Archive for April, 2010

What are our rights while stranded abroad?

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

I’m in Cyprus. Still.

My flight home at the weekend was cancelled, and we’ve been given a new flight on the 29th – turning our 7 day break into an eighteen day holiday.

For the unplanned 11 days, our package holiday operator – easyjet – is putting us up in a series of nice full-board hotels, and providing a coach to transport us between them.

I’m very grateful – we’d saved for a couple of years to pay for the original week as it is. I wouldn’t have been able to afford extending the holiday.

But I’m also curious. Why are they doing this? Do they have to?


Following twitter hashtags on TV

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

DSC06104As a lot of other people, I’m watching the debate of the Digital Economy Bill on BBC Parliament tonight. I’m also trying to follow along with some of the #debill back-channel on twitter.

With such a heated and interesting commentary on twitter, it reminded me of Roo’s “Second screen” idea of having tweets with a specific hashtag next to the TV during live TV events, when following the twitter backchannel during ‘The Apprentice’.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a spare laptop kicking around to show tweets on. But I do have a hackable TV. 🙂

With that in mind, in just a few minutes I hacked together the following script to flash up tweets with the #debill tag on the TV:

# run me using:
#       python debill 1

import twython
import subprocess
import sys
from time import sleep

twitterKeyword = sys.argv[1]
twitterSearchRateLimitMins = int(sys.argv[2])

twitter = twython.core.setup()

showOnTVCommand = ['svdrpsend', 'mesg', 'messagetodisplay']

lasttweetid = 1

while True:
    search_results = twitter.searchTwitter(twitterKeyword, since_id=lasttweetid, show_user=True)

    numtweets = len(search_results["results"])
    for tweetnum in reversed(range(0, numtweets)):
        lasttweetid = search_results["results"][tweetnum]["id"]

        user = search_results["results"][tweetnum]["from_user"]
        tweet = search_results["results"][tweetnum]["text"]
        showOnTVCommand[2] = user + " : " + tweet


    sleep(twitterSearchRateLimitMins * 60)


It’s a quick-and-dirty hack, but I wanted to get something that would work before the debate was finished. 🙂

And it seems to do the trick.