Tag Archives: blogging

A period of inactivity

I have come to a point in my life when death is more than an abstract concept. Sometime in the future, you might be surprised to learn, CabbieBlog will cease to post daily, in fact, nothing will emanate from CabbieBlog Towers.

Whether that happens next week or sometime during the next decade I have no idea, but when it does, what happens to everything I’ve produced electronically?

Think of your archive, I bet a lot of your notes, emails, long-form posts and opinions are locked behind passwords, not to mention all your digital photographs. Should a family member or biographer wish to research your life where do they go for material?

So, what happens to these electronic thoughts and memories when one dies? The answer is very unclear.

There is no clarity over who actually owns the millions of keystrokes you’ve lovingly crafted. Take cloud-based email providers Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook or BT, their terms and conditions (look me in the eye and tell me you’ve read their small print), say your emails belong to them.

Surprisingly as bigger platforms are run by Millenials, they have finally embraced the concept that their customers might actually die, and have given this a little thought. Google offers an ‘inactive account manager option’ – a wonderful euphemism – where you can tell this behemoth of communication to pass all your data to ten trusted contacts. Next of kin will not automatically be allowed access, and a request from an executor is not guaranteed.

Facebook offer to freeze or delete an account, if frozen, it only remains visible to the family. Microsoft has a next-of-kin process team but refuses to disclose passwords. Yahoo by contrast is more ruthless, upon hearing of your demise, delete the account.

The process and boundaries are still being explored in this brave new world of digital communication. Should you feel the need to pass on your thoughts and comments to later generations it’s best to download to a device that will last the progress of time, and digital redundancy – remember what happened to floppy discs.

And one final thought, should a world-renowned biographer wish to research your life, best let them have the passwords before it’s too late, it is Friday 13th today.

What I didn’t blog this year

Or what I couldn’t be bothered to blog about. A lot has happened in London this year from the Queen’s funeral to having three residents living in Mr Chicken’s old pad in Downing Street, much of this has not been mentioned here on CabbieBlog.

So here in no particular order is what this year has escaped the attention of this website.

With far more resources than CabbieBlog, I thought I’d let Hugh Edwards and the BBC cover her late Majesty’s final journey, and watched it on Sky News.

Having made the occasional appearance here, Sadiq Khan’s trip to a cannabis farm in America was studiously ignored.

Likewise, the decision to remove the controversial Euston Road cycle lane was greeted by the merest smirk at CabbieBlog Towers.

Shamefully no mention was made of the report that London’s rough sleepers have jumped by 24 per cent, studying The Knowledge and seeing how many homeless there were once shocked me.

The long-awaited completion of Crossrail – sorry Elizabeth Line – only got a mention regarding its corporate colour.

The cable car had three names this year without being acknowledged here: starting with Emirates Air Line, by June it became the prosaic London Cable Car, transmogrifying into the snappy named UFS Cloud Cable Car.

Despite having read Up in Smoke: The Failed Dreams of Battersea Power Station by Peter Watts the official opening of yet another rich man’s gaff in London passed with barely a backwards glance.

Wennington village became the poster boy for climate change when 20 per cent of the properties were destroyed by fire on Britain’s hottest day, as the much-visited Rainham Marshes by this website is nearby, a paragraph or two should have been devoted to the most important concern of our lifetimes.

Should I have told the world of the death of ‘Gorgeous’ George Vyse, London’s most colourful and sartorial elegant cabbie? Ironically he died following a collision with a moped, the very vehicle used on The Knowledge.

Despite featuring CabbieBlog on several occasions, the demise of Time Out on London’s streets after 54 years didn’t even get a shout-out.

Sadiq Khan’s new HQ, the pretentiously named The Crystal opened without fanfare, so at CabbieBlog we didn’t celebrate the event.

And did I mention reaching an age milestone this year? Thought not.

Unblogged London

Once in a while, an occasional London subject pops up in my brain, often these are not worthy of a long-form post, or short enough for a tweet.

As an experiment, I thought I’d try drafting these snippets for anyone who would like to receive them and send them via email. It’s free, of course, titled Unblogged London, it has a distinct format courtesy of Substack, an app that makes it possible for writers to communicate via email, with the addition of an app should you wish to read work from other writers.

Most Unblogged London posts will be short reads only taking a couple of minutes to peruse with the addition of the odd photo. You can subscribe here:

At uncertain intervals (you won’t be getting these that often) they’ll pop into your inbox. Signing up is free (a paid version is offered for some other Substack contributors) and contributions from me will always cost nothing. If you’d like to sign up please do so and consider sharing.

The first missive: The London Garrotting Panics.

The Life of a Blog

Apost by Diamond Geezer dropped in my Pocket app last week. As Diamond Geezer is one of London’s most read blogs with millions of ‘hits’, I thought I’d better read it, the RSS feed started:

I didn’t mean for this blog to last for 20 years. I thought I’d start it one dull Sunday afternoon in September 2002 with no real thought of audience, content or duration.

This got me thinking about how many good London blogs have fallen by the wayside, and ultimately Diamond Geezer’s remarkable longevity.

Annie Mole’s comprehensive views on the London Underground lasted until June 2014 after the blog came out of a static site about the Tube, GoingUnderground.net which started as a New Year’s Resolution in 1999.
Flora Tonking wrote The Accidental Londoner extensively for a decade, now the link gives you IanVisits.

Pete Stean’s excellent Londoneer, published under a Creative Commons Licence was deleted when he went on an academic quest. And Brian the Pigeon has now ceased to give us his view of London.

Tired of London, Tired of Life existed from October 2008 and by 2nd January 2009 was posting daily, giving birth to books. 17th July 2015 was its last missive.

Some blogs (including this one) are still regularly posting. Should you wish to check out London’s finest websites you can find them here:

International Caps Lock Day

tODAY IS iNTERNATIONAL cAPS lOCK dAY. yOU KNOW…Oh, bugger!

Today is International Caps Lock Day, you know how it is, start typing an important missive and when looking up to admire your prose you’ve depressed the caps lock key.

International Caps Lock Day was the brainchild of Derek Arnold of Iowa who in 2000 decided that he, like so many other internet users, had simply had enough of people using all caps to emphasize themselves on the web. So he created International Caps Lock Day in the interest of poking fun at people who use this abomination of a typing style and to finally bring some sanity to the Internet.

On mechanical typewriters, you would typically hit both lock and shift at the same time. After this, you pressed shift by itself to release the lock. The upper case character was located above the first on each typebar’s face, and the shift key caused the apparatus in its entirety to move, physically shifting the typebars position relative to the ribbon.

The shift lock key maintained the shift operation indefinitely without continual effort. The typebars were mechanically locked in a shifted position, resulting in the upper character being typed when any key was pressed. This reduced lower finger muscle pain caused by repetitive typing because it could be challenging to hold the shift down for more than two or three consecutive strokes before this.

Because the keyboard had assumed a higher position, it was pretty obvious to the typist that the caps lock had been selected. Today this isn’t the case, you just plough merrily along unaware of your error. It should be mandatory for manufacturers to incorporate a spinning red light and Claxton every time the user depressed that pesky key.

Today there are not one but two International Caps Lock Days. The original on 22nd October, and today 28th June, this time to celebrate the anniversary of the death of Billy Mays aka the ‘Infomercial King’ who was famous for speaking in capitals, shouting into the camera about products he promoted.