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12 Days of ‘Staircase Wit’ for 2013 (Day 1)

Rather than end the year with a ‘best of’ list or predictions for 2014, I’ll be delivering 12 days of holiday mini-blogs to you in the form of treppenwitz: all the afterthoughts I wish I'd thought of at the time.

The German language has many wonderful words for very specific moments, and my favourite of these was Treppenwitz (until recently; keep reading). I learned that the word is actually borrowed from French, specifically French philosopher Denis Diderot, and his phrase ‘l’esprit de l’escalier’. And, according to Wikipedia at least, the modern German word has migrated at bit and no longer means the same thing. Which is all perfectly apt in this case.

Because, rather than jump on the blogger bandwagon and do the usual predictions for 2014, I’ve decided to indulge in a little treppenwitz when it comes to the blogs I’ve posted this year. And of course you’re most welcome to make your own staircase-enhanced comments below.


Cracking the Mobile Grocery Nut

The challenge of creating the perfect shopping experience continues. Only last week, a friend on Facebook asked the question “Why can I go into Whole Foods and find 50 things to put in my basket, yet when I try to use Instacart on my phone, I can't find one thing that I want?”

Don’t Fence Me In

I looked at the opportunity for location-based services, both in and around a store. Whilst in-store navigation has been possible, it has required custom hardware, software and apps. Until now. One of many under-reported new features of iOS 7 was Bluetooth beacon support, which creates a whole new way to map within buildings. Here are details.

Fingers crossed that the Mobile World Congress 2014 mobile app has this. I’m already looking forward to not getting lost at next year’s show.

Why I Had to Get Rid of My Contactless Credit Card

I bemoaned Transport for London’s new acceptance of contactless credit cards for bus journeys, which conflicted with my beloved Oyster card, and so meant my credit card got the ‘Spanish Archer’ treatment (El-Bow) in favour of one without the contactless chip. Sadly, it has gotten worse (or at least more confusing), as the Oyster card is either to go entirely, or stick around, depending on who you ask.

So for the (near) future, my trusty Oyster card is safe, and ‘luckily’ neither my debit nor credit cards are interfering with the payment system yet.