    this is where myspace really excells. the combination of popularity, google ranking and the ability to send bulletins makes myspace one of the worlds most important promotional tools. lord knows, it’s the only reason i have one.
    for bands it is simply essential – no ifs no buts.
    the importance of the ‘myspace effect’ is even being felt in as major areas as online retail. traffic analysts hitwise recently reported that myspace accounted for 2.53% of what hitwise calls “upstream visits” to shopping sites in the U.S.
    “upstream” visits are when a user clicks on something leading from one site to another, like reading a myspace user’s profile that mentions a site or a product and then visiting that product’s own site.

    i think the search funtionality needs overhauled (i always google) but other than that this is the key myspace strength area.

    9/10

    twiddly bits
    um… you can make a photo slideshow…

    joking apart myspace have been increasing their extras recently most notably with a very slick multi-folder photo album within which you can now arrange the order of the pictures.

    on the geek side the lack of javascript support and the myspace invented version of css makes it a bit of a disaster.

    2/10

    hookability
    i get in and out as quickly as i can.

    2/10

AND THE WINNER IS…

for me, it’s bebo.
it depends what you want out of a social networking site and i can’t knock the sheer reach of myspace but it’s just still too malformed for it be anything other than a necesarry evil in my life. i do get the feeling that tom and friends are starting to listen to the complaints though as there have been notable improvements in myspace over the last few month and i can’t help hoping that in a year or so it will be a much better place to be. it just seems to be taking baby steps to get there.
allthough there are things that irritate me about bebo so far i am finding it fun, quick, easy and fairly addictive to use.

closing marks

bebo: 43/70

myspace: 26/70

hmmm, i wonder if facebook is any good…?

speechless

Children’s charities have reacted with anger after a window cleaner who raped a girl of 10 was jailed for two years.
Keith Fenn, 24, will be free in four months after a judge said the girl, who was attacked in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, had appeared older.

The charity Kidscape accused Judge Julian Hall of “trying to find excuses” and said a child must never be blamed.

Attorney General Lord Goldsmith is to decide whether the sentence should be appealed against as “unduly lenient”.

Judge Hall had said that the sentencing had been the most difficult decision he had ever made, but the girl had appeared to be 16.

She was attacked by Fenn and an accomplice in a park in Henley-on-Thames on 14 October last year.

so it would have been fine if she was 16 and dressed sexy?

full article here

We know how we got this far. Strength and courage and a wonder bra

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the tail end of last night’s aforementioned t.v binge ended in the puerile delights of spiceworld the movie. i was a huge spice girls fan and – old enough to know better – even managed to catch them live just a mere day before geri fucked off.
almost the dictionary definition of the phrase ‘more than the sum of their parts’ it’s easy to forget the glorious, garish, pure pop, 24 hour pyjama party that was the spice machine.

so ladies and gentlemen, pre-WAG, pre-divorces,pre diets, babies and breakdowns…

ginger
sporty
scary
baby
posh


Continue reading “We know how we got this far. Strength and courage and a wonder bra”

watching too much tv will make us insane


    some vinatge evil edna

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    terrorist t.v by shampoo

