Bot chat #1

Piss poor productions presents – somewhat annoying chatbot transcripts.

#1 Trying to get assistance with online checkin and seat allocation:

Thank you Close

Info at 17:21, Jul 21:
Thank you for choosing to chat with us. An agent will be with you shortly.
Info at 17:21, Jul 21:
You are now chatting with Iya. To keep a copy of this chat please click on the + at the bottom left and send to your email address.
Iya at 17:21, Jul 21:
Hello, you are chatting with Iya, a Qantas chat agent. How may I assist you today?
mike at 17:21, Jul 21:
when does online checkin open for my next flight
mike at 17:22, Jul 21:
on Sunday 23 July 2017 at 05:10 PM.
mike at 17:22, Jul 21:
I have logged in, manage Reference #LJOQN3Help
mike at 17:23, Jul 21:
CHECKIN button says ‘check in at airport’
Iya at 17:23, Jul 21:
Hi, Mike. I hope you’re doing great today. Let me double check into this for you.
Iya at 17:23, Jul 21:
For your privacy and security, may I have your full name/s and flight details (including departure date and destination) please?
mike at 17:25, Jul 21:
Mike Seyfang
Iya at 17:25, Jul 21:
I hope you’re still there. I haven’t heard from you for a while. Do you still require assistance?
mike at 17:26, Jul 21:
mike at 17:26, Jul 21:
QF766 Adelaide to Sydney Departs17:10 (Sun) Arrives19:30 (Sun) Duration:1h 50min
Iya at 17:26, Jul 21:
Thank you. While I’m checking on this, you may want to purchase a QBE insurance as it is recommended when travelling. If you need assistance with arranging travel insurance we have a range of policies from QBE available on our website or you can call them at 1300 783 146.
Iya at 17:26, Jul 21:
May I know if the email address and phone number on this booking are current?
Iya at 17:29, Jul 21:
I hope you’re still there. I haven’t heard from you for a while. Do you still require assistance?
mike at 17:30, Jul 21:
when does online check in open?
mike at 17:31, Jul 21:
Iya at 17:31, Jul 21:
I’m still here. Before I proceed, may I know if the email address and phone number on this booking are current?
mike at 17:31, Jul 21:
Iya at 17:32, Jul 21:
Thanks for verifying. I’m currently checking here.
mike at 17:33, Jul 21:
am I dealing with a chat-bot?
Iya at 17:33, Jul 21:
Thanks for your patience. You may check in at the airport instead at least 30 minutes prior to your departure.
mike at 17:34, Jul 21:
wrong answer
Iya at 17:35, Jul 21:
Currently your flight is on airport control. This happens close to your departure when airport staff make all final safety checks. During this time, online check in is not available. I would suggest try this later on today when the airport control should be lifted. If not, you can check in once you are at the airport.
mike at 17:36, Jul 21:
the flight is sunday
Iya at 17:37, Jul 21:
Yes, that is correct. That is why it would be best to try to check in online later on today when the airport control should be lifted.
Iya at 17:39, Jul 21:
I hope you’re still there. I haven’t heard from you for a while. Do you still require assistance?


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Fang – Mike Seyfang


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Grandma’s old Kindle

Granny was given a Kindle as a gift.

Never did create an amazon account or get it registered.

I inherited it, that was fun (not).

Looks like a Kindle 5th Generation running v4.1.0 software. Connects to WiFi but cannot *reach any websites or servers (including amazon to register). Download and install v4.1.1 then 4.1.2 then 4.1.3 (latest).

Connect to home WiFi, register, all good!

Factory Reset? Nope, no need.

Error Messages:

Web Browser is unable to establish a secure connection with this web site (wikipedia or setup kindle, create an account from your kindle).

Your kindle is unable to connect at this time. Please make sure ou are within wireless range and try again. If the problem persists, restart your Kindle from the menu in Settings and try again (register using existing account)

Fang – Mike Seyfang

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Find it, use it, cite it.

The frontiers of human knowledge are constantly pushed forward by researchers who find related work published in peer reviewed journals, use that work to guide their own questions and experiments and cite it when publishing their findings. This whole process grew out of analog systems made possible by widespread access to the printing press and is beginning to show signs of strain in the digital age.

Similar patterns have been emerging on the internet since it got easy and convenient to ‘publish’ stuff. I would argue the ‘Read/Write Web’ or Web2.0 that emerged in the form of blogs, podcasts and now accelerated by people ‘swiping right’ and ‘scrolling down’ on their smart-phones has been a catalyst.

I would like to think that with a bit of thought and effort we might be able to amplify some of the great work being done by researchers everywhere and maybe even improve the formal academic publishing process. What follows is a random collection of examples I have seen and would like to start conversations about.

  • Find it.

Google is now a verb, use it to find interesting stuff online. Social networks are great filters for information we care about – ‘like’, ‘favorite’, ‘star’, ‘tag’ (you get the picture…) stuff. RSS Aggregators still exist and are a great way to craft a flow of interesting information about any subject, niche or mainstream – subscribe widely, read, comment, trackback and re-blog. Podcasts are an awesome way to scan vast amounts of information for gems of wisdom from people you find interesting. And YouTube has changed the nature of television. Forever.

If you are a research institute – do this a lot. Talk about this with your researchers, brag about great achievements and promote a culture of inquiry beyond formal literature reviews.

  • Use it.

We can now ‘publish’ to the internet by touching ‘like’ on a smart-phone. (This is somewhat simpler than the act of crafting a home-page in the early 1990’s). So, whenever you notice something interesting on social media or in a literature review, keep track of it in a way that you and others can follow along.

