Twitter spam and #squarespacefail

There are not a lot of things on the internet that irritate me more than spam. I go to great lengths to configure my email server to weed out the spam and only deliver the emails I want to receive. I can do this because I have control over the email server and the associated anti-spam systems.

Recently I have noticed a sharp rise in twitter spam. Squarespace, a blog (amongst other things) hosting company in the states recently announced they were to give away 30 new iPhones to people who included #squarespace in their tweets. This took off like wikd fire and at one point they were generating 170 mentions PER MINUTE! Well worth it from their point of view.

Unfortunately this campaign resulted in innocent bystanders getting flooded with tweets by desperate, greedy twitterers trying to get a free iPhone at the expense of pissing off the people who are following them.

My guess is in the next month or two we will see the major players in the twitter game producing 3rd party products to filter the spam from twitter. Seesmic Desktop and Tweetdeck would be where my money goes. Twitter is manic enough once you get enough people in your follow list, without having half of them generating veritable white noise.

I guess this was inevitable really. Every service that comes about (mass mail, email, sms etc) gets abused, and someone always fights back against it. It is just a bit sad that a form of communication which started out so simple will soon require plugins just to filter the wheat from the chaff.

There are two things I have learned from this. Firstly, that while this constant spamming is inevitable, where people get irritated there is usually a solution around the corner. Secondly, Squarespace will not be getting any of my money, ever.

New iPhone 3GS

So I have finally jumped on the bandwagon and purchased a 16Gb iPhone 3GS in black. Those of you that know me will already know I have become somewhat of an Apple “fanboy” ever since purchasing my Macbook Pro a year and a half ago. It was only a matter of time before I jumped on the iPhone bandwagon too.


Firstly I am ashamed to admit I was one of the first people the first person in line at the O2 store in Harrogate, waiting for the new iPhone. I got there at approximately 7:15am, hoping in the first instance to go to the Carphone Warehouse (who opened at 8), but only to be told by their manager they will not sell them on Pay & Go on launch day.

So, I trundled sprinted down to the O2 store, who opened at 9:02 (O2… gettit?!.. sad, I know!). I was so early that passing builders looked at me like I was some strange character with nowhere else to be. Little did they know I was a strange character who was WAITING FOR AN iPHONE!

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I got my iPhone then high-tailed it to work (another long story).

First impressions

My first impression of the phone is it feels very nice to hold, albeit a little on the smooth side which makes you feel as if you are always one slip away from dropping it. It does feel like it would not do to well in a phone vs pavement battle!

I have not owned an iPhone before, so some of the improvements were lost on me a little. 100% faster… err…ok, it feels quite fast, but I really don’t have a benchmark for that one. Copy and paste… did the previous model (or rather OS) REALLY not have that… Apple, you should hold your head in shame!

The activation process was pretty simple really, just plug it in and let iTunes do it’s thang! It sounds like it went a lot smoother over here than in the States, where people were waiting up to 48 hours for activation. One good thind about being ahead of the timezone race, I guess!

Killer Appz

The main reason I bought the iPhone is some of the apps that you can get for it, for free or for very little money. Surprisingly when I looked up most of the flagship apps that Apple features on their adverts the feedback was always very negative. The app that divvy’s up restaurant bills had one small bug… it couldn’t DIVIDE! Call me picky, but #AppFail on that one!

As my text usage is 99% international I wanted to find a way of sending texts via the Interweb. I found the solution, although it was a little tricky to setup. There is a better one which only runs on jailbroken phones, but as mine is not one of those, I settled for JellySMS.

It is a straight forward concept. You register an account with Clickatell, give it some credit, then hook up JellySMS to it. It works just as normal SMS would, it even pretends to be your number, so replies come to your phone. This could save a fortune on SMS bills. If you wanted to use your 100 free web texts from O2 (UK only) you can also register it to your O2 account!

There are a few TV guide apps that I like, the best so far is Tioti TX+. It is really easy to navigate and you can even record Sky+ on it. Damn… I was trying to find a reason to bin off my Sky+ and this has just given me a reason to keep it.

I haven’t had too much chance to pay games yet, but I had a quick go on copter (addictive) and Wolfenstein 3D (a blast fromthe past… literally!). Apparently the Tower Defense games are really good too, Field runners especially!

I won’t go into details about every app I have on there, but I will list them and you can feel free to ask questions:

  • The BMW Z4 game (had to be done!)
  • Tweetie (Twitter client)
  • Tweetdeck (another Twitter client)
  • AroundMe
  • Facebook
  • Google Earth
  • Evernote
  • Wimbledon (starts tomorrow)
  • F1 2009 (live stats etc)
  • iPint (really crap, but had to see it)
  • JellySMS
  • Remote (remote control your Mac itunes)
  • Skype
  • AIM
  • Copter
  • Dictionary
  • Dog Whistler (piss off the neighbors dog!)
  • ezShareLite
  • Flashlight (turns screen white… mmm)
  • Google App
  • Ebay
  • Handy Level
  • iTranslate
  • MultiConvert
  • News24
  • Sky News
  • RSS Runner
  • Paper toss (it’a a GAME!!)
  • Nearpics
  • Photobucket
  • Speed Test
  • Swine Flu Detector (dont ask!)
  • Tioti TV+
  • TVGuide
  • Translator
  • Whitenoise
  • GPSLite
  • POI Lite (speed cam alerts)
  • Truphone
  • Weather Maps
  • Wiki How
  • Wolfenstein
  • Sudoku

Blimey, that was quite an extensive list, considering I have only just got the thing. Luckily most of these are really small, so they take up next to no room.

A great feature for me is it is compatible with my iPod kit in my car, as well as the bluetooth phone, meaning it is an all in solution whilst I am in the car… I can take podcasts with me and listen to them as I drive.

I will post more when I have had it for a week or so. I have ordered a leather case for it (a slim, non-offensive one) as it looks to be a bit fragile. I will let you know about that too.

If any of you have one of these iPhones (and you know I know some of you do!), feel free to add your comments about how you got on with it, killer apps you found etc. It seems like it is definitely going to be a fun phone to live with!