Wednesday, 27 February 2013

My Brother Has A Hero.

I'm going to start this post off by apologizing, I wanted to post more often, my plan was to post on Tuesdays and Thursdays but my body decided that it wanted to become really ill, to the point of quite nasty pain and me wondering if those cluster headaches were coming back. This, and I don't think you need me too tell you, is a rather unpleasant thought.

I'm still not totally over it, but now I have the power my Phone, the Internet and my Bed. You can make your own jokes. But don't feel sorry for me, because that gets none of us nowhere and you just end up wasting your energy.

Unlike myself, my little brother likes mornings. He wake up in the morning and floats out of bed, ready to take on the day. I get out of bed like something from a deranged Disney movie that went horribly wrong after the animators got high on acid, and died. When I stomped into the living room he was on the sofa, with one of my books, (Wonders Of The Universe by Professor Brian Cox.) I saw something wonderful, the universe invited him in, and in way said welcome to your new playground, in just the same way that it did for me when I read a book* about space which came with a CD-Rom and in the 90’s this was considered top of the line technology and awesome when you where 5 
The book that inspired my little brother. Thanks Professor Cox.

I’m sure that myself and my brother are not the first two people to be inspired by space, but for me, it puts into perspective because the universe doesn't really care who you are, it accepts and invites you in, you just need to open your eyes. 

There is a reason for this, we are the universe, and we are all connected. The atoms in your body are traceable to stars that went supernova and gave the dark void of space the building blocks of life, we are children of the universe, a fact which sadly some people are yet to comprehend.


*I can not remember the name of the book that first inspired me 15 years ago, but I do remember some details, and I really want to find it again. It was A4 size and about 50 pages, the front cover had a astronaut with a silver circle behind him, surrounded by The Space Shuttle, The ISS and a view other things here and there. However the thing that really stands out for me, is somewhere in the middle where the book where there is a two page spread about the end of the suns life, on that page was an image of what the sun would look like when it expands, and it is being viewed from earth by a boy and golden retriever in middle of a field. I would love to find this book again to show my brother.               

Monday, 18 February 2013

In Summly, I'm Feedly My Current FlipBoard While Checking My Pulse

For today's blog post, I thought that I would do something a little bit different. So I am going to review some apps. I've decided that I am going to review feeders. It made sense, I am moving into journalism and I want to be able to access the latest news from as many different organisations as possible.

Google Currents

The first app I tried was Google Currents. Straight away I logged in to my Google account (the dark overlord that tracks our porn) and the blogs that I was subscribed to were there, also quite a few suggestions for other feeds, I very easily add what felt like a million feeds.
The design is very clean and professional, it feels like an app that I can use in the office and the boss won't be over my shoulder every five minutes, however (and this is a personal choice) I don't like that I have to swipe while I am reading the article to read more, not a lot of info is put onto the page.
All said and done, it does do what it says on the tin, it's not a bad app


Imagine if you will, the new guy in the office who is young and talented but in a few months time his soul will be crushed by the corporate snakes and he will lose faith in humanity. Feedly is like that new guy, before the soul crushing. Feedly has a much better layout and design then currents and it is quite easy to find what you are looking for.
Under the bonnet there are a few good options to customize the app to your liking. Feedly follows the rule of content is king, the colorful designs are there, but they are hidden in the menus, to allow for more space for the feeds that you want to read. I also like the fact that YouTube videos are embedded into the app, although I would like to be able to sign in to my YouTube account to view my subscription.


I like things that are flippy, FlipBoard satisfies that need. The child in me spent about 10 minutes messing with the animation. They have clearly thought about the design although personally I don't like drawstring used to access the search menu. 
I like that I can connect to my Twitter and Facebook accounts, however I do wish that I could update my accounts from the app, also the Facebook annoying only shows ten updates at a time and takes a good minute or so to download more and one of my friends post takes up a whole screen, there is miles of space that the app wastes. However the bigger design suits twitter and makes it more visually pleasing, however it is not practical for what twitter was designed for. I do wish that i could update my timeline or twitter feed from the app.


Pulse could have been really good, it has been let down by it design, the main page looks as if it has been copied from the BBC News app, the only difference is that it has been painted black instead of red. The rest feels soulless and devoid of life and passion. However it does load that content quickly.
But then we get to Facebook integration, it not automatically there, (I signed in with my Facebook account) you have to search for the feed and then add it to your contents, but once you've done that, it will only let you view posts that have links on them, which to me devoid the point of the whole feed.


Let's start with the good points, visually it is the design equivalent of the best XXX rated app porn, you can also search for content by keywords, so you can find news on certain subject or in a certain area of the world. But it takes forever to update and I think that there are far to many swipe commands. 
It also crashed three times during the first start up and twice again during my testing. I really want Summly to be good, I used to have it, before the October update, and I really hoped that it was improved. Sadly it wasn't.

