Nov 30

Christmas Magazines

The magazine associated with the gadget and gear website Boys Stuff was floating around the office today. Amongst all the gadgets such as remote control cars, robots, game accessories etc areideas for Christmas presents that sound great but only get bought at this time of year, such as:

Nov 30

Swedish Beers

Last night I went along to Swedish Beers, a networking event for peopel involved in mobile marketing. Sponsorship was ably organised by Helen Keegan , giving more than a few rounds of drinks for the attendees. I think there were around 30 people there, all heavily discussing hte various aspects of mobile marketing.

Nov 30

London Hide and Seek

Not enough time to do what I need to. But if I was in London this weekend, I could be up for a game of Hide and Seek around Covent Garden. There’s a plan and a vague indication of how to pla y. The idea is that everyone meets at noon and then moves to the hunting ground. One person is picked as the first seeker and everyone else hides; once found, you join in the hunting. I’m usre this will end up down the pub at the end of it. Via Londonist

Nov 26

iPods

I got a nice surprise at work this week – I got given an iPod shuffle. I did actually have to do some work for it; I was an advisor on a project in an area I would not normally be working in and the was a thankyou. I’ve not really got on with iPods in the past, with the screens and the touch wheels, but as this one does not have a screen and really just plays it’s proving very easy. First of all I had to download iTunes, but was quickly loading music – as it politely came ready charged I was soon away. Will it replace my Zen PMC – probably not but it’s a good addition. And it can always act as an addtional flash drive!

Nov 25

Geek Dinners again – Molly Holzschlag

Lat night I attended a geek dinner where the guest of honour was Molly Holzschlag. A new venue for me, it has it’s advantages being only 200 yards from the office. Enjoyable night, unfortunately only got to hear part of the speach as the acoustics were not too good and there was no amplification. One idea that did come out of the evening was holding a London Geek dinner at SXSW in March, seeing the number of people that appear to be going along to that.

Nov 25

IE Security Update

Since Wednesday I’ve seen at least 3 copies of an’ urgent security notice’ via different communications routes, noting that a critical vulnerability to internet explorer had not yet been fixed and warning us all to exercise common sense when browsing web pages. So far I’ve managed not to send my automatic reply back – use Firefox!

Nov 25

George Best and the Newspapers

As George Best appears to be facing the end, the Metro newspaper put him on the front page today – with some very careful (and clever) writing. Last night, doctors were predicting that he only had a few hours left. He was alive as the papers went to press but the odds were that he would not be when the papers were read. So the Metro reporters have written in the past tense – just in case…

He was famous for his drinking, his womanising, his love of the good life. But George Beat was clear what his legacy should be: I hope they remember the football.

It implies he’s gone, but does not state it. Surprisingly, he’s still clinging on to life this morning.

Nov 24

Burger king: community-generated content

Over on Heavy.com, Burger King masks are being featured in community generated videos, starring in a number of different videos including Safety dancewhere a bemasked dancer goes around gesturing rudely at BK’s competitors and Webcam Stripper where a strip tease also features the mask (surprisingly, it is safe for work).

Both of these would feature in nightmares of certain lawyers I know. It’s not the taking of the content and mixing it up that is regarded as the key problem – it’s the taking the content, mixing it up and the company getting sued because of the new content that is often bought up as a barrier. Wonder how the BK lawyers react to these videos

Nov 24

2005 Blogged

I picked up a copy of Tim Worstall’s new book 2005 Blogged: Dispatches from the Blogosphere at the weekend. Surprisingly easy to find, as it was placed on the Payment Counter in the Richmond branch of Waterstones. And even better – it’s in the 3 for 2 offer.

A look back over the past year through the eyes of British writers, there a lot of stuff that is new to me (but then again, I have not really tended to subscribe to many of the ‘political’ blogs quoted). Throughout, the editorial choices reflect great writing. The chronological order of the postings allows you to dip in and out, sampling particular moments; going to July 7 the pieces picked show the spirit that shone thought many postings at that time – defiance. I fully recommend this book – it could be a great present to get someone interested in reading blogs.

Nov 23

Holiday Season

As we move into year end the prevalence of US media and commercial interests not to use the salutation ‘Happy Christmas’ but instead to use the more niutral ‘Happy Holidays’ always makes be chuckle. And wonder what they call all the other festivals such as Eid, Divali, Hannukkah or Kwanzaa. We can’t call all of them just Holidays – how can we then know the difference? Let’s just stick to Christmas.

Nov 22

Absolut Christmas

Absolut’s Christmas site is fun (the first time only though). Singing bottles take you through seasonal recipes and invite you to send to a friend. Those songs though – drive me insane. Bet they were fun to work on ;o)

And that’s about the only thing I;ve seen over the last few days, having spent most of them laid up with a bad cold. I hate winter!

