Robert Hampton

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31st December 2010

Twenty Ten – again. Again

July brought big changes to the newspaper industry, as The Times started charging for access to its web site. This was supposed to ensure a steady income stream for the newspaper, putting it on a secure financial footing for the future. However, it also resulted in the Times being completely removed from the online chatter of the blogosphere, as its news coverage and columnists were no longer accessible to the internet hoi-polloi. Still, I’m sure this decision made sense to someone somewhere.

The Supreme Court ruled that gay people facing persecution are entitled to claim asylum in the UK. I welcomed the decision, although my blog post is curiously vague about precisely why I welcomed it. Hmm…

In other gay-related news, I reviewed, with sadness, a booklet from the US Military discussing its anti-gay don’t ask, don’t tell policy.

Elsewhere, health and safety went mad as one person suggested banning rugby scrums. I felt uncomfortable on a train full of Orange Lodge marchers and I defended the traditional sitcom from an onslaught of criticism from trendy TV reviewers.

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2nd November 2010

Antisocial Behaviour
Posted by at 9.40pm | Films | 1 response

Last night I went to see The Social Network in the pleasant surroundings of FACT Picturehouse.

For the uninitiated, the film looks behind the scenes at the growth of Facebook, charting its progress from a minor web site covering Harvard University to the worldwide behemoth that it became. In particular, it focuses on the actions of founder Mark Zuckerberg and his colleagues. I’m not sure how accurate a depiction it is, but suspect a usual amount of dramatic licence was taken.

I don’t want to give too much away about the film, except to say that the performances of the lead actors are great (Jesse Eisenberg as Zuckerberg is particularly excellent, although it’s distracting that he looks a bit like Simon Amstell). The script keeps things moving along nicely, no easy task when quite a lot of the film is people typing code into a computer.

It’s nice to see Wget and Emacs get namechecked in a major Hollywood motion picture, too.

One thing I’ve learned from the film: never go into business with your friends — unless you’re prepared to lose one or two of them along the way as a price for success.