See some cool research on FaceBook – like it, maybe even share it. Got something to say about it – comment or write your own related post. Same thing on twitter, instagram, whatever – heart, fav, like, re-tweet to build on the ideas of others. This gets even better with YouTube and other videos or audio recordings. Share interesting content, if it is long tell others at what time to good bits occur. Better still snip out interesting pieces of audio and video and mash em up into your own and share. If you are really inspired by something you find online, write your own blog post, embed your own shared video mashup, link to other interesting stuff and share the post on facebook and twitter.

If you are a research institute – encourage this behavior, pay someone in the admin office to collect online stories from your researchers. Spend some time noticing interesting ‘uses’ of online media from your group and write up a narrative of hi-lights for your annual report.

  • Cite it.

Could be as simple as a hyperlink. May be as complex as a formal citation in the bibliography of a paper. Make it easy to know when your own work has been ‘cited’ informally in online social media. Consider making your work available under a Creative Commons ‘Attribution’ license (like this blog post) and encourage forms of attribution that you can track and measure.

In the old days of blogs and podcasts it was common practice to conduct daily ‘literature reviews’ using an ‘RSS Aggregator’. Blog posts (or ‘publications’) that are interesting would be marked or tagged on social bookmarking sites like One could quickly and easily engage with the author and other readers via comments. The practice of writing a new, related blog post with one’s own thoughts and ‘citing’ the original via a special hyperlink called a ‘trackback’ made it easy for authors to track re-use of their work.

Today the same principles can be applied to facebook posts, YouTube videos, tweets photos shared on instagram or flickr. Let me share a personal example:

If you imagine flickr as a ‘peer reviewed journal with a good reputation’ then I might be imagined as an ‘established author’ with a good h-factor. One of my photos has been viewed more than eighty eight thousand times. More interestingly, that photo has been re-used and ‘cited’ in many places that are very interesting to me. Sometimes people even go to the trouble of leaving a comment on the photo to thank me and link to their work in which it appears. Feels a bit like ‘citizen science’ to me!

flickrAttributionCopyright/           Copyright Symbols


If you are a research institute start collecting evidence as ‘Qualitative KPI’s’ for your group. Look for interesting examples, start defining and promoting best practice. Be on the look out for emerging standards and tools to make collecting (and counting) evidence of informal ‘citations’.

Video remix or mashups are great examples of more sophisticated re-use of digital text, images, audio and video. The ‘Trump v Clinton’ debates are inspiring many video mashups with some remixers going to great lengths to tell their own stories. At the time of writing this search yielded 36,900 results. Inspiring potential future scientists to create video stories using content from research institutes ought to be a Key Performance Indicator (KPI).


Until sophisticated re-use of digital media becomes mainstream it will be difficult to count or quantify this activity. So, begin with some ‘qualitative’ analysis. Start collecting and sharing stories (narrative) about the interesting uses of online media.

Follow up:

Imagine a ‘qualitative’ version of events that could improve on existing formal academic research practices (such as h-factor).

Make a mashup of the catalyst episode that was a catalyst for my thinking and the invention of the ‘green-beam’ digital signature…
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Fang – Mike Seyfang


Posted in Computers and Internet, work | 2 Comments

HowTo: save FaceBook comments to excel using PowerBI

Ever wanted to save a bunch of FaceBook comments? Looking for a better way to find old posts that get buried in the timeline? Turns out that Microsoft PowerBI desktop (free download) and Excel (with PowerQuery COM Add-in) can help.

The Short Story:

  • Start a new Query and Get Data from FaceBook. Use ‘Me’ or the ‘ObjectID’ of a page as source. Leave the ‘Connection’ blank, we can drill into timeline or posts on the fly. (hint: ObjectID of a page is simply the last bit of the URL for the page)
  • Drill into the connections Record (the string ‘Record’ is a hyperlink that will expand to show available connections). Drill into either the posts or feed Table (if in doubt, start with posts).
  • If you get an error it is most likely an API limit that can be worked around by munging the source string in the M-language (Advanced Editor). Try something like:
  • Find the post you want (hint: filter ‘message’ column to get a nice alphabetical list of posts which is by far the best way to read mainstream media pages!). Expand the comments Table to reveal the comments you are after.
  • Expand the from column to get name of the commentor, and the object_link column to get other interesting information. (count of likes is always interesting).
  • Close and Load your query, create a simple report table to expose the fields you want in the order you want and either publish them to or export to a spreadsheet (this whole process can be done from within Excel using the PowerQuery COM add-in, which requires the right kind of Excel license from Microsoft).


PowerBI Desktop makes a great FaceBook browser (and it’s a free download for windows)

The Long Story:


Coming soon…

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Fang – Mike Seyfang


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Well, well, well

Guess who’s been playing ‘Citizen Analyst’ with Microsoft PowerBI and open data from the Government of South Australia?


How is this done? -> to share a powerBI report/visualisation to the web

  1. Fire up in web browser and login, find your report.
  2. In the report window, file Publish to WEB to generate iFrame embed code
  3. For blog (like this) iFrame is stripped out so grab a screenshot of your report and link an.img to the URL for your powerBI report

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Fang – Mike Seyfang


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Insult.gif by ShakesPeare


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Awesome earth visualisation: wind flow and more…

How cool is this?


More at:

Even more:

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Fang – Mike Seyfang


Posted in Art, Computers and Internet, science, work | Leave a comment