Friday, July 17, 2009

New Chapters?

I am hoping today will mark a significant watershed.

After a pretty dire few months, my Mum seems to settling into her new nursing home, and today I go over to her cottage to put the finishing touches to it in anticipation of our first tenant in residence to help us pay for her care.

And, hopefully, one major distraction ticked off a list that has been preoccupying a male mind that does not handle multi-tasking well.

So I can get back, if not refreshed, but more refocused, on and RE:tie.

For the former there is more good news.

As I have been dotting in and out on more personal matters, I have been liaising with David of sound-i, who took over the site from the original designers a few years ago, and have been looking after and/or evolving it ever since.

This has not always been easy. What was, once, state of the art, is now more of being in a bit of a state, with creeping glitches (often as a consequence of new, or updated features clashing - it's a zoo back there) and features that are/were frankly pretty dated.

Well, tempting providence on the glitches, we have upgraded some key ones, mainly in the Ideas section, that I hope will solve a few issues and add welcome new functionality to the site experience.

These are:

Ideas - URL checker in description box with warning message - People have been trying to add URLs in the ideas box, and why not? Nothing like showing a reference. Trouble is, it has been crashing the system. Now there is a warning.... AND... better than that...:

Ideas - 3 x new url fields for adding links (and added to idea display) - so if you do wish to cite URLS you can add up to three of them here.

Ideas Preview amended to show new fields - Once you have uploaded, this new data will be shown too

Ideas Image upload now fixed and solid (no more errors), includes progress bar for large images - Uploading images was causing all sorts of issues, and large files were timing out. This was causing a crash. Not only does this now show status, but...

Ideas Images are now automatically resized on upload so you can upload a 2mb 1500x1500 pixel if you want and it auto resizes to max of 200x200, also maintains aspect ratio and optimises it for speed - OK, it's old school to most, but for us it is a huge step forward and hopefully a real help to posters.

'Delete Stuff' in the 'Edit My Stuff' edit of My Junkk now resurrected - this was crashing a lot. With luck, now fixed. So you can remove what is taken/dated/now embarrassing:)

They will, all things working out, kick in early next week after a bit of weekend testing and downtime to swap sites and servers.

I am also hoping that I can coincide this with the (mid-late) July newsletter and an invitation to tackle the competition, as there is extra stuff to help post ideas.

We're also working on new features all the time, so do let us know if anything will help and we'll see what we can do.

Go Figure

I don't usually 'do' politics here, but I must say this caught my eye.

Only a few hours ago I was watching BBC lunch news with much gush on the 400k jobs in 'green' industries, and then I read this....

Miliband promises more green jobs but Vestas wind turbine plant is closing

Now there may be all sorts of nuances behind the optimism of one and the facts of the other, but something is really struggling to add up here.

And another nail in the coffin of Ministerial 'R&R' rhetoric vs. reality? And another reason to wonder just what some of our media actually does these days bar churning out press releases from Whitehall.

I was going to say we deserve more honesty from our pols, but really that is a boat that has sailed, been holed, sunk and is now at the bottom of the Marinas Trench.

Daily Politics - Green shoots and wind turbines -

Telegraph - NEW - Miliband's brilliant plan to combat climate change: 'We'll export unicorns to China' - using the pejoratives, I'd say the 'denier'/'warmist' ratio here is about 20:1 (on the Guardian it is reversed - go figure. I'd say Mr. Delingpole and Monbiot could be hired to remake the 'When Two Tribes Go To War' FrankieGTH video), so there is no point joining in. And again, verifiable facts are thin on the ground, so we are in the realms of conviction and hyperbole. But I was interested in the claimed job loss stat in Spain. Just as matter cannot be created or destroyed, it is often the case that a job in one area results with a loss in another. And this government seems very poor at thinking in... well, just thinking.