Since I rarely send postcards when on holiday, here’s a blog substitute (minus the handwritten font)…


You’ll probably get this after we’ve been back home several weeks! Having a wonderful time- we’ve seen a lot of this kind of thing:

Yes, blue sky! Oh, and ancient ruins, carefully put back together by markeologists. It’s amazing how big cities like Ephesus were, and slightly strange how they look today. It almost looks like a builders merchant in parts- not just rubble, stonework and rows of pillars, but piles of pipes as well!

It’s mind blowing just how much is just below the surface…

…or propped up in a corner (like the goddess of trainers!)…

I’ve no idea how the wooden horse fooled anyone; even with the windows closed the steps would be a dead giveaway!

(That horse is the same age as me and it’s been refurbished already! Yikes!)

And that’s why I don’t write postcards!!! It was a brilliant holiday though, and I’d definitely like to see more of Turkey if I get the chance. (More photo’s on facebook.)


Please recline carefully

We’ve just been on holiday in Turkey and while flying home we had another close encounter of the seat back in face kind. There do seem to be a minority of people who feel the need to fully recline their seat without warning the minute the plane has left the ground, and they invariably seem to be sat in front of me.

I was pondering the seat design during the flight and if I had a 3d printer, I’d be taking something like this with me on my next trip:

Not that I’m completely against reclining seats, but it would be nice to avoid a knee/nose bashing as the seat in-front wallops back out of the blue. A wedge might at least make a little negotiation necessary, since there doesn’t currently seem to be any etiquette for checking with the passenger behind first.

The next solution I dreamt up to solve the problem would require a tiny redesign of airline seats. All the reclining buttons would operate the chair in front, so no one would be able to recline their own seat without asking the person behind them! Ok, so there are a few flaws to this plan, for example it only works if there is someone in the seat behind, and there’s nothing to stop people reclining the seat in front for a laugh! I still like it though.

The best sensible solution I’ve come up with so far involves a bigger change to reclining mechanism. Instead of the seat moving backwards as it reclines, it should move forwards. Basically, it’s completely up to you if you want to recline, but you sacrifice some of your own leg room if you do. Anyone behind should be completely unaffected as the seat reclines. Simples. Except that it would need a new seat design, manufactures to use the new design and airlines to order a lot of new seats. So not exactly a short term fix.

While waiting for these new seats to appear in the air, here are a few other ideas:

  1. Take your own preventative measures using a wedge, a water bottle or a Knee Defender. I imagine this is a good recipe for air rage though, so possibly a tad risky.
  2. Don’t allow seats to recline at all. It would be easy for airlines to modify existing seats so that they don’t recline. Perhaps they could have reclining and non-reclining sections in the plane!
  3. Since some passengers don’t appear to have any concern for the person behind them, have more in-flight guidance/announcements on reclining seats, enforced by crew members. Not during meals, or only when cabin lights are dimmed maybe?
  4. DIY version of the above with a campaign for better seat etiquette. Judging by other posts I’ve found, this is something of a long shot unfortunately- still reading the comments on Mike’s Airplane Seat Etiquette!

I got a bit side tracked with http://www.online-sign.com/ to come up with an example sign for the last two of those. Might be fun to sick a few on some seat backs next time I fly!

Any others ideas?

Canteen Mash

Over lunch we were discussing how it would be handy to know whether a paycut would be covered by cost savings of a shorter commute. A mushup to do the calculation for you seemed pretty doable, and you could use the same thing to find out how much money you’d save working at home a couple of days a week. Oh yes, and the environment etc.!

Well, it seems that there are at least a couple of mashups already that do part of the job. Unfortunately both these examples are a bit US-centric and don’t take in to account PAYE (so now I’m being UK centric!) but they’re a good demonstration.

I also discovered that the OS now have an API! Looking through their FAQ, they (or more likely their lawyers) have some funny ideas about how the web works, but still, better than not supporting mashups at all.