Friday, 30 March 2012

sandwiched between meetings

Untitled
My 40 miles a week cycling plan took a nosedive this week because of being hotelled away in Cardiff and then briefly via home and back to Bristol on Friday. By Friday I'd done all of 8.5 miles. In truth I am well ahead of my 'average miles', with the previous three weeks being about 435 miles, so strictly speaking I'm still ahead of plan.

Then a good result on Friday was the last meeting of the week set as a conference call by phone, which my colleague and I took from my house.

There was a good sense of accomplishment as we finished and I commented that I didn't even need to go back home. In the heat of meetings I'd sort of forgotten I'd already driven to Bristol and back that day and we'd even eaten sandwiches in the car in a motorway services on the M4.

But the good result was I now had an early finish and could click up another 20 or so miles leaving about a dozen for Saturday.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

in which I am offered large quantities of Italian PVC

PVC structure example To optimise logistics for the run on Sunday, I'd turned up with just the running clothes, tee shirt, shorts, nothing to carry. The shorts also only had one of those inside pockets about big enough for a phone or a couple of credit cards. I'd put my car key in it wrapped around with a banknote.

I'd also got plans after the run and had strategically positioned my car, with some extra clothes and a bike in the boot, in one of the streets just behind the Houses of Parliament - about half a mile from where the run had taken place.

So after the run, I'd headed back to the car with my bottle of water and my number still pinned to my slightly comic tee-shirt.

I was actually sitting in the car drinking the rest of the water when someone pulled up alongside me in a blue car.

"How do I get to Heathrow?" he asked.

"Turn right at the end of the street onto the Embankment, follow the road along by the river and look for signs A4 and the M4," I replied.

"A4, M4," he repeated, "Are you Italian?"

"Strange," I thought.

"I am from Milan," he continued through the wound down window, "I have just been to a fashion show in London and have some samples that I don't want to take back to Italy. I have to pay extra baggage charges. I'm in the fashion business and would like to give them to you as a gift."

He started to reverse his little blue hire car into the space behind mine.

"Oh yes," I thought, "I haven't heard that one before."

I mused about whether to drive away or let it run. I decided to see what would happen next.

He opened the door to his car and showed me the pile of new clothes. They all had 'Sample' written on their cardboard labels. There were leather coats and suits with the pockets elaborately stitched closed, like you see in more upmarket stores.

The thing is, I've been down this path before. Some places I've worked have whole economies built on fake products. In other places, like Canal Street in New York, it's almost sport. The fancy watch I had for three years until the battery ran down was from a car park when I was on the way back from an airport.

So when the guy started to use words like 'Armani' and the goods had words like 'Emporio' on them, I was convinced it was a scam.

Maybe I'd let it runs few minutes longer, until I'd finished drinking my water.

"Here, my friend, have this and this and this and this, for free to help me reduce my baggage. I get all of this given to me but it's no use because I'm in the business."

He'd been placing jackets and suits into a big carrier bag. They all had Italian logos on them.

"Thank you but I'm sure this isn't necessary," I started to say, whilst thinking when's the big question...

"My friend, these are all free for you, I just ask one small thing."

Here it comes

"My son, it is his birthday, he is eighteen," He wrote the numbers 1 and 8 on the side of the car for effect. "It is his birthday when I get back to Milan, I just ask that you give me something so that I can buy him a present at Heathrow. Look I will put these items into your car."

I was thinking it was enough. I'd seen how it worked. I'd pointed out that I was just back from a run.

"Er, I don't have any money," I said.

"Not a problem," he replied, "you have cards?"

Yeah right.

"No," I explained quite truthfully,"I don't have any cards in my running clothes. I just carry a very small amount of money." (Quite true - my cards were elsewhere).

I saw his slightly crestfallen look and him starting to rebalance the items he'd been willing to donate to me.

"Look, I have this very small amount of money - that's it"

He looked at me and I saw him register properly that I was wearing running clothes, a number pinned to my front and a ribbon with a medal around my neck. I honestly think he decided to fold.

"Here," he said, "I'll take this," as he took the note from my hand and handed me the carrier bag full of jackets.

I waited to embrace the aroma of free monomers.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

a short run in the park

Sport Relief before the Start in the Mall
Like many, when I volunteered for Sport Relief today, I'd forgotten the change of clock times. I still somehow managed to be in the right place early enough to notice an early chill on my arms.

