Friday, June 20, 2014

Street Feast Lewisham - Model Market

Today marks the launch of the Lewisham chapter of Street Feast. Hosted at the derelict abandoned 1950s Model Market just off Lewisham High Street, the organisers has used to opportunity to inject some much needed vibe into the local scene. Foodies who lives in Lewisham has one less reason to make the trek to East London. A good thing too as I personally find East London to be a victim of its own success.

Argument about the march of gentrification aside, the feeling that I've got from speaking with some longer term residents as well as newer residents like us, is that Lewisham has been waiting for something like this to happen to their beloved by often neglected town centre.  After all, Lewisham (and by extension, South East London) has long been a laughing stock of inner London (fun fact: Lewisham is the only inner London borough that isn't connected to the London Underground).

Monday, June 16, 2014

EasyAcc Powerbank PB5000C review

Despite the ever increasing power of smartphone, with high guzzling 1080p and hopelessly useless but diserable 2.5K displays, as well as quad core (and octa-core processors on the way), more powerful cameras and operating systems that are so woefully inefficient, battery technology has yet to catch up. Manufacturers insistence that we need ultra thin smartphones at the expense of battery capacity is also a culprit.

I have been a huge fan of my Nexus 5 device, but its sheer power is only matched by its inadequate battery. The Nexus 5's pitiful 8Whr battery lags far behind even the groundbreaking Motorola RAZR MAXX, which was released two years ago with a still unsurpassed 12.5Whr battery (only bigger unwieldy phablets like the Lumia 1520 has a larger battery capacity, and only just).

Monday, April 14, 2014

The day the Avengers came to Brockley, London

Last Friday, Marvel Studios came down to film a scene at the Rivoli Ballroom in Crofton Park, Brockley in South East London. My partner and I were walking down Brockley Road when we stumbled upon a film crew filming "After Party". The Rivoli Ballroom is no stranger to film - it has featured in Doctor Who and the Muppets Most Wanted, but this one was big. We could tell by the twenty of so trucks that were lining up on Brockley Road and Marnock Road. Curiously a couple crew members had shirts with Guardians of the Galaxy printed on it.

As the filming of the Guardians of the Galaxy has already wrapped up and is currently in post production, the only logical conclusion was that (OMG, this was when my jaws dropped when realisation hit me), they were a Marvel Studios film crew filming the next Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero movie - Avengers 2: The Age of Ultron! With crews and visitors in t-shirts bearing Captain America's logo and Converse's Chuck Taylor All-Star logo (you know with the big five pointed star in the middle, you didn't need to be a genius to figure it out. The symbolism was strong. It all hinted that whatever was going on in the ballroom had something to do with Captain America.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dear TalkTalk

Dear TalkTalk,

You win. I give up. I won't fight anymore.

There is no point. I have a life, and my life is worth more than £50. You can have that £50 you earned dishonestly, but you could have had so much more if you worked to make this right from the beginning.

I could have given you more than just £50 but because you wanted the money the quick and dishonest way, I will be leaving you in November.

We could have a long term relationship where you will eventually earn thousands of pounds from me. But you really wanted that £50, and that £50 will cost you. Have it, I shan't fight you any more.

Unless you bill me of things I did not agree of again, this will be the last of it. The next time you will hear from me will be in October when I give my one month notice to be freed of your tyranny.

Good luck, you will need it.

Jon

TalkTalk are still scamming people

Well if you thought our war against TalkTalk has ended, you are sadly mistaken. Upon checking my last bill with TalkTalk, I found that they applied an engineer charge of £50.00. This was done without my consent.

If you remember, TalkTalk was supposed to connect us to the internet in November, but failed to do so under terms of the contract. After persisting for a week they finally relented and agreed to send an engineer to connect us. In my calls to TalkTalk, they never once told me they would apply a call out charge - and why should they? They fucked it up first.