Nov 18

Women in Podcasting

Blogher comments on Wired’s piece about women and blogging, looking at the attendance of women of the recent Podcasting conference in the US. Mistakenly called the inaugral conference (I’m sure I attended one in the UK in September), only 15% of the attendees were women. It follows the trend of ‘new’ technology, as it attracted a certasin kind of person who could manage the early set up requirements. Again, barriers are getting lowered and we’ll get more women.

Meanwhile, go and listen to Nicole Simon who’s started podcasting interviews with the speakers from Les Blogs 2 being held in a couple of weeks.

Nov 18

BBC TV Ads

The new BBC TV advertising, for digital services, is rather disturbing. A crowd of disembodied heads floating around the countryside getting together in the shape of verious personalities. What were the creatives on when they came up with that?

Nov 18

Tourist London

My mother was visting today (she was down in London for a conference) so I took the day off to do some touristy stuff. No real plans were made, but we ended up doing a spin round the V&A and then visiting Harrods. As responsible adults you’d have thought we would have gone for some serious shopping. But no; after a wander round the Food Hall and then lunch, we headed straight for the top floors and spent and hour or so playing with all the toys! A really good day ;o)

Nov 17

Snippets 17 Nov

Marketing for dogs – Floor stickers and low level posters advertising Pedigree dog food provide experiential marketing for canines as they are scented with dog food smells to attract the target market.

Gnomenclature – Chris Pirillo’s new word defintitions. I particulary like:

  • WEB 2.0 – I don’t know, and I don’t care.

  • PODCASTING – Um… so I think… I’ll… uh… yeah. Ya know, I think… uh… yeah, so… um… where was I? Oh yeah. Ya know when, um… like, ya know when I was going to the… uh, yeah. Um… um… I think?
  • SKYPEE – The act of going to the restroom in the middle of a VoIP conversation without the other party knowing.

Scott Adam’s is in the middle of a flame war of sorts after he posted about the credibility of the participants in the debate between Evolution and Inteliigent Design. His key argument:

Both sides misrepresent the others’ position (either intentionally or because they don’t know better or because of bias) and then attack the misrepresentation. Therefore, neither side is credible (to me).

Nice to see my favourite creationary force the Flying Spaghetti Monster getting a good mention in the comments.

I’m still playing Resident Evil 4. I still suck. I managed to get killed about 10 times in the last section – and those women with chainsaws are mean; very, very mean. Do they have to keep chopping my head off?

Nov 17

Sony Recalls CDs

Maybe it’s the dark nights in the Northern Hemisphere, but the volume of posts coming through the aggregator over the last few weeks feels huge; overnight there can be an extra 500 or so unread to read. So I don’t…or rather I read some and skim others.
P2P network closes. A US university P2P network, set up specifically to facilitate sharing of books and research papers, has closed due to pressure from entertainment industry. The network was also used to share otherkinds of files (music and movies) which has the potential to bring downthbe wrath of the entertainment industry. Maybe they were just trying to avoid crippling their property with Sony rootkits? Which I see that Sonyhavefinally decided to recall the CDs that were deliberately infected with the malformed code.

Dan Kaminsky’s research into the scale of the infection, looking at how many of the net’s nameservers have seen requests to the phone-home part of the code, gives an indication that more than half a million networks have got the root kit on them. He’s mapped the numbers; for a set of CDs that were only released in the US, the spread in other parts of the world (here’s Europe) demonstrates how the sale of ‘legitimate’ music sources also ignores borders.
planetsony_europe.JPG

Nov 16

Analytics vs Measuremap 1

So far Measuremap is a clear winner. As Ben has noted, the Google measurement tool has not started recording at all despite it being nearly 24 hours. It took about 8 hours before it decided to recognise I had the code on the site. t Measuremaps started giving me figures immediately after I had added the javascript code

Nov 15

Google Analytics

I’ve signed up for Google Analytics to see what it can do. Compared to Measuremap, the initial impression is definitely far more commercial, with reports being cut for marketing and content optimisation and the tie in with Adsense. It needs to run for a while longer to get some data in before I can assess what it does.

On signing up I found an telling little content error. You have to choose your country, so I scrolled down to the bottom of the list to find United Kingdom. It was not there this time, which usually means they’ve used the incorrect Great Britain (not a country, just an island). So up to the ‘g’s to find, sitting next to Gibraltar, the choice of United Kingdon. So some-one had changed the reference term, just not the alphabetical position ;o)

google_countries.jpg