Monthly Archives: August 2011

Learn to code using codecademy it’s FREE


I was reading the following article on TechCrunch

I have been looking at tools to assess the quality of potential new employees so this caught my eye although not suitable for me I think it is a great idea. It has foursquare type achievement badges so you can get “social” and learn with your friends.

It clearly is getting popular with TechCrunch reporting 2.1 million lessons completed in 72 hours and with a recent investment of $4 million. 

I am intrigued to see what their business model going forward will be, it looks like they are going for the freemium model with the current offering being free and maybe charging for specific lessons. If they want to do more advanced assessments to screen more experienced developers that would be great. 


Uploading pictures to the web with your Windows Phone 7


A great example of the great services support available on Windows Phone 7 instead of emailing pictures to myself I can upload to SkyDrive ๐Ÿ™‚

I also found a neat feature that automatically uploads your pictures to SkyDrive. I will now have all my pictures backed up to the web in case I lose my phone and can easily share them.

I can’t wait for Mango and the next generation of Windows Phones ๐Ÿ™‚

London Paddington to Reading trains are the worst for overcrowding

I have grown up in Reading and whilst the close proximity to London and journey time of 30 mins is great I am well aware of the peak time chaos on the journeys to and from London. I remember how often I have been standing in the vestibule en route to Paddington but luckily I have so far not had to make this journey daily.
This peak time chaos has been the topic of an article in the Guardian and Daily Mirror which stated that London Paddington is the worst station for overcrowded trains in the London and South East.
Of the ten most crowded trains 3 involved the Reading to Paddington route and to make matters worse the trains are also holding double their load capacity.

Figures yesterday revealed the worst service for overcrowding is the 6.37am Reading to London Paddington where 610 standard class passengers squeeze into three carriages meant to hold 304.

And on the evening return trip at 6.45pm, 588 commuters cram into the train.

I do not yet see improvements to these services despite the risk to passengers’ safety and rising ticket prices.

How about:

  • more trains at peak times and longer platforms
  • the Reading to Waterloo line becoming “high speed”
  • there is no penalty for the train companies for overcrowding, how about free tickets if the train is full and you are standing?
  • In First Great Western’s case we have older trains too when is their rolling stock going to be changed- in the summer it is also very uncomfortable with no or poorly performing AC.

UPDATE: We also have the recent annoucement that train fares are going to rise by 8% too ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Ten most crowded trains in London and the south-east

    06.37 Reading-Paddington

    18.45 Paddington-Reading

    18.15 Paddington-Oxford

    06.30 Bristol Temple Meads- Paddington

    07.40 Reading-Paddington

    06.07 Oxford-Paddington

    16.57 Paddington-Reading

    07.09 Oxford-Paddington

    07.28 Bourne End-Paddington

    17.18 Paddington-Oxford

    QR code spotting #2 – First Great Western and BBC Food

    Continuing my hunt for interesting uses of QR codes I came across First Great Western using them in Reading Station to allow you to get pocket timetables for your mobile phone. Very nice ๐Ÿ™‚


    I also noticed a QR code on a food programme on BBC1 which takes you to the ingredients for the recipe that had just been cooked up.


    QR codes are clearly beginning to creep into our world slowly.

    The search continues…

    QR code spotting #1 – Betfair

    QR codes are a great idea and they appear to be growing in popularity in the UK. You can scan a QR code using your mobile and this will take you to a webpage chosen by the creator of the code.

    Wikipedia defines a QR code as:

    A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is readable by dedicated QR readers, smartphones, and to a less common extent, computers with webcams. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, URL, or other data.

    I have been QR code spotting and yesterday I noticed that Betfair are placing QR codes on two beach volleyball players at the Olympic Test event. The QR code below takes the user to a registration page to join Betfair, offering consumers a free bet.

    Betfair: online betting exchange prints QR codes on volleyball players' bikini bottoms  

    Related to this I found this great doodle ๐Ÿ™‚

    Cartoon: Not What We Meant by ‘Mobile’ 

    rob cartoon qr driving.png