Sideswipe

A daily look at life's oddities by Ana Samways

Sideswipe: Aug 21: Failed windows update

Misplaced windows. Photo / Supplied
Misplaced windows. Photo / Supplied

Windows update FAIL.

Facebook baby blocker

There's a war going on out there between breeders and non-breeders and it's culminated in a tool which allows users to block all pictures of babies on Facebook. The browser Chrome offers Unbaby Me, which removes baby photos from your Facebook News Feed and replaces them with pictures of cats, dogs, bacon or whatever else you'd prefer to see, explains Techcrunch. "It works by searching for keywords that the developers reckon to be commonly used by gushing parents - words such as "adorable", "precious" and "angel" will all spring the browser extension into action."

Royal reminder wins award

The winner of the Historical Fiction section of the Bulwer-Lytton bad fiction contest is New Zealander Leslie Craven of Hataitai, who won with this fantastic line: "The 'clunk' of the guillotine blade's release reminded Marie Antoinette, quite briefly, of the sound of the wooden leg of her favourite manservant as he not-quite-silently crossed the polished floors of Versailles to bring her another tray of petit fours."

Water - owner wanted

"I don't know who owns the water in this puddle but I wish they would take it back," writes Jane Gray of Orewa. "Maybe Hone or Turia or maybe it was sucked up from the Red Sea and dumped on Victor Eaves Park in Orewa. We certainly don't want it. We have asked and asked the council to fix it but it has not happened. It does not take much of a brain to dig a trench and put some drainage coil in. The old Rodney District Council would have had it fixed by now ..."

Key among Twitter leaders

A PR company has completed the first global study of world leaders on Twitter. Twitplomacy shows the governments of almost two-thirds of the 193 UN member countries have a presence on Twitter: 45 per cent of the 264 accounts analysed are personal accounts of heads of state and government, but just 30 world leaders personally tweet - and very few on a regular basis. Many governments use Twitter as an automated news feed from their website or Facebook page. John Key is classified as "an early adopter", having set up his Twitter account in November 2008, five days before becoming Prime Minister. Although he has been shown sitting in front of a computer sending his first personal tweet, his staff do most of the tweeting on his account. According to the study, "the account presents a mix of official news from the Government website, his Key Notes newsletter, tweets from staff and occasional personal observations. The Prime Minister doesn't engage in conversations with followers. The account rarely retweets or @mentions other users and hasn't sent any @reply." (Study by public relations and communications firm Burson-Marsteller)

- NZ Herald

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