Soon forgotten as I turned the corner into Horseguards Parade. Crowds of people were already forming and after I'd pinned my number I moved towards the funnel ready for the start.

I'd donned the official tee-shirt with its big red logo and those red Union Jack socks, but there were plenty of Supermen, ballerinas, Spidermen, hirsute Barbie dolls, running club athletes with stop watches and family groups, including a pram and a push-chair.

Then a chance to spot a few celebrity runners and join the warm-up routines before our 'Wave A' were dispatched into the Mall.

It was only when we were running that I really got a sense of the numbers. I could see the part where the route folded back on itself, initially empty, but soon filling so that by the time I was on that section we had a solid block of runners in both directions. There were plenty of different running speeds, and I think my most memorable 'being overtaken moment' was when a huge SpongeBob SquarePants raced past me.

Of course we were running past famous landmarks like Buckingham Palace, but that aspect somehow blurred into the main experience; it was more about seeing the people than the sights.

And then, rather quickly, the finish came into view and apart nearly tripping over a marker cone, I was over the line and being offered a bottle of water. A few seconds later, a medal. A thoroughly entertaining way to raise money for a great cause as well as acquire a couple of minor new aches.

Friday, 23 March 2012

experimental replacement of the mac mini with a mac tv

television3
For several years I've had a Mac mini connected to the big television to provide a range of services like music and iPlayer as well as big screen internet browsing.

I recently decided to swap it out for an Apple TV to compare the capabilities. Actually, I've been pleasantly surprised. The Apple TV is a very small black box and only needs power and an HDMI connection to the television. It then provides menus for music, videos, access to the iTunes library, Netflix video on demand, iCloud, flickr browsing, Youtube, and a few more.

I'd separately discovered that the ethernet connection on the back of the Sky+ HD box can provide Sky+ Anytime without needing Sky broadband, so that has given an ITV catchup player service as well as various Sky catchup services direct from Sky.

The combination of the two means that there's an insane amount of extra films and television series to watch, alongside the normal channels and music.

The gap in all of this is that iPlayer, ITV Player and 4OD are missing, presumably for commercial reasons. This is easily fixed by beaming them to the Apple TV via AirPlay. My iPad is one of the early ones and the Apple small print implied that this wouldn't work.

In practice all three of the iPad player Apps support AirPlay. Simply double click the iPad Home button to set up the routing and beam their television stream direct to the Apple TV.

Now it's all set up I suppose I should watch some television.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

can we talk about this?

can we talk about this
I'm pleased I managed to see the DV8 production 'Can we talk about this?' which is running at the National Theatre. I've known about DV8 for years - since friend Wendy was in the company.

The current work is an intense and political piece. It discusses the liberal secular support for multiculturalism. It discusses whether the UK establishment confuses acceptance of multiracialism for support of different and sometimes severely oppressive cultural values.

The whole piece uses verbatim transcripts to describe the last 30 or so years of Islam situations in the West and mainly the UK.

There's the Bradford headmaster who criticised multiculturalism in 1985, the Rushdie Satanic Verses, the Danish cartoon, Jeremy Paxman interviewing an extremist, Ann Cryer on forced marriages and many others. DV8 is a physical theatre troupe where the vocalisation now operates on an equal basis to the moves.

It's pretty unremitting as well. Jagged moves accompany the spiked words from Establishment forces, Islamists and Muslims. The words are not new, they've all been said over the last few decades, but the messaging is still strong. Do we allow the envelope of acceptance of others' values to condone hatred, fundamentalism and intolerance?

Part way through the show someone from the audience jumps up and throws something at the stage before storming off. There's a pause in the action, a technician sweeps something from the floor and the show resumes. As a counterpoint it's very strong and has me thinking along some parallels during the next scene. I'm sure its designed that way, and very effective.

There's clearly much research in the way the whole piece is constructed and those who spend time on the topics will be able to take the debate much further than the 80 minutes allowed. It's still a powerful way to approach the topic and register some of the baseline points.

And it does demand to be talked about.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

free uk budget analysis

budget headline
I was going to write about the brilliant challenging show at the National Theatre today, but the combination of the budget and Sailor Jerry rum got the best of me, so it's a Lundun post instead. Actually I half wrote the other post but it can wait for another day. See the show though.

