Is it time to subscribe to a printer service from HP?

Ever since my dad brought home an...

What’s the best way of buying a phone today?

How did you buy your latest phone?...

MWC: What device highlights did you miss?

So, early last week I predicted that...

Creator of UKTrains site is MIR’s very own Ben Smith — UPDATED

Our very own Ben Smith is being hunted by the BBC this afternoon. All things being equal I think he’ll be on BBC Radio 4 later today.

They’re after him because of of his brilliant creation: UKTrains.

Here’s the service overview:

Inspired by this tweet from MP Tom Watson and enabled by the excellent BBC Backstage’s travel feeds, this prototype service tweets disruption alerts for 25 UK train operators. The original data is processed and shortened to less than 140 characters (in most cases) by Yahoo Pipes and tweeted via Twitterfeed which also adds a short-link back to the original BBC report. Tweetlater provides the automated welcome DM.

I’ve been using it for a week or so now and it’s come in REALLY, REALLY handy. It’s excellent to have the updates appear in my Twitter stream.

Of course, services like this shouldn’t have to exist. But our rail companies resonating with neolithic incompetence can’t even get their trains running properly (“wrong kind of snow”), let alone get you decent feeds like this.

Instead you end up having to pay 25p plus the cost of a text message to be notified when your train operator has screwed up. That is class-A rubbish.

So kudos to Ben for creating the service.

Head over to the UKTrains site for more information and to subscribe to alerts for your area: http://uktrains.pbwiki.com/.

Update:

Listen to Ben’s interview!

18 COMMENTS

  1. Yeah – 3 cheers for Mr Smith – there is more to him than 'facts' alone πŸ™‚ – first thing I did this morning was to fire up twitter and see the updates from @uktrains and @m25updates – Twitter is fecking amazing.

  2. Thanks for the write-up! Ironic that after 10 years of IT consulting for big-name clients, something I knocked up in 2 evenings with simple services gets me on the BBC (hopefully) and Techcrunch on the same day.

    πŸ™‚

  3. Have just had a call from the R4 producer to say my 'package' won't make it to air because they have too much (some fella trying to assault the Chinese PM in Cambridge I assume), but he wnts to use it on R5.

    Oh well… it was on Techcrunch… I'll take that πŸ™‚

  4. You wouldn't believe how often that happens πŸ™‚

    Actually, it's funny because it was my first ever #uksnow tweet… to tell them they were on BBC R5 πŸ™‚

  5. You wouldn't believe how often that happens πŸ™‚

    Actually, it's funny because it was my first ever #uksnow tweet… to tell them they were on BBC R5 πŸ™‚

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recently Published

Is it time to subscribe to a printer service from HP?

Ever since my dad brought home an HP LaserJet printer (version 3, if memory serves), I have been printing with an HP. Over the...

What’s the best way of buying a phone today?

How did you buy your latest phone? I'm asking because I'm thinking about what I should be doing. When I was living in Oman, I...

MWC: What device highlights did you miss?

So, early last week I predicted that next to nothing from Mobile World Congress would break through into the mainstream media. I was right,...

How Wireless Will Pave the Path to Neobank Profitability

I'm delighted to bring you an opinion piece from Rafa Plantier at Gigs.com. I think it's particularly relevant given the recent eSIM news from...

An end of an era: Vodafone UK turns off 3G services

I thought it was worthwhile highlighting this one from the Vodafone UK team. For so long - for what feels like years, seeing the...

Mobile World Congress: Did the mainstream media notice?

I resolved this year to make sure I wrote something - anything - about Mobile World Congress, the huge mobile industry trade show taking...