A big “thank you” to the person who left their copy of this month’s Wired on the train this afternoon. You made the journey home really enjoyable – for once!
After a busy day in the capital I decided to head to London’s King’s Cross Station and catch my train back to Leeds. Just like previous trips the one thought on my mind was ‘would there be a seat free?’ – those of you who commute regularly to and from London will understand why this was my biggest concern, especially because there have been a few times when I’ve stood for most of the journey back. The cost of train travel seems to be constantly going up, but the overall travel experience never seems to improve.
On this occasion and much to my delight not only did I manage to find a free seat, but i also happened to find a copy of this month’s Wired, which was caught in between the food tray and the seat in front.
At first I felt a little conscious that I was benefiting from someone’s misfortune, after all they had paid £3.99 for the magazine, only to leave it on the train. They were probably in a hurry to get to their meeting and accidentally left it behind. To ease my conscience I decided to seek solace in the fact that if I didn’t start reading it then the huge effort that went into producing the publication would have been for nothing. So after checking my emails and social media updates I put my much-loved iPhone away and began flicking through the pages.
The magazine published a number of really great articles, covering various topics and subject matter, including: ‘How to Build Your Own Mario Kart in Real Life’ [pg88] ‘How to Isolate your Own DNA’ [pg89] to ‘How The Astonishing Power of Swarms can Help Us Fight Cancer, Understand The Brain And Protect The Future’ [Pg126 – 133].
But the article that really grabbed my attention was on page 21 by Charlie Foster, entitled: ‘Share Using A Burst of Song’ [Got something to share? Don’t send your friends a URL, chirp it to them instead] which looked at ‘Chirp’, the first app strictly pitched, audible sound to share data – genius!
Patrick Bergel, the cofounder and CEO of Animal Systems, the firm who developed the free app explained in the article that users upload data to share to Chirp’s servers, where it is assigned a series of 20 notes in a 1.8-second sequence that can be played through a smartphone’s loudspeaker. The sharing takes place when the microphones in other devices with the app detect the sound, which in turn triggers them to retrieve the stored data or to carry out a command. You can download the ‘Chirp’ app from iTunes and you can find out more by visiting: chirp.io
At this point my attention was drawn to a conversation two people were having relating to how London seems to be a better place to work than Leeds, but how the two cities do have similar qualities. Have to disagree with their first point, but I do agree with their second one.
After stopping myself from earwigging, and after checking my messages for a second time I started to flick through the pages once again and came across another interesting article about ‘How To Fold A T-shirt In Two Seconds’ [I actually tried this when I got home and it does work!].
I have to say it’s been a while since I bought a copy of Wired, but I can confirm that my interest in the magazine has been reignited and I will be looking out for June’s issue.
So a big thank you to the person who left their copy of Wired, and a big thank you to Wired for helping to make my commute home an interesting one.