What’s New for Christmas This Year In the Digital World?

Is an electronic, net-connected Furby new for Christmas for you?

Is an electronic, net-connected Furby new for Christmas for you?

Well, lots of things are new for this year’s Christmas, it seems in the digital era. We know about the biggest spending yet on so-called Black Friday, Cyber Monday Panic Saturday. But what is actually new?

For a start Amazon has introduced a new service they claim will take the hassle out of last minute scrambles. Now you can order online and collect five hours later for a mere £4.99.

That is, if you live close enough to one of the 550 designated newsagents, convenience stores, rail or tube stations to open a locker with an emailed code and grab the pre-ordered goodies up to 4pm on Christmas Eve. Read more…

Ten Top Tips Sites To Keep You Safe, Warm and Happy

Top tips can often seem like finger pointing

Top tips can often seem like finger pointing

Everyone apparently loves top tips. Searching the net, as you do when you want/need something not immediately to hand, I came across this ancient (2010) site: 10 top tips for removing a program that wont uninstall from TechRadar.

This, although being a bit behind the times, suggests various tricks to overcome loss of uninstall facility, including re-installing from scratch. It also suggests using the AppRemover if needed.

People need advice, let’s call that – Top Tips site Number 1 and go from there with nine useful others this side of Christmas.

Read more…

In Conversation with Tom Mackie, Landscape Photographer Extraordinaire



When internationally-acknowledged landscape photographer agreed to our request to be interviewed for MBF Blogs, I thought it would be just that, a question and answer session.

In fact, it turned out to be a far-ranging conversation, as he chatted about his work, techniques and we debated issues around photography.

On a day that turned out to be wet on a Biblical flood scale, I found his house in Norwich and was warmly welcomed in. Tom was just a few hours for a departure on a 17-day trip leading people on a photography exhibition into Italian mountains. His giving us time was very generous.

Read more…

Musical Barcode Tattoos Ought Not to Catch On, But They Just Might

Barcode tattoos that can play music are in tune with what?

Barcode tattoos that can play music are in tune with what?

We offer a Q&A from the web files of ‘you couldn’t make it up, but …’ barcode tattoos that might make a Christmas present for some of your more off-the-wall friends.

Katherine Brooks wrote on Huffington Post (Oct 2014) about Russian artist Dmitry Morozov, sometimes known as vtol who has created a barcode tattoo which produces music ‘when scanned with a special instrument.’

Called Reading My Body Vol 1, she styles it a ‘sound-meets-science feat.’ Others might have different names for it.

But it is an eight by three-inch long design ‘like a mysterious barcode on his forearm’ which when a machine slides over it, is ‘an eerie, cyborg-like machine, the design of which produces an avant-garde noise appealing to the most highbrow of listeners.’

Probably worth hearing for yourself now. Read more…