Why are companies so needy these days?

Another day, another request for validation…

If there’s one thing that gets on my nerves these days, it’s being ‘reminded’ by a company that I haven’t given any feedback for their product or service. It’s reached a point at which I can’t even used the toilet without being asked about my ‘experience’. I think back to simpler times fondly – times when I could buy lunch without being asked to complete a survey by the cashier; times when I could buy something on Amazon without being nagged by a seller over an item that cost no more than a fiver. 

It’s like having a needy child, constantly in search of validation. If I don’t wish to tell you about my bus-travelling experience or my recent visit to the bathroom, please don’t chase me up for it. I even received one from an airline the other day, reminding me to give my thoughts on a flight I took back in June! Did it not occur to them that if there was anything particularly memorable about it, I might’ve contacted them sooner? 

It’s so frustrating…

A few improvements.

I know I haven’t posted recently, but I decided to take some time to make a few improvements. Most of them are for my convenience when I post things, but there are a couple of new features:

Code highlighting…

One of the main things I intend to do with this blog is provide a few examples that might help someone (as I did before). I’ve been working on a few things as far as algorithmic trading goes. It might be useful to share my progress on that note, as well as having a discussion in the comments. I have some web development-related things to share in the near future too. The new code highlighting system will help me to keep things organised. Here’s an example:

<?php echo ( 'This is a test' ); ?>

Twitter and Instagram feeds…

I intend to post more regularly on both than I did in the past. I added feeds for both to the side of the page. If you want to follow me, you can do so by clicking the links.

I’ll try to post something of interest by the end of the week. Hopefully it’ll get the ball rolling with regard to a discussion.

Within Temptation – Birmingham O2 Academy – My thoughts

I went along to the O2 Academy in Birmingham to see Within Temptation last Friday. Originally, I planned to see them in Brixton but something else had already come up for that day; I wouldn’t have been able to make it. It’d been a while since I’d seen a band at an O2 venue. I was visiting my parents over the weekend, plus I lucked out and managed to buy a ticket at Viagogo that morning.

The support band…

The support band, Ego Kill Talent, weren’t bad. I didn’t really think they were relevant to the main event as such though. They had a proggy vibe which generally isn’t my thing. It wasn’t really the kind of band I was expecting to see to get me in the mood for a band like Within Temptation. One problem I had (and I don’t think this was necessarily their fault) was that their microphones were poor and it was difficult to hear the vocals properly. On the positive side they had a reasonable stage presence and tried to involve the crowd a little. I rate them a 6/10 – not the worst support band ever but not particularly memorable either.

The main event…

The band came on and played three new songs in a row. This left the atmosphere feeling a little flat in my opinion.  They only played one song from Hydra (which I thought was a crappy album), but they did play some older stuff which I enjoyed. I will say that the set was a little on the short side though and lacked a few classics. One thing they did which I don’t remember them doing before was to run some animated elements on a big screen at the back of the stage. I thought this added a lot of depth to the show. I have to say I teared up a little during Forgiven (I had stuff on my mind that night – I don’t normally do this, ever).

In terms of the effects, it was good, but I’ve seen them play better sets before. Expecting the crowd to listen to three new songs before a familiar one was too much in my humble opinion. Maybe a better balance was needed in that respect. Overall, it was great to see them live again. All in all, I give them a solid 7.5/10.

Summing up…

On the whole it was very enjoyable. The weather sucked when I was waiting in the queue. One thing I’ll say is, don’t use the NCP car park behind the venue if you want to get away quickly. You’ll be stuck on it for around an hour. I didn’t get away until around 11:30. Also, get a burner O2 SIM and put it in your phone; I always used to do that to access the Priority entrance.

I’d post some pictures but my phone decided to shit itself and lose the few I took. It’s a shame really.