It was the commentary in the freebee Stannit that made me change course. Osborne has waved his red bag and new taxes have appeared. The Evening Standard was fast from the gate and profiled some Londoners. The free newspaper's analytics were a sharp contrast with seeing a show at a theatre often referred to as somewhat left of centre.

First up, the stamp duty change. House worth over £2m? So its 7% stamp duty now. That's another forty grand in tax. Next page - Let's profile a young professional - Caroline - turnover £1.6m p.a. Many of her clients are impacted by the 50% tax band. Now 45%, so every little helps.

I'll skip the rest of that page which then deals with high earners and move to the next one, which describes the more modest turnover families of £300k. They seem worried about petrol prices.

I suppose we all have our problems.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

i lose again at the supermarket

Dickens of an old £10 note I've decided I'm not a very good supermarket shopper. Apart from being magnetically drawn to the impulse buy bins, especially when they are bright orange, I don't seem to ever get the 'You've won' coupons at the end of the shop.

During the week I'll use a local top-up store but then at the weekend it'll be one of the bigger stores for bulkier items.

If I go to the big store I usually get a couple of extra tokens. One says 'get money off by shopping online' and the other one tells me if I'm a winner or a loser that particular week.

A winner would be if I'd some how managed to save money compared with buying the same brands elsewhere. I think my best 'win' has been about 72p, which on a shop of say £100 would be about 0.7%.

Most times though, the coupon says something that amounts to,"You didn't do very well this time; we managed to charge you more than other shops in the area. Use the coupon next time to save money."

It took me several goes to even realise that the coupons could be redeemed. And even longer to notice that they only had a two week life span. The first £10 voucher* therefore was already invalid. The next couple of circa £2 vouchers got lost. Today its another £2.52.

I'm sure the marketing department have determined this is good practice, to somehow instil loyalty. I can't help thinking that they've just issued me with a note saying they've overcharged me. savings My picture of a £10 note is a replica of the already replaced Charles Dickens edition. It's more Darwinian now.

Friday, 16 March 2012

are grouting colours named after eyeshadows?

starting the bathroom project
A few days on and the bathroom project is making some progress. There's been plenty of ripping out at the start and another good skipsworth of junk on the front drive. I've designated next Tuesday to get it removed.

Meantime I'm wondering about the pipes that will need to take an excursion through the back of one of our wardrobes. I've always wondered what that red tap did that's in the cupboard.

For the moment the barely remaining space in the garage is taken up with a new bath and a rather large quantity of plasterboard and tiles. Ooops, and a wrong shaped shower head. Its supposed to be round its turned up square.

Then there's still some important decisions to make about whether the grouting should be antracita, manhattan or gris. It all sounds very eyeshadow to me.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

squeezing TSS and IF metrics from the Garmin

TSS and IF Reference Charts
Thursday evening I was out for an agreeable supper in a fancy restaurant. It's another one of the times when I've not got around to posting anything to the blog, but it does open a slot for me to back-post in a handy reference table.

The handy reference table is for the general opposite of what I was doing Thursday evening. Eating duck egg amuse bouche followed by courses that could have ended with a serious amount of chocolate (except I managed to side-step the pudding).

So my handy reference table comes courtesy of an article by two wheel blogs about cycling.

Some might know I've set up my bike with a gadget that stores various metrics that can be uploaded to spreadsheets and the internet. There's all the usual stuff about speed, pedalling rate and calories, but I thought it would be interesting to try out the extra measures (I'd call them proxy metrics) that show (a) how demanding a particular ride is and (b) what state it's left me in. I've been using trainingpeaks.com for this.

There's a measure called Intensity Factor (IF) as a way to show the difficulty of a particular session and the Training Stress Score (TSS) relates to the personal impact it will have and how long to recover.

There's loads of cleverness around all of this, but I'm more interested in figuring out whether one ride I do is measurably more demanding than another. One way I tell is by how clammy I feel by the end, but I thought it would be fun to play around with the numbers too.

Hence the simple ready reckoner, which gives me a sense of what is happening.

I thought I'd also post my current plots from when I started the current measures in January.
Performance Chart TSS and IF
It shows that I could ride a fairly short distance and it would seem like a fairly 'intense' ride. Through January the perceived intensity of individual rides started to lessen (see the blue dots dropping), presumably as I got more used to what I was doing. The actual loading of the rides varied somewhat (the red dots for each ride), but were mainly within a middle band.