So I sent them a stern e-mail questioning this frankly illegal charge. Here is their condescending reply.
Thank you for contacting TalkTalk about your bill. 
I am very sorry to hear of your recent disappointment with our services. We assure you that customer satisfaction is our top priority, and we want our services to reflect that principle. I would like to apologise for any inconvenience this matter may have caused you.
I have checked your account and would like to confirm you that you have been charged £50.00 for the Engineer visit on 27th of November 2013. Engineer did not found any fault by attending the premises. Hence the charge is applicable to all the customers under the T&C acceptance.
I would love to give you the full refund of £50.00 but trust me I can't. As everything is not in our hand. I've checked your account and there are no notes to confirm that you've had a free Engineer visit at your property. So we are unable to credit you for the Engineer charge on your account.
Please, accept my sincere apologies.
Thanks for contacting TalkTalk. 
What a bunch of liars. An engineer came to fix a problem with TalkTalk after not connecting us for more than one week, and not once in my phone call with their customer service was I told that I had to pay if there were no faults found (which is frankly a lie, as we weren't connected for one week after we were supposed to go online).

When I called TalkTalk in October to move house, TalkTalk promised to reconnect me for free, and thus booked a free OpenReach engineer to come. This engineer failed to come and connect us. In fact, I still have a text by OpenReach claiming they didn't need to visit our property to connect us).

Now £50 is not much, but if TalkTalk thinks they can get away with secretly charging me £50, then who knows how many people they have scammed. I imagine they prey on elderly people who has no motivation to fight their dishonest predatory practice.

Our contract ends in November 2014 - that date can't come soon enough. In the meantime I urge you all not to sign up with them. They will do all they can to scam you. If you think Ofcom will put a stop on this practice you will be mistaken - these telecom companies have Ofcom in their pockets.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier mini-review

Yesterday I attended an advance screening of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, courtesy of Skype (thanks!). The screening was held at the Odeon Marble Arch and was shown in 3D, perhaps the only two negative things I can make about the evening (okay, three if you count the forgettable soundtrack). I visited that Odeon 14 years ago and it is still as bad as it was back then. As for 3D, well my hatred for the format is well documented. Moving on...

After a day to think about it, I can safely say that The Winter Soldier has elevated itself to perhaps my favourite movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a full rung above the Avengers. Which is pretty neat as the first Captain America movie was pretty meh. Coupled with the fact that the godawful Iron Man 3 and incredibly meh Thor 2 has me worried on whether MCU is a sustainable franchise. Good thing they got it with Captain America 2.

While CGI heavy in places, The Winter Soldier feels like a much more realistic movie thanks to some brilliant Bourne franchise-style fighting choreography and use of heavy artillery and proper weapons (lasers, who needs them?). Captain America has learned some new modern fighting movies and some of his take downs are pretty epic. I could watch Cap destroying that plane after escaping the Triskelion on repeat.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Newspaper: Let's slag people off for trying to be helpful

So Courtney Love read a plea asking for people to help find that missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane, and she does so, in her own best way. Cue slagging from people, as well as national newspapers, like the Guardian, who in a very Daily-Mail'ish post, not only mocked her for trying to help, but also her intelligence. Because she ain't no expert, innit (as if the writer was).

She was just trying to help, which is more than I can say for the mass media (who aren't experts as well) who has done nothing but speculate, and more importantly, impend the investigation, whilst taking advantage of a tragic event to generate clicks and advertising revenue.

If this isn't an example of gross sexism I do not know what is.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Browns of Brockley review

I have a confession. When I was first introduced to Brockley, the area we now live in, it was through the wonder of London's specialty coffee scene. Brockley is an odd place to visit for coffee, but it was how it was. In any case, our chance visit to this part of Lewisham opened our eyes to its lovely Victorian housing stock, many of which were largely ignored, but so many potential. The rest was history.

Browns is located conventionality in a row of terrace opposite Brockley railway station, making it an ideal spot to hang out in the wee morning when a train breaks down somewhere down the line. The shop is small and unassuming from the outside, and neutral and unpretentious on the inside. Delicious cakes and bagels greet you as you enter the shop. Oh, and the sweet smell of good coffee.