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Thom Shutt
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Thom Shutt

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Friend's new app
Plug one phone into your speakers and start a Hub. Any other phone can now ...
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Thom Shutt

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My birdwatching app for Android - "UK Birds" - is currently the 329th Top Paid App on the Google Play Store! 
Bird watching app containing photos and information for over 600 birds that...
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Made a new app - What Would Don Draper Do?
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Finally worked out how to get a T-Mobile Vivacity enabled for debugging Android apps on my Macbook:

1) Enable USB Debugging (in phone settings).
2) Plug in, turn on mass storage mode.
3) Unmount SD card from Macbook.
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I've always had problems with gedit loading extremely slowly on Windows machines to the point that I was contemplating going into the code and trying to work out why this was. Luckily I had a quick Google first and it turns out that the "File Browser Pane Plugin" is the culprit.

Disabling this allows the program to start almost instantaneously, which makes shipping with this plugin enabled as default seem like a strange choice, as it's something I assume most people wouldn't need to use anyway.
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The Rise Of Consumption

I know that one of the reasons +Robert Scoble is a fan of Google+ is that it engenders longer, more thought-out posts that Facebook or Twitter. While I do also enjoy this, I actually don't mind having that interleaved with shorter, "what I'm up to at the moment" FB/Twitter-esque updates. The people in my circles are there for a reason - either I know them personally or I'm interested in them in some way and so I generally enjoy these little insights.

What I have been noticing an increase in however, and the reason that I don't log into social networks as much as I used to, is the mindless consumption and regurgitation of content. Despite being quite conservative with the number of people I follow/circle/befriend, my streams on all networks are now cascades of "Check out this amazing article", "Look at this pic" etc.

This made sense for (and is the reason I've never much used) Twitter - it's hard to add much in 140 characters. It's more annoying (but still understandable) that I'm seeing it on Google+, which also uses the pyramid model of content creators at the top disseminating information down through a tree of followers.

What is surprising is that I'm now seeing it on Facebook. The traditional Hilarious Observational Comedy Moan has been about people broadcasting that they've just eaten or passed wind. As stated previously, I genuinely don't mind this - all the people I'm friends with on Facebook are there because I know them in real life, it only takes a few seconds to skim this type of update and if it gets too bad then I can always hide them from my feed.

What I'm finding now though is that people are posting very few personal updates and my stream is essentially photo albums and links to external content. I think that this is partly due to a rise in privacy concerns, with people becoming more self-aware and less comfortable with openness online, but it certainly seems like it's also part of a larger shift in the way we are choosing to consume rather than create content, evident both in software (the prevalence and ease of use of Like/+1/Retweet) and hardware (the rise of Smartphones/Tablets - devices largely designed for consumption). My problem with this is that it's a lot harder for me to perform a mental quality control check on "Check out this amazing article" than "Kirsty feels so lonely :(".

What is the solution to this?

I'm not sure. For one thing, this situation is obviously fine for many people, so rather than drastically altering the way things currently work, I want a solution that enables me to continue using social networks in the way I enjoy.

I'd initially thought that simply disabling hyperlinks and re-tweeting could work - the step of having to manually copy a URL from a post into the address bar is arduous enough that it removes the ease with which we can mindlessly click through a stream and hopefully provide enough overhead that it also takes away the impetus for the majority of linking.

Sometimes there is a genuine case to be made though for linking through to a particularly interesting article or set of photos - content sharing is an important part and one of the real benefits of (vomit) New Media, as it in theory turns distribution into more of a meritocracy.

A more advanced solution would be a way of splitting my Google+ streams into two modes:

(1) A place I can go to see non-linked (original) content.

(2) A 'reddit' of my Google+ streams - I can look in to see what the people in my circles are sharing and ideally rank it by how many of them are sharing a certain thing.

The only issue I can see here is an occasional grey area between the two - at what point has someone added enough insight alongside a link that it becomes interesting and original content in its own right?
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We need duplication removal. But I don't know of a good way to stop this using existing tools.
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Thom Shutt

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As if learning a new definition for Titman wasn't enough education for today, now this tasty morsel comes my way:
Stuart Langridge originally shared:
 
Just learned the best fact ever. The word "bear" actually means "the brown one", because long ago people were so scared of bears that they believed that speaking the actual word for bear out loud would make one appear and eat you, rather like the Candyman. And now we don't even know what the original word was, because everyone used the euphemism for so long that the real word was forgotten. It's like something out of a Neil Gaiman story.

If you do not right now have a compelling urge to learn the real word in order to try using it to summon a bear, then there is no hope for you.
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Thom Shutt

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New blog post - "How I got to #6 on the Google Play Store, and why I haven't bought a yacht yet." 
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Amazing.
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Hey Girl, What Would Ryan Gosling Do?
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I've just released my first app for Android (feedback welcome!):

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.thom.tweetspeak
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Spent the day writing a basic implementation of the Forrst API, with a view to using it in a couple of future projects. It's over at https://github.com/murdercitythom/Forrst-API-Java-Implementation
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Due to the current lack of a Mac client for Ubuntu One, I recently wrote a simple Java example to authenticate with Ubuntu SSO and recreate my Ubuntu One filesystem locally:

http://thomshutt.com/UbuntuOneTest/
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Have him in circles
49 people
Anastasia Zagrebina's profile photo
john malaney's profile photo
Charlie Burnett's profile photo
Dai Rees's profile photo
Max Holland's profile photo
Chandra Taposeea's profile photo
Kenneth Hite's profile photo
Nicola Emily Jane Brown's profile photo
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My name is Thom