television, like heat magazine, is similar to an open window in a boeing 747 – it sort of sucks you in against your will. i don’t have a t.v myself having decided several years ago that i no longer wanted one skulking in the corner of my living room daring me to watch hollyoaks for THE WHOLE OF A SUNDAY AFTERNOON. these days i live on a visual diet of lovefilm, alluc and youtube. ocassionally when the dvd player is being cranky, the streaming quality is shit or the episode of louis theroux that i want to watch is split into twelve annoyingly short segments i almost crack.
watching something shouldn’t be so hard, i think. technology should be smoother. maybe i’ll just get one of them little freeview stick things after all. that won’t be so bad. i’ll still only watch good t.v…
hah.
junky mentality. ‘i will be the one to tame this wicked beast!’
last night i was staying with a relative who foolishly left me alone with the sky t.v remote control for the night. in the space of an hour and a half i had watched an episode of wife swap, 20 minutes of big brother and – as i A.D.D-ishly channel hopped – chunks of nip/tuck, silent witness, hetty wainthrop, some hideous game show hosted by jimmy carr and one scene of american dreamz. this morning my brain is like swiss cheese.
i believe that ‘a little of what you fancy does you good’ so by denying myself the enjoyment of the baser end of entertainment am i just being an intellectual snob?. certainly there have been several critical debates of the ‘everything bad is good for you’ variety that we actually learn and develop culturally though these sort of programs – but it’s not really the individual shows themselves that trouble me.
( i have a an unabashed predeliction for ‘friends’ and have recently indulged in several episodes of ‘any dream will do’)
it’s the hypnotic soma-like role that a constant stream of multichanneled t.v can all too quickly take in your life that i fear. those fatal words ‘let’s just stick the telly on’ that so frequently result in coming ‘to’ 5 hours later – as though from a coma – having been staring blankly at ‘stars in their pet’s eyes’.
that’s not a real program but it probably is.
i’m not a terribly disciplined person, so like an alchoholic i have to accept that i could loose it to t.v at any moment. best just stay away all together.
i watch a lot of movies (one most days) and a fair amount of t.v series either on dvd or online but they are always things – however intellectual or otherwise – that i actually actively want to watch. i no longer just get sucked in. i used to watch 4 soap’s a week (5 if you count ‘as if’ !) and frankly i find that a bit terrifying. of course i spend huge amounts of time online and the usefulness of spending half an hour adding a bebo widget can only be questioned but somehow i just don’t feel so sullied by the experience. so much of modern t.v revolves around somewhat prurient revelling in the fucked up lives of others and in a way that is neither particularly enriching or educational. somehow bebo slideshows seem cheerful by comparison.
i also now have a particularly low threshold for the spectacle of advertising – t.v ads are so fast, loud, garish and unsubtle that they make me want to kill. a bit like timmy mallet on a sunday morning.
if you haven’t seen a t.v advert in a year they become strangely dystopian when you do.
well anyway, more power to those of you who can own a television and still manage to actually get anything done, it is the cultural crack of the 21st century and to quote super hans it’s ‘just so moreish’. i try not to be smug about my relative sobriety in the face of the reality empire but secretly i am quite horrified by the amount of telly people watch that they don’t even like. i mean really, why bother? in the word’s of that great 80’s institution of children’s television (ironically named in the way only a truly terrible kids show can be)

Why Don’t You (Just Switch Off Your Television Set and Go and Do Something Less Boring Instead?)

still, keep me away from the remote if i come to visit won’t you.

it’s not my space

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untill recently myspace only ever acknowledged the fact that you could alter your profiles with this laugh out loud obtuse bit of text on the help faq:

Adding color, graphics, and sound to your profile page is easy and requires only a basic knowledge of HTML (the programming language used to create web pages on the Internet). Simply go to “Edit Profile” and enter the desired HTML coding where appropriate.If you do not know HTML, you can reach out and make a new friend by asking someone who has color, graphics, and/or sound on their Profile page how they did it. People on MySpace are friendly and always willing to help, so just ask! This is a great way to meet new people!

occasionally i would go back and read it just to give myself a giggle. of course myspace was never intended to be customisable but unfortunately, unlike flickr or deviantArt, it was also violently ugly. for the longest time the good ship myspace has just shuffled it’s feet nervously and muttered the above you-can-but-we-won’t-tell-you-how whilst a virtual sea of profile generators, editors and hack sites have sprung up.
but finally the time has come. ah, the inevitable bell of progress tolls even through myspace… yes, they now have… an oficial profile editor!
oh my lord, i thought, finally they are embracing the user’s desire to make pretty, finally they will offer a tidy, official way for people to do it – perhaps even with valid css???

so.. um…

this is it folks…

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i think i laughed out loud for a good ten minutes. especially since the first beta launch didn’t work AT ALL on anything other than IE
beta? (i chortled on firefox) beta? it’s a fucking photo!
and you can only find it through google, it’s impossible to actually find on the site itself. i realise it’s still on trial – but it’s a bit like vogon planning permission isn’t it? i mean, why bother.

they are also now offering a support page for profile cutomisation. the header text is in comic sans. need i say more?

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oh yeah, and i’m pretty sure they’ve just gone to mygen or somesuch and nicked all their codes to make this shitty little effort.

my oh my oh myspace.

one more reason not to use internet explorer

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o.k, i’m behind here allready and i really want to do a huuuge post about this but i just don’t have the time right now. but for the moment let me just say:

leopard is going to kick arse – especially time machine and stacks

safari goes cross-platform!!! wowser – this makes me so happy. to be honest, i don’t give a toss if you use safari, firefox – or even opera – just please ditch IE!!!

stop teasing me with the iphone man! i want one so badly i can taste it

anyway, you can watch the whole keynote here if you’re that way inclined..