The most interesting line is the blue one which is gently rising. That's supposed to be my general bicycling fitness, which does seem to be going up. Empirically that also seem to be the case because as an example I did around 18 miles this morning with relative ease. I'd have been spluttering a bit more a few weeks ago when I did this.

The pink dip in the middle of the range is a week when I was away somewhere and didn't do any cycling at all. It shows my residual degree of fatigue dropping until I restarted (it soon gets back to the same level though).

I'm doing this for fun, and don't necessarily have the charting model very well calibrated at the moment, but it sort of feels as if its saying the right kind of things.

I've also separately noticed that except for weekends I seldom cycle for more than an hour in one go. I'm thinking I should tip over the hour in the week now the weather and hours of daylight are improving.

If I can get it working properly I'll probably post an update, because rather than just counting miles and calories, this has some interesting potential.

For fans of detail, the amuse bouche evening is the second red/blue dot pair from the right hand end of the x-axis. Oops, do I see a small dip afterwards?

Sunday, 11 March 2012

it was a dark and stormy night

empty bathroom
It's been quiet project in the background, up until now. Moving stuff out of the bathroom, ahead of redecoration.

Well, replacement, actually.

Ever since that time the bath overflowed and the ceiling below developed rivulets of water, it's been on the list.

There's a sort of frieze running around the walls, which has been painstakingly repaired with Pritt-stik and then Blu-tac at different times. The cupboard contained some potions from around 2003, which would probably have caused all manner of lively side-effects.

There was a mock cup-cake fizz-bomb in one of the cupboards which rather disappointingly became an orange shiny disk when dropped into some bath water. It was okay, but I suspect one of the magic ingredients had somehow decayed.

Then there's the loo-seat that suffered an unfortunate collapse when a friend was staying. We never did get to the bottom of it. The replacement, manufactured in Turkey, was hastily bought from a local shop and has never matched the rest of the room.

The squeaking yellow rubber ducks have been packed into a temporary crate, but I do expect them to resurface at some point after the bathtub has been replaced. It's probably also time for the swirly ceiling to go.

There's still things to decide too. Some of the tiling needs to match a new kind of wall colour. Then there's the mirror. Should it be hotel huge or something with interesting edges? Decisions...

Whilst this work proceeds, I shall try not to join the great unwashed.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

growing younger

malbec
Sitting in a wine bar with a friend. We were sharing a bottle of something red. From Argentina. Malbec, from Adrianna's vineyard. Slightly more expensive than we'd intended, but we'd split the tab at the end.

And chatting, of course.

We're both people who have adapted our lifestyles. Set up our companies, re-jigged our ways of working. Creating our own agendas. He put it well.

"If I'd stayed doing the same thing in two years I'd have grown two years older a day at a time. This way I get to grow a day younger each day."

There is fun going forward.

Friday, 9 March 2012

don't look back in anger

our friends in the north
A last minute decision as I left home for my travels this week was to slip a DVD into my bag. It was a loose one from a box set, in one of those thin plastic space saving wallets.

It was the first three episodes of the 1996 Peter Flannery's 'Our Friends in the North' which we seem to have as a box set but I'd never got around to watching.

Well, not since it was first screened on BBC television back in the 1990s.

The original screening was one of those 'imprint' type series where you feel like you've lived it by the end. Like looking at the cover of Sergeant Pepper is almost enough to recreate the sensation of listening to the album (even as I type it I can hear the opening track). There's a cliché about 'unforgettable', but it does sometimes genuinely apply.

That's probably why the DVD had languished shamefully unwatched at the back of the cupboard. I now can safely report it is still as great to watch today as it was when it was made. What's also interesting is the 'different things I know' between the first time I watched it and now.

It is set across the decades from the 1960s to the 1990s, tracking four friends whose lives intersect mainly around Newcastle plus some story lines that drift into the Soho area of London. It's a story of England as much as a story of the friends.

It covers city hall corruption, sleaze, three day working weeks, rock 'n roll, property backhanders, a dodgy Metropolitan police force, politics, miners' strikes and more. That's the backdrop against which the characters engage and the related front stories of their intertwined relationships play out.

There's Daniel Craig playing a loose cannon Geordie, Christopher Ecclestone as the idealist Nicky seeking a better future, Gina McKee whose Mary falls into a fractured marriage with Mark Strong's failed musician the womanising Tosker. The rest of the cast provide authentic supporting roles as the story unfolds.

