Book review 11:22:63 by Stephen King

This book had been sitting in my house for quite a while, and only the sheer size of it had prevented me from starting it sooner.  I’ve always been a fan of Stephen King novels (although he needs to work on his endings) and this one is no exception.
The plot revolves around a hole in time in the kitchen of a local diner.  The owner realises that he can go back in time to 1958 by passing through the time hole, and he tasks local school teacher with the job of going back in time and preventing JFK from being assassinated in 1963.  Because the hole only goes to 1958 that means living in the past undetected for five years, but armed with knowledge of the future that he can use to his advantage.
As with lots of of Stephen King books, he spends a lot of time developing the characters so that as you get into the book you really feel as though you know them, and you want to know what will happen to them.  The characters are believable and you get pulled in to their plight throughout the story.   The detail in the book makes it easy to visualise as he keeps the suspense going throughout the story and you want to keep reading to find out what happens next.  This isn’t a horror story (although there is a little violence in it and a brief reference to one of his other popular novels, ‘IT’) and I could imagine this appealing to a whole new genre of fans who aren’t into his usual brand of books.
Despite the size of this book, I found that once I started I was unable to put it down and I spent many spare hours reading, wanting to know what would happen next.  Of course as with many Stephen King books, the ending isn’t as good as it could be but at least it ties up all the loose ends and comes to a conclusion (I hate open endings!).  I would unreservedly recommend this book to others, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Let me know what you thought of it.

Is Groupon leaking your email address to spammers? @groupon_UK

A while ago I set up a special email domain for using to track down who was leaking my email address to spammers.  From that point on every potentially dodgy website I sign up to has a unique email address that is only used on that site and nowhere else.  That means that I can check my spam email box and see who is leaking my email address.  Groupon – you are not the first company to email me and tell me that you’ve leaked my email address, but you are the first to leak my email address to a spammer (and I don’t recall them owning up to it but I could be wrong).
If you have ever signed up to a Groupon deal you know where some of your spam has come from (besides the rubbish they send you every day)

Twitter music–it’s pretty good (as long as you have Spotify)

I’m a long time user of Spotify and one of the reasons I like it is the social interaction and shared playlists (previous review here).  I decided to try Twitter music because I’d heard about it on the internet and thought it could be find new music and artists to listen to.
I have to say that as a music discovery tool that Twitter music has the potential to be very powerful.
You can show music playlists:

  1. from artists that are trending across Twitter
  2. show “emerging” music that represents upcoming artists
  3. show suggested music that you might like
  4. show music tweeted by people you follow
  5. Show artists that you follow

Unfortunately some of these options are only as useful as the group of people you follow.  I don’t know if the people I follow don’t tweet enough music but I found the suggested music playlist and the playlist of people I follow were completely empty, and I don’t use Twitter to stalk celebrities so my artists playlist is empty too.
Having Spotify means that you are able to listen to full tracks rather than clips (for tracks in their catalogue), and the integration on both the iOS app and the web app with Spotify was flawless.  (The app does support rdio if you use this in preference to Spotify)
For now the service is limited to iOS devices and a web app, but I would recommend Twitter users to check it out.   The more you tweet about music and follow artists, the more useful the service will be to you.
(I am hoping the service becomes more reliable as more people start to use it)