For me it's between Currents and Feedly, they are designed and easy to use, although Feedly is slightly deeper than Currents. The both follow the rule of content is king and don't distract the reading experience with bells and whistles. I think Feedly swings the balance into its favor, but I would love to see social interaction in the form of Facebook, Twitter and other social networks like LinkedIn and Google+.

How did I do on my first app review? Do you agree with my verdict? Did I miss any good apps? Should I do another post like this? If so, how can I make it better?

Follow me on twitter @tomnnedsmore

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

I'm In Tesco Again, Perhaps I Do Like Horse.

Incase your interested, I'm shopping for food, but this time I'm doing it with my very little brother, who of course like every ten year old wanted to go straight to the sweet isle. He is actually quite well behaved, so as a treat, I said that he could get a packet of cookies (ok I wanted cookies as well, don't judge me alright.)

It didn't take him long to find the ones that he wanted, but before he got them, he turned around and said (in quite a cute and slightly adorable way) can I have these ones? I of course said yes.

At the same time a little girl wanted cookies, however her parents said no but the little girl took the yes that was intended for my brother and accepted it as if it was for her. As fast as lighting she took a packet of cookies and like sonic the hedgehog she put them into her parent trolley with out the slight throught for how many land speed records that she was braking. For the next twenty minutes, all I could hear in the store was: "MUM I WANT COOKIES!!!!."

To the parents of the rather loud child in Tesco, I can only apologise.

P.S. I was going to post yesterday, however a mixture of Professor Brain Cox and Discovering Downton Abbey on Netflix meant that I spent my Sunday relaxing and enjoying myself, instead of blogging. For that, I can only apologise.

P.P.S. I have also found my old copy of Pokemon Blue.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Choosing My Life

I was sixteen, and I had a grand plan, I was going to be an actor. I wanted to take to stage and dramatically rock the world. I was going to do Performing Arts at College and then go on to one of the big drama schools in the country, glide through the course, star wowing the critics and be having tea with Sir Patrick Stewart by the time I'm 26. Isn't it strange how life throws you a curve-ball.

I don't want to be a actor anymore, I did acting for five years and I have just grown disfranchised with the acting world, for me it has lost it's magic and I have lost my 'mojo.' When I was fifteen, every play was compatible to the greatest thrill ride, now they are just plays. Before I discovered I could act (apparently) I want to be two things; A journalist and an Astrophysicist, in fact I was an award winner in 2008 as a part of BBC School Report. I remember going with the other three members of our group (I think we were the smallest group) and standing in awe at how many big names in journalism were at the ceremony (i.e Jake Humphrey, Adam Fleming, Huw Edwards.) The ceremony went along without incident, afterwards there was food and a chance for everyone to mingle. What surprised me was that there was that there was no egotism, there was just a mutual respect across the room. Then Jake Humphrey (Legend) cam over to our table and said well done to us, he then asked who created the report that played just before we went up to collect our award, everyone else on the table pointed to me. Jake Humphrey, my hero, wants to talk to me.
overly, attached, girlfriend, laina, walker, from, meme, to, tv, presenter, ,
When Jake Humphrey wanted to talk to me, this was my face.
As it turns out, and much to my relief  he didn't kill me. In fact he was impressed with the report he heard and just wanted to talk to me. We chatted of about ten minuets he was incredibly charming, respectful and witty. He talked to me like I was an adult, (i'm 15 at the time) like I was the guy he saw every day at the office. I never felt more respected, the same goes for when I met Adam Fleming and then Huw Edwards (Hue did have to run off to do a bulletin but he came back, he didn't have too)
I had never felt so accepted by so many people, I felt like journalism is where I belonged, so why the heck did I do performing arts? 

So i'm going something about it, I am now working with ShoutoutUK. Its only early days right now but I am so happy to back where I feel I belong. 

Twitter: @Shoutout_UK

Personal Twitter @tomneedmore 

This post was inspired by a post that Aisling Gallagher wrote, her full blog twoshadesofhope can be found here

Thursday, 7 February 2013

A Blog Post In Tesco.

I've noticed something about my blogging, I do most of it in tesco. I wonder why?

A good thing has happened since my last post, (the story one) I have finally got insurance on my car. I am a free man.

The world is open for business, but I have no idea what to do first, I don't mean career, that sorted out, in a few months time I will be at the bottom of a ladder that I want to climb, rather then halfway up one I don't want to climb. What I mean is sitting in the house is boring, I want to do something now, something that is worth me filling up my tank.

Below is an image of my now organised bookcase.