The whole series is nine episodes, lasting about ten and a half hours, I've had to stop the world for a little while to watch them again, in just three sittings.

I wondered if the memorable close to the series would still work. It does.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

a speedy day in Wales

cardiff dragon
A quick visit to Wales for some meetings. Cardiff for a day that was one of those blurs of whizzing around office blocks and meeting rooms.

So I learnt a new word for elevator - the Welsh word 'lifti' although I can't remember the Welsh words for 'up' and 'down'.

I might not have had much time for a look around, but I did spot a few red dragons.

Monday, 5 March 2012

musing on everything's amazing and nobody's happy

apache trail
Some videos arrived to add to the bike turbo. It's a mix of routes with scenery and simulated gradients. Hmm, hamster wheel springs to mind?

I've loaded the first one onto the computer but it's taking about an hour to copy everything from the DVD onto the hard disk.

There's a few things to remark upon here. The PC I'm using is the inexpensive one I bought in supermarket with the groceries. It's connected to the internet via wi-fi broadcast from the house. The bike is connected to the same PC via ANT +. The DVD has control signals that can tell the bike where it is on the video and set the resistance/gradient accordingly.

The video gives a selection of routes including the Arizona desert, some pretty French villages in the Dordogne and a route around some French mountains.

So, having listened to that old and funny Louis CK clip on Conan O'Brien talking about technology nowadays, I thought it's best to back off from being irritated about the long load time of the software.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Testing the TACX TTS4

TACX TTS 4 It was chucking it down with rain this morning which was something of a deterrent to bicycling.

I know, I should go out whatever the weather, but it seemed very cold as well and a day at complete odds with the sunshine of yesterday.

It gave me an excuse to try a ride using the bicycle turbo unit, which is my alternative to hitting the streets. I'd also recently ordered an updated training package to go with the TACX Booster unit.

The software is called TACX TTS 4 (no idea what it stands for) and it provide a way to get the readouts from the bike displayed directly onto the computer using the ANT+ protocol.

My bike already has a magnet on one of the rear spokes and another magnet on one of the pedals and a little radio sensor picks up the pedalling rate (cadence) and speed. Add a heart rate monitor and the main telemetry is all provided. The Garmin Edge 800 unit I have reads all of these signals and tracks my course using GPS when I'm out on the roads. It gives me speed, heart-rate, calories, cadence, amount climbed and a few other statistics.

The Tacx unit does a similar thing although it is designed to be stationary. The extra facility is that it will simulate terrain to make the ride easier or more difficult by applying an electronically controlled magnetic brake, either from the small control unit on the handlebars or via the PC.

Anyway, I loaded the new version of the software into the PC and restarted everything. Hooray - it worked immediately. The PC software found all of the various ANT+ readouts (I had to re-introduce it to the heart rate monitor) and then I was in business.

I tried a couple of the pre-programmed rides - firstly a simple 0.7% downhill slope for 6 miles to get used to the software. It worked fine. Then a small section of a French mountain pass - which had a decent video playback including oncoming cars and people standing looking over the edge of the river valley admiring the view. This was just a demo of less than a mile but ran quite smoothly.

There's also a facility to program in one's own circuits using google maps. Literally draw the circuit and then feed it into the TACX and Google earth will render a real-time playback. I've done this before on a previous version of the software but haven't yet figured out how to copy them across to this new release. I've previously recreated local courses that I've actually cycled (which works quite well - either uploading the exact co-ordinates collected from the Garmin or drawing them using Google) but it would be fun to do some other more exotic locations.

Next was a small circuit of an Italian virtual reality village. There were three scenarios to choose; a rugged downhill mountain bike area through woodland, a series of steep mountain rides and the one I chose (chicken!) which was called valleys. There were about half a dozen different valley rides pre-programmed and I looked for the one with the least steep profile - it was about 6 miles.

So I set off through the rolling countryside, with tractors mowing fields, birds tweeting and a flock of crows occasionaly swirling overhead. The ride became steep for a few minutes but was mainly flat as it meandered around a village, along a waterside front and then up a short hill before a few more loops to the finish.

Six miles in idyllic sunny Italian countryside.

I decided to look outside before maybe doing a further 15 or so miles.

The earlier rain had turned to snow.

I knew that the turbo made sense in certain conditions.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

in which i finally see The Artist

Artist
We were in Mayfair on Saturday evening and stopped off at the Curzon to see "The Artist". I know everyone else has seen it and it's won all of the prizes, but I was actually a little bit underwhelmed.

The lead actors were charming enough, the doggy was cute and the story was heavily signposted along the way with plenty of 'those bits' that you want to get from this type of film. It had clearly been made with some affection for the genre.

But I was waiting for it to add something, rather than being a very good copy with high fidelity music. Sure, there were a couple of scenes with (shock horror) sound, and some borrowed musical soundtrack too, but I couldn't help thinking I'd prefer to watch "Singin' in the rain" to get roughly this movie's plot line.

The other thing was the filming of the story. There was quite an art to some of the ways that people shot the old monochrome and I was expecting to see some of this in the film's tones. There's some of this done to good effect in the stills from the picture, but I felt that the main filming was fairly bland in nature rather than stylised - almost as if someone had just shot a colour film, desaturated it to a slight beige and then boosted the white on whoever was the star.

I know I'm in a minority here, but it isn't really a film I'd particularly want to see again, despite it winning so many awards.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Capital moment

capital I'm reading that John Lanchester novel called Capital at the moment. It's about people who live in a London street and how their lives are separate but intertwined.

I originally downloaded it from Amazon, after it came up as a plausible (to me) recommendation. That was before I noticed the huge marketing that the book seems to be getting, with a full back page advert in the newspaper the other day and an interview with Lanchester on Newsnight.

My motives were somewhat simpler for buying it, it was about London and originally I thought it was about an ordinary street called Pepys Road, which I imagined to be something like the North London Victorian Road I'd once lived in.

There's an immediate difference that this street's houses have all done rather well and are now worth silly money, despite the collection of 'all walks of life' characters assembled to drive the various plot lines.

There's Roger the banker, Freddy the (Senegalese) footballer. There's an anonymous artist and a corner shop run by the Kumars, sorry, the Kamals. Throw in a political refugee as a traffic warden and we almost have that card game complete. Who has got Zbigniew, the Polish plumber?

We had builders, postmen, teachers, the man who owned huskies, a Greek restaurant owner, a security alarm firm and shop assistants as neighbours in our version of the story. Before we got robbed. Twice. So we left.

I'm only part way through the novel at the moment but starting to get a feeling that the ensemble are there to play their relevant parts in a slightly predictable and caricatured way. A sort of distant pair of tweezers picking through scraps of humanity. Perhaps that is the point, but the background premise around London 'doing alright' despite the banking crisis and still the place people want to 'come to' rather than 'escape from' could be explored with more vigour.

It'll be a race against time for me now though, because such is the marketing and media interest that yesterday evening I heard it being advertised as next week's "Book at Bedtime" on Radio Four.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

revenge of the auto bots

gremln 1
There's been quite a bit in the news today about the new T&Cs for Google and the aggregation of some 70 different sets of conditions, spread across a whole raft of intertwined software.

I've previously wondered what happens as the marketplace consolidates down to a few main players and the degree to which various things overlap.

In my case there's been another system which has changed ownership/branding/software recently. Its called Twaitter and I used to use it to drive some robotic twittering based upon a few of the characters from my novel, "The Triangle".

So @trianglejake, @trianglebigsy, @chuckmanners and @triangleclare would send each other little messages on fairly long timer loops (measured in days, weeks and months).

And it sort of worked for the last couple of years. They all got followers (more than me in some cases) and I shipped a few copies of the book.

Of course, I could't resist a couple of extra characters just for fun - Mr Bubble @bubbleOoO - which just tweets strings of OOOooos and Mr Tic-Tac, which sends occasional updates on the number of tic-tacs being consumed.

I'd originally set them all up as experiments and they happily babbled away until recently.

"Twaitter is now Gremln."

Everything is supposed to have been transferred across seamlessly (anyone remember Haloscan?)

I can see the various ex twaitter accounts in Gremln.

I can even open the special new control panels.

But that's about it. I can't stop the messages, change them and some of Mr Bubble's are even appearing as if they have been generated by rashbre central - which to me is a sort of privacy infringement.

Don't let the cute little logos fool you, I suspect there is a missing letter in Gremln.
gremln 2